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Sacred Sites Journeys
Since 1994 ...Spiritual Pilgrimages
to the world's most important Sacred Sites
to enliven your Body, Mind and Spirit


MALTA
Spiritual Pilgrimage to Sacred Temples
of the Mother Goddess

November 2 - 8, 2014

Post-Tour Extension for Writer's Group on Gozo Island
November 7 - 11, 2014

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IMPORTANT!
This Sacred Sites Journey to MALTA is being rescheduled to March 22 - 28, 2015.
The itinerary below will be updated soon.
We're working hard to keep the pricing the same as posted for the November 2014 departure.


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TOUR DESCRIPTION


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Explore and experience the powerful transformational energies
of the ancient megalithic Mother Goddess temples,
some of the oldest free-standing structures on Earth - over 7,000 years old!

Participate in meditations and ritual to step back in “time”
as you connect with the still palpable energies of these amazing sacred sites that were in use
when the Mother Goddess was center stage in the hearts and minds of the people who built them!


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Also explore the mysterious ancient “cart ruts” that have been the subject of debate for hundreds of years
as to their origin, form and function - one of the most perplexing mysteries of ancient megalithic building technologies of all time!


SPECIAL HIGHLIGHT

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Private entrance for our group at the Hypogeum


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TOUR PERSONNEL

Featured Speaker Debra Keil-Leavitt

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Author, Astrologer and Mythic Historian

Debbie was a participant during our April 2013 tour to Malta.
And has also been to Egypt with us!

Debbie Keil-Leavitt, CAP, has been a practicing astrologer since 1972. She is the former Pres. of the Aquarian Organization of Astrologers in Kansas City. Debbie has lectured and led workshops on varied subjects since 2002, and has appeared in various publications worldwide including regularly published articles and blogs for the California Psychics blog/newsletter: http://blog.californiapsychics.com/. She also has published works in the International Society for Astrological Research Journal and weekly Ezine. Debbie’s astrological article on Beach Boy Dennis Wilson appeared in the Endless Summer Quarterly. Her interview with The Kansas City Star Magazine was featured in the December 18th, 2012 issue.

Debbie has spoken on various educational/inspirational trips to Greece, Egypt and Malta. She resides in Kansas City, Missouri while also enjoying a location in Baja California. For information on upcoming classes, events & tours, or to enjoy personal consultation from Debbie, contact: http://www.debbiekeilastrologer.com/


An Invitation from Debbie:
Dear Fellow Sacred Travelers

I am so thrilled to be sharing rich, magical Malta with you, my current and future friends! As an avid traveler, I can assure you that Malta is a truly powerful and unique place on our planet. You will never be quite the same once you touch, feel and “breathe in” this mysterious ancient culture of astronomers/astrologers and goddess/priestesses. The sights and sounds of these “dots on the map” south of Sicily and east and north of Tunisia will introduce you to our brilliant, enigmatic ancestors in the midst of a nearly perfect Mediterranean climate and incredible food. The layers of history will make you aware of your timeless spirit on a beautiful Mother planet.

In 2012, I had been reading everything I could find about the wonderful work that the people of Malta had been doing to uncover and preserve their unique, prehistoric culture. I was stunned to find that there were beautiful stone structures older than the Great Pyramid and Stonehenge with magical acoustical qualities. I could see the lovely influence of the mysterious Minoans, yet their sacred sites appeared to be built in homage, and adjacent to the sites of a much older culture with both high technology and a reverence for the land, sea and sky…and then there was the astronomy. So, when I read that Andrea and Mark of Sacred Sites Journeys were leading a 2013 trip there, I signed up without a second thought.

The experience changed my life and my view of our history and “what we knew when.” I fell in love with a place and people who speak a delightful language of familiar words combined with exotic ancient sounds unheard elsewhere. I began to treasure the wisdom and loving energy of our ancient ancestors so palpable there.

And Malta is easy! 2013 was my first trip after two serious injuries and illnesses. If I can wander these amazing sites, so can you. Getting there is equally easy, with frequent flights from England, all over Europe and fast ferries from Italy. The islands are small and so rich with wonders that numerous, mind-blowing experiences can be packed into a week.

