How it Began
As part of a deep healing process and continuing exploration of the Divine Feminine energy, I was called to a pilgrimage in France in 2015. I walked approximately 500km, covering an area that is part of the Le Puy – Santiago Chemin de St. Jacques (GR 65).
That first pilgrimage was done alone and without a plan. Every day I woke up, walked and slept where I ended up. I had very little money and no proper hiking gear; when it got hot, I cut my pant legs off to make shorts and cut the sleeves off my shirts. Every morning I woke up filled with a joy I couldn’t contain, itching to get back out on the trail again. Every moment of every day was vibrating with possibility and bliss. I was constantly encouraged by my spiritual team to surrender more deeply to the experience, to regain a sense of trust in life I had long felt disconnected from.
Surrender is vital to the act of pilgrimage. Letting go of burdens (physical or otherwise; imagined or real) as you shift your focus to each step. All that exists is the journey, and every subsequent step reveals new wisdom. When I walk, I feel the joy of reconnection and integration, where awareness of my physical being as separate shifts into an awareness of consciousness as all that exists. When I walk, I know intuitively, how to resolve whatever challenge (I believe) I face. When I walk, I let go of expectations and accept whatever arises as an aspect of the perfect imperfection that defines this reality.
What lies on the journey will vary for each individual. What I found was a sense of freedom and immense joy that I had not yet felt in this lifetime. I remembered that pilgrimage is a metaphor for life. Every moment offered opportunities for growth, expansion and loving myself more. Every person I met gave me a gift: their presence on my journey. It reminded me of what is truly important – to slow down and listen to the rhythms of my heart and the land beneath my feet. To live the stories as they play out and then write new ones as each moment unfolds.
At the opening of 2018 (right on New Year’s Eve and Day), I felt a powerful heart’s ache to go to France and invite others to experience the joy of pilgrimage. When I think of walking, my spirit soars. I want to explore the world through my feet, my heart and my connection to this magical Earth. And I want others to know this bliss.
I reached out to a friend of mine who had experience running pilgrimage tours in Spain and Portugal. We put our creative heads together to come up with two trips for later in the year. As I become more familiar with the routes available, I will be creating others, both collaboratively and alone.
Several options I am considering for later: The Cathar Trail, via Tolosana towards Rome, The Southwest Coast Path (UK), Canterbury to Rome, and to finish the Le Puy route (from Cahors to Santiago). There are numerous other spots in France connected by GR walking trails that I will use to intuitively create specific trips.
Completed in 2018:
Mary Magdalene Pilgrimage: 19-30 September 2018.
An 11-day discovery of Mary Magdalene and the Divine Feminine primarily in the south of France.
Travel by train, bus and private coach to sacred sites including Chartres Cathedral, Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Carcassonne and Rennes-le-Château.
Via Tolosana (GR 653): Montpellier (Grabels) to Toulouse: 3-21 October 2018
An 18-day walking pilgrimage along part of the via Tolosana, one of France’s four main routes connecting pilgrims with Santiago. This one runs in both directions, from Rome to Santiago.
We will be walking approximately 350 km from Grabels (on the outskirts of Montpellier), crossing over the Pyrenees through Castres, and ending in Toulouse.
In the planning stages:
A portion of the GR-65 (via Podiensis) in France. Starting from Le Puy and passing through the plains of Aubrac, the Romanesque village of Conques, through Figeac, to take the Cele River variant to reach Cahors. Approx. 350 km walked over three weeks.
The Cathar Trail. A two-week, 250 km walk taking in the major Cathar castles and strongholds in the Languedoc region of France.
Please contact me if you’re interested in hearing updates on any of these trips.