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At Athena's Olive Tree



It was my second trip to Greece in December, 2019, my second time at the Acropolis, but my first time attentive to the energy there.


I'm not a traveler who prepares by reading up on the places I'm going to visit; I prefer to arrive open to everything, looking for nothing in particular and available to the currents of my imagination's floating in the energy of the moment.


And so upon the completion of my ascent up all the stairs, of course I registered the ongoing work on the Parthenon, then ambled on past it and toward the left. As always, I shuddered at the sight of the women on whose heads the porch ceiling rested. Indeed, Wikipedia informs me that those Caryatids are said to represent the women of Caryae "who were doomed to hard labour because the town sided with the Persians in 480 bc during their second invasion of Greece." But I digress.


I found myself drawn down to the left of that porch and those burdened women and noticed for the first time the olive tree. Had I been a researcher of any stripe, I would have known of the olive tree. I did know that it was sacred to Athena and that this temple, the Erechthion, was dedicated to my favorite Greek goddess. But its presence took me by surprise and I felt myself drawn to stand as close as I could to it, which wasn't very much because it was roped off to keep tourists like me from hugging, climbing, and otherwise bothering it.


And as I stood there, looking at this tree, I heard a chorus of women's voices in my head, eerie and fascinating. I found a nearby bench and listened to it as it went on. I clicked my voice recorder app on and began singing with it, first one line, then the other. I sang eight tracks and continued to listen. Then I heard something else: a welcoming invocation. I felt that I had been invited into the circle of attendants to the goddess. And this is what I heard:


"Sisters, we gather here for Mother, our wise guide. Encircle the Holy One, branched  wisdom flowing forth from on high seeking from her wisdom. Flowing forth from sky brilliance. Circle the One, Holy.

 

 Her branches we touch. We derive holiness and send it through our graced fingertips and our voices to heaven .

 

Circle around:  right foot front, right foot back, left foot back, right foot to the right side left foot one step forward, left foot one step back, left foot to the left side, right foot one step forward, right foot one step back. Stamp with the left foot.

 

The rumbling of the Earth creates the male vibration. The rumbling, the deep rumbling of water through stones. The deep rumbling of stone drops, the deep rumbling of feet stamping on Earth, the deep rumbling of olive wood on skin drums.

 

Holy is the One. Holy we hold You. Holy is."


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