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More then a long walk...

2020 Camino Guides

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
I've always appreciated that both the forum and Camino are, for want of a better phrase, a broad church. This sites rules stress the inclusive and respectful nature of the Camino and I hope you read and respond with this in mind. I've started this thred to answer the question we are often asked about why we travel half way across the world to walk the Camino. Sometimes the question is asked with an implied (or stated) disapproving tone that as non Christians we treat the way as "any other walk". Nothing could be further from the truth.

True, as a pagan I find any walk out in the open country side to be an engaging and rewarding exercise, both physically and emotionally. Talk to any tramper, or long distance walker and you will find the love of what they do and where they go is much deeper then the footprints they leave behind. Scott and I chose to keep coming back to the different caminos in Spain because we found the history of the route and the contemplation nature of its long routes to be particularly strong. Likewise the forum provide a link and fellowship even when not on the way. I'll never forget an old German priest carefully explaining to a newbie on the road about the caminos origins with pre Christians walking westward under the Milky Way to the end of their known world. This resonated with me as I live on a island discovered by people who travelled across the largest ocean, guided by the stars, which is often depicted as falling off the edge of the map.

The Camino is much more then a long distance walk, it is a very special way of exploring how we think of ourselves and our place on the planet. I enjoy being able to talk with others who have experienced that to, even if sometimes comes out as a discussion over the merits of cold beer and facial hair.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Are you actually a pagan or an atheist? I believe pagans historically earned their nomenclature from Christians because they worshiped a divine entity that is not the God we recognise. For example, a spiritual being, the sun, a mountain, or a rusted old wheelbarrow in the backyard....

What you describe above is your own spirituality. I never understood a friend who tried a number of years ago to explain her spirituality to me and others. We all assumed and said that she must be referring to religious matters, but she demurred, saying it could be anything. I now finally understand what she meant. It might be religious, but could also be what you have said, or any number of other manifestations of a personal realisation of what place, purpose and role our own lives have in the world. And there is no doubt walking a camino will trigger these thoughts. For me? The history, the scenery, the countryside, the fresh air, the solitude, the companionship, respecting those who for a thousand years have trodden the path before me, the sense of purpose. And a respect for simplicity and humility.

As you may have discerned, I love walking the Camino!

If you happen to be walking the Camino Portuguese in September, perhaps we will meet and spend time singeing each others' beards over a cold beer!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Are you actually a pagan or an atheist? I believe pagans historically earned their nomenclature from Christians because they worshiped a divine entity that is not the God we recognise. For example, a spiritual being, the sun, a mountain, or a rusted old wheelbarrow in the backyard....
That's a good question, with a name like Hel I guess I was always destined to be a pagan, and yes pagan, heathen, idolator are all labels given at times to non Christians. And yes my trusty old wheelbarrow is put to good use in hauling compost in my rituals of enriching Mother Earth.
Scott was an atheist, neither one of us tended to discuss our beliefs, or lack of them, as its personal and sometimes hard for others to understand. As he used to say when the subject was raised, we'd rather keep our naked dancing in the orchard, under the moonlight where it would be most affective. Scott died early this year so you have missed your chance to view his magnificent beard, but please think of him when slurping beer on your next Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept 2017
That's a good question, with a name like Hel I guess I was always destined to be a pagan, and yes pagan, heathen, idolator are all labels given at times to non Christians. And yes my trusty old wheelbarrow is put to good use in hauling compost in my rituals of enriching Mother Earth.
Scott was an atheist, neither one of us tended to discuss our beliefs, or lack of them, as its personal and sometimes hard for others to understand. As he used to say when the subject was raised, we'd rather keep our naked dancing in the orchard, under the moonlight where it would be most affective. Scott died early this year so you have missed your chance to view his magnificent beard, but please think of him when slurping beer on your next Camino.
So sorry for your loss Hel. I'm with you and love that you have created this thread. Thank you. I just love my Mother so much and cant wait to be totally at one with her without the constant distractions of life as I know it. I will think of you and raise a glass to Scott at the first opportunity. Tonight...a Clare Valley Red. Xxx
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
It's a long walk with a purpose, walking where many have walked over centuries. Finally reaching Santiago and then Fisterra for me was the goal. A spiritual experience indeed.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
That's a good question, with a name like Hel I guess I was always destined to be a pagan, and yes pagan, heathen, idolator are all labels given at times to non Christians. And yes my trusty old wheelbarrow is put to good use in hauling compost in my rituals of enriching Mother Earth.
Scott was an atheist, neither one of us tended to discuss our beliefs, or lack of them, as its personal and sometimes hard for others to understand. As he used to say when the subject was raised, we'd rather keep our naked dancing in the orchard, under the moonlight where it would be most affective. Scott died early this year so you have missed your chance to view his magnificent beard, but please think of him when slurping beer on your next Camino.
So very sorry to hear of your loss.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Thanks, it is still very raw and while I can talk about him, I can't talk about what we went through. I also can't bring myself to take his name off our profile, sorry if this is confusing,
I understand. It's no problem to leave him there with you on your forum avatar. I'm sure it's very comforting for you and helps keep his memory alive.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Hel, sorry for your loss. May Scott's paths be ever into the sun.

Pagan, or the Latin root of pagan is in paganus, the villager / country dweller contrasted with urbanus, the citizen. This self-titled pagan has always had more respect for the old gods of forest and lake, rock and hill than the creations of the monotheists and their structures of government and control. And I firmly believe that here in Europe there was a 'pilgrimage' westward to the end of the 'world' and sundering sea long before Santiago brought his mortal remains to the Coast of the Dead.

There are a couple of old threads on here that contain some great discussion on the pre-historic / pagan roots of the camino. You might enjoy searching them out.
 

Chrisp

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: 2014
EPW: 2015
Portuguese Camino: 2016
TMB: 2016
Rota Vicentina: 2017
VF: 2018
That's a good question, with a name like Hel I guess I was always destined to be a pagan, and yes pagan, heathen, idolator are all labels given at times to non Christians. And yes my trusty old wheelbarrow is put to good use in hauling compost in my rituals of enriching Mother Earth.
Scott was an atheist, neither one of us tended to discuss our beliefs, or lack of them, as its personal and sometimes hard for others to understand. As he used to say when the subject was raised, we'd rather keep our naked dancing in the orchard, under the moonlight where it would be most affective. Scott died early this year so you have missed your chance to view his magnificent beard, but please think of him when slurping beer on your next Camino.
I am so sorry you lost your life partner Hel. I hope you get to do another Camino and enjoy it just as much as you remember his spirit alongside you.
 

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