Category Archives: St. Michael’s Way

Healing Chakra Walks on St. Michael’s Mount

light coming through the C16 stained-glass window, in the chapel dedicated to Archangel Michael, St Michael's Mount.

light coming through the C16 stained-glass window, in the chapel dedicated to Archangel Michael, St Michael’s Mount.

For the past few weeks, I have been creating a special Chakra Walk  to take place on St. Michael’s Mount, the culmination of the St. Michael’s Way.  I offered to run one of these walks in aid of Freedom from Torture, the former medical branch of Amnesty International, with kind permission from the St. Aubyn family and help from the management team on the Mount.

I want to limit the numbers to 12, so I have decided to run two walks and have chosen 2 dates that coincide with a favourable tide as  walking across the causeway is an important element of the walk.  Hopefully, one of these dates might suit you?

chakra walk - plain doc copy

If you, or anyone you know, might be interested in doing one of the walks, or you just need more information, please do get in touch with me:

email: caro@carowoods.co.uk,  or call me: 01736 874388

or download the above flyer: chakra walks – with contact details.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mandalas, my sketchbook pages, Pilgrimage Walks, St. Michael's Way, The Artist as Pilgrim, Walks

‘Holding the Light’ for Angela on St. Michael’s Mount

'Holding the Light', Photograph taken with a pinhole camera, by Angela Shaw.

‘Holding the Light’,
photograph taken with a pinhole camera, by Angela Shaw.

In the middle of Mounts Bay in West Cornwall, there is a tiny island that rises out of the sea just off-shore, near Penzance.   It is here, on top of this Mount in 495 AD, that the vision of Archangel Michael appeared to a group of fisherman in the Bay below.  8th May marks the anniversary of this sighting.

IMG_0330

View of Mounts Bay, St Michael’s Mount in the distance

Living on the hill above the bay, I can see the castellations of the castle on top of the Mount and catch whole glimpses of it when I walk the moors around my home, or the dogs along the beach at Longrock.  The storms this winter exposed remnants of the petrified forest that is normally covered by sand in the bay, reminding us of a time when it was merely a hill in the midst of a landlocked forest.

IMG_3847IMG_3425

St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island 366 m off the Mount’s Bay coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is a civil parish and is united with the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water’ (Wiki). 

The causeway that links the island with the mainland

The causeway that links the island with the mainland

There is something rather magical about the Mount.  Standing alone in the bay like a figure from Arthurian legend, I feel its constant presence and is always a comforting reminder of home.

 

 

This tiny island has a twin, connected by an invisible thread across the Channel, which lies just off the coast of France.  ‘Mont Saint-Michel is an island commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. 100 hectares in size, the island has a population of 44′ (Wiki).   Here, I have been told, the tide races in at the speed of a galloping horse.  Both St. Michael islands get cut off from the mainland twice in every 24 hours.  Both have been monasteries at some time in their lives and both are dedicated to the Archangel, Michael.  More significantly for me, both lie on the Michael earth energy line where it crosses with its sister, the Mary Line, making them both pivotal points of powerful Gaia energy.

8th May, 2014.  ‘Holding the Light’.

Lantern and pin-hole camera placed on the Michael Line, St Michael's Mount.

Angela’s Lantern and pin-hole camera placed on the Mary / Michael Line, St Michael’s Mount.

 

The lantern on the Michael line, looking out to sea at the spot where the fisherman in the Bay first saw the vision of St. Michael.

The lantern looking out to sea at the spot where the fisherman in the Bay first saw the vision of St. Michael.

Angela's carefully prepared pinhole, primed and ready to go a few minutes before the 8pm start

Angela’s carefully prepared pinhole camera, primed and ready to go a few minutes before the 8pm start

 

Last week I met up with Angela Shaw (www.angelashaw.org), an MA student on the Art & Environment course at Falmouth, for a special visit to the Mount.  Angela was on a recce to check out a suitable location for her ‘Holding the Light’ project and I was on a mission to identify ‘chakra’ points for a walk I am organising for FFT (more later in a new post).  It turned out to be a very fruitful visit for both of us and I ended up offering to help in her ‘Holding the Light’ project: an 8-point photo work and light sculpture.

