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Georgiana's Gems #5 Fisterra blues


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Pilgrimage is of all people, faiths, sferes and ages - for hunters, gatherers and smorgasbordians:

Fisterra -
Finisterre -
Finis terrae -
Finstern Stern -
The Dark Star -
Stella obscura -
Fisterra blues -

Present Georgiana's Gems:
- Georgiana's Gems #1 bees on miscellaneous-topics/topic4442.html
- Georgiana's Gems #2 Vézelay on miscellaneous-topics/topic4569.html
- Georgiana's Gems #3 the Magdalen - Mary Magdalen on miscellaneous-topics/topic4583.html
- Georgiana's Gems #4 Santiago's tau staff on pilgrim-books/topic4589.html
- Georgiana's Gems #5 Fisterra blues on pilgrim-books/topic4613.html
- Georgiana's Gems #6 Santiago as guide of dead souls on miscellaneous-topics/topic4662.html
- Georgiana's Gems #7 Lusitania (Portugal) and Lug on el-camino-portugues/topic4694.html
- Georgiana's Gems #8 more King books online on pilgrim-books/topic5466.html
- Georgiana's Gems #9 Iria Flavia on santiago-to-finisterre-and-muxia/topic5804.html

Future Georgiana's Gems may follow in on birds (doves), cypress, vista, faces, beards, Daniel, Ester, Judith, Sheba, Heavenly and Mortal Twins, axe and mallet, Paul, Nazarean, syncretism (111-294, 307, 308, 311, 313, 357, 367; law of, 307), heresy, Priscillian (I-59, III-334, 345; II-222, 237, III-237, 264, 316; III-624) and references to connected authors and books. Suggestions are welcome! Mind due: we're no experts in these fields so if you know better please enlighten us!
Reading The Way of Saint James by Ms Georgiana Goddard King (1920/2008) for the 3rd time makes a good opportunity to collect the gems she is giving us in such great numbers. The first time I read this classic I was fully overwhelmed by her poetic style and great authority; the second reading reveiled the details of the structure of this masterpiece and now I'm certainly very ready, most willing and hopefully able to feast on all these gems of epic writing in this book and share them with you. Any comments and suggestions are most welcome!

In this 5th Gem Fisterra blues we're closing in on the deaper historical, mystical and spiritual layers under the story of the pilgrimage to the end of the western world as it was known in the early years. As quoted in Georgiana's Gem #4 Santiago's tau staff: To the Romans as to the Celts, the Tierra de Santiago was the Land of the Dead. Enjoy some quotes of Ms King's rich prose here!
Cape Finisterre is also famous for its fascinating fading blue colours of sky and sea. Could anyone please donate a picture of these Fisterra blues! Thank you!

More Georgiana's Gems may follow on bees, birds (doves), souls, Fisterra, cypress, vista, faces, beards, Daniel, Ester, Judith, Sheba, Mortal Twin, chtonian powers, tau, axe and mallet, Paul, Nazareans, syncretism (111-294, 307, 308, 311, 313, 357, 367; law of, 307), heresies, Mithras, Priscillian (I-59, III-334, 345; II-222, 237, III-237, 264, 316; III-624) and references to connected authors and books. Suggestions are welcome! Mind due: we're no experts in these fields so if you know better please enlighten us! Ms King does not mention: lizard, Beda, Queimada, Holy Company. [highlighting -gb]

The Way of Saint James contains FOUR BOOKS in 3 Volumes:
Volume I: BOOK ONE: THE PILGRIMAGE: chapters I – V: pp 1-134
Volume I: BOOK TWO: THE WAY: chapters I – VIII: 135-463
Volume II: BOOK TWO: THE WAY: chapters IX – XVI: 1-514
Volume III: BOOK THREE: THE BOURNE: chapters I – VII: 1-370
Volume III: BOOK FOUR: HOMEWARD: chapters I – III: 371-710

NB: It may be very confusing that
BOOK TWO: THE WAY is divided over
Volume I chapters I – VIII and
Volume II chapters IX – XVI.
So pp 135-463 occur twice in BOOK TWO!

Volume I: BOOK ONE: THE PILGRIMAGE: chapters I – V: pp 1-134

Then longen folk to gon on pilgrimages
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes
To ferve halwes couthe in sondry londes.

