Two Equals One

By Jheri St. James

Satellite Image of Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus is an island situated in the northeastern Mediterranean Sea, about 40 miles south of Turkey and 60 miles west of Syria. Cyprus, 3,578 square miles in area, is the Mediterranean Sea’s third largest island. The capital is Nicosia. Two main mountain ranges dominate the island: the Kyrenia ridge in northern-central Cyprus and the Troödos Mountains in the southwest, including Mt. Olympus (6,403 ft). Between these rugged ranges lies the fertile Mesaöia plain. The island’s climate is predominantly dry, with mild winters and hot, sunny summers. The sparse remains of ancient forests of evergreen oak, Aleppo pine, and cypress cling to the rocky mountain slopes, but centuries of timber cutting have almost stripped Cyprus of its native forest cover, largely replaced by poor pasture.

*  *  *

Two: Past and Present

Aphrodite was the goddess of love, one of the 12 Olympians. Some legends say she was brought forth from ocean foam near Cyprus or Cythera; others that she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione. One of the most celebrated deities of the ancients, she was known as the goddess of beauty, mother of love, queen of laughter, mistress of the graces and pleasures, patroness of courtesans. Zeus was refused by her and for her obstinacy gave her in marriage to his ugly and deformed son Hephaestus (Vulcan). As she was notoriously unfaithful, her intrigue with Ares (exposed by Apollo) is famous. The mother of many—Deimos, Eros, Anteros, Hermione, Phobus by Ares; Hermaphroditus by Hermes; Priapus by Dionysus; Eryx by Poseidon (according to Apollodorus); Aeneas by Anchises. Paris gave her the Apple of Discord, and she helped him win Helen. She abandoned Olympus because she was partial to Adonis. Her mysterious girdle Cestus, gave beauty, grace, and elegance to the most deformed, excited love, and rekindled extinguished ardors. Not an exciting figure in Homer, she is even wounded by Diomedes in the battle at Troy. The Homeric Hymns, Hesiod, Homer, Ovid, Vergil, Pausanias, Europides—many others—tell her story. Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis; Spencer, The Faerie Queene, Epithalamion, Prothalamion, “An Hymne in Honour of Beautie: ; John Peele Bishop, “When the Net was Unwound Venus Was Found Ravelled with Mars”; many allusions in Byron, Donne, Milton, Pope, Rosetti, and so on (J.E. Zimmerman: Dictionary of Classical Mythology).

*  *  *

St. Hilarion Castle, North Cyprus

Neolithic farmers lived on the island as early as 6000 B.C. Around 1200 B.C. Greek-speaking traders arrived, followed by the Phoenicians. Both peoples set up city-states, and Cyprus developed a cosmopolitan Eurasian culture. In 708 B.C., however, Cyprus submitted to Assyria, and from then on was largely dominated by foreign states. The Ottoman Turks (1570-1878) established this own Muslim culture alongside the Christian one that had flourished since A.D. 45. After Britain gained Cyprus in 1878 (making it a crown colony in 1925), conflict between Turkish and Greek Cypriots became a major issue, especially in the 1950’s when Archbishop Makarios led the powerful movement for enosis, political union with Greece. Also in the 1950’s, Col. Giorgios Grivas headed EOKA, a guerrilla movement aimed at forcibly freeing Cyprus from Britain.

Though we called your friend from his bed this night,
He could not speak to you,
For the race is run by one and one
And never by two and two.

(Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936)

In 1960 Britain granted Cyprus its independence. The new republic tried solving its Greco-Turkish problem by constitutional compromise, which failed. Fierce inter-communal fighting and the threat of intervention from both Greece and Turkey led to the arrival of a UN peacekeeping force in 1965. Subsequent talks between President Makarios and Turkish leaders were frequent but fruitless. In 1974 a military group organized by Greek army officers ousted Makarios, whereupon Turkey invaded the island, setting up a “Turkish Federated State of Cyprus” under Turkish occupation in the northeastern third of the island, but it is recognized only by Turkey. Although the island remains divided, it is regarded as a Greek nation by the U.N. About 80% of the Cypriots are of Greek extraction; the rest are predominantly Turkish in origin. Each group clings to its own cultural traditions; there are two official languages (Greek and Turkish), two main faiths (the Orthodox Church of Cyprus and Islam), and even separate schools for Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Two flags represent Cyprus: the white with copper-colored silhouette of the island about two green crossed olive branches in the center of the flat, the branches symbolizing the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cypress flag has a horizontal red stripe at the top and bottom between which is a red crescent and red star on a white field.

