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SACRED SITES JOURNEYS

Since 1994 ...Spiritual Pilgrimages
to the world's most important Sacred Sites
to enliven your Body, Mind and Spirit




SCOTLAND

Ancient Land of Sacred Sites & Enduring Mysteries
July 15 - 28, 2017

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TOUR REGISTRATION CLOSED

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TOUR DESCRIPTION

Bonnie Scotland beckons you to come and explore its vast beauty and immeasurable treasures!

History buffs, archeologists, nature lovers and the adoring connoisseurs of quaint and regal Scottish culture
will all find something to cherish in this magnificent land of wind-swept emerald hills, pastures and glens.

Scotland’s historical tradition dates back to 3500 BCE and includes many of the oldest Neolithic settlements in Europe,
including Kilmartin Glen, Temple Wood Stone Circle, and Maes Howe in the Orkney Islands.

The magic of the Celts and their enlightened Druids also survives in Scotland at many power spots,
such as the Island of Iona, which was anciently known as the “Island of the Druids.”

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Scotland is, of course, the land of the fiercely independent Scots,
the hardy breed of bagpipe-playing Highlanders clothed in colorful tartan kilts
who courageously threw off the yoke of the imperialist English.
It is the land of the indomitable Scottish leader William Wallace (remember Braveheart?),
as well as the adopted home of the mighty Knights Templar
who helped the Scots achieve independence at the Battle of Bannockburn
and then deposited their esoteric secrets and Holy Grail treasures in such mysterious places as Rosslyn Chapel.

If you listen closely you can still hear the voices of the ancient Knights echoing throughout the land: “Come to Scotland,”
they say,  “the land where great mystery and adventure never sleeps!”


This magical land is calling you home to become immersed in her timeless beauty…
and to unlock her many unique and remarkable mysteries.

Come with our smaller group of spirit-centered people to explore and discover
ancient and modern Bonnie Scotland at these sacred sites and power spots
....


EDINBURGH AREA
  
Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle,
home of the Crown Jewels and the Monarchs of Scotland
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Holyrood Palace
, home for centuries to many of Scotland's ruling families,
and still a royal residence of the Queen
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Roslin:
World-famous
Rosslyn Chapel, built in the 15th century by the Sinclairs,
and home of many documents and secret mysteries of the Knights Templar!
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Balantrococh: Home of the Knights Templar in Scotland
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ARGYLL
Kilmartin Glen
: One of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age sites
in all of Scotland
, including Temple Wood Stone Circle
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Isle of Iona
The
Isle of Iona: Anciently known as the “Isle of the Druids,”
Iona is known for its prodigious spiritual power, its ancient Abbey,
and for being the resting place of many Scottish Monarchs
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Loch Ness
Urquhart Castle, located on Loch Ness
One of the largest castles in Scotland

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Ancient Corrimony Chambered Cairn
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Stirling
The William Wallace Memorial,
commemorating the 13th century Scottish hero Sir William Wallace
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THE ORKNEY ISLANDS

The Stones of Stenness
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The
Ring of Brodgar
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Maes Howe Chambered Tomb
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Skara Brae Neolithic Village
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PLUS...Other Sacred Sites, some well-known and others off the usual beaten track...


SPECIAL OFFERINGS!

** Daily Sharings about the Scottish Mysteries by Featured Speaker Andrea Mikana-Pinkham

** Meditations at the sacred sites & power spots to connect with the sacred land
and the Celtic Gods and Goddess of Scotland facilitated by Andrea Mikana-Pinkham

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A CELTIC BLESSING
May the blessings of light be upon you,
Light without and light within,
And in all your comings and goings,
May you ever have a kindly greeting
From them you meet along the road.


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The Celtic Gods and Goddesses

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The Celtic Pantheon that the ancient Celts recognized held many female deities of primary importance ranging from war goddesses to mother goddesses to ruling goddesses. They also believed in three aspects of the Goddess and three aspects of a single god. The Druids taught the people to worship the gods and goddesses, as well as to be strong, courageous and to do no evil. Women were equal to men in the Druid circles, and held just as much power. The Priests and Priestesses were highly revered. They sang the dying to sleep, did charms, enchantments, prophecies, healing, etc.  As well, they knew the power of words, stones and herbs.  One of the central features of their Groves was a cauldron, bowl or pool.

wpe659.jpg (8630 bytes)The Great Father represented the male principle of creation. He was known as the Horned God or The Lord, and was the Lord of the winter, harvest, land of the dead, the sky, animals, mountains, lust, powers of destruction, regeneration. 
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The Great Mother or
The Lady represented the female principle of creation. She was known as the Goddess of fertility, the Moon, summer, flowers, love, healing, the seas, water.


In addition, there were other Gods and Goddesses in the Celtic Pantheon.
Triduana was the Goddess of Edinburgh who plucked out her eyes to eradicate her own beauty rather than submit to the advances of Nechtan, King of the Picts. Caillech (pronounced COY-lck or CALL-y'ach) is the Great Goddess in her Destroyer aspect. She's also called the "Veiled One". Originally Scotland was called Caledonia, "the land given by Caillech". Another name for her is Scota, which is where the name Scotland comes from. In some areas she's known by her name of Carlin, the Goddess of Winter, the blue-faced hag and who was the spirit of the eve of Samhain (Halloween), the night the year turned to winter, and the ghosts of the dead roamed the world of the living. Caillech rules over disease, plague, cursing, wisdom, seasonal rites, weather magick.

wpe65A.jpg (3530 bytes)Cerridwen was known as the Moon and Grain Goddess. She was believed to rule over death, fertility, regeneration, inspiration, magick, astrology, herbs, science, poetry, spells, knowledge, wisdom, past lives, divination. Her symbol was a white sow. In her magickal cauldron, she made a potion called greal (from which the word Grail most likely came from). The potion was made from six plants for inspiration and knowledge. She is also the goddess of dark prophetic powers, and the  keeper of the cauldron of the underworld, in which inspiration and divine knowledge are brewed. She is often equated with the famous Greek crone, Hecate, and to the Irish Badb.
Photo Credit: http://www.goddessmyths.com/

These and many other Gods and Goddesses are still recognized today in Scotland. During our spiritual pilgrimage you'll have opportunities to connect with their potent and palpable energies through meditations at the sacred sites and power spots.

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TOUR PERSONNEL

Featured Speaker & Meditation Facilitator: Andrea Mikana-Pinkham

  

Researcher/Teacher of the Goddess Tradition
and Ancient Megalithic History & Director of Sacred Sites Journeys
 

Andrea has been leading our spiritual pilgrimages to Scotland since 2004.

Andrea Mikana-Pinkham, Director of Sacred Sites Journeys, has Scottish ancestry and a deep and abiding connection with the ancient Celtic energies of this spiritual land of tartans, kilts, and heather. She has been leading spiritual pilgrimages around the world since 1994, including our spiritual pilgrimages to Scotland.

During this spiritual journey Andrea will facilitate meditations to assist you to connect with the powerful energies of the sacred sites and Celtic Gods and Goddesses.