[95] The precise date fixed by a Pastoral of the Archbishop of Santiago, in 898, for the Invention of the Relics, is 813. "Charlemagne," says the Gallegan version of Turpin's Chronicle,2 "went on a pilgrimage to the Monument of S. James, and thence to Padrón. And he flung his lance into the sea "at Finisterre--Paul the Deacon has the same story of a Lombard Duke at Reggio,3 "and said that thence man could not further go. And the Gallegans, that were all turned to belief in God by the preaching of S. James [96] and his two disciples, and that had turned afte wards to the sect of the Moors, were baptized by the hands of Archbishop Turpin: and those who would not be baptized he put to the sword, or into the power of the christened. And this time the king conquered Spain from sea to sea," a profitable pilgrimage, not to be matched in times less fabulous. [96]

Volume III: BOOK THREE: THE BOURNE: chapters I – VII: 1-370
The Church of a Dream 163
As Pilgrims Pass 173
Castle and Church 181
Los Muertos Mandan 196

[181] Castle and Church.
[184] Then they got up and went into church barefoot: the priest showed them everything, including the axe of S. James's martyrdom, and they left a trophy of arms, apparently as an offering, and not without a dash of vanity. In a chapel where hung the armour of the Lords and Commanders now long dead, "the Lord and his suite likewise left theirs," says Tetzel.2
Another traveller says: "So I took leave, hanging up my arms in the cathedral church where there were many. I had done the like already in the chapel at Finisterre." 3 The Great Captain is said to have made the same offering when he came in pilgrimage to Santiago after taking Naples, and gave other rich ornaments and jewels, and a rich lamp which he endowed magnificently that it should burn night and day.4
[185] Tetzel makes a longer story of the adventure, feeling quorum pars fui: he had been sent ahead with one Frodner, who found that the Baron besieging had just [Tetzel's story] been wounded with an arrow in the throat,1 and who made a plaster to draw the arrow out. Notwithstanding, when the party came back from Finisterre to Padrón, they heard that the Baron had died and the enraged mob had dragged the Archbishop before the church and cut his head off there. This, however, was inexact, for Archbishop Fonseca died in his bed, later. [185]

[207] The Pelegrino curioso apparently saw such another at La Barca on the Ría de Camariñas, of which he tells that it had been sunk, in the same way, for the same reason: he says also that S. James sailed over sea in it. For parallel to this we [The sea-faring adventure] need not look so far as the Isle of Penguins, for there is the journey of S. Cuthbert down the river to Durham.
Erich Lassota confirms him3 (1580); he calls it the Barca de S. Yago, and says that Nuestra Señora's bark is at the bottom of the sea, though her statue is at Manxia (Mountjoy). On the road to Finisterre the Bohemians saw this, beside the way a ship with cables, hull and other tackle, all of stone, and were told that this ship transported God and his Mother, who disembarked there, and climbed the hill, and founded a chapel for the Virgin.4 The compiler of the Cancionero popular gallego5 has a store of pretty songs about this Virgin that came from over sea:

Ai! miña Virxe d'a Barca,
ai, miña Virxe, valeime [208]
qui estou n-o medio d'o mar
sin ter barqueiro que reme.

[209] Sebastian Ilsung, who had made the journey in 1446, records: "The cape of Finisterre is two miles high, surrounded and beaten upon by the sea; there are the footmarks [Footsteps of Buddha in Ceylon] of our Lord S. James and a well that he made himself with his own hands [there is one in the hillside above Padrón, and one just before you get to Santiago, besides]; also a sort of chair in which sat S. Peter and S. James and S. John." He was a shrewd man, with a sound estima-[2IO]tion of political and social matters, not uncourtly, and though he could bolt marvels as a dog bolts sandwiches, he had the sense of awe. Of all the travellers whom I have read, he alone feels in Santiago how venerable, how immemorial is the sanctuary, and here, again, he shrivels under the brow of the towering cape:

The cape of Finisterre is two days' [The Cape] journey from Santiago [he goes on hurriedly], on horseback, on the worst road that I remember in my life. My servant fell sick, and I had to leave him behind. The second day I lost the road and went above and below by the coast, without knowing where I was, till God and S. James came to my help and I got to a village where I was very hungry because there was nothing to eat. There they told me the road to Finisterre. . . .
I had a letter from the Archbishop to the Prior, who took me in. Otherwise I must have slept in the street.8

In a different temper the Friar Buonafede de Vanli went to Nuestra Señora and [THE BOURNE 211] copied out, with authenticating licenses, and the like, all of her miracles. He also visited Finisterre, and between the two places, S. Julian de Moraime. "On the twentieth, by a hard road, up a hill, accompanied by the said Giuseppe Martínez in whose house I slept, I came to S. Julián de Moraime, which belongs to the Padri Cassinensi [i. e. Benedictines]. It is a place of no rarity. I drank the chocolate the Prior gave me."
Bartolome Villalbay, the Pelegrino curioso, gleamed and fluttered all about like a heath-butterfly. He went to the Monastery of Noya, and picked up there two pilgrims with whom he shared sausages, cheese, and fruit; the place where they sat was full of mountain-pinks. They held witty talk, and they talked also of places that they hoped, or that they could not lope, to see: "the insigne city of Orense," Celanova, and S. Esteban de Ribas de Sil. [Yo has encontrado el camino …]
In Santiago he called on the Abbess of S. Clare's, a very great lady, and he wrote some pious poetry for her; and called on other nuns, and had a monstrous fine time. [212]
The hospital he praised as well furnished and administered--this is the great foundation of Ferdinand and Isabel,--and found the wards all whitewashed.

