When I am tired of the world


  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Woman in Ikaria

(cropped from source)


You know, the last thing Ikaria is known for is church life and monasticism. The people are very religious in a natural, casual way, indifferent of formalities, nevertheless always showing a sincere and full respect of higher forces which control our destinies. Whether one believes in the salvation of the soul or not, religion provides consolation because, salvation taken apart, it does speak about the soul while economics do not. And believing in the soul, the existence of a soul, whether this soul is immortal or not, is something very important in the life of the island. Religion also provides occasions for celebration and community gatherings. It also offers an explanation for natural things as well as for «luck» : God’s will. And natural things and lucky or unlucky circumstances are also important elements in the consistence of Ikarian life. To cut this short, we have churches – a lot of big and small churches. They are, so to speak, our guardians, houses of God, houses of the spirit (soul) of the community: «be good and be good to each other» (be good to God).

Out of the world : Ikaria

But what about monasteries? Thereupon we are a failure. Although there are a few monasteries, there is no monastic tradition in Ikaria, at least none as strong as in some other islands. In my opinion, besides our natural dislike for discipline and formalities, the most important reason is that the island is poor and cannot sustain monastic communities. The rocky soil produces hardly enough for the population so the Ikarians, even though devout believers, could not afford, so to speak again, professionals in prayer,  experts in salvation. Like everything else in Ikaria, the tending of the soul had to be done by the poeple themselves with the occasional help of an educated priest or solitary monk.

Mt Atheras, south side

Yet, there are exeptions. If monasteries didn’t thrive, small hermitages were abundant in the slopes of Mt Atheras. But let’s not think that these retreats were inhabited by anchorites who pursued unification with God like in Mt Athos or Sinai. Though little is known about the lives of these people, it’s obvious to me that they were more or less ordinary men and women who either by some misfortune or simply because of taste, discarded the joys of the marital bed and the comforts of village and family life. They walked away from the world, seeking solitude, entrusting their fate to their labouring hands, to good God and to Mother nature. I am all respect for them. It’s hard to believe that in am island as virgin and wild as Ikaria and in a time when most settlements were of the kind of «lost villages» (see, entry),  there were people who sought even more solitude and peace! Out-of-the-worldness must be some sort of second nature to us. The outer the better, the further the better, the remotest and most inaccessible is the best, ask my friend Nana & co about it!


My illustrated comment in Nana's blog entry : Cozied UP

Anyway, this entry was not meant to be a dissertation of the religious ethics of the Aegean. I have come to Ikaria for the winter and recently my friends, the explorers of OPS Ikarias, in the course of a project to create a long-distance trail from one side of the island to the other, have been in love with a wild area under the tops of Mt Atheras where according to local legends various groups of monks lived in different periods of time from the 15th century to the 1800s. I saw the photos and I found these landscapes absolutely enthralling.


the cliffs under the plateau
view from the trail
South side: Rocks and land erosion two mt tops 1033 alt Big Boulder Hammer Hammer 2


General view of 3/4 of the island Agios Theologos high piles tree  through the cliffs to the river waterfalls

What made men and women walk out of the world and settle in places like this? What kind of experiences were they after? Were they looking for God? Did they want be gods themselves? Was it because of a practical reason such as piracy, oppression, social disorder and percecutions? Or is it something inherent to the human nature? Escapism? Some people just drop everything and go?.. Is that it? 🙄

tree under the wind rock formations 2 dining room of the monks  view to the sea looking back at the heights   General view landscape Cliffs of Ryakas the entrance to the canyon
passage 4 the passage 2 rock formations 2 rock formations 5 Rocks in Erifi Afternoon on Erifi mt plateau

I have always been too committed to everything I do and to everybody I love to even think about escaping. But as I am growing older, sometimes I am tired of the world and this makes me wonder. Until I sort this out, you take a good look at those rocky wildernesses. Take a good look at those vast views to the mountains above, the sea straight ahead and the skies all over. I am inviting you to find your answer.

  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  




The Two Sides

Panigiria :: Kirchweihfeste in Griechenland Maison Ikaria 01


Dear readers, hoping that you are familiar with my idea of presenting selected material about Ikaria loaded on the internet by bloggers, photographers and writers, I am proudly presenting to you today in an interesting collation the works of two women photographers, Kerstin Hehmann from Germany and Isabelle Gressier from France. Unlike Zdeněk Senkyrik from my previous entry, whose photos are carefully set with an emphasis on landscapes, Kerstin and Isabelle come with ‘snapshots‘, the one of happy people who dance in various summer festivals and the other of silent buildings, isolated or deserted houses in wintry landscapes. It was my fancy to put Kerstin and Isabelle’s very dissimilar photos side by side in this entry. I wanted to make a point and I am very satisfied of the result. I hope that you too, my dear readers, after a little bit of thought, will be able to see the connection.

