Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Long Silence

Why has it been so long since I've posted anything on my blog? Lots of reasons.

First, I was a long way away – more than six thousand miles away – in Crete.

Second, I have had a long illness – upper respiratory problems that have festered since mid-September. It's November!

Third, in Crete I was immersed in an ancient culture – the Minoan – that flourished on Crete from about 3,000 BCE to about 1,450 BCE when it was wiped out by a combination of a tsunami and invading Mycenaeans.

The Minoan culture was matrifocal: it honored women – mothers, maidens, and crones. It was peaceful: it had no kings, no armies, no weapons of combat. It was communal and egalitarian: no very rich or very poor. It was creative: the remnants of its art that have survived for nearly 3,500 years are stunningly beautiful. Frescoes and caves echo with the songs that serenaded goddesses that represented the earth, the sea, the sky, birth, trees, the harvest – all the manifestations of life (and death as a component of the cycle).

Perhaps, like most of us, I had thought such a culture was some utopian fantasy – something that could not possibly exist. But it did exist – for almost two thousand years.

The goddess pilgrimage in Crete (www.goddessariadne.org) was led by spiritual scholar and author Dr. Carol Christ and her assistant, Mika Scott. There were 14 of us on the tour to sites that had been sacred to the Minoans (or in some way revealed a feminine focus). We were from far-flung places: 3 Australians, 3 Canadians, 1 Alaskan, 3 from the Midwest, 1 from Massachusetts, 2 from Colorado, and 1 ex-pat from England who had lived on Crete for six years.

For two weeks we visited sites in caves, in archeological ruins, at mountain springs, in Byzantine churches, or convents, or cliff-tops. At each site, we performed a ritual or in some way acknowledged its significance to our ancestors and to ourselves.

We began to believe that a peaceful, creative, egalitarian culture once existed and, possibly, could exist again.

So I guess I have been stunned to silence. Letting the truth of this sift down into my being. I still have respiratory problems. But I'm home. And I think, finally, I am ready to tell some of the stories of some of what I learned. Stay tuned. ,

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