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Please, I need some answers I cannot find anywhere else...


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I am new here. My husband and I couldn't walk the camino because of Cerebral Palsy and not wheelchaired. But I do have a question, as we have been trying to find this answer through massive amount of book and internet search to no avail. Can anyone give me a list, or partial list of the churches at each checkpoint along the Frances route?

This is more than just a "passing fancy" question, and there was a documentary that PBS had on Compestela back in 2000, (guy on bike did the Camino), but PBS and I could not find the documentary that laid out all the check-ins from Leon on...Can anyone help us with this information, and we can look for the pictures of the churches ourselves via Google, or something.

This may sound cheesy, but we found that the Comino had 22 pictures of the 22 Major Arcana's of the Tarot cards, somewhere in each stop. Which made us want to investigate this further.

As well as our on going interest in St. Francis's journey to Santiago...Again, if you can assist us, I would greatly appreciate it.

Humbly Yours,
Rev. Mary Miller
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The symbols of the ESoteric (not exoteric) Tarot are all around us; on the Camino as well as in the town of your residence. Where you look, you find them. They are archetypes, and are common. But as far as anything specifically representing the Major Arcana, I know of nothing.

Puente La Reina had a nice Pythagorean Cross . . .

Key 0 -I suppose some of the St. James statues really DO resemble The Fool, with his floppy cap, palo, and gourd over his shoulder.
Key 1 - The Magician? I found him! Read below.
Key 2 - Any Virgin Mary could be the High Priestess
Key 3 - Any Virgin with Child could be the Empress.
Key 4 - The Emperor could be any royalty who gave patronage along the Way
Key 5 - The Hierophant could be any pope.
Key 6 - The Lovers... Adam and Eve?
Key 7 - The Chariot? Well, yes, I saw men in Roman Chariots on the churches.
Key 8 - There were Leo symbols, so there you have Strength.
Key 9 - The Hermit... lots of Hermits along the way.
Key 10 - The Wheel.. well, I saw a waterwheel fountain outside of Itero de Vega
Key 11 - Justice could be any "scales" for Libra
Key 12 - The Hanged Man - Yes, there WAS a saint who was crucified upside down
Key 13 - Death - Morte - I saw many Morte symbols
Key 14 - Temperance - Lots of Angels on the Camino, but don't recall any with pitchers
Key 15 - The Devil - Yup.. he's there
Key 16 - The Tower - Well, there are towers, and some are destroyed
Key 17 - The Star - LOTS of stars
Key 18 - The Moon - Lots of moons
Key 19 - The Sun - LOTS of suns
Key 20 - JUDGEMENT - oh yeah.. judgement's there
Key 21 - The World (the Dancer) I didn't see her

Well.. on second thought, I guess the Major Arcana are all along The Way. ::grin::


William Marques

Staff member
Can anyone give me a list, or partial list of the churches at each checkpoint along the Frances route?

This is a question without an answer if you are expecting a continuity of churches that will lay out churches in a planned manner all built at the same time to produce a route. The route became established and in some towns there were a church or churches and many others were built over the last millennium. So yes there are photos of churches but no list of churches that means anything like the itineraries that were published for the pilgrim churches in Rome.

First look at the blog/photo album sites at the top of the Camino Frances Forum page here, another place to look for photos is the photos page of caminolinks
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David Gitlitz and Linda Davidson's "The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The complete Cultural Handbook," ISBN 0-312-25416-4 is likely the most complete list of anything about churches on the Camino. There are, quite literally, hundreds. Mediaeval villages often had 2 or 3, and towns a dozen or so. Another alternative, more time-consuming but fun, is to google (placename) iglesia.

Rebekah Scott

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Many, various, and continuing.
Can´t address this with anything like the encyclopedic approach of Annie, but I know there´s a lovely painting of Jewish-Christian-Moorish cooperation done inside the La Codorniz restaurant in Sahagun that´s taken straight off the Rider-Waite 3 of Pentacles! But that´s not a trump. So that´s no help. There are also some rather Tarot-like images painted in the meeting hall at the Casa Parrochial in Fuenterroble de Salvatierra, down on the Via de la Plata, but I doubt Don Blas would tolerate any overtly non-Christian stuff on his walls!

Way back when, I made a point of learning the iconography of many of the saints featured in camino-church retablos. I´ve been familiar with Tarot images for a long time as well, and if the major acana had been featured, especially in order, I think I may have noticed.

Still, it´s a fascinating idea, and I´ll keep my eyes open to it in the future. This is just the kind of arcane story that floats over this old road!

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Kowabunga! I just found The Magician Trump in Mimie's Photolog. If you go to the section between Palas de Rei and Ribidiso, there is a photo of a Christ who is in the position with one arm up and one arm down. I've never seen that before! Is that something new that the Church does?

Anyway, now I have to really watch next time I walk.

Deleted member 3000

Synchronicity. Yesterday I was watching the 1956 John Huston version of "Moby Dick" in which Queequeg, played by the German actor Friedrich Ledebur, predicts his death with chicken bones. If Tarot cards can be tied to saints, is there anything along The Way that could validate chicken bones as omens? I read somewhere (perhaps in even more synchronicity, Kerkeling, another German actor?) that there was one Catholic saint for each bone found in a chicken, and of course there is the reincarnated chicken at Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
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Hahaha! You just quack me up, Falcon... oh wait.. that's DUCK talk, not chicken talk.

I was actually not surprised about finding Tarot trump representations along the Way.
They do, as I said, represent archetypes which are everywhere around us.
But I have never heard the chicken bone/saint thing...
I learn something new every day!

And as far as things unbelievable, one only has to read the Bible to find those that some call symbolic and others take literally. The Jews following what appear to some to be a spaceship, Jonah living in the whale's belly for 3 days, and all of Jesus' miracles come to mind.

You either have faith or you don't. :D

Deleted member 3000

Playing cards including taro cards first appeared in the 15th century. Using tarot cards (probably of Italian origin) for soothsaying did not occur until the 18th century; they were just a card game before that. Any connection to early Camino art and symbols would be coincidence, and later connections would need to identify whether tarot inspired camino or vice versa.
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Thanks William. It really is a beautiful crucifix, isn't it?

Yes Falcon, that's the commonly stated history.
Truth is sometimes hidden in plain sight and some believe there's more to the story.
In any case, the images are archetypes and can be seen just about anywhere.
I certainly don't believe the artists along the Camino purposefully made Tarot images along the way.
Nor do I believe the Tarot was based on the Camino.
But it was sort of fun to try to find the cards.

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Then I will keep looking for universal truth in finding the alphabet on the license plates of passing cars. I knew there was a point to the game!

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Falcon, you are wonderful.
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