knossoss walk 2-3


The first day of my Crete pilgrimage, Carol Christ, Ph.D, lectured and guided the group through the Minoan Civilization Section of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.  We were then taken to our first Minoan Ruins to visit.  Knossos was undeniably the capital of Minoan Crete.

Knossos was inhabited for several thousand years, beginning with a neolithic settlement sometime in the seventh millennium BC, and was abandoned after its destruction in 1375 BC which marked the end of Minoan civilization.  The two famous faience (glazed ceramic) Snake Goddesses were found in the Knossos Ruins.  Snake Goddess had a broader function of Universal Mother or Earth Mother and was thereby principally a fertility deity.

Phaistos artifacts 1-2

The Phaistos Disc is an enigma and the most important artifact  found  in 1908, at Phaistos, the ancient Southern Crete Minoan Palace.   It is a circular clay disc inscribed with symbols stamped on both sides that are unlike any signs in any other writing system.  The disc is thought to date from around 1700 BC.  The text consists of 61 words, 16 of which are accompanied by a mysterious “slash” mark.  Currently, it has not been deciphered.


My favorite Sacred Center was the Palace of Malia.  The site was inhabited in the Neolithic and early Minoan period (6000- 2000 BC), but very little trace remain. The first Palace was built in 1900 BC and destroyed in 1700 BC when a new Palace was built. Following the fate of the other palaces in Crete, it was also destroyed in 1450 BC and the present ruins are mainly those of the new palace. The Palace of Malia is situated on the North coast of Crete, East of Heraklion. To the south lie the Lasithi Mountains.  Little is known of the Old Palace though some finds from this period attest to its wealth.

Malia 2

The Bees Pendant below is one of the most famous exhibits in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum.  It’s a very detailed representation of two bees carrying a drop of honey to their honeycomb. It was found in the Old Palace cemetery at Chrysolakkos, outside Malia Palace. Bees were very important in the Minoan, matriarchal civilization.  As a symbol of the Mother Goddess, bees represent mutual support and fertility.  The large Pitho Jar was another artifact found and is on Malia Ruins site.  These oversized jars were used for storage of foods, grains, olive oil, and possible wines.

Bee Pin 2-2

Walking on the grounds of these Sacred Centers was the most fulfilling feminine energy empowerment  I can truly remember. If you want to know more about the women’s Goddess Pilgrimage and the Minoan Culture, please check out


Myrtle tree 1-4

TREES seen on “The Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete with Carol P. Christ” ( This introduction to Minoan culture included a visit to the Paliani Convent, an old convent (from about 668 BCE), and the Sacred Myrtle Tree that is said to be over 1000 years old.  I have always loved the spirit of trees, and this one was magnificent. The story goes that after the Turkish invasion in 1821, the convent was destroyed, but an icon of the Virgin Mary was found in the tree. The nuns moved it into the church, but the next day it was found back in the tree. As many times as they tried to take it in, She made her way back to the Tree of Life. And so she has remained there, now entirely encompassed by the arms of the great tree (a smaller replica hangs on the branches for all to see).


The small village of Krasi, Crete, has one of the oldest trees worldwide. Due to the free running water, the area is covered with walnut trees, plane trees and all kinds of vegetation. Next to the spring in the middle of the village is this beautiful estimated 2,000 year old Plane Tree in all its glory.  The root has a circumference of 22 meters!  We circled the tree and invited others to join us celebrating nature’s miracle.

Krasi Shrine-2

This enormous tree was a huge surprise.  On one side it was another giant plane tree near the Kato Symi Mountain Shrine. I was immediately drawn to this tree but wasn’t able to spend time with it because we were here for a purpose. We were driven in pickups near the top of the mountain and allowed in through a locked gate to one of the sites we honored and performed a simple symbolic ritual such as pouring honey, wine, milk, or olive oil, as women did on the Minoan Goddess Alters. At this ritual we were also each reading a poem, written by Sappho, a female Greek lyric poet, born sometime between 630 and 612 BCE.  It wasn’t until slipping back through the raggedy wire gate that I saw the opposite side of the tree I admired.  Here was the gutted shell caused by fire, yet this tree continued to live and give life to new branches.  Wrapped inside almost the womb of this giant tree, I felt the overwhelming importance of nature’s energy for my well-being.   I LOVED HUGGING AND BEING HUGGED BY THE TREES ON CRETE!

 Me #1 pix for blog

I was fortunate to have two days in Athens before meeting on the Island of Crete.  There were four of us pilgrimage sisters that met for the first time in Athens and traveled together to Delphi Ruins (510-323 BC), which is known for the Pythian Games or the precursors of the modern Olympics.   However, I learned Delphi was labeled the “omphalos” (navel) of the earth, or the center of the world.

Where I felt strong feminine energy was spending quiet time at the Temple Ruins of the Goddess of Athena.  To walk amongst those enormous stones, feel the space being wrapped in the womb of the mountain, was spine-thrilling.  I invite you to imagine joining me and visualize the feminine spirit, as we gaze at this photo of the amazing ruins and surrounding mountains.  You possibly can feel the heat penetrating your skin and energy rising up through the soles of your shoes.  Believe me, it did feel like we were at the navel of the center of the World.

Athena Temple of Delphi-2

The trip to Delphi was a 11 hour round trip from Athens.  I only had part of the next day to visit Acropolis which fortunately was within walking distance.  My friend and I got up the next morning and was at the gate at 8 a.m.  The Parthenon served as a temple to Athena.  This was considered Sacred Grounds of Greece.  What was so moving was seeing Acropolis at night from the top of our hotel. There something so magical about this ancient city that raises above today’s Athens.

_Acropolis 3-2

It is impossible not to feel the energy of this magnificent ruins.

Taking A Pilgrimage

October 1st, 2015 | Posted by Velda in RETIRED FEATURE POSTS

Taking A Pilgrimage

Taking A Pilgrimage

I believe for many we can find our healing PILGRIMAGES through our dreaming, meditation, being with nature, writing, reading, visiting museums, libraries, or film.  Also other PILGRIMAGES are journeys seeking spiritual knowledge, a quest undertaken to pay homage, or an adventurous expedition.   What PILGRIMAGE would you love to take next?

Taking A Pilgrimage

“As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world,

a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow.”

~A. C. Benson

Talking A pilgrimage

“This is the most joyful day

that ever I saw

in my PILGRIMAGE on earth.”

~Donald Cargill

Until I return, please enjoy ’TAKING A PILGRIMAGE’ through bwb’s past posts.