Andrea is a trained Shamanic Practitioner and teacher of the Goddess Tradition, as well as an avid researcher on the ancient megalithic history of our planet.
And she is a teacher in the The Seven Rays Order and Mystery School and  The Djedhi School of Ancient Wisdom.

For more information about Andrea, Click here


Andrea's Invitation to You for the July 2017 Scotland Journey:

It will be my great honor and pleasure to support you on this awesome
spiritual pilgrimage to explore and engage the powerful energies in Scotland.

I'll share pertinent and cutting-edge information about the sacred sites and
the ancient Scottish mysteries and more on a daily basis.

As well, I'll facilitate group and individual meditations at the sacred sites.

After many  years of travel, research and spiritual questing in beloved Scotland,
I can assure you that you'll have a very positive life-altering experience
that will be one of the highlights of your life!

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Sacred Sites Journeys Internet Radio
SCOTLAND: Ancient Land of Celts & Knight Templars
Guest Host: Mark Amaru Pinkham, author of World Gnosis: The Coming Gnostic Civilization,
Guardians of the Holy Grail, The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom, Conversations with the Goddess,

and The Truth Behind the Christ Myth

To listen to an Mp3 recording of this program, Click here



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TOUR ITINERARY
(B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)

We will not be offering another Sacred Sites Journey to SCOTLAND
again anytime in the near future, so if you're considering going with us, come this year!

Day 1. Saturday, July 15. Arrive Edinburgh; Transfer to hotel; Group Meeting; Welcome Dinner (D)
This Sacred Sites Journey is Land Only. You are responsible to arrange your roundtrip international air to Edinburgh. Please arrive at Edinburgh International Airport by Noon today, so that you will have time to transfer to the hotel and rest before our afternoon activities. Scotland-Edinburgh-RoyalTerraceHotel-1.jpg (19958 bytes)
After clearing Immigration, claim your luggage in the baggage claim area. Then exit through Customs. Transfer on your own (instructions to be provided with the final tour itinerary) via an airport taxi to our hotel, located in the heart of Edinburgh, and check in. Lunch on your own. Free time in the early/mid afternoon to rest.

In the later afternoon we'll gather in the hotel for our Introductory Group Meeting and Meditation, followed by our Welcome Dinner at the hotel. 

Overnight Edinburgh. Courtyard by Marriott. http://www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/edicy-courtyard-edinburgh/

Day 2. Sunday, July 16.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace; Free Time (B)wpe654.jpg (10290 bytes)
After our hearty Scottish breakfast, we're off with our local guide for a morning visit to one of Edinburgh's most famous landmarks: Edinburgh Castle. The Castle, perched high on a plug of volcanic rock, has been a fortress since long before recorded history. The castle has been at the center of Scottish history for over 800 years, and was captured and recaptured many times during the centuries of wars between Scotland and England. Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to the future King James VI in the castle in 1566. It withstood attack in both the 1715 and 1745 Jacobite Uprisings. Legend says there is the ghost of a headless drummer that has been sighted, as well as a piper playing on the battlements - and not just during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo! As we enjoy the heart of this world-famous mighty Scottish icon, you'll be able to explore the following areas and more:
1) The Great Hall: Completed in 1511, the Great Hall was the
nation’s chief place of ceremony and state assembly. An original hammerbeam roof dating from 1511 is just one fascinating feature of this impressive hall.

2) The Honors of Scotland: The Honors of Scotland, the nation’s crown jewels, the crown, scepter and sword of state are the oldest royal regalia in the United Kingdom

wpe65F.jpg (8408 bytes)3) The Stone of Destiny: The is an important symbol of Scottish nationhood, and still plays a central role in all British coronations. It was the coronation seat of ancient Scottish kings. Thought by medieval scholars to have biblical origins, some considered it to be the pillow on which Jacob dreamed of his ladder. Others believed it had been taken out of Egypt by the daughter of a pharaoh. It has been used in coronation ceremonies for many years, originally at Scone, near Perth. Lulach – stepson of Macbeth – sat on it when he was proclaimed King of Scots in 1057. From then until 1292, it was used at the inaugurations of all Scottish monarchs.

Then, in 1296, Edward I of England invaded Scotland and took the Stone from Scone to London. He installed the Stone in a magnificent golden coronation chair. Since then, all English monarchs and – since the Unions of the Parliaments of Scotland and England in 1707 – all British sovereigns have been enthroned on this seat. (The only exceptions are Edward V and Edward VIII.) In 1950, four students removed the Stone from Westminster Abbey in London. It soon turned up at Arbroath Abbey, north-east of Edinburgh. The abbey is famous for the Declaration of Arbroath, a robust statement of Scotland’s independence from England. The stone was returned to Westminster Abbey. In 1996, Her Majesty The Queen allowed the stone to be returned to Scotland, after 700 years. (Note: Rent The Stone of Destiny, a great movie about the students and their courageous act to watch before your journey!)
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4)
St Margaret's Chapel: Take a quiet moment in St Margaret’s Chapel, built by David I around 1130, it is considered to be the oldest building in Edinburgh. Margaret was born around 1045, into the royal family of England. After the Norman invasion of 1066, she fled to the court of Malcolm III of Scotland. They soon fell in love and were married at Dunfermline. We'll be visiting the cave where she is said to have meditated and prayed regularly on Day 7.
Malcolm was a warrior who relished fighting the Norman conquerors of England; while Margaret was deeply religious. Disaster struck in 1093, when Malcolm and his eldest son, Edward, were killed in an ambush. On hearing the news, Margaret took to her bed in Edinburgh Castle and died from a broken heart. The chapel was built by her youngest son, King David I. It has not always been used for worship.  From the 16th to the 18th century it was a gunpowder store. In 1250, Margaret was canonized as St Margaret of Scotland, for her many acts of piety and charity in her adopted country.

5)
The Royal Palace: This building is where Scotland’s kings and queens lived when they were in Edinburgh. Its fine rooms were the home of Scotland’s royalty for centuries, where Queen Marie de Guise died in 1560 and her daughter Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI in 1566. Since its accommodations were not very comfortable, the royal family preferred Holyrood Abbey, at the other end of the Royal Mile, which we will visit this morning. However, the castle was more secure.  It was here that Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to her only child, James, in June 1566. Prince James was born in a cramped closet next to Mary’s bedchamber. It was a difficult birth. Afterwards, the baby was wrapped in fine robes and presented to his mother and father, Lord Darnley. James became King James VI of Scotland soon after his first birthday in 1567; and King James I of England in 1603. In 1617 King James VI & I made an emotional return to his birthplace in the castle to celebrate his 50th anniversary as king of Scots.  His birthchamber was specially redecorated for the occasion.

Our next stop this morning is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, home for centuries to many of Scotland's ruling families, and still a royal wpe661.jpg (12785 bytes)residence of the Queen; it's full of hundreds of years of Scottish history. Founded as a monastery in 1128, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is situated at the end of the Royal Mile. The Palace is closely associated with Scotland's turbulent past, including Mary, Queen of Scots, who lived here between 1561 and 1567. Successive kings and queens have made the Palace of Holyroodhouse the premier royal residence in Scotland. Today, the Palace is the setting for State ceremonies and official entertaining. During The Queen's Holyrood week, usually from the end of June to the beginning of July, Her Majesty carries out a wide range of official engagements in Scotland. The Investiture held in the Great Gallery is for Scottish residents whose achievements have been recognized in the twice-yearly Honors List which appears at New Year and on The Queen's Official Birthday in June. Each year, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh entertain around 8,000 guests from all walks of Scottish life during a garden party in the palace grounds.