So please join me in November 2014 and learn about the unfolding scientific and intuitive discoveries of Malta – its ancient knowledge of the sky, the magic of sight and sound and the cycles of life on Earth. I’ll share what I’ve learned of the healing, inspiring sounds of the Hypogeum, the astronomical wonders of Mnajdra and Ggantija and what they reveal, the “Atlantis” connection, and we can share what each of you sense and love about this place of sunshine, sparkling sea, “speaking” stones and rolling hills of comforting and powerful goddess energies.

I can’t wait to see you there!
Debbie

 

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Here are links to A Conversation with our Ancestors through the Ancient Temples of MALTA
August 10, 2014 - Facilitated by our Featured Speaker Debbie Keil-Leavitt & SSJs Director Andrea Mikana-Pinkham


Part 1/Introduction: Ancient Sites of Malta: A discussion on the ancient sites of Malta, their acoustical and astronomical wonders, and the possibilities of what these treasures may offer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcAp-HPNZ-c&feature=youtu.be

Part 2: Maltese Myth and Legend, Climate Change, the Early “Goddess” Period, and Ggantija.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04uKbHFt8xo&feature=youtu.be

Part 3: Sound and Vibration, Ancient Sites of Malta: The Hypogeum’s Amazing Acoustical Wonders, an Ancient Healing Center?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=591tpDeYAaI&feature=youtu.be

Part 4: Ancient Sites of Malta: The Sky, Our Shared Stars, Travel and Credits
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BVo9vGa2Qg&feature=youtu.be


And here are links to 3 excellent YouTube videos with Debbie Keil-Leavitt on Ice Age Art and Malta:

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Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXLpLlUwRUU


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Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gny2FSDCkds

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Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38FocLAts48

 

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TOUR ITINERARY
(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

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Day 1. Sunday, November 2. Arrive Malta. Introductory Meeting & Welcome Dinner (D)
Arrive in Malta on your own. Please book your air to Malta - Airport Code MLA. We encourage you to arrive early enough in the day so that you’ll have a chance to rest before our afternoon and evening activities. If you’d like to come a day early, we can give you a quote for the extra night or nights, once you register. After you book your international air, if you’d like for SSJ to give you a quote for your private transfer to the hotel, please send us this request. For group participants arriving within an hour of each other, we’ll work with you to schedule a transfer for several people in order to minimize the expense.

Evening Group Introductory Meeting/ Welcome Dinner.
Overnight Valetta. Phoenicia Hotel.

Day 2. Monday, November 3. Cart Ruts, National Museum of Archaeology, Free Time (B/L)Malta-CartRuts-3.jpg (15371 bytes)
Malta-CartRuts-2.jpg (17612 bytes)After breakfast we're off to explore the mysterious ancient “cart ruts” that have been the subject of debate for hundreds of years as to their origin, form and function - a most perplexing mystery! Here on the islands of Malta and Gozo they are the most famous and numerous. Deep ruts, tracks and grooves left in the limestone in such numbers, variety and confusion leave more questions than answers. On Malta there are cart ruts going off high cliff tops, while some are located on the sea floor. At both Clapham Junction and San Gwann Junction. there are many that intersect each other in total chaos. The Clapham Junction site was nicknamed that after the complex railway tracks of a London station. How were they formed? If they're made by humans, who were they and why did they make them? We'll explore this longtime mystery and see what conclusions we can come to for ourselves.

 
Afterwards we enjoy a lunch of traditional Maltese cuisine with the group at a local restaurant.

Then we're off to the National Museum of Archaeology, a Maltese museum of prehistoric artifacts that is managed by Heritage Malta. The ground floor of the museum exhibits prehistoric artifacts from the Maltese islands, from the Ghar Dalam phase (5200 BCE), the earliest appearance of settlement on the island, up to the Tarxien phase (2500 BCE).

Early Neolithic Period Room (5200–3800 BCE)
The Hal Saflieni Hypogeum: This room exhibits artifacts from the early Neolithic Period, including decorated pottery from the Ghar Dalam, Grey Skorba, Red Skorba and Zebbug phases. Of particular importance are the Red Skorba figurines, the earliest local representations of the human figure and the predecessors of the statues of later temple periods. The exhibition features a reconstruction of the rock-cut tombs that were a characteristic of the early Neolithic period in Malta.

