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 events or projects, organizing gatherings, or working with individuals, companies or organizations, walking, and the opportunity it presents for inner change, 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.
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". It's important to seek to integrate the powerful meditative effects of walking into 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.
Below are some of the routes, beyond the Camino De Santiago, that I use for Be All You Are adventures. The UK has several of these, such as the Wye Valley Walk with the Cambrian Hills at one end and the Forest of Dean and Chepstow at the other. I am based out of Portugal so the Camino routes there are a big part of Be All You Are. There are offshoots to the Spanish routes such as El Camino De Invierno, that winds its way through the Galician mountains and an area known as Ribeira Sacra where I've spent time living. I also run adventures in the Canary Islands and beyond and you can find the maps of several routes from around the world below.