Traveling with Purpose: Luss, Scotland
Many of us love to travel, to see new places and meet new people. Some of us travel to decompress from our stressful lives to take the time to gain perspective. And then some of us simply have travel imprinted in our DNA and / or are astrologically gifted with the quest of travel.
Some years ago I started planning travel adventures that were more than a “vacation”. I needed and wanted to reconnect to my physical self, to my soul and to the planet – Sacred Travel. Our ancestors seemed to have possessed knowledge on the impact of architecture and direct placement that we in our modern technology age have forgotten. This planet is a matrix of lay lines weaving a delicate intense lattice work connecting specific points.
Since the theme of Inner Tapestry Journal is New Beginning – let’s take a walk to the Luss Glebe located in Luss, Scotland. Scotland is one of those magical places where the old and the new are tightly bound together. Here you will see the Ancient Celtic Spirituality in harmony with modern Christianity. According to history Saint Kessog brought Christianity to Luss in 510 A.D. Kessog’s martyrdom at the hands of druids in 520 AD transformed Luss into a place of pilgrimage, gaining the attention of King Robert the Bruce. The saint’s crozier was taken into battle by the Scots army in the most famous of all the battles of the Wars of Independence, Bannockburn, whose 700th anniversary was just this past June 2014.
As in anything in Scotland how you get there is all part of the journey. Starting at the Loch Lomondside village of Luss . You wind round until you come to a wooden bridge. As you cross the bridge, you cannot but feel the spiritual presence of this place begin its cascade over you like fine mist, covering you as you step off the bridge and onto the pilgrimage path. This sanctuary was created as part of a project to mark the 1500 years of Christianity presence in Luss. At the beginning of the winding path is a beautiful Celtic Cross.
The upper part of the cross contains Christian symbols including the dove of peace, the grain of wheat, the fish symbol of the early Church, the chalice and the candle of hope. Also included is the Luss Lily, an iris only to be found on this glebe. Below the lily are other faith symbols, not all of which are religious; they spell out the word ‘co-exist’. What is a pilgrimage but learning to co-exist with where you have come from and who in this life you become? As you walk this winding path, you are transported into a realm of consciousness. A place where you can unwind layers and examine, do you wish to keep them or integrate them into your being. At every marker there is another sign of harmony and integration.
One of the things I adore about Scotland is how she lets her natural beauty shine, a fallen log, a collection of rocks perfectly balanced. When I first encountered the glebe, there were many changes going on in my life, new role at work, circle of friends changing, new things coming and going at lightning speed. My friend Jane gently put her hand on my back and said “Go Walk the Glebe, Counter clockwise first , and then clockwise.” With that she gave me a little push and I started to walk the spiral path. As I was walking the first thing I was aware of, was that I was “aware”. My senses came alive. I smelled the wet grass, wood, mushrooms, and flowers. My eyes began to see shades of green and shades of color. I was keenly aware of the color of the sky, the color of the woods, the color and shapes on the miscellaneous rocks on the path, the ground beneath my feet. As I walked further – I felt like I was the only one in the glebe at that moment. My mind suddenly cleared and all the chatter of things brewing left.
About half way through I realized I needed to co-exist with myself. I turned so I could see the magnificent cross with its stained glass colors behind the sun. I needed to co-exist with my physical world and mental world, truly reconnect to the soil, the air, and the sounds. My New Beginning began that day. As I finished my first pass and came back to my friend, Jane, I felt lighter, clearer more authentic. Jane smiled a knowing smile and said “Now go back around counter clockwise, notice if anything changes.” So off I went again around the pathway. Now I had just finished walking it – but walking this way it was like discovering a whole new way of looking at things- Jane calls it looking from behind the mirror instead of looking at the mirror.
So many times our reflected perception is skewed but going to the other side and looking from behind the mirror gives you a whole new perspective. It’s raw, and true and you see exactly what needs to be seen, this path opens up your heart. Halfway through I felt these deep sobs come from the bottom of my toes, but here in this peaceful Glebe where everything co-exists – I left my sorrow behind and it was answered with compassion, harmony and joy. Birds began to sing, the wind began to blow, I could hear the water nearby even more. All of this allowing me to unwind the wrappings of so many things. The last part of the walk I was skipping and smiling. Feeling free.
Sacred Travel is a wonderful way to reconnect to the planet as a whole. It allows you to remember a time when all things began with the heart of the planet.