Sunday, 9 November 2014

Introducing Scotland - The Kelpies





As the winter deepens, it is time for y'all to study up on some Scotland trivia. 
What's the picture above?  Don't know?  Well most Scots do, so here's the video to 'splain it all.  It's part of our Introducing Scotland series, covering things and places that visitors might not know about this fine country.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

What is Celtic Spirituality?


What is Celtic Spirituality?

Well there's a question that opens a leather bag of spiraling worms.
This tour that we are running is for our friend Mara Freeman who is a writer about and teacher of Celtic Spirituality, so the focus is on that aspect of Scottish Culture

Christianity came from the Middle East to Ireland very early, almost before Christ, you might say.  It bypassed the other European countries and flourished in the Emerald Isle a few hundred years before the rest of Britain.  This happened because there was a pre-existing connection between the Rabbis and the Irish Druids.  They liked to swap esoteric knowledge.

The upshot of this is that one of the many Christian sects, post Jesus, was Irish Christianity.  To the modern mind, it was somewhat pagan in its ideas, more about poverty and aestheticism, more about the flock, respectful of nature.

Fast forward to 664 AD and the church in Rome was fast becoming the dominant Christian sect (there were still others).  In Britain, the light of Christ shone from Iona, on the west coast of Scotland (and from where I write this blog tonight).  Ionan Christianity was Celtic, brought there by Collum Cille (AKA Saint Columba) from Ireland the previous century.

The Synod of Whitby in 664 was a ruling on who the Saxon king of Britain would follow - Rome or Iona.  He chose Rome, thus the sect later known as Catholic became the dominant one is Britain too.

The focus of this tour of Mara's is to visit Christian and pre-Christian sites that still show evidence of this early sect and its druidical and neo-lithic antecedents.  There are many in Scotland, especially on the west coast.  Along the way we share readings and spiritual practices that draw from the sites.




Pic above: There be stone circles here.  Arran, courtesy of our youngest guest, Miley, age 13.

Pic: looking down in contemplation from the heights of Dunadd, once a capital city of a Christian Irish colony and still the finest view in Argyll.

We have 16 guests with us, many with much learning and skill in this field.  This night we have arrived at the unco chancy place of Iona, where time has a liquid quality, sometimes turning in eddies; other times running backwards while forwards; sometimes it stands still and at others it rages through you disrupting all.  That's Iona for you.  No wonder they built their abbey here.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Mara's Celtic Spirit Journeys August


Mystical Scotland tour 2014.  We are privileged to be guiding this tour for a second year.  We have a grand bunch of 16 on a pilgrimage from Edinburgh to the Outer Isles. Today, day 2, we are on the Island of Arran and have visited the great standing stones on the moor of Machrie.  Pick below not of the stones, but taken from the stones looking up to Goat Fell where the stones mark the rising of the summer solstice sun.


Some words from three of our guests.

Thoughts by Sally (grandmother) and Miley (granddaughter):
The celtic  journey of a life time today was remarkable we very much enjoyed the dances and the humor between the people in our lovely group. Our favorite part of today was feeling the energy in the celtic standing stones,through that experience we learn much more through history. We are enjoying every second of our journey through the days. We are very happy to be on this celtic journey.

Thoughts by Sheila:  to my family and friends greetings from this beautiful island of Arran, such a magical spot.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Jamie and Claire 2015 tour dates announced!

Sin sibh a luchdh leanntan!  See youze, Diana Gabaldon Fans!  I have just posted the tour dates for 2015 for the Jamie and Claire tour.

The true "Colum MacKenzie" with our May crowd.

We're still having fun with this year, and our new optional "extensions", but I am already getting requests for 2015.
So, they're up on www.jamieandclairetour.co.uk  for your delectation and the old "can I, can't I?" decision.  Maybe this is your year...

What's NOT there just yet are:
~ the optional extensions that were such fun this year.  I'm still working on those.  I'll put them up soon.
~  The Romantic Borders tour, which we have just come back from.  Quote from a guest:  "I had no idea the Borders would be so exciting!"   There will be the tour date posted soon AND a "What's it like?" video, once we've had a chance to edit it up.
~ Also not posted yet is the Dragonfly In Amber tour.  I'll get to that when I can as well.
~  Furtherly (not a word!) not posted is the Western Isles tour, which for the third year we will be offering in conjunction with Mara Freeman, noted Celtic spirituality author and teacher.  You can find details at Celtic Spirit Journeys.com

Now, I must just get back to other more pressing matters, like the impending tour in August and Sept.  Busy, busy....

By the way, have you seen the first few videos in the "Introducing Scotland" series that we have made?  It's a side-interest thing where we showcase some things about Scotland that you probably didn't know about.  
You'll find them on my MacKenzie Adventures Youtube channel  and I bet you'll find them interesting

Enjoy the summer, Outlandish People, and the websites.
Muchos regardos,
Samantha
(Now where did I put that stack of booking forms...?)

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Piping Till The Cows Come Home


We get a visit at the Storyteller's Cottage from a Hawaiian Celt.


Hamish is a Cornishman living on Maui.  For many years he has been everything Celtic on the island - he hosted a radio show all about Celtic music, he is a journalist, a piper, a promoter of bands, an stunning artist, an importer of Celtic wares.  All the Scottish and Irish bands coming to the islands contact him.  He is also the cover-artist for the 50th anniversary album of the Irish Rovers.

In our garden in July, while on a flying visit, he treated us, and the cows (aka The Boys) to some piping.

video


Sunday, 6 July 2014

Introducing Scotland - Anstruther Fish Tea


Part 2 of the Introducing Scotland series of short videos.  This time we show you the meaning of "A Fish Tea" and "Fish Supper" in Scotland.

The sea-front at Anstruther
 
 Follow the link below to the video on our Youtube Channel.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Introducing Scotland - the Sma' Glen




Part one of a "documentary" series we're making called Introducing Scotland, where we make small video pieces about unusual things in Scotland.  These videos are not tied to the tours (as in a video blog), but more to seasonal events, off-beat locations and culture interest.

Here we go with "Introducing Scotland - The Sma' Glen"



video