Dec 16, 2013

Mara Freeman - The Spirit of Wales - Land of Myth & Magic

Mara Freeman  has been a leading teacher of Celtic spirituality for over twenty years. She is an initiate of the Western Mystery Tradition, an Archdruidess of the Irish Druid Clan of Dana and Honored Bard with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. 

AmeriCymru spoke to Mara about her  new book Grail Alchemy: Initiation in the Celtic Mystery Tradition and the upcoming 2014 Celtic Spirit Journey Tour of Wales.

AmeriCymru:  Hi Mara. We last spoke in 2011 about your unique tour of Wales in June of that year. There is another tour coming up in July of 2014. Care to tell us more about it?
Mara: Well, since then we've added more wonderful historical places and sacred sites to visit both in North and South Wales. Dinas Emrys is a real favourite every year: Bard and storyteller Eric Maddern comes along to guide us to the top of the hill where the famous story of Merlin took place. Eric declaiming Merlin's prophecies on the summit is not to be missed! We also have obtained special permission to enter into the chambered mound known as Barcloddiad y Gawres (The Giantess's Apronful) on Anglesey, which is full of the most beautiful and unique prehistoric rock art.
AmeriCymru:  What is the itinerary and what can patrons expect to see and experience on their journey?
Mara: As you know, despite its small size Wales has tremendous variety in its scenery. We make a circular tour of Wales, with five days in the south and five days in the north. En route, we spend time at castles, megaliths, cathedrals, abbeys, holy wells, sacred groves, and some of the most attractive market towns and villages. One of our perennial favourites is Penmon Priory, with its Celtic crosses, sheela-na-gig, and beautiful holy well. An exhilarating walk to Carreg Cennen castle perched on its high crag in the Brecon Beacon hills is a real adventure; then there's the haunting beauty of Tintern Abbey in the Wye valley, the stone circles of the Preseli Hills, and the lakes of Snowdonia – to name but a few of our destinations.
AmeriCymru:  Where can our readers go for more information about the tour?
Mara: You can find out all about it at The Spirit of Wales - Land of Myth & Magic
AmeriCymru:  You have a new book coming out next year. Care to tell us more about Grail Alchemy: Initiation in the Celtic Mystery Tradition
Mara: Well, the book traces the Grail legend from its beginnings in Welsh myth and poetry through to its later incarnation as the Cup of Christ, and shows why this story has such a deep resonance within the Western psyche. It also includes a practical workbook of exercises designed to give spiritually transformative experiences with the Cauldron of Rebirth, the Chalice of Healing, the Sword of Light, and the Holy Grail itself.

AmeriCymru:  What's next for Mara Freeman?
Mara: This year I was asked to create the text for a wall calendar of Celtic Sacred Sites for Amber Lotus publishing company, and apparently it's proving very popular. So I'm now working on one for 2015. There are quite a few sacred sites of Wales in this series. You can see this year's at: Sacred Celtic Sites - 2014 Wall Calendar
AmeriCymru:  Any final message for the readers and members of AmeriCymru?
Mara: I hope more and more people of Welsh heritage will come and visit Wales – it's still so much more uncrowded and unspoilt compared to the more well-known places of Britain every year which are getting over-run with hordes of tourists. And you know what? The food is really great these days! So many artisan cheese and bread makers have revived traditional Welsh skills; there's more and more organic produce for sale in markets and farm shops; not to mention the finest Welsh lamb and black beef for carnivores! Plus there's a very high standard of hotels and guesthouses to stay in – so hope to see more of you over here in future!

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