The Body In The Land

The trip to Greece is getting closer and things are starting to come together in that strange way that happens whenever we commit ourselves to a sacred journey. In the past week I have received a letter and two emails about these subjects from people who had no idea I was leading a trip to celebrate the mysteries of Demeter and Persephone.

The first was from a woman in Crete (where we will spend close to half our time) writing about the very meaning of the name Demeter. Working from the sounds and meanings of ancient Greek she made the case that it does not mean “Grain Mother” as often said, but something akin to “Powerful” or “Great” Womb.

Today I received an email from a student and friend who has been studying alchemy and wrote that the author he has found most beneficial is Nicki Scully. When I wrote him “I assume you know that Nicki and I are leading a trip to Greece together” he wrote back and said he had had no idea.

In between, I received a remarkable email from a Brazilian Wiccan woman living in Berlin. She wrote about my book, The Body Of The Goddess, and her own experiences visiting Greece and Turkey, where she came to understand the power of the Goddess’s body being alive in the landscape and the sacred places. Her letter was so eloquent on just the experiences I hope we all will find in the October trip that I asked her permission to quote it here. She too had no idea I was returning to Greece with a group of people.

Her name is Heloisa, but she is also known as Lulu Saille, her Pagan name.

Hello Rachel,

My name is Heloisa and I am a Brazilian Witch who lives in Berlin. I am a great admirer of your work, with special consideration to “The body of the Goddess“. I had read this book before when I was in Brazil, and I already thought it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Ok, you probably heard that a lot of times (although it is always nice to receive a deserved compliment for a beautiful work), so here is the actual reason why I decided to write you this time.

In the last days, I decided to re-read this book again, for the fact that I was going in vacations to Greece and Turkey. And it was for sure at least a delightful experience – more than I expected. Unfortunately, I couldn’t necessarily go to the places you listed on the book, but I could be more “aware” of the region around me and also of the informations I read in the book.

I have a few unusual happenings related to travels and airplanes. Sometimes, for some reason that I couldn’t explain myself, I have a feeling on what’s going to happen as soon as the plane arrives on the place. And this time, when we landed in Greece, I knew that I would have an experience that would be over everything that has ever happened to me before.

I could have the opportunity to visit a few sacred places. Although they are mainly in pieces nowadays, they still carry the power and makes us being taken by the simple thought of what they could have been in the old times. I went to Lindos, and could see the acropolis and the Temple of Athena Lindia, and also another of Her Temples (and one of Apolo, also) in Kamiros. I have also been in Letoon, in Turkey, the lovely place dedicated to Artemis, Leto and Apolo. It is said that that was the first place where they could have water to drink after long days of walking. I don’t know if you have been there, but it was wonderful to read about their myth in your book – saying about Leto transforming the priests in frogs – and then go to Letoon and see, in the little fountain near to the temples, tiny little frogs jumping from here to there, everywhere. The good news is that they apparently are trying to re-settle the ancient temples with the stones they found, and, unlike a lot of other places where they simply replace the old stones with new ones, they have been able to find a lot of the old stones – the temple of Leto has a few whole columns and nearly a whole wall already, with none but maybe 2 or 3 new stones. It was truly a blessed experience.

It is undeniable that the Goddess still have a body that binds us all together – and it is impossible not to think that when you are able to see with your own eyes things you have heard long time ago, about several civilizations. One thing is to know by books that the Goddess used to be worshipped in those lands.. And another thing completely stronger is to actually go there, and, with a mixture of surprise, emotion and astonishment, see that it was really real: the aggressive, dominant cultures may have tried to lie to us and make us believe in the things they wanted, but She remained. And we will always have in our hearts a glimmer of rememberance of the days when we used to know that we are part of Her own sacred, embracing body – also because we have the blessing to have people like you in this world, who, definitely, make the difference by giving us hope and courage to believe in the dreams that, we know, are just memories that we were never able to forget.

Thank you, Rachel Pollack. May you always be blessed by Her powerful breath of inspiration and wisdom.


The Greek trip runs from Oct. 1-12 (including travel days). There still are a couple of spots open for those who would like to join us. For more information go to my website, or the website for Shamanic Tours. See also earlier posts on this blog, including the day by day intinerary.

Published in: on August 15, 2006 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment  

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