StarLotus Sacred Tours
Each time I visit Greece, she reveals yet another layer of her beauty and indomitable spirit. This October, we were fortunate to be there at a historical moment, able to witness and take part in the passionate nationwide strikes and protests by the Greek people against the austerity measures being imposed upon them by foreign interests. The fountainhead of Western participatory democracy still flows forth with vibrant life force.
My travels began on October 1 with a week in northern Greece before I met up with the tour. Mary Lou Miller and Kate Petty joined me in an idyllic retreat on the remote island of Samothrake that houses a pristine and untrammeled site of the ancient pre-Hellenic Sanctuary to the Great Gods and where Alexander the Great was conceived during the nocturnal mystery initiations. While exploring the expansive grounds shrouded in a timeless eternity, we met a conservator of the archaeological remains. She invited us to her home for a meditation with a number of spiritually minded residents of the island, and we wished we could stay there forever.
But the next phase of the journey brought us to Ganos, Turkey, just over the border from Alexandroupouli. Astrologer Baris Ilhan from Istanbul joined us, and helped me to visit the small hillside village on the Sea of Marmara where my Greek grandparents were born. Here is a picture of us with a Turkish woman from the village, whose family, like mine and Baris’ and so many others from this region, were caught up in the massive dislocation and refugee exodus of the Greco/Turkish population exchange following World War I.
I arrived in Athens on October 9 and was met by local Athenian astrologer Allen Scevis, who walked me around the city and discussed many of the social and political changes that were afoot. Brian Clark and I connected with our tour group the following day; immediately our itinerary was impacted by the transportation strikes and site closures. But our participants were all good sports, flexible to the daily changes and revisions of plans, and the omens kept coming strong and clear that gave us faith in the unfolding revelations of the pilgrimage.
We went to many small obscure sites where the spiritual energies of the sacred landscapes were still palpable. Our group members facilitated daily mediations at these power places with custom-blend planetary incenses based upon the unique astrological aspects of the day.
Brian asked me to list my three favorite places, but four have to be mentioned.
Hike on Mt. Parnassus from the Korykian Cave, the original site of Gaea’s dream oracle to the Temple of Pythian Apollo at Delphi. Midway through the four-hour hike, we came upon a small homestead on the mountain plateau where we were given warm welcomes, clear mountain spring water, and ample shots of tsipero, homemade domestic spirits, to fortify us for the rest of the walk.
Demeter Eleusinia at Thelpousa– most of the best places are inevitably up narrow winding barely passable mountain roads and footpaths, and this miniscule Christian chapel next to a spring in a sacred grove of moss covered trees marks a minor site where the Eleusinian mysteries were also performed in a secluded outpost in Arcadia.
Aliphera – this is one of the sites which claims its fame as the birthplace of Athena. We drove a long way up, and then walked even farther, passing by a dream incubation temple of Asklepius, and finally stood at her temple which seemed to be on the top of the world, a fitting place for the emergence of this goddess of wisdom from the crown of her father Zeus’ head.
Lykosoura – In myth, Demeter had a second daughter who presided over her own very secret mystery cult in Arcadia as mistress of the dancing animals. The radiant crone goat herder goddess greeted us at the gates of this locked and forgotten site, and gave her blessings for us to be there as she sang her melodious ode to the goats which pranced about with their tinkling bells.
The trip ended at Demeter/Ceres major initiation site at Eleusis where we lit a candle in the Cave of Pluto and laid our troubled spirits to rest. A week after my return I attended the Evolutionary Astrology Conference in Portland, inspired by our journey, presented material on Ceres, Pluto, and her planetary nodes; and developed an even deeper appreciation for the seminal work of Jeffrey Wolf Green.
January finds me going to Australia for my seventh visit to the land down under. The Federation of Australian Astrologers conference http://www.faainc.org.au/ takes place in Melbourne on January 18-23, and the following weekend I will teach a seminar on the Asteroid Goddesses in Relationship in Sydney http://www.mercurialconnections.com.au/
New Workshop Audio Release
In 2007 Demetra presented a workshop to the Boston chapter of the NCGR outlining her understanding of Traditional astrology to date. Includes extensive chart examples including and extended look at Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis’ birth chart. Preview this recording