Temple Period Rooms (3800–2500 BCE)
These rooms show examples of architecture, human representation and other items that date from the Mgarr, Ggantija, Saflieni and Tarxien phases of Maltese prehistory. The temples that were built at this time are considered to be the world’s first free standing monuments and are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Malta-HagarQim-3-GoddessStatues.jpg (13872 bytes)The museum exhibits numerous corpulent statues representing human bodies unearthed from temple excavations, along with phallic representations. Are these statues of the Mother Goddess, Fat Ladies, Deities or Priests? The discovery of temple altars and corpulent human representations suggests that some type of cult existed on the islands of Malta and Gozo in prehistory. Given the corpulence of the statues it may be that the cult was tied to a fertility rite. Fertility at this time must have been very important since, apart from family growth, it also meant the reproduction of crops and animals. We’ll explore the theories during our time here in this sacred land.

We return to hotel later afternoon. You have free time. Dinner is on your own this evening. You can either eat at the hotel, or stroll along the nearby streets where there are many restaurants.
Overnight Valetta. Phoenicia Hotel.

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Map of Megalithic Mother Goddess Sites on Malta and Gozo

Day 3. Tuesday, November 4. Mgarr: Skorba and Ta Hagrat Temples; Mdina (B/L)
Today we begin our exploration and experiences of the sacred Goddess temples of Malta! After breakfast we depart by coach to the Village of Mgarr (im-jarr), a small town in the southeast part of Gozo, a typical rural village situated in an isolated region, to visit the temples of Ta Hagrat and Skorba.
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Our first stop is at the Skorba temples, megalithic remains on the northern edge of Zebbieg which have provided detailed and informative insight into the earliest periods of Malta's Neolithic culture. The site was only excavated in the early 1960s, rather late in comparison to other megalithic sites, some of which had been studied since the early 19th century. The site's importance has led to its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a listing it shares with six other megalithic temples in Malta.

Malta-Skorba-MotherGoddess.jpg (9382 bytes)The remains on the site are a series of megalithic uprights, the lowest course of the temples' foundations, paving slabs with libation holes in the entrance passage, and the torba or cement-like floor of a three-apse temple, a shape that is typical of the Ggantija phase. Unfortunately, the greater part of the first two apses and the whole of the fašade have been razed to ground level. But the north wall is in a better state of preservation. Originally, the entrance of the temple opened on a court, but in later additions during the Tarxien phase, the temple's doorway was closed off, with altars set in the corners formed by the closure. East of this temple, a second monument was added in the Tarxien phase, with four apses and a central niche. For a period of roughly twelve centuries before the temples were built, a village already stood on the site. Its oldest extant structure is the long straight wall to the west of the temples’ first entrance. Deposits at its base contained material from the first known human occupation of the island, the Ghar Dalam phase, including charcoal, which carbon analysis dated to 4850 BCE.

We’ll take time for meditation to connect with these ancient energies.

Malta-TaHagrat-3.jpg (15030 bytes)Next we visit the Ta Hagrat temples in Mgarr, of which the larger temple dates from the Ggantija phase (3600–3200 BCE); the smaller is dated to the Saflieni phase (3300–3000 BCE).

Major Temple: The Ggantija phase temple is typically trefoil, with a concave fašade opening onto a spacious semicircular forecourt. The fašade contains a monumental doorway in the center and a bench at its base. Two steps lead up to the main entrance and a corridor flanked by upright megaliths of coralline limestone. Three are placed on each side and support large hard-stone slabs. The corridor beyond the entrance is paved with large stone blocks placed with great accuracy. Malta-TaHagrat-2.jpg (21290 bytes)

The corridor leads into a central torba court, radiating three semi-circular chambers. These were partially walled off at some time in the Saflieni phase; pottery shards were recovered from the internal packing of this wall. The apses are constructed with roughly-hewn stone walls and have a rock floor. Corbelling visible on the walls of the apses suggest that the temple was roofed.
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Minor Temple: The Saflieni phase temple rests to the north and is 21 ft. long, and is entered through the eastern apse of the larger temple. Smaller stones have been used in its construction and it exhibits irregularities in design considered archaic or provincial.

Another meditation opportunity will assist us to use our “psychic archaeology” to tune into the lives of the Mother Goddess people who lived here in ancient times.

Malta-Mdina-ArielView.jpg (24215 bytes)Afterwards we enjoy our group lunch. And then are off to Mdina, the old capital of Malta. Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the center of the island. Punic remains uncovered beyond the city’s walls suggest the importance of the general region to Malta’s Phoenician settlers. Mdina is commonly called the "Silent City" by natives and visitors. The town is still confined within its walls, and has a population of just over three hundred, but it is contiguous with the village of Rabat, which takes its name from the Arabic word for suburb, and has a population of over 11,000. Mdina is fascinating to visit for its timeless atmosphere as well as its cultural and religious treasures.

