The Adventure Continues
Day 0, April 11, 2020 Arrival for most – Angel’s Share Hotel, Edinburgh
Many like to arrive early, the day before we begin, to rest after the long flight. If you are one, and you have the energy, you are welcome to join me in a possible Dancing Hands Circle for Edinburgh and all desirous to attend in Scotland. This is pending availability of space, time, and people this holiday weekend and may not easily sync with your arrival time, so please know this would only be a bonus circle to the arc of our journey. This is for both those not on the adventure with us and/or any arriving early. If you arrive in time, you are also invited to a simple, evening supper, too. Times TBD
Day 1, April 12, 2020, Easter Sunday
We have been honored with my request to celebrate Easter in the Rosslyn Chapel. “Dedicated in 1450 as the Collegiate Chapel of St. Matthew, Sir William St. Clair founded the chapel for his family… Collegiate chapels like this were intended to pray for the soul of the founder and to spread intellectual and spiritual knowledge.”(rosslynchapel.com)
It remains the place of worship for the St. Clair Family and while it is closed to the visiting public during Sunday services, dearly Lynda reached out to them, explained my hope and family, (my aunt was the first female Episcopalian priest in California and one of the first women in America to become an Episcopalian priest), and gratefully we’ve been invited this day to join in celebrating the miraculous Easter story of rebirth. Many of you know that both Jesus and Mary often appear to me during Dancing Hands sessions when the session or circle merits it, so while I don’t preach on these tours, (I am for all beliefs), this is my beloved lineage.
The Rosslyn Chapel is filled with historically and artistically spectacular religious art, as well as many mysterious carvings (which took over 40 years to complete) and codes including the 13 fascinating cymatics. Many carvings harken to Gaia and the pagan roots of Scotland. Other carvings may invite reflection on our current connection with the worlds above, below, and within. There are over 100 carvings of the Green Man alone. Some believe that the Holy Grail is hidden here, also the ark of the covenant and bits of the true cross upon which Jesus the Christ was crucified, too, as many believe the Knights of the Templar had fled to Scotland with great treasure of gold, silver, jewels, great secrets and significant religious relics. It may help explain the carvings of maize and aloe – botany not discovered in the New World for 400 years after the completion of the chapel? Perhaps? The village of Roslin, where the chapel sits, is considered to be a “thin place,” where the the line between the worlds are gentled. Lynda shared that the peace within the lower space is astonishing, so we shall hopefully experience this together. And yes, it was the setting of the Da Vinci Code movie (2003) and I’ll share more about that when we are together.
On the architrave joining the Apprentice Pillar there is an inscription:
“Forte est vinum fortiori est rex fortiores sunt mulieres super omnia vincit veritas:
Wine is strong, a king is stronger, women are stronger still, but truth conquers all.”
(1 Esdras, chapters 3 & 4)
Important Note from Jane:
On the Dancing Hands tours, when traveling outside of mainland USA, I am led to honor the land through which we travel and the longstanding spiritual traditions of the local people as we did in Hawai’i with our kahu, in Tonga with the priest, and in Peru with the qero. I start by praying and asking permission to join together with local folk in prayer for peace (dancing or otherwise), and give thanks as I am invited by a spiritual elder. I welcome you to join me here. This is one day on our trip I may suggest nicer attire.
Day One Sacred Scotland Itinerary:
8:00 AM Breakfast at ** Restaurant on the ground floor of our hotel. They serve a Full Scottish or a Full Veggie Scottish Breakfast, plus many beautiful options over which we can gather, break fast and begin our day.
9:45 AM Meet Lynda Low, our beloved Scottish guide on this adventure, in the lobby.
9:30 AM. Be in the van ready to go – Easter service in 15th century Rosslyn Chapel.
10:30 AM Easter Service
11:30 AM Walkabout and stretch to Rosslyn Castle ruins and gardens
12:00 PM lite picnic (weather permitting)
12:30 PM Private tour of Rosslyn Chapel
1:30 PM return to van and off to lunch break together
3:35 PM leave for Real Mary’s Close
4:00 PM arrive at Real Mary’s Close
4:14 PM Real Mary’s Close Tour – Here we also journey back in time through the stories and underground Edinburgh along the famous Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s only preserved 17th century street following the footsteps of former residents.
