Salina, between water and fire

by Alexandra Von Fuerst

Aeolian Volcano eruption by A. Von Fuerst


“In Salina fire and water have met to create a paradisiac land, filled with the myths of ancient civilisations and narrations.Alexandra Von Fuerst


Salina “the green” was gifted its name by its lake, situated in a part of the land called Lingua, in which an abundance of salt would form. Salt is a synonym of purity and assists humankind in liberating the feminine call within the depths of ourselves. If we imagine the Sea as the environment in which life takes place, we will find the call emerging around us from a multitude of perspectives. We could hear the sirens chanting to our sweetest desires, the algues dancing at the bottom of the sea in a music that is silently playing, the seagulls inspiring us with courage and guidance and the wind softly blowing and gently carrying us to shore. The salt is our ally to cross with purity and balance over the waters that are deep and unkind at times and see through a prism of clarity when they are clean and welcoming to our presence.

Surrounded by green life, Salina represents a natural reserve for the biosphere and possesses the favours of both volcanic soil and precious green vegetation born from the presence of abundant sweet water. The island is a treasure to biodiversity and houses rare bat species, reptiles and migratory birds, including 10 recorded under the Sicilian red list of threatened bird species. Within the reef, rare marine plant species constitute “habitat-forming” varieties that compose the foundation of the environment for other living organisms. The land extends over the paradisiac site of pines, chestnut trees, oaks, myrtles and vines and most proudly the plant of the capers, a precious gem of the Aeolian islands.

The volcanic ground of Salina is the perfect nucleus for the life of the Capparis Spinosa, a common and highly medicinal plant. Capers are the bud of the flowers which are manually picked and carefully conserved under sea salt, small buds in a rich pungent flavour. Their richness fills the human organism with Sodium, Copper and Vitamin K in an antioxidating and remineralising contribution to the body. A special role in the reproduction of the plant is attributed to the lizard animal, which nourishes itself of the liquid contained in the plant and carries across the seeds that support the evolution of the caper bushes. 

Unique to the Aeolian territory is the Aeolian Wall Lizard, a reptile species endemic to the northern Sicilian islands. The lizard Podarcis Raffonei is one of the rare species with the smallest geographic distribution, threatened by extinction. A few residual populations are currently inhabiting Salina, Filicudi and Stromboli. In our quest to cross the Seas the lizard is a companion that expresses healing and determination in overcoming tumultuous waters. Its tongue senses the environment in form of appreciation and teaches us to greet with acceptance the growth of new tails and new beginnings.

As the spirits play within the elements of the earth so they do express life in its purest form within nature.

An exuberant fire is born from the volcanoes that characterise the landscape of the Aeolian islands and is associated with the sacred flames that support the spirits in their trespassing voyage to the subtle land beyond death. From a spiritual perspective, this passage relates to the Purgatory and the liberation of the spirit through this mystical element. The Egyptian civilisation revered the islands of fire and buried their distinguished members at the island of Volcano, part of the Aeolian archipelago. This land in particular was considered as possessing magic properties for purification and elevation.

In Salina fire and water have met to create a paradisiac land, filled with the myths of ancient civilisations and narrations.

Life has been flourishing on the island since the neolithic age and different layers within the ground are witnessing the preservation of the prehistoric and ancient history of the Mediterranean Seas. 

Two volcanic mountains rise in the form of the tender breasts of a resting woman over the lands of Salina.

The world beneath the surface is the womb in which water and fire originate. The depths of the underworld are the mystical access to the valorisation of life as it sprinkles from the understanding of death and decay. Within the volcanic mountains sparks the history of the earth, in the force of destructive fire lies the peaceful body of a fertile blessing.

The land is telling us about its richness and there is but one way to hear its story: to carefully place our ears on the soil and witness the beauty of nature breathing. The soft waves, the murmuring wind, the musical birds, the crackling heat on the ground and the overall smell of precious salt in our hearts.

Aeolian Volcano eruption by A. Von Fuerst

Aeolian Volcano eruption by A. Von Fuerst


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