JOURNEY TO THE ANCIENT MOTHER GODDESSES OF MALTA & GOZO
April 29th – May 6th 2022
Two spots available (one shared double) as of 3/28
with Tara Cindy Sherman + Mary Bue
Journey to the beautiful Islands of Malta and Gozo to discover and connect with what some consider to be the very heart center and manifestation of the Divine feminine on earth. Explore the Goddess, Her Temples, and the significance of the prehistoric symbolism held in these ancient ruins. Older than the Pyramids, Stonehenge, Newgrange and Machu Picchu, the Maltese temples are some of the oldest temples on earth, second only to the more recently discovered site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey. Connect to the power of the stones and these ancient temple sites to “re-member”, “re-activate”, “re-calibrate”, and reverberate in reverence with the wise and wondrous ways of the Sacred Feminine.
Join Mary and Tara as they lead you on a sacred journey to explore not only the ancient mysteries of the Goddess and some of Her most potent power spots on earth, but on a personal journey to uncover hidden and multilayered aspects of the Goddess within. With a beautifully balanced schedule of outer and inner exploration we will make the most of our time to discover not only the magic of the ancient mother of Malta and Gozo, but the magic of our own inner Goddess. Through gentle movement, meditation, chanting, drumming, breathwork, ritual, yoga nidra, dreamwork, journaling and sacred sonic blessings we will endeavor into a “soul archeology” of our own while being immersed and held in the powerful vibrations that are stored in the ground and ley lines of mother Gaia.
“Malta is a small island situated midway between the Suez Canal and the Straits of Gibraltar, with Sicily and Europe in the north and Libya and Africa to the south. It covers an area of only 123 square miles or 316 kilometers. Yet, throughout history its importance was associated with its geographical position and its natural harbours.” – Francis Xavier Aloisios
In the off-peak, delightfully pleasant springtime of late April / early May, days are 68 and sunny, evenings cool around 54.
Our utmost intention for this week is rejuvenation and deep process. Everything is optional, with many opportunities built in for sacred rest and reflection. You are most welcome to opt out of any excursion or practice to sit by the pool, stare at the sea, take a walk, or choose your own adventure.
Our practices will include
- Meditation techniques
- Yoga Nidra (“Sleep of the Yogi”)
- Mantra / Chanting / Sacred Sound practices
- Low-intensity Yoga Asana (postures and flowing practices)
- Dance / Free Movement
- Dream work
- Journaling / Self-Reflection
- Ceremony / Ritual to honor the Sacred Feminine
- And much more!
Everything is optional! You can always choose to rest, join, or find another adventure within this itinerary. This schedule is subject to change. Please note that our excursions include walking (often on ancient, uneven cobblestone streets) and stairs.
Friday, April 29 ~ Arrival ~ Welcome Ceremony, Overview of the Goddess, Gentle Movement, Chanting and Yoga Nidra
Settle into your room and beautiful surroundings for the week. Enjoy a scrumptious vegan / vegetarian dinner followed by an Opening Ceremony and discussion on the Ancient Mother Goddesses with a gentle practice, yoga nidra and chanting to send you off to dreamland.
Saturday, April 30 ~ A Day of Sacred Rest ~
Enjoy fully arriving home to yourself and to the heart center of mother earth. Soak up the sun and take a dip in the pool as you listen to your body and follow your heart’s desires. We’ll have an evening practice of gentle yoga, chanting, and a discussion on the dreaming goddess of Malta in preparation of our visit to the Hypogeum the following day.
Sunday, May 1 ~ Visit the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum and Tarxien Temples ~
Lunch at Restaurant Near the Hypogeum ~ Evening Practices & Processing
The Hypogeum is a giant underground chamber where, it is believed priestesses served as oracles and practiced the ancient healing art of dream incubation, a personally empowered direct link to the divine source, or the divine knowledge of gnosis. This underground goddess temple is one of the most magnificent and powerful places in the world.
A short walk away is the Tarxien Temples dating some 3600-2500 BCE. The most complex of all temple sites in Malta consists of 4 megalithic structures renowned for the detail of their carvings, which include domestic animals carved in relief, altars and screens decorated with spiral designs and other patterns. Fertility goddess figures discovered in the ruins indicate that the temples were dedicated to the earth mother.
Monday, May 2 ~ Journey to Hagar Qim and Mnajdra ~ Lunch at Restaurant Near Hagar Qim Temple ~ Evening Practices & Processing
Mnajdra is a colossal edifice tucked away against a hillside in rugged terrain in the cliffs of Malta’s southern coast and is the most atmospheric of all of Malta’s temples. It lies on an isolated stretch of coast overlooking the island of Fifla and is just 500 meters from Hagar Qim which sits proudly and majestically on the hilltop overlooking the beautiful view of the Zurrieq coastal cliffs. Mnajdra comes from the Maltese word nadir which means “observatory” and “observation place” some believe that its main purpose was to observe the movement of certain stars. Hagar Qim is a single temple unit with a decorated pillar altar, 2 table altars and some “fat lady” statues. The “fat lady” statues are thought to represent the dimensional yantras or ley lines of the earth. The remains of one goddess statue stand outside the temple; fully reconstructed, it would stand eighteen feet in height and weigh over two thousand tons.
