Trabadelo, O’Cebreiro, Galicia

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Trabadelo:

Keynote: Truth
Finding the courage to acknowledge and let our old patterns go, even as we are unsure of what our lives will look like without them.

Trabadelo was a small cluster of buildings along a winding river right at the base of the last mountain range that we would traverse before the end of the trail. A few nights before, we met a man in his late twenties from Tasmania who had walked around the world on his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. He had started nearly two years ago and had walked up through South and Central America into the States and Canada. He then flew to Russia and walked all the way across Asia and Europe to Spain. He planned to end at Fisterra where my friends and I planned to finish. Having now walked several hundred miles ourselves, we were in awe of his seventeen thousand mile journey. He was an interesting character, reminding me of a charismatic person I had known in my life before the Camino. I was drawn to getting to know him even as he gave me very mixed signals. This pilgrim gave me a great gift. He revealed to me a relationship pattern that had left me lonely. He helped me to see how I could choose more accessible people to be part of my life. As a familiar relationship paradigm played out at lightning speed, I realized I was not bound to continue a pattern that had not worked for me in the past. When this pilgrim woke me at 4 am to tell me he was walking ahead of our group and would not be stopping where our group was stopping, I said goodbye. Though it was tough, I allowed myself the chance for the first time to not follow this pattern. It took days to find peace with my choice, but the land and Flowers along this stretch gave me the courage to listen to my newly minted wisdom.

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O’Cebreiro:
Keynote: Strength
Accessing the strength to keep moving forward and leave behind the people and places in your life that you have loved yet know are not part of your onward growth as a soul.

On the top slopes of the entrance into the region of Galicia lies O’Cebreiro, a small town tucked in the clouds. It was a place that I stopped at for only a brief moment before moving on down into the valley beyond. The group I was traveling with had swelled to twelve, but suddenly the group was breaking into pieces. This was a complex moment, when I had to make a choice about whom I would travel with during the rest of the trail. I decided to move on with the two American guys and the three British boys. They were walking about 10k further than where the rest of the group was spending the night. As I walked down the backside of the village with this new smaller group, I was overcome with sadness about leaving the others behind and began to cry. One of my friends waited with me in the shade of a tree as I let the tears pass. I came to understand that this sadness was really about all the moments in my life when I had to leave behind people that I loved but knew I needed to part with. The sorrow was for all the loss, even in the face of the truth that it was the wisest and strongest decision for my soul. This essence of Galician Flowers is there to support us in all these moments of letting go, as well as to help us heal all the old scars of such moments we may not even know we still carry with us.

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Galicia:

Keynote: Grace
Moving with kindness and grace on your spiritual journey, even as you travel alongside groups of souls who are not, or have not been, on such intensive internal courses.

When our group entered the last stages of the trail, many elements of our day-to-day life were now second nature to us and we were thrilled to be so close to the end of our pilgrimage. One of the elements that we were not prepared for was the massive increase of people on the trail. One trail fact is that at the end of your pilgrimage most pilgrims go to the cathedral in Santiago to receive a compostela. This document establishes that you have walked the trail. It has religious significance for many. In order to get this certificate, you must walk at least the last 100km/60 miles of the trail. Hence many people only walk the last 100km.

Around the 100km marker in the region of Galicia the trail became clogged with teens in shiny gold sneakers, side shoulder slung backpacks and cans of soda as trail drinks. This was a jarring shock to all of us who had traveled from France and beyond. Before this point, when you can across people on the trail, they were like fellow warriors. There was a bond that might have been simply a nod of acknowledgement, or a lengthy talk, but always one of comraderie. Now we pushed through crowds of chatty teens who barely noticed our passing, or groups of couples that walked only with water as their bags had been bused ahead to their next destination. This was a new element and it took much patience and centering to stay connected to the arc of our journey.

Arzua, Lavacolla, Santiago, Fisterra

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Arzua:

Keynote: Vulnerability
Allowing yourself to be taken care of and supported in moments of vulnerability.

The group of five that I was traveling with was nearing the end of the trail. Suddenly the stresses of the outside world were all starting to reappear and weigh on us. I was in a particularly anxious place and one of my friends spent the afternoon sitting on our bunks in the aubergue talking to me and generally supporting me through the crisis of all that had happened the days before, and all of the unknowns that awaited me when I returned home. It is very hard for me to practice this skill of allowing people to be there for me in my messiest emotional states, but on the trail I was reminded that vulnerability is a great bonding force and brings us closer to the ones we love.

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Lavacolla:
Keynote: Cleansing
Helping your body clear its emotional field of any clutter that remains from past and finished energetic work.