It takes two to speak the truth—
One to speak and another to hear.

(Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862)

* * *

Nicosia, Capital City of Cyprus

The latest two-year round of UN-brokered direct talks between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement to reunite the divided island ended with the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN settlement plan in an April 2004 referendum. The entire island entered the EU on May 1, 2004, although the EU applies only to the areas under direct Republic of Cyprus control. At present, every Cypriot carrying a Cyprus passport has the status of a European citizen; however, EU laws do not apply to north Cyprus. Nicosia continues to oppose EU efforts to establish direct trade and economic links to north Cyprus as a way of encouraging the Turkish Cypriot community to continue to support reunification.

The betrothed of good is evil.
The betrothed of life is death,
The betrothed of love is divorce.

Malay Proverb

*  *  *

Two: Polarities
Noah’s Ark, floating in these waters during the biblical inundation, was a good example of the importance of two—male and female—the most personal of the dualities important to mankind. Others include: war and peace, life and death, gods and goddesses, inner and outer, light and dark, soft and hard. The Chinese symbol for yin-yang—yin (the passive, female—moon, shade, femininity) and yang (the active, masculine—sun, light, masculine) is a circle divided into two curved forms, one dark, the other light. This philosophy rests on the idea that all things exist through their interaction, the interaction of opposites.

*  *  *

Two: Above and Below:
The earliest known attempts to raise distinctively philosophical questions go back to the 7th century B.C., when the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers were active. Their intellectual heirs were Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Today, Robert Sarmast, in his book The Discovery of Atlantis: The Startling Case for the Island of Cyprus, offers a theory that Plato’s sunken continent Atlantis is located just off the southern coast of Cyprus. Because Plato based his story of Atlantis on Greek and Egyptian accounts of the disaster, Sarmast believes that Cyprus is the only logical location for this cryptic landmass--unlike the Bahamas, Bolivia and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, commonly thought to be its boundaries. People of the ancient world would have been familiar with this location and chroniclers of the Atlantis story firsthand knowledge of the event, says Sarmast.

Further proof of Atlantis’ location comes in the form of oceanographic research and sonar mapping of the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. Not only does the area off the coast of Cyprus fit the dimensions mentioned by Plato, but a small mound within that rectangular plain seems to match the description of the concentric rings of walls and canals that purportedly surrounded the capital city of Atlantis. Core samples from the Mediterranean also show a previously unknown pattern of evaporation and sudden, cataclysmic flooding within the past 10,000+ years that could easily be evidence of not only the veracity of the location for the story of Atlantis, but also the biblical flood.

Two Platonic dialogues constitute the only existing written records specifically referring to Atlantis. Timaeus and Critias agreed to entertain Socrates with a tale that was “not a fiction but a true story” about the conflict between the ancient Athenians and the Atlantians 9000 years before Plato’s time. Timaeus and Critias are known to have actually existed in ancient Greece. Records of their lives and deeds have been recorded in other writings from the time period.

During the summer of 1973, UPI reported the existence of a super civilization which legend says sank beneath the sea thousands of years ago. Divers found evidence of up to 30 ruins including pyramids, domes, paved roads, rectangular buildings, columns (as described by Plato), canals and artifacts on the ocean bottoms from the Bahamas to the nearby coasts of Europe and Africa, referencing the vast size of the lost continent. Dozens of historians and famous writers wrote about the Atlantis they believed existed; how the Mayans and Aztecs told their conquerors they came from Atlantis and Mu; about ancient tablets photographed in Peru showing those two lost continents, Atlantis and Lemuria; and ancient maps clearly showing Atlantis. The Aztecs, Mayans, Greeks, Egyptians, Spainish, East Indians, Tibetans and islanders in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans all speak of ancient sunken continents—Mu and Mar in the Pacific Ocean, and Lumania in the Indian Ocean. Easter Island is thought to be a remnant of Lemuria. There were also the lands of Thule and Hyperborea. All these lands came to an end around 11,500 years ago with dramatic planetary events, which sank and shifted continents and covered much of the earth with water. (

