NOW BOOKING FOR 2025, April 27-May 4

Join an intimate and adventurous group on a pilgrimage to the island of Crete.

In spring, the glorious season of rebirth and renewal, we will walk in the footsteps of the Minoans as we seek the mountain shrines, caves, and flowing springs sacred to the Goddess. We will honor Her in the land and in our own bodies, with offerings, ceremony, drumming, and dance, inviting Her to guide our journey and help us to embrace the never-ending spiral dance of life, death, and rebirth.

As we explore the incredible natural beauty of the island, we will learn from traditional healing plants under the guidance of local herbalists. We will hike the wild landscape and swim in the sea, share breath and yoga practices, and in the evenings, gather for the joys of traditional foods, conversation, music and dancing. Our group will be limited in size, allowing us to travel with a smaller footprint and engage more deeply in community. 

About Crete

Crete, Greece’s largest island, lies 160km south of mainland Greece. To the north is the Sea of Crete, and the island’s southern shores front the Libyan Sea. Crete was the center of the Bronze Age Minoan civilization from 3000 to 1450 BC, prior to the eruption of the Thera volcano and numerous invasions by regional owners including the Myceneans, Rome, the Byzantine Empire, Andalusia, Venice, and the Ottoman Empire. Crete officially became Greek in 1913.

The ancient people of Crete lived in peace and prosperity for thousands of years before the invasions, without evidence of armies or war. Religious rites centered an Earth Mother goddess and festivals and celebrations followed a calendar based on the moon and the eclipse cycles. There is evidence that the cult of Demeter and Persephone arose first in Crete, where secretive initiatory rites held in caves eventually spread to mainland Greece and became known as the Mysteries, drawing initiates from all over Europe to participate in annual ritual enactments at Eleusis. In more recent times, the divine mother on Crete has assumed the form of Christianity’s Virgin/Mother, the Panagia, a modern-day focus of devotion to the ageless Mother Goddess.

A Sample Itinerary

*Trips vary between 7 and 10 days. Activities may shift depending on weather, size of group, and other factors.

Day 1 : Arrive Heraklion, Crete / Opening dinner in Archanes/Invocation to the Great Mother

Day 2 : Morning orientation/Afternoon Cave of Eileityhia/Invocation to Eileithyia/ Afternoon at the sea

Day 3: Heraklion Archeological Museum/ Lunch and afternoon in the old city market

Day 4: Walk in Spilotissa Gorge/ Invocation to the Panagia/ Afternoon visit to village burial ground and Thanatos meditation

Day 5: Minoan archeological site at Knossos with guide/Traditional dance lesson/Lyre music and dinner

Day 6: Visit the Sfentoni cave/ Mountain village of Anogeia/Invocation to the Mountain Mother/Dinner and local music

Day 7: Storytelling and picnic at the Minoan site of Fourni/Sunset at Giouchtas peak shrine/Closing dinner and ceremony

Day 8: Breakfast and departures

 

Details and Booking

Double Occupancy*: $2800 per person /Single: $3100 /$750 non-refundable deposit upon booking *please specify one or two beds per double occupancy room

Included: 7 nights accommodation and daily breakfast, all activities on our itinerary, plus ground transportation and admission fees for sites. Other meals and airfare/airport transfers are not included. 

Email tessyseward@gmail.com with questions and requests to book.

Seasonal information:
Our dates fall in mid-season in Crete. Temperatures range between 60-75F by day, cooling to 55F overnight. The sea temperature averages about 60F. Humidity is low. Cultural and archaeological sites are open, along with restaurants, shops and beach cafes, but we will be ahead of the full tourist season, and enjoy relatively uncrowded visits to sacred sites.. 

How to get there (flights, airport transfers, buses, trains)
The nearest airport to our starting point is Heraklion International Airport on the Greek island of Crete. You may also arrive by overnight ferry from Piraeus near Athens.

Entry requirements
Specific visas or travel vaccinations are not required for visitors from the US to Greece at this time.

Travel insurance suggestions
Travel insurance is essential.. Depending on the policy, it can cover delayed, canceled, or missed flights; theft or damage of belongings, and emergency healthcare.

Travelers are solely responsible for:

  • Travel insurance policies

  • Flights

  • Activities not included in the itinerary 

  • Airport transfers

  • Meals other than breakfast

Guides

Tessy Seward

My work as a healer is influenced profoundly by my relationship to the natural world and the resonance I’ve experienced in connection with the land.  I’ve also deepened my work over the years with ceremony, dreamwork, and the study and practice of herbalism. This pilgrimage to Greece weaves together many of the threads I’ve been tending and it feels particularly important now, in this time of challenging societal and ecological change, to invite others to join me. It brings me great joy to share practices and experiences that draw us all more deeply into relationship with the divine feminine. We need Her guidance and wisdom so acutely now. 

I bring the gifts of my own time in the wilds of both nature and the psyche to this pilgrimage. You can expect me to help hold a strong container, to welcome whatever shows up with curiosity, kindness, and trust, and to support the group in finding our way into sacred relationship with the great Goddess as embodied in this ancient land, and in ourselves, and each other.

 

Gabriella Damianaki

I was born in East Berlin in 1967 at the peak of the Cold War. My mother was German and my father from Crete. I was influenced strongly by these different cultures. In my young soul, northern Europe was trying to understand the South and the East was victimized by the West.

At the age of 23, I moved to Italy, where I lived for 20 years. A country right in the middle of Greece and Germany. An astonishingly beautiful country which is full of culture. There I studied art at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Roma. In Rome, I also frequented the yoga school founded by psychologist Paolo Menghi Scuola di Normodinamica.

But, the cells of my body were calling to me, I still had to find my Cretan roots. I moved to this island in 2013 and started to live my amazing Cretan adventure. Always in close contact with the people, friends, family, and nature, the sea, and its beautiful and wild landscapes.