Jamie George is the leader on all Gothic Image tours. Depending on your destination, you are likely to meet one or more of the guests listed below. Check out the History page for the story behind the tours.
Director of Gothic Image Tours, Jamie George, left his native Scotland for London in the early 1960s to pursue a career in television and media. “After a while, I took a year off to study areas that had always interested me – the myths and legends of Britain, the sacred landscape and folklore. As the year went by, I decided to live in Glastonbury and in some ways it felt like coming home.” Jamie and his partner, Frances, went on to establish the Gothic Image bookstore, the grandmother of the many esoteric shops that followed in their wake, quickly followed by Gothic Image Publications. Then came guided tours around Glastonbury, which expanded to include longer tours around other parts of Britain and Ireland under a new arm of the business, Gothic Image Tours.
Jamie was a major influence in the inspiration for Marion Zimmer Bradley’s best-selling book The Mists of Avalon. As a token of her appreciation, Marion gave Jamie a first edition copy of the book with the inscription “For Jamie George who helped it all happen – affectionately” Marion Bradley.
“I’ve been taking spiritual pilgrims on tours for over 30 years. It’s been an honour to journey with so many interesting and inspiring people, helping them tune in to the history, mystery and magic of ancient sacred places, where every site has a story to tell. What is always a revelation is how people’s lives are transformed by travelling with kindred spirits. When our hearts open to the numinous and luminous, we open up and become much more at one with ourselves and the land. And what’s more, we have so much fun along the way!”
Professional Tarot reader, teacher, author and founder of Global Spiritual Studies, Linda Marson, has been a guest on tours since 2013. “The Tarot cards tell a story about the universal human journey..from the big challenges in life to the mundane,” she says. “Travel is a way of life for me and those 78 cards are my favourite travel companions. Consultiing the Tarot as you travel can yield amazing insights into stuff that’s going on in your life. A journey with Tarot is a journey enriched!” During tours, Linda facilitates a process for using Tarot to explore the messages sacred sites and landscapes have for each person. Click here for information about Linda’s book, Ticket, Passport and Tarot Cards and here for a blog post called Personal transformation through travel where she describes the experiences leading to her close involvement with Gothic Image Tours. “In life, the Wheel of Fortune often turns to bring people of like mind together. After travelling with Jamie on two tours in 2013, I could see that he shared my passion for providing travel experiences that connect people to the spirit of place in a relaxed, supportive environment.”
Mary K. Greer
With more than ten books and 48 years experience in Tarot, Mary K. Greer pioneered many of the Tarot reading methods used today, including reading Tarot for yourself and methods that are interactive, transformational and empowering. She joins the Tarot Magic in Merlin’s Britain tour as special guest in 2017. “I’m so looking forward to this Otherworld journey where we’ll use Tarot and other divination methods to commune with Pamela Colman-Smith, the artist who created the wonderful images of the Waite-Smith deck and who lived in Cornwall for 30 years. Standing stones and magical landscapes in Cornwall form a major part of the itinerary and give us a wonderful opportunity to call in her spirit. Merlin and Arthur will be all around us as well. We’ll be listening for whispered messages in Merlin’s Cave at Tintagel, at Stonehenge and on the ancient Isle of Avalon (Glastonbury). One morning we also visit the hill fort of Cadbury/Camelot. It would be wonderful to be there under the light of the full moon, when, I’m told, you can hear the thunder of hooves as Arthur’s knights ride forth on their next adventure… something we’ll just have to leave to our imagination!”
Helen and Mark Woodsford-Dean
Helen and Mark live on Mainland Orkney, where, through their company Spiritual Orkney, they offer a range of sacred and spiritual services to visitors, guests, seekers and pilgrims, as well as to local communities. “We are the Scottish Pagan Federation (SPF) Local Organisers for Orkney and are active members of an interfaith dialogue group here,” says Helen. “We facilitate open rituals for the eight major Pagan festivals at The Ring of Brodgar, all of which are open to anyone with a warm heart and open mind.” Helen is an experienced archaeologist and teacher, as well as a published author. Mark’s background is a combination of Druidry and shamanism. He is currently undertaking training through the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, at Druid grade, and Shamanic training with Twobirds at Anam Cara, Inverness. He has also trained with the Scandinavian Centre for Shamanic Studies. Mark is qualified as an arborist, health care professional and archaeologist. Helen and Mark join the Sacred Scotland tour on Orkney.
Steve Marshall was a professional musician for 30 years and a sound engineer. But now, he is an independent researcher in the field of archaeology, having spent close to ten years researching and photographing the Avebury landscape and monuments. The result is a ground-breaking book, Exploring Avebury, the Essential Guide, which was published in 2016. New areas that Steve explored in depth, are sound and acoustics and the connection between the siting of prehistoric monuments and moving water. “I visited and recorded over fifty springs within a five mile radius of the Avebury Henge,” he says. “During the winter of 2012-13 when water levels were unusually high, I made significant discoveries around Avebury – notably that the great ditch surrounding Silbury Hill is lined with springs that supply most of its water. The springs had never been seen before.”Steve joins the Tarot Magic in Merlin’s Britain tour at Avebury. Click here for a blog post where Steve talks with Linda Marson about his research into Avebury.
Jack Roberts is an independent researcher, publisher and author of Sheela-Na-Gigs of Ireland and Britain: The Divine Hag of the Christian Celts and The Sun Circles of Ireland. He joins the Enchanted Ireland tour where his wealth of knowledge and lively mind bring the ancient sites of this megalithic wonderland to life. “More than three decades of research in many areas of Ireland have resulted in a wide knowledge of the archaeological and historical heritage of the whole of Ireland and have led to a number of publications dealing with some of the more important and often less well understood aspects of Irish history and archaeology,” says Jack. He embodies the old Irish word Samhildánach, which means “equally skilled in many arts.” In addition to being a researcher and writer, Jack is also a designer and artist. You can find his work at Bandia Design, where his books, illustrated maps, and jewelry are available for purchase.
Geoffrey Ashe is a recognised authority on the Arthurian Legend and has written extensively on the subject. He is the author or co-author of a number of books, including The Quest for Arthur’s Britain, Camelot and the Vision of Avalon, The Discovery of King Arthur and Mythology of The British Isles. He was co-founder and Secretary of the Camelot Research Committee that excavated Cadbury Castle in Somerset. He was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to heritage. In 2015, Ashe was admitted by Glastonbury Town Council as an Honorary Freeman of Glastonbury “in recognition of his eminent services to the place as an author and cultural historian.”Geoffrey, now over 90 years of age, joins the Avalon to Camelot tour at Glastonbury Abbey where his wife, Patricia, provides a wealth of information about the history of the Abbey and links with Arthurian legends.
Margaret Curtis has devoted over 40 years to single-mindedly researching prehistoric sites around her home in Callanish. Her initial extensive field survey located the lost most easterly stone of Callanish 1 and the tip of another stone that had been lost for 100 years. She was involved in publishing the first book solely about the Callanish stones. Her astronomical and archaeological research finally answered many of the questions about the Callanish complex providing strong evidence for why the stone circles were sited where they were in relation to features on the horizon and how prehistoric people used the stone rings as focal points for ceremonies linked with the moon or to record significant events such as midsummer or midwinter sunrise or sunset. This led on to the prediction and ultimate discovery of more sites in the Callanish area. Margaret was nominated for the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards in 2016. Not as mobile as she used to be, Margaret joins the Sacred Scotland tour at the Callanish stones.