SacredSitesJourneys-Logo-Sm.jpg (15505 bytes)SACRED SITES JOURNEYS
Since 1994 ...Spiritual Pilgrimages
to the world's most important Sacred Sites
to enliven your Body, Mind and Spirit




MALTA

Malta-Montage.jpg (38239 bytes)

Spiritual Pilgrimage to Sacred Temples
of the Mother Goddess
October 12 - 19, 2019



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Announcing our 2019 Sacred Sites Journeys
Spiritual Pilgrimage to MALTA!

Our group is beginning to fill for this very unique spiritual journey.
Though it's a year away, if you're interested in joining us,
we encourage you to reserve your place now in order
to avoid disappointment, as participation is limited. Details below...

Check out this page on our website for important information about
why it's important to register early: When To Register

After reading the information below, if you'd like to join us, HERE'S HOW:
If you've traveled with us before during the last three years,
please email Andrea Mikana-Pinkham at info@SacredSitesJourneys.com
to request a Registration Form.

If you haven't traveled with us before,
or it's been more than three years since you've done so,
(Life does change very rapidly these days!),
in order that we will be better able to support you on this Sacred Sites Journey to MALTA,
we ask that you fill out and return an Application Form.
To request this, email Andrea Mikana-Pinkham at info@SacredSitesJourneys.com

Once your participation is assured, you will be provided with
a
Registration Form and our Terms and Conditions.
At that time you will be required to submit a deposit of $450.00 to reserve your place.

Final payment will be due 60 days before the journey begins, on August 13, 2019.

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MALTA - GENERAL INFORMATION & HISTORY

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Sacred Temples of Malta

General Information
In the inset on the above map, the star indicates the location of the Malta in the Mediterranean,
60 miles south of Sicily, the "boot" of Italy.
In case you've not heard of Malta, as many people haven't, here's some information about it.

Malta is the largest of the three major islands that constitute the Maltese archipelago, and is 95 square miles.
It's located east of its sister islands of Gozo and Comino.

In October average temperatures is around 77 °F during the day and 64 °F at night.
Lovely weather!
Malta is one of the few places in Europe which is "green" all year round.

Native Maltese people make up the majority of the island.
However, there are minorities, the largest of which are British, many of whom have retired to Malta.
Thus English is spoken almost everywhere.

History
Humans have inhabited Malta since about 5200 BCE, when stone age hunters or farmers arrived from Sicily.
Early Neolithic settlements were discovered in open areas and also in caves, such as Ghar Dalam.
Around 3500 BCE, a culture of megalithic temple builders then either supplanted or arose.
They built some of the oldest existing, free-standing structures in the world in the form of megalithic temples,
such as those at Hagar Qi and Mnajdra.
After 2500 BCE, Malta was depopulated but soon became the home of Bronze Age settlers.
They built first fortifications in Malta.

Being an island and thus a natural crossroads in the sea, Malta was later ruled by the Phoenicians,
Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs before it was occupied by the County of Sicily in 1091.
It then became part of the Kingdom of Sicily until it was given to the Order of Saint John,
also known as the Knights of Malta, in 1530, along with Gozo and Tripoli.
The Order ruled Malta for over 250 years and built many great pieces of architecture, including the capital city Valletta.
In 1565, The Order and the Maltese withstood a major Ottoman invasion.
In 1798 the French under Napoleon occupied Malta and ruled for a couple of months until the Maltese rebelled.
In 1800, the British took control over Malta and it initially became a British protectorate, and a colony two years later.
The British ruled for about 150 years.
Malta became independent in 1964.
In 1974 the State of Malta became the Republic of Malta.
Malta joined the European Union in 2004 and adopted the Euro in 2008.


Esoteric History

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Legend has it that thousands of years ago very tall lovers of the Goddess
with elongated skulls known as the Serpent People
built megalithic temples on the summit of a ridge of towering mountains that united Africa to Europe.
This ridge was eventually swallowed up when the immense wall of water that sunk Atlantis
poured through the Pillars of Hercules and then created the Mediterranean Sea.
The only temples to survive were those built upon the highest peaks, which then became islands.
One of those peaks and its associated Goddess temples survives today as the Island of Malta.

The Serpent People who built the temples of Malta designed them to
reflect the body of their beloved Mother Goddess.
They covered them in Goddess spirals and then set “Fat Lady” images of Her inside for worship.
Their temples were calendars in stone, perfectly aligned with many solar and stellar positions,
as well as chambers for initiation into the Goddess Mysteries.


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TOUR DESCRIPTION

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Join Featured Guest Speaker Artist Connie Rodriguez PhD,
Featured Speaker Author Mark Amaru Pinkham and SSJs Director Andrea Mikana-Pinkham,
and our group of like-minded spiritual seekers

to 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!

