The land that is the modern republic of Turkey has been home to many important cultures and peoples. On this pilgrimage we wanted to visit some sacred sites of worship, sites pivotal to the life of San Cipriano, patron saint of Peruvian healers, and some settlements dedicated to the sacred feminine and we wanted to visit family and have some fun.
We spent a few days in Istanbul sightseeing and visiting with family.
Aya Sofya (Saint Sofia) church/mosque/museum in Istanbul
Mary and Jesus - mosaic at Aya Sofya Archangel Gabriel - mosaic at Aya Sofya
Then it was off to southeast Turkey to explore and do ceremony at Göbekli Tepe. This archeological site was featured in National Geographic’s June 2011 magazine as the world’s oldest place of worship.
(see the National Geographic article link below)
We stayed the night in the colorful town of Gaziantep and savoured wonderful food and warm hospitality.
In Antakya (ancient Antioch ad Orontes) we visited the water temple of Daphne, the cave church where Saint Peter preached in 37 CE (pictured),
and the Bishopric of San Cipriano, patron saint of Peruvian healers.
In Nevşehir we stayed at a cave hotel and visited the cave churches and settlements of Cappadocia and the underground city of Derinkuyu.
We watched the sun rise with the balloons over Cappadocia,
spent hours exploring the Cave Churches in Göreme,
and the hot late afternoon in the cool underground city of Derinkuyu in Nevşehir.
We visited Rumi’s tomb in Konya, Çatalhöyük - seat of ancient Earth Goddess culture, and stayed the night at lovely lake Egirdir.
In Antioch ad Psidia near present day Yalvaç we did ceremony at the ruins of the Church of St. Paul near the birth place of San Cipriano.
We spent a relaxing weekend in the Mediterranean seaside town of Antalya, swimming and exploring.
Next stop on our pilgrimage was the last home of the Virgin Mary near the Aegean resort town of Kuşadasi.
After meditation and ceremony we drank holy water from the spring.
We passed the next day wandering the streets of Ephesus, the last city-state dedicated to the Goddess Artemis.
We spent an afternoon at the Oracle Temple of Apollo in Didmya near present day Didim.
We visited the archaeological site of the Roman Senate in Nicaea (present day Iznik, near Istanbul) to pay tribute to San Cipriano at the place of his martydom and to do ceremony for all who perished there for their spiritual beliefs.
Too soon we were back in Istanbul, saying our good-byes to family and friends