5:30 PM free explore or power nap
6:30 PM meet for lite dinner
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM JDH Welcome Quanta Circle -our first Jane’s Dancing Hands Circle
**This is a normal pace for this JDH tour. I leave this here all see how we roll – some days more, some, less depending on where we are, the weather, the group and Source’s direction, but I will only share the lodging & timetables for each day, as well as the deeper research with those signed up for our Sacred Scotland group from here on out.
The continuation of our itinerary is woven between Jane and Lynda. See if you can tell who is writing what and know more will be revealed as we get closer to our journey:
Day 2, 2.13.20, Easter Monday
Leaving the Auld Reekie (Edinburgh) behind for now we are off for mid morning munchies at Pillars of Hercules, our favorite organic farm shop and cafe. Need natural products or especially healthy groceries for the week? Pack a reusable shopping bag – this place is country nirvana. Next, a drive through Falkland for our Outlander fans.
Fed and watered we are all set for a climb up Wallace Monument, Scotland’s national hero. William Wallace fought for Freedom from English rule here. His sword of freedom is here on display. This is especially significant today as we all rise for truth in the world – and yes, similar to what is going on in UK politics right now, too. This is a nice vantage for us to prayer dance in the air for all beings, and the view is spectacular.
Finnich Glen, AKA Devils Pulpit. Have courage – The Devil’s Pulpit is actually a spectacular waterfall rolling over sandstone so red it looks as if the clear water rushing down from the pulpit of stone is blood red. While one of the most photographed scenic spots for the more adventurous, we will assess as we arrive if all or part of our party wishes to climb down the gulch. Reading many reassuring posts, there are also ropes tied along the path for safety, though mud boots are a must. Depending on weather and physical levels of group, however, we are going to play this by ear.
JDH Circle(s) TBD
Day 3, 4.14.20, Tuesday
A day to truly awaken all your senses and connect with the sacred Highlands of Scotland. Listen for the whispering of the elementals, smell and feel the purity of nature and DANCE, DANCE, DANCE with Bidean nam Bian, The Three Sisters in these magical Mountains of Glencoe. We’ll pass near the Loch Earn, perhaps have a quick stop at the Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay, and see the Falls of Dochart.
Among many options, on our list is Balquhidder (Balwhidder) Village, at the foot of Loch Voil in central Scotland. This is where west Perthshire meets the Trossachs at the gateway to the Highlands. Balquhidder Glen evokes emotions heightened in the knowledge that druids, Jacobite rebels, ancient clans, ancient Royals, famous authors and Rob Roy McGregor have tread before us. Punctuated by Munro’s, trout filled lochs and wildlife this hauntingly beautiful glen is drenched in history and folklore centered around a Kirk yard that tells a thousand tales.
The oldest gravestone belongs to an Alex Fergusson of Ardandamh who died in 1663 though people have worshipped here for millenniums with evidence of an 1880 BC Neolithic temple on nearby Ben Ledi and worshipping stones on Tom nan Aingeal (Hill of Fire) which rises behind Balquhidder church. Druids lit heath fires here on pagan festivals like Beltane, May 1st. St Angus was the first apostle of the gospel of Christ in Balquhidder in V111.
They say to truly enter into the spirit of this enchanting region of Scotland , it is paramount to visit this area. Even centuries of poetic descriptions by great writers could never substitute the pleasure of experiencing this magical place. Your senses are guaranteed to be refreshed and awakened by the surrounding lochs and mountains in these lands that are steeped in history and folklore.
Will ye go, lassie, go,
To the braes o’ Balquhidder?
Where the blaeberries grow,
‘Mang the bonnie bloomin’ heather;
Where the deer and the roe
Lightly bounding together,
Sport the lang simmer day
‘Mang the braes o’ Balquhidder.
“The Braes of Balquhidder” by Robert Tannahill, poet and songwriter (1774-1810)
Folklore is dependent on stories, customs and songs being passed on through families and friends, eternally. Stories of water spirits, fairies, ghosts, prophecies and healing stones are still whispered here alongside tales of many legendary characters
Throughout our tour in Scotland, but here, too, we are all invited to chat up the locals, listen to the words of the folksingers, search maps for fairy hills and knolls, visit the regions kirks, old gravestones and castles and seek out sites like the Breadalbane Folklore Centre, and keep open for spontaneous adventure. We are fluid as we go.
JDH Circle as suggested TBD.
You will sleep well tonight as you’re always guaranteed a gid nichts sleep after a day in the hills.
