I am sitting at the base of Meteora (pronounced meh-TERRA).

It is a monastery
which is sitting high on top of a very steep and precipitous mountain top.

Several huge pieces of rock sit alongside each other,
each as big as Half Dome,
or El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

I am sitting in a hotel
in which my porch is sitting down at the base of the rocks
as I look up at them in preparation for ascending them
in the morning several hours from now.

I have no idea just what to expect
and can only wait to see.

This morning was spectacular.

We headed up
to the ancient oracular site of Delphi
first thing in the morning
as the Sun hovered above the tholos
dedicated to the so-called Mother Earth, Ge.

They now call it Athenaios,
but at the end of the day it is still the cthonic earth deity
which seems ever hungry,
with an insatiable appetite for blood,
orgiastic rites,
and human sacrifice,
throughout recorded history.

One does not think of such things
when one thinks of ancient Greek religion,
but that is only because they are profoundly ignorant
of the system which is known as Greek religion.

Just as many of the mythologies are full of violence
and magical thinking
replete with animism
and pantheism,
so are these practices and rites.

I will never forget first reading the magnificent book
by the Harvard professor Walter Burkert
titled "Greek Religion", about 25 years ago, 
in addition to his book titled "Homo Necans"
at the same time.

I am in the lifelong habit of marking
any and all passages which deal with human sacrifice
as I read various different works
dedicated to the subject
of ancient religious beliefs and practices.

I was astounded at how many passages there were in professor Burkert's book regarding human sacrifice being practiced by numerous Greeks throughout their entire history.

It begins in Arcadia in the remote mists of time, and continues from there all the way up to and through the classical Greeks.

I had never even had any idea, whatsoever, that such pracrtices were, indeed, central to the religious practices of these "highly civilized" persons who "moderns" look to for some kind of guidance when it comes to spiritual matters.

But, it turns out that they not only practiced such rites,
but they did so regularly
and with relish.

From Kali, in Hinduism,
to Cybele in Phyrgia,
it is a theme which runs
throughout the various cultic worldviews.

So, I shuddered
as I looked up at the Sun
hovering directly above the tholos
upon which were various stones
which looked as if they could only be placed
the exact way they were
for the practice of tying up humans
and slaughtering them
in a grotesque spree of serial murders
which are carried out by people
pretending to be priests
acting on behalf of some deity or other.

Being one who is far more sensitive than most
when it comes to such matters,
I can tell you with a very high degree of certainty
that these pieces of rock had been just as desecrated
as any that exist in Mayan territory
or those of any other peoples or persons
who claim to believe
that they are propitiating some unknown powers
by slaughtering their fellow human beings.

And just like the fantacial Islamists
who are in such a hurry
to tell others to blow themselves up
so that they may receive some otherworldly reward,
while they themselves
never can be seen blowing themselves up,
so these will tell you what an honor it is
for you to die for their cause,
while somehow they continue to live on and on and on
without ever giving the same "honors" to themselves.

That is to say,
how much more disingenuous could one be, anyway?

Just as it was said that Abel's blood cried out from the earth,
so the blood of these innocents can still be heard
crying out as one stands next to these stones
on this early morning sunrise
and listens closely
to what exactly the stones have to say.

It was most definitely just a bit on the chilling side.

I photographed it from every conceivable angle
for about one hour,
and then began the long trek,
straight up the mountain, 
to the oracular site of Delphi,
which is located directly above this tholos site.

Being very aware
of the highly numinous nature
of the land upon which I was walking,
and being very suspicious
as to exactly what part this has to do with my own injuries, received within two hours of leaving the island of Delos,
after listening to a young female local tour guide
sing the praises of Apollo,
and Zeus,
and Dionysos,
and Athena,
and Artemis,
as if they were personal acquaintances of hers,
and with not just reverence,
but downright worshipfulness,
for several hours straight,
as we walked amongst the ruins on the island
(upon which NO ONE is allowed to go at night!),
I was more concerned
than I otherwise might be
regarding each single footstep
which I was taking upon this ground
upon which I am quite certain
that I am most definitely not welcome.

I try to never stir up the spirits,
but it seems that,
for any number of different reasons, 
my very presence does so,
whether I want to or not.

I am ever reminded
of the passage in the Epistle to Jude
in which it says that even when Michael the Archangel
contended for the body of Moses
for forty days and nights,
against an army of evil that:

"he durst not bring a railing accusation,
but instead said the Lord rebuke thee",

in that I must walk headlong,
straight into "the belly of the beast",
with no defenses at all,
as a babe in the wilderness,
or as a sheep being led to slaughter,
being entirely unable to defend myself,
lest I should interfere with the process
which I have just made reference to,
and thereby severely diminish it's power.

