The December sunlight faded away and the Scottish gloom rapidly began to take hold. Shadows thrown by the tall trees lining the stretch of the River Findhorn known locally as Randolph’s Leap lengthened, and the dark spaces at their roots grew. My ears filled with the pounding of the peat-brown mountain water being forced through the narrow rocky gorge a few feet away. The only other sound was the occasional rustle of fallen leaves tossed by a breeze that intermittently raced down the muddy footpath I was wandering along.

The mysterious advice given by Niels Paulsen, one of our group’s two facilitators, or ‘Focaliser’, as he described himself, came back to me: ‘This place is where Robert Ogilvie Crombie said the veil between the human and spirit world is thin.’ The Scottish bibliophile, R. Ogilvie Crombie, or Roc to his friends, was in his sixty-third year when he developed the ability to penetrate the Elemental Kingdom and see the cosmic energy forms such as fairies, gnomes and elves around about him. While strolling through Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens in 1966, Roc encountered and conversed with the great god Pan himself: ‘I realised that I was not alone. A figure – taller than myself – was walking beside me. It was a faun, radiating tremendous power.’ Roc had always insisted that Randolph’s Leap was a sacred site; where the nature spirits might reveal themselves to human visitors who were, like him, attuned to their highest divine inner senses.

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