The isle of Crete


Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 22:00 to Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 18:00

Celebrate June's full moon on the

ancient goddess revering isle of Crete.

11 all-inclusive days of beachcombing, temple hopping, immersion in Nature,

yoga, Ayurveda, culinary pursuits, herbal studies, ceremonies, rituals,

sacred drumming and spa going.

Delve deep into the secret Cult of the Melissae, the bee priestesses,

pollinators of culture and wisdom in the ancient world,

goddess worshippers and diviners. 

Each day is designed to integrate, activate and embody

the archetypal qualities of one of the goddesses in the Greek pantheon. 

Prepare to tap into your inner thea.

Artemis:  Explore Crete’s gorges and pristine beaches with the eye of the huntress.

Aphrodite:  Nourish, restore and rejuvenate at the Turkish Hammam in the company of women.

Athena:  Learn the herstory version of the sacred places and the practices that took place there. 

Demeter:  Honor the grain mother on the Solstice, as the ancients did by participating in an entheogenic ceremony in the Cretan mountainside.

Hera:  Pay homage the queen of the Olympians by laughing, sharing and making merry in the company of women.

Hestia:  Master the domestic arts of bread making and traditional foods preparation.  Understand Ayurvedic perspectives on traditional nutrition including the historic and therapeutic importance of Greek foods such as olive oil, feta, yogurt and honey.

Hygeia:  Study and practice herbalism and aromatic medicine in the Cretan countryside.

Gaia:  Honor the earth mother for her bounty and generosity in an Andean despacho ceremony with a unique Mediterrean twist.

The Melissae:  Be initiated into the ancient Bee priestess wisdom tradition that was safeguarded by women of the ancient world.

Rhea:  Venerate the mother of the Olympians through developing your very own sacred drumming practice. 


JUNE 1-11, 2017

Join us on the isle of Crete

The island of Crete is a place of legends.  It is reputed to be the birthplace of Zeus, who was hidden from his father Chronos and raised by Nymphs on goat milk and honey in a cave on the southern coast.  It has been continually inhabited since at least 3000 BC by a remarkable blend of ancient cultures including primarily the Minoans but also Mycenaeans and Phoenicians.  It was home to the famed palace of Knossos where the myth of the Minotaur and the labyrinth hails from.  Crete is also renowned as a center of goddess worship since megalithic times.  Europe's mother goddess culture flourished here in the second millennium BC.  Thousands of years of matrilineal influence and reverence for the goddess infuses the very soil of this beautiful island.  It is a fertile womb space in which to revive the Mysteries of the Divine Feminine.




We will spend 3 days on the Greek mainland, visiting sacred places in and around Athens before heading to Crete for the remainder of our journey.  You will experience daily yoga, meditation and group work with the goddess archetypes as well as ritual and ceremony on the Solstice and days that we visit certain temples. 


Krista will initiate us into the ways of sacred drumming, an ancient and mystical portal practice to shift ordinary states of consciousness and to connect with Gaian intelligence and specific frequencies associated with sacred places like Delphi.  Receive your own personal frame drum, learn basic strokes and playing techniques as well as receive instruction on how to develop a meditation or ceremonial practice with the drum. 



We will explore Ayurvedic nutrition as it relates to the traditional foods of Greece, study herbalism and aromatic medicine.  Experience essential oil distillation in the Cretan countryside.  Learn artisanal bread making and Greek culinary arts.  Enhance your beauty and wellness with a visit to a traditional Turkish hammam, considered the “silent healer” of ancient Greek society.


We will romp on pristine beaches and meander through ancient gorges, cypress groves and mountainsides overlooking the turquoise Aegean Sea. We will gather as a group in gorgeous places all around Crete and the Grecian countryside to share these ancient ways of women.

Here is a sample itinerary of what you can expect to experience:


DAY 1:  How it begins                                               DAY 11:  How it culminates

Arrive Thursday, June 15th                                     7am Surya Soma yoga and meditation practices

12-4pm Plan on arriving to Athens                        8:30am Farm-to-table breakfast

  (we will arrange your airport pickup)                    overlooking the Kissamos Mtns.