Tuesday, May 3 ~ Sacred Rest or Choose Your Own Adventure ~ Evening Practices and Preparation for the Island of Gozo
Tune into your body and give it what it wants with a mellow day of reflection at our home base or venture out and explore. Travel to the nearby town of Valletta (about 15-20 minutes away by bus or taxi, 1 1/2 hours by foot) to visit the National Museum and/or a shopping excursion, or charter a sailboat to enjoy the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.
Wednesday May 4 ~ Journey to the Island of Gozo to Visit Ggantija and the Calypso Caves ~ Lunch at the Ancient City of Victoria ~ Evening Practices & Processing
We’ll ferry to the island of Gozo and visit the Ggantija Temples, a megalithic temple complex on the Medditerrean Sea. Also known as the “Giants Grotto” or ‘belonging to the giants”. Legend has it that an ancient giant goddess named Sunsuna built this temple in 1 day and 1 night while nursing her child. The temples represent the forces of birth and life, death and regeneration with each one representing seasonal celebrations and initiatory rites of birth, healing and death. The interior of the larger temple is decorated with spiral and snake carvings.
Another name for Gozo is the “Isle of Calypso” from Greek mythology and the popular poem, Homer’s Odyssey. It is said that Odysseus was detained as a prisoner of love for 7 years. We’ll visit the Calypso Caves and explore the red sand beaches there before visiting the ancient city of Victoria for lunch as we take in the spectacular view.
Thursday, May 5 ~ Madliena Chapel & Mosta Dome ~ Picnic Lunch ~ Evening Celebration and Sacred Feminine Initiation Ceremony
Enjoy a ride through the long stretches of the western coastline and steep cliffs to the St.Mary Magdalene Chapel that overlooks the Dingli Cliffs. The chapel was built in 1646 on the site of an earlier one which had existed since at least the 15th century. Its simple architecture is typical of Maltese wayside chapels. This site marks the highest altitude on the Maltese Islands-250 meters above sea. We’ll spend time in meditation to align with gnosis, or inner knowing of feminine wisdom and enjoy a scenic picnic lunch.
Next we travel to Mosta Dome, a Roman Catholic parish and Minor Basilica in Mosta dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. The Mosta Dome is perhaps the most impressive church in all of Malta, with its massive rotunda that is the third largest in the world. The Mosta Dome was built in 1860. The church narrowly avoided destruction during WWII when a German aerial bomb pierced the dome and fell into the church during Mass, but failed to explode. This was considered a miracle and a replica of the bomb was placed in the church where it fell. Some believe that this site was built upon more ancient prehistoric ruins.
Friday, May 6 ~ Gentle Venus-Day Practice & Final Farewells Until Next Time…
Located right on the beach, this private villa guarantees an unforgettable stay thanks to its sensational views of the sea from the pool deck. Modern, comfortable, and open with many lounge areas and even a pool table in the basement. Easy access to the beach for luxurious morning or evening strolls.
Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and laundry available.
- Instruction on Meditation, Mantra, & Sacred Feminine with Tara & Mary
- Transport to-from the airport (at pre-arranged times)
- Lodging (variable rates based on occupancy)
- Transport on excursions
- All meals while at Villa (ala carte breakfast & dinner, some lunches – mostly plant-based / all vegetarian)
- Coffee & tea
- Admission / entrance fees
- Food/bevvies outside of the villa
- Travel insurance (Mary highly recommends AIG Travel Guard)
- Medical care
- international phone / internet fees your provider may have
- Passport or visa fees if you plan to stay longer
We will have a few arranged pick up times for your convenience both arriving and departing. We will be in close contact about your arrival and departure plans to coordinate.
Flying to Malta
The quickest way to reach Malta is by plane, from almost anywhere in Europe. Travelers coming directly from the United States need to connect to Malta from a larger European city, like Paris or Rome. Air Malta, the national airline, operates to and from all major airports in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Numerous other airlines, including British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa and Ryanair also service Malta International Airport.
Look online for the cheapest flight options that suit your itinerary at discount websites like Kayak or Expedia. Malta is part of the European Union, so passengers arriving from another EU country don’t have to go through customs and immigration. When taking a taxi, purchase a fixed-rate ticket in the airport’s Welcome Hall to ensure you don’t get overcharged.
