Apollo Aquasclepion Retreat, Greece (Sept 2018)
Apollo Aquasclepion Retreat
Health, Healing & Wellness through Water & Sound
Evia Island, Greece,
September 13th – 20th, 2018
Apollo is the God of Sun, healing, music and prophecy. Apollo is also the patron God of our Aquasclepion retreat.
"Aqua" describes whatever relates to water, that magical life-giving liquid with its healing properties. Aqua is also a color, that magical blue of the alluring coastal seas of Greece.
An Asclepion was a healing temple, where patients would visit to receive various forms of healing treatments, both spiritual and physical. These healing temples were sacred to the god Asclepius. Asclepius, the son of divine Apollo, is the god of medicine and represents the healing aspect of the medical arts. He was raised by his father, who gave him the secrets of medicine using plants and herbs. He also gave him the gift of healing through the ocular reading of dreams. Asclepius was also tutored by the wise centaur Chiron.
In ancient Greece, patients who visited Asclepions would go through two steps. The first was the "Catharsis" or purification stage. This is when a patient undergoes a series of baths and other methods of purging - such as a clean diet - over a series of several days or purging their emotions through art. Then the participant would undergo the second step, an "incubation" or dream therapy, which included sleeping overnight in the temple. The following morning, they reported their dreams to a priest and he prescribed a cure.
The purpose of our Apollo Aquasclepion retreat is to improve our mental and physical health and well-being guided by Apollo, through a modern version of the ancient Asclepion. Modern lifestyles have often taken us away from the things that keep us happy and healthy. Modern studies have shown us what the ancients already knew... that the sun, sea and fresh air have healing properties that give us joy, energy, good health and longevity. We will spend a week of relaxation, enjoying meditation, discussion, delicious healthy food and good company in the natural environment of Evia Island.
Evia Island is one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean. Considering how close it is to Athens, it is amazing that most of the island is still unspoiled by industry, overpopulation and tourism. The island is truly an island of Apollo, with five temples to Apollo and two temples to his twin sister Artemis, where Apollo and their mother Leto were also worshipped.
The "Land of the Giants" region of southern Evia is where we will be based during our retreat. The area is littered with unspoiled beaches mountains and "Drakospita" (dragon houses). These are ancient buildings built from huge slabs of limestone which form pyramid shaped roofs. These mysterious primordial structures are so old that their use is not completely understood today. But we know they were built to follow the rise orientation of the Sun, Moon and Sirius.
We will be staying in Almiropotamos (‘salty river’ in Greek), a small picturesque village above the Gulf of Evia. The village gently slopes towards the coast along meandering lanes weaving through traditional slate roofed stone houses. Ducks float along canals that run through the sleepy little seaside town. Traditional restaurants, tavernas and cafes line the beautiful beach front walkway that winds its way to a small fishing boat marina. Behind the village is a grove of some of the oldest olive trees in the world. The village is built upon a beautiful bay which is completely encircled with mountains. The people of the village are exceptionally friendly and the vibe is very relaxed and carefree.
Our hotel has nice large clean rooms overlooking a swimming pool and gathering area. On the hill just above the hotel is a beautiful stone home we will be using as a base for our meals and events. The house is on a beautiful private estate with flower gardens enclosed in a stone wall. The property has fruit trees, an olive grove, a stone barbecue building and a big pagoda overlooking the bay where one can enjoy the scenery.
There are more than twenty beautiful beaches within thirty minutes of the village, many of them isolated hidden gems. Our accommodations, the beaches and other places of interest we will be visiting, all lie inside a triangle of three temples to Apollo.
September is the best month to have a retreat in Greece. The air temperature goes down a little from the extreme August heat, yet the water temperature goes up a little. September is also the major harvest month, so we will be able to enjoy the best of the season’s fruits and vegetables. Autumn, a time to harvest thoughts, memories and wisdom. A time to bury our fears and let guilt, resentment and regrets die on the vine. A time to plough the soil in preparation for Spring's seeds of hope and nurture dreams.