                                                                           9am Closing circle

4:30pm Opening circle                                         11am Flight back to Athens

5-8pm Visit the Hamman and prepare

to be pampered like Aphrodite.

8:30pm Gourmet dinner

What we’ll do on the days in between

  • Surya Soma Yoga with Krista is an all - levels full spectrum hatha yoga practice. It is a form of hatha yoga with it’s roots nourished by a foundation in classical tantric yoga philosophy. The practice is designed to build strength in the musculature of the body, nervous system and mind while at the same time lubricating the joints and enhancing flexibility without compromising stability. It's a moving mediation infused with breath, physiology and deep inquiry into yogic philosophy.  (On the days that we have longer excursions, we will not be practicing.)

  • Farm-to-table breakfasts, lunch & dinners of local delicacies (begins with dinner on the 15th and ends with breakfast on the 25th.  We’ll also experience a few Greek picnic lunches on some of our longer excursions.  Think home cured olives, freshly baked bread, local feta, and ripe tomato salads overlooking craggy mountains, ancient cypress groves or temple ruins.

  • Group work with the Goddess Archetypes, facilitated by Aubrey.  Experiential exercises to understand their divine qualities and attributes and how to access, experience and activate them in yourself.
  • Guided excursions to sacred sites like the Acropolis, which includes the Parthenon, temple of Hephaestus, the Greek and roman agoras, Delphi and the temple of Apollo and the tholos of Pronai Athena.

  • A trip to an authentic Turkish Hamman where you’ll be exfoliated and massaged with locally made olive oil soaps.
  • Day trips to play in the Aegean sea, sun on some of Crete’s most pristine beaches, hike beautiful gorges and explore the tranquil surroundings and way of life of a 17th century mountain settlement.
  • Culinary lessons in healthy and delicious traditional Cretan cuisine.  Learn recipes and taste the fruits of your studies after.

  • Artisanal bread making classes where you will learn to bake your own bread.
  • A full day immersion with a veteran aromatherapist and herbalist, learning about medicinal herbs, their properties and preparations for women’s health and wellbeing.  Practice essential oil distillation from a master who specializes in wild plant medicines gathered from the most pristine biomes on Crete.

  • Ayurvedic perspectives on ancient ingredients that embody health, wellbeing and vitality.  Learn why foods such as honey, yogurt, goat’s milk and cheese and olives have been considered hallowed substances throughout history.
  • Enjoy time in solitude or in the company of women to walk in the mountains, on beaches, through cypress groves, in gorges and within temple ruins.

  • Bee Priestess Wisdom:  Learn about the connection between the Mediterranean Melissae - the Sacred Bee Priestesses, the Ancient Mother Goddess cultures and the widespread use of the frame drum by women in ceremonial rituals throughout the Mediterranean and beyond. Explore the deep relationship between the ancient Minoan culture and the honeybee through their cultural myths, symbolic artwork and legends.  
  • Ceremonial celebrations in Nature:  Experience rituals in ancient temples, group meditations, an Andean despacho offering to Gaia, and a solstice Ayahuasca ceremony in a safe and guided container with the company of women in the quietude of the Cretan countryside.
  • Sacred Drumming initiation and meditational practices with Krista, a lifelong practitioner of the ways of sacred drumming and a student of the late Layne Redmond, pioneer of the revival of modern sacred drumming and the author of When the Drummers were Women.

Where you’ll stay

In the city:  Explore Athens from the comfort of a newly renovated apartment in art deco styling, complete marble details and with a rooftop view of the Acropolis.  You'll be located on a quiet street of the old neighborhood of Psirri, full of vibrant night life, cafes, tavernas and outdoor cinemas, within walking distance of the Acropolis and all the important ancient sites of Athens.

In the mountains:  While on Crete, experience the peace and quietude of life in a 17th century mountain settlement.  Enjoy the simplicity of staying in a stone cottage among the plane trees, chestnuts and glorious mountain vistas.  The complex where we'll be lodging has more than 15 uniquely individual handbuilt cottages of varying sizes. 

We will take our meals in a beautiful handbuilt dining hall or on the terrace overlooking the Kissamos mountains.  Almost all the ingredients we will be enjoying are grown organically either on the property or close by.