The history here goes back more than 4000 years. According to tradition it was here that in 60 CE that the Apostle St. Paul is said to have lived after being shipwrecked on the Islands. He supposedly resided inside the grotto known as Fuori le Mura (outside the city walls) now known as St. Paul’s Grotto in Rabat. The late 17th-century St. Paul's Cathedral in Mdina stands on theMalta-Mdina-Cathedral.jpg (25883 bytes) traditional site of the house of the governor Publius, who received St. Paul when he was shipwrecked on Malta.

Mdina has had different names and titles depending on its rulers and its role but its medieval name describes it best – ‘Citta’ Notabile’: the noble city. It was home then, as now, to Malta’s noble families; some are descendants of the Norman, Sicilian and Spanish overlords who made Mdina their home from the 12th century onwards. Impressive palaces line its narrow, shady streets. Mdina is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and Baroque architecture. During our tour we will stop at the bastions of Mdina to admire the extensive views of Malta from one of the highest points on the island.

We return to hotel later afternoon. You have free time. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Overnight Valetta. Phoenicia Hotel.

Day 4. Wednesday, November 5. Hypogeum (Private Entrance), Tarxien Temples (B/D)
This morning we have our private entrance into the Hypogeum, followed by a visit to the Tarxien Temples. Malta-Hypogeum-5.jpg (21670 bytes)

The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, or underground cavity carved from solid rock, is a unique monument and superb example of architecture in the negative. Excavation has yielded a wealth of archaeological material including pottery, human bones, personal ornaments such as beads and amulets, little carved animals and larger figurines.

When discovered it contained the bodies of over 7,000 people. Three stories deep, it contains rock-cut features such as a 'speaking chamber', trilithons, lintelled-doorways, a large cistern and a 'holy of holies' surrounded by 'embryonic' chambers. The Hypogeum is one of the greatest remaining structures from prehistory. Its pristine condition allows us to see the past through the eyes of our ancestors.


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The purpose of the Hypogeum is one of the most highly debated in circles of megalithic architecture. This amazing and very unique underground space offers us a rare glimpse at the prehistoric synthesis of funerary, solar-worship and shamanic traditions. Perhaps the central chamber's several small rounded cubicles carved into the walls were originally intended for 'living' people as part of a ritual, in which they would have had to lie inside in a fetal position. Traces of ergot have been found in the chamber called the 'cistern'; one of the physical effects of ergot is to constrict bodily muscles, resulting in a forced fetal position. In these small cubicles, echoes from the 'speaking' chamber reverberate into a rhythm that is similar to the human heartbeat.

The entrance to the Hypogeum is through an unsuspecting doorway in an unsuspecting street. It was first discovered in 1902, when builders broke through whilst building foundations for a house. At first, the hole was covered over and the event was kept quiet but word of the discovery soon got out and the museum authorities moved in to protect it. Although underground, the Hypogeum was built near the top of a natural hill overlooking the Marsa. The nearby Hal Tarxien, temple complex was built higher still on the same face of the hill.

Although most of the Hypogeum is underground, the entrance to it was built with megaliths, placed in what was presumably the natural entrance of the original cave. The original entrance consisted of a large square opening in its center (a porthole slab). This slab was later smashed and disposed of to make way for the new housing estate.

The first excavations in 1902 were performed by Fr. Magri, S.J. but unfortunately shortly after its commencement, he left the island to take a missionary post abroad where he died, leaving no records of his observations. Following this, the work was passed on to Prof. Themi Zammit, who worked on it for the next five years. The 1990-1992 excavations suggested that there may have once been a monumental structure built directly on top.

Malta-Hypogeum--OracleHole.jpg (24932 bytes)The speaking chamber has a hole known as the oracle hole in the wall carved with a rounded interior surface. A design was painted in red-ochre onto the ceiling of the chamber; it starts off on one side with a honeycomb design and transforms into a collection of 'floral' spirals on the other. It's speculated that the oracle hole was part of a ceremonial process. Words spoken into it make an echo which reverberates throughout the hypogeum.

The results of recent scientific study suggests that the 6,000 year-old hypogeum could have been specifically designed to conduct and manipulate sound to produce certain effects on the human brain. In this way, people in the hypogeum experienced mood changes while listening to chanting.

