EARTH & SPIRIT JOURNEY TO SUD ITALIA – October 14-24, 2020 TRADITIONAL ANCESTRAL SKILLS ADVENTURE

terra e spirito  –  tradizione  –  antenati  –  terra  ancestrale  – sangue –  famiglia

We are now accepting reservations for our TRADITIONAL ANCESTRAL SKILLS ADVENTURE to Southern Italia October 2020.  During the month of October the weather is still warm and beautiful, all the harvests are in so there is a great abundance of fresh foods and all the tourists are gone!  It’s a magnificent time to visit!

We invite you to join us for a fun-filled weaving together of travel, fabulous food, art, history, archaeology, ancestor connection, artisanal craft, Great Mother veneration, prayer, plant medicine and the magnetic, healing energy of a small group of people into a rare and beautiful experience that will be deeply soul nourishing and long treasured, while at the same time relaxing, restorative, low key and lots of fun.  We’d love to have you with us!

Our base camp during the 2020 Earth and Spirit Ancestral Skills Journey will be our remote and friendly medieval village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the base of our mother mountain, Monte Cervati, the largest mountain in the area.

Your housing is impeccably clean, comfortable, spacious and filled with natural light. Your private room has central heating, fully modern bathroom and a large comfortable balcony from which we can look over the hills and valley. Best of all, it’s conveniently located right outside the door from our parking area and is just a little ways down the cobblestone passageways from my house. I can’t wait for you to come and stay here with me in my beloved Italian village! It’s such a truly magical, old world place!

We’re in the heart of the Cilento National Park, one of the largest intact wilderness areas of the world. Our location puts us in very close proximity to the Grotto of Vallicelli, which was a thriving Bronze Age community, inhabited since the Paleolithic era, and home to some of the original inhabitants of this mountain area. Bring a head lamp or flashlight and I’ll take you inside to see housing Italia style 50,000 years ago!

From time immemorial its unique geographical position has made this land a natural crossroads for the cultures that developed on the Adriatic, Ionic and Tyrrhenian coasts.

Our valley was once the central location for Dianic worship in all of Southern Italia. This spiritual tone and sense of reverence for nature and all that she represents still permeates the hills and valleys as well as the lives of the people here. Life, and the sense of the divine, really hasn’t changed all that much since ancient times.

Just as they have done for centuries, village women will be on hand to personally guide us through local shrines and share their history and meaning. Our village design and archetecture is outstanding. It was built in the 9th century, but human habitation here goes back at least 50,000 years.

This pristine, magical, and centrally located place is in the region of Campania, (formerly Basilicata until the unification of Italy changed our borders.) and we’ll be in the midst of one of the most incredible agricultural areas of the world with a legacy of growing and preparing foods that goes far back into ancient history.

We’ll visit several of the world’s best preserved archaeological sites and hilltop villages, make pilgrimages to ancient as well as modern shrines and meet many of the earliest Mediterranean Gods and Goddesses as they are still portrayed, though perhaps renamed,in their original locale. 

We’ll have many opportunities to learn about the lineage of Great Mother, the plants and trees long associated with her, and to understand the depth of her roots in human culture. We’ll pay homage to her in her many guises throughout these lands, including making traditional offerings and kneeling before an 11th century Byzantine Black Madonna.

All the while we will be surrounded by the local flora and the mountains will be awash with an amazing array of fall color. The wonder and abundance of a great diversity of wild medicinal herbs, flowers and trees will be all around us and permeating all we do. Plus, the harvest will all be in and there will be amazing fresh foods and beverages available everywhere!

We’re going to be introduced to some traditional skills! We’ll learn to make a variety of hand made pastas entirely from scratch and watch mozzarella cheese be formed before our eyes by artisans who have been doing this for generations. We’re going to create a small woven Sud Italia style gathering basket, learn about traditional herbs used in creating bitters (the people in my valley are famous for this) and experience a traditional Sud Italia healing ritual.  For starters!

We’ll visit the Certosa di San Lorenzo, the second oldest monastery in Italy which took over 400 years to build and holds an extraordinary collection of art and artifacts, many as old as 5,000 years and uncovered right here in our valley. These are world treasures that are virtually unknown and an absolute blessing to behold.

In a nearby village we’ll enter an ancient Asclepian Healing and Dreaming temple, in use for many centuries before it was transformed into a Catholic Church..  We’ll spend time in the Museo della Erbe, which houses a collection of the rich and outstanding botanical diversity of the region and explanations of their traditional uses. I’m excited to take you there! It’s such an exquisite journey into old world medicine making!And we’ll also pay a visit to the ancient Baptistery of St. Giovanni, long dedicated to Leucothea, Goddess of the Sea and Protector of Watersbefore the Christian era. We’ll take a cruise boat down the Amalfi coast to visit the Black Madonna of Positano, an unforgettable excursion.  You will be awed by the natural wonders of the Mediterranean Sea, the inland mountains, the Cilento Parco Nationale, the villages that climb into the sky, the olive groves and gardens, as well as the proliferation of magnificent art and architecture everywhere we go.

The people of this area, descendants of the indigenous people of the Apennine mountains, are among the most generous, loving and hospitable people found anywhere in the world. You will have plenty of opportunities to associate with and learn from these inspiring people.

