The Eleusinian Mysteries Ceremony
Mary Rockwood Lane PhD, Layne Redmond, Michael Samuels, M.D. 

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May 31 – June 5 , 2008
The Eleusinian Mysteries was the most important healing art ceremony of all times. Join Mary Rockwood Lane, Layne Redmond, and Michael Samuels in a ceremony that uses frame drumming, dance, music, guided imagery, theatre and ceremony  to help us remember sacred mysteries within. Experience transformation through death and rebirth in this eternally sacred site.
"Beautiful indeed is the mystery given us by the blessed gods: death is for mortals no longer an evil, but a blessing." Inscription found at Eleusis
The Eleusinian Mysteries were the most sacred of all the ritual celebrations of ancient Greece. They were conducted in the Eleusis, fourteen miles west of Athens, for about two thousand years. The Mysteries were based on a legend about Demeter, the goddess of life, agriculture and fertility. Demeter's daughter Persephone was gathering flowers when she was kidnapped by Hades, the god of death and the underworld and taken to his underworld kingdom. Demeter searched for her daughter and goes to Eleusis. Demeter causes a drought and Zeus asks Hades to release Persephone to bring back rain. But on the way up, she ate pomegranate seeds and had to remain in the underworld for three months of the year.  The Eleusinian Mysteries were given to the people of Eleusis by Demeter to celebrate  Persephone's return.
The celebration of the Mysteries at Eleusis took place over nine days in the month of September. For each day, there was a series of rituals that initiates followed. First there was the invitation, then the purification and sacrifice. Next the procession from Athens to Eleusis. Then, the initiates would rest, purify themselves, and fast. They would break their fast by drinking "kykeon," meal and water mixed with fresh pennyroyal mint leaves.
What next happened  remains a secret. There may have been a ritual reenactment of the story of Demeter and Persephone, including the abduction by Hades; Demeter's grief; her search and the famine and death that followed.. There was finally, a sudden blaze of fire and light, the joyous moment of Persephone's rebirth as she came back from the underworld and returned to her mother. The intensity of this ceremony with drumming,  music and chants was said to be awe-inspiring and life changing.
The Mysteries may have led the initiates through dark infernal regions with horrible images and frightening shapes to recreate a foreshadowing of what awaits the death for the uninitiated then, light  represented a blissful afterlife in the company of the goddesses with a sense of great  relief and spiritual rebirth . Yet with all that has been written, the truth about what happened in  the Mysteries remains secret of the  oath of secrecy and the capital offense of telling anyone what occurred.
In our ceremony at Eleusis, we will drum and chant, and do ritual to enter the underworld and see in our mind’s eye what the Mysteries revealed about death and life. This life changing transformative experience was the most important piece of healing art in history and we will use this site and ceremonial form in the same way.
Layne Redmond has found that chanting, overtone singing and humming sacred sounds to the rhythms of the frame drum is an ancient technique for directly synchronizing the mind/body, creating conditions for psychological, physical, and spiritual healing. The ancient Bee Priestesses, called the Melissa in Greek led the ceremonies in Eleusis. This ascending buzzing energy illuminates the chakras which are interconnected with areas of the brain that are silent in the unawakened state. The brain explodes into awareness as these dormant areas are activated
The frame drum is an archetypal idea that people all over the world and at all times have been compelled to create and play to transform their consciousness into higher states of awareness. It is a time tested, powerful trance-inducing instrument that gives us a means of creating peace and wisdom within ourselves.
Here will we use frame drumming, music, dance, theatre, guided imagery, and ceremony to recreate the experience of the Eleusian Mysteries for personal transformation. We will lead the participants through a ceremony of death and rebirth, to see life in a new way.
Faculty: Mary Rockwood Lane  (Co-director Art and Healing Program) Layne Redmond, (World reknowned frame drummer)  and Michael Samuels (Co-director Art and Healing Program)
The mystery school initiation-Pilgrimage to Eleusis. Eleusis, 45 minutes from Athens, was the site of the ancient Greek mystery school for 2000 years. Now an archeological site, we will do ceremony to purify ourselves, enter the darkness, face death, and be reborn into the light. We will visit the fountain of Demeter, the cave of the underworld where Persephone was kidnapped by Hades, and the most sacred site of the ancient mystery school play of transformation and life change. Layne Redmond, a world renowned frame drummer will help produce trance in the way it was done thousands of years ago. Project- go into the darkness, face death, emerge into the light, in a play and dance.
Day 1- Sunday, May 31, 2008
9:00 Tinos Conference center, lecture: Layne’s teaching of drumming, humming, pranayama, energy and chanting practices of the Bee Priestesses and the Muses. We will also be relaxing, eating and swimming in Komi. . Lecture about Eleusis and the Mysteries
Day 2, Monday, June 1, 2008
Travel to Athens by ferry, arrive in hotel. Orientation to Athens. Lecture about Eleusis. Evening visit to Acropolis and temple of Athena
Day 3. 9: Tuesday, June 2, 2008
9:00 am Classroom lecture about the Eleusian Mystery ceremony 2;00 pm  afternoon, visit National Museum of Archeology. . Day 4  Wednesday, June 3, 2008
9:00 am To Eleusis, Ceremony all day
Day 5 , Thursday, June 4, 2008 Final Closing, and leave for home.