My first introduction to the yogic path was in 1970 when at the age of 13 I read Siddartha by Hermann Hesse. The wisdom in that book made such an impression on me that I taught myself to meditate by gazing into the flame of a candle, many years later I learned that this technique is called trataka and is a valid tantric technique for meditation. Though I didn’t continue to practice for very long, being exposed to Eastern teachings at such a young age made a lasting impression on me. The inner knowing that there is more to life than the “seen” world is what drew me to, and keeps me on a yogic path, and is what I strive to bring to all of my classes.
In 1987 I returned to a regular practice of meditation and soon discovered the joy of hatha yoga. In 1993 I received my first 200 Yoga Teacher Certification at Expanding Light in Grass Valley, CA and have been teaching yoga ever since. That same year I was initiated into the tantric form of meditation known as Kriya Yoga as taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Since that time here are some of the certifications and trainings that I have taken: DansKinetics from Kirpalu Center in 1999, Atma Yoga from Christopher Baxter in 2001, Ashtanga with Doug Swenson in 2002, Yoga of the Heart Cardiac & Cancer with Nischala Devi in 2004, JAI Prenatal with Jennifer Gray in 2006, Yin yoga with Paulie Zink in 2007, Yogic Mystery School and trip to India with Russill Paul studying Nada yoga in 2008, Vini Yoga with Gary Kraftsow in 2012, and goddess philosophy and meditation with Sally Kempton at Mt. Madonna in 2014.
Over the years I’ve brought together all of my favorite teachings and experiences into what I’ve named Radiant Shakti Flow which incorporates the Hindu Goddesses, ritual, chanting, drumming yogic warms, creative movement and yoga nidra for a full experience of the sacred.
I had the great pleasure to drum for Shakti Chant Band who preformed kirtans around town for 8 years, and now play in Shakti Bhava with my dear friend Coco.
Teaching yoga has brought great blessings to my life. I taught workshops, immersions, and drop-in classes at Yoga Center of Minneapolis (YCM) from 2000-2018. I was also involved with YCM’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program and taught in the Advanced 500-hour training there. Currently, I teach at Minneapolis Yoga Training and Wellness. I feel it both an honor and blessing to help train teachers in this ancient art and science so that the full wisdom of yoga is passed on.
I am a lifelong musician, traveler, poet, journal writer, vegan, Nada Yogi, adventure seeker, retreat guide, solitude craver, and yoga instructor of 11+ years. I’m based out of Minneapolis, roaming this beautiful world as much as possible. I am grateful to be named “Best Songwriter” of 2020 by City Pages and have been writing music and performing since 1998, with 8 albums out now! I believe deeply in the richness of a creative life that is ever unfolding. One doesn’t have to play an instrument, write a novel, paint like Frida, or write like Mary Oliver to live a creative life. Every moment that unfolds offers opportunities to make something beautiful. While this may seem like a lot of pressure, rest in knowing that potential is ever unfolding, even in the silent and restorative times (like sleeping!). I look forward to sharing this beautiful & inspiring place with you in 2022. Please let me know if you have ANY questions. I am pretty much an open book (most of which can be discovered in this website or listening to my music!). Contact me via the contact link here or at marybue @ gmail.com
Our retreat is intimate and limited to 9 sacred guests.
$3,000 – Single room (limited!)
$2,500 – Shared double room (two twin beds)
$2,300 – Shared triple room (three twin beds)
$600 Deposit (non-refundable*)
Please note that preferred payment options are check, Apple Pay, or Zelle. A small fee will be added for PayPal or Venmo due to their admin charges.
Full payment is due by December 31st, 2021.
HOW TO PAY
Email Mary at marybue @gmail.com (no spaces) to claim your spot and include the following:
- Preferred room (single or double)
- Name of preferred roommate
- Agreement to pay deposit or in full within 24 hours of email confirmation
As the retreat approaches, you will receive an information packet (PDF, sent to email) with more information about Malta, getting there, what to pack, cultural etiquette, and some helpful Maltese language phrases. You’ll also receive a waiver of liability to sign, knowing that you choosing to participate in this experience at your own risk.
Full refund (minus deposit) before August 31st 2021*
50% refund (minus deposit) between Sept 1st to December 31st, 2021*
No refunds after December 31st, 2021*
*In the case of a 4th wave of the pandemic, catastrophic world events, or Malta not allowing foreign tourism in May 2022, your deposit / payments will be refunded less a small administration fee OR, if you choose, pushed forward to a determined rescheduled date.
** Foreign travel may require vaccinations for COVID-19. Please take into consideration before registering for this retreat that there will be no refunds for anyone who doesn’t get the potentially required vaccination for foreign air travel.
*** In case of extreme personal circumstances, we will consider full refunds less small administration fee on a case by case basis if your spot can be filled.