After our full and enjoyable morning we return to the hotel. You have the afternoon for lunch on your own, and free time to rest or explore more of the capital city.

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You have the option to visit St. Giles Cathedral with Andrea. The most romantic church in Scotland, it dates  from the 12th century. Visit the Thistle Chapel, built in 1911 for Scotland's order of the chivalry, the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.

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Or, how about some retail therapy along Princes Street or the Royal Mile? If you have Scottish ancestry, perhaps you'd like to purchase a scarf of your clan tartan. OR, if not, then go for it anyway! Anyone can wear the Stewart tartan!

Dinner on your own this evening. There are many excellent restaurants in the city, and lively pubs as well if you'd like to enjoy a typical night out on the town. Overnight Edinburgh. Courtyard by Marriott.

Day 3. Monday, July 17. Depart Edinburgh; Kilmartin Glen & Temple Wood Stone Circle; to Mull (B/L/D)
Scotland-Kilmartin-NetherLargieStone.jpg (12837 bytes)We check out of the hotel and we're off to Kilmartin Glen, an area in Argyll, which has one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in all of Scotland. There are more than 350 ancient monuments within a six mile radius of the village of Kilmartin, which is closest to the Glen. Of these, 150 of them are considered to be prehistoric. There is a linear arrangement of cairns that runs over three miles south-by-south-west from the village, with five remaining ones that we may be able to see. Bronze age burial cairns and a Stone Age structure at Nether Largie South cairn which was rebuilt in the Bronze Age make up part of the amazing landscape from the past that has survived into the present day. In the Glen we may also find some of its awesome concentrations of some of the most impressive cup and ring decorated rock surfaces. These consist of a concave depression, no more than a few inches across, pecked into a rock surface and often surrounded by concentric circles also etched into the stone. Sometimes a linear channel called a gutter leads out from the middle.

We also explore Temple Wood, also known locally as Half Moon Wood, an ancient stone circle in the Glen. The site was named in the 19th century,Scotland-TempleWoodStoneCircle4.jpg (19600 bytes)Scotland-TempleWoodStoneCircle3.jpg (17650 bytes) when the local folks planted many trees around the circles. There are actually two circles at the site. One contains a ring of 13 standing stones, about 40 ft. in diameter, with a small stone-built coffin-like box used to hold the bodies of the dead in the center, surrounded by a circle of stones about 10 ft. in diameter. Research shows that the circle may have been constructed around 3000 BCE, and to have had some orientation towards solar events such as solstices and equinoxes. The northern circle is smaller and consists rounded river stones, with a single stone in its center, and is believed to have been constructed to align with the mid-day sun on the winter solstice. At both of these ancient sacred power spots we take time to "tune in" through meditation and ask for any messages that the stones and/or their ancient Celtic builders may have for us today.

Scotland-IsleOfMull-Ferry.jpg (15438 bytes)Lunch with the group. Then we're on our way to Oban, known as the Gateway to the Isles, and the capital of North Argyll. We board the local ferry late afternoon for the short trip to Mull, an island of magic and peace that bewitchesScotland-IsleOfMull-Map.jpg (33700 bytes) with its amazing geology and its Celtic and Viking past. Perhaps the most captivating thing of all is that the sea seems to be everywhere you look and every twist in the road presents yet another dazzlingly beautiful seascape. Silent and lonely, full of rushing, tumbling burns, high peaks, dramatic views, waterfalls, wildlife, history and atmosphere…Mull offers us a haven of peace and relaxation from the cares and pressures of modern life.

The islands have a rich history, having been continually inhabited since after the Ice Age, with Mesolithic hunter-gatherers living in caves, Neolithic farmers leaving behind burial cairns and Scotland-IsleOfMull-Countryside.jpg (15040 bytes)stone axes, and Bronze age 'Beaker' people leaving their mark with burial cairns, standing stones, stone circles, and corded beaker pottery and knife blades. The Iron Age people built many defensive settlements on these islands. The early Christian period began in the 5th Century, with 563CE noted for the arrival from Ireland of St Columba. Then in 795CE the Vikings first sacked Iona, with raids continuing for several centuries. Vikings eventually became settlers in the isles. The Middle Ages saw the construction of castles and chapels. During the 17th to 19th centuries, clan chiefs and other lairds built 'big' houses, while the majority of islanders lived in tiny black houses in small townships. Over the centuries Mull's population increased to 10,638 in 1831 but first the Potato Famine and then the Highland Clearances, which began in 1785, rapidly reduced this number. By the 20th Century much of the population had emigrated and there were more sheep on Mull than people. Today Mull and its neighboring islands have a population of nearly 3,000. Many of the population are MacLeans, MacLaines, MacKinnons, MacQuarries and MacDonalds, descendants of Mull's ancient clans. Over the years Scots from almost every other clan have moved to Mull, as well as others, and so the population today is a mixture of true “incomers” who all agree that they love Mull!

Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel and check in. Group dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Isle of Mull. Isle of Mull Hotel. http://www.crerarhotels.com/isle-of-mull-hotel-spa

Day 4. Tuesday, July 18. Full Day Visit to Iona; To Inveraray (B/D)
After an early breakfast we'll walk to the nearby terminal and board the ferry to Mull, an island of magic and peace. On arrival, we'll take a bus for a one hour drive through the lovely Scottish countryside to Fionnphort. During our ride we'll be bewitched with the island's amazing geology, and the energies and remnants of its Celtic and Viking past. Every turn in the road may present us with yet another dazzlingly beautiful seascape. Relax and prepare for our visit to Iona. Once we reach Fionnphort, we walk onto the small ferry that will take us a short distanceScotland-Montage.jpg (10418 bytes) across the waters. (No cars are allowed on the island). After only  few minutes we arrive on Iona for a full day of exploration to experience the peaceful ambience of this special little island, with its heritage center, famous abbey and its burial ground of Scottish monarchs and political leaders.

Our ferry lands at Baile Mór, Iona's main village, which is little more than a row of cottages facing the sea. There's also a post office, a very good craft shop and general store in the village. And a small restaurant where you can have lunch on your own today. You can easily get around on foot, or if you want to explore a bit further, you can hire a mountain bike. And, if you decide to venture beyond the main village, Baile Mór, you can find a quiet spot on one of the sparkling silver beaches washed by turquoise sea. 

wpe664.jpg (4886 bytes)A small island, barely three miles long and a little over a mile wide, Iona's place in religious history was guaranteed when St Columba arrived with his 12 disciples and founded a monastery there in 563 BCE. The Irish monk then set about converting practically all of pagan Scotland and much of northern England. Iona went on to become the most sacred religious site in Europe and has been a place of pilgrimage for several centuries. Iona is known as the 'Cradle of Christianity in Scotland', and was a center of the arts. The monks produced elaborate carvings, manuscripts, ornate gravestones and Celtic crosses. Their greatest work was the beautiful Book of Kells, which dates from 800 CE, and which is now on display in Dublin's Trinity College.