Learn about the ancient esoteric history of Malta, from Mark Amaru,
author of the classic The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom and six other books
about this subject which attest to his passion and unending research
about the ancient history of our planet.

Participate in
meditations facilitated by Andrea 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!

OPTIONAL SPECIAL OFFERINGS!
Join Connie for meditations to travel into the past where you may find yourself
experiencing another time, another era.
After this inner journey, you will have also have the opportunity to
sketch with pastels and journal about the images from your experience.
She will support you during this time of solitude to bring your experience into consciousness.
The process will conclude with group
sharing of the lives, images or experience
that was elicited while journeying inward.


OTHER SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS

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PRIVATE ENTRANCE for our group at the Hypogeum,
one of the greatest remaining structures from prehistory on our planet today!

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!



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TOUR PERSONNEL


Connie Rodriguez, PhD
Doctorate in Depth Psychology, Retired Jungian Psychotherapist and Artist

Connie Rodriguez, PhD has a doctorate in Depth Psychology where she studied Jungian dreams, myths and archetypes. A psychotherapist for over 35 years, she conducted hundreds of Past Life Regressions and as founder and teacher of The Sacred Journey Mystery School, Connie has led many groups in dreams and deep inner processes. She has authored 2 books: Sacred Portals and Gifts of the Soul. She also led pilgrimages all over the world to sacred sites including Egypt and Machu Picchu in tandem with Andrea Pinkham and Sacred Site Journeys.

Now Retired from psychotherapy, Connie loves painting as a full time artist. He work has been featured in local and international magazines. As a contemporary artist, her art is layered with images, symbols and often is inspired by dreams and nature. She exhibits and sells her work in several Northern Ca. Galleries.


From Connie:
I'm thrilled to be once again teaming up with Andrea, this time to journey to the sacred goddess sites on Malta. Like true initiations, sacred pilgrimages are life altering experiences that bring you to an awareness at deeper levels of your self that which you couldn't know otherwise. The mystery of answering to the call of a place automatically elicits synchronicity, magic and awe. I hope you will join us to connect with the mysteries of this place of the feminine, the Goddess, as she has been known for thousands of years.”

 

Mark Amaru Pinkham
Author, Shamanic Practitioner, Researcher/Teacher of the Goddess Tradition
& Ancient Megalithic History and Director of The Order & Mystery School of the Seven Rays
.

M
ark Amaru was the Featured Speaker on our first Sacred Sites Journey to MALTA in 2013.
With Andrea, he has been leading spiritual pilgrimages around the world since 1994.

He is the author of the classic The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom,
and six other books about the ancient history of our planet,
attesting to his passion and unending research about this subject.
During this spiritual journey he will share his research with the group
in a formal presentation " The Ancient History of Malta",
as well as informally as we visit the sacred sites and temples.

Mark is a longtime avid researcher, supporter and practitioner of the Goddess Path.
He is also a trained Shamanic Practitioner and Founder/Director of
The Order and Mystery School of the Seven Rays.


From Mark Amaru:
My life has been devoted to traveling to those places around the globe whose past history
and purpose have become ongoing enigmas. Malta is one of those places. Phoenician sailors arrived there
around 800 BCE and found the island covered with abandoned rock temples in the shape of the universal Goddess. Within these megalithic enclosures they discovered elongated skulls and astronomical alignments
that perfectly predicted the annual positions of the Sun, Moon, and the Pleiades. But that was all.
The mystery of who built these enigmatic structures was never solved by the Phoenicians, nor has it been since.
Join us in October 2019 as we attempt to finally unlock the secret mysteries of Malta
through scientific examination and intuitive revelation. I believe that the time of KNOWING is upon us!
For more information about Mark Amaru, Click here


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Andrea Mikana-Pinkham
Shamanic Practitioner and Researcher/Teacher of the Goddess Tradition
and Ancient Megalithic History & Director of Sacred Sites Journeys


Andrea has led our groups to Malta in the past and is now returning to support YOU! All are welcome

Andrea has been leading spiritual pilgrimages around the world since 1994. She is a longtime avid practitioner of the Goddess Path. During this spiritual journey she will assist you to connect with the powerful energies of the Goddess at Her sacred sites and temples.

Andrea is a trained Shamanic Practitioner, a Priestess of Sophia in The Sisterhood of Sophia, a branch of The Order and Mystery School of the Seven Rays.