This is one of the codes by which I live,
and I must say
that the Lord has most definitely done a lot of rebuking
on my behalf,
such that I am in a continuous state of terror
when it comes to such matters.

As some could say,
I have seen far too much.

And I know,
(as an eyewitness),
far too much,
to think any other way than this.

So, it was with great trepidation
(but with no timidity 
i.e. with great concern,
but with no fear)
that I entered onto this numinous ground
(note that it is "numinous",
but does not, thereby, become sacred
ground, as so many people pretend).

I could feel the blood crying out of the earth
with each footstep,
just as I could at the Roman Colosseum
when I got stuck in it, alone,
and lost
during an intense and very sudden
blackening of the skies
as thunder and lightning slammed all around me.

I will never forget the sickening smell
which came out of the ground,
in abundance, 
as I nauseatingly recognized the odor
which I have often smelled on persons
whose heads have been smashed
and torn
in horrific vehicular collisions.

There is a profoundly grotesque odor
which comes off of such inuries
as masses of blood begin to coagulate
and reeks powerfully.

That very same odor
was coming out of every inch
of the unbelelievably blood-drenched ground
upon which I walked
in that huge amphitheater
in the very heart of Rome.

I was reminded
of the sensations of that profound afternoon,
but without the smell
as I entered onto the path
which went steeply up the mountainside,
ever higher and higher
as I wondered just how long
I would last
until my next episode of vertigo
finally wipes me out
as I step off of a thousand foot cliff,
instead of a thirty foot one.

I was very concerned
lest I should have anything distract
from my utmost concentration
on each step which I was taking
such that I was not sure
just how good an idea it would be
to put on headphones
and listen to "Jordania"
and the songs which follow
on the "Tahiti2012" album.

"Very baaaaad idea",
I thought to myself
as I put on the headphones
and began to listen while ascending.

But, it didn't take over ten seconds
to realize
that the music
and the scenes which I was looking at
were forming into a most perfect fit.

"How in the world do you even write this stuff",
I thought to myself
as I was now fully captivated
between sight of archaeological ancient remains
of the very famous
and historically extremely important
Delphic Oracle
and the sounds
of "trance, not dance".

What an ehereal and thoroughly electrifying experience
it turned out to be
as I continued to climb without feeling any pain, whatsoever,
in spite of several broken ribs,
a broken toe,
a broken finger,
and a broken jawbone,
and a severely sprained shoulder,
plus numerous abrasions and avulsions,
not to mention the torturous nature of the very steep terrain
which wears out everybody who walks on it.

Upon nearing the summit
I noticed that my torso and arms
were very wet with perspiration.

The temperature was in the 90's
and everybody on the site
was sweating profusely.

But it did not bother me
any more than the potential muscle pain
and rib pain
and pain from various fractures
as I was now beginning to feel the full power of the music.

Now, there was a new numinosity
coming across this ancient blood drenched ground
as I took one step after another
in utter amazement
at what I was seeing
and what I was hearing
and just how tightly interwoven the two were.

Finally, upon reaching the heights of Delphi,
alongside a structure
which is known as the Stadium
(another blood-drenched ground, no doubt,
as gladiators and slaves were said to be put to athletic contests
in which they would most definitely spill their last drops of blood and expire).

All of a sudden
I smelled a smell
which I most certainly had not anticipated.

The smell of pine trees filled the air
with an aroma which was sweet as any perfume
which I have ever smelled.

As the music continued to surge
through my soul and veins
it combined with that wondrous odor
as I began to feel more alive than I ever have
as I began to give intense and fervent thanks
to our Creator
for all that which he has done for us.

What a contrast it was to smell these fragrant odors,
while looking upon the manmade blood-drenched ground,
and listening to the sounds
which are inspired by the dread and awe
which is created by the combining of these forces
of life and anti-life.

It was an experience which I shall not soon forget.

The descent was just as wondrous.

It is very late
and I have to get up
in a few hours
to go up to the monastery
to find out what wonders
have been providentially laid before my path,
so that I must end with these few prefatory remarks.

It has been a most profound journey during these past weeks, and I hope that I shall never be the same again,
but, hopefully
much better
and richer
for the experiences.

I, of course, have much more to say,
but this is most definitely not the time for that,
as my writing time is just too limited at this moment.

Have lots of interesting photos, as usual.

Wonder if I or anyone else will ever get to see them?




1:49 a.m.

Meteora, Greece

p.s. I will make a concerted effort to post photos of this site.

It is really spectacular to look at, as well as to be in the middle of.