[218] A Dove: for S. Basilisa? On the eighteenth-century retable, within, S. Julian figures, with a dove on his shoulder, in wig and steenkirk, wide skirts and huge cuffs, like a gentleman out of The Spectator.
The only imitation of Santiago, apart from the portal, is a bit of arcading attempted in the north wall of the north aisle, two pointed arches under a round one, like the pattern of a triforium.l2 Both Corcubión and Finisterre have good churches, of the square-apse, towered type, but they owe nothing to Santiago.
On the Cape--the folk there speak of El Cabo as we of the North Cape and that [or indeed Cape Cod] of Good Hope--I found grey rock, and drenched heather, and a choking fog.
"Más allá no hay más que las aguas del mar, cuyo término nadie más que Dios conoce." We could not see the headland even that we stood upon, nor hear the call of the Atlantic: the green underfoot went up into the blinding white; the grey overside came invisibly out of the creeping white. At the extreme end of Europe, as we leaned and strained, we could see one [THE BOURNE 219] wave that lap-lapped on the rocks below, but not the ones behind, that always urged it. It was rather like magic to have gone to the end of the world and found nothing there[At the end of the world, nothing]: one had always known it, without admitting. A tag of Gaelic, picked up nothing somewhere, went lap-lapping in my brain:

Mar a bha as it was
mar a tha as it is
mar a bhitheas as it shall be
gu brath ever more
ri tràg adh with the ebb
's ri horiath with the flow

The noble Slav found there a history 13 that still calls to one out of the mist, like the sound ot people talking when in the fog a fishing boat slips by:

It is written in the annals of history, the tale begins, that a King of Portugal had three ships built, provisioned with all needful, including twelve scriveners in each with writing material to last them four years, to the end that they should sail so far as they might in that time, and very ship's scriveners were to write all [220] the regions they reached and all that befell them in the sea. After they had sailed two years they came to a great mist that took two weeks to cross, and when they emerged they came to an island. They went on shore, and found subterranean houses full of gold and silver, but they touched nothing. Above the houses were gardens and vines. They sailed on [As Bran and Brenden sailed], and saw waves mountain high, that went up to the clouds, and they were sore afraid, as if the Judgement Day had come. They discussed, and agreed that two ships should go on, and the third one wait a fortnight: this ship waited sixteen days but none came back. Then full of terror they turned back toward Lisbon: when they entered the port the townsfolk came and asked them who they were; when they said "We are those whom the king sent to explore the confines of the sea, that we should write the marvels we saw," the others answered: "We know those men, and they were not such as you, not worn, not hoary, but youngsters of twenty-six years." Indeed their own kin did not know them, for they were white as trees in hoar frost.


The stars are threshed,
and the souls are threshed
from their husks.--Blake.

