Santiago (Capital of Galicia), Cape Finisterre
It is a brisk morning as we gather in the big square in front of the hotel. Many new faces have joined us, and we walk to the center of the square to begin our day with a beautiful sharing from John Morton.
This morning is a walkabout in the capital city of Galicia, Santiago. The city streets are full of people of all ages and a general overtone as if everyone in the town is one big family. Family and connection with each other seem to be the general theme of towns in Spain.
We arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela which houses the relics of St. James. According to legend, the tomb of St. James was rediscovered in 814 A.D. by a hermit named Pelagius after he witnessed strange lights in the sky (a field of stars). Theodomirus, the bishop of Iria Flavia declared it a miracle and King Alfonso II of Asturias and Galicia ordered the construction of a chapel on the site. In the IX century, the chapel became a major place of pilgrimage.
The construction of the current cathedral completed in 1211. The Cathedral has several Romanesque masterpieces, notably the Portal of Glory (Pórtico de la Gloria), sculpted by Maestro Mateo.
As it is common for the cathedrals built during the Middle Ages to teach scenes of the Bible and the life of Jesus to the illiterate population through sculptures and paintings.
Many of these masterpieces have esoteric or hidden meaning and give keys on how to become one with God or, how to reach Christ consciousness, beyond the official dogma of the Catholic Church.
The cathedral has historically been a place of pilgrimage on the Way of St. James since the Early Middle Ages, and marks the traditional end of the pilgrimage route. The building is a Romanesque structure, with later Gothic and Baroque additions.
Pedra Roca is our lunch destination of which is noted for its famous cheesy, white, fluffy dessert. After a full stomach, onward to Cape Finisterre.
We arrive in Cape Finisterre. We quickly move to a rocky cliff. A chill in the air and fog everywhere. Everyone sits on the cliff waiting to receive of a sharing from John. After we are all swept into the spirit, the fog disperses and we stroll through the Cape taking in the breathtaking views.
Cape Finisterre was considered the end of the known world in Roman times. It was a worship site for the Sun god in the Neolithic age and later for the Celtic people who populated the area. There are several rocks associated with legends, including holy rocks and a rock chair. It was also considered the tomb of the Celtic goddess Orcabella.
Cape Finisterre is the end of the Way of St. James. Pilgrims go to the end of the world to release their attachments, symbolized by the burning of their pilgrimage clothes and shoes.
Whether inspired by religion or intrigued by culture, many enjoy participating in the St. James Way. The mountainous backdrop runs along the coastline and overlooks the Cantabrian Sea.
The St. James Way, or Camino de Santiago, began as a pilgrimage by early Europeans as they trekked across Spain to reach the tomb of St. James. The walk is enjoyed by those influenced by a spiritual journey or just an adventurous traveler.
Love & Light, Julie
Videos by Julie Lurie
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Touring Photos by David Sand
Join Us in Planting Light Columns wherever you are and Light up the World together.
Here are two handouts from John-Roger on “Light Columns”
Click here | Planting Light Columns #1 by John-Roger
Click here | Planting Light Columns #2 by John-Roger
David Sand’s Column
This time the photos aren’t chronological because I wanted to put the ones from “Finisterre” (“the end of the world”) first. Finisterre is the dramatic cliffside location of the end of the Camino, facing westward over the Atlantic. It really did look like the end of the world because we arrived in total fog, but by the end of John’s seminar the fog lifted to reveal some nice ocean views. Since no cliffside end-of-the-world seminar is complete without bagpipes, our Spanish guides brought along a bagpiper to round out the experience. There are also good shots of street life and market day near our hotel in the old city. The farmers look like their families have been on the land for centuries. Gorgeous faces. And I have to put in a word here about the food: It’s been incredible. I don’t think they’re using a lot of the industrial farming methods and hybridizing that we use in the U.S. because it’s not only delicious but it feels so good in the body—and I normally eat organic in the States. I can eat just about anything and I feel great. It’s been the best bread I’ve ever had too—and many people on our trip who can’t normally eat bread have been fine with it. It’s an eye-opening experience to eat here. The body feels very different.