Friday, 13 July 2007


After fourteen years, I'm finally here in Bingen, following in Hildegard's footsteps. I am deeply moved!

Saturday, 7 July 2007

A Keen Moment

Lea this shot is for you! Our Keens have taken us to great places...

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Stones in the Mist

Silence broken only by soft footsteps and birdsong. Mystical and timeless...

Ancient Building Blocks

5000 year old Skara Brae may be the oldest building blocks in existence. Truly amazing! A creative inspiration.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

North Coast

With the Kyle of Tongue on one side of the hotel and Ben Loyal on the other, it's hard to know where to cast your gaze!

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Mysterious Callanish

The edge of the known world where questions outnumber answers, and Mystery reigns supreme.

Saturday, 30 June 2007

We're Fine

We're all saddened by the news of the Glasgow attacks, but we are now far from there, and we're all fine.

Atlantic Bridge

This bridge was the first bridge to span any part of the Atlantic. It reaches from Argylle to the tiny slate quarrying isle of Seil.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


Wandering through the abandoned village of Kilmory Oib lets me step back in time, entering a magical world of wildflowers and holy wells.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Temple Wood

This is the little stone circle at the heart of the sacred landscape of the Kilmartin Valley, which is one of my favourite places on the planet.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

With Thanks

As I think back over the experiences of the past few weeks, I do so with a sense of profound gratitude. To live in a day and age where this sort of travel is possible is a great privilege, one I do not take lightly. And to be able to travel in the company of interesting, enthusiastic friends who share our passion for labyrinths is quite amazing. I honour the connections that are made and strengthened as walk our varied paths....

A special thanks to Lisa Moriarty who shared her photographs with me, some of which I used here. I am a dreamer, not a photographer, at heart. While others have the ability to use a camera capture their connections with time and place, I struggle. My best memories are, perhaps, more energetic than visual. So I am especially grateful for those who have both the eye for a good photograph and the presence of mind to press the shutter!

I have gone back through my earlier posts and added appropriate pictures, so even if you read them as they were posted, you might want to go back now to see the images.

A slideshow of our Paris experiences can be seen here: SpringtimeInParis

I will continue my blogging on my regular site, though it has been sadly neglected of late. The link to that site is Our travel dates are posted there, and I will do my best to keep in touch through this blog while we are on the road.

In closing I want to share a last image of what might have been one of my best labyrinth walks of this trip. There was a very organic, labyrinth-like pathway on the beach at Folhammer. The path spiralled around in a marvelously fun free-form way, but eventually lead to the goal. Now, we can say all we like about a classical or medieval labyrinth representing the journey of life, but this wibbly-wobbly path was certainly more representative of MY life!



On Returning Home...

I've always believed that journeys have three parts, the departure and all that leads up to it, the journey itself, and the return, where all that has been seen, experienced, and learned is integrated into one's "normal" life and routine.

Lisa Moriarty accompanied us on this return, spending one last day with us before making her own return. We shared shellfish, wine, aquavit, and laughter, reliving memories of this trip and planning for future travels. But more personal and significant for me, was a bit of time spent out in our garden, listening for a labyrinth.

Hearing its whispers, Lisa took a bit of rope from the rope labyrinth kit that Lea Goode-Harris made for us last year, and helped me make a little labyrinth just opposite the badger gate. It sits under the watchful eye of our little Tiki god (named Bob because he reminds us of Sideshow Bob when his head is properly planted). We have now placed the two chairs we got as a wedding present in the little opening in the trees that you can see just at the back of the picture. Voila! a labyrinth garden to welcome us home.


Our final labyrinthine adventure was truly an off-the-beaten track adventure, taking us to the small island of Oja in the southern end of the Stockholm archipelago. Bo and Anita Stjernstrom and John Kraft met us at our hotel in Nynashamn and accompanied us to Ankarudden where we caught a little passenger ferry out to the island, which is usually referred to as Landsort. By some fluke of nature, we had the most spectacular weather imaginable, with scarcely a cloud in the sky all day. John told me that he had dreamed of this day for years!