Spiritual work is hard to do. Sometimes you have to get dirty emotionally and in my case, physically, to get it done.

The river Lavacolla outside of Santiago was traditionally the place that medieval pilgrims washed themselves before they walked into Santiago. For this reason the Flowers collected around this spot are about cleansing. My group did this by playing along the riverbank. A few of the brave boys even tried their hand at modern dance in the riverside meadow. It was such an apt way to cleanse before the walk to the end.

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Santiago:

Keynote: Integrity
For the moments when you experience false endings, created by our culture or society when the internal journey is still ongoing.

This essence was a particularly clear one for me, as the arrival into the famed city of Santiago was clearly not the end of my journey. I had always known that I would still have 100km left of walking until the end of the land and the beginning of the sea at Fisterra. The energy of the city and in particular the pilgrim office at the cathedral was one of conclusion. Groups were jubilant with the sense of accomplishment, but I was still itching to dive into the last few days of walking. It was a challenge to keep the momentum of my own journey alive as many people around me had settled into their endings.

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Fisterra:
Keynote: Birth
Help to support all the energetic and physical systems of the body through a transition where the soul is at the end of a long process of laying down a major paradigm of this or many lifetimes.
This is the final essence in the collection. It was made from Flowers collected on the last day, leading up to the arrival at the final 0km marker, the lighthouse, and the sea itself. This Essence is really more than just about the physical end of the trail. It is about how we take care of ourselves after a major shift in our lives has occurred. It’s about how we integrate the information we have gathered and find the next path forward. This Essence is about how you go forward when your life has changed completely from the inside out, how you reintegrate this new way of being, this new lightness into the old structures of your life that still remain. Its about how you find the courage and discernment to take these changes from your internal world and make external world shifts. The process of walking the trail was one of closing a large chapter in my life. It was a letting go of major thoughtforms and patterns which did not serve me. It was a deep shift at the root of myself. I needed help to not totally spin out of my body with this shift. This Essence is there to ground and support the soul and the body as it becomes a newly evolved version of itself and finds the next trail that is even more authentic than the last.

The Devas on the Energetics of Land Use

It was Easter 1964. I stood on a dusty hilltop with a crowd of more than fifty thousand. I had two long blonde braids and the toothy smile of a seven year old. In the press of people, I could see nothing of what was going on. My only focus was holding my father’s hand, terrified that if I got separated from him, I would never find him or anyone else I knew, ever again. This was because this hilltop was outside Mexico City at a place called Huixachtlan and the enormous crowd pressing in around us was watching a reenactment of the crucifixion.

For many reasons I remember this event vividly. As I strained to get even a glimpse of the man playing Jesus for the reenactment, my father told me that this place was the exact same spot where the Aztec’s most important religious ceremony occurred. Every fifty two years, all fires in the Aztec realm were extinguished and a new fire, representing the beginning of a new Aztec calendar cycle, was lit in the chest cavity of a sacrificial victim, right on this volcanic mound rising above the valley of Mexico City and the former Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.

No sooner had Cortez arrived with his lethal germs than the new religious order of Catholic priests began to use the site of the Aztec New Fire ceremony and many others Aztec sites for their own religious practices. Why? Not just because building on top of the old structure made the new religion seem more familiar to the conquered people, but because the site of religious ceremonies are usually high vibration spots on the Earth’s surface. Consciously or unconsciously, people recognize high vibration land when they experience it and either honor the land without agenda or try and use the land for their own purposes. Recognizing the energetics of Huixachtlan as well as its religious significance to the Aztec people, the priests knew this was a spot they needed to dominate, if they wished to successfully export their own worldview.

Elizabeth Sheehan is about to post descriptions of the Flower Essences she made on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, an ancient pilgrimage route along a specific line of specific earth energies running across northern Spain. Before she posts her definitions, I thought it would be interesting to ask the Devas about the energetics of land use and why a sort of metamorphosis of religious activity from one culture to another on a piece of land is so common.

To go over what many of you may already know, Devas are from the Angelic kingdom. They are an aspect of divinity that work as architects or designers of everything in creation. For every specific place on Earth, a specific Deva formulates and holds the divine plan for that specific place. This divine plan is a refined vibration, free of the detritus of human personality and reflecting the highest potential of the piece of land. Every piece of land on Earth has a Deva that knows what would be the highest possible use for this piece of land. These purposes do not hold the dogma of specific human institutions but represent more eternal verities such as faith, hope, or truth.

