She is a snake-charming priestess, one of three figurines discovered at the palace of Knossos on Crete, among cult shrine objects. Often thought of as a fertility goddess, she was more specifically used in women’s rites and magic around menstruation and conception. Her metal girdle represents the constricting pain of menstrual cramps, and the sacral knot that clasps her bodice under her breasts represents vulva. Sacral knots (similar the tiet symbol of the Egyptian Goddess Wadjyt and the ankh of Isis, also called “the blood of Isis”), were untied in rituals to represent the release of pre-menstrual pain and the shedding of the uterine lining. She was later connected to the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, who also loosened her breasts from a charmed girdle, to seduce Zeus.
Minoan Snake Goddess
Handmade ceramic sculpture
Crete, Aegean Islands, 1600 BC
Altar, Devotional Practice, Ritual, Adornment
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