Panigiri Gialiskari 02 Maison Ikaria 02

raches 04 Maison Ikaria 03

Raches 07 Maison Ikaria 04


Raches 08 Maison Ikaria 05

Piperi Ikaria 01 Maison Ikaria 06

Tsifteteli 11 Maison Ikaria 07


Langada 17 Maison Ikaria 08

Langada 20 Maison Ikaria 09

Langada 21 Maison Ikaria 10


Langada 24 Maison Ikaria 11

Langada 25 Maison Ikaria 12

Langada 26 Maison Ikaria 13


Agios Dimitrios 06 Maison Ikaria 14

Raches 09 Maison Ikaria 15

Raches 12 Maison Ikaria 16


Langada 27 Maison Ikaria 17

Raches 03 Maison Ikaria 18

Ladies 05 Maison Ikaria 19


Dear readers, you haven’t grasped the connection yet? Here’s another dozen of collated shots 😳

Raches 15 Maison Ikaria 22

Langada 18 Maison Ikaria 23

Langada 22 Maison Ikaria 24


Sitting lady Maison Ikaria 26

Gialiskari 06 Maison Ikaria 27

Langada 29 Maison Ikaria 28


Does this picture by Kerstin of a valley lost in the mountains which doesn’t see a living soul for months and suddenly it’s stuffed with cars and people for no apparent reason, help you understand? I suppose not 😳

Langada 01

Dear readers, this is stuff to talk about for hours and maybe also make a book of. It’s our beloved ikarian enigma and I won’t bother you with it anymore.  But before I let off, allow me to suggest to you to read the following parts of an interview by Nikos Dayandas, the maker of  «Little Land», about his experiences in Ikaria. Our friend Elina found it, chose the best parts and added them in a comment under my entry about this great documentary. Here they are translated in English. This interview does not solve the riddle of «The Two Sides», yet it’s a few steps to the right direction. It’s one of the best and shortest descriptions that I have ever heard or read about life on our island.

That’s all from me for now, goodbye. The micro goes to Nikos ^^’


Τι ν’ αυτό που το λεν’ Ικαρία;


«Going there I realized that the island was full of young people who were indeed non-Ikarians or they were Ikarians who hadn’t been born or lived in Ikaria.»

«There is no local who doesn’t do two or three jobs at the same time; from a little garden near his or her house to the beehives at some distant hillside; from a sour cherry orchard in a field to the sheepfold in some place near.»

«It’s given that they work very hard. They just have this particularity that they do everything in their own time, everyone in his own clearly personal understanding of when is the right moment to do something.»

«When you are there, you do get the feeling that things really are a bit slower. You are surrounded by a strange calmness, everything is peaceful, the people are mild too. In Crete, for example, Cretans are intense characters. Cretan music is fast, their drinks are very strong. The Ikarian culture on the other hand is different, milder. It’s the sound of the little violin, their dance is a slow circular dance, they add water to their wine…»

«When you arrive there, your first impression is, first of all, the nature and its wildness. You see right away that the place hasn’t been developed

«You, know, because I have studied archeology, the Ikarians in many aspects remind to me of the Ionian civilization, they have almost ancient Greek tendencies. Everything they do, their pace and their activities are «all in good measure«. Or like a granny says in the film, life goes like a circle from good to bad and back again. This is, let’s say, the Heraclitean «everything flows«. The way they see things is founded on some basic ideas which are deeply rooted in Greek philosophy, even though they aren’t themselves necessarily aware of the fact.»

and the best (according to Elina and of course I agree!)

« … Ikarians also had another particularity in their society. The island has always had a liking to Communism and because the local communists had a very hard time with persecussions and exiles, after democracy was restored in 1974 the people started to reward them with mayoral posts. This is the political dimension of the mysticism of the place. So for several decades you had KKE partisans fixed in public posts through which European Union funding came and every time they said: «Leave it. We won’t take it!» They wrote all that on their balls, something that may have seemed criminal at that time, however today you can say that they may have been saved exactly because of that. Because it’s a place that hasn’t changed



Reblog : Περίπου το 30 π.Χ.

  Δόξα! Δόξα!
Σήμερα Πρωτη του Καλοκαιριου και ενω οι λέξεις-κλειδια που οδηγουν στα μπλογκ μας μαρτυρουν ότι παρα πολλοί ανθρωποι ψαχνουν πληροφοριες για καμπινγκ στην Ικαρία, εφετος η αγαπημενη μου Νανα δεν νοιαζεται για «τις αναγκες του κοινου ενοψη του Αυγουστου» (♦). Φευγει πιο περα, μακρια. Δινει το στιγμα της, δημοσιευοντας το…  

Περίπου το 30 π.Χ.

. «Εδώ λοιπόν που λέτε είχαμε εκλογές και κυκλοφόρησε κόσμος και αν και δεν δυσαρεστήθηκα με τα αποτελέσματα, δεν την γλύτωσα και μελαγχόλησα όπως πάντα το παθαίνω με την πολλή πολιτικούρα. Ευτυχώς όμως γελάσαμε με το … (διαβαστε περισσοτερα)

Με τετοιο πνευμα, τρελη διαθεση και πολλη δουλεια…


(♦)Παρολα αυτα, αγαπημενοι αναγνωστες, επειδη δεν θελουμε να γινουν ποτε ξανα

http://worldwideeyes.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/freecamping_stiker.gif?w=315&h=221 αυτα τα πραγματα
η προταση μας για να κανετε καμπινγκ στην Ικαρια βρισκεται στο




Paper Island


Why some islands are not just islands?

Why can some islands be both real and fictional?

Why do some islands attain a second life in literature?

What do some islands seem to attract big ideas, illusions and dreams?

Why are some islands, more often than others, chosen as sceneries of tales of escape?

Why do some islands appear in novels, satires, utopias and moral tales, more than other islands?

Why some islands, besides being made of rocks and soil like all islands, can also be, as I am calling them, paper islands?

First pages of Jesuit Johann Bissel's satirical novel of 1637 with engraved allegoric title and engraved utopian map of Icaria with imaginary names of cities, rivers, etc.

