The ways of the spirit are unknown. However, it seems that the more one aligns with one’s higher self and lets go of the need to control life, the more unexpected and positive things will manifest. I have recently let go of many things, and the Universe is now filling the empty spaces with plenty of delightful surprises. One surprise was my trip to Iona. I had no idea I would visit this magical place as part of my short visit to the Findhorn community recently. I suddenly packed to spend a week on the Isle of Iona in the Findhorn Foundation retreat centre Traigh Bhan with a small group of interesting people.
The Isle of Iona, off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, is a small, seemingly mundane island with a shop, an Abbey, and a handful of houses. However, it carries ancient energies on its foundations, making it a profoundly spiritual place. The bedrock of Iona is from the Precambrian era, making it over 500 million years old. Its three unique rocks, the Lewisian Gneiss, Greenstone, and Iona Marble, carry deep spiritual significance. The Lewisian Gneiss is one of the oldest rocks on the planet, while Greenstone or Serpentine is associated with awakening the kundalini energy. Iona Marble, one of the true marbles found in the British Isles, contains Serpentine and is an extraordinary stone with beautiful green veining.
On my one-week-long visit to the Island, I stayed in Traigh Bhan, a house built in 1923 and later owned by Jessica Ferreira. Jessica used the house as a Sanctuary and, in daily meditation, worked at anchoring the energies of new or the “Christ Impulse” energies, as she called them. Jessica felt that Iona was a power centre from where thoughts and radiation through inner work were sent out potently on a planetary scale. Later on, the house was donated to Findhorn Foundation, which allowed this significant inner work to continue on this unique house. Therefore, daily meditations by people visiting the beautiful sanctuary can be potent and very important.
I experienced the Traigh Bhan sanctuary as a high-energy place, which helps channel or anchor higher energies into this realm. What a great sanctuary, indeed. If you visit the Island, Traigh Bhan is open every Wednesday at noon for visitors for a short 20-minute meditation and perhaps a cup of tea.
Iona has been a sacred site for many spiritual traditions, with evidence of Druids living on the island long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids knew the island’s importance as a spiritual gateway. Columba, an Irish Christian, arrived on the island in 563, intending to create a Christian monastery. During the invasion, the Druids tried to protect the unique place, believing Christians would not respect or understand its importance as a spiritual gateway. Lives were lost in the battles that ensued, demonstrating Columba’s and his followers’ ignorance. An unfortunate conflict whose shadow is carried over to our times.
Columba then created a monastery on the island, which became an influential centre to spread Christianity in Scotland. The monks from Iona created the Book of Kells and later opened other monasteries in Scotland.
Today, the Iona Abbey is one of Western Europe’s oldest religious centres, home to the Iona Community, an ecumenical Christian religious order. The Abbey remains a favourite site of Christian pilgrimage. Today Iona Community promotes a more dynamic approach to Christianity, emphasising social justice perhaps as an attempt to heal its past. At the same time, ‘alternative’ pilgrims – Pagans, Druids and New Age people – visit the island to connect with the magical energies of Iona but also sometimes visit the Abbey.
The Iona Community and the work Jessica Ferreira started on Traigh Bhan both focus on Christ, which means the creator or higher consciousness. When I joined the Sunday morning service in the abbey, it was a powerful experience; I could feel and experience Christ Consciousness energy very potently. Iona is certainly a magical cauldron for Christ or higher Consciousness, and this is what the Druids had discovered much earlier.
Kundalini awakening is one of the significant experiences in one’s spiritual awakening journey. Interestingly, the Serpentine Greenstones on Iona facilitate awakening these energies. The Druids understood this and Iona’s enlightening force, which is why Iona was so special to the Druids. The awakening of the life force, the rising of the serpent, or the Kundalini energy is the final alchemy that awakens one’s heart and entire being, leading to experiencing the creator, or Christ Consciousness.
The Isle of Iona is a magical place where visitors can connect with the sacredness of the natural world and access higher energies. It is a place of peace and harmony where various belief systems can now coexist, and visitors can experience the healing energies of higher consciousness.