Some scientists believe that certain sound vibration frequencies created when sound is emitted within its walls are actually altering human brain functions of those within earshot. According to a laboratory study, exposure to a tone within this frequency, particularly at 110-111 hz seems to create a shift of brain function, "turning on" an area of the brain that bio-behavioral scientists believe relates to mood, empathy and social behavior.

We’ll have a sound meditation here to support altering our consciousness to higher frequencies. Malta-Hypogeum-7-SleepingGoddess.jpg (18733 bytes)

The hypogeum includes replicas of features from megalithic structures above ground on Malta. It is possible to see both trilithons and 'doorways' in the same style as those found in the numerous temples on the islands. It was also the place where the famous terracotta figure called the Sleeping Lady was found in a cistern containing numerous offerings. Two of these clay figurines were found in the Hypogeum. One (left) in a sleeping position, and the other of similar design, but with the woman lying face down. They were both found in the main chamber.

Malta-TarxienTemple-ArielView.jpg (35979 bytes)Then we're off to the Tarxien (tar-she-en) Temples, which date from 3600-2500 BCE and are the most complex of all temple sites in Malta. The temples are renowned for the detail of their carvings, which include domestic animals carved inMalta-TarxienTemple-4.jpg (19668 bytes) relief, altars, and screens decorated with spiral designs and other patterns. The spiral is the most common design in megalithic art on Malta, and indeed around the world. Believed by some to represent eternity, the design is expressed in a wide variety of forms across the islands and clearly had a significant meaning for the ancient Maltese peoples. Of particular note is a chamber set into the thickness of the wall between the South and Central temples, which is famous for its relief of two bulls and a sow. The site seems to have been used extensively for rituals, which probably involved animal sacrifice.

In the Bronze Age (2400-1500 BCE), Tarxien was reused as a cremation cemetery. The site lay hidden for centuries until its discovery in 1914, when farmers struck large stone blocks while ploughing a field. Sir Temistocles Zammit, Malta’s first director of museums, excavated the site in 1915-17.

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Malta-TarxienTemple-12.jpg (16524 bytes)The Tarxien temple complex consists of four temples connected by a square court. The temples each have separate entrances. Uniquely, the central temple consists of six apses. This is the only known example of such a layout and it represents a final phase in the long evolution of Maltese temple architecture. A narrow staircase connects the central temple to the east temple.

Fertility goddess figures (now in the national museum in Valetta) discovered in the ruins indicate that the temples were dedicated to the Earth Mother/the Mother Goddess, as were many Maltese temples. The most famous of these figures is a sculpture of large hips with feet, dubbed the "Fat Lady."Malta-TarxienTemple-11.jpg (21275 bytes)

Spherical stones found at the site have provided a valuable clue as to how the great stones of Malta's megalithic temples may have been moved into place; some researchers believe they were rolled on the stones while being towed with ropes. We’ll discuss this and other theories about the ancient megalithic building techniques.

Malta-TaMarijaRestaurant.jpg (23572 bytes)Afterwards we return to the hotel. You have free time for lunch on your own. And time to explore more of the area!

Tonight we have our group dinner at the Ta’ Marija Maltese restaurant located in the village of Mosta for a lively and enjoyable evening of dinner and entertainment.
Overnight Valetta. Phoenicia Hotel.


Day 5. Thursday, November 6. FULL MOON! Hagar Qim / Mnajdra and Blue Grotto (B/L)

Malta-HagarQim-5.jpg (25293 bytes)After breakfast we head to the temple of Hagar Qim (ha-jah-een), Located on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the islet of Filfla, it’s the best-preserved of several ancient limestone temples in Malta. It dates from the Ggantija phase - which is about 3600 to 3200 BCE. Unlike most other Maltese temples, it is a single temple rather than a complex of two or three. Other temple ruins stand a few feet away from the main temple and the forecourt and facade follow the
Malta-HagarQim-9.jpg (12589 bytes)pattern typical of temples across the Islands. Particularly noteworthy are the larger standing stones at the corners, which are notched to take the second of the horizontal courses above, which are traditional megalithic building techniques.

A stone decorated with spiral designs and a free-standing altar decorated on all sides were found here. The right apse has an interesting inner enclosure made of low stone slabs. The left apse has three high table altars and a low-standing pillar at the end. Three steps up from the left apse lead to an additional chamber. In the outer enclosing wall, the first upright stone behind the right-hand corner of the fašade is one of the largest of any temple, at about 21 ft. long and close to 20 tons in weight.

