“girls up here tend to be called Irene or Carol”.
Drove up at the crack of dawn Saturday, took 5 hours but the weather was fine, and listening to Goldfrapp made the journey pleasant and dreamy.
First impressions: how old everyone was! Uranian third agers… Jean, the white haired organiser, was at the front desk wearing a pair of alien gray earrings, plus there was an ‘alien’ in purple greeting people.
Around the hall at the YMCA, stalls sold crystals, incense, alien dolls (costume and appearance based on true sightings), crop circle outings and books. One goth mum and her whey-faced chav daughter sold dvd’s.
Quickly a young man named Ben Emlyn-Jones introduced himself. He writes a blog called Hospital Porters Against the New World Order.
These women chatted noisily throughout the lectures, adding asides and comments like a Shakespearian audience.
Jean gets up and announces that Chris Everard who now lives in France, cannot give his lecture, because he could not get a passport. He believes that he has “trod on a few toes with his new dvd”. Behind me, the grey-haired ones were murmuring agreement and disapproval. Justified or not, a collective paranoia permeates the whole event.
First up was a balding pony-tailed man, Dr Jeff Merrifield (or Buster Merryweather/Uncle Albert from Only fools and horses…as Matthew Delooze called him), who showed slides and talked about an amazing place in the Italian Alps called Damanhur. The slides and the story were fascinating but his lecture was poorly presented and prepared (apparently he was a last minute replacement)..
He went to this area originally because he wanted to visit CERN (the world’s largest particle physics laboratory) and also there were reports of spontaneous combustions going on.
Damanhur is a solar temple. In 1978 Oburto Airaudi had a revelation and started to dig at the back of his house. It took 16 years to dig out a space larger than St Pauls, and 3 months for the first chamber. The diggers were not builders, and it was all done by hand, dug out of mountain rock, using buckets. The whole operation was undertaken secretly and any visitors were blind-folded. One guy in the village guessed and grassed them up to the authorities saying they hadn’t paid tax on what they were producing. The Italian authorities at first reacted by wanting to close down the temple as planning permission had not been sought but eventually welcomed the place, seeing it as a tourist’s attraction. Nowadays the catholic church are trying to get in there (watch this space for a Marian sighting?). There are no tourists there only “seekers”.
Dr Merrifield showed slides and film of this extraordinary place: different caverns/rooms representing different elements, with secret staircases, mosaics, glass work, a cupola. There were painted Egyptian symbols and menhirs with serpents. Sacred language is built into the design.
Some of the chambers: a hall of metals in which copper and brass and chrome are applied to terracotta; a hall of mirrors; an earth room with stained glass panels depicting the 7 ages of man(often portraits of the Damanhur inhabitants); a water room.
One has intense experiences inside the temple, and children in particular react to the energies and go crazy there.(I’ve seen this manifested in my daughter when we go to Avebury).
People who are part of the community after a while take an animal name then a vegetable name. The community follows moon phases and solstices. They partake in drumming and various creative workshops.
An important element of the temple is “Selfica”: which are energy captivators using spirals/ copper a bit like Reichs’ orgone accumulators, and there are 300 tons of selfic technology built into temple.
This “[gigantic] ‘battery’ has been constructed according to the science of ‘Selfica‘, which, say the Damanhurians, is ‘an ancient science derived from the basic form of our universe, the spiral. It was known to the Egyptians, the Celts, and the Arabs, who utilized it up to the 8th Century B.C.”
Outside as part of the landscape, stone spirals are traced on grass which people walk around and meditate in.
The Damanhurians paint their houses with butterflies and suns and flowers.
A local Olivetti factory been bought by them. Adriano Olivetti believed in maintaining rural communities so he built several of his factories in the country. This factory now houses several craft workshops.
I must visit this place.