The Minoan Brotherhood is a men's initiatory tradition of the Craft celebrating Life, Men Loving Men, and Magic in a primarily Cretan context, also including some Aegean and Ancient Near Eastern mythology. The tradition was founded by Eddie Buczynski in the 1970's in New York.
Alsos Ampelos welcomes men (gay, bi or straight if you are comfortable) who are over 21 years old and who can dedicate themselves to learning about the tradition and to their own spiritual growth. The leader of this group is Antheus Z.A. X with his husband Iacchus B.A. X
Extracts from MinoanBrotherhood.org
Why was the tradition founded?
The Minoan Brotherhood was founded as a response to the heterosexist culture of most forms of Traditional Witchcraft prevalent in the 1970's. These traditions believe that due to the inherent polarity of nature, magic must be performed between a man and a woman, and any groups that work without this balance are doomed to failure. This encouraged a homophobic attitude in many of the groups of the time. The rare group sometimes welcomed gay men as brothers, but only so long as they upheld the polarity rites of the tradition they were practicing. For many, this was uncomfortable, and nigh impossible. And many groups refused to work with gay men under any circumstances. Eddie worked his way through the training of the Gardnerian tradition. Upon his elevation to Gardnerian 3rd, he used his work in his original traditions, coupled with his knowledge of and research into ancient civilizations, to develop a tradition that celebrates the unique magic possible between men who love men.
Is the Minoan Brotherhood for gay men only?
The Minoan Brotherhood is primarily a tradition for gay and bisexual men. However, it is open to any male of legal age who is free to pursue his own interests. Completely heterosexual men may not feel comfortable with the style, method of working or current of power within the Minoan Brotherhood. For those who do, the door is always open, and has been since the founding of the Tradition.
What are our rituals like?
Working within a Gardnerian-influenced framework, we blend elements of pre-Doric Aegean mythology (primarily Cretan and Mycenaean), the Ancient Near East, and Traditional Witchcraft with the wealth of knowledge which has been made available to us through the years of work, research, experimentation and inspiration of our Elders. A strong current of queer spirituality influences our practices. Working tools and their uses are similar to Traditional Witchcraft, but are also unique to our particular path.
We give honor to the Gods of the Minoan Culture, primarily through the forms of the Great Mother and Her Divine Son. We celebrate our rites at the 13 Full Moons and 8 Festivals of the Wheel. The Brotherhood Initiates work magic together in groves, in couples, or alone. Meetings are traditionally skyclad or naked. Our Full Moon rituals are for Initiates only, and are dedicated to the working of magic and spiritual development. Our Festivals are rooted in Aegean cycles and myths and are largely celebratory.
Do our Rites involve sex?
Our Rites, like those of other paths of Traditional Witchcraft, can be sexually charged, and are decidedly homoerotic. Initiates are encouraged to study sex magic and eroticism. No one is expected to do anything non-consensual; however, people uncomfortable with nudity and homoerotic situations may not be suited for this Tradition. Sexual mysticism is a key element in Minoan magic, and so Initiates are continually developing themselves and their abilities.
I LIVE IN -or- CAN TRAVEL TO CENTRAL FLORIDA & WANT TO JOIN! WHAT DO I DO?
This path and this group are not for everybody but if you fall within these guidelines then you might be well suited for this particular group.
You are at least 21 years of age.
You are not currently involved in a divorce, lawsuit, or major trauma.
You hold no prejudices against a person's race, gender, sexuality etc.
You work for a living - or - have a legal source of income.
You are ready to commit much time to this path.
You do not join groups expecting to alter its system, tradition, language, or philosophies outside of natural and social evolution.
You are not diagnosed with any serious debilitating emotional or psychological disorders.
You seek structure in your spiritual life but you can also be spontaneous and inventive.
You have at least some basic knowledge of subjects related to Witchcraft and Paganism.
You have recently experienced a heartfelt calling to worship as Witches or Pagans do.
You have a means of personal transportation to get to and from meetings.
You feel that money and religion do not mix.
You do not participate in divisive or angry political discourse in social settings.
You are not allergic to animals, otherwise you take medication for your allergies.
Familiarize yourself with Eddie Buczynski. Have you visited and read the Minoan Brotherhood website thoroughly? You should! There is important info about the tradition there.