Kouros

Minoan Groves (covens) can only be created and led by a Minos and Temenos ta Carmán was the first Minoan Grove to be seeded in Ireland. A Minos is a 3º High Priest, the only role enabling a Brother to teach and initiate suitable seekers into the Minoan Brotherhood. Not to be confused with Wicca, this is a distinct initiatory, lineaged, oathbound tradition of Witchcraft which explores the Male Mysteries and places an emphasis on resonance rather than polarity. The core beliefs of the Minoan Brotherhood centre on the worship of the ancient Cretan Snake Goddess, the Great Mother of the Aegean civilisations, and Her Divine Son, the Starry One, or Bull of Heaven.

Some Craft paths which are polarity-defined or hetero-centric in praxis can leave LGBT people feeling like their nature is on the periphery to what is centrally upheld as an ideal, thus meaning that the mundane experience of being the “outsider/other/stranger” is underlined within ritual space.  The Minoan Brotherhood provides a safe and sacred space for Men Loving Men to nourish their spiritual wellbeing where their nature is centrally placed and celebrated as equally divine. The Minoan Brotherhood is the only tradition in the West European Isles solely dedicated to Queer spirituality.

As a Grove of the Eleutheria Line, which embraces diversity and individual expression, Temenos ta Carmán maintains a healthy balance between received wisdom and the guidance of our Gods to maintain a living experience of this spiritual and magickal tradition within an Irish context. This is symbolised by the Matron deity of our coven, Carmán, the only Goddess figure to bridge the mythology of the Irish landscape with that of Greece.

carman pic

Carmán, was a warrior and sorceress from Athens who made a bid to invade and destroy the fruits of Ireland with the aid of Her three Sons before being defeated by the Tuatha Dé Danann and buried in Leinster. This triple aspect and Carmán’s dark traits are reflected in the Irish Goddess of the Underworld, the Mórrígan (Great Queen), and Her offspring such as Her serpentine Son, Meichi, who suffered a triple slaying at the waters of the Three Sisters in Leinster; the realm of Carmán.

Carmán’s story is told in a poem of the Metrical Dindshenchas which states that She died in 600 BCE. The Tuatha Dé Danann instituted the Óenach Carmán, or Festival of Carmán, held in Her memory every three years at Lughnasadh, 1st August. The Irish God, Lugh, established a harvest festival and funeral games, named the Áenach Tailteann, in honour of His foster Mother, the Goddess Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion having cleared the plains of Ireland for agriculture. These festivities were believed to have been established between 1829-1600 BCE and continued to be observed at Telltown up until as late as 1770 CE when they were later expressed as the Taillten Fair. Aspects of these customs continue in present day celebrations of Lugh’s harvest festival called Lughnasadh.

The Mórrígan, Carmán and Tailtiu are mutually associated with the Underworld and the honouring of the Dead. While the Mórrígan is also associated with the land and sovereignty, the festivities in memory of both Carmán and Tailtiu share in both the agricultural focus and the time of year they were observed. Carmán’s origins may lie in Carme, the Latinised form of the Greek Karmê (shearer), a female Cretan spirit who assisted the grain harvest of Demeter’s Cretan predecessor.

The name Karme means “She who cuts the grain,” and derives from keirein, meaning “to cut.” According to Olympian mythology, She was the Mother, by Zeus, of the Minoan virginal huntress Goddess, whom She bore at Kaino. Carme was the Daughter of either Phoenix and Cassiopeia, or of the divine ploughman Euboulos, Son of Karmanor. The duplicates and parallel genealogies are symptoms of the uneasy fit between the Minoan cult, to which Carme belonged, and the Mycenaean cult that superseded it.

For suitable seekers who have a sincere interest in Witchcraft, Magick and the Minoan traditions, Temenos ta Carmán offers a path of learning that is healing, affirming and transformative. A seeker can expect a lengthy meet and greet process prior to a decision on acceptance for training. During this period a seeker should be able to convey a good knowledge of contemporary Paganism and Witchcraft. For a suggested reading list please click here. A candidate will be of adult age and able to demonstrate self-care, personal integrity and commitment. A candidate can expect to spend around five years completing training. Seekers may submit a considered expression of interest using the contact form at the bottom of this site. First, please see advice for Seekers here. All enquiries shall be treated with confidentiality. Those using pseudonyms shall receive no response.

A glimpse of Carmán’s landscape including one of the Three Sisters…

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