*  *  *

Winners and Losers
Today’s conflicts in Cyprus are just the tip of the iceberg of a long history of foreign domination, violence and civil strife, apparently going back to the times of Atlantis and earlier--Greek gods and goddesses warred. Since the 1950’s, the soil of the island of Cyprus has been a battleground between its two main ethnic/religious populations—Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Arguments today even take place about what the word Cyprus means. One opinion is that it comes from the Greek word meaning cypress. Another suggests that it stems from the word for copper, because of large deposits of copper ore found on the island. Another theory is that it was named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite (Kipris). Homer refers to the island of Kypron in his epics Iliad and Odyssey: “Muse, sing to me the works of golden haired Aphrodite Cypridos”.

Two: Myth and Reality
Aphrodite is the legendary goddess of beauty, love, sex and passion, who emerged fully-grown from the sea, where the severed genitals of the god Uranus were cast by his son Kronos, causing the sea to foam. Throughout ancient history, Cyprus was a flourishing center for the cultic worship of Aphrodite. Her birth was famously depicted by the artist Botticelli in The Birth of Venus.

*  *  *

The Cyprus soil collection for Common Ground 191 was accomplished by Hellen Choraitis, born on June 4, 1967. Her parents are both Cypriots born in Davlos, a small village in the northern part of Cyprus, who went to the UK in their late teens. Hellen’s four sisters and she were all born in the UK. When she was 12 years of age, her parents bought a very old, partially ruined house in Cyprus, which had been owned by a doctor during World War II. “From the first day we moved in we realized we were not alone—furniture moving, banging, all sorts of things—which scared us all. So we shared our home with spirits.” In her late 20’s, Hellen went through a horrible divorce and started blaming God for her extremely bad luck. An “earth angel” cousin of hers said, “If you start to believe in God, then He will help you.” Hellen thought she had nothing to lose as she was already going through hell. “So I started to pray regularly and started to see a magnificent difference. My luck had changed. Then one night I was pulled by one hand and I saw a white figure which I thought could be an angel pull me out of bed. I smelled burning and found my computer plug was burning, so I switched it off. A few nights later, I was again pulled out of bed by both hands and someone was calling my name. I saw it was an angel again, and the room was filled with smoke.” She was spared from a fire.

After that Hellen was introduced to Reiki healing techniques and is now a Reiki Usui Master/Pranic Healer/Spiritual Healer, a skill given to her directly from a spirit named Metatron who has eyes like fire. “He has recently visited me and has given me a healing energy ball that I can activate with mind control. Now I have my own Angelight Mind Body & Spirit New Age Store in Limassol, Cyprus, where I do healing, coaching and plan to teach shortly. When a client comes to me I know that they are guided because I can help them, in one way or the other. I’ve had a hard life and now I know why—because I am here to help others!

“When I picked up the sand from Aphrodite’s rock, I brought some back to the shop and some gemstones and crystals I found there. Since then Aphrodite herself keeps appearing to me and in my dreams and meditations, and I keep on getting a lot of clients with relationship problems—strange but true. The name Angelight was given to me by my (spirit) guide many years ago and I used as a nickname online and for a paper I used to write for. Angelite is known as the Angel stone.

“My favorite Archangels are Michael and Raphael. We have an Archangel Michael figure in our shop that has given messages to customers. Archangel Raphael is always present at my healings, ready to step into me in various difficult cases in which I radiate green, and am full of static. My true love is for Angels; that is what I want to teach in the future. I’m already preaching it at my shop because a lot of people do not know enough about them and how they changed my life and have changed many of my customers’ lives.