I say, the more an island is an island, the more it makes you dream

Because democracy is no good in dreaming, we can say it loudly :

  Some islands are more islands than other islands

«The élan that draws humans toward islands extends the double movement that produces islands in themselves. Dreaming of islands – whether with joy or in fear, it doesn’t matter – is dreaming of pulling away, of being already seperate, far from any continent, of being lost and alone – or it is dreaming of starting from scratch, recreating, beginning anew. Some islands drifted away from the continent, but the island is also that toward which one drifts; other islands originated in the ocean, but the island is also the origin, radical and absolute.»

Gilles Deleuzes 

I have found the words of this contemporary French philosopher through a comment by a learned person in Kristin’s blog or Mararoa’s blog which unfortunately I am unable to spot now. That comment linked to a chapter of the glorious wikispace «Dream Islands» which I think, sustains and explains my humble thoughts herebefore. That chapter is entitled:

Scope of Islands

Island as a ‘catch-all’ concept

After Deleuzes’s quote it goes:

«Islands burn into the minds of children from an early age. They emerge in the first literature where they are prominent in Homer’s Odyssey, and Plato’s island of Atlantis is perhaps the most famous mythical island of all time. The seclusion and autonomy that an island suggests has nourished the literary imagination for millennia, but the island setting as a site for the spiritual, emotional, or psychological transformation of human character has remained a constant in Western literature. The Greeks were the first to develop the island-book as such, but Roman writers showed much less interest in insular themes. On the fringes of Europe, Island stories were generously developed in the ‘imrama’, which were medieval Irish accounts of mythical Atlantic island voyages of chiefs and saints.
From Homer to Charles Kingsley the island narrative..

The other chapters of Dream Islands are very enlightening too. Notably :

An antidote

«Islands are no longer bound up so immediately with a self-sufficient agrarian life, its rituals and the cultivation of social solidarity. They instead begin to function as an antidote to the increasing division of labor and social stratification of the mainland. For modern islanders their environment functions as a vehicle for the display of individual temperament, talent, and interest, which runs against the grain of a standardized mainland global consumer culture. Islands therefore become loci of the impress of distinctive personality, interest, and emotion in sensuous production. In particular, they often function as a font of individual artistic production compared with the old rituals and epics, such as the poems of Homer, primeval biblical history and the Icelandic sagas, which linked everyone to common ways of life.

An important resource for modern islanders is nature. What we seek on islands is what we love in nature. Friedrich Shiller described…»

Classification of islands

«A dream island is a distinctive and desirable place to be, which is defined within a physical, cultural, administrative, biological, mental, or virtual boundary. It is likely that most people’s dream islands would fall within the physical, administrative and biological categories.»

(Don’t miss the link to «Cultural Islands» )

 Islands – poetry and art

«Paradise or Purgatory, Heaven or Hell, islands leave no one indifferent – and least of all the world’s artists, poets and writers, musicians and scholars, as reflected in the sampling the following links : Writings and Art

Unfortunately the link to the last chapter «Islands as Utopias» is no more valid. Instead, I am giving you a link to the standard Wikipedia :

List of fictional islands

That was all on the subject and I think it wasn’t too little. Read about one of the oldest ideas in the world and be inspired. But some day leave the paper behind and follow the dream to find out what truth there is to it. Defy the distance and sail through the shoals and the booming high surf.

A real island may be waiting for you thereafter and therein.

Ikaria, October 26, 2013


The Almonds of Longevity

Ikaria 112 by Eleni Ikanou on Flickr
Ikaria 112 
by isl_gr (Mnesterophonia)

in case you don’t know me, I am Nana (to agrimi),co-author in Eleni’s blog

About Nana

who though I have a blog of my own, chose to write and post this entry here. The reason is that lately the views of our blogs took off very suddenly! This blog in particular has received several hundred views over the last days!

What was the matter?

The last time we were that popular was in Minoan times when we recorded the fall of Icarus at the shores of the island.


Centuries after that we made a good score when we covered the declaration of independence of Ikaria as a communist state, making us another pocket of resistance to capitalism between Cuba and North Korea.


Asking around we found out that the reason of our sudden recent popularity was the issuing of this seven page article by Dan Buettner in the prestigious NY Times:

The Island Where People Forget to Die

Therefore it seems that the dream of flight and freedom and the dream of a communist egalitarian society both fade against the biggest dream of all:


which perhaps (if aging wasn’t involved) the next best thing to
Immortality 😇

A set from Ikaria by karstalipp on Flickr


But why does our island generate so many dreams?

I will tell you my opinion. I am an accountant and therefore, unfortunately sometimes I am on the practical side of things. The reason is nostalgia. The rough mysterious landscape (to the extent that outsiders are familiar with it) and our way of life (to the extent that outsiders are familiar with it) generates a nostalgia, a homesickness for old values, old raw ways, direct approaches to life, supposedly carefree and happy, forever lost in urbanization and globalization.

That was all I had to say.

We actually spend our evenings cracking almond shells. We have picked them from Eleni’s famous tree in the intro picture above. We sprayed the nuts with salt water, we roasted them and after they cooled off we stored them in glass jars. On these jars we have written:

Almonds of Longevity

The Almonds of Longevity

It’s funny. They taste slightly different – we think they are better than last year’s.

Do dreams have an effect on reality? Who knows? Come and see for yourselves.

Kisses from Ikaria


Nana to agrimi's blog



The Names of the Goddess



Synthesizing Artemis of Ephesus: an 18th-century engraving of a Roman marble copy of a Greek replica of a lost Geometric period xoanon.