 What you’ll imbibe


Greece is a culinary wonder to experience and home to some of the finest ingredients in the world:  olive oil, yogurt, feta, honey as well as aromatic herbs and spices.  Savor healthy, traditional and artisanal Greek cuisine both in some of the finest restaurants in Athens as well as during picnic lunches in the pastoral hillside overlooking Apollo’s temple at Delphi.  While on Crete, be treated to organic, farm-to-table traditional Cretan dishes and learn to prepare them yourself.  We’ll even learn artisanal bread making. 


 What you’ll experience

  • Indulgence:  Be treated like the goddess you are in the Hamman.  Experience a traditional Turkish bath house in the company of women.  Massage and scrubbing, heat and water will reveal your most sparkly essence.
  • Ancient temples:  From the Parthenon and other celebrated shrines to which the city of Athens is dedicated, to Delphi, abode of the famous oracle and Apollo’s great sanctuary, which was considered the center of the world in ancient times, to unknown tholoi (circular temple ruins) of Minoan kings in Crete’s wild mountainside.  Walk in wonder in the footsteps of the ancients.

  • Sun worshipping:  Commune with the Aegean Sea and bask in the sheer beauty of some of Crete’s most remote and uninhabited beaches.
  • Gorgeousness:  Crete is the most mountainous island in Europe and we’ll hike into one of its 50 gorges to explore its flora on foot and up close. 
  • Village Life:  Experience the authentic culture of a 17th century mountain settlement on Crete. We’ll have a week to explore and immerse ourselves in the pristine vibrations of the natural landscape and connect with its inhabitants.  This is a glorious location revealing exceptional rugged beauty of the Kissamos region of the island.

  • The art of distillation and folk medicine for women:  We’ll spend a day apprenticing with a master aromatherapist and herbalist on her farm.  She is an incredible voice for wild plants, whose usage constitutes her entire repertory of plant medicines.  In her workshop, we'll be distilling one of the aromatic medicinals that grow wild in some of Crete's purest biomes.  Learn specific herbal allies for women’s health and techniques to formulate your own medicines. 

  • Daily yoga:  Begin the day with conscious breath and movement to ground you into your body and enhance your ability to be present during this epic journey.
  • Sacred drumming:  The frame drum was the primary tool of transformation utilized by women, often called Bee Priestesses or Melissae of the ancient Mediterranean world. The initiates of the most ancient mystery schools dedicated to the Great Goddess and to the Bee Priestesses in particular played the drum to access states of divination and oracular insight.   Receive your very own frame drum and prepare to be initiated.
  • Ceremony:  You are invited to partake in an ayahuasca session and a despacho ceremony.  Both will be facilitated by Aubrey and take place on the Solstice.



~ You are ready for profound and supported self-transformation and the deepening of your personal growth as a woman.

~ You desire to express your Feminine Principle creatively, practically, sensually & spiritually.

~ Your intention is to empower yourself with herbal, nutritional and yogic wisdom to enhance your feminine health, vitality and wellbeing.

~ Are deeply in need and deserving of a nourishing, beautifying and activating pilgrimage to the epicenter of goddess worship in the ancient world.

~ Have always felt the call to experience Greece/Crete and want to do it in a truly special way, outside of the typical tourist routes. 

~ Desire to cultivate and express the wild, unconditioned, ancient ceremonial aspect of your being.



~ A deeper connection to yourself as a woman.

~ Hands on experience in the kitchen for creating nutritious and herbal recipes to nourish, heal & beautify yourself and others.

~ Your very own sacred drumming practice, unique and original to your being.

~ Yoga and meditation practices to implement in your daily life for vitality & balance.

~ A deep felt sense of female traditions to pass on to our next generation.

~ Inner strength, wisdom and a beautiful glow.

~Self-acceptance, compassion for others & embodiment of your feminine essence.



