- Immersions -
Our immersions are performed in mountains with nearby beaches that have nurtured great civilization that once thrived here. Around these long-standing water sources, thousands of ancient folk carried on local civilizations that were as amazingly advanced as our own in many ways. As can be seen in their ancient ruins, they were highly skilled and organized, well prepared for battle, and seem to have regularly enjoyed the arts, sculpting, terrace building, as well as physical competitions.
Looking closely at the detailed work and forethought placed in all the artifacts we are fortunate enough to still find in museums on site, we see that these civilizations were perfectionist builders, artisans, and evolutionary thinkers. They built damns in their streams to raise fish and save water for summer months. They used wild oak and cast iron to create potters' wheels, anvils, oil presses, and carts to create products and get them to common trading areas. The damns and walls they built are easily accessible by ancient footpaths, and their mastery of civilized living is evident in the artifacts.
The locations are serene. There are currently no well-paved roads through these areas, leaving a clean slate for our immersion into knowledge of the natural energy movement through ourselves and the world around us, including the unseen dimensions and spaces that are only noticed by the effects they have on things we can sense.
We currently offer three completely different immersion courses, each about a week long, where learning is done during 15 sessions, from lectures on the footpaths between various ruins to astronomy under the stars to learning to collect medicinal foods (wild greens and herbs) for dinner. The three currently offered courses:
Our Spartan training immersions use physical exertion to bring us to a state of maximum absorption of stimuli. Here we learn to maximize our strength and balance while minimizing our response time and energy use. Navigation by starts and building sciences will be considered as well as philosophy, science, and politics.
Our ancient theaters and temples immersions use study of the remains of ancient cultures and the signs these ancient remains leave us by their intricate architectural details and the forethought put into their design, location, and materials used.
Our healing arts immersions use the methods of healing of the ancient Greek, Hawaiian, and Chinese cultures to guide us on the ways our bodies function, which gives us insight to the mechanics of the energy fields controlling our world. These brilliant ancient cultures knew a great deal about the relationship between our attitude, our words, our meals, and the positive occurrences in our everyday lives. These relationships can clue us into the ways our energy can be used to control our future toward a fruitful path for ourselves and the larger communities. The healing arts immersions are conducted in Hawaii (winter), the Orient (summer), and Europe (spring and fall), depending on the season.
There are a dozen significant areas with ancient artifacts in the area between ancient Sparta and ancient Olympia. We will be exploring many of these sites by the same ancient footpaths used thousands of years ago, in the times when these sites were being built. We will be reviewing ancient philosophy on health and methods of true prosperity. The evenings will be spent considering astronomy and methods of navigation using the night sky. This area is also loaded with natural springs of mineral-water and hidden waterfalls where we can relax out of the hot afternoon sun, sharing knowledge, testimonies, and stories.
Places of Interest Nearby
Temple of Epicurean Apollo
The temple of Apollo is the first architectural masterpiece on earth with examples of all three of the classical orders used in ancient Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. See history page for details.
The purchased Bassae Frieze from this location has its own room at the British Museum. The 23 slabs could some day be returned to this site, where they were taken from, or at least the current possessor could place copies of these slabs in their original location.
A foot fragment of a colossal statue found at Bassae was also purchased, and is also currently displayed at the British Museum.
This archeological site was explored again by British collectors in 1812 with the permission of Veli Pasha, the Turkish commander of the Peloponnese. This group of British antiquaries purchased all 23 slabs from the Ionic cella frieze, and transported these purchased slabs of art to Zante, along with other purchased sculptures. A fully published excavation was begun in 1836; it was carried out by Russian archaeologists, among which included the painter Karl Bryullov. Perhaps the most striking discovery was the oldest Corinthian capital found to date. These purchased artifacts are on display at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
The Homeric village of Ithome
The summit of Mount Ithome, which is flat, in the Bronze Age, had a temple dedicated to Zeus Ithomatas (Zeus of Ithome) built there. It was torn down and rebuilt as a Christian church and monastery in the early 14th century, to re-use the intricately cut stone.
Marathusa (the oldest known archaeological site in Greece)
An association of lithic artifacts were recently found with elephant remains, with obvious cut marks on the elephant bones, indicating that this was an elephant butchering site. Carbon dating results suggest a Middle Pleistocene age (roughly 500,000 years before present). The researchers found stone tools, which the early hunters used to cut the bones. "That makes Megalopolis the only site in the Balkans where we have evidence of an elephant being butchered in the early Paleolithic," says Professor Katerina Harvati of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (HEP) at the University of Tübingen.
Castle of Kalamata
A castle with a rich history on a rocky hill at the NW side of the city of Kalamata. An ancient acropolis existed on the hill far before the Trojan war, around 1500BC, and later a Byzantine fortress, but the ruins we observe today are the remains of the castle that was rebuilt there in the beginning of the 13th century, during the Frankish occupation.
