Signs Of Rituals For Rebirth In Ancient Sicily

Unless you are a plumber, this may not look so interesting at first. Earlier this month while in Sicily, I returned to the Sanctuary of Demeter Malophoros at Selinunte to understand its placement as related to the Modione River that it flanks and the Mediterranean Sea. I was curious about water placement near and on the grounds of the ancient Greek sacred site because of the rites that scholars believed were practiced inside this “members-only” complex.

This ancient canal carried water to the center of the campus from a fresh spring that had its source on the hill north of the sanctuary. When considering the deities venerated here–Demeter, Persephone, Hades, and Hecate–the cycles of life and death were central to the cult practices also known as the Eleusinian Mysteries. The presence of fresh water and wild water sources for bathing is essential to cleansing and rebirth rituals.

(Site: Selinunte Archaeological Park, Castelvetrano, Sicily, Italy)

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