Saturday 29 September 2012 was the 40th anniversary of custodianship of Traigh Bhan, our retreat house on the Isle of Iona, located on the west coast of Scotland.
The house was originally the summer home of Jessica Ferriera and the meditation sanctuary was set up in the 1960s. Peter Caddy connected with Jessica during his travels to the major power centres around the country in 1966, around the time she was reading an early edition of God Spoke to Me by Eileen Caddy.
Jessica wanted the inner work she had started on Iona, a place of spiritual power and pilgrimage for centuries, to be continued by the young people of Findhorn and in 1972 she gifted Traigh Bhan to the Findhorn Foundation.
The custodianship of the sanctuary was passed on to the Iona Group through Katherine Collis, a young member of the Foundation, with whom Jessica had developed a close friendship. The intention then, as now, was to provide a space for inner work and planetary service.
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael, a day in the Western Christian calendar that occurs on 29 September, is the day in 1972 when David Spangler re-consecrated the Sanctuary. Because Michaelmas falls near the equinox, it is associated in the northern hemisphere with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days. It was a symbolic time for the linking up of Iona and Findhorn, representing the expansion of the network of light around the world.
The third objective was to invoke the energies of the Cosmic Christ (the theme of our Easter Conference this year, Into Christ Consciousness) into Iona and from within Iona, releasing the vision, love and power of the new age, the energies of the planetary soul, transforming Iona into a new age centre. This would affect other major centres and would mark a significant release of light throughout the world.
The work at Traigh Bhan was destined to have international significance and become integral to the service of the Findhorn Foundation. For many years, Rosie Turnbull, Niels Paulsen and Erica Jakobs have formed the Iona Group of the Foundation, caring for this special place, focalising retreat weeks for guests, and holding the responsibilities of custodians. They each have a close connection with the island and a deep love of Iona, a place that touches those who visit through its solitude and coastal beauty.
On Saturday 29th September some of the Iona Group sat together in the Sanctuary at Traigh Bhan to give thanks for the gift of this house, and for the belief of Jessica Ferriera that nothing belongs to us, we only hold it in trust.