(top left) Synthesizing Artemis of Ephesus: an 18th-century engraving of a Roman marble copy of a Greek replica of a lost Geometric period xoanon. Read more about the Syncretic and Enigmatic Lady of Ephesus in The Wikipedia
(top right) «Plank figure» of chalk, Early Cypriot III to Middle Cypriot I, 1900-1800 BCE (Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens)
(bottom left) Reconstruction of a Painted Archaic period Kore (Glyptotek, Munich)

(bottom right) «Bell Idol« : Late Geometric pottery item from Thebes, Boetia, rare example of figurative sculpture from the period (750-690 BC) probably representing a Nature goddess – a descendant of the Minoan tradition, which some commentators have identified with Artemis. (LE LOUVRE) .

And last, goddess Artemis Orthia in the usual stance of Potnia Theron





Is this a do-it-yourself blog? You give us the title and we provide the body?

Gaia – Cybele – Hecate – Selene – Demeter – Aphrodite.

I don’t consider them to be names of the goddess but masks of the eternal mother of all things, masks that reflect the time and the place of the mask maker.

If you close your eyes and slowly recite these names, it will briefly transport you into Her dark cthonian chamber.
Gaia – Cybele – Hecate – Selene – Demeter – Aphrodite…

Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 12:22am (PDT)

Στο 7ο Θαύμα του Αρχαίου Κόσμου γινόταν της πουτάνας!
Και πρέπει να παίζανε και τρελά λεφτά!Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 02:34pm (EEST)


This Ephesian Aphrodite doesn’t look like much of a hunter. I wonder if the Nas one was a bit more athletic?

I’ve seen the Hippolytus / Phaedra story on stage a few times.

Aphrodite complains about Hippolitus:

«Love he scorns, and, as for marriage, will none of it; but Artemis, daughter of Zeus, sister of Phoebus, he doth honour, counting her the chief of goddesses, and ever through the greenwood, attendant on his virgin goddess, he clears the earth of wild beasts with his fleet hounds, enjoying the comradeship of one too high for mortal ken.»

(Euripides http://classics.mit.edu/Euripides/hippolytus.html )

Of course he comes to a bad end; you have to be careful with goddesses.

Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 04:16pm (CEST)

Perhaps ‘Apollonios’ is right in his first comment. I am usually patient and do what you ask me to do but this time please get to the point -to one of the points at least. You are a master in iconography, so what do you think? Do you think that the statue of Artemis in Nas, Ikaria, was a wooden xoanon, an early version of something that looked like the Goddess of the Wikipedia?
I am trying to imagine it made of a single log of wood, painted with many colors and loaded with silver and gold.

‘egotoagrimi’ -> lol

Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 09:04pm (EEST)

You know so many artists. Why not have one of them carve an imaginary replica of this statue (including the animals!) on a piece of tree and paint it? I bet it would look like an American Indian Totemic pillar -ugh!

or maybe better…

«…and last, goddess Artemis Orthia in the usual stance of Potnia Theron »


Thursday October 23, 2008 – 02:39pm (EEST)

Spooky revelation #1
In ancient times, Ephesus was a huge cosmopolitan port with a population in the hundreds of thousands and it was the center of Artemis-Cybele the mother goddess cult.
Island of Delos was the sacred city of Artemis the huntress cult, destination of many pilgrims from all over the mediterranean world.
Ikaria’s Nas bay is e-x-a-c-t-l-y the midpoint between Ephesus and Delos.

I have always suspected this but now thanks to the Google-Earth measuring tool I verified it.
Ephesus Nas is 73.5 Miles, Nas to Dilos is 73.5 Km. Ephesus – Nas – Dilos is in a straight line and therefore Nas was a possible stop-over for the pilgrims from and to Dilos.

I don’t attach any metaphysical significance to this but it is no accident either. It is very likely that Nas was built by Ephesian settlers as a naval re-supply point for food and water and also as a safety and praying stop when the Ikarian archipelagos was in turmoil (and most of us who travel to Ikaria by boat have gotten a taste of that)
If this is true then the Artemis Xoanon at Nas temple was fashioned like the one in Ephesus. (The Nas Artemis bull sacrifice connection, also points in the same direction – coins depicting Artemis sitting on a bull were found near Nas)

Thursday October 23, 2008 – 11:34am (PDT)

Nana is right, Ephesus was a modern day Las Vegas, Delos was like Switzerland, besides being a sacred city was also the central treasure bank for the Delian league, you know money and religion always stick together.
And Ikaria was, well, like modern Ikaria, a port stop on the way to Samos or to Mykonos.

Thursday October 23, 2008 – 11:41am (PDT)

I measured the distances on the actual map -the very accurate Greek Hydrographic Service Map. YOU ARE RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Friday October 24, 2008 – 01:05pm (EEST)

but wait, there is more…
Why would Ephesians or Greeks care about the mid-point anyway, the divine proportion in ancient times and even today is the golden ratio (χρυσή τομή )
“In math two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio between the sum of those quantities and the larger one is the same as the ratio between the larger one and the smaller. The golden ratio is a mathematical constant approximately 1.618. Phi = (a+b)/a = a/b = 1.618 (Pay attention we will have a pop-quiz at the end of this blog)
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio for details about the fascinating history of the golden ratio.

Artists, mathematicians, architects, astronomers, philosopher and yes magic cults were captivated by this ratio.

So what we really have here is the distance between Ephesus to Nas = 118.5 Km and distance from Nas To Delos = 73.5 Km and their ratio is about 1.612, a golden ratio match. To me this is much more significant than Nas being the mid-point between Ephesus and Delos.

