“What the heart has once owned, it shall never lose.”
– Henry Ward Beecher
If you are in receipt of my previous newsletters, you know that I’m back from leading my Scottish Highlands & Islands Odyssey and my fellow ‘Odyssey-ites’ (sixteen) and I had the most wonderfilled, magical, transformative time, ever!
Whenever I talk about the experience, people respond with a deep sigh and say, “I wish I could have been there.”
Therefore, I decided to share my day-to-day Odyssey experiences with you through a series of newsletters. Every few days, I’ll post an account with photos of our amazing adventure.
Lots of Joy,
Sunday, October 5th – Day 2, Part 1, God Laughs…
My Tarot card for the day was The Tower. “Hmm, I thought, “I wonder what will happen today that will change everything?” I didn’t have to wait long to find out.
As I watched my fellow Odyssey-ites board the coach that was to transport us on our journey through Scotland, our guides, Nicky and Les, approached me and apologetically informed me that the owner of the coach had decided that he would not allow his vehicle to go to our first scheduled site because his coach was too big for the existing roads!
What!? It’s 8:15am Sunday morning and we’re supposed to leave in fifteen minutes! The owner of the coach company knew our schedule and destinations when he’d contracted with our Scottish tour company to provide land transportation weeks before today and he’d also promised to transport us in a smaller coach. His deciding at the last minute, to switch to a larger coach was not my choice and I shouldn’t have been penalized for it.
Upon meeting the embarrassed coach driver, Mark, who’d had the misfortune of being the person who had to convey his boss’s dictates to us, I began to get the picture. At Nicky and Les’ insistence, Mark phoned his boss, who still refused to honor his original agreement. However, he did ‘offer’ an alternative solution to the problem he’d created– he would allow us to take the coach to the scheduled destination if I signed a waiver for any damages that might occur to his vehicle on roads that large tour busses regularly traveled!
Ahh!– all the while these futile attempts to reason with the owner were going on, I had the colorful sensation that the owner was standing in front of us wearing a bandana over his nose and mouth while holding two guns on us– in other words, he was attempting to literally commit highway robbery. (As the trip progressed, this was confirmed because the coach squeaked and creaked on the left side and was in need of new shocks.)
I informed them that since I was not in the mindset to buy someone a new coach or repair an existing one, I was refusing to take the owner up on his questionable offer of signing my life away in order to get him to keep to his contracted commitment.
It was now 8:25am and we needed to turn our attention to other matters, like where we could go that would provide the same kind of depth, energy and spiritual stimulus as our now canceled destination, while energetically integrating with the upcoming ceremonies and destinations that would continue to build toward the successful conclusion of our Odyssey.
Nicky and Les apologized again and I explained that I knew it wasn’t their fault and that our energy would be better served by focusing on the matter at hand. I explained the kind of place I needed energetically and Les suggested we go to Croft Moraig, a stone circle that was near our former destination. Knowing that I wasn’t happy about the turn of events, but knowing the only real choice I had in the matter was how I dealt with it and knowing it was happening this way for a reason, I boarded the coach and took my seat at the front behind Nicky and Les.
Les handed me a book with information on the stone circle and the ley lines that ran through it and as I read the dry, uninspiring passages, nothing came to me– nothing– and I knew I’d have to wait.
Thus, having done all I could do, I sat back, closed my eyes, regulated my breathing and listened. As I did so, I had to laugh at the vision that appeared– a meticulously constructed ‘Tower’ of the Odyssey beginning to shape-shift as the lightning bolts of Divine Providence struck it.
Some time later, Jan made her way up from mid coach and sat beside me. She’d had an important awareness and wanted to share it with me. When I agreed with her, she suggested that I pass the message on to the others when we got to our original destination. I told her that our plans had changed and that we were going to a stone circle, instead. I asked her to tell the others about her awareness but not about the change in plans.
She asked me what I was going to do at the stone circle and I told her that I hadn’t been told yet and that I was sure that by the time we got to the stone circle, I would know. She then said that she’d packed her dowsing rods in her luggage which was in the bottom luggage compartment of the coach and asked if I wanted her to get them out when we arrived at the stone circle. I replied that we still needed to wait and she went back to her seat.
I resumed my meditative actions and a few minutes later, I heard Les call me, “Sheilaa, look.” I opened my eyes to see him shyly pointing to a clear package that he held in his other hand. When I realized what he held, I turned and called for Jan. She came to the front, sat in the seat opposite mine which was the seat directly behind Les. I excitedly said, “Show her, Les!” He held up the see-through package that contained his personal set of dowsing rods!
He had dowsing rods! We spoke the same language! She and Les high fived, she turned to me and said, “I’ve also got my drum, whatever you want me to do, just let me know!”
