A sacred journey takes you to a place of deep connection, both with yourself, and to the places that you visit. The connection occurs in the moments of quiet contemplation as you absorb the sense of the place through all aspects of your Body, Mind and Spirit. There is an energetic exchange between you and the land, or between you and the building, that leaves you uplifted and inspired. Sacred places have special energy, most frequently created by their location upon the intersection of important ley lines of the Earth, and then further enhanced by all who have visited and honored that special place over time.
Earlier this summer, a family wedding took my husband, Nigel, and I back to the UK, and it became a catalyst, igniting our own amazing sacred journey.
Beginning in Wales, the land of Merlyn and Nigel’s boyhood, we took time to enjoy our family and the familiar scenery… rolling hills of lush, green grass dotted with contented sheep, narrow country lanes hemmed in by towering hedgerows, and ancient stone barns and farm buildings. The joy-filled wedding celebrations provided the perfect springboard for our onward journey to the west coast of Scotland and our very first visits to Mull and Iona, two Hebridean islands shrouded in Mystery and Legend!
Mull was reached by ferry from Oban… our departure was greeted with warm sunshine, allowing us to enjoy the subtle colors presented by the Scottish Highlands stretching into the distance, and the blue, sparkling waters of the Sound of Mull.
Mull’s intoxicating, rugged beauty is so special. The island is defined by water: in addition to the sea, we were struck by the number of cascading waterfalls, churning streams, babbling brooks, fairy tale lochs… and by the plentiful rain!
On the first evening we discovered our first standing stone at Knock, and close by the beautiful Loch Ba, with its legendary rejuvenating waters. Mull has many standing stones, several of them totally unmarked, and a complete stone circle at Lochbuie. However, I had arrived on Mull with a mission… to see a stained glass window in the small church in the village of Dervaig. The window shows a pregnant Mary Magdalene with Jesus at her side. The colors of the glass are phenomenal, exuding a loving softness. Though relatively modern, the window alludes to one of the ancient mysteries in this part of Scotland, a mystery that can only be explored beyond the usual guide books. .. for instance, stories of Jesus and Mary Magdalene visiting these lands as husband and wife, and Mary giving birth to a son.
Jesus and Mary Magdalene: Dervaig Church, Isle of Mull
A second ferry took us to Iona where the connection to this story becomes even stronger “for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.” Iona is a small island 3.4 miles by 1.6 miles, its appearance and feeling so totally different from adjacent Mull. The rock that forms Iona is very ancient compared to the other islands in the Hebrides. Before we set out on this journey, people had been asking what I was going to do on Iona; my answer… I just want to place my feet on the land and BE there. This makes more sense to me now. The entire island is sacred land, just being there is an energetic invitation to raise your frequency and consciousness, and to release any burdens you have been carrying.
It was clear from the outset that our journey was being guided from the higher dimensions, and as we arrived on Iona I was prompted to bring the Empowerment Cards and Eden Healing Discs out to play. These tools provided added insight, helping us to fine tune our focus and intention as they supported our journey and experience, encouraging us to go deeper into the energy of the specific sacred sites we planned to visit on the island.
We began our exploration with the Labyrinth at St Columba’s Bay. The Clarity Empowerment Card and the Heart of Love Healing Disc had stepped forward to guide this experience. A beautiful ceremony evolved with prayers to release all that no longer serves us, including the deepest wounds from within our hearts, and to fill those spaces with Divine Love, Compassion, Forgiveness and Gratitude. Next, we climbed Dun I (pr. Dun ee), the highest point on Iona, and considered to be the most energetically powerful location. The climb is steep, wet and slippery but offers tremendous 360 degree views, including the Atlantic Ocean (next landfall, Newfoundland), Mull, the famous Island of Staffa with Fingal’s Cave, and the dramatic splendor of the Scottish Highlands. We were drawn to the “Pool of Eternal Youth” just below the summit. This heart-shaped, small body of brown water nestles between rocky outcrops, and promoted a feeling of deep serenity. We bathed our hands and feet, absorbing and integrating the “sense of place”. The Empowerment card for Dun I was Balance, representing the balance between Masculine and Feminine energies. The Eden Healing Disc that stepped forward for this place was Children of Light, with its powerful affirmation… “I Choose to BE and Express with LOVE, ALL that I AM”. This is an energy that speaks to possibilities and perfections, encouraging us to step into our wholeness. Children of Light is the perfect partner for the Balance card and Dun I, the power spot of the sacred isle. We moved down toward the beaches at the northern end of Iona, where I was guided to lay out the 8 healing discs in a circle. When either the Healing Discs or Empowerment Cards are laid upon the ground in this way they are creating sacred space… in this case it felt like we had created a mobile “stone circle” and there was a beautiful exchange of energetic frequencies between the land, myself and the Healing Discs. The Empowerment Card for this location was Insight.
Labyrinth at St Columba’s Bay, Iona Pool of Eternal Youth, Dun I, Iona
North end of Iona Iona Abbey, Iona
After exploring the beach it was time to visit Iona Abbey, originally founded by St Columba in 563. The Empowerment Card drawn for this location was Grace, and the Healing Disc, Temple of Power, both representing the return of the Divine Feminine energies to create Balance and Harmony with the divine masculine. The Abbey, which was destroyed during the Reformation, has been beautifully and impressively restored. I entered the Abbey having read about St Columba banishing all women and cows from Iona as he considered they caused mischief. I felt extremely aware of the Grace Card and Temple of Power Healing Disc in my pocket as we walked around , sensing their Divine Feminine energies being seeded into the overall energy of the place. The deeper stories tell of how Iona was already a sacred isle before the arrival of St Columba; it was known as Druids Isle, a center of learning and power with many important visitors coming to study and receive guidance. Again, the story of Jesus’ presence upon the Isle surfaces, and it is said that those who are ready, receive tremendous benefit from the energies which exist as a direct result of his presence upon the island.
The weather had been incredibly good all day…sunny and very clear, allowing us to see other islands, including Staffa, home of Fingal’s Cave, and multitudes of puffins. It was capped by a beautiful rainbow, which to me, in that moment, was a sign of success being delivered from the higher dimensions.
I would love to have stayed longer, however the next day we had to travel back to the mainland, for our journey to… Rosslyn Chapel! My previous visit to Rosslyn in 2008 coincided with major restoration work and construction of a new visitor’s center. Now, with the scaffolding gone, the chapel’s true magnificence was breath taking! Inside, the concomitant sense of awe and comfort was striking. The chapel and its history are shrouded in so many stories, mysteries and legends, yet the importance is just to BE there, absorbing and integrating the energies of the place. All 8 healing discs were with us in the chapel, and the Empowerment Card that stepped forward was “Joy”!
Rosslyn Chapel Doorway into the nave of Rosslyn Chapel
While our short, yet remarkable, visit to some of Scotland’s most sacred sites was now at an end, I had one more special trip to make before returning to the US… the English county of Kent, and in particular the famous white cliffs of Dover, overlooking the English Channel and France. Here, my sister and I, spent some quality time walking our favorite ancient paths with the sun on our backs and blustery wind in our faces – a truly exhilarating experience, as always!
Interior of Rosslyn Chapel White Cliffs of Dover, Kent, England
Finally, a huge thank you to the Guides that accompanied us this summer… I am already looking forward to the next chapter of our sacred quest in the UK, and their continued inspiration and guidance!
October 1, 2014