The ancient Roman Baths in the South-West of England is a powerful energy vortex for healing. For this highly strung traveling empath the sacred waters of Celtic-Roman goddess Sulis Minerva offered an unexpected tranquil refuge and invigorating sanctuary, even at the height of the European tourist season.
Arriving at the Roman Baths Museum, I was planning to just have a quick browse around and then go off in pursuit of the famous Ms Austen’s favorite haunts after all. Well, what is usually a 90 minute visit for the average visitor to the baths, according to the museum’s audio guide, became for me a four hour metaphysical adventure.
I soon discovered that I was back in the presence of the Goddess Athena, who I had encountered at the beginning of this trip in all her magnificence on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Yes indeed, it appears I have unknowingly been stalking her throughout Europe. Or had she lured me here under false pretenses?
People came from far and wide to seek healing… and revenge here. Yes, indeed. Heaps of rolled up lead and pewter sheets with inscriptions (defixiones) were also found at the bottom of the sacred spring. But they do not contain prayers for healing. The inscribed messages were in fact curses thrown into the spring where the spirit of Sulis Minerva dwelt; they were etched with requests for vengeance from the gods – mostly about very mundane trivialities: stolen coins and clothing, cheating husbands and unrequited love.
The punishments and misfortunes wished upon the perpetrators were all extreme considering the offense, and quite surprising to the modern observer. Had the gods responded to these prayers as requested, stealing a couple of coins from someone could easily see you hacked to pieces, eaten by birds of prey and burning in the eternal hell fires of the underworld! Revenge may seem disturbingly out of place in this soothing place of healing, but is releasing anger and letting go of resentment, in order to find forgiveness and inner peace, not one of the most powerful forms of healing?
My personal experience at the temple of Sulis Minerva was profound. As an empath I am a conduit for energy and predisposed to healing others spontaneously. I have as a result spent a significant part of my life being subjected to people infringing on my personal space. They often follow me around in public places, without knowing why, or stand as close to me as possible, in order to heal or somehow exchange energy. I guess you can say people like me are like ‘filtering docks’ or ‘recycling bins’ for the rest of humanity. It’s a tough job, but I guess someone has to do it.
But at the Roman Baths something truly amazing happened. For the first time in my life I had nobody trampling over my feet, crawling underneath my armpits or breathing down my neck. I was stunned. It was high season in Bath and the museum was extremely crowded, yet I could breathe freely and move around with ease. People kept a decent distance and nobody insisted on getting in my face. I remember thinking that this must be how ‘normal’ folks feel when they are out in public. I spent several hours inside that museum, surrounded by a mass of tourists, yet I felt calm and miraculously energized!
But how could this be? What was it about this place that gave a highly strung empath like me, a sense of perfect peace and liberty? Energy, of course! The Roman Baths is a powerful hub of healing energy. It oozes from the stones and bubbles up from the sacred spring, seeping into every pore, nook and cranny. The other museum visitors had no need for a feeble little docking bay like myself – they were broadband downloading from the very place itself! I guess you can say that, in metaphysical terms, I am like a slow dial-up line, while the Roman Baths is like logging into a powerful WiFi signal, while standing directly under the British Telecoms Tower in London.
Above the entrance to the former temple of Sulis Minerva the facade used to featured the mesmerizing head of the Gorgon. His magical face and what is left of the original facade is now on display inside the museum. I sat staring at him for ages. The Gorgon’s eyes look straight into your soul; they follow you around like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. But the gorgon is not smiling. His laser beam eyes used to turn his victims into stone, like Medusa in Greek mythology, until he was slain and given as a gift to Minerva.
She wore him on her chest as part of her armor, to serve as her shield. I could not resist and bought a Gorgon keyring and pendant at the souvenir shop. The Gorgon was going with me everywhere I go from now on… as a psychic shield to keep out the bad vibes, and freeze those ‘heebie jeebies’ in their tracks when next I visit my local supermarket!
And the goddess Athena? What did she have to do with all of this? Well, that is just it … Minerva is the Roman version of the goddess Athena. This place of healing and energy exchange is home to Athena, in the guise of Sulis and Minerva.
© 2013 Anthon St. Maarten