We were met by master pilot Bjorn Oberg, a lifelong resident of the island. His labyrinth connections began with his father's insistence that the historic labyrinth on the island not be destroyed when military operations occupied it during World War II. Barracks were built directly over the old labyrinth, but it remained intact beneath the foundations of the building, and the remnants remained when the buildings were finally torn down at the end of the Cold War, some decades later.

In the early 1980's John, Bo, Anita, and Bjorn worked together to research, document, and restore the labyrinth, which remains intact and beautiful to this day. Made of stones laid onto the grasses at the side of a track, some of the stones go up and over a rocky outcrop, with the stones just sitting on the bedrock, something I'd not seen before. I found it difficult to walk, feeling it would be easy to trip over a stone or twist an ankle, which makes it all the more interesting in light of what we learned about it later in the day...

As we were leaving on the evening ferry, the ticket-taker saw Bo's t-shirt, which of course sported a labyrinth, and asked if we had seen the labyrinth on the island. A fisherman in his off-duty hours, he told us he walks the labyrinth for luck with his fishing -- proof positive that the ancient tradition still survives! He also told us that if someone is ill, an "innocent child" can walk the labyrinth to bring a restoration of health.

Our day on Landsort was a delight, a journey out of the ordinary. Anita had prepared a picnic for us with potato salad, roast beef, and traditional Swedish kanelbulle (cardamom rolls). With no vehicles allowed on the island, we walked in peace, enjoying the birds, the wildflowers, and the glorious weather. There is a beautiful lighthouse on the southern tip of the island, which was made all the more spectacular by the appearance of a sundog around it while we were there.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Sunset over the Baltic

Just in front of our hotel was a little knoll... and beyond it the sea, giving us a front-row seat for watching the setting sun. We were fortunate that the weather was warm and clear, so sitting outside until the 10:30 sunset was a pleasure. We were just ahead of the hordes of tourists who will descend on Gotland in the next week or so when the days are at their longest, so we had the beaches and shops to ourselves.

The medieval walled city of Visby on the island of Gotland was once the seat of the Hanseatic league, and therefore the trading center of the region, bringing wealth that created a rich heritage of beautiful churches, strong walls, and skilled craftsmen. The cultural diversity can still be felt today.

Gotland is home to some dozens of labyrinths in different forms, some laid in stones, others painted onto church walls. The quest is as important as finding them...

Perhaps the most well-known of the labyrinths is the one just outside the city walls. Centuries old, it is still in remarkable condition, and is obviously walked frequently. After visiting it as a group, we each made little individual journeys back for personal visits, often late in the evening or early in the mornings.

Our days were largely filled with driving as we covered the length and breadth of the island in search of the labyrinths. Why is it that the journey to the labyrinth is often as labyrinthine as the labryinth we journey to see?

After walking this little seaside gem, the urge to create was too strong to resist and the labyrinth-builders amongst us took to the rocks:

Monday, 4 June 2007

Maze Inspectors and Correctors

I'm giving up on the picture uploads. It just doesn't seem to want to happen, so these next few posts are probably going to look a little bleak until I get home next weekend and can upload pictures from my camera. I have some beautiful pictures -- lovely views of stones, windmills, sunsets, and labyrinths. I find myself looking for little stories to tell about the scenes I photograph, wanting to share the experience with those of you who have written to tell me you're following our travel escapades. It's frustrating to be blocked by techno-gremlins, but I promise to get the blog updated with good pictures as soon as we get back to England.

So, here's today's story:

When we were travelling with a group through England a few years ago
, we had dinner at a pub in Rutland, just down the road from the labyrinth in Wing. We were a good-sized group and we were energetically and enthusiastically discussing the labyrinths we had been visiting. When we finished eating, I lagged behind a bit, and was summoned to a nearby table and asked what we were doing -- specifically they wanted to know if we were Maze Inspectors.

We got a good laugh out of that, of course, but the name stuck and from then on we referred to ourselves as the Maze Inspectors. Four of those original "inspectors" urged us to take a group to Sweden, the result being the tour that we're now doing. And true to form, we each explore and interact with labyrinths a bit differently -- measuring, walking, tidying, photographing. And as we have come across those labyrinths which have been a bit (or a lot) neglected, weeds have been pulled, stones moved, and pathways adjusted. Today we realized we have truly grown into our roles as Maze Inspectors and Correctors.

