Greece

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Eleusis, Delphi and Greece

This page contains photos I have taken and spiritual experiences at many of the sacred sites in Greece.

Temple to Isis on sacred isle of Delos Greece. As the birthplace of Artemis and Apollo, the Greek island of Delos (Greek: Δηλος; Dhílos, "Brilliant") was a major sacred site for the ancient Greeks, second in importance only to Delphi. At its height, the sacred island was covered in a variety of temples and sanctuaries dedicated to a variety of gods, including this temple located on the path that leads to the top of the sacred mountain.

Eleusis (Greek: Elefsina) - Home of the Eleusian Mystery School

 Elefsina, Greece is a town that is slightly southwest of Athens on the coast. This is the home of the Eleusian Mystery School.

Cave at Elefsina, (site of Eleusian mystery school)

The cave in which Hades was to have abducted Persephone into the Underworld

Upon entering the archeological site I immediately saw the cave. It is at the base of a mound upon which is erected the museum and a Christian Orthodox monument. I immediately went to the cave and found a rock directly in front of the cave wall on which I could set. I looked around a bit, examined the cave wall and did not notice anything in particular. Then I began a meditation. I decided to ask the Greek gods and goddesses to be with me. I named each of them that I could remember hoping not to forget anyone because I remembered that they were known to be jealous gods and goddesses. Immediately upon opening my eyes I saw a simulacrum of a man on the cave wall in front of me (see photo page - Simulacra). As I looked closely it appeared to be a totem pole of faces, one immediately on top of the other. I took it as a response to my summons and welcomed the Greek pantheon and asked them to accompany me on my pilgrimage.

Well by which Demeter was to have mourned for Persephone

This is the site of the well by which Demeter mourned for Persephone.  As she mourned anything of sustenance on the Earth was destroyed.  At this point Zeus intervened and ordered Hades to release Persephone. As Persephone left the Underworld she ate the seed of a pomegranite. This act condemned her to stay with Hades during six months of the year. During this time vegetation dies and Winter claims the planet. In the Spring she returns to be with her Mother.

Temple at Delphi, the Oracle dwelt here

Delphi is known as the center of worship for the god Apollo, son of Zeus. But even before the area was associated with Apollo there were other deities worshipped here which included Poseidon. Delphi is located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus which forms a huge backdrop for the site. A solid rock face provides protection for the temple and a stunning background for the columns of the original temple that have been restored.

Temple to Athene at Delphi

The Temple of Athena Pronaia is a temple at the ancient site of Delphi, in the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, a group of buildings comprising temples and treasuries as well as the famous Tholos of Delphi.

The sanctuary of Athena "Pronaia" was the first one met by the visitor who came to Delphi on foot from the eastern road. Excavations have proved that at this spot lay an older cult site, possibly dedicated to Gaia (i.e., the Earth). 

Treasury at Delphi

The treasury, reconstructed on the site.

Temple to Isis on the sacred island of Delos, Greece

The Erechthion is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon It is most famous for its porch of the Caryatids. It is a large porch with six Ionic columns, and on the south, the famous "Porch of the Maidens", with six draped female figures (caryatids) as supporting columns.

An olive tree, a gift from Athena 

Next to the Erechtion stands an olive tree that is a symbol of hundreds of years of dedication and reverence. It stands in roughly the same spot as the original. The tree was an important foundation myth for Athens as it established the primacy of the goddess Athena within the city that would take her name.

Legend has it that Zeus offered a contest between Athena and Poseidon for the possession of Athens. Poseidon raised up his three-pronged trident, smashed it upon the hard rock of the Acropolis and out a salt spring sprang. Athena on the other hand produced an olive tree, its rich fruits bountifully dangling from the branches.

The Athenians chose Athena’s gift and the olive tree has remained a central part of Greek life ever since.

Stadium at Delphi

These are the ancient ruins of the stadium at Delphi

A view of the ruins of the temple at Delphi

A view of the Temple at Delphi. The oracle at Delphi is a figure of great historical importance that was, and still is, shrouded in mystery.  She spoke for the god Apollo and answered questions for the Greeks and foreign inquirers about colonization, religion, and power.  By her statements Delphi was made a wealthy and powerful city-state.

Entrance to Baths at Delphi

There is a sacred purification spring, the Castilian Spring, on the route between the Temple of Delphi and the Temple of Pallas Athene. I had been told it was inaccessible due to falling rocks. I decided to take my art materials and sit on a stone in front of the area and absorb what I could of the energy of the purifying water.

The sun was beautiful as it filtered through the trees in front of the spring. I found a place to set and began to draw, but I soon noticed that there were tourists who were by the Spring. Soon they came clambering down through the trees I had just photographed, climbed over the same fence that marked the boundary, and went on their way. Well, if they could do it so could I! I waited until there was no one in site, climbed over the fence, jumped over a stream, and found a small path that led up to the spring.

Baths at Delphi

Pilgrims, visiting the oracle, stopped at the Castilian Spring to conduct purification rituals before entering the temple. I could imagine it clear of plants. It seemed to be a large pool with Mount Parnassus, once again, provided the backdrop. Cubicles had been cut into the mountain wall. I could imagine ancient visitors stepping into the pool.

Site of the origin of the first Olympic flame

The Olympic flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was introduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since. In modern times a torch relay transports the flame from Greece to the current Olympic games.

Sacred Baths at Delphi, Imagine statues in the nitches in the stone mountain

It was not long before I saw them, butterflies and dragonflies dancing in the sunlight above the spring. The butterflies were frolicking about with the bright sunshine reflected off of their white and yellow wings. Dragonflies darted around the spring finding small insects for their morning repast. It was delightful.

For permission to use photos contact Phoenixmanos@yahoo.com