[221]The Dark Star, a phrase applied more than once by mediaeval travellers to the granite land that lies at the End of the World, it is usual to treat as a mere corruption of the name of Finisterre, due to the stupidity of German tourists. But Gabriel Tetzel, who accompanied the Knight of Rozmital, is perfectly explicit, they found the name and did not invent it. "Vor Sant Jacob," he writes in his barbarous dialect, "ritt wir an den Finstern Stern[The Dark Star], als es dann die Bauren nennen es heisst aber Finis terrae."1 Nothing could be more exact. Nicholas of Poppelau quotes a phrase rather like Wagner's in Tristan, [222] that makes it the shadowy land.2 A son of the land, the husband of a folk-poetess, Sr. Murguía, to whose intimate knowledge and faithful record not this book only but many another more learned owes so much, takes the name as familiar and explains it partly by reference to the land of the dead, partly "porque brillaba en occidente, vertiendo sus pálidos resplandores sobre las aguas misteriosas en que concluía el mundo, y de donde las barcas que abandonan las tenebrosas orillas, jamás tornaban a la ribera."
There, far in the west, the most ancient people, the most ancient faiths, retreating slowly, lingered: and thither came, carried by the pilgrims, all that the rest of the world had come to think and feel.
The degree to which, in the centuries past, the land of Galicia was saturated with what the eighteenth century classed all together in one lump as superstition, may be measured, though inadequately, by the quantity which has survived.[Folk-Customs] It is not in Galicia alone that survivals are met: we found the baskets for bread and candles on [THE BOURNE 223] the church floor, at Monreal, and the hacheras which these explain, throughout León; we found the Gardens of Adonis withering at Corullón. About the Cape of Finisterre the souls still flutter and cry like seabirds.
On the authority of Sr. Murguía, the Condesa Pardo Bazán, and the Gallegan Folk-lore Society, we may consider as still active two or three very ancient elements: in the first place, the relations still maintained with the spirits of vegetation, and the natural magic intended to control the principle of fertility; secondly, some practices connected with death, the intercourse with ghosts and revenants and with other spirits;
[i. Fertility charm - 2. Ghosts - 3. Theland of the dead] lastly, such vestiges as may be traced of very ancient beliefs that touch the whence and whither: and thereafter may perceive the part which these elements had in the cult of the Son of Thunder.
The night of the 29th of April is May-eve, the "Vispora do mes d'os Mayos." Then on the hills about Master Matthew's bridge, above Padrón, fires are kindled, and the peasants run about waving lighted [224] brands, and singing an old spell which shall make " the ears of the green corn fill ":

Alumea, pay,
Cada grao, seu toledan!
Alumea, fillo,
Cada espiga, seu pan trigo!
Alumea ô liño
Cada freba, seu cerriño!3

On that same night, at S. Maria de Róo, near Noya, a great bonfire is built and kindled in silence, [May-eve] but when it blazes high, the whole people join hands and dance around it, all night long, women, children, men, without an instant of intermission till dawn whitens. This is their song:

Lume, lume!
Vé ô pan
Dios che dé
Moito gran.
Cada gran, com' un bogallo,
Cada pé, com' un carballo.4

These two, Sr. Murguia published in his volume Espana sus monumentos y artes. The Spanish Folk-lore Society publishes [THE BOURNE 225] amongst other odd spells, one to secure the safe delivery by a cow of her first calf: give her to eat ears of Indian corn with baby ears around, that is to say, little ears around the principal one.5 What was manifestly a spell to secure a good crop, the present writer saw, near Padrón in 1915, at the end of July, when corn was in tassel. On a wayside crucifix hung a yellowed ear of ripe corn, half husked, not weather-worn but rich and full. The maize which is, with tall cabbage, the staple of Galicia, is preserved in corner ibs on stone legs, well built, well roofed; and at one gable end rises a [Phallic emblem] stone cross, at the other, the phallic symbol in pyramid or console form.
Through the streets of Santiago and Corunna still goes the figure of May, dressed in young boughs like a Jack-in-the-Green, crowned with flowers, surrounded by young children who dance and beg for offerings, while May contents himself with bowing low in time to the cadence:

Cantarán o Mayo
e mais ben cantado. [226]

Then the children begin:

Ángueles somos,
del cielo venimos
bulsa traemos
dinero pedimos.

Déano-las mayas
Señora Maria;
déano-las mayas
qu'están bailando n-a criba.6

After this the song breaks into comedy, rehearsing the streets through which the procession passes, and enumerating the gifts of nun and soldier, lady and caballero. [226]

[245] The Long Way.
Deh, peregrini, che pensosi
forse di cosa che non v'e
venite voi da si lontana
gente?. . . .

The pilgrims, perhaps from the very first, had a vague notion how long was the way to go. In the portico of Santiago, to explain one sculptural motive, I invoked the Vision of Tundall. Now the author of that was one Brother Marcus, an Irish monk [Tundall's Vision] who wrote it in Ratisbon about 1148. The date gives time for pilgrims to bring the book to Santiago, for the Irish convent of S. James in Ratisbon was a great one and, as the Schottenkirche, is known to tourists still, if even we do not suppose that the story came straight from Ireland by the way of commerce. But Spanish and Irish authorities lay some stress on the relation between these regions; the Knight of Rozmital believed that on a fine day, he had seen Ireland from the coast of Spain. What he did see [246] was Atlantis, for it lay about where he looked.
The grey-eyed girls, the dirty, pretty, saucy children, the pigs that live in intimacy with their owners: -- a Gallegan proverb says, "I a lady, you a lady, who will drive the pig outdoors?"-- all these have suggested to casual travellers a possible kinship, if not colonization, between the west of Spain and the west of Ireland. The drift of folk-lore, of tale and use, however, set elsewhere; on the continent, towards Armorica, and in the islands toward the isles of the north. Striking correspondence may be found, notwithstanding, between the lore of Asturias and Galicia, and that of the Hebrides [Beyond the stormy Hebrides] and the Highlands, between Finisterre and Ultima Thule. The strangest figures of the so-called Fiona Macleod, the Sin-Eater, and the Washers of the Ford, are familiar in pain under the protection of Señora Pardo Bazán and D. José Menéndez Pidal.
"I doubt if any now living," writes the Gaelic poetess, "either in the Hebrides or in Ireland has heard even a fragmentary [THE BOURNE 247] legend of the Washer of the Ford. The name survives, with its atmosphere of a remote past, its dim ancestral memory of a shadowy figure of awe haunting a shadowy stream in a shadowy land." But in the Biblioteca del Folk-lore among notes taken down from the talk of a girl of Proaza ir Asturias, is the following:

