The Camino took me on a path to deeper integration and understanding of my journeys; I travelled for years to experience Guru, Shaman, Monk and spiritual Teachers, but I made this journey on my own. The aches and pains felt in my body became the new teacher. Saint James manifested present reality; I connected to the essence of its architecture in massive cathedrals and small chapels every day. People would walk the Camino for many reasons, the sick that could not, deceased, spiritual enlightenment, God, religious figures and a sense of community. I would meet fellow pilgrims on the path, listing their stories of why they took this challenging road. I would not walk this alone, my girlfriend Andrea came with me. We made a great team, massaging each other's feet and legs at the end of a long day. Our relationship would be tested; together, we found the beauty of suffering, walking 5 to 8 hours a day every day for over a month; eventually, we understood that this road would integrate the shadows of our past, the ones we ignored. People in high positions of power can relate to the story of Peter pan; he was type casted to show excessive pride and self-satisfaction in his achievements. As a result, Peter pan could not grow up with things associated with adulthood. Eventually, he would re-attach his shadow during his attempts to grow up. Before the Camino, I was living in Toronto and very trendy, a spiritual healer to many people worldwide. As a result, I reached great heights in my career with tremendous respect, high social status, and a clean, fit body. Unfortunately, I was the perfect package for many women and was receiving too much female attention. I was very fortunate enough to have Andrea by my side; she was privileged in looks and lifestyle; this kept me on the straight and narrow. But like most women, sometimes, if you share a taste of glamour and success, they want more. Still, it was good to have a woman by my side to accommodate spiritual growth and transform desires during my rise to the top. I wanted to quit my practice and close down the famous healing studio in Toronto. I had enough of the limelight and felt Andrea and I needed a lifestyle change. One morning I would arrive at Andreas's home to tell her I would be travelling for a while; she was shocked because that meant shutting down my high social status. Andrea would warm up to the idea, and leave Broadway, her music career and take this spiritual voyage with me.
We would arrive in France. The most popular route on the Camino is the French Way or Camino Frances. It's a peaceful route, but the walk can be challenging through the Pyrenees Mountains and into Spain. On the 1st day of the walk, I met a French man who asked why I was on this path. He spoke of Arthur, the Templars and their connection to the Pleiades. I was excited to hear this because I researched some of these rumors while practicing the golden dawn magic system. The Golden Dawn had roots in the Solomon orders, which led me into Templar philosophies. This French man conveyed a significant history of King Arthur and his council in Spain documented in the literature. The Templars would protect Royal Families, the poor and a weaker class of people through pilgrimage. The French man told me the way of Saint James was a grid-connected to higher realities, and on the route, I will discover a small church that initially was a Templar temple. This temple is where secret orders would visit for various initiations. So now I was excited; not only was I venturing on a healing and transformative journey with Andrea, but I would also get to research cosmic temples and magical galactic orders. Was it possible that all of my research into Templar philosophy would materialize here in Spain? Let's take a step out of the Camino for a moment so I may convey some of my study of "Templar Spirituality." I resonated with this knowledge deeply and integrated a similar path that my Templar Brothers walked long ago. The Knights Templar was founded in the Biblical Temple of Solomon on the Mount in Jerusalem. The temple was Egyptian in origin, where the magi "magic" and "magicians" lived. The knights would be trained and initiated into Solomon’s ancient wisdom for nine years, such as the Order of Melchizedek (Religion by Knighthood) and the duality in God that embodied a polarity of spiritual energies masculine and feminine. The original Templar traditions welcomed and supported a variety of religious orders that encompassed spiritual individuality. Templars were both knights and monks; they dressed in special garments that embodied the monk traditions. The Red Cross wore on their robes was a symbol of sacrifice, the colour red was the base frequency of the earth, and the cross itself was the body. To die in combat was the transcending of physicality and honour that assured a place in higher dimensions. The knights consumed their meals in peace and silence, ate meat no more than once a week and only during times of famine. They had minimal or no contact with women; instead, they would use sexual energy to serve and protect. Also, I learned that the Templar Order existed for nearly two centuries during the middle Ages lacking financial resources. Their emblem was of two knights riding on one horse, highlighting the Order's scarcity.
Andrea and I would arrive at the border in Spain, our walk through the mountains was difficult, but the views and fresh air made it all worthwhile. During the day, we made a good team; we would stretch each other out and keep our bodies mobile to not cramp; at night, we would massage the feet with oils. Although we heard many pilgrims share their stories of nasty blisters and body stiffness, we did want to experience leaving the Camino early like some others. So I brought special oil with me named thieves. This oil worked like a charm. I felt strong and had no foot complications for the whole walk. Here is the story behind this oil from the young living company. In France during the 15th century, thieves would sneak into graveyards to rob from the dead and dying. Legend says they protected themselves by creating a unique aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals. Today Thieves essential oil blend is inspired by those tales of old. Combining Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon oil, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils, this blend is one of our most popular products. Use it with household cleaning products or diffuse it to freshen up a room.
