Terracotta Angel, c.1896
Watts Chapel, England

 Photo : Jeff Saward/Labyrinthos

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Sacred travel invites contemplation and inspires creative expression. Here, our past tour participants share their journals, insights, and their talents...

Our Participants Write...

My Callanish - by Els O. Van Lierop, the Netherlands

An early summer evening in Scotland. A setting sun in grey blue skies at the horizon of an emptiness full of mysticism. Slowly the five of us - the small fellowship we formed early on during our Scotland Tour all the way up through the Outer Hebrides and Orkney islands - slowly we walk into the Standing Stone formation of Callanish. Each of us within our own cocoon of thought and reflection.

Callanish... What are you? Who are you? Why are you there? How long have you been here and what have you seen through all those thousands of years you have been keeping watch? Have you memories to share and if so.. how can I share them with you?

Callanish. A cathedral that equals Notre Dame de Paris, Chartres and every other place of worship built on this our Earth. Built on those Holy Places, crossroads of Earth's magnetic Holy Lines. They knew, the builders. As the animals knew and still do, lying down in the fields to sleep. They still know, so where did we humans lose touch with You, Mother Earth? When did we lose respect for your Life Giving force? Started to rape you and your resources instead of using them with respect and love?

A stillness without and within me takes over. I sit with my back to one of those magnificent Stones, touch it with my back and my hands and slowly begin to feel Life connecting with me. Warmth. Love. My mind goes back ages and ages. See people coming and going. To celebrate, to sit and enjoy, to care for that what is around me. I see solstices in summers and winters. Sunsets and sunrises in flaming orange, red and every colour in between. I see people walking up the hills in mists and rain, slowly walking through the entrance to the centre and perform rituals I cannot identify, cannot understand. I feel ancient and young at the same time. Wise and ignorant. Belonging and insignificant. Being part of all those men and women and children that passed before and will come after me.

"How," I ask them, "how did you worship our God ? How did you see Him? In what way was He important to you? What answers did you get from Him to your prayers and questions?" The answer reaches me through the Stone I am sitting against. Through its warmth, its ancient wisdom. "God, Els, is in and around and above us all. No matter how you worship Him. How you experience Him. God is not one religion, not one concept of Him. There is no such thing as one true religion. He is All and Everything that my Daughter Mother Earth gives to every living creature - every organism, in whichever form it exists - that has and will live on her surface. For all eternity. Be still and know that He is God, and you will find Him and he will give you His answers."

An eerie song floats around within the awesome stone formation... we join hands and I join in, connecting with eternity.... My Callanish...

Callanish stone circle at sunset

Photo taken by Jeff Saward
 on our Scotland tour 2005

Standing Stones - by Carol House, New Jersey

Stones ancient
energy presence
standing still
still standing
full sun, full moon
silent sentinels
standing still
still standing
tall stones
planted deep

standing still
still standing
earth guardians
patiently waiting
standing still
still standing
day after day
just waiting
waiting for us
to stand still too.

Ballachroy, Argyll

 Photo : Jeff Saward/Labyrinthos

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