I continue to be fascinated in discovering the wonders of this magical island that I am so fortunate to now call home. There is so much to explore here; from secret coves, lush forests, deep valleys, hidden caves steeped in mystery, to tales of ancient goddesses.
Intrigued by the latter, I set out recently with a friend to discover the shrine at Es Cuieram (Es Culleram), one of the most important sites on Ibiza dedicated to the Phoenician Goddess Tanit.
Tanit is a warrior goddess of dance associated with the moon, and of fertility, creation, and destruction.
The Carthaginians were a people from the city of Carthage in north Africa, part of the Phoenician empire. At it's peak the Phoenician empire stretched across the entire Mediterranean region. At its centre was a city named Tyre. Power eventually shifted from Tyre to Carthage on the coast of what is now Tunisia.
The Romans destroyed the Carthaginian Empire in the Punic wars fought between Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC. In doing so they were also very effective in wiping out any records of its culture.
In 654 BC the Carthaginians arrived in Ibiza and founded a trading post. They gave Ibiza the name Ibosim and over time settled across the whole island bringing their worship of the goddess Tanit with them.
For many, the Carthaginian goddess Tanit is a beloved symbol of Ibiza. To this present day people visit the shrine to make an offering to the warrior goddess and having visited the shrine personally on the northeast of the island, I felt I understood a little more why this is.
The cave holds a very special, mystical energy. Set in a steep hillside overlooking Sant Vicente, surrounded and protected by a lush forest, there is a beautiful winding track that leads you directly down to the mouth of the cave.
On entering, you walk through a series of small rooms before descending into the main room down a small set of stairs. Dimly lit, cool and inviting, my eye was immediately taken by the stone shrine in the centre of the space. Adorned with offerings from past visitors; enchanting offerings, all with their own stories. Crystals, personal notes, photographs, fertility symbols, jewellery, and much more, beautiful and symbolic to all those who have spent time in this special, sacred space.
This is a place to be at ease. To meditate and feel the energy of this warrior goddess.
Personally, taking some time out to visit this shrine was a precious gift.
Tanit. Goddess of the moon. Symbolising the dancer within us all. Dancing through the journey of life, love, creation, birth, and death.
I honour and give thanks to all that she represents.
I highly recommend a visit when you are next on this beautiful magical white island.