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Malta-HagarQim-3-GoddessStatues.jpg (13872 bytes)Other related ruins have been uncovered near the main temple, and two Mother Goddess statues discovered here are now in display in the national museum in Valetta.

Take some time for a meditation to connect once again with the Mother Goddess energies.

Afterwards we’ll enjoy lunch on your own with the group at the Hagar Qim Restaurant.

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Then we head down the hill to Mnajdra (mna-ee-dra), a complex site consisting of three conjoined Neolithic temples overlooking an oval forecourt. The first and oldest temple dates back to 3600-3200 BCE, while the most impressive of the temples is the third, constructed between 3150-2500 BCE. This temple is perhaps the finest surviving on the Islands. The masonry here shows intricate knowledge of building techniques and excellent workmanship. And though Mnajdra is less than a mile downhill from the Hagar Qim temple complex, the two complexes seem to have built at different times, and their relationship is not known.

Malta-Mnajdra -5.jpg (15046 bytes)The first and oldest temple (northern/eastern) is a simple three-apsed structure dating from c.3600-3200 BCE, not long after Ggantija was built. The small walls have been reconstructed but the small uprights, with their pitted decoration, are original.

The middle temple is the largest and was the last to be built, closer to 2000 BCE. It was inserted between the other two and set at a higher level, and is unusual in having a great 9 ft. high porthole slab (now broken) as its main entrance, with a second doorway beside it. To the left of the passage leading to the inner apses is an engraving of a temple facade.

The most impressive of the Mnajdra temples is the lower (southern/western) temple, with a largely
Malta-Mnajdra -9.jpg (12669 bytes) intact fašade and bench constructed sometime between 3150 and 2500 BCE. Its corbelled walls indicated the temple was roofed (as at Ggantija), and the stone slabs are decorated with intriguing spiral carvings and dotted patterns. The porthole niche to the left is especially impressive, framed in a trilithon and two strangely tapered megaliths on either side.
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In the right-hand apse of the lower temple is a porthole doorway at the top of a flight of steps giving access to an intramural chamber. An oracle hole opens from that chamber and another oracle hole in a recess communicates with the back and outside of the temple. Within the first side chamber is an altar on a double-hourglass shaped pillar.
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The lower temple is astronomically aligned. On the equinoxes the rays of the sun pass directly through the temple’s main doorway and light up the main axis. At the summer solstice, the sun lights up the edge of a megalith to the left of the doorway, connecting the first pair of chambers to the inner chambers. At the winter solstice, the same effect can be seen on the corresponding megalith on the right hand side.

 

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We'll have time for meditation to assist moving us into higher states of awareness. Malta-BlueGrotto.jpg (18257 bytes)

After our temple visits we’ll enjoy lunch on your own with the group at the Hagar Qim Restaurant.

We then head to the south of the island to the area known as Wied Iz-Zurrieq or more commonly known as the Blue Grotto. Weather permitting, we’ll have a short boat trip to the Grotto. This natural picturesque grotto and its neighboring system of caverns mirrors the brilliant phosphorescent colors of the underwater flora. From Wied iz-Zurrieq lookout point we will also see the small island of Filfla, which is uninhabited except for a unique species of lizards. .

We return to hotel later afternoon. You have free time. Dinner is on your own this evening.

Tonight is the "goddess wisdom" FULL MOON at the "witching hour" - 11:22PM. After our powerful visits to the Hypogeum and Tarxien, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra and the night before our visit to the amazing goddess island of Gozo with the extremely ancient Ggantija Temple tomorrow. The Underworld Goddess Sedna and Venus/Inanna are working together with this Moon in the skies and our Earth Goddess sites to speak to the world about powerful feminine energies for healing and peace. You won't want to miss it if you are a voice for building a peaceful, rich future for ourselves and our sons and daughters and their sons and daughters. IMPORTANT! For those who will be on this spiritual journey, Debbie will read these powerful events in your astrological chart. Once you register, SSJ will ask you to provide your birth data to Debbie so that she can do so.
Overnight Valetta. Phoenicia Hotel.