We are quickly losing count of the labyrinths we have seen -- but happily the ones we visited today and yesterday all showed signs of being loved, walked, and maintained. After our disappointing day on Saturday, this feels quite heartwarming!
And the sunsets over the Baltic have been spectacular as you will see in a few days....

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Misty and Mystical

This misty, mystical scene is a ship grave, an elongated stone "circle" that marks a Scandinavian iron-age grave field (about 2000 years old). This one is in Bohuslan, in Western Sweden, just below the Norwegian border. As you can see, the weather was pretty dismal, but it gave plenty of atmosphere for this particular site.

We drove down into Goteborg to see a prehistoric labyrinth on top of a hill on the edge of the city. Unfortunately, recent winter storms had felled several trees, obliterating about half the labyrinth. This seems to be a trend.... we have found a number of labyrinths in varying states of disrepair and overgrowth. One we visited today was in particularly poor condition and we felt that we were probably going to be the last people ever to see it. This is particularly sad in that they have managed to survive for so long, only to disappear in our technologically advanced modern age.

Leaving Goteborg, we drove east across the southern part of the country, spending the night in Nykoping, home to another prehistoric labyrinth. Yesterday we took the ferry out to the Baltic island of Gotland. The main city, Visby, is an ancient walled city, full of charm and beauty. Yesterday's weather was so bad that our afternoon ferry was cancelled so we had to take the evening ferry which didn't arrive until nearly midnight. Today, however, dawned bright and clear. Our hotel is right on the city wall, overlooking the harbor. Between the seabirds and the plethora of labyrinths int he area, Jeff is really in his element!

Tomorrow we will exlore the southern half of the island, hoping to see at least 6 labyrinths. And while we're at it, we might even make a new one to leave as a mark of our having been here.....

Sunday, 27 May 2007

The West Coast of Sweden

The good news today is that my computer is speaking English to me again, but it is still sloooow as molasses. And I can only seem to send one picture per posting, though I am trying to circumvent that little inconvenience. We drove out across the southern part of Sweden, dodging lakes and enjoying the green, green landscape. We are now at Taunumshedde right on the coast, and it is raining lightly.

Our only labyrinth stop along the way was at a little chapel in Grinstad, but unfortunately the church was locked up tight and the keyholders were nowhere to be found, so we had to climb onto a bench and peer in through the windows to see the labyrinth fresco painted on the wall. Neat, but the little glimpse only left us hungering for more. Our walk through the churchyard was interesting... everything so neat and tidy! Little gardening organizers (Ikea-style cemetery flat-packs??) were dotted around to give caring loved ones access to basic garden tools and flower needs -- if I am buried when I die, I'd like it to be in a place like this where the graves are so well-tended. I loved reading the Scandinavian names and making up stories in my mind about the people buried here.

From there, we headed into the higher ground near the coast where the trees, hills, and rocky outcroppings remind us of Scotland. Tomorrow we'll go looking for rock carvings, rune stones, burial cairns, and labyirnths. AND rumor has it that some of our group have spotted a wool shop, so you can guess where I'll be heading. (Personally I think they are just hoping I'll knit enough socks to go around!)

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Les Pyramides

Well, if you never hear from me again, it will be because I have given up on technology and thrown this laptop off a bridge or out of a window.... So, I apologize for the lousy pictures and promise that tomorrow I will apply the lessons I'm learning and take some good shots with my phone as my (Sony) computer has now decided it no longer wants to communicate with my (compatible) (Sony) camera. Aaaagh. So, please just believe that I took some stunning pictures using my polarizing filter, but that I'm the only one that can see those stunning photos. Aaaaagh. Add to that the fact that my computer has now decided to display only in Swedish and that the downloads are so slow that I have plenty of time to pull out my rapidly-graying hair between screen refreshes! Oh well....

Above is a strange picture of Lisa and me clowning in front of the Louvre several days ago. It's about all I have to offer today... The French either love the Pyramid (which is the entrance to the Louvre) or hate it. I think it is rather spectacular.

