What are Pilgrimages?
The Be All You Are way...
There is a latin phrase: "SOLVITUR AMBULANDO". It means "it is solved by walking" or more loosely, "it is solved by walking around". This perhaps best represents the Be All You Are way of doing things. Whether I am running projects or gatherings, working with individuals and groups, or going about my own creative work, walking and the opportunity it presents for inner change and clarity of expression is integrated into what I do.
The word 'pilgrim' can be defined in several different ways. It is most popularly understood as meaning 'a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons'. It can also mean 'a person traveling to a place of particular personal interest' or even, in a more metaphorical context, 'a person regarded as journeying through life'. I approach things a little differently, integrating the different meanings and, as always, stripping out the religious stuff. For Be All You Are, a pilgrim is someone who embarks on a journey to self in and on ways that work. A pilgrim is a wanderer who has their own purpose.
As film maker Werner Herzog writes, "Travelling on foot has nothing to do with exercise. When I am walking I fall deep into dreams, I float through fantasies and find myself inside unbelievable stories. I do not even look where I am stepping but I never lose my direction". And so we seek to integrate the powerful meditative effects of walking into our transformational work.
These routes have power in so many different ways. The Nasca Lines in Peru, the Bolivian tracks visible as alignments of shrines known as Inca Ceques, the Mayan ceremonial roads, Aboriginal Songlines, the Anasazi roads in New Mexico connecting specific places in the landscape and suggesting invisible sacred pathways, all show how widespread the occurrence of the spiritual 'path' is. There is a belief in straight line spirit travel all over the world - it's a universal concept. Feng Shui, the Chinese science of geomancy was orginally developed to find the best location for a tomb and contains the understanding that harmony in landscape and life can be achieved through the manipulation of natural forces that course through veins in the Earth, and these form Lung Mei, or Dragon Lines, which run in straight lines. Add to the this the fact that the power of these routes is being upgraded during ascension and you have a very powerful and transformative network ripe for harnessing! A new crystalline grid is now up and running across the planet, and the possibilities awaiting individuals who invest their time and focus to walk them are truly monumental.
In the 10th and 11th century, in Germany, it was deliberate practice to lay out towns to a sacred geometric scheme, often incorporating existing Pagan sites, as can also be seen in York and Cambridge. In his book "The Old Straight Track", written in 1925, Alfred Watkins draws attention to the alignment of churches in some of Britain's old cities such as Hereford, Bristol, London and Oxford. His work introduced the concept of Ley Lines, the lost ancient trackways and secret spirit paths of Britain. Joseph Heinsch's 1939 text, "Principles of Prehistoric Sacred Geography" describes the lost magic principle by which holy sites had been located in the remote past, still recognizable in the present landscape because of the adoption of pagan sites by the Christian church. It is certain that these magical paths involved astronomy and geomancy and there exists so many different interpretations. The fairy roads of Irish folklore, Stonehenge, Avebury, Kilmartin Valley in Scotland, the Menhirs of Carnac in Brittany and Weris in Belgium, all fine examples of the power of these ancient sites.
I use many of these routes for bespoke Be All You Are Self-Discovery Adventures, and people often enjoy walking and working with me on one of the various Camino De Santiago routes. There are offshoots to the Spanish routes such as El Camino De Invierno, that winds its way through the Galician mountains, and these variations also suit a week long process very well. Increasingly, Be All You Are Pilgrimages are happening further afield, but I've included some information about the Camino below. With its existing infrastructure it has many benefits.
Why Choose the Camino de Santiago?
The transformational journeys to self, facilitated and harnessed by my work can be undertaken on established pilgrimage routes such as El Camino De Santiago (The Road to Santiago/The Way of St. James) in Northern Spain and Portugal. There are extensions to this route and variations which stretch throughout Europe. The word 'camino' means 'road' in Spanish.
There is great international enthusiasm for walking these ancient routes. Far from being a Catholic or Christian pilgrimage, they are thought of as being a more broadly spiritual undertaking in Spain and have their roots in a Celtic journey towards the setting sun at one of the Westernmost points of the European mainland. In fact, when one arrives in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the similarities between the people of this region, and their culture, and that of the Celtic nations is unmistakable. I like to focus on the communication of the route's Celtic origins, its natural power, its remarkable 'journey to self' effect and its wonderfully inclusive present. One must, however, take care to not fall into doing what everyone else does!
By undertaking this 5-6 week walk, people coming from all over the world commit to a journey of profound personal transformation. With an existing infrastructure already in place, a choice of routes and the ability to stay overnight in dorms known as albergues, walkers (& cyclists too!) are able to carry only the bare essentials and experience the magic of a simple pilgrim, freed from everyday tasks and able to fully internalize the effects of this great and famous journey. The Camino allows for adventures on restricted budgets, and with the extremely varied terrain, cosmopolitan and international cross section of people and choice of routes, there is something for everyone. Sometimes people choose to walk with me for 1 week and then continue along the way once we have completed our work together.
People begin the Camino for many reasons. In fact, at times on the way, you are asked to fill out a form at some of the albergues and monasteries stating why you are attempting the pilgrimage; for religious or spiritual reasons, for sporting or recreational reasons, as a tourist, and so on. No matter what reason pilgrims have for walking the way, it becomes, unmistakably, a journey to self, that is if you open yourself up to that. This is a fabulous opportunity to ignore the noise and listen to your own truth, free of attachment to the opinions of others. Those who have walked it many times will tell you, "what you will find at the end of the Camino is yourself".
The inner work done on this pilgrimage, together with the intense experience provided - each Camino is like a lifetime condensed into just a few weeks - helps to trigger or consolidate each individual's unique vision. The power of the various Caminos is there to be harnessed. Going deeper inward aligns us with our birth vision and brings into our consciousness our inner callings, there to be realized in action. This, in turn, awakens our social potential, positioning us in the right context to bring these visions into reality. Our inner work can then outwardly manifest as we begin taking steps - moving towards...