The first of the Viking raids began in 806 CE, when many monks were slaughtered at Martyrs' Bay, followed by another in 986 which destroyed the work of many years. The relentless pressure from the established church ended with the suppression of the Celtic Church by King David in 1144. In 1203 Iona became part of the mainstream church with the establishment of a nunnery for the Order of the Black Nuns, as well as a Benedictine Abbey by Reginald of the MacDonalds of the Isles. Iona became overshadowed by the royal city of Dunfermline, and its final demise came with the Reformation when buildings were demolished and all but three of the 360 carved crosses destroyed. The abbey lay in ruins until in 1899 the island's owner, the eighth Duke of Argyll, donated the buildings to the Church of Scotland on condition that the abbey church was restored for worship. Then in 1938 the Reverend George Macleod founded the Iona Community as an evangelical Church of Scotland brotherhood, with the abbey buildings as its headquarters, and by 1965 had succeeded in rebuilding the remainder of the monastic buildings. Now the abbey complex has been completely restored and the island of Iona, apart from the abbey buildings, is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Scotland-Iona1.jpg (25055 bytes)

The present abbey dates from around 1200, though it has been rebuilt over the centuries and completely restored in the 20th century. The oldest part is the restored St Oran's Chapel, to the south of the abbey on the right, which is plain and unadorned save for its splendid 11th-century Norman doorway. It is said that Columba was prevented from completing the building of the original chapel until a living person had been buried in the foundations. His friend Oran volunteered and was duly buried. Columba later asked for the face to be uncovered so that he could bid a final farewell to his friend, but Oran was found to be alive and claimed he had seen Heaven and Hell, describing them in such blasphemous terms that Columba ordered he be covered up immediately!

wpe665.jpg (7838 bytes)Surrounding the chapel is the Reilig Odhrain, the sacred burial ground, which is said to contain the graves of 48 Scottish kings, including Macbeth's victim, Duncan, as well as four Irish and eight Norwegian kings. The stones you see today are not the graves of kings but of various important people from around the West Highlands and Islands. wpe666.jpg (4990 bytes)

Beside the Road of the Dead, which leads from the abbey church to St Oran's Chapel, stands the 8th-century St Martin's Cross. This is the finest of Iona's Celtic high crosses and is remarkably complete, with the Pictish serpent-and-boss decoration on one side and holy figures on the other. Standing in front of the abbey entrance is a replica of St John's Cross, the other great eighth-century monument. The restored original is in the Infirmary Museum, at the rear of the abbey, along with a fine collection of medieval gravestones. wpe667.jpg (5736 bytes)

No part of St Columba's original buildings survives, but to the left of the main entrance is St Columba's Shrine, the small, steep-roofed chamber which almost certainly marks the site of the saint's tomb. You get a good view of the whole complex from the top of the small grassy knoll opposite the abbey entrance. This is Torr an Aba, where Columba's cell is said to have been.

Just outside the village, on the way to the abbey, are the ruins of the Augustinian nunnery. Just to the north, housed in the parish church manse, built by Thomas Telford, is the Iona Heritage Center, which features displays on the island's social history.


Lunch on your own. In the later afternoon we return on the short ferry ride to Mull. We return to the mainland and drive to our hotel in
Inveraray, located at the head of Loch Fyne. Group dinner at hotel.
Overnight Overnight Inveraray. The Inveraray Inn.  http://www.inveraray-inn.co.uk/

Day 5. Wednesday, July 19. To Inverness: Free Time (B/D)
We check out and depart after breakfast to Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, a lively city with fantastic shops, restaurants and various tourist attractions. After our later morning arrival, we check into our hotel. Lunch is on your own. You have free time this afternoon to rest, relax and integrate the powerful energies that you've encountered so far during our pilgrimage. Enjoy the indoor heated swimming pool, the sauna and mini gym.


Or, perhaps you'd like to explore a bit of Inverness on your own. Inverness really has got all the elements for a memorable city break. Discover its flourishing culinary scene, explore the Victorian Market or Eastgate Shopping Centre for a bit of retail therapy, catch one of the many events at Eden Court and other venues, or take your time to admire art exhibitions in the city's gallery spaces.

Just taking a wander through the handsome city center is pretty enjoyable too; appreciate Inverness Castle and St Andrew's Cathedral, then stroll along the banks of the River Ness, crossing the suspension bridge for some peace and relaxation on the Ness Islands.

Visit 14th century Cawdor Castle, with Scottish history that you can touch and see and sense for yourself. Cawdor Castle is not another cold monument, but a splendid house and the home of the Cawdor family to this day. Not only is Cawdor the name linked to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, but home to the magical, fairy tale castle, Cawdor Castle. Having been built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor, with the ancient medieval tower built around the legendary holly tree – wherever you look, Cawdor Castle is steeped in intrigue and history.

Get a fascinating insight into the history, tradition and culture of the kilt at the Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Centre. Enjoy a fascinating insight into the history, tradition and culture of the kilt - from its origins through to the present day. Set within the kiltmaking workshop, the Centre creates a colourful, authentic and memorable experience, brought to life with audio-visual, costume and tartan displays in all their brilliance. You’ll see kilts being made!

Group dinner at the hotel this evening.
Overnight Inverness. Craigmonie Hotel. http://www.craigmoniehotelinverness.co.uk/

Day 6. Thursday, July 20. To Inverness: Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness; Corrimony Chambered Cairn (B/L)
Scotland-LochNess-UrquhartCastle-1.jpg (14133 bytes)After breakfast and head to Loch Ness, where we board a local boat for a short cruise on Loch Ness. Be on the lookout for Nessie!! Afterwards we visit Urquhart Castle, which sits on Loch Ness. The present ruins date from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though built on the site of an early medieval fortification. Founded in the 13th century, Urquhart played a role in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century. It was subsequently held as a royal castle, and was raided on several occasions by the MacDonald Earls of Ross. The castle was granted to the Clan Grant in 1509, though conflict with the MacDonalds continued. Despite a series of further raids the castle was strengthened, only to be largely abandoned by the middle of the 17th century. Urquhart was partially destroyed in 1692 to prevent its use by Jacobite forces, and subsequently decayed. In the 20th century it was placed in state care and opened to the public: Scotland-LochNess-UrquhartCastle-2.jpg (25800 bytes)

The castle is one of the largest in Scotland in area. It was approached from the west and defended by a ditch and drawbridge. The buildings of the castle were laid out around two main enclosures on the shore. The northern enclosure or Nether Bailey includes most of the more intact structures, including the gatehouse, and the five-storey Grant Tower at the north end of the castle. The southern enclosure or Upper Bailey, sited on higher ground, comprises the scant remains of earlier buildings.

Afterwards, lunch is on your own with the group.

