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Discovering Layers of Ancient Wisdom

Ancient Wisdom tourThis is a spiritual journey into the hidden world of the distant past. Discover the power of mythology and ancient monuments across France, England and Scotland.

This theme can be customised in many ways to include other sites in Europe.

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Arrive in Paris
  • Tour of the city of Paris
  • Travel to Chartres to learn about the wonder of its sacred geometry
  • Visit Le Mans cathedral
  • A visit to Carnac, one of the largest megalith sites in the north west of France
  • Stay on Mont St Michel; tour the island and the monastery
  • Follow the St Michael Line to England and across Dartmoor to Glastonbury
  • A visit to Glastonbury Abbey; once the greatest monastic foundation in Britain
  • Continue along the St Michael Line to Avebury to explore the stone circle, the avenue of stones and the long barrow
  • A visit to Stonehenge
  • Stay in Edinburgh
  • Tour along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and visit Arthur’s Seat, Kelso, St.Boswells and Scotts view
  • Travel to Roslin to visit the unique Rosslyn Chapel a tapestry in stone
  • Stay on the magical Orkney Islands
  • Visit the Ring of Brodgar and Stenness Stones
  • Depart from Edinburgh

Full Itinerary

Day One: Paris

  • Meet and greet in Paris with the specialist tour guide, who will remain with the group for the duration of the tour.  Transfer to the coach for a tour of this iconic city with attention to its past and how it is reflected today.
  • Dinner at a lively Parisian bistro and overnight in Paris.

Day Two: Chartres

  • Travel to the famed cathedral city of Chartres to learn about the wonder of its sacred geometry.
  • This visit will reveal what appears to have been conceived as a ‘matrix of meaning’, connected in a larger matrix extending into Scandinavia and the Middle East.  A line of energy connects Jerusalem with St Michael's Mount in Cornwall, going to Ireland and passing through Chartres.
  • Overnight in a small provincial French town.

Day Three: Le Mans/Carnac

  • Travel to Le Mans for a visit to the cathedral before continuing to the beautiful small medieval town of Rennes for lunch.
  • Then continue to Carnac; one of the largest megalith sites in the north west of France.
  • Here the megaliths are in alignment; long lines not circles.  View the huge long rows of stones (1099 still standing and remaining) and other related sites such as dolmens around Carnac and Quiberon. Explore the pattern of meaning as it is laid across the landscape and connects the past and future.
  • An overnight in stay in Quiberon.

Day Four: Mont St Michel

  • Travel across country to Mont St Michel; the wonderful jewel of Benedictine vision.
  • Created, so Gurdjieff said, by one of the few remaining initiates into legomonism.  Take a tour of the island and the monastery.  According to legend, the archangel Michael appeared to St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, in 708 and instructed him to build a church on the rocky islet. Aubert repeatedly ignored the angel's instruction, until Michael burned a hole in the bishop's skull with his finger.
  • Enjoy a wonderful rural French dinner in a local restaurant on Mont St Michel with views over the bay, followed by an overnight stay on the island in a small boutique hotel.

Day Five: Cherbourg, France to Dartmoor, England

  • First travel to Cherbourg to catch the ferry to Poole in England. Then across country to connect with the St Michael Line as it crosses Dartmoor.
  • Stay overnight in a hotel on the St Michael Line, which joins the most westerly with the most easterly points of England and also aligns with the May day sunrise and Halloween sunset.

Day Six: St Michael Line to Glastonbury

  • Drive north east following the St Michael Line as it stretches from St Michael's Mount to the most easterly point of the land north east of London.
  • Stopping at Lydford, Crediton via North Brentor, Yeoford and Cadbury Castle.  Folklore still retains a memory of Arthur and his knights sleeping under the hill. It is said that leaving a silver coin with one's horse on Midsummer's Eve the horse will be found to be re-shod in the morning.
  • Then to Glastonbury and the Tor; considered to be the entrance to the Celtic Underworld.
  • Visit the Isle of Avalon via Borough Bridge and view Burrow Mump.  Glastonbury, according to legend, is where Joseph came; the uncle of Jesus who gave up his tomb to house the body of his nephew. Later, Joseph was given the Holy Grail, the mystical vessel which had been used to celebrate the Last Supper and the first Eucharist, and which caught some of the blood of the crucified Christ as he hung upon the cross. After the Resurrection, Joseph fled to Britain with the cup and founded the first Christian church on the ancient island of Ynys Witrin, sometimes known as the Glass Isle, or Avalon, better known today as Glastonbury.
  • There will be discussions at the hotel in Glastonbury before dinner and an overnight stay.