“Your people are so beautiful, and I just wish we had more time to spend with them. I definitely want to go back again” D. Zawalik

“I had such a great time! I especially loved the herb gathering and putting up herbal medicines. I am still enjoying my rosemary oil!” C. Perry

Cost of the entire 11 day Fall 2020 Earth & Spirit Journey is $4900. It consists of two days of international travel,  and nine days and nights in Southern Italy. The fee includes your airfare from Boston to Naples and return, your transportation from Naples to the village as well as all transportation during our journey and all lodging. Your generous breakfast each morning and dinner each night is also included in your fee.  You are responsible for your own lunch/mid-day meal.

Your dinners will be prepared and graciously served to you by a local family with amazing traditional Mediterranean meal preparation skills, using the freshest, local, and for the most part, organic ingredients, much of it from their own gardens. Our meals are guaranteed to be not only culinary masterpieces of highest quality, but a major highlight of every day.

It is a great joy for me to lead the Earth and Spirit Tour and introduce you to an area of the world that is stunning for its incredible, ever changing landscapes, diversity of nature, both flora and fauna and its wealth of ancient ancestral history and culture, and proudly maintains it’s connection to both the land and it’s rich spiritual heritage.

The village that will host us is my maternal family’s ancestral home. I am honored to introduce you to its people and their way of life, which is beyond inspirational. It is simply and deeply soul nourishing.

me and carmellaBecause we have ancestral roots here and know it so well, we can bring our guests to amazing places off the beaten tract. Many of the places we visit are virtually unknown to “outsiders.” The small size of our group ensures you have a deep and intimate experience, well beyond the scope of a large travel tour. Additionally, you can count on a few unplanned spontaneous side trips, which always add a unique and memorable dimension to any journey.

Note: If you are already in Europe and would like to join us for the October journey, we welcome you! Please email gailea88@gmail.com regarding the possibilities and adjustment in fee.

We are also willing and able to host private journeys for small groups of friends and/or family seeking connection with ancestors and ancestral ways, place, culture and traditions. Let us know your needs and we will do our best to cater to them.

What our journey participants are saying:

“I had a wonderful time and congratulate you, Rosa and Adam for your hard work, long hours, and dedication. Everything you did was aimed at our pleasure and you sure hit the mark…this trip was exactly right and I treasure every minute of it.” J. Cohen

The Earth & Spirit Journey was exactly right, perfect, for me!  I registered with hopes of spending some contemplative time with Our Lady, feeling closer to my ancestors and ancestral ways, and being inspired to renew my journaling practice.  Mission accomplished on all three fronts!” L. King

“Your obvious love and enthusiasm as well as your incredible wealth of knowledge of this area, its people, history, culture, ancestral ways and the Divine Feminine all combine to make you a most outstanding guide. So happy to have come along with you!” N. Fleiss

“It’s nearly impossible to plan a trip that will please everyone. Yet, with a small group like ours, it was possible to remain flexible and responsive to each participant.  You did that beautifully, effortlessly and I am very grateful. Thank you.” P. Post

“We all agreed that the trip was the trip of a lifetime—no other way could we have stayed in the village without your family connections. To be so remote, without tourists around, and out in the hills and the very special Valley of Diana, was something none of us will ever forget. Also, we all agreed that you were the perfect guide to the sacred sites we visited—your enthusiasm, knowledge and delight were wonderful to be part of.”

“This has been a deeply soul nourishing, healing and life changing experience that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life.” L. Shaeffer

“Fantastic, amazing time!  Came home inspired, renewed and spiritually restored. Thank you so much!” R. Roveto

“The itinerary was perfect—I loved every place we visited, and the rhythm of it all.” M. Melina

“Rave reviews for the place we stayed…absolutely perfect! Rave reviews also for our chefs — though the portions were daunting, the food was exceptional in both preparation and the fact that it represented dishes they traditionally use. Wouldn’t change one iota of this entire experience!” K. White

“You have a magnetic personality and a very calming presence. Your village and its people are absolutely amazing and inspiring. We all had a fabulous time.” N. Lovelace

“I had the most incredible, magical, life-altering trip. Thank you!” C. Perry

The Fall 2020 Earth and Spirit Journeyis intended to be a secure space where we can come into meaningful contact with our common ancient spiritual history, culture and inheritance. It is a time to immerse ourselves in and hopefully resonate with the language, art, artifacts and customs of our Old World ancestors, still vibrantly alive and actively celebrated in Southern Italian culture. As the people here are fond of saying, in their deeply generous way: “This is not just Italian culture, this is human culture and belongs to all of us.”

Our journeys and pilgrimages are limited to seven participants. A $500 non-refundable deposit will hold your place for this once in a life time experience in southern Italia. Full payment FOR THE TRADITIONAL SUD ITALIAN ANCESTRAL SKILLS JOURNEY is due by August 1st, 2020.

ALSO IN OCTOBER – The Seven Sacred Sisters of the Cilento National Park Pilgrimage dates are October 1-11, 2020.  See the website for all the details on this pilgrimage, focused on veneration of Great Mother as she has been traditionally venerated throughout these sacred lands for many thousands of years.

Place your deposit here for:  Traditional Southern Italian Ancestral Skills Journey

4 Responses to EARTH & SPIRIT JOURNEY TO SUD ITALIA – October 14-24, 2020 TRADITIONAL ANCESTRAL SKILLS ADVENTURE

  1. Pia says:

    I’d love to know if there is one for 2017

  2. Mary Burr says:

    I had no idea of your Italian connections! Bob and I love Italy. I’ll stop by and have a chat next market.

    Hey, Gail, could you pass on to the girls that I’m trying to encourage as many people as possible to wear their Crooked Face Creamery’s Tshirts on Saturday. It would be fun to make it CFC Tshirt day.

    Thanks,
    Mary

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