The fact that a Deva designs and continues to support the manifestation of the highest good for a piece of land does not mean that human personalities won’t impact the land and take it in directions off its course. The higher the vibrational purpose of the piece of land, the more likely the land is to be both recognized for its strengths as well as abused because of these strengths.

Throughout whatever depredations a piece of land suffers, the Deva of that land will continue to hold the divine plan for the land and the Elementals or Nature Spirits assigned to the land will continue to work to manifest the divine plan as held by the Devas. The humans on the land will either help or hinder this process.

Frequently the human powers that be, whether secular or religious, will expropriate a piece of land that holds a very high vibration and try to use the energetics of the land to serve their own more narrow purposes. This effort to use a high vibration piece of land for a less refined human purpose may appear to work for a span of time, sometimes even for a few centuries, but anything outside the divine plan will not prevail in the very long run. This is because only something vibrating at the same rate as the divine vibration of the land can prevail long term.

The Devas tell me that when a piece of land is worked by humans in harmony with its divine purpose, it is a very precious thing, representing a cooperative moment between Human, Angelic and Elemental beings and one that creates a specific musical note of great depth, beauty, and significance. When asked to give an example of a place where human use and Devic intention is in alignment, the Devas mentioned Yosemite. When asked for a place that is having difficulty aligning Devic purpose with human use, the Devas mentioned Jerusalem.

The Devas note that each piece of land on this planet has its own unique and beautiful musical note to express. They explain that the energetics of Earth are much like the energetics of the human body. All things are connected by an energetic network like our central nervous system and the more subtle system of the chakras. Furthermore, just as some places on the human body, such as the heart, have more energetic importance than other places, the Earth too has places, such as Huixachtlan, that hold more energetic significance and can therefore express more powerful music.

This connective network of vibrational high spots on Earth is sometimes referred to as ley lines. Throughout recorded history, humans have recognized both powerful ley lines and the spots where ley lines cross, often building their most significant structures along these ley lines or at the spots where the ley lines cross.

When one human community has failed in its attempt to use the energies of the land for its own purpose, others usually sweep in. In fact, the history of high vibration land is frequently a complicated one, with one group after another fighting to seize control of the land for its own purposes. The story of Spanish priests using the most significant Aztec site for their own most significant commemorative experience is just one example.

When I was twenty, I worked with a crew of archeologists, excavating the remains of a Viking settlement in York, England.. One day after work, we were taken down into the bowels of immense gothic cathedral in York known as the York Minster. There, scattered on the basement floor, were the columns of the Roman military fortress of Eboracum, built by the ninth legion in 71 AD. Other basement artifacts included stone remains from three previous churches all built on the same site as the present Minster. Each remain marked a different moment of transformation as the city metamorphosized from the roman town of Eboracum to anglo saxon Eoforwic to viking Jorvik to the present day city of York.

As a pilgrim on the more than thousand year old Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Elizabeth experienced the remnants and ongoing efforts of humanity to co-op the energetics of the trail. Like every pilgrim who has walked the trail, she also experienced the enduring grace of its healing energies as held by the Devas, made manifest by the Elementals and pilgrims and as cradled by very earth of every step on the way.

The descriptions of the 19 Flower Essences Elizabeth made along the Camino are ready. We will post them with photos in a series of blogs, because we can’t seem to get the blog to load as one unit. When I met these Essences I burst into tears of joy. Here I was, grounded by my broken arm, experiencing an armchair pilgrimage of a the most stationery kind. I had no expectation that this summer of minimal gardening would yield very much in the way of Flower Essences. Yet, this most amazing gift of Flower Essences arrived! What a reminder of the bold generosity of Nature!

Everything about this collection reflects the generosity of Nature. The Flowers of the Camino did not have the personality idea that only a pilgrim walking the route could receive the grace of their vibrational gifts. They were happy to come back with Elizabeth to share with ALL of us their profound and joyful vibrational wisdom useful for all our journeys!

In Between Deluges

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Even though I have begun to tango once again with the infamous wheelbarrow, it mostly sits alone and neglected. Why? Because day after day we have torrential and near constant rains. Most every sky this summer is gray or filled with thunderheads with only the ocassional patch of brief blue. We find ourselves and all the gardens decidedly wet.

We did have a bit of a miracle when the Iron Chefs and I decided to throw a thank you party for friends and neighbors for all they had done during the last few months to help us. It was a chance to celebrate Elizabeth’s pilgrimage across Spain as well. We ( and I use that term liberally) made paella and gazpacho.
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Friends brought spanish desserts including flan. We were all particularly wowed that Megan, Ben’s girlfriend, made a Santiago almond torte traditionally offered to pilgrims when they finish the five hundred plus mile haul across northern Spain.
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Here pilgrim Lizzy breaks into the desserts after her epic walk. Megan’s torte is in the top corner marked by Santiago’s sword.