Scotland-LochNess-CorrimonyChamberedCairn.jpg (12560 bytes)We continue to a idyllic rural location in Glen Urquhart to visit the Corrimony chambered cairn. Surrounded by a circle of 11 standing stones of varying height, the edge of the mound is further defined by a stone kerb. The passage is still usable, and on the left side of the entrance passage is a stone bearing cup and ring marks. We'll take time in this peaceful location for individual meditation to connect with the energies of the Ancient Ones who built this megalithic structure.

 

We return to our hotel. You have free time. Dinner is on your own this evening. Enjoy your choices at the hotel restaurant located in the conservatory, or go out in the town.
Overnight Inverness. Craigmonie Hotel.

Day 7. Friday, July 21. To Thurso (B/L/D)
Scotland-Orkneys-MapToThurso.jpg (20979 bytes)We check out of the hotel after breakfast and board our motorcoach for our day's drive through the wild and mountainous Scottish countryside of the Grampian Mountains, north through the Highlands, up and around the inland waters of Moray Firth, along the northeastern coast, turning north just before Wick and continuting on to Thurso, the most northerly town in mainland Scotland, and a gateway to the Orkney Islands. Thurso's history stretches back to at least the era of Norse Orcadian rule in Caithness, which ended conclusively in 1266. The town was an important Norse port, and has a later history of trade with ports throughout northern Europe until the 19th century. In 1330 Scotland's standard unit of weight was brought in line with that of Thurso at the decree of King David II of Scotland, a measure of the town's economic importance. Old St Peter's Kirk is said to date from circa 1220. Much of the town, however, is a planned 19th-century development. A major expansion occurred in the mid-20th century.

We check in at our accommodations. Group Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Thurso. Royal Hotel. http://www.bespokehotels.com/royalhotelthurso


Day 8. Saturday, July 22. To Orkney Islands: Churchill Barriers, Scapa Flow; Free Time in Kirkwall: Option to visit St Magnus Cathedral (B/L/D)

We check out after breakfast and depart to nearby John O’Groats where we board the local ferry for our short trip across the famousScotland-Orkneys-Ferry.jpg (13897 bytes) Pentland Firth, which links the Atlantic Ocean with the North Sea. The Firth is rich in marine wildlife and the many isolated islands provide secure breeding places for thousands of seabirds. Look out for seals and whales too! With more than five thousand years of human history, culture and architecture, the global significance of Orkney's Neolithic Heartland was recognized with World Heritage Site status in 1999, in common with Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China. Historic Scotland looks after the World Heritage Site Neolithic Heartland. There are over a thousand known ancient sites in Orkney - many unexcavated - but including superbly preserved Iron Age burial mounds, houses, monuments, and brochs.

We arrive at the Orkneys later morning and board our local motor coach which takes us across the famous Churchill Barriers, built in the 1940s. They thread five islands together to form the eastern boundary of Scapa Flow. Continue along the northern coast of Scapa Flow with beautiful views of the Hoy hills across the water. Scotland-Orkneys-Kirkwall-1.jpg (11166 bytes)

After lunch with the group we depart to Kirkwall, one of Scotland’s most picturesque towns and the biggest town and capital of the Orkney Islands. The town is first mentioned in a saga in the year 1046 when it is recorded as the residence of Rögnvald Brusason the Earl of Orkney, who was killed by his uncle Thorfinn the Mighty. In 1486, King James III of Scotland elevated Kirkwall to the status of a royal burgh; modern roadsigns still indicate "The City and Royal Burgh of Kirkwall". The name Kirkwall comes from the Norse name Kirkjuvagr (Church Bay), which was later corrupted to Kirkvoe, Kirkwaa and Kirkwall.

You have free time. Maybe take a leScotland-Orkneys-Kirkwall-StMagnusCathedral-1.jpg (19107 bytes)isurely walk through the winding streets. Or visit the Tankerness House Museum which contains items of local historical interest within one of Scotland's best-preserved sixteenth century town-houses. The prehistoric, Pictish and Viking collections are of international importance.

Or, take in the impressive 800-year-old St. Magnus Cathedral, whose construction began in 1137 under Earl Rognvald, nephew of St. Magnus, to whom the cathedral was dedicated. His remains were discovered there in 1919 during a major renovation. Take some time to wander along the aisles and view the plaques with the skull and crossbones, or sit in the silence and meditate. You might also enjoy wandering through the cemetery, filled with the graves of the founding fathers and mothers.



We continue to our hotel and check in.
Group dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Stenness. Standing Stones Hotel. http://www.standingstoneshotel.co.uk/

Day 9. Sunday, July 23. Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Setnness, Maes Howe (B/L/D)

Today we're off for a full day visit to the four sites of The Heart of Neolithic Orkney which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1999 - Skara Brae, the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe. It is managed by Historic Scotland, whose 'Statement of Significance' for the site begins: The monuments at the heart of Neolithic Orkney and Skara Brae proclaim the triumphs of the human spirit in early ages and isolated places. They were approximately contemporary with the mastabas of the archaic period of Egypt (first and second dynasties), the brick temples of Sumeria, and the first cities of the Harappa culture in India, and a century or two earlier than the Golden Age of China. Unusually fine for their early date, and with a remarkably rich survival of evidence, these sites stand as a visible symbol of the achievements of early peoples away from the traditional centres of civilisation...Stenness is a unique and early expression of the ritual customs of the people who buried their dead in tombs like Maes Howe and lived in settlements like Skara Brae.

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Our first stop is the Neolithic village of Skara Brae (2,500 BCE), which had been hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved for thousands of years, until it was rediscovered about 150 years ago. Britain’s “Pompeii”, it sits on the Atlantic coast, and consists of well-preserved dwelling houses and connecting passages. Skara Brae is the quintessential Stone Age site; no metal of any kind has been found there. All furniture is made of stone.

Scotland-Orkneys-SkaraBrae3.jpg (23738 bytes)The site has eight dwellings, linked together by a series of low, covered passages. Because of the protection offered by the sand that covered the settlement for 4,000 years, the buildings, and their contents, are incredibly well-preserved. Not only are the walls of the structures still standing, and alleyways roofed with their original stone slabs, but the interior fittings of each house give an unparalleled glimpse of life as it was in Neolithic Orkney. Each house shares the same basic design - a large square room, with a central fireplace, a bed on either side and a shelved dresser on the wall opposite the doorway. Historic Scotland, which looks after many other ancient sites in the islands, has established a superb five-star interpretation center and replica house close to Skara Brae, which we will visit.

We then continue on to the mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness, the remains of two of Britain’s mostScotland-Orkneys-StonesOfStennes-1.jpg (13436 bytes) spectacular stone circles. We first visit the Standing Stones of Stenness. The surviving stones are sited on a promontory at the south bank of the stream that joins the southern ends of the sea loch Loch of Stenness and the freshwater Loch of Harray. The name, which is pronounced stane-is in Orcadian dialect, comes from Old Norse meaning stone headland. The stones are thin slabs, approximately 12 inches thick. Four, up to about 16 ft high, were originally elements of a stone circle of 12 stones, laid out in an ellipse about 105 ft in diameter on a levelled 144 ft platform surrounded by a ditch. The ditch is cut into rock by as much as 6.6 ft and is 23 ft wide, surrounded by an earth bank, with a single entrance causeway on the north side. The entrance faces towards the Neolithic Barnhouse Settlement which has been found adjacent to the Loch of Harray. The Watch Stone stands outside the circle to the northwest and is 18 ft high. Other smaller stones include a square stone setting in the center of the circle platform where cremated bone, charcoal and pottery were found. Animal bones were found in the ditch. The pottery links the monument to Skara Brae and Maeshowe, dating it to at least 3000 BCE. We'll have time here for a meditation facilitated by Andrea and Mark to connect with these ancient energies.

