Sleepwalking on Mull - Experiential Online Animism Class
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Sleepwalking on Mull


Sleepwalking on Mull

I didn’t spend a lot of time on Mull. We caught a late ferry and had to scoot to get to Iona. The weather was dreich (dreary). I am sure that impacted the way things felt there. Honestly, it felt like the world was sleepwalking on Mull. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to feeling lonely.

For me, loneliness is about disconnection from yourself, people, and your ancestors. It’s forgetting that the rocks, land, sea, sky, trees, two legs, four legs, and winged people are your brothers. Loneliness is disconnecting from your spirituality. It’s essentially sleepwalking. You’re here, but you can’t feel yourself within the matrix.

Mull, like the rest of Scotland, feels vast. There is big sky. Big mountains dominate the view. Lochs, sea, and waterfalls gouge the landscape letting you know that Mother Nature is in charge here. What you don’t see is people or animals. What you don’t feel is life. No kilt clad Highlanders. No selkies, kelpies, or faeries. It’s like the primeval forces that sustain life are resting deeply.

It feels like this throughout Scotland – like a land that has forgotten its rich tradition of spirituality. When you talk about faeries here, people think you’re crazy. If you talk about ghosts, they admit in hushed tones that they may have seen one or two. Calling someone sensitive is seen as an insult or weakness. It’s not welcome to have Second Sight. They think you’re touched in the head if you admit to it.

The legend of King Arthur isn’t just a timeless tale of romance and chivalry. It’s a tale of a time and place being lost to the mist. Nowhere did I feel that more than on Mull.

Human spirituality requires acknowledgement and interaction. It’s not personal. It’s not private. You have to reach out and connect. Call to your God(s). Speak to your ancestors. Make offerings to the land. Respect your brothers. They don’t speak to you if you don’t speak to them.

Normally when I am on pilgrimage, I am there as a seeker and one who receives. I ask for blessings and soak up energy. Scotland was different. Here I was the giver. I acknowledged the sleeping presence of Nature and thanked her for her presence. I asked nothing because I could sense that nothing had been given in a long time. When I called to my Celtic ancestors and the spirits of the land, and only heard whispers in the wind.

It may seem sad. I thought so. It reminded me of The Never Ending Story, a tale of a boy tasked with saving the land of Fantasia back to life through imagination. Fantasia was dying because people had given up their dreams. They were living with facts and science. I suppose they didn’t want to feel stupid or crazy. All it took to restore the destruction was to believe, to imagine, and then let that thought live. I think Mull could use a dose of that. It’s an incredible sleeping beauty that could be so much more if it were given love.


Laura grew up with animism. She is a co-founder of Pan Society, a licensed clinical social worker, author of Angel Whispering: How to Talk to Your Spiritual Guides and How To Be A Panist: A Guide to Creating a Modern Animist Lifestyle. She also facilitates spiritual pilgrimages. For more information about Laura Giles, see her websites at

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