Day 4 Wednesday, 4.15.20
Day 5, Thursday, 4.16.20
For a two day and night explore, we drive to the Isle of Skye. After a stop at the spectacular Eilean Donan Castle, we’ll plan for a picnic beside the Loch and maybe a dance, too. More magical land awaits – Fairy pools, Kilt Rock Waterfall, Dunvegan Castle, The Old Man of Stor. Then wi a wee stroke o luck maybe a wee shin dig at a Ceildh (a traditional Scottish or Irish gathering) in the evening if we can find one before or after our daily Dancing Hands Circle. *Nae drams though – this is an alcohol free trip.
As we reach these isles, we will be feeling into the energies of the land, sky, and sea while kindling the fires of Source within, so prepare yourself for spontaneous circles and diversions along the route as we see/feel/experience the beauty.
*Yes, Friends, this will be an alcohol-free journey as we are connecting to Source and I ask all participants be clear and clean of alcohol, drugs, and smokes as it does make a difference for a spiritual retreat. Thanks for your understanding.
Day 6, Friday, 4.17.20
Day 7 Saturday, 4.18.20
Gaelic tongues and ears at the ready folks. Even our host Lynda is boning up to understand our friends in this region of Scotland. Outlander lovers rejoice!
A good ferry ride takes us to the Isles of Harris and Lewis, also known as the Outer Hebrides or the Land of the Cloth. This is the only place in the world where the famous Harris tweed is woven. Here we can meet the weavers at the Blackhouse Museum and see how they survived through history and even now.
These isles have the most beautiful, wide, wind swept, white sand beaches. Luskentyre Beach is world renowned. This is a great day to explore, journal, tune in and weave with the place in meditation, and, yes, dance. I canny wait to dance on many of these. Bikinis aren’t needed except for the days we are staying at the spa/hotels. It’s April in Scotland, mind. (Although we did have a bit of Scottish sun bathing in our “JDH Circle line” when we were in Scotland, September 2019 along the North Sea. (Picture below.)
JDH Circle(s) time and place TBD
Saturday, 4.18.20, leading on to the highlight of our Sacred Scotland 2 tour – our big day awaits us on when we will be dancing through the ancient Callanish Stones.
“To gaze into the circle stones of Callanish is to gaze into a place where time has no meaning.”
Callanish I is just one of over twenty megalithic sites on Lewis.
The stones are intricately connected to the landscape, as with many megalithic ceremonial complexes. In the case of Callanish I, the stones share an intimate relationship with both the range of hills known as the ‘sleeping beauty’ or the ‘old woman of the moors‘. When the moon reaches its southern extreme each 18.6 years it is seen to rise from behind the sacred hill range and skim the horizon for four hours till it gently sets again behind the Harris hills. This range of hills are as much a part of the monuments as the stones themselves.
More on the Callanish Stones will be in the deeper guide for everyone joining the tour.
Another ancient building nearby is the massive Iron Age round house known as Dun Carloway Broch is pulling our attention, and while it is currently closed for conservation, we can still enjoy it from a short walk.
A sample of history in the participant packs: Most brochs were built in the period from 100 BC to 100 AD. Dun Carloway was estimated to be built in the 1st century AD. It’s believed its current name from the Norse Karlavagr (“Karl’s bay”), a relic of its time as part of the Kingdom of the Isles.
Blackhouse Village & Museum, Clach an Trushal Standing Stones, and IF we have time and inclination, (it’s a big drive) we may go alllll the way up to Portness for the lighthouse for this is officially the windiest place in the UK and Jane LOVES wind and lighthouses, but we shall see. We’ll have plenty of fog
JDH Circle(s) time and place TBD
Day 8, Sunday, 4/19
After breakfast we are off to the Lew Castle & Museum and wha?? Starbucks? (Oh, Lynda. My goodness, you are a dear friend. This place IS magical and the people here are so very dear!)
A long ferry ride back to the mainland allows us time to take in the fresh yet exhilarating air only this coastline offers as we share and reflect on our experiences of our Sacred journey so far. We can dance on the water, (or just above it 🙂
2:15 ferry check
3 PM departure
**Please know, for some this is a wavy passage. If you don’t have sea legs, it’s well worth taking precautions before leaving, for it is known for it’s rollercoaster sea. It does have beautiful scenery and coastline leaving and arriving, and you are welcome to join Jane on the deck (she grew up on a sailboat so she well knows the healthiest place not to get seasick is bundled up and on deck, with fresh wind in your face, looking at the steady horizon.
This journey can be a great time for reflection and sharing the journey thus far, too, so plan for the best!
