Traces of the Quest in Prehistoric Iberia
Leonard George, Ph.D.
The Esoteric Quest began in Iberia long before the arrival of the first modern humans. Nearly a half-million years ago, bodies of 30 Homo Heidelbergensis were dropped into the Pit of Bones in northern Spain – the oldest sign in the world of an interest in the underworld. Sites like the Côa Valley in Portugal feature vast fields of petroglyphs, and Iberia has seen waves of megalith-building starting with the dolmens of southern Portugal. We also find stone circles and beehive tombs, and later mysterious massive sculptures of animals in granite. And before Rome’s conquest of the region, Phoenician, Celtic and Greek contacts gave rise to hybrid cultures and spiritualities.
Saudade and Fado:
The Spirit/Breath of Portugal in Pursuit of the Beyond
Paulo Borges, Ph.D.
Saudade is the way the Portuguese soul resonates with the longing for Infinity, and Fado expresses the feeling of the tragedy of an existence lived in the illusion of separation. Saudade pre-exists in the names of what we were before history, and suggests the Finisterrean rapture, at the “end of the world”, towards the Ocean, – the image of the limitless – of what exists beyond opposites: it is the realm of Oestrymnis, the Extreme West, also known as Ophyussae, the Land of Serpents, and Lusitania, the land of Lusus, son of Dionysus and god of liberation. Fado, first danced and then sung, is the catharsis of the passions tying the soul in space and time. If it seems to feed and exacerbate them, it is to go into the depths of their suffering and take whomever sings and listens to it into a rebirth from the living-death of conventional life. In this way, Fado/Saudade is the spirit/breath of Portugal in its pursuit of the beyond.
The Knights Templar:
Reality and Legend
Christopher McIntosh, D.Phil.
The name of the Knights Templar carries a powerful resonance. After they were violently dissolved in the early 14th century, their legend lived on and many intriguing questions about them remained. What were the strange, heretical rites that they were said to have practiced? What was the fabled Templar treasure? How did they manage to survive in certain places, such as Scotland, and most notably Portugal, where they re-emerged as the Knights of Christ? Equally fascinating is the growth of the Templar myth and the way in which it has spawned numerous chivalric and esoteric orders invoking the Templar name. In this illustrated talk, we will examine the actual history of Templars, including the Portuguese connection, their enduring mystique, and some of the exotic fruits that it has borne.
the harmony of the stars:
Music on the Pilgrim’s Road to Compostela
Marjorie Roth, DMA, Ph.D.
Pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James at Compostela (the Field of Stars), known as the Camino or The Way of St. James, represents one of the oldest opportunities for an individual to pursue personal transformation in Western culture. For over 1,000 years people have undertaken this arduous journey, risking much, physically and materially, in hope of attaining inner peace and harmony. Music has always been part of this quest. We will sample the music and the miracles of the Camino from the earliest chants contained in the medieval Codex Calixtinus to the 21st century.
For more information, please contact Andrea Lomanto at email@example.com
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