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Join Us! On The Trail of the Mother Goddess in Anatolia

September 30th - October 9th 2024

We will be embarking on a bespoke and extraordinary tour of Turkey and the ancient goddess sites of Anatolia.


In the steps of past trips led by Lydia Ruyle and Resit Ergener, our journey will weave us across the country connecting the sacred sites of the Divine Feminine. There is simply no other trip like this in the world.


As Lydia Ruyle was leaving her body in 2016, she requested Resit and her niece, Katie Hoffner, to promise that they would continue to share the goddess stories and trips to Turkey. This trip will be the promise kept. 

Lydia mentions how her first trip to Turkey had an impact on her art process at 1:29

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The tour will start in Istanbul where we will explore the hidden feminine and the rise of Mary as God and then traverse across the beautiful lands of Anatolia visiting ancient divine feminine sites, including;

  • The magnificent sixth century cathedral of Hagia Sophia

  • Private dinner cruise on the Bosphorus strait

  • Cappadocia with its special landscapes, cave hotels and an evening with the Dirvishes

  • Konya, home to Rumi, and Catalhoyuk where we witness the archeology dig that dates
    back 9000 years of a community that lived in a peaceful and egalitarian manner under
    the guidance of the goddess

  • Pamukkale, a natural wonder of salt terraces

  • Aphrodisias, one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in the world dedicated to the Great
    Mother, Aphrodite

  • Kusadasi, the home of Ephesus, the seat of the Great Mother Artemis and the house of
    Mary - a shrine where according to tradition, Mary spent the last years of her life.

  • Before we head back to Istanbul, we will end the trip at Ephesus with a full immersion
    and celebration of the Divine Feminine. We will be treated to a private long table
    dinner and Gala at the Celsus Library where Lydia’s goddess banners will hang again
    (they debuted there in 1995) and Resit will recite his published poem “I, Artemis”.

Cistern Istanbul.tiff

Along the way there will be other extraordinary opportunities for balloon rides, carpet buying, Turkish baths, shopping at the Grand Bazaar and experiencing extraordinary food and culture. We will be staying at beautiful 4 or 5 star hotels along the way and travel in a luxury bus for most of the trip.


It will be a once in a lifetime experience for those who want to encounter the sacred through travel and experience the alchemy and teachings of the Mother Goddesses of Anatolia!


The group is limited. Full itinerary is available upon request. Please reach out to Katie@KatieHoffner.com or Kathy@AltarCommunity.com with questions and to reserve your spot.

The cost of the trip is $4900/person and includes airport transfer, hotels, meals except lunches, museum entrances and one-way domestic airfare from Ephesus to Istanbul. There is a small supplement cost for single rooms. It does not include international roundtrip airfare to Istanbul, alcohol at meals, or travel insurance.

Meet your Guides

Resit Ergener

Resit Ergener is a poet, academic and organizer of cultural tours in Turkey. He was born in Istanbul in 1952. He attended high school at the Robert Academy in Istanbul and he attended college at Yale where he received a BA degree in economics. He also received an MPhil in economics at the University of Oxford and a Doctorate in economics from Istanbul University. He has taught for about forty years at the International Trade department of Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, full time during the first twenty years and part time during remaining twenty. As a part time scholar he has explored the relationship between economics and religion and he has written a book on the subject. He has also published a book of poetry. One theme which has interested him continuously is the goddess and how throughout history women's power has trailed far behind those of the goddesses. In his recent book Men and Women Gods and Goddesses Resit Ergener combines his academic and poetic skills to explore why the women power has trailed behind goddess power and suggests ways to overcome that. For more than thirty years, he has also been exploring the same theme on tours on the "Trail of the Mother Goddess in Anatolia," which he initiated and which are the first "goddess tours" ever.

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Lydia Ruyle was an artist, scholar and author on the Divine Feminine. Her most well-known body of work were her goddess icon banners or as she affectionately called them the “girls”. She started birthing and creating them when she was 60 years old – and worked on them right up until her death in Feb of 2016. She was 80 years old. Creating the Goddess banners became her mission devoted to telling a new story; a new HERstory in a visual way with representations of the Divine Feminine from across the globe. There are now over 300 of them in the collection; and they have literally flown all over the world from Machu Picchu to Europe to Tibet to her hometown in Greeley, Colorado. The banners made their debut at Ephesus, Turkey in 1995 and will be with us on this journey in 2024. Lydia co-led multiple goddess tours to Turkey over the years with Resit Ergener, and her niece, Katie Hoffner.

Lydia Ruyle

Lydia _ Catalhöyük with Great Mother Goddess.jpg

Katie Hoffner

Katie Hoffner is a community leader and social change maker focused on protecting the environment and improving the lives of women. She is also the niece and journey-mate of Lydia Ruyle and the current guardian of Lydia’s 300+ goddess icon banners. Since 2016, Katie and “the girls” have been all over the world. For Katie, the banners represent her Kuleana, a Hawaiian word that connotes a responsibility of the living to protect the stories of the ohana (family). She is actively engaged in sharing her Aunt Lydia’s knowledge, artwork, and HERstories of the goddesses. She has co-led goddess tours in Turkey with Resit and Lydia.

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Kathy Bresler is the founder of ALTAR Community a sacred gathering space in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood designed to uplift and connect women. Kathy is a graduate of One Spirit Seminary as well as Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business. As an interspiritual minister with an MBA, she often acts as a bridge between the secular and sacred world. Kathy is particularly interested in fostering cross-generational conversation and community for women and empowering them to flourish at every age. Kathy founded Altar Travel in 2023 and is committed to supporting and offering bespoke experiences to her community for sacred journeys near and far. She will be co-anchoring this journey with Resit and Katie.

Kathy Bresler

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Special Add-On Trip to Southeastern Turkey

October 9th - October 10th 2024

For those that have the time and desire, Resit is offering an extraordinary trip to Eastern Anatolia to visit the Urfa Museum with an amazing neolithic collection, Gobekli and Karahan Tepe, with some of the oldest known temples in the world.

 

The cost of the trip is $1650/person and includes all accommodation, museum entries, all meals except lunches, guidance, van, tips to hotels and portage but does not include domestic flight and gratuities to the driver, alcohol at meals or travel insurance.  There is a small supplement cost for single rooms.

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