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I am now in Cambridge, England, staying with my family here for a few days, sightseeing and meeting some little cousins who I have never met before!

The last few weeks have been action packed and thrilling...

After a few days in London, it was off to Italy. As soon as I arrived at the airport in Turin, it felt like I was in a different world. Being accustomed to understanding what is going on wherever I have travelled so far, like in Holland where I understand the language and where almost everyone speaks English, it was interesting to be in a part of the world where this was not the case. And the cultural aspects - the elegantly dressed women and the flirty Latin men with their "undress me eyes", the aromas of freshly baked pizza and the lure of authentic gelati.

My friend and travel companion from London - Mark - and I were quickly whisked away to Damanhur, which was to be our home for the following week. It was a picturesque 40 minute drive from the city, in the foothills of the snowcapped Italian Alps, overlooked by the ruins of a Roman watchtower, eerily illuminated with a golden glow at night.

Damanhur is an extraordinary place and concept. It could truly be considered the eighth wonder of the world. Conceived in the mid 1970's and designed to be in this magical valley where four synchronic dragon lines (earth acupuncture lines - which are not ley lines) converge. The only other place where this has been found to happen is in a special energetic portal in Tibet. Damanhur is an intentional, spiritually oriented community that has its own constitution and even its own currency (we changed our Euros for Damanhur dollars or credits as they call them when we arrived). The Damanhurians began work on their underground Temple of Mankind in secret, tunnelling through the mountain by hand and discretely redistributing the tons of rock around the countryside. Originally it was intended just for spiritual research and practice. It is full of secret passages and sliding panels and secret rooms designed to keep their work private. However when it was discovered by the Italian government and the Catholic church following a Judas like betrayal by one of the 12 originators, there was the threat that the government would destroy it. Luckily, the investigators were so overawed by its beauty that they resolved to protect it as a national monument. The Damanhurians live in the valley around the temple and in the nearby town of Vidracco, where even the mayor is a Damanhurian, and is therefore able to influence environmental legislation etc. I will not even try to describe this Temple. It is so breathtaking that all I can do is urge you to check out the web site, and perhaps see the video or experience it for yourself. When we arrived, there was an influx of visitors for the Autumn Equinox celebrations that week. We settled into the charming Italian villa where we were lodging and gathered around the huge country farmhouse kitchen for a meal and the first of what was to become an almost nightly sing along. It was like being in a cross between an episode of Big Brother and a youth hostel. We met some fascinating people from all over the globe and exchanged ideas and adventures and contact details to keep in touch. Our week was filled with mind-stretching and awe-inspiring activities. From tours of how the Damanhurians live and work in their unique community and seeing the wondrous art work they create to being privileged to see some of their groundbreaking research and experiments. A tour of the Temple of Mankind followed special preparatory exercises including walking through labyrinths that allow changes in consciousness to occur. The actual tour of the temple was extraordinary, with time in the Hall of Metals and the amazing Hall of the Earth, where every millimetre is decorated not only for aesthetics but as a tool for transformation. Art and beauty are revered at Damanhur for their role in evolution and unfolding of consciousness. We saw the chambers where the controversial and spine tingling quantum physics experiments occur. Not bound by traditional protocols of scientific inquiry the Damanhurians seriously dabble at the frontiers of science - include investigations into various health care and rejuvinative practises and more mind stretching concepts such as time travel. On the day of the Equinox, special ceremonies were performed which were lively and unique. The evening brought with it a special Oracle ceremony in the tradition of the Oracle of Delphi of ancient times. This is something that is taken very seriously in the community and is done with reverence and attention to the finest detail. We were privileged to watch in a Roman style amphitheater. It was amazing to witness, but after almost two hours on the hard concrete seats, I was ready for the special event of the week - an all night Communication with the Cosmos session in the Temple. We were whisked away to the underground maze and taken on a special guided meditation in the incredible hall of mirrors. After a guided meditation session, opened by the consciousness altering reverberation of the most enormous oriental style gongs I could ever have imagined, we were encouraged to meditate in the Hall of Spheres and gain insights there before sleeping in the 12 feet high Hall of Mirrors underneath a dome of the world's largest and most intricate Tiffany style stained glass ceiling. To wake up to that, is an experience beyond words.

The Egyptian museum tour in downtown Turin, accompanied by a tour guide who is one of the original Damanhurians and explained a lot of what we saw from a metaphysical slant, was another highlight. As was the communion with plants session where we were privileged to see some of the ground breaking horticultural experiments that are taking place there. With electrodes placed on the roots and leaves of plants, connected to a synthesizer, the electrical potential produced by the plant is able to be heard by human ears as melodic sounds. These sounds were found to change based on the attention that the plant was given as well as when humans played musical instruments in their vicinity. Even I hadn't heard it with my own ears, I would never have believed that a plant could or would mimic the patterns of chords that Mark produced on his guitar in their vicinity!

Plants were even placed in motorized carts on wheels and able to move these carts by attaching the electrodes to the driving mechanism of the carts. I just hope that these plants don't drive like most Italian drivers!

We also experienced some healing practices Damanhurian style. They practice a form of healing called Pranic therapy which focuses on redistributing energy in the Synchronic Lines of the human body which they have discovered and mapped. They function like the nadis of Ayurveda or meridian line of Chinese medicine however they are separate to these. They also use Selfica for healing - metallic structures which are alchemically imbued with certain energetic principals which seem to be extraordinarily powerful and radiate a certain consciousness of their own.

Today, I am off to London again for a week. I will keep you informed of my travel adventures...

With a sprinkling a magic and a touch of Damanhurian beauty from Ilanit

To revisit any part of my journey:

Part 1: Schiphol
Part 3: England
Part 4: Holland

View the pictures along the way:

Photo Gallery of the Journey

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