News from Greece!
It has been an unacceptably long time since I have blogged, and it’s not that I haven’t had anything to say! I’ve been moving house, travelling and busy with book things, among other diversions. Right now I’m sitting in my room in Heraklion on the north coast of the isle of Crete as we come to the end of a 2 1/2 week pilgrimage. We have been travelling with psychologist and writer Ed Tick, and his wife and fellow psychologist, Kate Dahlstedt. My last roommate, Barbara – a professional astrologer, just left this morning for her home near Boston.
My friend from LA, Grace will be moving in with me for one night and then I head for Athens by ferry and the flight back to Calgary. What a trip this has been. Ed Tick leads healing/educational trips to both Viet Nam and Greece. We knew that “A” Greek trip was coming up for the last two years but didn’t know where we would be going. In the meantime I dreamt I was in ancient Greece and with two other people, all teenagers at the time; we were lovingly washing and grooming a black bull with gold balls on the ends of his horns. A few weeks after that, Ed announced that our next trip would be Crete, for whom the bull is a symbol! This is the bull I dreamed, without the gold balls on the ends of his horns.
This was just one of many magical things that have happened before, and during the trip. I think everyone experienced at least some degree of healing, catharsis, new insight, and/or transformation. The spine of the trip was to visit a couple of Asclepion healing sanctuaries and then follow near the end of our journey with a night of “dream healing.” Dreams have been considered of importance in many healing traditions, including conventional psychiatry, ie. Jungian and Freudian practices. The healer Asclepios was a powerful figure of ancient Greece who actually lived, according to Homer. His daughters were Hygiea – from which we get the word, hygiene and Panacea, who name is self-explanatory.
There are Asclepion ruins all over Greece, Turkey and even some Italy. The Asclepion in Epidavros is being restored as close to the original as possible. There are literally thousands of testimonials recorded of healings including some very specific notes from Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius – the Romans adopted the practice from the Greeks. Hippocrates was an apprentice to, and eventually a priest of Asclepios. The snake on the staff in medicine comes from Asclepios, not Hippocrates.
Enough history. Whether it is symbolic or real makes no difference. When pilgrims travel together with a powerful intention for knowledge and healing, remarkable things happen. During the dream incubation, several people shared common elements in their dreams without knowing it until we shared our experiences at the end. A sceptical, atheist (kick-ass) trial lawyer from Detroit had a couple of mystical things happen that really made her question her beliefs, in a good way. She was excited and inspired by what she discovered. A wounded young veteran was transformed by this trip and will probably end up being a speaker for Soldier’s Heart, (www.soldiersheart.net) Ed and Kate’s charity for healing combat trauma. My friend Grace, who is a practising psychiatrist also has healing dreams for her patients and friends.
Outside of that, we all loved Crete. Wonderful, warm people, fantastic food and the best tasting honey in the world – you can taste the flowers in it! In the photo below, there were Minoan ruins here, a carpet of wildflowers and you could hear nothing but the buzzing of happy bees. Just beautiful.
One little story from WWII; a group of British soldiers were bivouacked in Epidavros at the end of the war. The Sergeant Major told his CO that they needed to move because the place was haunted. ALL the men had had the same dream – of a large bearded man in a robe with a staff that had a snake wrapped around it! They were describing Asclepios.
That’s enough for now. Please note: I’m in the process of moving everything to a new site – susanraby-dunne.com It is under construction and once I get moved, I will get that up and running.
Susan, I wish I could have been there with all of you to share the magic and mystery. Give my best to Ed, Kate, Grace, Jill, and the others with you whom I don’t know. Thanks for sharing.