Friday October 24, 2008 – 03:56pm (PDT)

I counted milimeters «as a bird flies» on a 1/25000 map. Have you been a sailor and a paddle rower? I have. The golden ratio is approxiamtely 1/3. One day of rowing (24 hours and hopefully not against the wind!), then 2 to 3 days for resting, praying and occasional sacrifice, good food, hunting and girl chasing.
Then back to the row bench to cross the Ikarian Sea. Today the wind is north, force 6-7 and I tell you the sea is not inviting!Saturday October 25, 2008 – 02:09pm (EEST)

I know an artist. I assume none of the ladies here would like to pose as a model for the Goddess’ «xoanon»?Saturday October 25, 2008 – 02:13pm (EEST)

Discoveries! Isn’t geometry a great thing?
However, there is a limit. No matter how good your artist is, no way for me to pose as a geometric period xoanon! Too stiff and loaded with stuff! If I do, I will faint in less than an hour. Do it but use a dummie instead.

Saturday October 25, 2008 – 08:42pm (EEST)

Angelos, before we pick a model to pose as the goddess, your task is to «harvest» two dozen bull testes for the goddess’s necklace, is this already done?
By the way why we think this xoanon was from the geometric period? Nothing geo about it, looks like late Greek Archaic period with oriental influnces.Saturday October 25, 2008 – 01:30pm (PDT)

Who needs sponcors when there are friends?!
I am breaking in this creative thinking thread to say that I have edited my entry and added a picture of the nearest to a xoanon. I think the «venerated image» (*) Artemis of Nas looked like something between the picture on the left and the picture on the right.

(*) «image» in this case is something more than 2D and less than 3D, very much the christian cross -no iconic value if looked at from the side!

Anyway, I have a full frontal picture of myself from when I was pregnant. Minus the extra breasts (or whatever they were), I was well… very geometric, like a «Magna Mater» oversized figurine.

I could lend the photo to the artist use as a model.
To respect the 7th century Ionian tradition (as well flatter my female vanity…) the artist must add a clear touch of the looks of a Kore (bottom picture) -and please… A Nice Archaic Dress!

Monday October 27, 2008 – 05:32am (PDT)

You didn’t look at all like a «Plank Figure», I’d say…Tuesday October 28, 2008 – 03:02pm (EET)

So Eleni, you think the Nas Artemis was more of a functional and symbolic, lightly curved, painted wooden totem icon rather than an elaborate, impressive statue?
Something like an oversized colorful babushka doll?
Your instinct is probably right, the early Icarians were a small horticultural community of small scale hunters, living around rivers on an island with resources no other than wood and rocks and therefore very limited in what they could create. (but I bet you a lot of love and artistic vigor went creating the Nas xoanon)
I like the nested babushka doll metaphor, the outer doll is like an Ephesian Artemis, you peel it off and inside it you find a more primitive near-east fertility goddess, inside it you find an even more primitive doll in the geometric Cycladic style and inside that doll you find a large egg…

Tuesday October 28, 2008 – 07:06am (PDT)

I hope that you can see the editing of the entry. I have added the famous «Bell Idol» from the famous New Louvre new website which ‘Simon G’ spotted and wrote to tell me about (x x x ♥♥♥).
Les savants say it was an Artemis!
Les savants also seem to imply that it was a development of the rigorous «vase form» beloved by the 8 cent. potters.

♥@♥ Apollonios: the vase, the doll, the egg, the babushka ♀♀♀???

how and when did the bow/arrow and the virginity thing
came in the picture?

With your ♥ help ♥ we will find this out in a next episode on
 Eleni’s Channel!

Wednesday October 29, 2008 – 05:38am (PDT)


Thursday October 30, 2008 – 02:13pm (EET)

The Ephesian Artemis and the hunting Artemis of mainland Greece were two different goddesses who happened to share the same name and a common interest for nature and wild animals.

The evolution of the Ephesian Artemis is a classic case of religious syncretism, that is the morphing of a religion to something new by adding elements from other religions. Gods evolve over time as the people who worship them come into contact through wars or peaceful migration.
(For example our Greek orthodox church here in California has catholic-style stained glass windows, harpsichord music is played during the liturgy and the priest has no beard. These things may be considered taboo in mainland Greece but they are quite natural to Greeks here because other christian chrches have them)

It is obvious that the Ephesian Artemis was a prehistoric Great Mother figure that the Ionian settlers tried to Hellenize, but the locals resisted because they had such a great love for her cult and the only thing they accepted to change was the name. Maybe her cult was so old that she had no name, maybe she was an ancient fetish, an It and therefore giving her a proper name was long overdue. I just wish they had called her more appropriately, Gaia, mother Earth.

Saturday November 1, 2008 – 07:30am (PDT)

By the way, about the bottom left reconstruction of the painted Kore:
While it is true that most ancient Greek statues were painted, the Greek artists did not smear flashy colors everywhere as the reconstructed «gaudy plumage» suggests. Only the eyes, lips and hair were painted to humanize the head and give it a haunting intimidating appearance. (These statues also served and as guards in a temple to scare potential looters)

Saturday November 1, 2008 – 07:42am (PDT)

I talked with the artist. I gave him the link and placed an order for a ‘xoanon’. He has an idea but he made no promises. We will have to wait…Sunday November 2, 2008 – 07:46pm (EET)


«Misokolaki» and other scary tales from Ikaria in comics


(Ελληνικά στο μπλογκ της Νανάς).
Finding a moment to advertise this comic art drawings and book exhibition which takes place in Athens next month.

comic art ikaria 1Kavo Papasbar tesera

16 February - 2 April 2009 in Bartesera, 25 Kolokotroni str. Athens
 Opening: 16 April - 8 pm


misikolaki 2


Among these stories there's "Misokolaki",
the kid with half his bottom chopped off.