In all Asturias there are Xanas, who are kings' daughters and live enchanted in the springs. On Midsummer night before dawn, they wash their [The Washers of the Ford]clothes and spread them in the dew. Those who get up early enough can see them lying on the grass. They are thin as though no hand had touched them, and white like snow.I

As in dreams one is always coming somewhere and never arrives, one gets to the next-but-one corner, one hears the voices and smells the flowers, and then one is out of reach again, so in following these "clues" of folk-tale, one is always coming in sight of the place where Galicia shall be named roundly as the land of the dead, or the [248] western Paradise, or the Paradise of Souls, and then, instead, all is away again. The Gallegan's notion of earth, his earth, become another Eden; Aymery Picaud's insistence on a fair Paradise, fountain-watered, beside the bourne, though his own wits testified to a paved square and sellers of trinkets and notions; Thurkill's impression that the resting place of the blessed dead was upon the Calzada and within the Basilica; that carving of souls in a green [The green and grassy track] Paradise, above the north-western door, all may stand as evidence, fragmentary, indeed, but indubitable, that the pilgrimage of the centuries was the pilgrimage of the soul. Stella obscura rules the ascendant, the long journey of the soul is known, and is prepared for. On the estuaries and among the Atlantic rocks of the extreme North-west, the dead is dressed decently for his journey [The pilgrimage of the soul], all the village if necessary contributing, and the clothes are washed and ironed and mended, though they must have neither pins nor hooks to catch and hold the soul at setting out.2
That from very early times S. James was [THE BOURNE 249] a chthonian power, there is another bit of evidence, likewise fragmentary but sufficient. Already Aymery Picaud stated, it will be remembered, in his guide book for pilgrims, how on the southern front of the great church the Apostle stood on the right hand of Christ between two cypress trees.
Now the cypress belongs to the dead and [Ut cupressus in montem Sion] appears in an Orphic guide book for the pilgrimage of the Soul after death. On the leaves of gold inscribed with direction to the Alma peregrina, that have been found in southern Italy, a white cypress stands beside the House of the Lord of the Dead:

Thou shalt find to the left of the House
of Hades a Well-spring,
And by the side thereof standing a
white cypress.
To this Well-spring approach not

And the tablets from Crete tell the same story :

I am parched with thirst and I perish.
Nay, drink of Me, [250]
The Well-spring flowing forever on the
right, where the Cypress is.

[The Cypress Tree] The cypress trees are wound about with the vine, by reason of a passage in the Apocryphal Acts of S. Matthew:--4

For behold, I shall plant this rod in this place, and it shall be a sign to your generations, and it shall become a tree, great and lofty and flourishing,--and its fruit beautiful to the view and good to the sight; and the fragrance of perfumes shall come forth from it, and there shall be a vine twining round it, full of clusters.
and from the top of it honey coming down, and every flying creature shall find covert in its branches ; and a fountain of water shall come forth from the roots of it, having swimming and creeping things, giving drink to all the country round about.[250]

[253] The Singing Souls.
[273] Procopius tells the same story of the fisherman, and I extract the account, like others before me, from an admirable version:

