* PLEASE NOTE - We are not planning any trips in the foreseeable future due to the COVID 19 pandemic, but do feel free to scroll down and read about the various journeys we hope to resume once travel is possible again. Register your interest if you want to be notified when this happens.
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EL PAISAJE MEGALITICO EVORA PORTUGAL
Paul Devereux, en su libro Geografía Sagrada, habla de dos términos griegos que se usaban en la antigüedad para denominar a la tierra: Chora y Topos.
"Chora es el más antiguo de los dos términos y era una referencia holística al lugar: el lugar como revelación, el lugar como guardián de la memoria y presencia mítica. Topos, por otro lado, significaba lugar en la forma en que lo vemos hoy en día - simple ubicación y objetivo, las características físicas de un lugar, o topografía".
El paisaje megalítico del centro del Alentejo en Portugal está salpicado de
complejos de círculos de piedra y dólmenes. Estos lugares aún hoy en día
sirven como portales de la conciencia chora que nuestros antepasados
acostumbraban a practicar, y pueden ayudarnos a cambiar nuestra atención
de una relación topográfica con el paisaje a una relación mito-poética,
comprometiéndonos así en una renovada comunión con la naturaleza.
Visitando varios de estos sitios en el área alrededor de la ciudad de Évora,
exploraremos la geografía de los sitios, las energías de la tierra y otras características
que pueden haber sido la razón para construir templos paisajísticos en estos lugares. Nos dejaremos arrastrar por la tierra a través de nuestra imaginación y otras prácticas chamánicas, para escuchar las historias y el folclore que se esconden en el redil de estos lugares, y explorar como estas historias nos pueden nutrir hoy en dia.
[EN] Paul Devereux, in his book Sacred Geography, speaks of two Greek terms that were in use in ancient times to denominate the land: Chora and Topos.
“Chora is the older of the two terms and was a holistic reference to place: place as expressive, place as a keeper of memory, and mythic presence. Topos, on the other hand, signified place in much the way we think of it nowadays - simple location and the objective, physical features of a locale, or topography.“
The megalithic landscape of central Alentejo in Portugal is dotted with stone circle complexes and dolmens. These places still serve to this day, as portals into Chora consciousness that our ancestors used to practice, and can help us shift our attention from a topographic relationship with the landscape to a mytho-poetic one, thus engaging us in a renewed communion with nature.
Visiting a number of these sites in the area around the city of Evora, we will explore the geography of the sites, the earth energies and other features that may have been the reason for constructing landscape temples in these places. We will allow ourselves to be drawn into the land through our imagination and other shamanic practices, to listen to the stories and folklore hidden in the fold of these places.
*The course will be in Spanish.
STORIES OF THE STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR SPAIN /MOROCCO
Where Europe meets Africa, where the Mediterranean
Sea meets the Atlantic, where the ‘old world’ met the
‘new world’, we come to explore the connection
between Myth and Earth energies in a five day journey
along the coast of Southern Spain and Northern Morrocco.
The story of the Greek Heracles can be found in the ancient
name for the Strait: Fretum Herculeum, and still lives today
in the widely used symbolism of the pillars of Hercules
which are the portals of the strait of Gibraltar, one being
the Rock of Gibraltar and the other, Jabel Musa, on the African continent.
During this seminar, we explore the composite and mythical being of Hercules from a geomantic point of view, experiencing his presence in the landscape at the ‘pillars’ and in various locations in Spain and in Morocco. We will visit the temple to the Goddess Isis found in Bolonia at the archeological site from Phoenician and Roman times, as well as more ancient stone temples in the area. The confluence of cultures in the area over the thousands of years of human history, right back to Neanderthal times, has created a 'braiding' of the stories that are attached to the various landmarks on both the European and African continent. Is it possible to strip away the layered myths and listen to what the Rocks are telling us about this place?
We will walk along the Parque Natural del Estrecho to Guadalmesi, and work with the earth energies of the European side of the Strait, then cross with a ferry to Tangiers and spend 2 nights in Northern Morocco, visiting Lixus and M'zora stone circle as well as Hercules Cave. Then spend the last night back in Spain weaving tales about the Gods and Heroes, and the nature beings we have come across on this journey.
Gibraltar, seen from the port of Algeciras
Crossing the Strait
Gibraltar, seen from the port of Algeciras
With Karmit Even-Zur
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THE POETICS OF CRAFT SEFROU, MOROCCO
‘In any creative work, be it the artist or the artisan, the creative person unites with the material they are working with, which symbolises the world outside him/herself. The worker and the artefact become one. The human being becomes one with his creation. ‘ Erich Fromm
The word Poiein in Ancient Greek (ποιεῖν) means making. It is where the word Poetry comes from. Plato had pointed at the connection between craft-making and poetry, calling us to gaze at the rich worlds of form and meaning that come to life when we take raw material from our landscape and create with it. It is possible, when we look at a handcrafted object, to appreciate the emotion and soul life that the maker had infused in it.
Sefrou is located in the heart of the middle Atlas. Traditionally, a market town located amidst fertile farming lands, it is known for its fruit orchards, cherry festival and the large Jewish community that lived there up until the last century. Sefrou is still home to a large community of local artisans, metal smiths, woodworkers, weavers and button makers. Though the community is still thriving, few are the ones of the young generation who wish to learn these skills.
Visiting local crafts people in their workshops, we will learn about their work and daily lives as a way to get a sense of the place through the people and their working spaces. An orientation of the city from the inside out hosted by Culture Vultures, will lead us into a deeper relationship with Amazigh women who spin and weave and we will participate in a hands own textile workshop.
We will be introduced to ‘The Loom in Local Rituals’ and how women used the loom as a sacred medium for protection. On Sunday we will make a day trip to a mountain market town in the Middle Atlas where the wool comes from, to meet women who practice unbroken textile traditions in the region.
Alongside these visits our work will consist of listening to the stories that emerge from our activities, as well as engage with traditional stories from around the world to bring into clearer focus the role of craft-making in the life of the Soul. On our last day we will share these stories in a storytelling evening (no previous experience necessary). Daily shamanic practices will help us access ancestral knowledge and seek healing for modern day’s rupture between skill and community, craft and Time.
Poetics of craft has been a life changing experience for me and a lot different of what I expected.
As a weaver I was interested in meeting local artisans and explore the local weaving techniques and products. The program has been a massive revelation for my research. I worked with local Amazigh women who taught me secrets of their craft and I spent time within women communities that share matriarchal values.
Moreover I met some admirable women from around the world participating in the program. We all formed an amazing team that shared common interests but on the same time bringing so many different elements together. Weaving and storytelling had been intertwined throughout this experience and left me with some impressive characters to remind me different ways a woman can be.
Thank you all for this magic journey and a massive thank you to Karmit Evenzur and Jess Stephens for making it happen.