More people than ever before are now visiting ancient sacred sites across the globe. Stonehenge in England, the Pyramids in Egypt and Machu Picchu in Peru are all household names. What is it that attracts so many people to check out these places? Stonehenge receives over a million visitors a year and is in the top ten tourist attractions of England. Journeys With Soul has been leading small groups and individuals to the ancient sacred sites of England and the Celtic lands for twenty five years so we have some ideas why this is. We listen to what our clients say about why they have come on tour and here are some of the reasons they give.
There is Something There…
At first glance these now-ancient sacred sites might appear to be just piles of rocks, dead relics of a bygone age. However, with an appreciation of our ancestors’ perspective, myths and stories passed down through the generations, a different story emerges. Our ancestors knew the Earth intimately and understood its ways. Their observations of the sun’s movement along the horizon and the behaviour of the moon and stars in the night sky over generations would have developed into a body of knowledge recorded by site alignments and stone placements. This not only alerted them to the changing seasons, solar and lunar eclipses but also to those times when the Earth energies and cosmic influences were strongest and would empower their ceremonies. Can we learn anything from these ancient sites that will help us live our lives today? We believe we can and so we share the ancestors’ wisdom with our travel guests.
Looking for Authenticity
So much of our modern world is unreal, that we yearn for authenticity, and the sacred sites are truly authentic. The stones are real not plastic (yes I know you can buy a plastic model of Stonehenge at the visitor centre!) but the stones on Salisbury Plain are the same ones that have been standing there for thousands of years, you don’t get much more authentic than that! The magnificent medieval cathedrals that were built eight hundred years ago are still used for worship and community events just like they have been throughout their long history. The clock in Wells cathedral has rung out the passage of time every fifteen minutes for the last six centuries - a truly striking fact!
Joseph of Arimathea, who donated the tomb for Jesus to be buried in, travelled to England and founded the first Christian church at Glastonbury. This grew into the largest Abbey in all of England until Henry VIII had the Abbot hung, drawn and quartered on the summit of the Tor and the Abbey was closed. The powerful ruins are open for you to explore freely and make a connection with the world-changing events that took place there.
All of the sites that we include in our tours are part of Britain’s heritage and have secrets to share, and long histories and legends associated with them. We’ve found that by combining this information with the experience of being at such places is deeply moving for many people, so maybe we should say these sites have awe-thenticity!
We all love a mystery; who built the ancient temples and why? How did they move such huge stones? Are they really built over underground energy? What is a leyline? Is the Uffington White Horse really a dragon?
Most of us get hooked by a murder mystery show and are constantly trying to work out ‘who dunnit’. Well the sites of our distant ancestors are likewise mysteries that intrigues us and we want to visit them to try and work out what they’re all about. And if you think about it, if your family comes from the British Isles, then the people who built the stone circles and the Gothic cathedrals are actually your distant relatives! What messages have they left for you to find?
Quest & Vacation
Our Journeys With Soul are really quests, different for each person. The reason the story of King Arthur is still so well known around the world is because we are like his knights - we are all on our own personal quest in life, and to tread in their footsteps and learn from their story helps us on our journey. And we know that coming on a trip to the Celtic lands is your vacation and often a trip of a lifetime, that’s why we’re determined to do everything we can to make it enjoyable, memorable and fun. There is always a lot of laughter intermingled with profound moments on a Journey With Soul.
Why visit Britain?
We know that everyone is different and some people like to travel in groups with like-minded people to share experiences with, while others are independent travellers who prefer to determine their own schedule. That’s why we offer small group tours to the Celtic lands of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and day trips within England, our home base. Britain is rich in culture and heritage so we make sure that you get to experience not only the sacred sites but also historic characterful hotels, colourful street markets, live music venues, the best of British cuisine, traditional pubs and meetings with locals.
Maybe you’re Doctor Who fans like us, so why not travel in time to meet our ancestors and come back with some of their wisdom? We can’t promise you a ride in the TARDIS but we can promise you a Journey With Soul to remember…
by Glenn Broughton