Next we venture to the nearby Ring of Brodgar, a Neolithic henge and stone circle. Most henges do not contain stone circles; Brodgar is a striking exception, ranking with Avebury (and to a lesser extent Stonehenge) among the greatest of such sites. The ring of stones stands on a small isthmus between the Lochs of Stenness and Harray. These are the northernmost examples of circle henges in Britain. Unlike similar structures such as Avebury, there are no obvious stones inside the circle, but since the interior of the circle has never been excavated by Scotland-Orkneys-RingOfBrodgar-1.jpg (20371 bytes)archaeologists, the possibility remains that wooden structures, for example, may be present. The site has resisted attempts at scientific dating and the monument's age remains uncertain. It is generally thought to have been erected between 2500 BCE and 2000 BCE, and was, therefore, the last of the great Neolithic monuments built on the Ness. The stone circle is 341 ft in diameter, and the third largest in the British Isles. The ring originally comprised 60 stones, of which only 27 remain standing. The tallest stones stand at the south and west of the ring. The stones are set within a circular ditch up to 9.8 ft deep, 30 ft wide and 1,250 ft in circumference that was carved out of the solid sandstone bedrock by the ancient residents. Technically, this ditch does not constitute a true henge as there is no sign of an encircling bank of earth and rock, but many archaeologists continue to refer to this structure as a henge. 

Researcher Aubrey Burl notes that the diameter of the bank at Brodgar is almost exactly 175 megalithic yards, the same as the innerbanks of the Avebury and Newgrange monuments in England and Ireland respectively. The so-called "megalithic yard", at 2.722 ft per MY, is a controversial measure originally proposed by Alexander Thom. His thesis, based on a statistical analysis of Neolithic monuments in the United Kingdom, is that the builders of these sites employed a common unit of measurement, implying a transfer of information that may not have existed, even if it were possible.Scotland-Orkneys-MaesHowe-1.jpg (16957 bytes)

After a group lunch we drive to nearby Maes Howe, the most magnificent chambered tomb in Britain. Thought to date from around 2700BCE,  it's the largest and most impressive of Orkney’s many chambered cairns. The spacious burial chamber was built with enormous megaliths; on some of them are incised the world’s largest collection of 12th-century Viking runes

Scotland-Orkneys-MaesHowe-3.jpg (25304 bytes)Perhaps one of Maeshowe's most famous attributes is its midwinter alignment - something it shares with the chambered tomb of Newgrange, in Ireland. For a few days each year, as the midwinter sun slips below the horizon, its last rays shine directly through Maeshowe's entrance passage to illuminate the rear wall of the central chamber. (WINTER SOLSTICE PHOTO CREDIT - Right: http://www.maeshowe.co.uk/)Scotland-Orkneys-StonesOfStennes-2.jpg (22457 bytes)

It's intriguing, although perhaps mere coincidence, that when viewed from the center of the stone circle, Maeshowe is aligned to the gap between the two dolmen stones (two angular slabs, standing side by side, with a large prone stone beside them) at the Stones of Stenness. This could indicate that the stones formed some sort of symbolic link, or connecting "portal", between the chambered cairn and the stone circle.

After our full day of exploration, we return to the hotel. Group dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Stenness. Standing Stones Hotel.

Day 10. Monday, July 24. Depart Orkneys To Nethy Bridge; Clava Cairn (B/L/D)
We depart after breakfast to the ferry terminal, board and return to the mainland. Upon arrival we continue through the Highlands south to Nethy Bridge. Lunch along the way with the group.

Scotland-Inverness-ClavaCairn-1.jpg (16485 bytes)After lunch we visit Clava Cairn, a type of Bronze Age circular chamber tomb cairn, named after the group of three cairns at Balnuaran of Clava, in this area. They lie closeScotland-Inverness-ClavaCairn-2.jpg (15227 bytes) together in a line running north east to south west. The tombs at either end are of the passage grave sub-type. The central cairn is of the ring cairn sub-type, and uniquely has stone paths or causeways forming "rays" radiating out from the platform round the kerbs to three of the standing stones. The cairns incorporate cup and ring mark stones, carved before they were built into the structures. The kerb stones are graded in size and selected for colour, so that the stones are larger and redder to the south west, and smaller and whiter to the north east. All these elements seem to have been constructed as one operation and indicate a complex design.

The ring round the northern Balnuaran of Clava cairn was measured and analysed by Professor Alexander Thom. He found that the ring was slightly egg-shaped with a complex geometry of circles and ellipses which could be set out around a central triangle, using sizes which are close to whole multiples of what he called the Megalithic yard. While the geometry of the shape is generally accepted, the Megalithic Yard is more controversial.

We continue to Nethy Bridge and check in at our hotel, an ornate Victorian hotel located in the Cairngorms National Park. You have free time before our group dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Nethy Bridge. Nethybridge Hotel. http://www.strathmorehotels.com/Nethybridge/homepage

Day 11. Tuesday, July 25. To Edinburgh; William Wallace Memorial; Arrive Edinburgh (B/D)
We check out of the hotel after breakfast and board our motorcoach for our drive back south to Edinburgh.

In the Stirling area we visit the William Wallace Memorial, which commemorates the 13th centuryScotland-Edinburth-WilliamWallaceStatue-.jpg (15608 bytes) Scottish hero Sir William Wallace, a landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence. Along with Andrew Moray, Wallace defeated an English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, and was Guardian of Scotland, serving until his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in July 1298. In 1305, Wallace was captured in Robroyston near Glasgow and handed over to King Edward I of England, who had him hanged, drawn, and quartered for high treason and crimes against English civilians. Since his death, Wallace has obtained an iconic status far beyond his homeland. He is the protagonist of the 15th-century epic poem The Wallace, by Blind Harry. Wallace is also the subject of literary works by Sir Walter Scott and Jane Porter and of the 1995 Academy Award-winning epic film Braveheart.

Scotland-Stirling-WilliamWallaceMemorial.jpg (14447 bytes)The commerative tower at the Wallace Monument was constructed following a fundraising campaign, which accompanied a resurgence of Scottish national identity in the 19th century. In addition to public subscription, it was partially funded by contributions from a number of foreign donors. It stands on the Abbey Craig, a volcanic crag above Cambuskenneth Abbey, from which Wallace was said to have watched the gathering of the army of King Edward I of England, just before the Battle of Stirling Bridge. If you'd like to climb the 246 step spiral staircase to the viewing gallery inside the monument's crown, you'll be rewarded with expansive views of the Ochil Hills and the Forth Valley!

