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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vandenburg

🇹🇷 ... and then I got COVID

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Welcome! For those new to me 🌊👋

My name is Maria Elizabeth Khadija Vandenburg... I was born on August 6th 1981 🎬 (and CUT)


Myself embracing an Underground Cave Wall
Myself embracing an Underground Cave Wall

In May of 2023 I traveled to Turkiye with Center for Spiritual Living Seattle and Rev. Kathianne Lewis, DDS. You can catch up on the first few weeks of the trip here:


The Start of the Return to Turkiye

Which brings us up to date. We'd left Hieropolis and stopped to visit Sardis

Sardis in Turkiye
Sardis in Turkiye

The Group at Sardis
The Group at Sardis

Leo's Unit! At a Lion Statue in Sardis
Leo's Unit! At a Lion Statue in Sardis

💕 After an overnight in Izmir, it was off to Pergamum.... which I absolutely ADORED.


We visited Pergamum dedicated to Asclepion (God of healing and Medicine). The site was founded in the 4th Century BC around a sacred spring that still flows. I decided I needed a baptism.... as I intuively sensed and knew that I had been here before...✨

Credit: Cathy.  Me at Asclepion's Healing Waters
Credit: Cathy. Me at Asclepion's Healing Waters

My soul sister Cathy recorded this for me. I love theses pictures so much, as they capture another mystical moment.... yet another place I had been in in meditation...



According to our tour guide, Hakan, (who I adored) captured in the photo below:


Our amazing tour manager, Hakan
Our amazing tour manager, Hakan

"Over the next centuries, this became one of the best-known healing centers of the ancient world, second in importance only to Epidaurus in Greece. The influential physician Galen was born in Pergamum and practiced here in the 2nd Century AD, having first made his medical reputation treating warriors in the gladiatorial games of the city."


Which brings me to the tital of this blog: On our return to Istanbul, following visiting this healing garden, and right before the start of the extension of the trip....🦠



Izmir – Miletus – Didyma – Bodrum

So I missed Miletus. It is a sacred cave belonging to both of the temples dedicated to the twins Apollo and Artemis and Didyma...


I threw a pity party for myself and then I Came to Jesus. Yes, I had to "quarantine." BUT, and that's a pretty big BUT.... I was at a gorgeous mystical villa, on a cliff with drop dead gorgeous views.


AND the infinity pool felt strangely familiar😉😘


🌹 The Villa even had a Mary Magdalene altar for f*cks sake


Ancient City of Stratonikeia and Lagina Hecate Sanctuary


The next day the group went to Strantonikeia. 😤

I heard ALL about how powerful Hekates' energy is..


I mean, I was happy the group got to experience some of Hekate's fierce energy, but I couldn't help be a bit envious. 🤦🏻‍♀️



Overall though, this trip was what I've always dreamed about. Some of my highlights below: ✨

"Resting" in Bodrum. Imagine coming here for romantic reasons??? It took my breathe away 🥰

Myself at the Temple of Apollo... Representing the home team... 🏈


Sunrise visiting Konya, where I had the honor, joy and deep appreciation to witness my first Whirling Dervish ceremony right next to the Mevlana Museum. 🤯 All details previously captured here:


Interested in learning more about my personal journey?




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