I had the privelege of meeting a very well known person from the pagan community on my holiday with Megalithic Tours. The night before the trip, we had dinner in a pub and I was able to discuss things with her that I had previously kept from everyone and it came as a welcome relief.
Because of our discussion, I feel as though I can be completely open about my experiences and my beliefs with other pagans without fear of denigration or derision. There was one post at this blog which concerned me and, though I did not receive any comments on it, I felt it was risky leaving it on the internet for all to read. However, Fae (not her real name) was reassuring and actually a great voice of reason. I thank the gods for Fae on that trip, as given some of the behaviours and attitudes of my fellow travellers, Fae helped me keep a straight head and a semblence of sanity throughout the tour.
We did have one rather annoying New Age type, who insisted on spraying every megalith, cairn or burual mound with her toxic essential oils before positioning herself in the most prominent part and lighting candles (more bad smells) and ringing bells in some sort of meditation. I do not know if she was cleansing the areas or not. She certainly had no idea of brí or bua, although I do feel the site guardians would soon rid themselves of the unsightly offerings from the crystal wielding madwoman. Needless to say, Fae and I felt the need to be "closed" for most of the trip and avoid this woman as much as possible. I managed to keep well enough away so as to keep my temper in check; Fae was not so lucky. Madwoman obviously sensed something on that first day and even mentioned Fae being "famous" at some point, not realising who she was addressing. Madwoman's behaviour seemed to affect the rest of the group, who all shared an interest in megaliths and many of whom would like to have spent their time doing their own attunements - everyone seemed rather inhibited by her actions and so refrained from any connections.
That is, until the last day where some distance was afforded and I could see others doing as I did and absorbing the brí. Funnily enough, this was the day that our bus was swamped by a large number of corvids blocking the road; they seemed to follow us this day and I think it had something to do with Madwoman and Fae. Fae has an affinity for birdlife, and given it was the last day, I feel she finally let loose on Madwoman, whose energy and enthusiasm seemed to wane.
What was also interesting on that last day was how loud the call from spirits of the woods came. Perhaps it was because there were few trees on Orkney and we did not stop near any of the wooded areas on Shetland, but the song eminating from the trees in Aberdeenshire was strong and very hard to resist. If I hadn't been on a bus with a set timetable, I would have wandered into the woods and spent my time reconnecting. Later that night, Fae agreed with me that the call had been strong, though I admit her energies had changed now that Madwoman had departed, Fae seemed a little erratic. Certainly, I had witnessed the change from warm openess to a giant wall on the first day of our trip, but this was something new.
I hope she recovered once back in her native habitat. I know I came down rather quickly upon returning to Kent - its felt so blah incomparison to Scotland and the northern isles. I suppose that had something to do with a betrayal that occurred in my absence, too, so I can't blame it entirely on the genius loci.
I must say that, despite the personalities with whom I travelled, the trip was very worthwhile. The chance to see the Shetland Isles I would not have missed for a box of gold (and that's saying something). I hope to return in the near future as there was so much to explore. We saw several sites, some I had seen before, others not - my only complaint was I would have preferred earlier starts so as to see more than we did, as we missed so much due to time constraints.
I am already making plans for next year's trip - more megaliths I think.