The retreat will start halfway through the month, when the tourists have gone home, the children have returned to school and Almiropotomos returns to being a sleepy little village on a large sleepy island. Astrologically and astronomically speaking, this is a pretty dull time of the month, nothing particularly interesting happening in the universe of stars and planets. And holding our retreat at this time was no mistake....it was planned! No new moon, No full moon, No equinox, No meteor showers, No comets about to strike the earth..... and No Mercury Retrograde!!!
This retreat is an excellent time to relax and enjoy good company, food and scenery. But for those who are interested in personal growth, it will also be a great opportunity to start a new chapter in our lives. This journey brings the true possibility of transformation, purification, baptism, reflection, healing, celebration, awareness and enlightenment.
This opportunity begins on our first day of our group adventure. Our first stop will be an ancient cave sanctuary where we will perform a purification ceremony. Known as the Dark Cave, unknown in modern times until it was discovered in 1978, it is still obscure to all but a few archaeologists and spelunkers. The Cave of the Dark was an important place of worship and a burial ground for at least 6,000 years.
From there, we will continue to ancient Tamyneoi, a region sacred to Apollo. Here we will participate in a silent reflection meditation, before going to the isolated ‘Μάγειρας’ (Cook’s) beach for a bathing and baptismal ritual. After the bath we will continue to Almiropotamos to check in to the hotel.
That evening we will enjoy a banquet to celebrate the day's rebirth ceremonies, as well as the beginning of our retreat. After the meal, we will hold a talking circle to share our feelings about the first day, our expectations, hopes and dreams. Following the talking circle, we will participate in a sound bath hosted by Anna (Άννα Ωκεανός).
Every day, during the retreat, participants will have the opportunity to visit two beaches a day. Given the close proximity of the beaches, this means very short travel times. Each beach visit will be roughly 3 hours, where the participants can enjoy free time, structured events and/or private therapy sessions. Each day, between the beach visits, participants can choose to enjoy lunch at a different seaside restaurant. Each day, Rene will choose a short moment to share one of the myths of Apollo and participants can discuss what lessons can still be learned from it.
Every evening the participants will share a group meal, discussion or special event followed by a sound bath. After the sound bath, the night owls can choose to participate in late night a-Muse-ment at our Muse Lounge. Each evening one of Apollo's muses will play hostess with an accent on her own particular specialty, music, poetry, singing, dance, comedy, astrology and storytelling. Participants can indulge in various delectable drinks and snacks. Each night, the Muse hostess will hand out prizes and awards to participants who have most distinguished themselves in the evening’s art.
Apollo Aquasclepion Retreat
€ 1990 per person - last minute prices payed in last 2 weeks before the retreat
€ 1750 per person - standard prices
€ 1500 per person - early bird prices for payments at least 60 days before the retreat
20% discount is offered for 2nd person when booking together and sharing a room.
Prices include quality accommodation, all ceremonies and all suitable meals (prepared together).
How to get there:
A bus will be provided from Athens hotel on 13th Sept at 9am
If you are arriving late you can take a bus/ferry/taxi to the destination.
As a complement to this retreat we recommend a great package for day night or arrival or departure from Athens, called Welcome to Athens Wellness Package. Details can be found here:
Bookings and contact:
Thomas White Eagle
WhatsApp: +420 77.5555.731
Private retreats are available by special arrangement for groups of 4 or more on Evia or other islands.
Cancellation/changes/no show policy:
1) Once you book your place / pay there are no refunds. It is a serious commitment to take part in the retreat. You should honor that and so will we.
2) If you can't make it to a selected retreat you can:
a) find somebody else until 7 days before the start date, no extra fee required
b) no shows with no notice equals in 100% fee loss.
3) if we cancel the retreat for any reason you will receive a full refund - normally within 30 days