A number of artifacts believed to have belonged to Wallace are on display inside the monument, including the Wallace Sword, a 5 ft, 4 in long sword weighing almost 7 pounds. Inside is also a Hall of Heroes, a series of busts of famous Scots, effectively a small national Hall of Fame.

Lunch is on your own with the group. We then continue to Edinburgh and check in at the hotel.
Group dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Edinburgh. Holiday Inn Corstorphine Road. http://www.hiedinburghhotel.co.uk/

Day 12. Wednesday, July 26. Edinburgh: Free Day (B)
It's a free day for individual exploration in Edinburgh. Or for some last-minute retail therapy on Prince's Street. Take a leisurely stroll down the Royal Mile. And, if you're a musem buff or art gallery affcianado, Edinburgh has much to offer! Here's a short list of some of the free museums and galleries:
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The Writers' Museum, near the top of the Royal Mile, contains fascinating first editions, portraits and objects relating to the lives and work of Scotland’s great literary figures including Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson. Outside the museum be sure to visit Makars’ Court (Scots for poet), a peaceful courtyard which has carved paving stones celebrating writers from the 14th century to the present day.

2) The Museum of Edinburgh is is the City’s treasure box - a maze of historic rooms crammed full of iconic objects from the Capital’s past, from the earliest settlement to the present day. Discover more about the city, its people, crafts and trades and the beautiful objects they created.

3) Scottish National Gallery: For lovers of fine art, the place to head is the Scottish National Gallery which is located in grand interconnected buildings on the Mound, between Princes Street and the Royal Mile. They house a superb collection drawn from the early Renaissance to the late 19th century. Look out for masterpieces from Raphael, Titian, El Greco, and Rembrandt to Van Gogh, Monet and Cézanne. The RoyalScotland-Edinburgh-ScottishNationalGallery.jpg (12816 bytes) Scottish Academy, also part of the complex, features a changing programme of temporary exhibitions which have included work by Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Blackadder.

4) Modern art lovers could visit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, a short and pleasant walk from the city center. Displays in the gallerie's two buildings include Cubist, Expressionist, and Surrealist art, with highlights including works by Matisse, Picasso and Dalí. Explore the delightful grounds which include a vast grass and water landform sculpture as well as other artwork.

Scotland-Edinburgh-MuseumOfScotland.jpg (15673 bytes)5) Maybe visit the National Museum of Scotland, with collections covering science and technology, natural history, and world cultures. The two connected buildings stand beside each other on Chambers Street, by the intersection with the George IV Bridge, in central Edinburgh. The museum is part of National Museums Scotland. Admission is free.

Lunch and dinner are on your own.
Overnight Edinburgh.Holiday Inn Corstorphine Road.

Day 13. Thursday, July 27. Edinburgh: Balantrodoch; Rosslyn Chapel; Farewell Dinner (B/L/D)
We drive out of the city this morning to the village of Temple where we visit Balantrodoch, the ancient Templar outpost, now known as Temple, and home to a Templar church and cemetery. There are many Templar gravesites to explore, as well as the church ruins and surrounding area. There is even an old Druid grove nearby! Speaker Andrea Mikana-Pinkham, Grand Prioress of The International Order of Gnostic Templars will share information about the Templars and their history here and in Scotland in general.

Lunch with the group in the village of Roslin, right around the corner from Rosslyn Chapel.

Scotland-RosslynChapel-Exterior1.jpg (25640 bytes)After lunch we visit one of the most famous little chapels in the world - Rosslyn Chapel, founded in 1446 by Earl William Sinclair, third and last Sinclair Prince of Orkney. Dan Brown highlighted this tiny Midlothian church in his blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code, proposing that the Holy Grail in the form of Mary Magdalene was once hidden there. This put Rosslyn on the map, and its enduring secrets became world-famous. Thousands and thousands of people have journeyed here hoping to connect with these mysterious energies. Today, we make our connection!  wpe668.jpg (26118 bytes)

Andrea Mikana-Pinkham, Grand Prioress of the International Order of Gnostic Templars, will share information about this ancient enigmatic place from author Mark Amaru Pinkham's book  Guardians of the Holy Grail, including the theory that Rosslyn Chapel is the resting place for various esoteric artifacts. In his fourth book, Mark explores these theories in-depth. Perhaps the Chapel was not built as a place of worship, but as a sacred repository for secrets that were brought back from the Holy Land by Hughes de Payens, the first Grand Master of the Knights Templars? Are there Templar relics and documents that might be hidden in the crypt? Could it be the Holy Grail, the Head of John the Baptist, the marriage certificate of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the Ark of the Covenant, the lost Scrolls of the Temple of Solomon, or even the real version of Scotland's own Stone of Destiny. The list goes on and on! We will explore these theories and others with Andrea.

Today, it is the opinion and belief of many Sinclairs that the Chapel was not built as a place of worship, but as a sacred repository for secrets that were brought back from the Holy Land by Hugh de Payens and other Templar Knights. In a meeting in December 2003 with Niven Sinclair, one of the descendants of Sir William Sinclair, he told Mark and Andrea that Rosslyn Chapel was dedicated to the forces of Nature and to Mary Magdalene. He also said that he believes that in the future it will become a center of world peace. During her visit there (before the meeting with Niven!), Andrea was told that Rosslyn is as important a transmitter and receiver for sacred energies as the Great Pyramid and was given guidance to stand in the middle of the chapel and pray for world peace...which she did, of course!


During our guided tour of the chapel we'll see Rosslyn’s famous stone carvings. Some of them are the best examples of their kind in Europe. Many Templars and Freemasons believe that they were built into the Chapel as keys to the esoteric history of their organizations. Many of them depict symbols relating to Old Testament text and characters. Some carvings depict plants from the New World, such as corn and aloe vera. Since they were carved into the chapel walls a good 50 years before Columbus’ voyages to America, how did the builders know about them? Some researchers believe they are proof of Prince Henry Sinclair's voyage to America well before Columbus.

After our guided tour, take some time to sit quietly in the chapel to reflect, meditate and connect with the energies of The Holy Grail, the Green Man, Mary Magdalene, and the many secrets that the Chapel is guarding (As above, so below!), and of course to pray for world peace!

Rosslyn Chapel - Interior

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Rosslyn Chapel - Exterior


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All photos above of the interior and exterior of Rosslyn Chapel are copyright Sacred Sites Journeys

RosslynChapel-BeeHives1.jpg (23452 bytes)Of the enigmas hidden within the walls of Rosslyn Chapel, builders have recently discovered yet another one that is creating quite a buzz.  What is the meaning behind the strange stone bee hives that were hidden in the Chapel's roof?  With the public's interest in Da Vinci Code style mysteries at an all time high, experts are pressured to answer the questions surrounding what is fast becoming an ever deepening mystery.

Our take is that these stone homes for the buzzing bees were purposefully built  into the Chapel as the ancient
RosslynChapel-BeeHives2.jpg (15771 bytes) symbol of the Goddess, who was often depicted in the form of a bee! Even though the tomb of Mary Magdalene is NOT at Rosslyn Chapel, it seems that this find is a message that the Divine Feminine is still alive and well there!