The 8 positions of Light

The 8 positions of Light Holders (Cudden Point is just off the map in the bottom right corner, my crop!)

IMG_2551

Angela’s invitation to join in the ‘Light Sculpture’.

I was given charge of the St Michael’s Mount ‘watch’.  In her ‘Guidelines for light holders/ witnesses, Thursday, 8th May, 2014’, she explains, ‘the aim is to ‘hold the light’ metaphorically, to give time and attention to the light……in a synchronised pause, knowing that 7 other light holders, over a 10 mile radius are doing the same’.  Each light holder is issued with a lantern, candle and matches, a pinhole camera, notepad and pen to record thoughts and impressions.

8th May arrived and at 7.30 in the evening, I was picked up from the slip at Marazion by a castle Landrover and driven over the causeway to the Mount, now closed to daily visitors.  From there, the castle manager, Pete, and I jumped into a golf buggy and bumped up the cobbled pilgrim path to the castle at the top where I laid out the lantern and pinhole in exactly the place Angela had identified as the chosen spot on our previous visit together, the very same spot where the Archangel had appeared to the fisherman below.

the setting sun just bursting through the mist before sinking behind the horizon

on the boat back, watching the setting sun just bursting through the mist before sinking behind the horizon.  (For more ‘on the move’ pics for this weeks photo challenge see here).

At 8 pm precisely, I opened the aperture on the pinhole camera and whilst I watched the family of Ravens playing on the cliffs just below us, Pete and Adam (and his lovely dog, Eve) went to turn on the spotlights to illuminate the castle.  At exactly 8.20, the tab was replaced over the hole in the pinhole, the candle extinguished and with the lantern packed away, we bumped our way back down the path from where I climbed into the motor craft that was waiting to take me back across the now flooded bay to the mainland, being dropped off at Chapel Rock where Victoria was recording my arrival with her film camera.

leaving the island behind me

leaving the island behind me

With the light now beginning to fade, Victoria and I walked up the hill above Marazion to watch Angela light the prepared beacon.  A few gusts of wind and the fire roared into life, easily sustaining the 20 minutes for the pinhole there to do its work.  The gentle light from the chalky lanterns now replaced by the larger flames of the beacon.  Standing there completely mesmerised by the spriggans dancing in the gloom and the glowing flames fill the darkness, I felt it had all been a rather wonderful experience and a privilege to have been part of something really special.  So thank you, Angela, for inviting me to take part in your project.  I have particularly enjoyed being a ‘light worker’.  And particularly grateful to all those who had made my visit to the Mount possible.  I can’t wait to see the resulting images from the pinholes and how Angela finally interprets her ‘synchronised pause’.

Angela lights the beacon

Angela lights the beacon.

Victoria recording the event, the lit up castle on St Michael's Mount illuminated in the distance.

Victoria recording the event, the illuminated castle on St Michael’s Mount in the distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light is fading as the fire burns brighter

Light is fading as the fire burns brighter

IMG_2548

20 minutes later and the mission is accomplished.

6 Comments

Filed under Art Works, Earth Goddess, St. Michael's Way, Wordpress Photo Challenge

Signs and Sigels

Signs and Sigels is the title for the ‘Notebook‘ (part 1) I am currently working on, inspired by my St. Michael’s Way walk back in July, The Adventure Starts HereI have submitted it for The Newlyn / Exchange Collective Exhibition by artist volunteers at the Newlyn Gallery, even though it is still a work ‘in progress’.  It will be accompanied by Part 2 which will take a similar format, and explore my visit to St Michael’s Mount.

