and the Drug Propaganda: Knossos
The Cretan Queens of Knossos were consistently portrayed, for thousands
of years, as winged wasps or bee-headed women surrounded by floating
eyes and snakes. They were also depicted as bare-breasted shamans, in
a flounced skirt, with a flower crown and outstretched arms holding
a cobra in each hand. They cast spells. Their flower crowns were sometimes
capped by the image of a panther, the premier transformation beast.
The beautifully etched solid gold Ring of Minos, above, found at Knossos,
weighing almost a full ounce, dates to about 1550 BC. It was used as
a correspondence seal by a royal personage. It depicts the Goddess,
seated at the left shrine near a set of sacral horns, who has just journeyed
over the sea in a sea-horse boat, which is in the center foreground.
The boat is steered by a bare-breasted, bee-headed woman and carries
two baetylic pillars upon which rest sacral horns.To the left of the
Goddess, who faces us, at the central and right-hand shrines, two voluptuous
naked maenads each bend a sacred tree growing from the top of a shrine
and offer its fruit to the Goddess. One maenad, at the central shrine,
hands a pitcher of the fruit-juice to another who floats in the air
above the Goddess. All three shrines are supported by huge sprouting
The Gold Ring of Isopata, near Knossos, top, dating to c.1500 BC, explicitly
depicts bee-headed women dancing in ecstacy, surrounded by beautifully
drawn floating plants, possibly entheogenic lilies, a disembodied 'Cleopatra'
eye and floating snakes. This is a depiction of ekstasis, animal transformation
and the disembodied flight of the soul. Evans: "...a design on a remarkable
gold signet-ring found in a built tomb at Isopata, where a similar eye
appears in the background of a scene depicting a ritual dance held in
honour of the Goddess as the visible impersonation of the all-seeing
presence of the divinity. The 'Eye of Horus', so familiar in Egyptian
relgious Art, seems to have supplied a suggestion of this symbolic usage...
On another signet [above] it is coupled with the [floating] ear which
also recurs in the background of a Minoan cult scene with an analogous
reference to an all-hearing Power."