My several over-the-pole flights had discombobulated my energy and I was flat out on the couch in my lovely Gilo cottage when my husband announced we were flying to Istanbul the next morning. Oy Vay! Come what may I had to pull myself together and prepare for a two week adventure through Turkey, our last Middle East adventure.
We arrived at ten the following morning to a country that lies in Western Asia and Europe; the Dardanelles, Sea of Marmora and the Bosphorus separating it from Europe. Turkey is said to be a democratic country and part of the Council of Europe.
As I prepare to write a book on sacred sites of Goddess in Turkey and consider leading another tour to Anatolia, my mind returned to our last trip to a rural and out of the way place there called Pessinus. Pessinus was sacred in ancient times as a center dedicated to Cybele, though her temple remains hidden beneath the sands of time and as yet undiscovered by contemporary archaeologists.
This might all sound trivial, but I remember feelings of sacredness in Pessinus presenting itself in surprising ways. Although we didn't find Cybele's temple, I believe I "felt" her there. It seemed her essence was in the people and the energy of the place, still today. Burned into my memory were the kids playing with their cows, adorning their heads with costume jewelry, walking them down the main road, not much more than a mud pathway. It was obvious this was just a daily occurrence, this joyous and playful relationship to their cows. For a city girl, it was revealing also seeing the cows responding to them. Like they were pets But what hit me like a ton of bricks was this old crone, sitting in a doorway. She was dressed in what we Westerners would call a costume, though I suspect it might have been her native dress. She wasn’t there selling anything or trying to make herself visible in any fashion. There was something about her gaze. It grabbed me and seemed to follow me. Even though it was years ago, it feels like it was yesterday. Don't laugh, but if felt as if she was a conduit to Goddess, or Goddess in human form overseeing our pilgrimage. I had this sense that our visit was not going unnoticed.