I have read, [says Scott's figure, preluding the passage,] in the volumes of the learned Procopius, that the people [274] separately called Normans and Angles are in truth the same race, and that Normandy, sometimes so called, is in fact a part of a district of Gaul. Beyond, and nearly opposite, but separated by an arm of the sea, lies a ghastly region, on which clouds and tempest for ever rest, and which is well known to its continental neighbours as the abode to which departed spirits are sent after this life. ["Going West"]
On one side of the strait dwell a few fishermen, men possessed of a strange charter, and enjoying singular privileges, in consideration of their being the living ferrymen who, performing the office of the heathen Charon, carry the spirits of the departed to the island which is their residence after death. At the dead of night, these fishermen are, in rotation, summoned to perform the duty by which they seem to hold the permission to reside on this strange coast. A knock is heard at the door of his cottage who holds the turn of this singular service, sounded by no mortal hand. A whispering, as of a decaying breeze, summons the ferryman to his duty. He hastens to his bark on the seashore, and has no sooner [THE BOURNE 275] launched it than he perceives its hull sink sensibly into the water, so as to express the weight of the dead with whom it is filled. No form is seen, and though voices are heard, yet the accents are undistinguishable, as of one who speaks in his sleep. Thus he traverses the strait between the continent and the island, impressed with the mysterious awe which affects the living when they are conscious of the presence of the dead.
They arrive upon the opposite coast, where the cliffs of white chalk form a strange contrast with the eternal dark-[Blind as the fool's heart . . .]ness of the atmosphere. They stop at a landing-place appointed, but he disembarks not, for the land is never trodden by earthly feet. Here the passage-boat is gradually lightened of its unearthly inmates, who wander forth in the way appointed to them, while the mariner slowly returns to his own side of the strait having performed for the time this singular service, by which these ferrymen hold their fishing-huts and their possessions on that strange coast.27

275 Sr. Murguía will have it that S. James limself, Apostolus peregrinus, was involved [276] in an adventure rather like the Voyages of Bran and Maelduin, and cites in evidence a relief at Caldas de Reyes, where the bark of S. James is guided by a figure half-girl, half-swan.28 Caldas de Reyes is full of Roman remains and folk-lore; it figures also in the Miracles of Our Lady collected by el Rey Sabio,29 it was, in short, a seat of dreams. [A House of Dreams] Furthermore, at Mugía, near Finisterre, where in 1446 was shown the bark in which Christ and his Mother came over-sea, you have the real Irish sea-faring adventure.
The situation stands, then, thus: that there was an actual pilgrimage made by historical figures and plain people, extending over many centuries, we admit freely. But notwithstanding, all popular (as distinguished from courtly or scholarly) accounts of the journey which have survived, are made out of well-known elements of literature and folk-lore: the Bridge of Dread, the Passage Perilous, the Pit of Hell, the crowded ferry, the Paradise at the journey's end, the fresh and perennial fountain, the singing at the Canonical [THE BOURNE 277] Hours, the souls in trees, the voyage oversea. Nay more, the present writer, if the reader will recall, rode up to the bridge and could not cross (for it was broken down) and had to be ferried over, as Lancelot very nearly came to be ; and thereafter, the next day, crossed Whinny Moor in that mist which is the souls of the dead, pressing close about, as Breton fishers know.3 [Souls in the fog] [278]VII THE ASIAN GOD]

Volume III: BOOK FOUR: HOMEWARD: chapters I – III: 371-710
The Chantier 379
Excursus on Some Twelfth Century Sculpture 386
Workmen of S. James 396
Sorting 407
Ronceveau 449
Envoy 453

Volume III: BOOK FOUR: HOMEWARD: chapters I – III: 371-710
[449](...) The precise place of the battle, the prob-[450]able path of the main army and the rear-guard, have all been discussed so learnedly, and with such knowledge of the ground, that they need not here be touched.2 The grass is very green in the wide field, and in the narrow defile the rocks stand up dark in the drifting mist, [In a mist] and the trees drip, softly shrouded in the pale vapour, and the brooks roar down invisible or, when the cloud lifts, hang like a white skein against the opposite green. As at Finisterre, so here the souls of the dead were all about us, pressing close, calling, in the murmur of the living forest, in the hush of the rocky spur, calling so desperately it seemed they must make a sound. The white mist closed round on us, wrapped us about, came in between each and other. The echo of Roland's horn is in our ears: high are the mountains and dark are the rocks: and there follows a mist and a weeping rain.
The souls of that bitter defeat are there yet.
Roland, when all was lost, had turned and crossed the field alone; he had searched the valleys, and he searched the mountains and found his comrades one by one, and the [HOMEWARD 451] Chanson names them; and he brought them, dead, for Turpin's benediction; "God the glorious have your souls," says Turpin, "and put them in a fair paradise of flowers." His own death hurt him sore, that he should not ever again see the Emperor.
Roland turned and crossed the field, he searched and found his comrade Oliver [After the battle] under a pine, beside an eglantine; he held him fast embraced. Turpin absolved him and blessed him--and the dule, the pity of it! Then Roland, seeing his peers dead, all the fair company of the knights of Christ, and Oliver whom he loved so well, wept and his face was changed, and will he or no, he was senseless. Said the Archbishop, "O Baron, the pity of it!" Then Turpin held up his fair hands to God and prayed for Paradise to be granted, and he died all alone: he had been a good knight, by deed and by speech: God give him benediction! So Roland knew that death was very near: the mountains were high, the trees were very high, he could not see well, but four steps of marble shone in the grass and he got to them. There against a cross, [452] under a pine, lay the Count Roland, he turned his face to Spain, he began to remember many things. [The death of Roland] He thought of all the lands the barons had conquered, of sweet France, of the men of his own line, his father and his father, of Charlemagne, his lord, who had bred him up; and he could not stir but the tears came and the sighs. And he would not forget. He made his penitence, he prayed God's mercy: "God of truth, and not a liar, who brought back Lazarus from the dead, and saved Daniel from the lions, guard my soul from what lies in wait for the sins I did in my life." He proffered to God his right-hand glove, S. Gabriel took it from his hand.
Then he bowed his head on his arm, folded his hands and met his end. God sent his angel Cherubin, and S. Michael of the Peril, and with them both came S. Gabriel. The Count's soul they carried to Paradise.
So Roland is dead--God keep his soul in Heaven and Charlemagne is come to Roncevaux. But the good knights are all dead, the fair company of the White Horse-[HOMEWARD 453]men, knights of Christ, and the old man cried and plucked at his fair white beard.
The splendour of Roncevaux is the splendour of a losing fight, the glory that shines [Candor est lucis aeternae] on that field is the glory of martyrdom.
Not today can we bear to speak of France, and of loss together. Charlemagne, like Frederick II and like Santiago, still sits in his tomb, crowned, armed, robed, and sword-girt, ready to come forth in the hour of France's need.

