We are the Pilgrims, master; we shall go

Always a little further:it may be

Beyond that last blue mountainbarred with snow,

Across that angry or that glimmering sea […].

– James Elroy Flecker (1884-1915).

Where to start a project?

The moment of starting the project may be a response to an offer, realising a request from a client or a person in charge, or may be a result of an appearance of an idea worth implementing in one’s life. The latter inspires my own activities. My projects are founded on my major professions, archaeology and history of art, and are usually realised by study trips I take to places, which went down in history as universal genius loci, to explore, touch, experience and write down my own conclusions, based on both, the material evidence and emotions accompanying me on site. I travel along sacred path followed by Christians throughout ages, and marked with their monuments and legends. Yet, sometimes, the road leads me to more ancient corners of the past. In all instances, I am a “migrating historian of art on the sacred ways”, as one of the authors of the documentary book, edited by Ivan Foletti, et al. (2018, Migrating Art Historians on the Sacred Ways. Brno & Viella, Roma: Masaryk University).

Each stage of my journey requires gathering a group of people with various qualities and of different professions, who will control the progress of work. Sometimes, they are archaeologists , historians of art and writes, like myself, but many a time, in the group, there are also specialists in photography, filming and recording who take care of visual effects of the project. In any case, I am sourrounded by good souls, my companions. You will meet them all on the way, by my side, while we are looking for eternal realms and landscapes filled with numen, where manmade wonders merged with the grandeur of nature.

See you on the way ….

On April 8, 2023, we officially opened a new archaeological and travel project, which is reported both on the website and on the newly creted YouTube Channel. Its content is also posted on social media: Facebook, Instagram and Youtube to inform and report on current, past and future activities in the field of our project through posts, stories, and reels.

In the Eastern tradition, the cult of seven archangels has greatly been preserved. It has been cultivated and celebrated since the beginning of Christianity in the five Orthodox Oriental Churches, including Christian Egypt and Ethiopia. The worship of angels was especially disseminated by the current apocryphal literature, which had separated itself from the Biblical Canon, especially since the fourth century onwards. When the angelic tradition reached the British Isles, the dogma of the Catholic Church was not yet firmly established and embedded in the Latin culture of Western Europe. Prayers to God through His angelic messengers contained not only invocations typical of Christianity but inseparably coexisted with Judaic, pagan, and non-canonical religious currents, whose echoes constantly penetrated litanies, loricas and rituals, particularly present in the Insular tradition. They were extremely popular among lay people who used and even overused such an angelic supernatural assistance on a daily basis during their earthly existence, which was constantly exposed to the attacks of multiple evil spirits. The latter were manifested in diseases, crop failures and disasters.

Particular angels of God were responsible for separate tasks, including obtaining a desired love, fighting back an enemy or guiding pilgrims on their long and dangerous journey. Cooperation with supernatural powers was even more effective when they had a name. Such angelic names had multiplied throughout centuries and there are recorded in the number of many more than just seven. Thus, in different traditions, the names of traditional seven archangels may differ. Some names, although slightly altered, actually belong to the same archangel, but constant translating a given name from one language to the other, both orally and in writing, made it greatly being transformed and so corrupted.

However, the angels were not offended of the misspelling of their names and continued to come, called by people’s invocations …

Joanna Pyrgies