IMG_0768 rotated

Frontal piece for Artists’ Notebook: Signs & Sigels, a mixed media work in progress, 7.5cm x 7.5cm, 2013.  Notice the sun symbol on this waymarker representing a path of enlightenment (?)

I believe that we are gifted with insight by the accumulated ‘wisdom’ of the universe.  Messages from ‘angels’, departed loved ones or a shamanic guide / teacher is how some people like to understand it.  No matter how you view it, the results are just as pertinent for the individual.  Tapping into this rich seam of knowledge that our Celtic ancestors would have been very familiar with is something that needs a little practice.  You need both a belief in this system and the patience to notice the signs.  Our ancestors would have called on the wisdom of their fathers for such insights, possibly gathered together in a stone circle, or looked to the heavens for answers.  Living closer to the rhythms of nature and the cycle of the seasons than we do today, this would have come quite naturally.  It might have taken the form of some sophisticated mathematical calculations based on the constellations, or the simple sighting of a fox, the call of an eagle, seeing a particular shape in a cloud formation or witnessing a plant flowering out of season would have all meant something profound and meaningful and would have been regarded as a ‘sign’ or portent of things to come.  It forms the basis of our deep superstitions today.   How many people still count magpie sightings?  One for sorrow, two for joy……etc.

my 'life-line' journey

my ‘life-line’ journey

I do most of my joined-up thinking when I am walking and the landscape serves as an abundant source of clues for the answers to many of life’s quandaries, both big and small.  I don’t consciously go out looking for signs, but I know when I get one.  For instance, I was puzzling over something the other day and just happened to be walking past a Buddleia bush that was alive with Red Admiral butterflies feasting on the flowers.  This was a powerful message for me as the Red Admiral is particularly associated with the soul of a departed loved one and seeing them gave me great comfort.  This Notebook is about the signs that I was gifted with on that particular walk, that hot Summer’s day back in July.

a foggy start

a foggy start

Sigel is an old English word meaning ‘the sun’.  In the old Viking language of the Runes it is Sowelu and the ancient runic symbol that represents the Sun: a signifier of wholeness and the life force derived from the energy of the sun.  Drawing this rune marks a ‘time for regeneration down to the cellular level’,  (Ralph Blum) and a quest for wholeness for the ‘Spiritual Warrior’.  I like to think of it as another variant for the word ‘signal’, and its graphic similarity to a bolt of lightning is not lost on my senses, (tho’ I’m not so keen on its former Nazi connotations).  I like to think of it more as a reference to ‘seeing the light’, as in finding the answer.

sketchy 'sigel' graphics

sketchy ‘sigel’ graphics

The sign for sigel is also a graphic representation of two chevrons pointing in opposite directions but joined together in the middle.  Chevrons are a potent symbol, (see previous post, Solitude), and I have included them in my Notebook.  In this symbol, they point both backwards and forwards: forwards to the next part that I am currently working on, but also drawing on what I have already learned from my walk along this path thus far.

end-trails

end-trails (reverse page of sewn chevrons)

Do visit the Picture Room at Newlyn Gallery if you are in the area, and anyone is welcome to take a look at my Notebook if you ask the assistant on the desk to open the case where it is displayed.  The exhibition of artist volunteers work runs from 5th to 19th October, (with the PV on Friday, 4th, 7pm), with the Newlyn Festival works in the main gallery.

one of the page spreads on display in the Picture Room, Newlyn Gallery.

one of the page spreads on display in The Picture Room, Newlyn Gallery.