The frustrations of carrying such a heavy load would take me; I ignored the advice of staff back at the border in Spain. They had scales set up to weigh everyone's bag; mine was 20 kg; they told me it was too heavy. I was only a week into the journey; at one point, I threw everything out of my backpack to lighten the load. During the night, Andrea and I were speaking with fellow Pilgrims. We were told about a very famous location, San Nicolas, which was difficult to get a bed to sleep in. However, we both felt it was necessary to get there and arranged our schedule to do so. We stayed in Hontanas overnight to have a short walk to San Nicolas, ensuring that we would arrive early to secure beds. The 13th-century church was converted into a pilgrim Albergue that has cared for pilgrims for 1000 years, San Nicolas Hospitalero. The church had no electricity and was run by a group of Italian men that hosted 12 lucky people with a communal dinner. We made it because of our early rise, a short walk and Andrea's good looks. They performed the ancient ceremony of washing the feet to send pilgrims on the way to Santiago safe and sound. The old church was cozy and relaxing; it was nice to be in a space with few people. The ceilings were high, and the designer created acoustic-style architecture. I mentioned earlier that Andrea was a professional singer and exceptionally gifted at holding notes. The Italians invited her to sing during the foot washing. He took my feet and placed them in the water. I felt an immense rush of love and peace through my whole body. Then, Andrea began to sing Ave Maria. In my opinion, she is one of the best singers who could portray a pure resonance of the song. After Andrea sang, she received the foot-washing ceremony with deep respect and gratitude for her voice and Spirit; also, we ate some great food and slept the whole night. We awoke the following day, and I felt the great rebirth and integration of the shadow. As I walked, it felt like all aspects of me were in a straight line behind me, no longer scattered in chaos.
Eventually, we found the Templar temple I heard about in France named Santa Maria de Eunate. Andrea and I met the owner, Emil, and he took us into his establishment. The home was minimal for small groups of people, but it was located next to the temple. Emil made some herbal tea and told us the church's history and legends. Our Lady Church was built in 1170, a mysterious but straightforward building. The secrets of its origin made it a place of Christian worship and those seeking powers that the lands and temple provided. The church was known for its name, "one hundred doors." Its architecture was designed by the Knights Templars and used by the initiates of the order of Solomon. The architecture is an octagonal layout, a similar design as the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Popular culture speaks of its construction in memory of a noblewoman or queen whose tomb lies beneath the temple entrance. Emil told me that other buildings on the Camino are nearly identical to the one I am at now, with 33 arches and decorative ornaments built by the Templars. One with two doors; the north one is highly fashioned, facing Santiago's road, and another is a more uncomplicated door facing the west. The octagonal layout inside was intersected with a pentagonal alter. The vault (octagonal room) is held up by eight columns with different angles, making all eight sides of the church very different. Close to this church, in Olcoz, is the church of San Miguel (St. Michael); it was built with an identical door to the church we were staying at (Eunate), but in reverse. Legend tells that a special stonemason built the door at Eunate. He was very agitated because, in his absence, a giant with occult powers beat him to it and completed the stonemason work. The stonemason was also a wizard and was challenged to build another. In 3 days, with witches and magicians' assistance, he accomplished this incredible feat with an identical doorway inverted. The giant flew into anger when he saw the unique door and hit it with a magical spell and force sent flying to Olcoz.(St. Michael). I noticed the sun began to set as I listened to Emil speak about these legends; we would venture into the temple for the chanting and toning. Ancient Gregorian-style hymns echoed and penetrated the whole room; I was in awe even though I could not understand the message's language, but I could feel the effects in my body. Emil gave me a blessing just before we walked outside to the bright night of stars. We awoke early morning and would venture all the way into Santiago de Compostela, the capital of northwest Spain's Galicia.
Santiago is the grand finale of the pilgrimage route. It is also the burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James. We would treat ourselves and stay in a luxurious hotel in the center, the Hostal dos Reis Católicos. Andrea and I would spend a couple of days visiting the city, and while doing so, we decided to go a little further. The Camino Finisterre takes only an additional three to four days to the medieval "end of the world." As recorded in the Middle Ages, the people walked to that region for special spiritual and physical significance. We spoke with the local folk; they informed us that this place is the ancient trail that connected the pre-Christian origins of the Camino de Santiago. The goal of the Camino Finisterre is to reach the lighthouse. It is traditional to burn clothes, discard worn boots, shoes, and watch the sunset over the Atlantic coastline. Many boots and shoes were hanging off the radio tower on the point. We were excited to leave our shoes and enjoy delicious food along with the spectacular scenery concluding our trip to Spain. Andrea and I would enjoy our time on the coast and reflect on our magical journey before going to Greece to relax and take some much-needed rest time.