Day Seven: Glastonbury Abbey and Avebury

  • A morning visit to Glastonbury Abbey, with explanations of both its religious and other significant meanings. The ruins are all that remain of what was once the greatest monastic foundation in all of Britain, second only in wealth and size to Westminster. At the height of the Middle Ages it was a shrine second to none in Europe, considered by some to be as important as Rome itself.
  • Continue along the St Michael Line to Avebury to explore the stone circle, the avenue of stones and the long barrow.
  • It has been estimated that originally there were 400 standing stones within the henge and forming the great avenues at Avebury. The heaviest, the Swindon Stone, weighed around 65 tonnes.  Avebury is a magical place; Michael and Mary ley lines that run from Land's End to Bury St Edmunds kiss near the stones in the southern part of the circle.  The village is the source of intense spiritual energy.
  • Dinner and an overnight stay in Salisbury.

Day Eight: Stonehenge/Edinburgh

  • An early morning visit to Stonehenge to discuss and learn the spiritual theories that led the people of the time to construct this amazing place. This is one of the most famous standing stone circles in the world, dedicated to the worship of the sun and moon.  It was built in three phases over 1500 years, starting 5000 years ago:
    • First a ditch and wood henge was constructed.
    • Then the arrival of the Bluestones from south west Wales, 380 kms away. Moving 82 stones weighing four tonnes over that distance was a truly remarkable feat for the time.
    • The third stage was the arrival of the 50 ton Sarsen stones

An understanding of the feats involved in the construction of Stonehenge leads to an appreciation of the spiritual presence and influence over the people, then and now.  This is a chance to connect with the rich legacy of ancient power and experience the transformative and palpable energies that have endured here for centuries.

  • To Southampton for the short flight north to Edinburgh.
  • Arrive in Edinburgh, considered a locus of 'triangular Britain', for dinner and an overnight stay.

Day Nine: Edinburgh

  • A full day in and around Edinburgh, with a tour along the Royal Mile (a wide street running from Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a plug of volcanic rock, to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, home for centuries to many of Scotland's ruling families).
  • Also visits to Arthur’s Seat, Kelso, St.Boswells and Scotts view; located in the Scottish Borders, considered by some to have been a possible home of King Arthur.
  • An overnight stay in Edinburgh.

Day Ten: Rosslyn Chapel

  • Travel to Roslin, just outside Edinburgh, to visit the unique Rosslyn Chapel a tapestry in stone. See the many symbols that were built into the Chapel that are key to the history of the Knights Templar and Freemasons, as well as the mystery of the Holy Grail.
  • Founded in 1446 by Sir William St. Clair, the third and last St. Clair Prince of Orkney, this mysterious chapel is said to be where many Templar relics and documents, including the Holy Grail and the head of John the Baptist, are hidden.
  • The Apprentice Pillar gives a glimpse at the richness of Rossyln with eight dragons at its base and vines emerging from their mouths to wind around the pillar. There may be a link to Scandinavian Mythology, where the eight dragons of Neilfelheim were said to lie at the base of Yddrasil, the great ash tree, which bound together heaven, earth and hell. The founder's connection with Orkney perhaps provided the inspiration for this symbolism. Throughout various cultures we find the linking strands of sacrifice and renewal.
  • Within the Chapel the Norse and Celtic influences are very clear. The Apprentice Pillar is very obviously a representation of the Norse Tree of Knowledge, Yggdrasil, which held up the heavens from the earth and the dragons of time who gnawed at the roots of the tree.  In Christian terms it is a representation of the Tree of Life. According to Norse mythology, however, Odin sacrificed himself on the Tree of Knowledge in order to gain the secrets of wisdom and creation from the severed head of Mimir, a nature God who was forever kept alive on herbs and spring water; the Green Man.
  • Return to Edinburgh for a flight to Kirkwall, Orkney

Day Eleven: Orkney

  • Visits to Ring of Brodgar and Stenness Stones. Orkney, quite distinct from the mainland, is an enchanting experience that represents an ancient civilization in the far north of the British Isles.
  • The Ring of Brodgar was once known as the Temple of the Sun and the Stones of Stenness as the Temple of the Moon.  The monument is practically in the centre of a massive natural ‘cauldron’ formed by the hills of the surrounding landscape. The site is therefore bordered by hill, water and sky.  We will never know with certainty if the ring is magical or powerful, but there is an inexplicable energy here; the air is different, much like the sensation just before a large summer thunderstorm. Despite the cold winds sweeping over the grass promontory, touching the stones is not as cold and harsh as one might expect. In fact they almost vibrate, inexplicable, improbable and completely captivating.
  • A farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day Twelve: Depart

  • Departure flight to Edinburgh for onward flight home.

 

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