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The Delphic Idea


Besides the Delphi archaiological museum, there is also the Museum of the Delphic festivals, which was the former residence of  the famed lyric poet and playright Angelos Sikelianos and his American born wife Eva Palmer.


The husband and wife team wanted to re-establish Delphi as a cultural and spiritual epicentre that would unite people from all over the world. They believed that Delphi was still a world magnet with the power to inspire human progress and development. 


In May 1927, with the support of his wife, Eva Palmer-Sikelianos, Sikelianos held the Delphic Festivals as part of his general effort towards the revival of the "Delphic Idea". Sikelianos believed that the principles which had shaped the classic civilisation, if re-examined, could offer spiritual nourishment and serve as a means of inter-cultural communication among people. The event consisted of Olympic contests, a concert of Byzantine music, an exhibition of folk art as well as a performance of Prometheus Bound. The couple also organized revivals of the Delphic Festivals in 1930 that featured their own productions of Aeschylus’s plays as well as Delphic games and an arts and crafts show. Attracting an international audience of artists and intellectuals, they succeeded in making Delphi a place of pilgrimage, as it had been in ancient times.

In honour of the memory of Angelos and Eva Sikelianos, the European Cultural Centre of Delphi bought and restored their house in Delphi, which is today the Museum of Delphic Festivals.


Almost a hundred years later, more than ever the ''Delphic idea'' is relevant in today's global village so often turbulent times as it offers a holistic alternative of ''a unity through diversity'' to that of a fragmented humanity.The Delphic Games of Antiquity were an expression of a classical view of life. Humankind and his search for perfection were at the focal point. The spiritual festivities, along with the artistic and physical competitions, symbolized man at the time as a whole - body, mind and soul.The longing for cultural development was rooted so deeply that even wars were temporarily stopped for the Delphic Games.


Through this peaceful forum, the ancient Greeks were able to raise the development of healing, art  and science to an extremely high level, despite fighting and war, achievements that have formed and moulded societies up to modern times.


The KNOW THY golden SELF retreats are aimed at offering a meaningful personal development experience to participants in accordance to the timeless ideals of that visionary couple, inviting people from all over the world and from diverse cultural backgrounds to come together at the sacred Delphi sanctuary. In this vein by temporarily pausing the hectic pace of their lives, seeking inspiration and readjusting their life direction towards the best possible 'golden' version of themselves they help to transmit more light into their communities and the wider world.The retreat programme is designed to integrate both the Apollonean (by means of engaging in psychological work) and the Dionysiac (by means of the included cultural activities) elements, much as Nobel prize nominee Aggelos Sikelianos had brilliantly envisioned them intermarrying in his mythopoetic writtings.


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