My sister and I arrived in Athens midafternoon on Lamas, the feast day of the first harvest. A blast of dry heat greeted us as we left the airport and surveyed the barren brown hills. It transported me to my childhood when I’d lived in distant and exotic climates, and I felt the old excitement of being abroad again.

Going to Greece had long been a dream of mine. It was a spiritual pilgrimage, a Hajj to be undertaken at least once in a lifetime. Greece figured prominently in the college classes on the Goddess I had taught for ten years, but I’d only known it through the books and slides I lectured from. I longed to see its sacred sites in person.

Our hotel was at the base of the Acropolis, within a block of the Acropolis Museum, a stunning work of modern architecture that quotes the structure of the Parthenon.  The Parthenon and Erechtheon had been stripped of their bas reliefs and engravings—even the famed Karatydids– were now housed in the museum, either already or soon to be replaced by copies on the temples.

Continue reading “TRAVELOGUE INTO HISTORY: MY BIG FAT GREEK ODYSSEY (Part 1) by Sally Mansfield Abbott”

Beltane and Greek Easter: Mary and the Goddess by Laura Shannon

Today, May 1, we celebrate Beltane, the Celtic festival between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Starting tonight, we also celebrate Greek Easter, with its ritual drama of life and death. 

In the Western Church, Easter never falls as late as May, but in the Orthodox calendar, Easter and Beltane more or less co-incide every few years. It’s a reminder of connections between Christian and pre-Christian traditions, both in the archetypal cycle of life, death, and regeneration, and in links between the Christian Mary and the pre-Christian Goddess in her various names and forms.

Continue reading “Beltane and Greek Easter: Mary and the Goddess by Laura Shannon”
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