December 2020

Winter Solstice: Scottish Megaliths and the World’s Oldest Calendar

2020-12-20T18:32:54+00:00

Anyone who has lived in Scotland can tell you that the Winter Solstice can be a tough time of the year, with barely any daylight hours. On 'driech' rainy days, there may be little light at all. Most people feel that they would gladly join the hibernating hedgehogs and bats in their sleep. This must [...]

Winter Solstice: Scottish Megaliths and the World’s Oldest Calendar2020-12-20T18:32:54+00:00

October 2020

The Scottish Origins of Halloween

2020-10-31T22:19:29+00:00

Halloween began in the dawn of history as a Celtic harvest festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in). We know from the alignments of the Neolithic stone circles and cairns that the solstices were important to the early peoples in Scotland. The summer and winter solstices were easy to measure and could be used as the basis [...]

The Scottish Origins of Halloween2020-10-31T22:19:29+00:00

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

January 2020

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

October 2019

Halloween Origins: Samhain and the Cailleach

2020-10-16T18:24:31+00:00

The origins of Halloween date back to an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in) which celebrated the harvest and the arrival of the Cailleach. For the Celts who lived some 2,000 years ago, November 1st was their New Year. It was a time when the early farmers met together, bonfires were lit and [...]

Halloween Origins: Samhain and the Cailleach2020-10-16T18:24:31+00:00
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