Our Gnostic Templar tradition evolved out of the ancient Goddess Tradition, and it is Her, the Goddess Sophia, that we call upon to support and protect our Order. In order to better connect with Her and understand Her very ancient tradition, we often take pilgrimages to those places where She was invoked in the distant past and where Her tradition flourished. One such place is Malta, a location whose name – not surprisingly – begins with MA. On Malta and its neighboring island of Gozo stand some of the most awe-inspiring and ancient Goddess temples known to humankind. Conservatively estimated to be 5,000 to 6,000 years old, they have also been said by those living on the island itself to be closer to 25,000 – 30,000 years in age. Thus, they may have been built in the Neolithic Age when Goddess worship was at its height and, as has been said, “When God was a Woman.”
According to Ernle Bradford, a resident of Malta and author of Mediterranean, Portrait of the Sea, the temples of Malta were built when the Mediterranean was a fertile valley dotted with lakes. In the center of the valley was a huge, mountainous ridge that united North Africa with Italy. The temples of both Malta and Gozo were built upon the summit of one of these ancient towering peaks. Sometime later, circa 11,000 BCE, the gigantic wall that separated the Mediterranean Valley from the Atlantic was broken apart by the rising flood waters of the western ocean as legendary Atlantis sank below the waves. The valley was then filled with the water it holds today.
The likelihood that Malta existed during the time of Atlantis leads to many intriguing possibilities. Perhaps it was built by the Goddess-loving itinerant Amazons of the western motherland, whom history claims established many settlements in ancient North Africa and could thus have ventured along the ridge separating the continents and built an important sanctuary upon one of its most holy peaks.
Evidence for Malta having existed during an antidiluvian age and thousands of years older than currently thought by most academics are its “cart ruts”. There are hundreds of deep tracks – some measuring two feet or more in depth – that are cut into the rock of the island and run in pairs (or many together) in all directions. They give the impression that they once must have been used as tracks or roads to cross the island. What is most intriguing about these tracks is that many of them do not stop when reaching water, but continue well into the sea, thus implying that the Mediterranean must have been much lower than it is today – or even non-existent. Another anomaly that points to Malta’s extreme antiquity are the prehistoric bones that have been found on the island. These are bones of prehistoric animals that would have had to travel on a ridge from the mainland of Europe and/or North Africa to reach Malta in ancient times.
In the 16th Century the Goddess Tradition of Malta influenced its new tenants, the Knights of St. John – soon to be known as the Knights of Malta – to embrace certain of its components, such as alchemy and the path of Gnosis. Then, during the reign of Manuel Pinto de Fonseca, the 68th Grandmaster, 1741 – 1773, Malta became one of the world’s headquarters of alchemy and the destination for such alchemical adepts as Cagliostro and St. Germain. Legend has it the secret, underground laboratories of this period still exist on Malta!
In April Andrea and I will be leading a Sacred Sites Journeys pilgrimage to Malta and Gozo in order to study these enchanting islands and connect with their ancient Goddess Tradition. I invite all Goddess lovers, esoteric historians, and spiritual warriors interested in the mysterious Knights of Malta to join us.