Join us on a Quest for the mysteries and the philosophy of antiquity on the fabled island of Samothrace (Samothraki) far off the beaten track in the northern Aegean Sea.
Our world today longs for wisdom, and where better to search for its spiritual roots in the West than ancient Greece? For a thousand years, the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace was one of the most famous mystery centers of the ancient world, rivaling Delphi in stature and high regard. From throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, figures as varied as Philip II, father of Alexander, Herodotus, the Egyptian Ptolemies and the Emperor Hadrian came to receive initiation into the cosmic secrets of the Samothracian Kabiri, and returned to their homes wiser and nobler.
What was the nature of the spiritual experience in the ancient mysteries, and how did it pave the way for so much that followed in the deeper streams of Western wisdom? How was this experience transformed into philosophy, sacred number and geometry by the work of Pythagoras, Plato and other great figures? How did this profoundly esoteric and logical worldview influence sacred architecture and art? And how are the mysteries revealed in phenomena like The Golden Section, the ubiquitous and beautiful ratio that appears in so many dimensions of life from the microcosm to the macrocosm?
International scholars, writers and artists will gather on Samothrace for the seventh in the Open Center’s series of conferences on the Western Esoteric Tradition. This time we will focus our attention on the roots of the tradition, including the great works of classical wisdom whose translation by Marsilio Ficino in Florence sparked the esoteric philosophy of the Renaissance.
The conference will be followed by two optional journeys. One will go to Istanbul, where we will explore Byzantium and continue themes from last year’s quest in Andalusia with some of Turkey’s most knowledgeable Sufi scholars. The other will take us to Eleusis, Delphi, Epidaurus and other evocative mystery centers of mainland Greece, where we can deepen our understanding of the rites and spirituality of antiquity. Participants in both journeys have the option of concluding the Quest at the ancient sites of Ephesus and Didyma on the beautiful Ionian coast of Anatolia.
The map below indicates the major mystery centers that circled The Aegean. The color of each denotes the deity honored at each mystery center. The centrality of The Mysteries of Samothrace is clearly evident.
The New York Open Center would like to thank the Greek National Tourism Organization for their support.