Intuition and Destiny and the Call to Return Home
Have you ever felt a yearning from deep down in your soul to return home?
Yesterday I attended the Seventh Annual New York City Greek Film Festival – it was a first for me.
The film I saw, “Hello Anatolia,” was a documentary about a young Greek-American man from New York who moves to Izmir (Smyrna) Turkey to trace his ancestral roots. His ancestors, like 200,000+ other Greeks, lived in Turkey until 1923 when they were forcibly removed, many slaughtered in the process.
Prior to 1923, for the most part Greeks living in Turkey had lived side by side with the Turks and enjoyed good relations. The beautiful memories prior to the diaspora that Greeks had of the centuries their families had flourished in the Asia Minor were shared with their children and grandchildren.
Filmmaker, Chrysovalantis Stamelos, grew up hearing these stories. The stories of his grandparents lives in old Smyrna tugged on something deep in his soul and he felt pulled to “return home.” Leaving his corporate job and all that he knew he ventured to parts unknown to find his roots. In the process he married a Turkish woman and decided to stay in Turkey and has since started a family. “Hello Anatolia” chronicles his journey and immersion into the culture of his newly adopted home where he finds more similarity between the two cultures (Greek and Turkish) than disparity.
Following his intuition Stamelos was pulled home and in the process discovered his destiny: to be a bridge between two peoples with a history of difficulties.
The “pull” of home
Returning to the land of our ancestors is a strong pull for many. It had been a dream of my father’s since he had been a boy. As a first generation American he too longed to retrace the steps of his parents and return to Greece.
My father’s dream was realized when I was a teenager and he took our family took to Greece to meet our relatives and see the island of Samothrace (Samothraki) where all four of my grandparents were born. The famous statue, Nike of Samothrace also known as The Winged Victory, now in the Louvre Museum in Paris came from the island of my ancestors.
The island’s legendary family sired the Trojan race, gave form to the personification of Harmonia, and taught humans the sacred rites of the mysteria. Here, the parents of Alexander the Great first met, and two centuries later, the last Macedonian king, Perseus, held out against the Romans.
In antiquity, the fame of Samothrace emanated from its cult of the Megaloi Theoi, Great Gods, whose mysterious rites of initiation promised protection at sea and the opportunity to “become a better and more pious person in all ways.” Set in a cleft in the earth carved by a cascade of water at the base of the mountain, framed by converging streams, and facing toward the sea, the Sanctuary of the Great Gods feels spiritually integral to the deities of the earth, sky, and sea who played a fundamental role in the mysteria.
The trip left an indelible mark upon me and I made numerous trips after that on my own back to Greece and Samothrace. I loved being there surrounded by a culture that was so familiar yet different from my own as a Greek-American. I felt very much at home and found something very anchoring about rediscovering my roots. It made me feel “whole” as if I reclaimed a part of me that had been left behind in Greece in some way I cannot quite explain.
Years later I became captivated by the history of the ancient cult of the Great Gods in Samothrace. I often wonder if that is where my fascination with spirituality and metaphysics came from. The site of the mystery cult in Samothrace has been under excavation for years and years but yet, very little is really known about it.
The roots of intuition
I grew up reading Greek mythology. I particularly loved stories about the Oracle of Delphi. The oracle was always a woman. She sat above a chasm that emitted vapors that put her into an altered state. Once in this state she was able to divine the future. People traveled from all over the ancient world to learn their fate from the oracle.
When I was growing up, before I ever heard the world “clairvoyance” or “out of body experience” just before I fell asleep each night images flooded my mind of a magnificent mountainous landscape. I would soar like a bird over these peaks. I remember feeling as if I belonged there. It is still a vivid memory. But, it was not until I made the journey through the mountains and visited Delphi that I realized this was the landscape I had been seeing all those years.
At the time of my first trip to Greece and Delphi I was fourteen and had been doing readings for just a few years. I recall feeling very connected to to the area; as if being there was something important I should etch into my memory, for what reason I wasn’t clear about at the time.
As I look back on it now I believe the strong connection I felt was my soul’s pull toward developing my then budding intuition.
Your soul “knows” your path
There is a “pull” in each an every one of us. And, this pull is there to lead you in the direction you were meant to go in your life – your destiny. This is the pull of your soul speaking to you through your intuition. When you “feel” a strong pull to do something, especially when there is no rational reason, this is your intuition.
Intuition, in philosophy, [is a] way of knowing directly; immediate apprehension. The Greeks understood intuition to be the grasp of universal principles by the intelligence (nous), as distinguished from the fleeting impressions of the senses. The distinction used by the Greeks implied the superiority of intellectual intuitions over information received by the senses