5:30 PM arrive in Ullapool
The sea food shack on arrival in Ullapool serves up some locally caught seafood straight from boat to shack/restaurant for those who may have may have empty tummies. This place was voted 4th best takeaway (take out) in Scotland and we’ll grab a bite of early supper before we drive to head south back to Inverness.
7:30 we arrive in Inverness. In the city center, The Royal Highland Hotel is in a walkable area. Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Eden Court Theatre are nearby cultural highlights, and some of the area’s landmarks include Inverness Castle and Inverness Cathedral, but with such a long day we may only see from over the river. Clava Cairns were a delight last trip and we’ll see if we can squeeze them in on one side of this day or tomorrow, but again, with such long traveling this day and still a JDH Circle somewhere… we shall see.
JDH Circle(s) time and place TBD
Day 9, Monday, 4/20
From breakfast in Inverness, Starbucks, (oh Lynda! Again?! 🙂 and the snow capped mountains of the Cairngorms National Park via Perth, we’ll make our nice long drive to the historic St Andrews, have a pass by its ruins and have lunch before we make our way over to another “thin place,” the magical Dunino Den. This iswhere we circled last time between the ancient Druid stone carvings and the gentle stream. It is simply magical and we can decide if we wish to circle here or on West Sands Beach, where my hands created the wildly flowing 7 Dancing Hands Sand Glyphs – the first series after that one and only first in Chile a few months before. It seems fitting to to circle back here again for the final JDH Circle of our journey and our day, but again, on Day 9 of the journey Source has a way of weaving new inspiration into the mix and we will be tuned to a new pattern of best and highest good for one and all, so… again…
JDH Circle(s) time and place TBD
5:30 PM we head back to Edinburgh to dine, either spend an extra night, or fly.
Please check in with me on if you would like your 9th night to be on Day 0 or this night. Some on our last trip decided to leave on very, very early AM flights on our final day and so with this in mind I’ll book this night (or not) accordingly.
Day 10, Tuesday, 4.21.21
For those still here, we’ll have a nice breakfast and then…
Depart from Edinburgh. One can literally walk out of the hotel and just a block or two and catch the train that goes right into the airport. It is so very simple.
All accommodations are double occupancy unless we don’t fill all rooms. You may come with a designated partner or rotate through the group as we did last time with joyful success. Everyone seemed to love getting to know each participant and have one night where they were in a room of their own, too. Jane will be rooming with her daughter the whole time because honestly, it’s a LOT of energy having Jane in your room and so far only her own children (and ex) do well sleeping nearby. Her kids are already tuned to the frequency of the gift rolling through 24/7 so they do fine. We do have a couple of men interested, but if only one comes, we’ll discuss best plan asap.
“Packing List to come, but to remember to begin looking now for it:
Nae daft shoes, (wellies, or rubber boots for hiking in the muddy areas)
It’s April the weather can be very unpredictable. Waterproof jakeits will be needed and it will be cald a nicht if it’s no during the day. Layers are a must for clothing.
And please, please, please take only memories, and photos from this land it’s so precious to us. After all, Mother Nature put it here for a reason and let me tell you it wisnae for ithers to tak awa tae another country. Aye some dafties do let me tell you .
Our sacred and magical land is special to us and Is waiting to give you a warm welcome as you embark on your Sacred Journey with Jane and Jane’s Dancing Hands Sacred Scotland 2 tour in April 2020.”
Reminder from Jane:
The above itinerary is made with the hope and expectation for all we’ve laid out. Weather, our group, and each individual we watch lovingly and carefully. We will be in constant flow about what works best for you and the whole group and may change to gentler options at any given moment we think it’s best for one and all.
All must sign and send me the liability waiver before you ticket to join this journey.
A 50% deposit must be made to hold your spot. 100% must be paid by Feb. 14, 2020. Due to extremely limited space 50% of the deposit is non-refundable after 1.31.20 & 100% non-refundable by 2.13.20.
Travel insurance is always strongly suggested for any international flights and international travel and stays for your duration. Please consult with your insurance agent about what is best for you.
Best Faith Agreement: Thank your for understanding this is a spiritual journey and we appreciate all agreeing to not imbibe in alcohol, recreational drugs, smokes, or vape for the duration. Please, however, let me know if you are on any doctor prescribed medication, or CBD oils, and if there is anything I need to know how it may or may not impact you as you travel.