Perhaps the bees will return; this is a very old sign that the Great Mother Goddess had a blessed place. In ancient times, bees were almost always kept by women. In the late 19th century in England, female beekeepers had certain powers, including the ability to foretell the future. It's said that the bees saw the secrets of the community on their busy rounds of collecting pollen from flowers each day,  and that they would confide their secrets to their beekeeper as they returned to the hive each evening.

Return to Edinburgh later afternoon. This evening we enjoy our Farewell Dinner at the hotel, taking time to share our experiences in Bonnie Scotland, say our fond Good-byes to each other, sharing hugs and laughter.
Overnight Edinburgh. Holiday Inn Corstorphine Road.

 Day 14. Friday, July 28. Depart Scotland (B)
Tour ends after breakfast. Transfer on your own via taxi to the airport for your international departure.

Note: This itinerary is subject to change due to conditions beyond our control.

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A Few Words from Sacred Sites Journeys Pilgrimages to Scotland

Rosslyn Chapel is one of the most powerful places I've ever visited on this earth, and I've visited many! The esoteric symbols that are carved into the walls and ceiling have many many layers of meaning, and are worth meditating on very carefully. Andrea told us that many people believe it will become one of the main centers for world peace upon our planet. I'd say it's already well on its way! - D. Harkins, AZ

Thank you, Andrea, for manifesting soul and spirit through the vehicle of this sacred journey to Scotland.
- S. Volk, CA

The visit to Rosslyn Chapel was more than awesome! Andrea took care of all the details in a professional and extremely capable manner, so that we could just enjoy and soak up the energies. - E. Matheson, RI

Scotland is much more than "Bonnie"! It's heavenly....and then some! I experienced this everyday during my sacred journey with Andrea. The ancient connection with the land is so strong, that you only have to be on Her and breathe to feel the gentle yet powerful energies. And you'll be transported back in time to places that still exist. I've been to Scotland with Andrea twice, and plan to return. The combination of the two is a winner! - D. Balch, CA

The tour to Scotland with Andrea is my all-time favorite trip. We are still talking about it! It could not possibly have been better
.
-
L. Gufstafson, NY

There were no problems on my trip to Scotland with Andrea. Everything went perfectly! Edinburgh and Rosslyn Chapel were excellent!
- A. Leaf, AZ

Our day spent on the Isle of Iona was enchanting! Everywhere I went I felt ancient presences. And received many messages about the things that had occurred there in the past. I could have spent a full week there I'm sure and then would still not wanted to leave.
- C. Roberts, IA

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TOUR INCLUSIONS

Your Sacred Sites Journey to SCOTLAND Includes:
- Accommodations in 3 and 4-star hotels, including daily breakfast, taxes & service charges
- 10 dinners and 7 lunches
- Motorcoach transportation
- Tour guide & driver
- Sightseeing as per the itinerary, including entrance fees
- Porterage at hotels (1 bag per person)
- Pre-paid gratuities for guide, motorcoach driver, waiters at group meals, and other tour-related activities


Special Added Features

- Travel in a smaller group with other spirit-centered people with SSJ's Director
Andrea Mikana-Pinkham
- Featured Speaker & Meditation Facilitator Andrea Mikana-Pinkham
- Fully escorted by Tour Director Andrea Mikana-Pinkham
- Meditations at sacred sites facilitated by Andrea Mikana-Pinkham
- Edinburgh: Visit to Edinburgh Castle & Holyrood Palace,  with option to visit St Giles Cathedral
- Edinburgh/Midlothian area: Visit to world-famous Rosslyn Chapel and Balantrodoch
- Argyll Area: Kilmartin Glen and Temple Wood Stone Circle
- Isle of Iona: Full Day visit
- Loch Ness: Cruise on Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Corrimony Chambered Cairn
- Orkney Islands: Skara Brae, Maes Howe, Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness; Free time in Kirkwall
- Inverness: Clava Cairns
- Stirling: William Wallace Memorial
- Free time in Edinburgh
- Welcome and Farewell Dinners

NOT INCLUDED:
- Roundtrip International Airfare to Edinburgh, Scotland
- Meals not included, as indicated in the itinerary
- Cost to obtain valid passport
- Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, telephone calls and internet service. Any item that is not specifically detailed on the SSJ website or final trip itinerary


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TOUR PRICING

We will not be offering another Sacred Sites Journey to SCOTLAND
again anytime in the near future, so if you're considering going with us, come this year!

This Sacred Sites Journey is Land Only. You are responsible to arrange your roundtrip international air to Edinburgh.
ARRIVAL - Saturday, July 15, 2017: Please arrive at
Edinburgh International Airport earlier enough in the day so that you'll have time to rest before the evening's activities.

DEPARTURE - Friday, July 28, 2017: Please book your international return flight from Edinburgh to depart at any time after midnight that is convenient for you.

redball.gif (144 bytes) DISCOUNT! Make ALL of your payments by check or money order and receive a 5% discount! This discount is INCLUDED in the prices below listed for this payment option.

Per Person, double occupancy, LAND ONLY
$3,599.00 for payments via check or money order
$3,788.00 for payments via credit card

Single Room Supplement:
$719.00 for payments via check or money order
$757.00 for payments via credit card
NOTE: This is the additional amount you will pay if you choose to have your own private room throughout the tour.

The posted price is for the 1st five (5) single rooms to be booked. For any single rooms booked after those 5, there will be an additional cost of $359.00. An early registration will assure your single room booking at the lower price.


ROOMMATES: Would you like to meet and make a new friend on your journey? If you're not traveling on the journey with anyone you know, and would like for SSJ to try to match you up with a suitable roommate, we'll be happy to try to do so.

Per our Terms and Conditions, we will hold the registration for the trip open until 30 days before the departure date (or later if possible) in order to try to match you with someone. If by that date we have not been able to do so, you will be responsible to pay for the single supplement. If you would like to be matched with a roommate, please register early.

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TOUR REGISTRATION

TOUR REGISTRATION CLOSED

Questions? Email Andrea Mikana-Pinkham at info@SacredSitesJourneys.com
Or call our office at 888 501-3853 (Toll free in the US) or 928 284-2384

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!
Sacred Sites Journeys are smoke-free.
E-cigarettes are allowed.

All other forms of smoking are not.
Thanks for your cooperation!


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If you'd like to receive our Monthly Sacred Sites Journeys E-Newsletters, please Sign Up Here!

Newsletters are sent out about once a month.
Occasionally you may also receive an e-news bulletin about a specific journey or event.

We will not sell or share your information with any other company or individuals.
You can easily un-subscribe at any time.

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Questions? Email info@SacredSitesJourneys.com
Or, call our office at 888 501-3853 (Toll free in the US) or 928 284-1429

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NOTE: All photos and text on this webpage are the Copyright of Sacred Sites Journeys/ Heartlight Fellowship.

Sacred Sites Journeys is NOT affiliated with any other sacred travel company.
Other sacred travel companies offering spiritual pilgrimages similar to ours
are using our text and photos. We did not give them permission to do so.
We believe that karma is very efficient, and that those who are not in integrity
will swiftly reap the negative benefits of such actions.

 

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Updated 4/24/2017
Copyright Sacred Sites Journeys/Heartlight Fellowship 2008 - 2107