25 07 2007

I’ve just returned from Ibiza, and while it was not really the holiday of my dreams (!) there were certain compensations. Someone, I think, saw that I was not feeling my best and directed my attention where it could be gainfully employed. I am always complaining that my time for study and for ritual is limited, by the baby, by the job, by the endless daily grind… but, when you’re on holiday, and ostensibly free of all these things, you have no excuse.

Ibiza has a long and fruitful history as a staging post, trading venue and oasis in the midst of the Mediterranean sea. The Carthaginians in particular made use of the spectacular fecundity of the island. It grows huge amounts of fruit and vegetables, has safe harbours, abundant fishing and was one of the principal producers of salt in that area; its salt pans still are active to this day.

A book leapt at me off the shelf where we were staying – ‘Not Part of the Package’, by Paul Richardson. Ibiza is a strange island, never more so than to people who are not inured to its bizarre nature. The book discusses some of the Tanit material and also the explosion of the hippie and spiritual culture for which the island is famous.

Tanit was a goddess particular to the Carthaginians, and her bust is on the museum on the Island. She is portrayed as a stern but beautiful woman, austere, with her eyes wide and clear, curly hair arrayed about her head and the most cunning little pill-box hat on her head. She looks ready for a day at the races. There are two 90+ year olds on the island who still know where her sacred shrine may be found. The race is on to raise enough money to clear it, provide a hiking track into the site (it’s up in the hills, miles from the roads) and some basic literature and guidance notes.

As I find out more I’ll post. Holidays can be bad or good – this was neither but it gave me a distinct sense of purpose and a renewed will to organise and study, and make an effort with my Craft. So it had more than a positive impact.




2 responses

2 10 2007
Troy Leaf

Dear Green Witch,

Thank you for your enlightning post on Iibza. My best friend and I will be goping there in two weeks. I had heard about some of the ancient Carthaginian Tanit (=Astarte??) worship in the Island. There are also passing refernces to Bes.
It is not entirely clear to me from your post whether you actually found the shrine, or whether, for those willing to go off the beaten path, it is even findable. If so, I would love to make an attempt to pilgrimage there and bring some offerings. I’ll be there right around Samhain.
Is there any locating information you are able and willing to provide, or should I try and find the 90 year olds for further inquiries….

I hope to hear from you,
Blessed be

Troy Leaf in Amsterdam

2 10 2007

Bright Blessings, Troy Leaf, and welcome to the site!

The shrine, unfortunately, is very high up in the mountains, and I never had the chance to go there, well, at least not yet. It would be well worth your while to visit the market at Las Dahlias and ask around there. Someone would know. I simply didn’t have enough time on the Island to get to grips with the detective work.

I hope you have a wonderful trip. The moon is the seat of it all on the Island – try and spend time moonbathing and letting the astonishing fertility of the Island speak to you, as it clearly has to so many visitors before you.

I’d be thrilled to hear if you have any success. May the Goddess guide you.

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