What is unique about the Women’s Sacred Roots Retreat?
Women’s Sacred Roots Retreat is a one-of-a-kind spiritual retreat that involves traveling to the Greek goddesses' archaeological sites and offering experiential initiation in each one of them, together with self-insight and connection workshops. In times of uncertainty, it is essential that we grow deeper roots to give us the grounding we need to expand and grow higher. By weaving myths and truths of the women throughout time, we will be led to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our strengths. We will feel the empowerment in the temples of the Greek Olympus goddesses: Athena, Demeter, Persephone, Aphrodite, Artemis, and Hestia. In the tradition of Sappho’s Circle, you will be introduced to and enjoy the same natural environments, herbal scents, traditional flavors, ancient music, words, poetry, dance, love, and body language from that era are introduced. Finally, we will explore, through our own experiences in an authentic Greek village, the wisdom of our great grandmothers’ agricultural life and artistic expression.
What is the experiential initiation in the sacred sanctuaries?
The experiential initiation workshops within the sacred sanctuaries offer a unique encounter compared to typical guided tours. They aim to immerse participants in the unique spirit and energy of each sacred place, inviting them to deeply embody the archetypal feminine qualities represented by the Greek goddesses. At the same time we provide an array of different workshops and activities, to accommodate diverse skills. After our last trip all participants (including the organizers) reported significant personal growth, achieving long desired aspirations in their work, relationships, or living situations.
How did that happen?
As we immersed in the empowerment of the Greek goddesses statues poses. As we embodied our common Greek alphabet roots. As we were holding hands grounded in circular dances. As our tears slipped into each other's roots of goodness giving new names. As our unifying laughter reached the root of our joy. As we performed our erotic poems delving into the root of our feminine love. As we realized the goddesses we are, grounded in sacred sites. All in all openness to love will actually happen for all participants. Through the profoundness in our women circles, the grounded spirituality in the sacred sites, the embodied baptism in Artemis valley, the joy in our dancing and drum circles, the caring on our breakfast table and the laughter during our dinners. By the connection we create, our lives become interwoven, beyond time and distance, while the sacred roots energies continue streaming through all of us; nourishing indeed. Women connected through words, hugs, gazes, comments, laughs, trying to get used to the unusual that in the end brought novelty and more insight in our lives.
Besides the visits to the sacred sites what other experiences will we have?
An array of experiences in Greece’s nature, both on places of the mainland as well as on an island, beaches as well as mountain, towns as well as villages, modern and agricultural life, mountain hiking and snorkeling, swimming in the sea and boat trip in an underground cave. Together with an introduction to local plants, their nutritional and healing qualities and their mythology. Our workshops will include dance, music playing, singing, poetry writing, Greek language basics, ancient Greek board games. In addition, we we will offer healing sessions of Greek Alphabet yoga and hand pan drum sound healing.
Will we get a taste of the Greek music and dancing? Music is an integral part of our retreat and we will offer a hand pan drum healing session. We love dancing and we will teach you Greek dances, particularly love dances. Also you will get the chance to play Greek rhythm drums and participate in a Greek rhythms drum circle. “It’s all Greek to me”.
Will we get a chance to learn any Greek? In your “Women’s Sacred Roots” booklet we will send you there will be included some basic lessons on the Greek alphabet and on Greek words you may want to use in your daily communication with locals. During the retreat we will offer a class on “Greek you already know without knowing” and on the only Greek song we have from antiquity, Seikilos song. While doing Greek Alphabet yoga you will learn some Greek mantras, whose roots are used in English. We will also introduce you to Sappho’s poetry, which is the first poet in the world who talked about feelings and about her erotic desire for women.
Where are we going to stay during our trip?
We will spend the night of arrival and final night in Athens. Departures on the 13th are either to home or to Lesvos. We will stay 3 nights at the seafront Arion Hotel in Xylokastro and 8 nights in the area of Agios Dimitrios Zarakos village, some at Sparta Gaia and some at nearby local homes. Sparta Gaia guesthouse bears witness of Greece's architectural heritage, preserving also the traditional garden design and the hand-crafted furniture, while embodying modern amenities. Our workshops will be held here. There are no single rooms available, however, we have arranged for you to rent rooms with locals in the village. Whether you stay at Sparta Gaia or nearby, we will spend our time together together and will shuttle you home and back in the morning for a group breakfast.
We want to make it clear that our accommodations are comfortable with all the amenities you need but are not your typical touristy 5 star hotels. Get prepared for an authentic, rural, yet comfortable experience.