But enough of France.... though my camera refuses to prove it, we had a fabulous, very sunny, day today, visiting prehistoric sites here in southern Sweden just west of Stockholm. Our friend John Kraft accompanied us to help us understand the labyrinth in the context of these sacred landscapes and to point us up the right dirt tracks. Tomorrow we head further west, toward the coast to see more labyrinths, petroglyphs, painted churches and the like. The group is lovely... labyrinth people are always so nice to travel with!

I will try to post a real picture tomorrow, but ask for your support in sending me good camera/computer wishes. And if that doesn't work, I'll just send you all a postcard and forget about computing forever....

Friday, 25 May 2007


I'm in love with Paris! We spent a lovely 2 days exploring, shopping, and eating. Jeff's presentation at the Louvre was fantastic; we were well cared for and came away with new friends and full hearts!
The above picture is of the the big panel from the Unicorn tapestries at the Cluny. The room was dark and the picture poor, but you get the idea.... Seeing those tapestries has been a quest for me, so visiting the Cluny was the main reason for going to Paris a day early. But as long as we were there, we visited Saint Chappelle (best known to us in the Labyrinth World as the inspiration for the lovely chapel at Itchenstoke, England). After so many visits to Itchenstoke over the years, it was nice to see the real thing. Only problem was too many tourists, but with Paris, I guess it is ever thus!
After lunch along the Seine, Lisa (Lisa Moriarty, our friend from Minnesota) and I went on to visit the Tuileries (where we sipped wine and watched the boys sailing their boats in the fountain), the Orangerie (with Monet's famous waterlilies), and shopped a bit along the Rue Rivoli.
Dinner was at a fabulous little restaurant we happened on to -- so good we went back the next night as well.

For a quick look at our Paris visit, click the link below to our online album -- it is best viewed by the slideshow option:
Springtime in Paris

Saturday, 19 May 2007

The Welsh Borders


We travelled to the other side of England last weekend to spend a couple of days in Glastonbury with our friends (and business partners!), Karin and Sig Lonegren. Ostensibly, we were getting together to work on plans for our 2008 Symposium and Tour, but, as always, our time together felt like a time of fun and renewal. Leaving Glastonbury on Monday, we drove north into the Malvern hills where we met with a lovely and enthusiastic group of people who want a labyrinth installed in their local park. They've done the groundwork and simply wanted us to give a bit of added input. Malvern is an area known for its connections with water, and several fountains feed directly from the hills above. The proposed labyrinth will celebrate Saint Werstan, a local saint who was killed by the Celts in 1095. The picture above is a modern fountain by local artist, Rose Garrard. It is intended to weave together three themes of local significance: Celtic standing stones with spiral markings, Medieval religious history, and Victorial Pre-Raphaelite imagery. The name, Malvhina, comes from a Celtic princess and may be associated with the naming of Mavern itself.

Leaving Malvern, we travelled on to Hereford to see the famous medieval map, the Mappa Mundi, which uses a perfect medieval labyrinth drawing to depict Crete. I've been wanting to see it ever since I first heard about it, so this felt like a bit of a pilgrimage and was certainly a long-awaited treat. From there we drove a few miles further down the road to see the Kilpeck Church with its medieval carvings, including a famous sheela-na-gig -- another quest!

Our drive home through the Cotswolds was, of course, lovely. The recent rains have turned the countryside a lush green, and by the afternoon, the sky was a deep and cloudless blue. We stopped for dinner in Stow-in-the-Wold, remembering our last visit there with Jean and Ed Lutz several years ago. My only regret for the day was that (once again) I got close enough to Wales to see it in the distance, but still haven't actually stepped across its borders!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

On the Road...

My new camera phone lets me publish directly to my blog, so I'm planning to use this site as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends while we're away from home. Our visits to interesting places are definitely highlights in our lives, but until now, those highlights couldn't be shared until long after we returned home -- and by then, it always seems like time has moved on, so few of you ever hear our tales.

We have a full travel schedule this year -- mostly revolving around our tours, lectures, research trips, and labyrinth installations. But woven into our work are our heart-connections to friends, our love for sacred sites and our enjoyment of the natural world. If I'm relying on my phone, my posts will be limited to a few words along with a favourite picture or two, but when we have internet connection, I can write longer messages.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Comfortable Sundays!

Bread, soup, cake,and a clean house... what could be more satisfying?