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Quest For Merlin (with Quests and Retreats)
Sunday 2nd October 2016

Join us on a Quest to explore the roots of the legend of Merlin, the prophet, seer and shaman, discover his Scottish origins and how the story is embedded into the landscape of Southern Scotland. Author Justin K Prim will lead us on a journey back into the Dark Ages of Scotland. With the help of ancient poetry, we will explore the reasons that lead this famous prophet to seek solitude in the forest and escape the trappings of human society. We will visit the site of the forest where the historical Merlin took refuge and we will drink from the spring that cured Merlin of his madness in the legends. After lunch in a stunning landscape, we will travel further back in time as we head to the site of the Battle of Arderydd, just north of Longtown. It is here that Merlin witnessed the carnage of battle and took flight into the woods in his madness driven by grief. We will explore the battlefield that has become a modern day farm and the adjoining hill fort that lies next to Liddel Water that marks the border between Scotland and England.

We invite you to join us on an imaginative Quest to explore whether Merlin really did live in the hills and forests of Southern Scotland. After spending nearly six months exploring the landscapes of the Merlin stories on foot, author Justin K Prim has become intimately familiar with the legends of Merlin and their historical roots. Taking us on a journey back in time, Justin will present some of original Merlin stories that have now become romanticized in our cultural history and share with us his experience of using the sacred Merlin sites as a path of personal pilgrimage. Jan Hogarth, a environmental artist born in these hills, will explore how the Merlin story is embedded into the landscape of Annandale where she grew up and pose questions about the relevance of the Merlin story today.


Trekking up to Hart Fell

Speaking about the healing effects of Hart Fell Spa spring water and how it was said to cure Merlin Lailoken's madness

Pondering the scenery

Overlooking the battle site at Arderydd while listening to retelling of the bloody battle of 573AD

Justin presenting ancient Myrddin poetry on top of Hart Fell

Quests and Retreat organizer Jan Hogarth at Hart Fell Spa

Discussing Merlin's madness at Gwenddolau's Fort, Arderydd battle site.

Photos by Katie Anderson

  © 2020 The Heart of Merlin / Justin K Prim  
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