And right then, all of the cloudiness lifted. I could see what had to be done. “Right! Les, you’ll explain the history and purpose of this stone circle. Then you’ll demonstrate the power of the dowsing rods and, if they want, you’ll show the others how to use them. Jan, you’ll speak to us about the Sacred Geometry and the ley lines of this place and their importance to us and our Odyssey. Maybe you could tone and play your drum, too! And I’ll give a short guided meditation at the end! “
It was such a moment of high perfection!
About ten minutes out from the stone circle, Les made the announcement that our plans had changed and that we’d be going to a stone circle instead of our originally scheduled destination. He told us that the driver would have to drop us off and park quite a distance away because what little parking there was at the sight was always filled by the cars of the circle’s visitors. When we arrived, there were no other vehicles or people at the stone circle so Mark parked right there and waited while we entered into a space of such magic and power it took our breath away.
The terrain was uneven, so Pam chose to stay on the coach and hold the space for us. I was the last person to enter the circle of stones and what I saw when I got there was so beautiful, tears welled up in my eyes. Les was glowing and completely at ease as he spoke about the stones and pointed out the markings on them. He was a different person; the only way to put it is– he had become himself. Julie A. was standing barefoot on a flat stone, her face turned to the sky with the most beautiful expression of peace and joy on it. My dear friend, James (of DearJames.com), grabbed my arm as he pointed to the beautiful old tree that Louise and Ralston were meditating under and said, “Never mind the tree at the other place. That’s the tree with the energy we’re supposed to relate to!” Winslow leaned against a stone and with a beatific smile on her face, wistfully asked me, “How many lifetimes has it been since we first stood here together at these stones?”
Everywhere I looked, I saw Odyssey-ites who’d found parts of themselves that they didn’t know had been missing. Everywhere I looked I saw joy. And I remembered something I’d forgotten, too. I remembered what my soul had felt and what I’d felt from those who were with me the very first time I’d led a ceremony in the inner circle of stones at Stonehenge. Right then and there, I promised myself and my guides and guardians that I’d conduct more ceremonies in sacred circles.
After Les spoke and demonstrated the power of the dowsing rods, Jan spoke to us about the powerful alignment of energy in the circle and how it exemplified the perfection of the Sacred Geometry of our Odyssey’s route throughout Scotland. She led us in toning, accompanied by her drumming. Linda D. had brought her drum, too and together, they called down the energy of the cosmos. We were in bliss-could it get any better than this!? Well, yes it could. Jan had also brought her tuning forks and each person there was treated to the experience of hearing their own unique energetic reverberation in the Universe.
And then, I knew it was time and without any introduction, I began the guided meditation. I don’t remember what I said because it wasn’t really me speaking. I was simply the conduit. I remember mentioning the wind and then it picked up and a flock of birds flew in and sat in the trees above us.
Again, just when I didn’t think it could get any better, I looked across the field and saw that Nicky was filming us with my camcorder. Not only did we have a video record of our time in the stone circle, Nicky’s finding my camcorder and filming us meant that she’d taken the initiative to do so. It meant that we were now a cohesive soul group, on the same path working toward the same goals.
After my guided meditation, I acknowledged Nicky for taking the initiative and filming us. I pointed out that Les was so in his element here and that this was his real work. Nicky told me that one of the reasons she was attracted to Les was his spirituality.
And then Nicky said, “That’s why you’re in my life, too. I think you’ve come to bring me something I need. I was happy when I got this assignment because it was work and then I went to your website and read about you and I was happy because I knew you were sent to me.”
I was happy to say to her what my heart had been saying to me, “I know, I feel that you and Les have been sent to me, too.”
I’ve had this kind of conversation before and it never ceases to amaze me, to humble me, to fill me with joy, to let me know how blessed I am to finally be what God has made me for. Life is great– you never know when or where you’re going to meet another member of your own tribe, do you?
Nicky and Les let us know that it was time to leave the stone circle and head to our next destination. Getting everyone to leave the circle took some doing because no one wanted to leave! Amid remarks like, “I could stay here forever” and “We need to spend more time here” and “Why do we have to leave?” we finally managed to get everyone back on board the coach, which is when we found out that we’d have to hurry to our next destination because we’d spent so much time at the stone circle. To our surprise, the short thirty to forty minutes we’d spent in the stone circle had actually been one and a half hours!
As we pulled away from the stone circle, I thought about the events of the past few hours. Whether something is a challenge or an opportunity is often only a matter of perception. I continue to experience that regardless of what my initial reaction/response might be to these challenges/opportunities, if I see all of them as a gift (sometimes with gritting of teeth, but a gift, none the less), I’ll know with each step I take, that I walk in Grace, and for that, I am grateful.
And that’s when I heard in my mind and heart, that calm, powerful, reassuring voice saying what it always says to me at times like this, “I told you I would always take care of you.”
Sunday, October 5th – Day 2, Part 2, God Laughs (and we laugh with Him/Her)…