Damanhur: A Spiritual Community in the Italian Alps

In April, I went up into the mountains north of Torino to volunteer in the community of Damanhur, a spiritual eco-community based on the teachings of Oberto (Falco) Airaudi with nearly 800 residents in the foothills of the Italian Alps in the Piemonte region.  Based on a mix of neopagan and New Age beliefs, some call Damanhur a school of magic.  Best known for their truly amazing Temples of Humankind, which have been under continual construction beneath a mountain since the late 1970's, Damanhur is composed of 25 sub-communities that have nearly taken over the local valley.  Unfortunately, photos were not permitted inside their temples, but you can take a virtual tour giving a sense of the different rooms, wondrous mosaics, stained glass and murals on their website

The Spiral of the Magilla community...Every small nucleo or sub-community has its own spiral.  During the anniversary of Spiro, (an entity that visited and taught alchemy and magic to Falco, the founder), we walked the spirals in the evening and residents carried selfic-paintings in the spiral to evidently suffuse the paintings with more energy.

Magilla and its solar panels
Damanhurians, as they call themselves, have created their own culture, with their own language, art, currency, dance and worldview.  Is Damanhur a cult? A visionary utopia?  An Italian response to their xenophobic culture and spiritual repression by the Catholic church?  "A laboratory for the future of humankind?"  Comprised of many individuals involved in some of their own unique projects, Damanhur is a complicated amalgamation of many things, the least of which is fascinating...

In Damjl
At Damanhur, they offer a multitude of courses for self-transformation so that one (with sufficient funds and time) can learn about one's past lives, learn how to travel through the cosmos or through time or how to communicate with plants among many other topics.  While I personally perceived no "magic" while attending some of the rituals that I was permitted to observe, (without being charged even more money,) I did meet wonderful people and appreciated their beautiful and interesting community.

Working in the greenhouses at Dendera with Cavallo and other volunteers

Planting lettuce seedlings...

Axelina and Rebecka share a blog that details some of their experiences as New Lifers at Damanhur.

While staying in Dendera, I slept in this camper.  It once belonged to Falco, the founder, and was painted with the animals whose names belong to the residents of Dendera, the sub-community where I stayed.  Each resident of Damanhur is given two names: one from the animal kingdom and one from the plant kingdom.

Beverly, an Australian farmer, has recently committed to the attempt of making Damanhur self-sufficient in its food production.  You can watch a video of her vision here.

Inti taught me how to make these adobe bricks from clay, straw, sand and water for the expansion of his house.

Dendera's air altar

View from LoranzĂ© Alto, a small village walking distance from Dendera   

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