I’m sure you know what it’s like to return from a special holiday with a sense of inner peace and renewal. Maybe you spent time in a dream destination or made a pilgrimage to the land of your ancestors. You’ve been on what I call a soul journey, one that opens you to a deeper understanding of who you are – in other words, you’ve experienced personal transformation through travel.
I’ve undertaken many soul journeys in some amazing places over the past 40 years . However, it took a while before I understood what lay beneath this addiction to travel, this quest for new experiences that took me outside my comfort zone. Gradually I became aware of how much I was learning through meeting people from cultures other than my own and being open to new experiences. I realised there was a link between where I was on my own inner journey and the outer journey I was undertaking at the time.
At age 59 I responded to an urge to make sense of what I had learned from all these journeys. Those of you into astrology know that I was experiencing the energy of my second Saturn return, a time when we take stock, a time of soul-searching and review which often leads to major shifts in how we approach our ‘crone’ years. The result was a book and TV series called Ticket, Passport and Tarot Cards and a determination to create a lifestyle which not only allowed me to continue travelling but to give others the opportunity to consciously experience the transformative and healing power of soul journeying.
Soul journeys with Gothic Image Tours
Spiritual travel is an integral part of the learning experiences offered through Global Spiritual Studies. I do this through partnerships with people who share my passion for providing travel experiences that connect people to the spirit of place in a relaxed, supportive environment that opens them to exploring their full potential.
For the past 18 months I’ve been working closely with Glastonbury-based Gothic Image Tours whose director, Jamie George, has been guiding tours to the sacred and spiritual sites of Britain and Ireland for over 20 years. I join some of the tours, bringing tarot into the eclectic mix of experiences that connect people to the magic and mystery of fairy tale landscapes and the old ways that sustained communities in pre-Christian times and which are becoming increasingly relevant today.
Last week I returned to Australia after almost three months of travel which included Gothic Image tours of Ireland and Scotland. Let me share with you a couple of the many wonderful moments during those four weeks – I hope they show you what I mean by soul journeys.
Experiences I had on this tour last year were life-changing. The roads and waterways I travelled could be traced on a map of Scotland, but there was no map of the inner landscape of memories, images and emotions that poured forth as the spirit of place in this timeless land led me home. I knew I had lived here in a lifetime thousands of years ago. I was overjoyed to find that the visions and feelings I had experienced last year were confirmed as I retraced steps and explored new places.
Forty years ago I lived in England and travelled through Scotland for a short time during the year we lived abroad. For white Anglo Saxon Australians of my age, England was seen as the ‘mother country’. I therefore assumed I would feel at home, but no! The culture was so different to what I was used to in Australia that England was alien territory to me. My immediate ancestors may have come from England, but I was definitely not English! Looking back, I can see that in 1974 I was not ready to receive insights into my real connection with this ancient land – a whole range of experiences had to be lived through first.
A few weeks ago I stood on the Isle of Skye thinking back to the person I had been on that same island four decades earlier, pregnant with my first child. I was there again, this time awaiting news of the birth of my second grandchild to the daughter born shortly after my first visit to Skye. I come from an emotionally dysfunctional family, which has led me, over the years, to place a low priority on family ties. However, watching my two daughters grow and blossom as they fashioned their own lives, started the process of subtly changing my attitude to family. The arrival of a first grandchild two years ago and a second a week ago raised my awareness of the importance of family and ancestral heritage to a much higher level.
Now that you have a quick overview of my inner journey in relation to family and ancestry, the significance of my past life experiences in Scotland becomes obvious. I knew I had lived in a supportive communal environment in a family where love abounded – I knew I could and would do this again! I had experienced the transformative power of travel, the power to view life from a different perspective and return renewed, refreshed and ready to integrate what I had learned into my everyday life.
Soul journey activities
Tarot activities include doing a specially designed Journey Spread at the beginning of the tour and reflecting at the end on how predictive elements of the layout played out during the journey. Choosing a card each day produces lots of laughs and insights as we move from place to place. These can be as simple as literal enactments of scenes on cards, for example, drawing the Rebirth card from the DruidCraft Tarot on the day we visited New Grange in Ireland. Or drawing the Five of Swords on a day when an email comes through about an ongoing conflict situation back home. Reflecting on these cards with others in the group helps to bring new perspectives to old problems.
Last but not least are all the times you have to sit quietly by standing stones, on the shores of a loch or by waterfalls in fairy glens to clear your mind of distracting head chatter. Or, as we did on the island of Iona, walk to the Hermit Cell where Jamie led a guided meditation to open us to the healing energy of this most sacred of Scotland’s islands. From there we walked down to the beach for a swim in the waters warmed by the Gulf Stream.
Click here for information about Gothic Image tours.
About Linda Marson
Linda Marson is a former President of the Tarot Guild of Australia and author of Ticket, Passport and Tarot Cards. Before the manuscript was even finished, Linda was onto the next stage of the Ticket, Passport and Tarot Cards journey – a series of 22 short programs for community television in Australia – one segment for each of the 22 Major Arcana cards. The series won an award for the best personal or spiritual development program on Australian community television in 2006.
Linda has been reading Tarot cards for over 25 years and for many years wrote for, and edited the Tarot pages of Spheres, a spiritual magazine in Australia. She has presented workshops on various aspects of Tarot practice and organised major Tarot events involving internationally renowned Tarot experts. In 2011 she established Global Spiritual Studies. For more information about Linda’s Tarot courses and master classes visit her page on Global Spiritual Studies and her Experience the Tarot website.
Over to you!
Do you identify with the kind of experiences Linda describes? Have you been on a journey where you had some major insights that meant you returned home full of life and energy, ready to tackle those problems that seemed insurmountable before you left? Or download the Journey Spread and try it out the next time you’re heading off on a trip. We’d love to hear from you.