– A Greek folktale from Ikaria island –



misikolaki Ikaria 4

.(«The witch under the pear tree», drawing  by  Thanassis Psaros)

Once upon a time on a faraway Greek island, an old man and an old woman lived alone in a small house near a forest. The old man was a woodcutter.
One night the old man and the old woman were peeling broad beans and putting them into a pot on the stove.
«If only we had children to bring a little joy and happiness into our lives» the old woman sighed loudly.
«Yes», said the old man. «If only we had children.»
Before they went to bed that night, the woman said a special prayer.
«O God», she prayed, «How I wish that all the broad beans in the pot could become children!»
Early the next morning the woodcutter and his wife were woken by a terrible noise. Their house was full of children. Some were playing, some were singing and some were quarreling. Others were crying out for food. The house was filled with a terrible racket. The old woodcutter was beside himself: the noise was more than he could bear. He grabbed his axe and began to chase the children. The frightened children darted everywhere to escape, jumping out of the windows and pouring out of the door. Within a few minutes they had all gone.
The house was suddenly silent. The old man and the old woman looked at each other in dismay.
«Now we ‘re all alone again», said the old woman.
«Yes», said the old man sadly. «What are we going to do?»
Suddenly a tiny voice came from under the bed. «I’m here», it said. A young boy crept out. He looked a little frightened; half of his bottom had been chopped off by the woodcutter’s axe.
The old lady and the old man looked at him in joy and wonder.
«Oh, little boy», said the old woman. «Don’t be afraid. You can live with us. We will make you well again.»
The young boy was happy to have found a home. The old couple gave him clothes and food, and a bed to sleep in. They called him Misokolaki, which means «Little half-bottom».
The next day the woodcutter told Misokolaki that now that he lived with them, he would have to help them with their work.
Misokolaki’s first chore was to guard the pear tree in the orchard. Every year, when the pears ripened, a cunning old fox would come and steal them. The old man gave Misokolaki a wooden flute to play while he sat in the tree.
Before Misokolaki left for the orchard, the old man warned him: «Be careful of the fox. It’s cunning and it may try to trick you.»
All day Misokolaki sat in the pear tree and played his flute. Then, at dusk, along came the fox. It looked up into the tree where the boy was playing his flute.
«Hey, Misokolaki!» the fox called out. «You play your flute so fair, please throw me down a pear.»
«Go away», said Misokolaki. You can’t have any pears.»
«But my little ones are hungry», the fox said, with tears in its eyes.
Misokolaki felt sorry for the fox and threw down some pears.
«Please, Misokolaki», said the cunning old fox. «Help me find the pears. It’s dark and I can’t see.»
Misokolaki forgot the old man’s warnings and climbed down to help the fox. No sooner had he touched the ground than the fox grabbed him and threw him into a sack. The fox threw the sack over its shoulder and set off for its home.
On the way, the fox stopped by a stream. It put down the sack and went to the water to have a drink.
Misokolaki quickly wriggled out of the sack. He filled it with rocks and prickly bushes and ran away.
When the fox returned, it threw the sack over its shoulder and continued on its way. Soon the fox began to feel something pricking its back
«Stop pinching me, Misokolaki!» the fox kept calling out, all the way home.
When the fox arrived home, its cubs danced about with joy. They were very hungry. They burnt lots of branches in the oven to make it red hot so that they could cook Misokolaki.
But when the fox emptied out the sack, only rocks and prickles tumbled out on to the floor. The fox was angry and it vowed that next time, Misokolaki would not escape.
The next day, Misokolaki again kept watch in the pear tree. At dusk, the fox returned to the orchard. Misokolaki was in the pear tree, playing his flute.
«Hey, Misokolaki!» the fox called out. «You play your flute so fair, please throw me down a pear.»
Misokolaki pretended he couldn’t hear. He kept playing his flute.
The fox began to cry loudly. «My little ones are hungry!» it sobbed. The tears flowed from its eyes like rivers.
Misokolaki felt sorry for the fox and threw down some pears. But the cunning old fox called out: «Please, Misokolaki, help me find the pears. It’s dark and I can’t see.»
The fox’s voice was so sweet that once again Misokolaki forgot all about the old man»s warning. He climbed down to help the fox. No sooner had he touched the ground than the fox grabbed him and threw him into the sack. This time the fox tied the sack very tightly so that Misokolaki couldn’t escape.
The fox carried the sack straight back home, without stopping on the way.
As the fox neared home, it called out to its cubs to light the oven. The fox untied the sack and let Misokolaki out, and the cubs danced around him with glee. They were so hungry that they could hardly wait to eat him.
Misokolaki would have to think quickly if he was to escape from the oven.
Now, the fox’s oven was built into the wall. It was so high off the ground that the fox had to stand on a stool to reach it. As the fox reached up to open the oven door, Misokolaki quickly grabbed its hind legs and with one mighty thrust, he pushed the fox headfirst into the oven.
The cubs scattered in fright and Misokolaki ran all the way home, as fast as his legs could carry him.
The old man and the old woman were overjoyed to see him. They had gone to the orchard to look for him, and were very worried when they couldn’t find him. Misokolaki told them all about his adventure with the fox. The old man called out to his neighbours from the village and invited them to come and celebrate. They were all happy because the fox would never steal their fruit again.
Misokolaki took out his flute and began to play. The villagers sang and danced until the sun rose up behind the mountains in the east.
(From a book by Petro Alexiou, illustrated by Clare Watson, HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH, PUBLISHERS (Australia) © 1989 on behalf of Petro Alexiou ISBN 0 7295 0833 1, ISBN 0 7295 0800 5 (series). The author dedicates to his Ikarian mother who told him this tale.)



