We were all tired; it had been a wonderful day, and the weather had been kind – which is not always assured in Scotland… The brain tends to switch off, which is no bad thing when you are in a ‘holding’ group and the whole idea is to engage a different (deeper, gentler, non-analytical) layer of consciousness. The path was very straight and shaded … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 6) Beyond the Blasted Heath
You can’t miss Sueno’s stone. It sits on its own plateau, just off the old main road between Findhorn and Forres; now bypassed. You see its ‘hangar’ first, then realise that this glass and steel monolith contains something special… Sueno’s stone was thought to be named after Swenson Forkbeard, but this is disputed. There is also a folk-link to King Duffus, whose castle we … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 5) Stone in the Sky
I didn’t want to leave Burghead, not even for Findhorn; a place I’d wanted to visit for a long time. Burghead had filled me (many of us, I think) with a sense of ancient mystery and that dreadful knowledge that the centre of the Pict civilisation had likely perished in the Viking raids of the 9th century, when the ‘fort’ was sacked and burned. … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 4) Sea and Stone
The Moray Firth is vast, wild and beautiful. Examined on a map it resembles a child’s geometry exercise in triangles, with the coast between its ‘origin’ at Inverness and far-away Fraserburgh being a virtually flat west-east baseline. From Fraserburgh the great inlet of the Moray Firth reaches northwards into the North Sea. The final line in the triangle, from Inverness moving north-east, ends at … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (Part 3) Headland of the Picts
There has to be a dawn… I’m not being flippant. Our Silent Eye ‘spirituality in the landscape’ weekends always have at least one early morning event during which we gather somewhere beautiful and greet the dawn. It’s a joy and also a discipline: something that tells our inner self that ‘we mean it’. Sometimes we might read poetry or even enact something from esoteric … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (2) Coast and Castle
We were standing close to the River Spey in the grounds of Strathallan church a few miles from the centre of Grantown-on-Spey: one of the gems of the north-eastern highlands of Scotland. The previous hour had seen us all meet at a tea room in the centre of the town. We discussed the plans for the weekend, drank tea and had cake… Strathallan church … Read More Three Days of the Oyster-Catcher (1)
We were in Ulverston, Dean and I. We’d just climbed the famous ‘Hoad’ – a tall monument on the top of a tall hill that looks like a lighthouse… but isn’t. There’s some important symbology in that, but we’ll return to it later. He was on his way back from Somerset to northern Scotland – the Glenlivet area of the North Cairngorms, where he … Read More The way to dusty death?