(P.S.  On a note about style, the WordPress writing challenge today is about adverbs.  As a style of writing, I do tend to try and avoid them where possible preferring to use a better verb to describe an action.   (adverbs)

2 Comments

Filed under Art Works, Dpchallenge, Drawings, my sketchbook pages, Paths of Enlightenment, St. Michael's Way, The Artist as Pilgrim, Walks

Getting Lost in a ‘Labyrinth of Solitude’

The other evening whilst I was sitting quietly in a circle with friends (see entry for 19th September), into my head popped the image of a labyrinth.  The strange thing is, it was imprinted onto the right side of my forehead and this seemed to be important for some reason.  With it came a long line of black chevrons closely spaced together.  The chevrons were the ones you get on the road to indicate a bend ahead and point in the direction you need to go, although these ones were not pointing in any particular direction.  It seemed perfectly logical to marry the chevrons with the image of a labyrinth which after all, is all to do with going round in circles.

I'itol: The Man in the Maze, comes from the tradition of the O'odham people who reside in the Tohono O'odham (Native American) Nation of Southern Arizona.  This symbol (actually a a unicursal figure) is said to represent a person's journey through life with it's many twists and turns that represent choices we face.  The journey is one from darkness to light and the man at the top depicts birth and a guide for your journey until you reach the centre where you die where you are transported to the afterlife.

The I’itol symbol: The Man in the Maze, comes from the tradition of the O’odham people who reside in the Tohono O’odham (Native American) Nation of Southern Arizona. This symbol (actually a unicursal figure) is said to represent a person’s journey through life with its many twists and turns that represent the many choices we face along the way. The journey is one from darkness towards enlightenment and the man at the top depicts your guide who is with you on your journey from your birth until you reach your death at the centre from where you will be transported to the afterlife.  I wonder where I am / you are on that journey?

The next day in my studio, I open the page in the book I am currently working on (about my St. Michael’s Way Walk), which is all about getting lost.  Getting lost is only a problem and a cause for anxiety when there are constraints on time, such as reaching your destination within a calculated time-span or arranging to meet someone at a specified time and not being able to make it.  Then it struck me that getting lost is very much like being in a labyrinth.  And I am reminded of a quote by the Mexican writer, Octavio Paz, in his book of essays, ‘The Labyrinth of Solitude‘ in which he delves into the minds of his countrymen, describing them as ‘hidden behind masks of solitude’:

“Man is nostalgia and (in) a search for communion.  Therefore, when he is aware of himself he is aware of his lack of another, that is, of his solitude.”

'Stop, Look, Listen, work in progress

Stop, Look, Listen’, work in progress

And the more I think about it the more I realise that getting lost is in fact getting found!   It is only in that solitude that I am able to find my true voice.  Far from being fearful of finding my way back to the path, I am beginning, more and more to relish the peace that being alone brings: a space in which I can commune with my creative urges.  Perhaps we should learn to cherish those moments of getting lost more: how else might we stumble upon the unexpected, discover new directions or see a familiar thing from a different angle?  Often, getting lost, forces us to ask for help, something a lot of us are not very good at doing.

Stop, Look, Listen, (paths over underlying bedrock)  work in progress

Stop, Look, Listen, (paths over underlying bedrock) work in progress

Although this post doesn’t strictly speaking, fit into a conventional ‘photo challenge’ I felt it was appropriate.  For other ideas on this weeks Photo Challenge: From Lines to Patterns, see here.

P.S.  23rd September.  Walking the dogs today I notice that someone has been out flaying the edges of the paths (as they are wont to do).  In the debris lying on the ground, I rescued a few sprigs of purple heather (Cornish Heath) which I decided to take home and put in a little pot vase.  Being mildly aware that ‘someone’ has prompted me to do this (I often get this feeling), when I got home I went on-line to find out what the flower meaning for heather is, only to discover that it is ‘Solitude’.  What a lovely poetic endorsement.  Thank you!

10 Comments

Filed under Dpchallenge, Mandalas, my sketchbook pages, Paths of Enlightenment, St. Michael's Way, The Artist as Pilgrim, Wordpress Photo Challenge

Retracing my Footsteps: 1. St Uny Church to Knill’s Monument

St. Uny Church, Lelant.

St. Uny Church, Lelant.

