Monday, 21 April 2008

For pilgrim it's a long way....to know who you are

I have been a Pilgrim from some years now, a pilgrim in a spiritual search, a pilgrim now, also in the physical form.

The pillars that keep my beliefs up, on one side what I was, on the other, what I am.

For many years I have been looking forward for this, to visit Ireland. For me, that country was the most Celtic one in the world, and after been there I can confirm that.


It was a lifetime experience without a doubt, I went there as a pilgrim, as a man looking for the spiritual roots of his believes.

The first thing I did, once I arrive, was to touch the Ireland ground and thank the spirits of the land to allow me, finally to go there. Now that I think about it, it had to be odd for the people around me see me kneel and praying after leaving the airport.

And the first stop was, of course, New Grange. As you probably know, this Neolithic monument is the most ancient monument in the Island, and one of the most ancient ones in the world.

With a perfect alignment to the rising sun in the winter solstice, the internal chamber lights up with the first light beams of the morning; that chamber full of secrets and forces, of lives, dead, mementos echoing in every breath. I went inside and must say it was a powerful experience, I could feel the power of the chamber, I could feel part of its history, and could imagine the feeling of being there on the winter solstice.


But that was only the beginning, the experience grow as I was driving along the Island, watching its landscapes, breathing its air, knowing its people.

Finally I get to Donegal county, on of the Gaelic speaking areas of Ireland, I could hear the language of the Celts, and seeing that people I could understand more about the Celtic Cosmo vision. One ancient Celtic Triad says: “Three things all should have on hand for a guest, expected or not: open door, un-dry cauldron, warm bed”; reflecting the importance that the Celtic ones put on being good hosts, and open in friendship to the foreign. I could see that the Irish people still believe on that, since they are friendly and open, joyful and always smiling.

As in other times, the connection with this land was deeper in a spiritual way, more than in any other, in walking through the beach, collecting some shells, I could dream awaken about that, about what I have wanted to live and already had lived.


After that beautiful experience, that was bigger and deeper due to the company of a person too much important for me, my greatest and dearest friend, that allows me to share with him this experience. Then, we return to England, to celebrate the spring equinox, the Alban Eilir, the middle of spring.

The celebration of the balance between day and night, the celebration of the balance of the forces of nature, so we went to Stonehenge, to get the first lights of the incoming sun, it was my second time in Stonehenge, but the first inside the stone circle, I have to say it’s such an experience to walk through that impressive stones, and to see the world from inside.


After that we held a small and very intense private ceremony at the Kingley Vale yew forest. The experience was very deep, like a sharing of souls in front of the ancient nature. There are few events that can’t be described with words, since words are limited, this is one of them. I feel very grateful with life for every and each experience I have been living during this journey, but this one is one of the greatest and happiest I had.


Another stop was Glastonbury, to taste a little of the experience of the mists of Avalon. As usual the Tor welcome us with a fierce wind, and the challice well with its tender and paceful gardens.
We spend a time there, meditating and we also bless some special objects to us with the waters that lead to the healing pool.



After visiting the sacred places of the Celts, we have the opportunity of go to another sacred place, this time one that is special to me, the Vatican City.

I was rise as Roman Catholic, but for many years I have been apart of the Church, but not from my believes, I could call myself a may be Christian Celtic Pagan, where the adjective "Christian" modifying the type of paganism I follow, if a label has to be applied; since Christianism and Celtic Reconstructionism, as well as Druidry, have been unify in me as a whole, as a single pillar that supports what I am now, hic et nunc.

Then even I not consider myself as part as the Catholic Church, I have a great respect for it, since it had shaped what I am now; but St. Peter’s Basilica is not only a sacred place for Catholics, but a special place for every Christian, and a sacred place for the human kind as a whole, since the spirit of the One God is venerated there, with great devotion.


Therefore, I was a pilgrim in the more special and sacred places for me, all in one month, all in one travel, all with a great company.

That doesn’t mean that my spiritual pilgrimage is over, but this important experience has given to me and I have a lot to meditate, a lot to think, feel, and integrate to my personal growing.

5 comments:

kproefrock said...

Hello Aelfarh!
Your pictures are beautiful!! It sounds like you had an incredible and amazing trip. Thank you for letting me experience it through your pictures.
Have a wonderful day!!
Kenneth

An English Druid in Maine said...

Hi Aelfarh

These photos are wonderful. You must have had such a great time.

Thanks for sharing them.

Joanne

Erynn said...

Hola Al -- In reading the blog after you emailed me, I need to note that the bit you quoted about three legs of the cauldron of the universe, etc, that you attributed to me isn't something I actually wrote. I'm not sure where it came from, but it wasn't me. Lovely images, though. Can you give me a link where you found that? I'd be most interested to see who's misquoting me this time ;)

Erynn

Ál said...

Hiyah Erynn, I post that before you clarify me that it was a modification to your original article, indeed; I didn't remember to amend also my post here. The link is the same that I told you before.

Erynn said...

Ah okay. That makes sense. Thank you!

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