The Franks held Kalamata until 1410 when the city became part of the Byzantine Despotate of Mystras. Kalamata was liberated in 23 March 1821, in the first act of the Greek War of Independence. This region of Peloponnesus bred the war heroes that kept Greece from remaining an addition to Turkey just 200 years ago, including the infamous Mitros Petrovas and Theodoros Kolokotronis. Greek independence from the Islamic Turkish empire began on 23rd of March in 1821, here in this beautiful port city near Sparta.
Hours 8am-8pm http://www.ancientmessene.gr 27240 51201
The remains of this vast ancient city are as extensive as those of Olympia and Epidavros, yet Ancient Messini receives only a small fraction of their visitors. Picturesquely situated on a hillside below the village of Mavromati and still undergoing excavation, the site comprises a large theatre, marketplace, a vast Sanctuary of Asclepius and the most intact and impressive of all ancient Greek stadiums.
Ancient Messini has remains from before 300 BC that have been preserved amazingly well by 3 meters of volcanic ash and hillside runoff. Apart from its defensive potential, Ancient Messini was also favoured by the gods. According to ancient historical belief, Zeus was born here – not Crete – and was raised by the nymphs Neda and Ithomi, who bathed him in the same spring that gives the modern village its name.
The first construction you come across is the large amphitheatre, reconstructed for contemporary use. The path leads past the Fountain of Arsinoe building, which supplied the ancient city with water. The extensive columned remains next to it are the agorawith the treasury in its southwest corner.
Beyond is the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the spiritual centre that lay at the heart of the ancient city, consisting of a rectangular courtyard fringed with Corinthian columns. This extensive complex was centred on a Doric temple that once housed a golden statue of Ithomi. The modern awning west of the temple protects the artemision, where fragments of an enormous statue of Artemis Orthia were found. The structures to the east of the asclepion include the ekklesiasterion, which looks like a small amphitheatre but once acted as an assembly hall. Nearby are the remains of a Roman villa, with a steel roof protecting the mosaic remains.
Head downhill to the large stadium, which is surrounded by a forest of columns. You can see where the Romans closed off part of the athletics
track, turning it into a gladiator arena. On the left-hand side, near the arena, are the VIP seats – the ones with backs and with lion paws for legs. On the right-hand side, near the intact gate of the enormous gymnasium, are round holes in stone slabs – ingenious Roman public toilets positioned over a now dry stream.
Temple of Pan
Mt. Nomia, Arcadia
Pausanias wrote in his Description of Greece 8. 38. 10 the following about the Temple of Pan:
"On the right of Lykosoura [in Arkadia] are the mountains called Nomia, and on them is a sanctuary of Pan Nomios; the place they name Melpeia, saying that here Pan discovered the music of the pipes. It is very obvious conjecture that the name of the Nomia Mountains derived from the pasturings (nomia) of Pan, but the Arkadians themselves derive the name from a Nymphe."
Fear makes folks build city walls and fortification. No walls needed around Sparta (called Sparti, in Greek). At the height of their power, Greece's legendary warriors triumphed over Athens and the rest of Greece in the Peloponnesian Wars (431–404 BC). However, the decisive defeat by the Thebans in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC was the beginning of the fall of Sparta, which was followed by successive subjugation by the Macedonians, Romans, Goths, Turks, and Slavs.
The acropolis and agora made up the religious and administrative centre (8th century BC until the Roman period) of ancient Sparta. The area was restored to a formal site with paths and detailed signs in English. There's an ancient theatre, Sanctuary of Athena Halkioitou, stoas, the 'round building', and church remains.
On the north side of the present-day town of Sparta are remains of the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia. The main road leads north to the acropolis, passing the Byzantine Church of Christ the Savior, on the way to the 6000 BC Sanctuary of Athena Halkioitou on a small hill. The most important finds in the town’s archaeological museum were unearthed here.
Sparta’s archaeological museum hosts artefacts from Sparta’s illustrious past, many unlabelled and most without any protective covering. Look for the votive sickle of the kind that Spartan boys dedicated to Artemis Orthia. There are also reliefs featuring Eleni and Menelaus (and with Paris), bronze and lead votive figurines, heads and torsos of various deities, a statue thought to be King Leonidas, votive terracotta masks and grave stelae. Fine mosaics from Hellenistic and Roman Sparta are also on show.
A beautifully designed olive oil museum in Sparta initiates you into the mysteries of the olive, from its initial appearance in the Mediterranean before 60,000 BC to the present day. Learn about its immense importance in millennia of Greek life. Immerse yourself in olive oil's many uses (medicine-making, cooking, fuel, ritual, perfume-making). Check out the magnificent reconstruction of olive presses in the courtyard, ranging from prehistoric to Byzantine. Finally, marvel at the minute working models (press the button) that demonstrate changes in pressing technology.
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