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""The Goddess is the intelligent embodied love that is the ground of all being." Carol P. Christ

Carol P. Christ (1945-2021) held a Ph.D. from Yale, was Founding Director of Ariadne Institute, and served as an Adjunct Professor at California Institute of Integral Studies. She guided the Goddess Pilgrimage in Crete for over 20 years and was an expert on the archaeology, culture, and religion of ancient Crete as well as the traditional culture of Crete today. She was a member of the Gournia archaeological study team and was a founding voice in the study of women and religion. Her knowledge, insight, wisdom, laughter, and love for all things Cretan inspired hundreds of women who journeyed with her during her lifetime. 
Carol taught at Columbia University, San Jose State, Pomona College, Harvard Divinity School, and Claremont Graduate School. She was the author of Goddess and God in the World, Rebirth of the Goddess, She Who Changes, Laughter of Aphrodite, Odyssey with the Goddess (republished as A Serpentine Path), and Diving Deep and Surfacing, and was co-editor (with Judith Plaskow) of Weaving the Visions and Womanspirit Rising. A dual citizen of Greece and the US, Carol lived in Greece, spoke Greek fluently, and ran for office in regional and national elections with the Green Party in Greece. After living in Lesvos for 20 years, and in Athens before that, Carol moved to Crete early in 2020, and passed away in her sleep in July 2021. We honour Carol by continuing her Goddess Pilgrimage at her request, following the template she created and passing on the wisdom she shared.

"I could have travelled for many years and not learned as much as I did with Carol." Nancy Bakas, USA


Laura Shannon  is the Ariadne Institute’s new director. She has spent her life researching and teaching traditional women’s dances of Greece and the Balkans, with a focus on their roots in the matristic Neolithic cultures of Old Europe. Since 1987 she has offered seminars in more than twenty countries, including women’s dance and culture tours in Morocco, Bulgaria, Scotland, Lesvos and mainland Greece. Laura has participated in the Goddess Pilgrimage with Carol, and feels deeply honoured to carry on the tours and help keep Carol’s legacy alive. Laura has written extensively on women’s dance and Goddess Spirituality and blogs regularly on

Mika Scott is Co-Director of Ariadne Institute and Co-Leader of the fall Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete. She runs the Ariadne office and answers questions about the tours. A licensed massage therapist, she lives on and cares for wild land outside Eugene, Oregon. She has acted in, directed, and produced the Vagina Monologues. Mika returned from her first pilgrimage glowing in the knowledge of a time when women's wisdom was honored and delighted to discover that her vision of a peaceful and just world has roots in ancient Crete.


Stephanie Rose has been exploring women’s spirituality and the myths and ancient religions of the Goddess all her adult life. Working in the travel business, she first travelled to Crete in search of Ariadne in 1975 and returned in 2022 on the first Goddess Pilgrimage led by Laura Shannon. An experienced circle dance facilitator, she runs women’s workshops on aspects of the Sacred Feminine and feels passionately that the culture of the Goddess is especially relevant to our world today. Stephanie lives in a rural area of Herefordshire, UK, where she connects with the Goddess embodied in the countryside surrounding her home. She is delighted to be called upon to assist Laura on future Pilgrimages.

Cristina Nevans has been co-leading the pilgrimage for many years and will assist as needed. She is a landscape architect who lives near her beloved mountain Lykabettos in Athens and also part of the year in Istanbul where she owns and manages the Hotel Empress Zoe with her sister. The Goddess Pilgrimage changed her life in many dramatic ways. She finds nature to be her greatest souce of inspiration and equanimity. She is a Buddhist interested in female Bodhisattvas.


Ariadne Insititute for the Study of Myth and Ritual, Ltd., is a 501c3 non-profit educational and charitable organization. If you appreciate the work we are doing, you can send a tax deductible (US) contribution to our scholarship fund to Ariadne Institute, P.O. Box 5053, Eugene, Oregon 97405, USA.

Ariadne Institute thanks Kay Keys who graciously managed the Ariadne website for a decade, Andrea Sarris, Derek Sutton, Barbara Smith, Michael Honegger (photo of Carol on Carol's Words), and Timothy Jay Smith for web help, Andrea Sarris (photo of Carol here), Diane Gruppe Marshall, Susan Conniff, and Elizabeth Chloe Erdmann for other photographs, and Lydia Smith for outreach ideas.

"Carol's tour of Crete is a Goddess education and a blessing." Mara Keller, Women's Spirituality Program, CIIS

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