Porth Kidney to Carbis Bay

Porth Kidney to Carbis Bay

Carbis Bay

Carbis Bay

At the waymarker for Knill's Monument

At the waymarker for Knill’s Monument

Nil Desperandum

Nil Desperandum!

This is my own ‘pano’ viewpoint.  For more unusual POV’s see how other people have tackled this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge here.

3 Comments

Filed under my sketchbook pages, St. Michael's Way, Walks, Wordpress Photo Challenge

The Adventure Starts Here: Establishing Some Ground Rules

With temperatures nudging 30c and hot enough to melt tarmac, it is high time I set off on my first ‘Pilgrim’ walk.  For my research, I have decided to focus my attention on the St. Michael’s Way – a 12 mile coast to coast route in West Penwith from St Uny Church in Lelant in the north to St Michael’s Mount at Marazion in the south.  I have chosen this path, not only because it is on my doorstep but also, by becoming familiar with it and learning about how a ‘walking with awareness‘ pilgrimage might function, it will form the basis for a point of departure later on.  What might I learn from this first excursion?  What sensory delights await my attention?  Much of the route is familiar to me as I have already walked sections of it from time to time.  My intention is to approach this venture without any preconceived ideas and with an open mind to see what unfolds rather than anticipate an outcome.  However, what should have been a straightforward walk from a to b, in the event it turned out to be a journey of self discovery and was to prove I was woefully ill-equipped for what actually happened.

You can see a map of the route here.

Keen to get going, I gather together a few essential items into a small rucksack to sustain me along the way, patch up my shorts with the material from one of the pockets and hope my new walking shoes will not give me too much trouble, but pack the blister plasters just in case.  It was to prove providential.

IMG_0218

Sunday, 14th July, 2013

In these current heat-wave conditions, I am keen to get as much of the walk done as early in the day as possible, so as soon as the night begins to lose its inky darkness, I jump into the car and set off for my starting point at St Uny Church.   Driving through the early morning stillness and seeing the blood-orange red orb in the sky lifts my spirits.  However, as I approach the north coast, I am plunged into a dense white fog which hugs the coastline.

IMG_0282

Leaving the car by the church, I set off into the cloud of white fog with a feeling of excitement for my new adventure.   What were muddy pathways only a couple of weeks ago have been transformed into dry, dusty tracks.   However, the moisture-laden air clings to my hair and my eye lashes making my eyelids feel surprisingly heavy, and it isn’t long before my clothes are drenched and my legs bathed by the dew from the overhanging verges and running down into my shoes.  I had assumed I would not be needing my mac and waterproof leggings!  It was at this moment that it dawns on me that this journey is going to be all about the lessons I might learn along the way.

Lesson Number One: Never Assume Anything / Always Expect the Unexpected! (that’s two)

The ambient temperature is already quite warm so I know it won’t be long before the sun burns through the fog and I will be dry once more.   I am surprised how bright the colours are in this creamy light: the soft yellow flowers of the evening primrose appear even more primrosey.  It’s a pity, however, that I am denied even a glimpse of the view.  Tantalizingly, I can hear the swooshing of the sea only yards from me as I track along the shoreline.  It sounds so close, I know it is high tide and I calculate that the sea will be low by the time I reach St Michael’s Mount.  This means that it is likely I will be able to walk across the granite-cobbled causeway without getting my feet wet.  (again).

IMG_0221

It feels good to be out and walking at this time of day whilst most folk are enjoying a Sunday morning lie-in, being the first person to break through the dew-laden threads thrown across the path by some busy nocturnal spiders.  Every now and again I catch the scent coming off a plant I pass by and hunt around to see where it is coming from.  The elder flowers smell particularly sweet and delicious as do the heavily laden flower bunches on the palm trees.   The constant buzz of flying insects grows to a crescendo as the day wears on and as the heat intensifies it causes the Monterey pine cones to crackle loudly.

my kind dog-walking guide

my kind dog-walking guide

My first encounter is with an early morning dog walker.   She appears out of the mist from the beach at Carbis Bay where she sees me examining the map obviously looking a little lost.  Taking pity on me, she kindly offers to show me the way to the next marker post.  She says she has never known a fog like it.   It turns out that together with her husband, she has travelled the globe in search of places to take the perfect photograph, the latest being a trip to the North Pole to photograph Polar Bears!  She lets me take this picture of her.

