Camino-Blog5There is no pilgrimage that does not go deep within the heart…

“What was this shadow side of me – the   “wherever you go, there you are” aspect of myself that was coming up?  …Was I going to be beating up on myself and my cultural context all the way along this path?”

The land beyond the mountain pass outside Pamplona beckoned, with a mosaic of green hills, fields, and villages rolling out before me.  Now, content to make my own way without the flow of faces that had become my family before Pamplona, I headed a bit south off the main trail.  I was looking for the little Templar church at Eunate.  I wanted to feel firsthand the knowledge of earth energies and sacred geometry they were said to have brought back with them from the Middle East.

The elegant little octagonal church at last appeared within the surrounding fields and few trees, a little gem of a building.  I saw a young man resting there who had obviously just washed his cloths in the irrigation ditch and hung them to dry on the wall near the church.  I found he had walked all the way from Brittany so far without money.  He did look rather thin and worn, but happy and tired.

After resting a bit I began to dowse the church and found there an inspired pattern where energy is more equally shared and accessible to each person who enters than in other churches.  This elegant little octagonal shape worked like a bell jar placed on strong transformative energies intended to make an impact on the body, awakening and re-aligning it with that natural harmony of the earth and cosmos.  This was not a church form designed to keep the ordinary people apart from the transformative energies but one for collective transformation; not designed in such a way that the energies appear to come through a mediator, but direct to each person.  This was a glimpse at the power of the Templar knowledge and why their story persists as something mysterious or mystical, amid other complexities and human foibles of their order.  It evoked a sense of gratitude.

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Eunate

After a peaceful night with the darling French coupe running the refuge there I walked on in the morning sunlight.

Soon I was remembering the pain in my feet.  With blisters on literally every toe I staggered into a private albergue at noon, knowing I could go not further.  I learned that there was a doctor who came over each evening to help with blisters and I signed up.  There at the hands of the kind local doctor in his white lab coat I received the pilgrims’ transmission learning the best blister remedy ever – much better than the American version of packaging it up but not healing it, or the French version with the scary unsanitary string method…this one allowed the blister to heal while you are walking.  I was so grateful to find a reprieve from the huge foot packaging job I had been doing every night.  Now a simple tea towel cut up and a nice mesh tape were all I needed.  I set off again the next day hopeful, open heart, walking amid grape vines, clouds and hilltop villages that beckoned…….

Look for the next installment of the story in a future blog!