“The Most Powerful Portal in Zion” - Kursi
The Spiritual Site that Became an Intersection of Ley-lines and Multicultural Discourses
Keywords:Israel, sacred places, Judeo-Christian tradition, Syncretism, Holy Land
Kursi is an Israeli site that has recently been increasingly appropriated by various alternative-spiritual groups, especially contemporary Pagan and neoshamanic ones. Located on the Sea of Galilee’s northeastern shore, it lies in an array of archeological-historic sites relating to Jewish-rabbinical, Christian, and, to some extent, Pagan history. The Israel Nature and Parks Authority regulates the site (rather than a religious institution) and is interested in intensifying its mystical aura, and thus amplifying its spiritual appropriation. The various discourses surrounding Kursi (of archeologists, Christian pilgrims, etc.) are eclectic, and adopt from one another to varying degrees. Nevertheless, it seems the contemporary Neo-Pagan/Neo-ShamanPagan/neoshamanic discourse is most comfortable with adopting and reinterpreting elements from other discourses. Practitioners fearlessly and creatively meld all contents together. Their invention of a tradition combines Israeli, Jewish, Christian, Pagan, and New Age symbols with scientific findings, pseudo-scientific theories, and establishment-related discourses, thus weaving them into a new synthetic-syncretistic mythology via ritualistic work.
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