Now back on track, and up the road towards Knill’s Monument where I take this picture of the way marker against the sun, still low in the sky forming a beautiful mandala like a stained glass window.

Sun Mandala

Rose Sun Mandala

Reaching the obelisk at the top of the hill with John Knill’s coat of arms (2 rampant lions surrounded by 8 swords?) and his ironic motto, nil desperandum, it is here that I take the wrong path.

the well-worn path leading me astray

the well-worn path leading away from Knill’s Monument and leading me astray

From what would have been a magnificent vantage point on any other day, my view is obscured by a thick layer of fog that still hangs in the valley below.  As beautiful as it is (think Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich, and you get the picture), I have the sensation of being in a foreign land, reminding me of glorious mornings in the Tuscan hills.  It is impossible to make out familiar landmarks and without any visual clues my usual good sense of direction is severely tested.  I am unable even to place the sea behind me because I cannot see it and whichever way round I turn my map, I have to admit I am totally disoriented.

Lesson Number Two: Make sure you have adequate navigational aids.  (If I had been thinking straight, I could have used the position of the sun to guide me.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!)

IMG_0248

this little way marker could have acted as a sun-dial if only I had thought about it.

With Knill’s motto ringing in my thoughts, I forge ahead blinkered by my ignorance.  Leaving the monument behind me, I decide to take the left-hand fork in the path ahead, the most well-worn path.  Wrong choice!  Thinking about it later, I figured that the most well trodden path would more likely lead me back to a conurbation.  Thus I find myself on the outskirts of Carbis Bay once more, and spend another hour trying to find a way out of it.  I spot an elderly couple in a car and inquire in my most charming manner if they know where I might find St. Michael’s Way.  They look at me as if I am from an alien species, say they are in a hurry, can’t stop and speed away.  Deciding not to take the short cut across the field that warns ‘Beware of Bull’, I finally stumble upon my way marker, half obscured by vegetation, and with some relief, once more rejoin the track.

its hot enough to melt the tarmac as this imprint of a tractor tyre proves

its hot enough now to melt the tarmac as this imprint of a tractor tyre proves.  Perhaps they are arrows pointing me in the right direction!  Another sign I have missed?

Lesson Number Three:  Trust what your dowsing rods are telling you!  Once I knew I had gone wrong, I did not believe the direction the rods were telling me to go in, to my cost, as it turned out.  I won’t be so dismissive next time!

IMG_0251

By the time I reach the half-way point at TrenCrom, I am well on my way with only a minor unplanned detour putting another mile or two onto the journey.  I find a granite trough under a shady tree and decide to take a rest and an early elevensis.  I take off my shoes and administer the plasters whilst sending David – who is looking after my dogs for the day – a text to find out how they are doing.  He suggests I use the gps signal on my phone.  Now why hadn’t I thought of that?  I had forgotten too I also have a compass app.  Boy, do I feel stupid.

Lesson Number Four: Learn from your mistakes!   Getting lost was completely unexpected, and something I had not prepared for.  My inadequate attempts at navigation have been highlighted because there is a valuable lesson to be learned from this experience.

