Courting the Ancient Feminine Part I: Greece

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I recently was in Greece, on a honeymoon trip. We stayed for one night in a hotel near Athens that was (ostensibly) near the airport and (famously) near the ruins of an ancient Sanctuary of Artemis. I was pleased that I would have the time and opportunity to check out an ancient Greek temple. (I didn’t check out Wikipedia before I left, which would have been a good idea! )

Upon our arrival at the swank but deserted hotel near Athens, the lovely concierge told me that unfortunately, the Sanctuary of Artemis was closed for renovation, but the museum of the temple was open.

The next morning, when I had planned on visiting the temple, it was raining a light rain. I could have bagged it, but decided to go anyway. It was in walking distance and I was able to borrow a nice pink umbrella from the front desk, where the lovely concierge gave me directions to the temple, even though I couldn’t get in.

It was a beautiful walk, down a winding country road, in a light rain.

I followed the concierge’s walking directions until, around one bend, I could see a grove of larger trees that struck me as the place. A interpretive sign on the side of the road . . . in English, no less, let me know that this area was a wetlands, and sported a nice basic trail map. With that, I had enough information, and  so took a left, on a wet and grassy trail that seemed to lead toward the grove of trees.

Indeed it soon did.

I found myself on the back side of the sanctuary grounds, with a rather permanent-looking chain link fence between me and the ruins. (I’m sure these renovation projects take years . . . )

I’d had a small premonition about what happened next.

Neat stacks of plastic-wrapped and numbered stone blocks, and a large pile of cement bags stood at the far end of the fence. I saw a workman moving the cement bags.

By now it had stopped raining, and the sun had come out.

I walked along the fenceline (took a photo) and the man saw me. Obviously I was very interested in the structure . . . he beckoned me over, opened a heavy iron gate at the very back, and let me in. He led me a little way toward the structure near the large trees, saying in broken English (better than my Greek) that I could only go "to here because of camera". Security camera.

I paid attention to what I felt in this place. From some inside place, this is what I  sensed the place might have said to me:

“I am here. It matters to me not whether I’m being renovated. It matters to me not if you come visit me. I am about my own business.”

A strong, almost imperious Feminine energy. I liked this Artemis.

Artemis was bathing in the woods when the hunter Actaeon stumbled across her, thus seeing her naked. He stopped and stared, amazed at her ravishing beauty. Discovering she had been seen, Artemis became angry and forbade Actaeon to speak. If he tried to speak, he would be changed into a stag, she warned. Upon hearing the call of his hunting party, he called out to them . . . and was immediately changed into a stag. He fled into the woods. Stopping briefly at a pond, Actaeon saw his reflection and moaned in fear, moments before the hounds of his own hunting party sprang upon him and tore him to pieces, as he raised his eyes to Mount Olympus.”  —Wikipedia, with my edits.