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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 September 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 SEPTEMBER 2019 15 TRAVEL down below, I began to envisage what daily life must have been like here for the inhabitants of this place all those thousands of years ago. I could imagine the busy port and bustling market place, the royal apartments, the gardens, and the temple and living quarters of the priestesses who venerated the mother goddess. How suddenly and shockingly must this have all ended when the tidal wave, hundreds of feet high, struck without warning on that fateful day. So, it was it was here in the ruins of the Minoan Palace that I felt inspired to put pen to paper imagining what life must have been like for one small girl so long ago. THE STORY OF ELENA I made my way to a far corner of the area and found a quiet spot on a limestone block in the shade of some pencil pines. Before long I felt myself slip into a deep meditative state and I let my mind wander back to those ancient times. I felt myself being transported back to a long forgotten lifetime in this very place I imagined myself as a young girl called Elena who was training to be a priestess in the royal court. HERE NOW IS HER STORY: My name is Elena. It's the day after my big initiation following in my sister Elektra's footsteps as she is being prepared to become one of the priestesses of the royal court. Yesterday I went into one of these caves that everyone can see in the distance but only if you are following a spiritual path are you allowed to enter. Yesterday it was my birthday and I turned 12. My teacher is a high priestess and I don't go to school like other children. My dress and a snake shaped arm bangle that was especially fashioned for this initiation. On my head I wore a wreath of flowers that I had made earlier. I walked up to the cave with my teacher being shown the way by full moon that had lit up the whole sky. No words were spoken by either of us. I was very nervous as we walked up together, not knowing what to expect. I had been prepared by my teacher to understand that my initiation goal must be to offer my soul and heart teacher has been preparing me with many months of learning how to control my thoughts so that when I grow up I can give counsel to the King and Queen of Crete. As of today, I now live away from my parents because I have to have concentrated study so that I can fulfil my destiny. In the cave which was all lit with candles on the ground and in the walls stood a magnificently large statue of the Mother Goddess holding a snake in her right hand. When I first saw her as I entered the cave I was awestruck by her beauty for we are taught that everything that is fertile has come from her and is naturally beautiful. I was wearing a long white to the Mother Goddess and to renounce all of my own needs and desires. I would have to sleep on the cave floor in front of her alone as now my life is given over to her. My teacher has left me now and as I softly speak the words that I have been taught to recite for this initiation a dreamy sleep state descends over my whole body. The aromatic scents of lavender and myrrh in the cave placed by my teacher also help my mind and body stop. I remember my teacher telling me that the Mother Goddess will send me a dream which would be an insight into my future. I feel deep inside of me that I am being transported somewhere else… I always felt nervous upon hearing that I would receive a prophetic type dream because I dream vividly and have ever since I was little. It is often the same dream that recurs and it always begins the same way. I am watching the scenes unfold before me and I cannot see myself or anyone in it. I am flying over an ocean that is blue and sparkling with the light of the sun. I can see as I'm flying that there is land in the distance. I do not know where I am. I feel happy and free. Then in one moment the sky has turned black. I feel the air around me heat up and the waves of water have pulled me down from the sky and the dream abruptly ends. I always wake up with an ominous foreboding. I have only ever revealed my dream to my mother but I am sure that my teacher who has been with me for a long time must know that I have this dream continually. Last night, in the cave, I had the same dream but this time instead of flying over the ocean, I am flying over a mountainous landscape that I recognise is exactly where I live. I can see my parent's house and our small farm with the garden. I see my favourite tree so clearly and then the dream continues like it always has except for this one difference. I awoke sweating and my heart beating furiously, crying, asking the Mother Goddess to take this prophecy from me because I feel burdened to think that this is yet to come. The coldness of the cave's floor and the stillness of the outside world becomes part of her answer to me that she is in control and wasn't I meant to be handing over my will to her. My tears have become big sobs and now the snake that she is holding in her hand becomes more real to me and I can see its eye staring into my soul. The statue of the Mother Goddess is nearly the height of the cave. I cannot help but be overwhelmed at the power and wisdom of something bigger than me. What do I know? And, with this thought a deep sleep enfolded me where I had no more dreams, just a rest, and it is the sound of an owl that woke me still under the moonlight that showed itself on the cave floor entrance. I knew that I must prepare to descend back to my awaiting teacher's arms down below. I must not be seen by anyone else as this is a sacred ceremony and what awaits is a hot spring where I can wash myself before I begin my new life serving the Mother Goddess. My new home is in the summer palace on the edge of the water, at a major port with refreshing summer breezes in the afternoon. My room is next to the living quarters of other girls older than me. My bedroom window overlooks an expansive olive grove that seems ancient in itself. Our living quarters are separated by the rest of the royal palace by a very large garden that has flowering plants and palm trees. Large ornate columns painted blue and gold fringe this serene and tranquil garden. I have only been to this place once with my teacher and now it is my new home. As I walk around absorbing the atmosphere I can hear melodic voices singing songs of praise and love for the royal guests. I smell the sweet scents of jasmine and rose within the garden as I begin to relax in my new home. I spend most of my time in this royal garden just outside our living quarters watching nature unfold set against the backdrop of the fountain water rhythmically flowing into a lily pond that has been lovingly created for our own pleasure. It is a few weeks now since my initiation and I cannot hold my secret any longer regarding my Mother Goddess dream. Next time you visit Greece you too might touch the essence of the history still permeating these ancient ruins. After all isn’t that why we are drawn there in the first place. “ One morning I share it with my teacher blurting the words and details out with my head bent low. As I speak I only see her long slender hand as she lifts up my chin and kisses my forehead. Her kind dark eyes only show love for me as she speaks these words: "I cannot tell you when this event will happen. All I can do is agree with your dream for it is also a dream that has been given to me at your age too. I have been waiting for you to unburden your heart. Now you must stop your worry and continue on in your studies. Go now and meditate on the butterflies and the flowers outside your window." With a smile, she gracefully held my hand as she led me out of my room. I no longer thought of the significance of my dream because I needed to concentrate on growing up into the priestess that I was being groomed to be. I am now twenty one years old and I have travelled widely performing duties with my King and Queen. My life has been purposeful as I have been carrying on this path of generations connecting the female to the Mother Goddess deity. I have been called back to the summer palace to await further instructions from my teacher. She has been away also on a retreat in a secret place only known to us. It is mid morning and I have a sense that I am reliving this moment. I cannot explain it anymore than that. I am sitting on a cushion beside the now familiar lily pond meditating as the sun heats up my body. I can hear the small birds flit around the garden chatting among themselves. There is a warm flow of air today, quite welcome from the colder days that we have had. I try to send a message to my teacher to tell her that I have arrived. I have my eyes closed and then suddenly a noise that is so great overwhelms me. My eyes open and all I see is a blackened sky. I have no idea what is happening other than the flash of my dream image before me as a thundering wall of water immerses me. It is over and I am floating above this ocean that is wild and as far as I can see nothing of the surrounds has been spared. White light and a wave of peace enfold me and I know that there is no more of this earthly life that I once knew." A view of Kato Zakros Bay from the northern headland looking south.
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