“I am now remarried to Constantinos, another English-born Cypriot, and we have three children. I’m a great fan of Doreen Virtue’s and have read all her books and use all her card decks.”

Two: Goddesses and Angels:
Around 1200 B.C., Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, emerged from the gentle jade-colored sea form at Petra tou Romiou, a boulder that juts up from the south coast of Cyprus. The name Aphrodite means “foam born”. She was the most ancient goddess of the Olympians. Eros, Aphrodite’s son, accidentally wounded her bosom with one of his arrows. Reeling from the wound, she took solace in her mineral pool, the famed Baths of Aphrodite on the Akamas Peninsula of Cyprus. The hunter Adonis was within sight that day, and the love he inspired in Aphrodite was the greatest and most powerful she would ever know. One day jealous Ares, disguised as a boar, proceeded to kill Adonis with his tusks. Aphrodite heard his cries from her swan-drawn chariot high above the island’s highest peaks in the Troodos Mountains. Once by his side, she summoned the nymph Menthe (the mint spirit), who sprinkled nectar on his blood, and then by magic red anemones sprang forth. Each spring, they rise again from the fertile soil of Cyprus, gently moving in the wind. (Anemos in Greek means wind.) Is it Aphrodite’s tears that coax the anemones into bloom? In the 12th century, B.C., an elaborate sanctuary was built in her honor at Palea Pafos (Kouklia), the most significant of a dozen such consecrated sites in Cyprus. Some accounts of the sacred site have young women congregating to ritually sacrifice their virginity, however sacred prostitution was the likelier scenario. According to Herodotus, every girl had to make a pilgrimage to the sanctuary and there make love to a stranger. The girls would sit in the sacred gardens wearing crowns of rope and wait for men passing by to choose them. A man would throw an offering at the feet of his preferred “pilgrim” and utter the words “I invoke the goddess in you,” whereupon the sacrificial act would be consummated.

A teacher in two realms, goddesses and angels, Doreen Virtue’s online newsletter was the angelic intervention in the Common Ground 191 project that has resulted in soils being collected from at least 10 x 2 = 20 locations. Thank you, all those in the spirit, goddess and angelic realms. Did the reader take note of the angels surrounding Aphrodite/Venus in the Botticelli print?

Cyprus Ruins - Columns

In numerology, the numbers in 191 (as in Common Ground 191), when added together, become a sum of 11, which when again combined becomes the number two. Two is the theme of this journal entry, because The Republic of Cyprus embodies yin-yang of the number two in its everyday life. Of course, our ultimate goal is to make all the dualities, polarities and separate countries and their soils unite into one final 50 x 50 foot fresco. If Cyprus and all countries of the world picture the possibility of becoming one, leading to a sense of spiritual oneness, it will happen in fact, and common ground will have been achieved on earth. At least that’s our theory here at Common Ground 191=2.

*  *  *

In the thrice mysteries hall where men have never entered, We have feted you,
Astarte of the night, Mother of the world, Well-Spring in the Life of all the Gods!
I shall reveal a portion of the rite, but no more of than is permissible.
About a crowned Phallos, a hushed-twenty women swayed and cried.
The initiates were dressed as men, the other in the split tunic.
The fume of perfumes and the smoke of torches floated fog-like in tent among us all
I wept my scorching tears.
All, at the feet of Berbeia, we threw ourselves, extended on our backs.
Then, when the Religious Act was consummated, and when into the Holy triangle the purpled phallus had been plunged anew, the mysteries began, but I shall say no more.

(The Songs of Bilitis III,
Epigrams in the Isle of Cyprus –

Not as their friend or child I speak!
But as on some far northern strand,
Thinking of his own Gods, a Greek
In pity and mournful awe might stand
Before some fallen Runic stone—
For both were faiths, and both are gone. Wandering between two worlds, one dead,
The other powerless to be born,
With no where yet to rest my head,
Like these, on earth I wait forlorn.

Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) – The Grande Chartreuse

Top | Back




All images and text © Copyright 2018 Common Ground 191 - All rights reserved