History, Landscape & Culture

A Canadian friend once observed that the landscape often changes completely in Scotland over just a few miles, whereas in Canada one can travel for 2 days with the landscape barely seeming to change. Scotland is geographically, and geologically complex. This complexity is perhaps one of the factors which led to Scotland being the birthplace of geology.

Whats interesting for me is in how this landscape has informed our culture, our character. Each region of Scotland has music and songs unique to that area, often referring to the hills, rivers and landmarks of that area, giving a unique character. More subtly, the energy of the landscape is a bit like the ocean we swim in, affecting us in many ways. Each geology has its own energy, its own character. I’ve come to realise this by being sensitive to the energy of the landscape.

Image of the Quirang, Isle of Skye - illustrating one aspect of the rich geological landscape of Scotland
The landscape of the Quirang, Skye, in winter.

Through my travels and explorations I have become more sensitive to how our ancestors engineered many stone circles and monuments deliberately with a view to altering the local energetic landscape.

A Russian visitor to my home remarked that, in every house she had been into in Scotland, we had stones just sitting there, inside. For me, its about the energy they anchor, and the connection to Nature. Its not just the record of the ancient circles and standing stones; the enigmatic Pictish culture in particular left an impressive heritage of carved stone slabs, changing to crosses as Christianity arrived.

St serfs stone carving, perthhire
Carved stone cross, St. Serf’s, Perthshire – showing a harpist and a Celtic knotwork ‘beast’

The Scottish people are an interesting mix: Celtic throughout much of the country; Scandinavian in the north and west; the Pictish north-east; anglo-saxon east; Norman nobles; and more recent immigrants. The official Scottish government position is – if you live here, you’re Scottish, and welcome.

This mix of peoples has contributed to our rather bloody history. The effects of this can certainly be felt in the land, along with the tragic effects of the Highland Clearances, the Jacobite rebellions and the long feuding history with our Southern neighbour. I aim to travel with consciousness, so we always aim to raise our vibration and actively work to bring peace and balance. Knowing the history of a place can help in understanding how it feels energetically, and help to bring solutions.

Modern Scotland is a varied place, with great festivals including Celtic Connections, the world-famous Edinburgh festival and fringe, many local events and a thriving music scene embracing everything from traditional to cutting edge.

The Kelpies, falkirk
The Kelpies, Falkirk. A stunning, and popular, modern sculpture integrating the post-industrial landscape with old Celtic stories of Kelpies (the water-horse).

It has been remarked upon that I do have a considerable general knowledge of many things cultural, both local and national, and I seem able to convey some of this so as to put events and places into context, without necessarily listing a load of dry facts.