The miracle bit, besides the fact that the Green Hope Iron Chefs pulled off paella for 30 without me chopping anything, was that we had a night of clear skies and soft temperatures.
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After our feast, Lizzy shared her photos of the Camino with the assembled group, something we hope to do here on the blog when Lizzy’s Camino Flower Essences are ready to share with you all.
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Here’s a sneak peak of one moment on the Camino. This is on the plains of Spain, several hundred miles into her journey.

Lizzy’s definitions for these new Essences are almost done. Like the Flower Essences she brought back from the desert last spring, these new Essences are marvelous. Can’t wait to share them with you and share the photos of where these Flower Essences were made.

Lightning, Hail, Teasel, the Tour de France and…..the Claw

This summer has been all about the weather. Thunderstorms day after day. Rain in between thunderstorms. If I had the interest, I could watch mold form on bread in real time. Wet doesn’t begin to describe our micro climate.

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We have also had hail. Lots of it.

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Hail saves time in the kitchen as it makes for pre-shredded salads.

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During a particular hail storm last weekend, the farm was also struck by lightning.

For some reason, I happened to be looking when the bolt hit at the top of the drive. Whoa! It took out our power and also destroyed our internet router. This storm also brought a microburst to the other side of our town. Big groups of old trees were lost. This left the power company in over their heads with problems. It took awhile for us to get power back.

It also took us several days to get a new router up and going. Staffers scattered all over town to pick up email from other people’s computers.

When the sun finally came out on Friday, it felt as euphoric as sunshine after six months of arctic winter. We were positively giddy!

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Finally a chance to make Teasel Flower Essence!

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Somewhat reminiscent of the marvelous cleanser Bee Balm, each Teasel blossom resembles a sliver and recedes deeply into the Flower head, Each Flower head has bands of Flowers in different places. Some Flower heads have two bands top and bottom, some a more central band like this one in the photograph. I was guided to use a great diversity of Flower heads with different band placements when I made this Essence. I know this band difference holds much significance for this Flower Essence, referencing as it does the different chakras.

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Here is what I mean about the blossoms extending like slivers into the spiky core of this Flower head. And spiky is an understatement for Teasel. It’s almost impossible to touch this plant without getting pricked!

Right off the bat, this Essence is going to be added to our Flee Free and Golden Armor mixes, but I doubt it will stop there. This one is an immense powerhouse of wisdom and strength!

Well… it is raining again. These gray days certainly make it easier to find the time to do my hand exercises. I have been upgraded by my hand therapist to a new splint torture device dubbed “the Claw.” It bends my wrist in a contorted position and looks as uncomfortable as it feels. This new tool was necessary because, despite my diligent hours doing all my exercises, the severity of the break is leaving it difficult to regain the function of my wrist. The motion of flexing is proving particularly hard to regain.

My hand therapist is hopeful that “the Claw” will help me slowly regain more degrees of flexing movement. When I am not doing specific stretching and bending exercises for extension, flexing, supination and the rest, I am meant to wear “the Claw.” This is further motivation to do the other exercises since they offer a variety of torture sensations while “the Claw” holds me in the same torture position.

One perk of this exercise time is that I have become an idiot savant when it comes to the Tour de France. Since I have hours of exercise to do each day and the Tour de France lasts for hours each day, it’s a match made in heaven. William and Jim, the original sports encyclopedias, have been stunned by my mysterious prowess at recognizing a tour rider by his calves, his style on the pedals, or his placement in the autobus behind the pelaton. I toss off fun facts faster than Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin. In fact, it’s as if I am telepathically connected to these announcers, frequently making the same sage comments about some cyclist only seconds before they say the same thing. It could have been “Ask Mollske” instead of “Ask Bobske” on Versus
each night. It has been my sports shining hour. I am the household guru of cycling. And it only took a hundred plus hours of Tour watching to earn this crown.

Too bad the Tour finishes today with Carlos Sastre of the fabulous CSC pulling off a somewhat unexpected yellow jersey win over Silence Lotto’s Cadel Evans. Oh my gosh. My list of hand exercises gets longer and more complex every time I see my dear hand therapist Cindy. What’s a woman on a healing mission with a new Tour addiction to do????

Thank God the Olympics are just days away. My man Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia is expected to bring home the gold in the sprint races in Beijing and I will be there. Me and my Claw.

As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!