Aubrey Bamdad has emerged as a prominent bridge between the fields of Ayurveda and traditional Amazonian medicine.  She is an Ayurvedic practitioner, yogini, herbalist and the founder and director of Qori Inti Amazonian Herbals.  Aubrey stewards Yacumaman ethnobotanical center for Shamanic and Vedic studies in the upper Peruvian Amazon where she leads retreat programs cross-pollinating the ancient disciplines of yoga and shamanism. She travels and teaches worldwide, expounding on a gamut of topics relating to different aspects of Ayurveda and traditional Amazonian medicine, including herbalism, full spectrum nutrition, indigenous mythology and cosmovision, sustainability, nature-based philosophy and shamanism.  Her sincerest intention is to inspire and empower each individual towards their own self-mastery, through knowledge of how to be more in harmony with oneself, one’s relations and Nature, live more vibrantly and fulfill one’s highest potential on all levels.  She has been a Devi bhakta (devotee of the Goddess) for many yugas.


Krista Holland is a yogini, frame drummer, multifaceted teacher and Renaissance woman. Krista’s work and teaching draws from her in-depth practice and studies of yoga, Ayurveda, Tantrik philosophy, sacred drumming and permaculture. Krista was first introduced to Eastern philosophy, mysticism and various practices of meditation at an ashram in India at the age of twelve. Krista is a devoted practitioner and teacher of the essence of non-dual tantra yoga. She is known for her gift of weaving the ancient wisdom of yogic philosophy through the embodied practice of full spectrum yoga and Embodied Life Coaching. Krista is a faculty member of the College of the Melissae - Center for Sacred Beekeeping where she teaches on the Mythology, Symbol Systems and Sacred Drumming connected to the ancient Bee Priestess traditions. She is also the co-founder of Gaia Women Global. The synthesis of her multidisciplinary career and dharma is brought together in her body of work called Yoga and Living Arts, where she offers a rich mandala of teachings and private coaching dedicated to personal and planetary healing, spiritual awakening and the full flowering of embodied life mastery.  kristaholland.com


Retreat Includes:

·       11 Days/10 nights stay in simple, comfortable and beautiful accommodations both in the city of Athens as well as in the mountainous countryside of the isle of Crete.  3 nights in Athens and 7 nights on Crete.

·       All meals beginning with dinner on June 15th and ending with breakfast on June 25th.  Expect to be treated to a full range of the freshest, organic, traditional dishes that Greece has to offer.

·       The Ali Mama treatment at the Turkish hammam.

·       A guided tour of the Acropolis, prominent Athenian ruins and Delphi, all told from the perspective of women’s studies and herstory.

·       All ground transportation including pickup and drop off at the airport in Athens.

·       Entrance fees into the Acropolis, Athenian ruins and Delphi.

·       All excursions including beach days and gorge hikes.

·       Traditional farm-to-table Cretan cooking class.

·       Traditional Cretan bread making class.

·       Sacred drumming initiation and rituals with Krista.

·       Your very own frame drum to keep.

·       Daily Full Spectrum yoga with Krista.

·       Ayahuasca ceremony and despacho ceremony facilitated by Aubrey.

·       Round-trip airfare from Athens to Crete.


Does not include:

·       International airfare

·       Additional hamman treatments

·       Extended accommodations

·       Meals outside of the specific day/time frame

·       Personal expenses such as telephone, fax or internet communications, laundry bills etc.

·       Personal purchases

·       Tips/gratuities for retreat help, car/van drivers, etc.



There are several options of accommodations so we are offering 3 tiers of pricing. This is mainly due to the unique lodging arrangements both on Crete and in Athens. On Crete, we will be staying in a 17th century renovated mountain settlement where there are 15 different stone cottages of varying sizes and qualities.  There are individuals, doubles and triples.  The first tier reflects the choicest accommodations.  All are beautiful and comfortable but some may have more space, privacy and nicer details, hence the range in pricing.


3rd tier:  $2750

2nd tier:  $2850

1st tier:  $2950


Payment options:


A non-refundable deposit of $1000 is due to hold your place.  The remainder of payment can be made as follows:


 3rd tier:  1 installment of $1750 or 3 installments of $590

2nd tier:  1 installment of $1850 or 3 installments of $625

1st tier:  1 installment of $1950 or 3 installments of $660


Contact retreats@qoriintiherbals.com

to register, ask questions and request more information. 

We look forward to journeying together into the Eleusinian Mysteries.