All Roads End at Rosslyn / #Occult30


Day Thirty of #Occult30, bringing an end
to our month long celebration of the
Strange & Unusual


To celebrate the last day of  #Occult30, I want to share my trip to one of the most fascinating landmarks I’ve ever had the pleasure to explore. While I did not have a full-fledged paranormal encounter there, there was no denying the weight of the place and the sense of wonder and excitement that held me in thrall.

On the morning of the 26th of March, 19 years past, my wife and I got up early and walked through a light mist and boarded a bus that set out across the Scottish countryside.

When Kim and I first made plans to travel to Scotland there was one special destination that was at the very top of our “must see” list. We were excited and passed the time chatting with our fellow passengers, especially with a young Australian college student named Sophie who was backpacking across Europe.

As we rolled into the village of Roslin, I felt an electricity in the air. It was a feeling that would become amplified as we disembarked and walked up the gravel lane and laid eyes on one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture ever conceived.


Rosslyn Chapel is well known today, thanks in large part to Dan Brown’s 2003 literary phenomenon The Da Vinci Code.  I understand that it has since been overrun with tourists, but when we arrived on that cold, early spring morning, it was a small handful of us that walked the hallowed grounds. In fact, Kim and I spent hours in the Chapel alone, without another soul around.

Interior of Rosslyn Chapel - both Master and Apprentice Pillars visible

The Chapel was enveloped by a network of scaffolding as renovations were underway, but that steel cage did nothing to diminish its awesome beauty. Intricately detailed with Masonic symbols, gargoyles, green men, historic figures, and Norse gods, Rosslyn Chapel was as much art as it was a place of worship. It was the single most impressive structure I’ve ever stood in, and it was all ours… We just didn’t want to leave and we lingered about, gazing in wide wonder and poring over every delicate inch of this monument to the esoteric mystery traditions.

rosslyn1The Apprentice Pillar, symbol of blessed Yggdrasil, was a marvel and the inscription there — “Wine is strong, a king is stronger, women are stronger still, but truth conquers all” — rang true for me.

Being alone, we jumped the velvet rope meant to dissuade entry and descended into the lower crypt and explored the cells. Here we certainly felt a presence. A broken headstone, leaning against the wall, was inscribed “Knights Templar”. The cells were cold and spartan and my mind swam with the thoughts of what secrets this place had held.

We walked the graveyard for a bit, then climbed the scaffolding to pore over the roof and the carvings there unseen from below. We capped the adventure with a tour of the on-site Museum of Freemasonry and had a lovely chat with the Chapel Staff, all eager to share their thoughts and stories on this marvelous piece of Scots and Templar history.

And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the various tales I spread out over the month. I tried to keep them varied, and strayed away from some of the more elaborate and controversial yarns. I have a book planned that will cover many of these subjects, but thought a taste was in order.

As an experiment, it largely was positive. While there was little interaction of the blog itself, I did have people reach out over facebook and email to share their own stories. I think most would prefer to avoid the spotlight that a public confession invites.

So for now, beannachd leibh. It was fun. We’ll have to do it again sometime… I’ve always more stories to tell.

Alba Gu Brath!


2 Responses to “All Roads End at Rosslyn / #Occult30”

  1. I’ve been here a few times, agree with everything you say, a truly unique place, a focal point in time and place. A few years back we were lucky enough to be able to spend a week in the castle down the road from the Chapel –
    That was a week filled with strange and wondrous things.

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