Note:  The original Greek version which has survived in Ikaria is more poignant, rougher and bloodier. The wish for children is not intentional but rather trivial. The ‘broad bean’ children are not just naughty and restless. They cry and yell for food! The woodcutter does not just chase the children out of the house; he actually kills them one after the other with his hatchet! Misokolaki is spared if only he can carry out two tasks: keep the old couple company by playing the flute and climb on that precious pear tree to keep the thieves away. Finally, instead of a fox, there is an evil witch who eats human flesh. There is also the daughter of the witch to who the witch trusts Misokolaki to roast and she leaves, but Misokolaki turns loose, throws the daughter into the oven and he escapes. So when the witch returns, she eats her own daughter’s roasted liver thinking that it is Misokolaki’s. When she realises what has happened, she is furious and she rushes to the pear tree to find Misokolaki and kill him. Misokolaki is there, but the witch can’t climb the pear tree and get him. Blinded as she is by now with furry, she takes Misokolaki’s advice that the best way to shoot up and reach him is to stick a red hot iron bar up her ass! The witch does exactly that and she shoots up to the sky! She falls back on the ground and bursts in pieces. Misokolaki gets home to his step parents. They are very proud of him and they live happily ever after.

misikolaki Ikaria



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Great presentation as always, good witch. What’s your way to shoot up?

Sunday January 25, 2009 – 10:46pm (EET)


Monday January 26, 2009 – 03:44am (PST)

As children, we were not supposed to read such grostesque tales yet they are the tales I remember best! My favorite ones came from a small island called Adakale.

Monday January 26, 2009 – 10:18am (EST)

Tales of warning about hunger! also about family programming -hep;

Monday January 26, 2009 – 10:25pm (EET)

(Pear trees seem to figure in stories a lot.
Take for instance this one:
Eat pears, make a hut out of pear-wood, but avoid sitting up in pear trees.)

Tuesday January 27, 2009 – 02:32pm (CET)

(especially if they are like this!:)
thorny sage-leafed pear tree

Tuesday January 27, 2009 – 03:02pm (CET)

@ Can : yes, we are brought up to dislike the gruesome, yet there is truth in the gruesome. Speaking of islands and tales, the same tale exists in Mykonos! Can you imagine?

@ egotoagrimi : ok, but don’t overdo it with programming, ok? Leave some ends loose…

@ Simon G : thanks God you are here! I was worried that the winds in France took you off! Yes, the pear tree seems to be the next best after the apple tree in European lore. And the old varieties must have had quite a lot of thorns. That sheds light to another feat of Misokolaki. He was a fakir like Nana :lol

Tuesday January 27, 2009 – 12:30pm (PST)

It’s a tale about a young fakir?!?

Wednesday January 28, 2009 – 10:39pm (EET)


Thursday January 29, 2009 – 08:41pm (EET)



Why why why none of these folktales speak about our  «immortal soul»? Is it only the body then? When somebody dies we have to remember him or her the way he or she looked in flesh and bones. If this is hard!.. Isn’t it better to pay the church to do that?



In the Name of the Goddess




A SuperProduction
° Eleni’s Channel °
brought to you by…

(come on sponsors, where are you?)



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Damn! I will be short of money until the end of the year but I can write to The National Geographic. They will love the title! It’s about Artemis of Nas of course, the little provincial sister of the great Ephesian Artemis – «Magna Mater»

I am getting the chills…

Saturday October 11, 2008 – 09:07pm (EEST)

Do you like the photo? This is a draft page. I don’t want The National Geographic, hahaha : I just need your help. If I make a bad step, correct me. That’s all.

MAgNa MaTeR NaTurAE ….chillls & chill outs!

Sunday October 12, 2008 – 09:51am (PDT)

Of course. And you post this picture in Flickr. Besides a good photo, there is something very ‘irregular’ about these two signs put together one on top of the other.

Monday October 13, 2008 – 08:14pm (EEST)

oh, great goddess oh!


Wednesday October 15, 2008 – 11:15pm (EEST)

Hello Goddess, ‘Κυρά των Αγριμιών’! Where did you get this photo of your statue in Ephesus? Did you take it yourself? No doubt, being a goddess, you made yourself invisible and you escaped the museum guards attention.

Monday October 20, 2008 – 02:29pm (EEST)

Before you embark in your quest to break the Ephesian code, you should know that this fertility goddess is not the same Artemis of the Greeks, goddess of hunting. When the Greeks begun to colonize their near-by world, part of the colonization process was the Hellenization of the local gods by re-labeling them to something more familiar, this one happened to look like an Artemis to the Greek conquerors.
You know, history is written by the winners.

Monday October 20, 2008 – 08:16am (PDT)

Great photo! Where did you get it? Greco-Roman «oriental sytle» 1st cent. AD. and there is controversy whether those ‘things’ on her chest are tits of bull balls!!!!

Monday October 20, 2008 – 10:17pm (EEST)

Only that this is no «History Channel». This is «Eleni’s Channel». Welcome to the fiction writer’s cocktail party, Vassili! Lay back and enjoy.