All Souls' Day, 1917.

[453] Envoy.

[677] INDEX
Finisterre, 1-95, III-185, 207, 209, 210, 218, 221; Cape, III-2i8, 450



Now read all 4 Books in all 3 Volumes on the internet:

Go to the Flip Book for easy reading and/or the TXT version for quick browsing: ... 01kinguoft - Volume I ... 02kinguoft - Volume II ... 03kinguoft - Volume III
or go straight to the flip book versions for easy reading: ... 01kinguoft - Volume I ... 02kinguoft - Volume II ... 03kinguoft - Volume III
or go straight to the full text versions for quick browsing: ... t_djvu.txt - Volume I ... t_djvu.txt - Volume II ... t_djvu.txt - Volume III
or get the 2008 reprint of TwoSJ via

- Georgiana's Gems #1 bees on ... tml#p24734
- Georgiana's Gems #2 Vézelay on ... c4569.html
- Georgiana's Gems #3 the Magdalen - Mary Magdalen on ... tml#p25540
- Georgiana's Gems #4 Santiago's tau staff on ... tml#p25560
- Exclusive! - interview #1 on The Way of Saint James by Georgiana Goddard King on pilgrim-books/topic4462.html with Mr Gary White, the publisher of the 2008 reprint
- Exclusive! - interview #2 on Pilgrimage To Heresy on ... c4515.html with Ms Tracy Saunders writer of Pilgrimage To Heresy, Don't Believe Everything They Tell You; A Novel of the Camino : 5. What is happening at Cabo Fisterra?
- New! King's companions #1 George Edmund Street on ... c4519.html
- Re: The Santiago Enigma on ... tml#p20698 :
- Volume III: BOOK FOUR: HOMEWARD: chapters I – III: 371-710
chapter VII THE ASIAN GOD 278
- The Mortal Twin 334-346: Ms King: (…)
Taking for a moment East and West together, the case may be stated about as follows:
Thomas was a twin, Didymus; but [--as Rendel Harris shows--] Thomas = Jude, and also Thomas = Thaddaeus (Addai)
Simon + Jude are a pair
James is brother of the Lord; but there are two Jameses
James Major = James Minor and Philip + James are a pair
These all are twins and all are interchangeable.
Philip = Adad at Hierapolis, but
Philip + James Minor = James Major
.*. James Major = Adad, especially at Heliopolis. (…)
- Volume III: BOOK FOUR: HOMEWARD: chapters I – III: 371-710
chapter VII THE ASIAN GOD 278
- Along the Eastern Road 487: Ms King: (…) The case is this :
(i) Stones were worshipped in protohistoric Spain, and the drawing of Santiago's pillar is identically like those on Minoan gems. A Pillar was associated with S. James, and worshipped at Saragossa, and at Compostella.
(2) The Jinete is to be identified with Castor, and S. James involved, as warrior and as twin, wherever he was worshipped.
(3) The High God of Compostella: he is a storm god, a sky god, and a sun god. His Mate is the Lady of the Doves, Dea Ataecina.
(4) S. James is psychopompos and patron of wayfarers, succeeding the Celtic Esus-Mercury, and Mithras. He is a chthonian power.
(5) The type of Serapis and the epithet Soter were given to him.
(6) The relation of Mother and Son at Compostella must be connected with the Lusitanian inscriptions to the Mother of the gods.
(7) He is a vegetation-god, and rainmaker: a bull-god.
(8) He is the twin of Christ. [489]
(9) This combination, in the High God of Compostella, of sun god, fertility god, and war god, made easy this identification with the greatest of the Syrian Baals, the Zeus of Heliopolis.
(10) The later empire and Middle Age knew all about Heliopolis from Lucian and Macrobius and also from travellers, John of Antioch, Michael the Syrian and Benjamin of Tudela, all writing in the twelfth century, and all describing what was there.
(il) Syrian architects left their mark in Europe.
(12) It is most probable that the stair at the west end of Santiago and Notre Dame du Puy, is fetched from Syria. (…)
- See on What is Pilgrimage? The Origins of the Terms 'Pilgrim' and 'Pilgrimage'
- on Santa Compaña, Santa Companha or Holy Company, is probably one of the most deep-rooted mythical beliefs in rural Galicia, and also in Asturias, where it is called Güestia.
