19 Sep ROAD OUT OF TIME: Transformation
During my thirties I lived in the United States for a decade and, for part of that period, I completed a Master’s degree in Women’s Spirituality. Whilst the course delved into archeo-mythology and Goddess civilisations of Old Europe, pilgrimage routes in Celti-Iberian Spain were not addressed.
Like many, I was introduced the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela by the writings of Shirley Maclean and Paulo Coelho.
Now, in the 21st century, El Camino de Santiago de Compostela is no longer the road less travelled. This route is walked by hundreds and thousands of pilgrims, of all ages, every year. Many return over and over and the numbers keep rising. What is the appeal? What is the allure?
In a word: Transformation.
One is inevitably transformed by walking the earth’s changing landscape for weeks on end. A miracle unravels our heart which in turn opens our mind to a more expansive outlook on life. We are recalibrated in the best possible way: by the generous charge of the earth, the stars, the sun and by spacious skies tinted with every imaginable colour.
“We are recalibrated in the best possible way: by the generous charge of the earth, the stars, the sun and by spacious skies tinted with every imaginable colour.”
We are altered by pilgrims we meet along The Way; sometimes we find our anam cara, which is Gaelic for soul friend. Celtic people describe this as feeling an instant trust and connection with someone, as well as a sense of deep belonging. Anam cara is a person with whom you can share your deepest secrets and holiest heart felt dreams. It is a bond that lives beyond this world, stretching lifetime after lifetime.
There can be deep cultural wounding for Europeans who live in adopted countries like Australia, Canada and America. Not only is there severing from the land, but also from ancestral wisdom teachings passed through myth, story, dance and song. Traditions teach us how to connect with our lineage and the natural forces: wind, water, earth, ether and fire. Traditions teach us how to care for ourselves, the land and our community. Traditions serve as way-markers, so we may become the best possible version of ourselves.
Conversely, traditions can bind our soles/souls. We live in an era where we have many choices; as cultures change, we adapt, evolve and create our own customs. We are magicians, in that our minds, our will, creatively manifest our life experience.
We are returning to a way of life that is more inclusive and respectful.
Road Out Of Time is a regular Walk & Write blog about the spiritual, mystical and religious significance and traditions of The Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
Sarah Blogg is a Camino scholar and pilgrim of life, who is drawn to share her research into and insights about the enigmatical pilgrim path across Spain.
While for many pilgrims The Camino is The Way of St James, for Sarah the ancient road is The Way of the Goddess.
Stephanie Dale is an award-winning author, journalist & traveling writer with a fondness for walking and writing. She is the founder of The Write Road and Walk and Write.
Join Steph for 10 days in April, walking and writing The Camino.
Steph is a passionate advocate for the visibility and voices of everyday people and focuses on supporting new and unpublished writers to write and keep writing. Her work through The Write Road and Walk & Write is dedicated to empowering people to tell their stories, their way.