As mentioned, some may wish to bring sea-sickness medicine if they are prone to sea-sickness as we have at two ferryboat rides – one being at least a few hours long. We will be coming into spring, but we never know how the weather may affect the motion of the boats, so please come prepared if this is something that may impact you. Ginger candies can be helpful for some.
Because we are traveling into far-reaching and rustic parts of Scotland you are encouraged to pack light. One medium to small rolling suitcase and a backpack/purse for the 9 days is optimal. While we do our best to scout the best four star hotels we can for our budget, some regions to which we are traveling, especially on a holiday week, simply do not have what we may expect in traditional, modern lodging in the US. Last time, we were in many a hotel or inn (one that was quaint 16th century) that had no elevator, nor bellboy to carry any luggage. We each will likely have a bit of a walk to some places of lodging and will have to climb stairs and carry our own bag(s) as we go. Backpackers’ backpacks are sometimes harder on one than a suitcase with wheels, so please do your best with this.
I definitely had a workout last time going up and down stairs because my total time gone was three weeks with all kinds of different work and I had to bring lots of clothes. I am so glad not to be going directly to a press junket to NYC directly this time! The challenge for layers for changeable weather and warmth is on, but good news — there is only one day that we are encouraged to dress just a little nicer, (Easter Sunday), so if we do decide to go to a nicer restaurant, please repeat. Let’s all be fine with wearing the same outfits over again to simplify.
If you don’t already have these, as Lynda suggested you may wish to look for & pack:
- Packable raincoats
- Stuffable warm coats
- Wellies or waterproof boots
- Rain protective hiking pants, so you can play, hike, and stay dry if it rains.
Last time we had only two days of partial rain, but you never know.
- Travel umbrella (I never use these, because my jacket has a hood and my luggage is waterproof, but it’s handy if your backpack isn’t. Or use some Scotch-Guard? 🙂
- Waterproof travel backpack -They have many at UK gift shops. Cute & they fold up.
- Travel towel and/or foldable yoga mat (this is not mandatory, but handy on damp grass or beaches when we lie down or sit on each side of the JDH Circles
- Re-usable water bottle
- Hat, scarf, and gloves
- A favorite pen or pencil – I’ll provide you with a journal unless you wish to use one of your own for your daily meditation, exploration, and dance through Scotland.
Other things to think about…
Add WhatsApp to your phone, if you don’t already have it. This free app allows us to call, text, and share photos with one another for free and with those back at home as we go. Marcie has already set up our WhatsApp group and we’ll add you as soon as you join the journey so we can start sharing info right away. Great if you aren’t on social media, too, because it’s lovely to share the pics of the day.
Check in with your phone carrier to see how/if your phone will work/get wifi/ or communicate in the UK. I have AT&T and it was surprisingly inexpensive ($10?) to add a temporary international plan to my phone and bonus – it can be turned on and off and on again at pre-selected dates. I spent an hour trying to do this from a Starbucks in Scotland because I didn’t realize it needed to happen, and the international plan automatically rolled over for my trip to Mexico, so a little pre-planning is handy!
Tell your credit card companies and your bank about your trip and where you are going if you intend to use credit and debit cards while traveling to ensure they won’t shut them down due to suspicious activity. This also has happened to me in two countries now and it is a huge waste of time and stress, so pre-planning is your friend.
Speaking of the bank – while there is a plentitude of ATMs in the major cities, you may wish to pre-order a little money from your bank in advance so you are set for any gifts, housekeeping tips, or food you may wish to get as you land in Edinburgh. If you are coming from England, Scotland does accept English Stirling and Pounds, but they prefer Scottish money. Scottish money, on the other hand is not as welcome in England if you plan on stopping over.
Food Love. If you are on a special diet, as many of us are these days, be nice to yourself and pack healthy and nutritious snacks you know you can eat to help bridge meals. No, you don’t need to bring enough for all. Be good to yourself. I know I’ll be packing extra tea this time and not mooching from my friend, Anita, for Throat Coat!
Extra Fun. We’ll spend a fair amount of time on the road and rotate in the van to keep it fair. Any wisdom for the day for our fellow travelers – quotes, divination card fun, dream work, historical insights, even gaelic musical playlists are welcome and enjoyed, but never mandatory. Think of this as a great, mobile, slumber party trip. What would you like to hear, share, know, enjoy? You may wish to get postcard stamps early if you wish to write cards to yourself or loved ones at home, a blow up pillow for car naps, but even when packing light there are myriad ways we can travel with great joy.