An Invitation from Andrea: I invite you to join our diverse group of spiritual seekers on this awesome spiritual pilgrimage in Malta. I've designed our exceptional itinerary in order to give you the optimum experience at the ancient sites of the Mother Goddess that we’ll explore and experience. I will support you to connect with Her timeless Wisdom, as well as Her energies of love, compassion and nurturing. As we explore the historical aspects of these sites you'll gain an insight into how Her influence has continued to flow in these important areas throughout time, influencing "Her-story" and thus our culture and civilization of today. You will experience that the Goddess is still Alive, without and within! I'll be honored to be with you to help facilitate your sacred travel experience and to support you to have the transformation you seek. Blessings to you!

For more information about Andrea, Click here

 

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

Day 1. Saturday, October 12. Arrive Malta. Group Meeting & Welcome Dinner (D)
Arrive in Malta today 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.

After clearing Immigration and Customs look for SSJ’s local tour representative in the Arrivals Hall with a sign with your name on it. He will assist you to transfer to the hotel. Check in and rest a bit before our evening meeting and dinner.

5:30PM –Group Introductory Meeting & Presentations by Mark Amaru Pinkham, Andrea Mikana-Pinkham and Connie Rodriguez, PhD

7:0OPM - Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Valetta. The Grand Hotel Excelsior. http://www.excelsior.com.mt

Day 2. Sunday, October 13. Cart Ruts, National Museum of Archaeology, Free Time (B)Malta-CartRuts-3.jpg (15371 bytes)
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Buffet Breakfast at your leisure. Begins at 6:00AM

9:00AM – Be in the lobby ready to depart

9:15AM – 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.

Optional Box Lunch.

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 Għar 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)
This room exhibits artifacts from the early Neolithic Period, including decorated pottery from the Għar Dalam, Grey Skorba, Red Skorba and Żebbuġ 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 Mġarr, Ġgantija, 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.
The Grand Hotel Excelsior.

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Map of Megalithic Mother Goddess Sites on Malta and Gozo

Day 3. Monday, October 14. Mgarr: Skorba and Ta Hagrat Temples; Mdina (B)
Buffet Breakfast at your leisure. Begins at 6:00AM

8:30AM – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart
8:45AM – Depart the hotel. 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.

Our first stop is at the Skorba temples, megalithic remains on the northern edge of Zebbieg which have provided detailed and informative
Malta-Skorba-2.jpg (31447 bytes) 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 (one of them 3.4m high), 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 Ġgantija phase. Unfortunately, the greater part of the first two apses and the whole of the façade 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 Għar Dalam phase, including charcoal, which carbon analysis dated to 4850 BCE.

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

Next we visit the Ta Hagrat temples, of which the larger temple dates from the Ġgantija phase (3600–3200 BCE); the smaller is dated to the Saflieni phase (3300–3000 BCE).

Malta-TaHagrat-2.jpg (21290 bytes)Major Temple: The Ġgantija phase temple is typically trefoil, with a concave façade opening onto a spacious semicircular forecourt. The façade 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.

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.

Malta-TaHagrat-4.jpg (18583 bytes)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.

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

Optional Box Lunch. We’ll take time to share with each other about our experiences at the Goddess temples this morning.


After lunch we’re off to visit the village of Mdina, the old capital of Malta. Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the center of
Malta-Mdina-ArielView.jpg (24215 bytes) 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 the traditional site of the house of the governor Publius, who received St. Paul when he was shipwrecked on Malta.
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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 the hotel later afternoon. You have free time tonight and dinner is on your own.

Overnight Valetta. The Grand Hotel Excelsior.

Day 4. Tuesday, October 15. Tarxien Temples and Private Entrance(s) at the Hypogeum; Optional Art Process with Connie Rodriguez; Dinner at Ta' Marija Maltese Restaurant (B/D)
Buffet Breakfast at your leisure. Begins at 6:00AM
9:00AM – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart.

Malta-TarxienTemple-ArielView.jpg (35979 bytes)9:15AM – Depart the hotel 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 in 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.

We’ll take time to meditate among the ancient stones and temples.

Malta-Hypogeum-5.jpg (21670 bytes)Then we’re off to the Hypogeum for our PRIVATE ENTRANCE. 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 (right) 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. Some researchers believe they represent humans involved in dream incubation.

Afterwards we return to the hotel. You have free time for lunch on your own. And time to explore more of the area!

4:00PM – Optional Meditation/ Journey Back in Time, a journaling and art process with Connie Rodriguez in the hotel conference room. Connie will lead us in a meditation to travel into the past where you may find yourself experiencing another time, another era. After this inner journey, you will have the opportunity to sketch with pastels and journal both the images from your experience. She will provide you with paper to use for this time of solitude to bring your experience into consciousness. You may also wish to bring your journal and a small kit of pastel chalk for this part of the day. We will conclude the afternoon with group sharing of the lives, images or experience that emerged while journeying inward.

Malta-TaMarijaRestaurant.jpg (23572 bytes)TBA – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart.