IMG_0253

Now, with a clearly visible means of knowing exactly where I am positioned in the landscape,  and with sightings of the Mount with every brow of a hill reached, my destination is getting increasingly closer and I am well and truly on the homeward stretch.  I drop into The White Hart at Ludgvan to refill my water bottles, (though I could have downed a pint of lager with ease), the final leg is literally downhill all the way.  I notice the glint of sunlight reflecting off what appears to be many cars at Marazion.

fording the stream at Boskennal

fording the stream at Boskennal, I am very tempted to take off my shoes and paddle across

Strangely, I am not prepared for what happens next.  This has never been designed to be a route march or a test of endurance but having moved through the landscape at a leisurely 2 mile an hour pace, allowing plenty of time for stops and starts, and largely in my own company for the past few hours, I suddenly come up against a fast-moving, solid wall of metal and noise going in opposite directions which is the A30.  Instantly, I feel very small and vulnerable.   This sudden assault on the senses seems  particularly violent.  Yet, behind the wheel of my car, I am part of it!  For a split second, I know how it must feel to be a wild animal meeting this for the first time.  The combined heat coming off the tarmac and reflecting off the cars is intense, adding to the onslaught of extreme sensations.  Somehow, I have to find a gap in this liquid metal flow in which to negotiate a crossing.  My judgement of the speed of trajectory seems momentarily to be impaired but I manage to weave myself across and continue on my way with a renewed respect for our hidden creatures, eager to put some distance between myself and the noise and heat of traffic.

IMG_0264

On through the bog at Marazion Marsh along the boarded walkway (just as our ancestors would have done), across the railway track for the last time, and into the nature reserve that runs along the Red River, the Mount looming ever larger.  As I emerge onto the road leading into Marazion I am thrown into a throng of humankind making its way into the town.  ‘Obby ‘os drumming is coming from that direction and any plans to go to the Mount today are immediately shelved.

Lesson Number Four: Things don’t always go to plan, but that’s OK.  (Improvisation is the mother of invention).

Going against the flow of people, I head the other way to the old railway cafe next to the beach, find a seat in the shade and wait for David (and the dogs) to rescue me.  My visit to the Mount will have to wait for another day.

IMG_0266

To Recap and Conclude:

In the coarse of writing this post, I concluded that the lessons I have learnt on this, my inaugural pilgrimage walk, could easily be applied to life.  In the same way that the life line on your palm symbolizes a personal route map of your life, each journey will be a unique experience for that individual.  This has been a seminal experience for me and despite the many setbacks, I don’t think it could have gone any better or I could have wished for a better learning opportunity.

In establishing some ground rules for life:

  • Make sure you have adequate tools to navigate a meaningful path through it
  • Assume nothing and always expect the unexpected
  • Follow the light
  • You may take the ‘wrong’ path from time to time – maybe because it is the easiest path to follow – but sooner or later, you will find your way back to where you want/need to be
  • Listen to what your guides, teachers and helpers have to tell you and notice the signs and signals that are gifted to you
  • Learn from your mistakes – every now and again, it is good to feel humbled
  • By slowing down your pace, you will be more aware of the beauty of things around you – often the things we most take for granted.  It says STOP, LOOK, LISTEN on the railway crossing sign
  • Be prepared (flexible enough) to make decisions to change the course of your life.  Often these changes happen for a very good reason, though you don’t always know it at the time
  • It’s alright to read the map upside down if it gets you there.
  • Remember, Nil Desperandum!

Of course, I anticipate this list will be added to in future walks.  If you can think of any glaring omissions, dear follower, I would love to hear from you.

The making of a book:

Just as a book has a beginning, middle and an end, so too a ‘pilgrimage’ walk takes a route from A to B.  It is not necessarily a linear path but one that may take diversions, planned or otherwise.  Sometimes the path might go around in a circle like a maze.

all the participants had to make up a name tag!

all the participants made up a name tag!

To celebrate this walk, I plan to make an informal ‘collage’ book like the one I made on the Writing for Creative Practice course recently.  One of the facilitators wrote about it in her blog: Tactile Academia (and a picture of my book!)

IMG_0209Thank you for joining me in walking my path.

10 Comments

Filed under Pilgrimage Walks, St. Michael's Way, The Artist as Pilgrim, Walks