October 2020

The Lore of the Scottish Rowan Tree

2020-10-21T20:41:48+00:00

The rowan tree has a special place in the hearts of the Scottish people. It was once worshipped by the Druids, planted near the doorways of homes as a protection from witches, used as part of the rituals in quarter-day celebrations and features prominently in Scottish folklore. Perhaps the most famous is the tale of [...]

The Lore of the Scottish Rowan Tree2020-10-21T20:41:48+00:00

September 2020

Turning the Wheel of the Year

2020-10-15T18:30:41+00:00

The turning of the wheel of the year is something which is always with us. At the summer solstice, I stood watching the sunset at the Browland Standing Stones in Garmouth, one of the villages on the Spey Estuary. The standing stones make a four-poster circle which is an unusual stone circle configuration for the [...]

Turning the Wheel of the Year2020-10-15T18:30:41+00:00

August 2020

Lughnasadh, Lunastal or Lammas: The Celtic Harvest Festival

2020-10-15T18:32:07+00:00

Lughnasadh is a festival where the first fruits of the harvest are celebrated on the 1st August. It has its origins in two separate festivals. Firstly, it is the Celtic festival of Lunastal, Lunasdal or Lughnasadh, making it one of the Gaelic quarter-day festivals along with Imbolc, Beltane and Samhain. Later the quarter-day festivals would [...]

Lughnasadh, Lunastal or Lammas: The Celtic Harvest Festival2020-10-15T18:32:07+00:00

June 2020

Calanais: The Sun, The Moon, The Goddess and The Stones

2020-10-15T18:05:34+00:00

Many people visit the Calanais Stones, on the Isle of Lewis at sunrise on the Summer solstice. They have heard a legend about the arrival of the ‘Shining One’ and go there in the hope of catching a glimpse of this being. But what is the story behind the myth and why are the Calanais [...]

Calanais: The Sun, The Moon, The Goddess and The Stones2020-10-15T18:05:34+00:00

The Feast of the Nine Maidens: A Christian Feast or a Pagan Memory

2020-10-15T18:15:24+00:00

The 18th of June is the Feast Day of the Nine Maidens in Scotland. But who were these women? Did they ever exist? Were they Christian reworkings of an ancient religion tied to Goddess worship? What is the connection between the Nine Maidens, the Cailleach and Brìde? What is their connection with Edinburgh and King [...]

The Feast of the Nine Maidens: A Christian Feast or a Pagan Memory2020-10-15T18:15:24+00:00

April 2020

Beltane Brìde

2020-10-15T20:38:13+00:00

In Scotland, Beltane and May Day are almost synonymous. May Day is a Spring holiday celebrated across Europe on May the First. It has ancient origins, some which extend back into the pagan rituals of the Romans. For the Gaelic-speaking people it aligns with Beltane (or Beltainn), celebrated each year on the 30th of April. [...]

Beltane Brìde2020-10-15T20:38:13+00:00

February 2020

Saint Valentine and the Glasgow Connection

2020-10-15T20:40:53+00:00

February the 14th is a time when all the romantics' hearts are set aflutter at the prospect of Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine.  People find themselves travelling around to globe to places renowned for their romantic moods. Paris, Rome and Venice all lay claim to being 'The City of Love' but did [...]

Saint Valentine and the Glasgow Connection2020-10-15T20:40:53+00:00

January 2020

From Imbolc to Candlemas; From the Goddess Brìde to Saint Brigid.

2020-10-15T20:37:18+00:00

Imbolc is a festival which pre-dates the arrival of Christianity in Scotland. The Coming of Christianity In the dawning of time, when Christian missionaries first arrived on Scotland’s shores, they faced a colossal challenge. They were dealing with a strange mix of peoples: the Dal Riadic people of the West, the indigenous Britons of Strathclyde [...]

From Imbolc to Candlemas; From the Goddess Brìde to Saint Brigid.2020-10-15T20:37:18+00:00

Are the Scots a Nation of Pyromaniacs? Midwinter Fire Festivals in Scotland

2020-10-15T20:58:25+00:00

I am convinced that the Scots are a nation of pyromaniacs. I used to work in a laboratory connected to a famous Scottish food factory located on the banks of the River Spey. The guys that I worked with were obsessed with lighting fires and causing explosions. Alright, so when ‘Fire Starter’ was playing on [...]

Are the Scots a Nation of Pyromaniacs? Midwinter Fire Festivals in Scotland2020-10-15T20:58:25+00:00

December 2019

Hogmanay: The Traditions of Scotland’s New Year’s Eve

2020-10-16T18:28:53+00:00

Hogmanay is by far the biggest celebration in the Scottish year. Traditionally it surpasses Christmas in the degree to which it is celebrated. But why? From ancient times the Winter Solstice has been celebrated by the early people of Scotland. With the coming of Christianity, Christmas became a major celebration. However, during the Protestant Reformation, [...]

Hogmanay: The Traditions of Scotland’s New Year’s Eve2020-10-16T18:28:53+00:00
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