Mystical Cyprus - Trip to the Temple of Apollo Hylates
Saturday, 20 March 2011 was the 'Vernal Equinox', a day where the hours of the night and day, of darkness and light, were equal and this day has been symbolic, since ancient times, for rebirth and new beginnings. We had a very special afternoon gathering at the Temple of Apollo in what can only be described as perfect spring weather - cool in the shade and warm in the sun! Christina Demetriades shares her experience with us.
We met at the Temple of Apollo Hylates in the Kourion area. According to Effie, who led this part of the journey, Apollo, known as the God of Light, of Healing, of the Woods (=Hylates), was worshipped at this site from the middle of 8th century B.C. until the end of the Roman times. In fact, there has been found evidence at the location of items of worship up to 7,000 years old. The use of the exact same site for worship by people thousands of years before the worship of Apollo shows the importance of the location.
Whilst we were there, we realised that the site, overlooking the sea, is directly aligned to Mount Olympus in the Troodos mountain range. Mt Olympus is the highest peak of Cyprus that overlooks the whole island, a fact that is not a coincidence.
Effie told us that the lava from a volcano which erupted under the sea floor many thousands of years ago resulted in the formation of the volcanic rocks forming the Troodos mountain range. This shows that Troodos is directly linked to the centre of Mother Earth, which in turn explains why the pre-Hellenic ancients, the Hellenics and the Romans considered it a sacred place suitable for deity worship.
In the first meditation Anna led, we connected with Nature and felt the energy of the Elements fill and heal our bodies. We felt the loving unity between humans and nature that used to be celebrated at the site. During this profound experience, we sent Love, in a form that each of us wished to share, to the people in our lives and to every living creature on our planet, Mother Earth too.
During the second meditation, we embraced Love in its many forms: joy, peace, freedom, beauty, light, balance, relaxation, tranquility, serenity, compassion, support, healing, forgiveness, understanding, unity, rejuvenation, rebirth, wisdom... and so on. We brought before us and faced our most challenging situations, while focusing on Love manifested as forgiveness. We then let go of anything that restricted our true self-expression - beliefs and fears, sick thoughts and toxic emotions- and felt the healing power of 'I Am' transform us.
This is the circular space (or hall according to archaeologist) where the god of woodland - Apolo Hylates was worshiped. It was covered with trees in ancient times and wells or cisterns of water existed in that space. As well, it was the space if worshiping the god of light and nature. The ancients believed that light brought fertility - and therefore life !
By the third meditation we were ready and reborn. Each one of us made a commitment to ourselves and to the rest of the world. On this special symbolic day, we all rejoiced in new beginnings.
My personal commitment was for Freedom: freedom from restrictive beliefs that hold us back from moving forward and becoming wiser, freedom from judgment, freedom from fear - freedom for self-expression.
Whilst Anna was teaching, I received great inspiration. I realized that comparison entails judgment: there is no such thing as 'better', for there is no judgment in the first place. I am as I am and it's as simple as that. I am special in my own way, as each and every one of us is special in his or her own way. Comparison need not be - simply, we need 'be'!
Another great realization I made was about hope: hope entails doubt, and doubt entails fear. 'Hope dies last' they say --yes, but they say it dies!! Hope excludes the certainty which is what makes faith bring miracles to us. Behind hope hides fear, and behind faith stands love. Love is what makes our faith work miracles.
With love in our hearts, we can only be winners. On the other hand, fear is what makes hope prevent us from claiming the power that is already within us. In other words: hope leaves open the prospect of failure - whereas faith only gives us the option of success!
So let us not doubt, let us be certain that we are Love, that we are light, and that through us is the way to God, and this is the God within ourselves.
Let us have faith - indeed let us 'know' in that we can heal both ourselves and our Universe. Let us be taught and inspired by the loving harmony between humans and nature that blessed the ancient world, and joyfully embrace our True Self, our Spirit.