TBA – Depart for 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. The Grand Hotel Excelsior.



D
ay 5. Wednesday, October 16. Hagar Qi / Mnajdra Temples and Blue Grotto (B)

Buffet Breakfast at your leisure. Begins at 6:00AM

9:00AM – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart
9:15AM – Depart the hotel to the temple of Malta-HagarQim-5.jpg (25293 bytes)After breakfast we head to the Hagar Qi (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 Malta-HagarQim-9.jpg (12589 bytes)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 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 façade 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.


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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 Qi 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 façade 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.

Optional Box Lunch. Another time for sharing our morning’s experiences.Malta-BlueGrotto.jpg (18257 bytes)

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.
Overnight Valetta. The Grand Hotel Excelsior.


Day 6. Thursday, October 17. Gozo: Ggantija, The Citadel; Dream Process with Connie Rodriguez (B)

Buffet Breakfast at your leisure. Begins at 6:00AM  

8:00AM – Be in the hotel lobby ready to depart.
8:15AM – Depart the hotel for the ferry terminal. We take the ferry 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 Malta-GgantijaTemple-Diagram.jpg (24890 bytes)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.

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During our visit take time for meditation to connect to the ancient Mother Goddess energies.

Optional Box Lunch. Another time for sharing our morning’s experiences.

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 Gafà, 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 board the ferryboat to return to Malta and our hotel, arriving in the later afternoon.

Dinner is on your own.

7:30PM - Optional Dream process and sharing in group with Connie Rodriguez in the hotel conference room. We'll focus specifically on those dreams that have been elicited while on the island. Keep a journal of your dreams as Dream Psyche may be active during this pilgrimage.

Overnight Valetta. The Grand Hotel Excelsior.

Day 7. Friday, October 18. Free Day; Farewell Dinner (D)
Buffet Breakfast at your leisure. Begins at 6:00AM

You have free time this morning and early afternoon to explore more of Malta on your own.

7:30PM – We’ll gather at the hotel restaurant for our Farewell Dinner. On our last evening here we share our fond memories of our time in this ancient megalithic Goddess land. Hopefully we’ve had many of our questions answered as to who built these unique and amazing structures. And surely we will carry the energies of the Great Mother Goddess home with us, to light our way always!
Overnight Valetta. The Grand Hotel Excelsior
.

Day 8. Saturday, October 19. Depart Malta (B)
Buffet Breakfast at your leisure. Begins at 6:00AM
Tour ends after breakfast.
Check out of the hotel and depart to the airport to check in for your international flight.

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

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TOUR INCLUSIONS

MAIN TOUR INCLUDES:
- 7 night’s accommodation at the 4-star boutique hotel, including taxes
- Daily Breakfast, 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
- Round-trip 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
- Escorted by SSJs Director Andrea Mikana-Pinkham, Featured Speaker
- Featured Speaker Author Mark Amaru Pinkham
- Special Featured Guest Speaker & Artist Connie Rodriguez PhD
- Excellent English-speaking Tour Guide
- Private entrances for our group at the Hypogeum

NOT INCLUDED:
- Round-trip International Air to Malta (MLA)
- Optional box lunches
- 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

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TOUR PRICING
All pricing listed is in U.S. Dollars.

This Sacred Sites Journey to MALTA is LAND ONLY. You are responsible to book your round-trip flights as per instructions in Day 1 of the tour itinerary posted above.

Spiritual Pilgrimage to Sacred Temples of the Mother Goddess, October 12 - 19, 2019
Land Only: Per Person, double occupancy
$2,399.00 - via check, money order or bank wire
$2,525.00 - via credit card payment at PayPal.com

Single Room Supplement:
$699.00 - via check, money order or bank wire
$736.00 - via credit card payment at PayPal.com

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.

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TOUR REGISTRATION

After reading the information above, if you'd like to join us,
HERE'S HOW:
If you've traveled with us before during the last three years,
please email Andrea Mikana-Pinkham at info@SacredSitesJourneys.com
to request a Registration Form.

If you haven't traveled with us before,
or it's been more than three years since you've done so,
(Life does change very rapidly these days!),
in order that we will be better able to support you on this Sacred Sites Journey to MALTA,
we ask that you fill out and return an Application Form.
To request this, email Andrea Mikana-Pinkham at info@SacredSitesJourneys.com

Once your participation is assured, you will be provided with
a
Registration Form and our Terms and Conditions.
At that time you will be required to submit a deposit of $450.00 to reserve your place.

Final payment will be due 60 days before the journey begins, on August 13, 2019.

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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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!
Sacred Sites Journeys are smoke-free sacred travel experiences.
All forms of tobacco, as well as e-cigarettes are not allowed at any time.
Thanks for your cooperation.

 
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