How do I get from the airport to the Athinais Hotel in Athens?
We will do our best to coordinate the group to share rides. However, it may not always be possible. You may take a taxi (approx 50 euros) or the blue metro line and get off at the Megaro Mousikis stop. Then 2 min walk to Athinais Hotel: 99, Vasilissis Sofias Av. 115 21 Athens T: +30 210 6431133 | firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.athinaishotel.gr
Are there many ATMs available?
We recommend that you open a WISE online bank account. It is a 4.5% interest bearing account and can be easily used for various types of transactions in 170+ countries. When you withdraw cash using this debit card, the fees are very low. There are ATM’s available in most locations and you can use your regular credit or debit card, however, the fees can be hefty, particularly when withdrawing cash. We recommend you either bring plenty of euros in cash with you or a WISE debit card. You can use this card just like a regular debit card everywhere and earn interest on the available funds. Please be sure to use this link if you to give me credits & avoid fees on your initial transfer! Their fees are minimal: OPEN WISE ACCOUNT
Are there any pharmacies close to Athinais Hotel in Athens or in the other places we will stay?
We highly recommend making sure that you bring your prescription medicines from home. In the other two places we will stay, in Xylokastro town and in Agios Dimitrios Zarakos village, there are also pharmacies. Most carry homeopathic and herbal remedies as well.
What should I bring?
Your pharmacy and hygiene kit, sunscreen and hat, snorkeling gear, sandals, walking or light hiking shoes, mosquito repellant, European plug adaptor, the “Women’s Sacred Roots” booklet we will send you by email ahead of your arrival time, a notebook, pen and pencil. Don’t forget your passport and visa, your pharmacy and hygiene kit and of course, your phone charger/camera. We will be providing you a gift of a turkish towel which is the perfect, thin fabric you can use to dry off, as a shawl or blanket. It is thin and takes up very little space. You can always purchase something else in Greece. We will send out a list about a month ahead of time.
Will the hiking and snorkeling activities be easy for women of all physical conditions?
Snorkeling in Pavlopetri is the first underwater archeological park in Greece and on our sea route there are mooring buoys to hold and rest. The ruins of the submerged city are right next to the sandy beach in a depth of about 2 meters. Some of them, like the rock-cut graves cemetery, are also located on the beach.
Hiking: the waterfall hiking is a 45-60 minutes easy one and you can do it with light walking shoes. Yet in two spots there are ropes which you will hold for a few meters during your descent into the valley. You only need to trust yourself and a firm hold of the ropes. The Artemis valley hiking is a descent of no more than 10 minutes walk.
We will do our best to provide alternatives if you don't feel up to any activity on a given day. That includes needing a day of rest.
Where are we going to eat?
On the arrival evening we will meet at 19.30 at the hotel lobby and we will go for dinner all together in a nearby restaurant. Lunches and dinners will either be en route or at our daily destinations. Vegetarians will find interesting dishes in the local Greek cuisine. We will make sure that you will have a unique culinary experience of an array of Greek local food dishes, as well as an ancient Homeric dinner and the farmer’s picnic in Artemis valley. If you are vegan or gluten free, you will be able to easily navigate meals. Remember, prices for food in Greece are lower then they are here in most places in the U.S..
Is breakfast included in the price?
Yes. Both hotels we are staying, in Athens and in Xylokastro, serve a very good breakfast. In Sparta Gaia you will enjoy every day a special healthy breakfast of local, home-made, mostly organic and vegetarian delicacies, carefully selected by Dimitra.
Will language be a problem?
No! If you want a jump start, make sure you have the google translate app on your phone. We will show you how to use the camera to take photos of Greek words and it will be instantly converted to English, making it simple to read labels etc. Most menus have English as well. And, of course our talented guide, Dimitra, will translate whatever else we need to know!
How will we communicate before and during the trip?
You will need to download the Whats App app to your phone. We will use it during the trip to be in touch and also before to remind you about upcoming meetings, deadlines etc... It is an excellent app for groups. You can also put it on your computer/tablet and type messages which is very convenient. In order to connect with us, you will also need to add me (Jody) to your regular phone contacts so I can add you to the group.
I will also be sending emails from email@example.com.
If you are not familiar with using google sheets, you may want to watch this video. I will be sharing a spreadsheet that will contain all of our contact information, arrival schedules and other pertinent information. Once you register, I will email you an invitation to join. You can always give it a try and let me know as you go.