Tuesday October 21, 2008 – 02:00pm (EEST)

Αγγελε, κοκτειλ παρτυ ειπες? φτου, και εγω νομιζα «φιλολογικόν τέϊον» και δεν ειμαι ντυμενος καταλληλα, κατσε μια στιγμη να αλλαξω…
Τωρα ειμαι ετοιμος, ααα η μυρωδια ξερου βερμουθ και πρασινης ελιας.
Για να δουμε τι θα δουμε…

Wednesday October 22, 2008 – 12:36am (PDT)

Legends about Ikaria : The Forest of Radi

~That’s a beautifully wiggly forest!~
❤ ❤ ❤

Το Δάσος του Ράντη


About an old magic forest and the footpaths


Hello, readers! The above is in my Flickr and dates from over a year ago. When I discovered this forest I was 25 years old. It was awesome and so dense that we got completely lost. So lost and exhausted that we started crying! It was an unforgetable experience because it is thought to be practicaly impossible to get lost in a medium sized island. Whatever, it took us hours to get out of there. Let not this beautiful photo be a memorial. Because right now…
I don’t know who advises people (the Greeks in particular) who are coming to hike in Ikaria, not to follow the marked paths but instead, go looking for the Forest of Radi. Maybe it’s on some website (where they advertise stuff they have no idea about, just to show off). Maybe they get it from shopkeepers and hotel owners (who may drop “Radi Forest” in a trivial way to oblige a tourist). Maybe it’s on one of those new guide books that are based on hearsay and contain impractical “tips”.
‘Cause the truth is that until recently there was no Radi Forest!
Or to put it better –there is a forest and an area called “Radi”. But there was no more or less safe way for a newcomer to go there. Not only the place was far from main roads, villages and towns; not only the trails are vague and unmarked but also –very unfortunately- there are many goat trails that lead nowhere. Especially in August and September the forest is dusty and dry and there may  also be some caterpillar “itching powder” left from last June.
So, in spite of how attracted you feel at the sound of a magnificent term, resist it. Don’t go unprepared or you won’t find it, so hidden and mysterious it is! Try to locate and follow the trail marked by the Hiking and Mountain Climbing Association of Ikaria, which starts from the village of Petropouli and ends in the village of Frantato. For me this forest means a lot.
I want you to discover it in the proper way. I don’t want to hear anymore people telling me “We couldn’t find the way and, anyway, it was nothing. Just trees, as good as any…”
Here is their map. If you click on the image you will be transported to the home of the map in Google maps. Try it! It’s worth it! It’s a great piece of work!


Look for the “Dasos tou Ranti” in any other time of the year except August. For example, winter is the best season. (Forests are “storehouses” of winter, like the sea and the beaches “storehouses” of summer.) You may either start from Frantato or Petropouli and the trails is marked with orange dots, colored metal plates and cairns. This is the best and safest way to see this legendary ancient forest.
Good luck!
Until then, take a look the pictorial archives…



Μύθοι για την Ικαρία : Ο ΚΟΚΚΙΝΟΣ ΜΥΘΟΣ

Η λογοκρισία στο προηγούμενο entry μας τσάκισε. Φαίνεται όμως πως δεν έχουν πρόβλημα με τις φωτογραφίες. Ορίστε, να μία. Είναι ένα κουλό σύνθημα γραμμένο σε βράχο στο βάθος μέσα στο φαράγγι της Χάλαρης. Οι πολλοί καπιταλιστές που περνούν από εκεί στο δρόμο για τις βρωμοδουλειές τους, σίγουρα το βλέπουν και τρέμουν. Θα λένε από μέσα τους, «Άντε να τελειώνουμε με την εκμετάλλευση και τη παγκοσμιοποίηση, γιατί αν αργήσουμε, την έχουμε βάψει«.
Είμαι σίγουρη ότι έτσι λένε.
Θα δουλέψουμε εθελοντές πάλι φέτος.
Ορισμένοι free campers
θα μας γυρίζουν την πλάτη και θα μας λένε ‘κορόιδα’.
χεστήκαμαν! 😛
Μόνο με δουλειά κάνεις ένα τόπο δικό σου.
Smash smash smash


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Το έχω δει κι εγώ αυτό το σύνθημα και θαύμασα το θάρρος αυτών που το έγραψαν σε τόσο πολυσύχναστο μέρος με τόσες κάμερες κι αστυνομία τριγύρω.

Monday February 19, 2007 – 09:56pm (EET)

Παρολες «τις καμερες και τις αστυνομιες» (χα χα), λουστηκαμε πολλες φορες  γυμνες και ανενοχλητες στην ωραια αγγελολιβαδα που υπαρχει πισω απο το βραχο.


Το συνθημα μας ενοχλησε μονο στο βαθμο που ηθελε να δειξει οτι το μερος «ανηκε» σε κάποιον -στη προκιμενη περιπτωση δηλ. στους αντικαπιταλιστες, αντιεξουσιαστες η οτι ειναι τελος παντων. Για μενα ηταν *tribal mark* και το διαβασα σαν *this place belongs to…*, *such and such have been here…* : γνωστες ανωριμοτητες
(τα ‘χω περασει κι εγω -μη βγαζω την ουρα μου απ’ εξω)
Ωστοσο απο σκουπιδια, ουτε ιχνος! Αρα υπαρχει ελπιδα. Οταν τους περασει το smash capitalism πραγμα, να γινουν ενταξει, να μαθουν 2-3 αλλα πραγματα και τελικα να το προστατεψουν αυτο το μερος. Νομιζω ετσι θα γινει. Η μηπως γινεται ηδη;

Friday February 23, 2007 – 12:55am (PST)