Day 6. Friday, November 7. Ggantija, Azure Window, The Citadel (B/L/D)
Malta-GgantijaTemple-Diagram.jpg (24890 bytes)We’re off for a full day on Gozo to visit more Goddess temples! Our first stop is at the Ggantija (gii-gan-tii-ya) Prehistoric Temples in Xaghra (sha-ra). The Ggantija temples are the earliest of a series of megalithic temples here. The ancient builders erected the two Ggantija temples during the Neolithic Age (c. 3600-2500 BCE), which makes these temples more than 5500 years old and some of the world's oldest humanmade religious structures. Together with other similar structures, these have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

According to local Gozitan folklore, giants built these temples and used them as places of worship. Evidence indicates there was an oracle here, as at the much-later Temple of Apollo at Delphi. A priestess prophesied while in a trance, possessed by the spirit of the goddess. Ggantija also seems to have been a place to pray for healing. In ancient times, the temples dedicated to the Mother Goddess at Ggantija drew pilgrims from across the island and even from North Africa and Sicily.

Malta-GgantijaTemple-1.jpg (31426 bytes)      Malta-GgantijaTemple-2.jpg (21222 bytes)     Malta-GgantijaTemple-3.jpg (18460 bytes)

Malta-GgantijaTemple-4.jpg (13998 bytes)          Malta-GgantijaTemple-7.jpg (18386 bytes)      Malta-GgantijaTemple-6.jpg (14054 bytes)

During our visit take time for meditation to connect to the ancient Mother Goddess energies. Malta-AzureWindow.jpg (14521 bytes)

From here we will proceed to Dwejra to see the Azure Window, Fungus Rock and the Inland Sea. The Azure Window at the end of the cliff, is a giant doorway, through which one can admire the blue expanse beyond the cliff. It must be one of the most photographed vistas of the Islands, and is particularly spectacular during the winter, when waves crash high inside the arch. The sea around is very deep and of a dark blue hue, thus giving it the name the Azure Window. The rocks in this area are encrusted with fossilized crustaceans, evidence that most of the island was once covered by water. In front of the Azure Window is the Blue Hole, and The Chimney, two of the most popular dive sites in Gozo.

Afterwards we'll have lunch with the group at a lovely restaurant in the city of Victoria.

Malta-Citadel.jpg (26185 bytes)Then we visit the medieval part of the city of Victoria – The Citadel, an historic fortified city or castle. It's on Malta's tentative list of future World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, who describe it as a small fortified town. The area is known to have been first fortified during the Bronze Age c. 1500 BCE, was later developed by the Phoenicians and continued development until, by Roman times, it had become a complex Acropolis. Up until the 18th Century it was the only fortified refuge against attack for the inhabitants of the island. The northern side of the Citadel dates back to the period of the Crown of Aragon, while the southern flank, overlooking Victoria, was re-constructed between 1599 and 1603 by the Knights of St. John. The massive defensive stone walls of the fortifications which rise above the town and were built by the Knights to protect the village communities from foraging corsairs attempting to take slaves and threatening invasion of Moslem forces fighting Christendom. In July 1551 a small Turkish force under Dragut attacked the Citadel, which succumbed with little resistance. Those taking refuge within its walls were taken as slaves and the castle reduced to ruins. Within its walls lies a fine 17th century baroque Cathedral designed by Lorenzo GafÓ, the Maltese architect who also built the Cathedral of Mdina. Some researchers say that it lies on the site where a Roman temple dedicated to Juno once stood. It is most famous for the remarkable trompe l'oeil painting on its ceiling, which depicts the interior of a dome that was never built.

In the later afternoon we return to Mgarr Harbor and board the ferryboat to return to Malta, arriving at our hotel later afternoon.

Tonight is our Farewell Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Valetta. Phoenicia Hotel.

Day 7. Saturday, November 8. Depart Malta (B)
Tour ends after breakfast.
Transfer on your own to the airport, or request a quote for a private transfer from SSJ after you register. For group participants departing within an hour of each other, we’ll work with you to schedule a transfer for several people in order to minimize the expense.

This itinerary is subject to change due to conditions beyond our control.

Post-Tour Extension on GOZO for Writer’s Retreat
November 7- 11, 2014

Our Featured Speaker Debbie Keil-Leavitt will be hosting a small group on Gozo for other writers after the main tour.
NOTE: This group is open to a maximum of 5 participants.

Day 6. Friday, November 7. Ggantija, Azure Window, The Citadel (B/L)
After your full day visit to Gozo with the group, including lunch, when they return to Malta, you will check into your accommodations.
Free time. Dinner on your own.
Overnight Gozo. Zerniq Misrah Simar Apartments.

