Greek Fire 14. Ayia Zoni, the birthing belt, and the dance mandíli

Thursday, February 25, 2021 
  In Greek Fire 13 I described the miraculous icon of Panayía Tricheroúsa (Παναγία Τριχερούσα), the Three-Handed Madonna, an unusual and powerful manifestation of the Mother of God. This caused a regular reader of this blog to comment that I always seem to be writing about the Panayia, or fire, or women's ritual dances.

It's true: my inspiration for the name Greek Fire comes from the importance of fire here, both literally – the fireplace in our unheated house (Greek Fire 1), the incense I light daily (Greek Fire 2) – and metaphorically, as in the fire of life, expressed so unreservedly in nature and in dance. My life in Greece is definitely an ongoing quest for living traditions of women's ritual dance and other aspects of women's spirituality which survive here in sometimes unexpected ways.

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