Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Arthurian tour

Last night I was making a list of countries I'd like to visit sometime in my life (Congo, Spain, Turkey). Making lists is one of my hobbies. It's because I'm a compulsive writer (to wit: this blog).

Just as I've thought about many times before, I mused on how unspeakably cool it would be to go on a tour centering about the legend of King Arthur: Camelot, Tintagel, Cornwall, Merlin's cave.

I am a huge fan of Arthurian legend. When I was 14, I was so obsessed with Arthurian legend that I read 25 fiction books about King Arthur, and then wrote a 63-page WordPerfect document comparing the points of legend between all the books. During the following summer, I decided to choose an American name because people were butchering my chinese name "xin". I named myself after Merlin's pupil Niniane from Mary Stewart's "The Last Enchantment".

Last night it suddenly occurred to me to google for "Arthurian tours". You might think that a Google employee would have enough wits to realize this option sooner. Well, you would be wrong.

The first one that I examined was In search of Arthur, Cornwall, and Devon. It is a 4-day tour, visiting the Round Table ruins, some thatched villages, Tintagel, the coast. A casual affair, which gave me worry that I'd freak them out by showing up. "Hi, I'm so glad to be on your Arthur tour! I named myself after an Arthurian character! I will be quoting from various Arthurian books throughout the next 4 days! But don't worry, I'm not a psycho!"

Then I came upon From Avalon to Camelot.
Thence we travel to Trencrom Hill - the hill of angels - with its rocky holy well, and meet with Hamish Miller, the Laird of Trencrom, and his partner Ba, who guide us around their home lands. Hamish will teach us how to dowse with particular reference to earth energies and, with Ba, will share his home with us. ...

The following morning we arise and travel to Stonehenge (with special access) for a unique vigil to greet the sunrise within the temple of the stones. Here Bobcat will officiate in a Druid ceremony in which we can all participate.

Okay, there is no way that I would freak these people out. Any freaking out would strictly be uni-directional, with me as the recipient. I'm a little scared of the druid ceremonies. I don't want to make any animal sacrifices or dress up as Queen of the Hunt or have my chakra unblocked, thank you very much. I prefer my blocked chakra the way it is. And don't bother telling me that chakras are from Hinduism and not druidism -- that's the kind of information that a person with an unblocked chakra would be open-minded to receiving, which as we've discussed, is not me.

I went on to read this line:

Onwards to .. Merlin's cave full of magic and atmosphere, where dwells his spirit amidst the craggy rocks and roaring tides.

and I'm hooked. It's a done deal. I must go on this trip. I won't have time until 2007, but I'm going. It's now the third (out of three) items on my to-do list for life.

I sent them a gushing email, and then returned to the web page. I read the description of the guides and hosts, and nearly fainted from all the blood rushing to my head. See, the blood was so excited, it didn't know where to go. So it took the path less travelled and went upstream to the head.

Jamie George (Your Sacred Tours Leader and Guide) played a major part in the inspiration for the late Marion Zimmer Bradley to write her best selling novel The Mists of Avalon which is set in Glastonbury.

Geoffrey Ashe (host) is an internationally renowned Arthurian scholar and the author of many books including King Arthur's Avalon, The Quest for Arthur's Britain, The Ancient Wisdom and The Mythology of the British Isles. Geoffrey lives in Glastonbury and will join us at Glastonbury Abbey.

John Matthews (host) has written and compiled over sixty books on the Arthurian legends, traditional wisdom and Grail studies, as well as numerous short stories and a volume of poetry. John was a historical advisor in the movie King Arthur.

I am pretty much maxed out on excitement right now. This would be like if John A. found a shisha-of-the-world tour.