- : Santiago de Compostela is a major site of Christian pilgrimage, and said in Christian tradition to originate as the burial place of Saint James the Great; pilgrims traditionally follow the Way of St. James until they reach the Cathedral, but then, having visited the church, continue to Cape Finisterre. The continuation to Cape Finisterre is regarded by historians as unjustifiable for Christian reasons, but Finisterre has a prominent pre-Christian significance, it was considered to literally be the edge of the world (hence the name finisterre, meaning end of the world), due to it seeming to be the westernmost point of Europe (in reality, even though it juts out to the west, the more subtle Cabo da Roca holds the honour). In pre-Christian times, the souls of the dead were believed to trace their way across all Europe to Finisterre and follow the sun across the sea, and their route, the Santa Compaña, became a significant pilgrimage throughout south western Europe. Santiago de Compostela itself was held to be the place where the dead gathered together, and where their paths finally all joined together for the final stretch of the journey; one possible etymology of Compostela is burial ground, suggesting that even the name derives from the pre-Christian belief. To historians, the church was put in place to divert the pilgrims to Christianity, rather than the pilgrimage coming after the church.
- (2nd part)
for the INDEX of TWoSJ and Ms King's Forword
- my English homepage
- my Dutch homepage



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Re: Georgiana's Gems -5- Fisterra blues

I waited to see if you would get any replies to this very looooooong post, but as there haven't been I thought I would make a response.

Georgiana King was a rational, down to earth, academic exoteric.
Thomas Walsh, a New York Times book reviewer, wrote a review of "The Way to Santiago" in March
1921, ending his review with these words.

It is a pity that Mrs King has not devoted some space to the peculiarities of the rituals at Compostela.: she is so little patient with the legendary beliefs of others that we may be excused from taking her own lucubration on the Mithraic character of Santiago with a due allowance of salt. Her "Way of St James" makes a very useful guidebook for the actual traveler; her studies in architecture are well informed; it is a real pity that a subject so magically ecclesiastical should have been developed in so rational a manner.

(* Mithraism is the ancient Roman mystery cult of the god Mithras (Mitra). Mitra is part of the Hindu pantheon, and Mithra is one of several yazatas (minor deities) under Ahura-Mazda in the Zoroastrian pantheon. Mithra is the god of the airy light between heaven and earth, but he is also associated with the light of the sun and was considered the opponent of darkness and evil)


Active Member
sillydoll wrote:Thomas Walsh, a New York Times book reviewer, wrote a review of "The Way to Santiago" in March 1921, ending his review with these words.
Just found it surfing TNYT: ... 946095D6CF
Nice reading! What a beautiful language! I like his last sentences before the ones you quoted too:
Miss King goes over the road with the zeal, if not the faith, of the ancient estatics whose bones are lying in the countless cemeteries far and near adown the roads of France and Spain. She has much to say of the architecture of the shrines and cities that once harbored the throngs that came on foot, and she gives many touches that light up the pictures of gallant old days when men's hearts were younger and freer than they seem today. Her work sketches out a new and interesting itinerary for the serious-minded traveler; she neglects no detail that will be useful to any aspirant for the cockleshell of the future.
Has anyone seen more old or new reviews on the reprint? Thank you!

More reactions: I got a mail on GG5 with a question on a possible (?) connection between James Minor, the Green Man and Jack-in-the-Green; did you ever hear about it? Brassa! Geert


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