Sicily and Istanbul: a Journey into the archetypal realms of Depth Psychology, a beautiful country estate, a royal room, the Sultan's hamami and Sacred Sophia.
Photo with author/editor/Juangian historian, Sonu Shamdasani at the Art & Psyche Conference in Sicily, where both of us presented independently and I interviewed Sonu for The Archetypal Mosaic, currently on KPFK.
After having visited Monaco, Delphi, Transylvania, Ginza and a few other adored places on Earth in the past, I have wanted to visit Istanbul (old Constantinople) and Sicily (officially Italy, most southern part) for many years.
I was invited to present this year (2015) as part of the Art and Psyche conference and my flight plan led me for a night stay in Istanbul (in both directions). It worked out to be a perfect amount of days.
One of my dreams (being from St. Petersburg, where banyas are highly prized and having spent time in a Tokyo Sento), the leader of world baths is the Hammam, a Turkish variant of Roman and Moroccan baths. On my first night in Istanbul, I went to the Sultan Ayasofya Hamami situated walking distance from Hagia Sophia, arguably the world's grandest cathedral (now a museum). On my trip back, I spent time at Hagia Sophia, it's enchantment is nearly unparalleled. For those who know me, Sophia is the most precious name for my heart!
Photos and videos from the Sultan Hammam and Hagia Sophia ...
The blue photo and those below are from the Hamami...
Sicily was bountiful, warm, classy, delicious.
I stayed in a balance of sorts -- most of the trip at a family's country estate led by the charming and wonderous Francesca and two nights (during my presentation) at the Villa Politi, an aristocratic location over 150 years old. On the night of the presentation, without requesting, I was invited to stay at the Winston Churchill suite (where the president and Prince of Italy have stayed in the past).
There was one night, after giving my presentation, titled 'Intersex as a Transcendent Function' that I fell ill with a 38 degree temperature and I truly thank those close to me and particularly on the telephone, who helped me get through it in a period of 24 hours.
I met a wonderful new friend from Israel, Aya, who attended the conference.
As part of the conference, the large group visited an Ancient Greek theatre, took a boat to the island of Ortegia (which was my favorite place to spend time on the trip) as well as the Siracusa archeological museum. There a new friend, Dino (who helped restore the Malibu Getty) - showed the restoration working room. I found an ancient mosaic to represent the radio show, Archetypal Mosaic (currently on KPFK).
Francesca taught me about the correct ways to use Brava, Bravo and Bravi, (several videos down) and took me to hear her talented family play jazz on a full moon by the sea, there, the first track performed was Leonard Cohen's 'Dance Me to the End of Love' ... this synchronicity I will keep as a soul-secret, yet the meaning is pure heavenly magic.
I spent down time enjoying the Meditteranian Sea, dancing to the music of Funda Arar and practicing my presentation in the archetypally-charged room where Winston Churchill worked on his plans during WWII (separate from the suite). There I also shot a welcome video for the upcoming Live Halloween Darksoul Theatre Show (last video on this page).
Several humbling honors occurred, first I attended a presentation by, and later interviewed the incredible Jungian historian and editor of 'The Red Book', Sonu Shamdasani (video clip above).
Carl Jung's grandson (respected speaker, presenter and overseer of the estate) attend the original presentation, 'Intersex as a Transcendent Function'.
Here are some images from my presentation along with its rehearsal. I thank Paz, the artist, for his beautiful visual contribution.
Food is always a special treat and here are some of my favorite dishes from the trip (all images from Sicily except for the locum delights).
Local Artisans, specialty shops and Octopi images (which I will save for the upcoming Octopus Awards). First two photos in Sicily, last one in Istanbul.
All in all, spending time with present and new Jungian friends while attending a liminal conference, connecting with warm locals ... I am exquisitely grateful for this beyond-numinous experience.
Here are two special items which I brought home as representations of the respective locations; a blue and yellow Sicilian owl handmade by Caltagirone and a whirling dervish doll from Turkey (with the real ones following).
Bolshoe Spasibo BGT!