Day 7. Saturday, November 8. Gozo
Free time for Writer’s Group
All meals on your own.
Overnight Gozo.  Zerniq Misrah Simar Apartments.

Day 8. Sunday, November 9. Gozo
Free time for Writer’s Group
All meals on your own.
Overnight Gozo.  Zerniq Misrah Simar Apartments.

Day 9. Monday, November 10. Return to Malta (D)
This morning you transfer to Mgarr Harbor and board the ferryboat to return to Malta. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel.
You have free time to rest and explore on your own before dinner with the group at the hotel.
Overnight Valetta. Phoenicia Hotel.

Day 10. Tuesday, November 11. Depart Malta (B)
Tour ends after breakfast.
Transfer on your own to the airport, or request a quote for a private transfer from SSJ after you register. For group participants departing within an hour of each other, we’ll work with you to schedule a transfer for several people in order to minimize the expense.

This itinerary is subject to change due to conditions beyond our control.

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TOUR INCLUSIONS

MAIN TOUR INCLUDES:
- 6 night’s accommodation at the Phoenicia Hotel, including taxes
- Daily Breakfast, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners
- Air-conditioned motor coach
- All entrance fees to sites listed in itinerary
- All fees related to visiting special sites which are open only by appointment
- Roundtrip ferry tickets to Gozo
- 24 hour emergency assistance by ground operator support staff
- Pre-Paid Gratuities

SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS:
- Travel in a smaller group with other like-minded spiritual seekers
- Tour Hostess/Featured Speaker/Meditation Facilitator: Debbie Keil-Leavitt
- Excellent English-speaking Tour Guide
- Private entrances for our group at the Hypogeum

NOT INCLUDED:
- Round-trip International Air to Malta (MLA)
- Cost to obtain valid passport
- Meals not included in the itinerary; drinks at meals
- Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, internet service, telephone calls. Any item that is not specifically detailed in the itinerary

Post-Tour Extension to GOZO INCLUDES:
- 3 night’s accommodation at the Zerniq Misrah Simar Apartments, including taxes
- 2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
- Roundtrip ferry tickets to Gozo
- 24 hour emergency assistance by ground operator support staff

NOT INCLUDED:
- Cleaning Fee
- Security Deposit
- Meals not included in the itinerary; drinks at meals
- Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, internet service, telephone calls. Any item that is not specifically detailed in the itinerary

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TOUR PRICING
(For a group of 14 participants)

This Sacred Sites Journey to MALTA is LAND ONLY. You are responsible to book your international flights as per instructions in the tour itinerary above.

redball.gif (144 bytes) DISCOUNT! Make ALL of your payments by check or money order and receive a 5% discount! This discount is INCLUDED in the prices below listed for this payment option.

MAIN TOUR - November 2 - 8, 2014
Per Person, double occupancy, land only:
$2,159.00 for payments via check or money order
$2,273.00 for payments via credit card

Single Room Supplement:
To Be Posted Soon -  for payments via check or money order
To Be Posted Soon -  for payments via credit card

ROOMMATES: Would you like to meet and make a new friend on your journey? If you're not traveling on the journey with anyone you know, and would like for SSJ to try to match you up with a suitable roommate, we'll be happy to try to do so.
Per our Terms and Conditions, we will hold the registration for the trip open until 30 days before the departure date (or later if possible) in order to try to match you with someone. If by that date we have not been able to do so, and there is no one to share your room, you will be responsible to pay for the single supplement. If you would like to be matched with a roommate, please register early.


Post-Tour Extension to GOZO - November 7 - 11, 2014
Per Person, double occupancy, land only:
$225.00 for payments via check or money order
$237.00 for payments via credit card

PLUS...Additional Fees to be Paid on Arrival at Gozo Apartment. These will be split by the number of people in the group.
Cleaning Fee: € 35.00
Security Deposit: € 300.00 (Refundable upon departure dependent on the condition of the apartment.)
NOTE: These fees are to be paid in Euros.

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TOUR REGISTRATION

IMPORTANT!
This Sacred Sites Journey to MALTA is being rescheduled to March 22 - 28, 2015.
The itinerary below will be updated soon.
We're working hard to keep the pricing the same as posted for the November 2014 departure.


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Questions? Email Andrea Mikana-Pinkham at info@SacredSitesJourneys.com
Or call our office at 888 501-3853 (Toll free in the US) or 928 284-2384

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