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Greek mythology tells of the god Zeus releasing two eagles- one from the eastern most edge of the world, one from the west- who then flew at the same speed and met at Delphi, making this the center, or "navel", of the ancient world. It is only fitting then that Marlon and I are taking this as an opportunity to "find our centers" again after Athens. While I'm sure our journey here wasn't as rough as that of those who used to come by wooden cart to consult with the Oracle at the Temple of Apollo, it certainly wasn't easy. Athens draws an eerie parallel to the proverbial roach motel: you can get in, but will you get out?
After spending a drizzly morning at the National Archeological Museum (and being adopted for several blocks by a sweet, black-bearish stray dog with a penchant for chasing cars), we checked out of Hostel Aphrodite and, with our worlds on our backs, made the six block trek to the bus station. Unfortunately, it wasn't the right station, and we wandered the area for close to an hour with no success in finding out which one was, nor how to get there. Eventually we ended up on a street corner, looking I'm sure every bit as lost as we felt.
"What now?" Marlon asked, wanting my intuition every bit as much as my opinion.
"We wait for Divine intervention," I replied.
Ten minutes later we were trying unsuccessfully to operate a pay phone that apparently accepted only tele-galactic cards made by nymphs on the star second from the right after Jupiter, when a soft Australian accent inquired, "Do you need a place to stay?"
It was our guardian angels, in the guise of an elderly couple from Sydney. I explained that actually, we were trying to get to Delphi, and they replied that they had just come from there. They didn't remember the name of the bus terminal they'd arrived at, but it turned out they actually possessed one of these tele-galactic cards made by nymphs on the star second from the right after Jupiter, and they let us use it to call the hostel and find out.
After close to a dozen attempts and with the translative help of a passer-by, we managed to get a taxi that not only understood where we wanted to go, but was willing to take us there (every airport taxi in the vicinity kept pulling over when they saw our luggage then peeling away in a frustration we shared). Ahhhh finally on to Delphi!
The gods guided us to our hotel ("Hotel Athina") seconds off the bus when a kind-eyed woman literally invited us in off the street. We got a sweet double with a view and private bath for 1/4 less than we paid for our ghetto hostel experience!
Modern Delphi is a tourist town to be sure, where the locals make their living off of the gawking sightseers, but it is also a quaint mountain town, complete with steep stone stairways and meticulously tended flower pots. In addition to phenomenal mountain and distant ocean views, our balcony overlooks several backyard gardens, and we've enjoyed watching residents make their daily rounds, tending and picking their own produce and herbs.
Of course, ancient Delphi is the real reason anyone comes here, and after our first decent night's sleep since Frankfurt, we headed off to the ruins. Like Machu Pichu of Peru, the site holds an incredible amount of spiritual energy, though you have to resourcefully seek solitude to really experience it. Most potent of all was the stadium where they used to hold athletic competitions during festivals, and we spent the most time here (a jovial group of Australian tourists showed everyone a good time when they raced each other up and down the impressive length of the field).
As we headed back down from the stadium it started to rain, though this didn't prevent us from stopping to give several minutes of affection to a stray cat that was limping on its right fore and had funky growths on its stomach. Not to get too maudlin on y'all or anything, but she told me she would be passing on soon and she appreciated any love we could give her. We gave her lots.
I felt an incredible resonance with the ancient site. As the rain flooded the stone walkways, making them perilous under foot, my past life there as a Teacher at the Delphic Mystery School flooded to memory. (Yes, this part could get a little "woo-woo" for some of you, and you know who you are.) It was like coming home.
By the time we got to the bottom of the main site and across the highway, then down to the quintessential Temple of Athena, it was pouring and we were soaked through. Other sightseers were high-tailing it in droves for their buses or cars or even the nearest space pod. Marlon said appropriately, "When it rains, the tourists are chased away and the travelers come out to play!"
Don't you love him?
Greek superstition says that when it rains, the gods are angry, though it held an entirely different meaning for me: I had taken the habit of pulling a daily card for us from my Hindu Gods & Goddesses deck, and that morning I had pulled Yamuna Devi, "Goddess of Purification". Obviously, the rain wasn't punishing us, it was purifying us! (And after Athens, we needed this on so many levels I'm not sure where to begin, nor do you want me to.)
Tomorrow it's back through Athens to Pireaus port, but only long enough to grab a ferry out of there. It doesn't even particularly matter where it's going- so long as it's heading towards the islands and away from the city.
Arielle & Marlon
Vibrational alchemist, writer, artistic mystic, pack mama and spiritual adventurer living in The Goodland - Goleta, CA. Creator of Lioness Energetics.
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