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Gratitude and Sharing

Two Fundamental Principles of Goddess Spirituality

By Carol P. Christ

[Snip] When I first began to lead Goddess Pilgrimages in Crete, I was inspired by a line in Homer to begin a pilgrimage tradition of pouring libations of milk, honey, water, and wine on ancient stones. At first I knew the form, but not its deeper meaning. It gradually dawned on me as I thought about the large number of pouring vessels in the museums, the altar stones, and the Procession Fresco from Knossos, that an important part of Minoan rituals involved processions in which people offered first fruits back to the Mother whose body had produced them, and poured libations on altars.

Over twenty years of performing the ritual of pouring libations has convinced me that this was not “a” but “the” central Minoan ritual. Its purpose is to thank Mother Earth for the bounty She has bestowed on us. The pouring of libations is not primarily “fertility magic,” performed to induce the earth to produce another harvest. First and foremost, it is an act of gratitude for the gift of life and the gifts of life. The act of moving to and from the altar, in conjunction with others, and the act of pouring liquids onto stones embodies the grace of the flow of life.

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