The feminine in antiquity by Shama, the Damanhurian Epiphany

Jan 27, 14 The feminine in antiquity by Shama, the Damanhurian Epiphany

teco_spiritual_vision copyMONDAY . SPIRITUAL VISION

I am honored to have been re-elected ‘Befana’ (Epiphany) for the third time. The tradition of the Befana is deeply felt here at Damanhur, especially in the Way of the Oracle, because it is associated with the mythological figure of a ‘sorceress,’ an elderly woman who comes bearing her gifts on the day of the Epiphany (the name Befana comes from this). The day is called as such because EPI means ‘over’ and FAN means light, that is: victory, supremacy of light over darkness.

Being the Befana is an important role for me. It means that in some way, I need to bring light to those around me. I have chosen to do this through short reflections on various themes, to stimulate, teach, inspire. It’s a small personal contribution to my collective world. I have fun finding different themes to explore.


The (new) corner of the Befana: The feminine in antiquity.
Some experts believe that megalithic civilizations were matriarchal, with women placed at the apex of society – not as the rulers, but as those who gave life. After all, women were gatherers while men went hunting, and it was probably the women who developed the most refined skills in agriculture, with the instinct and common sense to select the best seeds for the crops of the coming year.

The Oracle of Damanhur, Rite of the Full Moon, 20th AnniversaryThe mother goddess was known in a variety of different forms. Sometimes she was a snake, or a vulture, or the moon. Each symbol represents a cycle of death, birth and regeneration. The snake goes into hibernation, then it wakes up and sheds its skin. The vulture recycles dead flesh by eating it, and the moon dies and is reborn every 28 days, reflecting the female menstrual cycle.

The cult of the Moon was very advanced in antiquity. It’s been recently confirmed that temples such as Stonehenge were originally built to glorify the moon, as well as the sun. Each month, the rays of the moon perfectly align with openings in the massive stones, which the architects positioned precisely to accommodate the subtle and changeable movements of the moon cycle rising and setting, which repeats exactly every 18.6 years. The full moon has had a historical and religious significance that goes back thousands of years, since it was by the light of the full moon that many tribes of hunter-gatherers hunted and had the best opportunity for good fishing.

Shama Viola


Shama’s spiritual way – the Way of the Oracle – officiates the Rite of the Oracle in Damanhur every month at the full moon, open to guests! Click here for information.




  1. Karen /

    Congratulations – your election reflects the wisdom of the community. I have learned so much from you. Thank you. Karen

    • Shama /

      dear Karen, thank you for your lovely comment. I hope that you are well and that things continue to develop in a synchronistic way for you. I am still visioning about coming to Idaho some day…. are you there now? How is everything going? I am very good, feeling quite happy and fulfilled and much much grateful for the wonderful blessings my life is filled with…. I send you my best wishes and lots of love. Shama