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bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 05-19-2003 16:48

I have the opportunity to go on a 14 day excursion to Scotland this coming July. The reason I'm getting to go, is because my mom, who's an Episcopal minister, is going on Sabbatical this summer. When they asked her what she'd like to do for her Sabbatical, she said she'd like to take a trip with her daughters (there's 4 of us).

When it all was worked out, the trip has turned into a pilgrimage. We'll be visiting what are called "thin places" in the Celtic Christian school of thought. Thin places are places that have been for so long the focus of spiritual thought and action, that people believe the creative force (or God) can be felt most strongly there. We'll be visiting the Isle of Iona, off the western coast of Scotland, then a stopover in Edinburgh, with a day trip to Rosslin, where the Rosslyn Chapel is located. From there, we'll move into northeastern England to go to Lindesfarne (The Holy Isle) and Durham, to see the Durham cathedral.

My mom and another woman from her church put together a grant proposal for this whole trip, and it's all paid for (grants are wonderful!). Part of the reason she got the grant is the program she worked up for the people who are remaining here at home. There will be daily meditations regarding pilgrimages and journeys, as well as a published copy of some sort of memoir my mom's supposed to write after the trip.

For my own part, and in conversations with my siblings, our initial reaction to the trip was, "WOOHOO! We're going to Scotland!". But the more I prepare for the trip, and the more I read about the places we're going, the more I think about what I really want to get out of it.

I have recently had my entire spiritual outlook deconstructed. It occured through a series of events, culminating in a class on critical thinking that I took last fall. So I'm going on a spiritual pilgrimage with a clean slate, for the most part. While I know I'm not interested in becoming a practicing Christian - I know too much to be comfortable there, I do have an intense yearning towards Celtic spirituality in general. It should be interesting, as well as life changing for me.

The purpose of this thread (apart from some minor gloating on my part ), is to see what "pilgrimages" the inmates here at the Asylum have ever participated in. We all know there is a 3-D world out there... surely you've experienced some small part of it?
A pilgrimage can be just about anything - provided the trip was taken for the express purpose of self-discovery, and desire to be close to places of power, not just a commercial tour. Or even if it was a tour - perhaps your reason for joining the tour was for a personal pilgrimage... It doesn't matter what tradition you were following at the time - Christian, Wiccan, Shaman or other.

Where did you go, what did you see, what did you bring back into your every day life from it? How has it changed how you see the world?

Bodhi - Cell 617

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-19-2003 21:09

Hmmm...living in the wilderness for a year...that was a 'pilgrimage' for me...no electricity, no hot water...it was...nice.

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 05-20-2003 17:21

That would constitute a pilgrimage for just about anybody!

Where did you stay? In the desert, woods, someone's backyard?

Bodhi - Cell 617

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-20-2003 17:44

In the woods, in a small cabin...it was nice. I had some chickens, ducks, rabbits...a few goats for milk...and a vegi garden. Plus hunting, and fishing...

Only had to visit civilization for coffee, sugar and flour...

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 05-20-2003 17:59

One spring many springs ago I bought a roundtrip ticket -- home, Reno, home.
I took $100 with me and met a friend in Reno. Spent a couple days with him, then left him the 'home' half of my ticket, took my $100, about 10 sandwiches and a couple bottles of water and walked/hitchhiked to LA where I met another friend. Stayed there for 2 nights then hoped a train to Eugene. Didn't know anybody there...a bit too hippy for me, but a nice town anyway. Finally walked/hitchhiked back to Reno. Took a well needed shower and got some decent food on my friend's bill.
Fed homeless people chili and rice in the park. Ran from cops trying to arrest us. Got away. Lost 2 pots. Came back the next day to pass out more food. Cops were waiting with dogs. Didn't outrun the dogs. Got arrested for "distributing food without a license". Spent a night in Reno jail. Confinced judge we were just 'having a picnic'. Got out of jail.
Spent the $60 I had left on cheap booze, had a binge. Recovered and flew back home.
I learned a lot...much too much to recount here.
Whole trip from home to home was 6 weeks. Among the most 'enlightening' (what a dumb word...) experiences of my life. Setting out to see the world with almost nothing at all but your wits, your sense of humor, your sense of adventure...great.
Have fun.

Gilbert Nolander
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Washington DC
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 05-20-2003 18:58

Been to the Isle of Iona before. I didn't really know much about it when I was there, and later found it was a very spiritual place. While I was there though I was strongly drawn to this hill that is at the edge of the island, and hung out there for several hours. And that church there to. I must of sat there for a half hour in front of the church just staring at that cross. Pretty cool place.


.quotes.

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 05-20-2003 23:01

Mobrul - ours is a little more structured than that, in that we do know where we're sleeping each night, and we won't be roughing it by any stretch of the imagination. But other than that, and a basic itenerary, we're on our own... What a great adventure you had there. I have a security fetish - I'm not sure I could go it completely on my own like that. I do love to hear the tales from folks who can though.

WS - That sounds really wonderfully relaxing... My best friend lives in Alaska and is currently living very much like that. She and her boyfriend hunt and fish all their meat and she's recently learned to grow vegetables and this year is her 2nd garden. I've never seen her happier in her life. They've got a cabin in Moose Pass that has no indoor plumbing. They're pretty lucky in that they do have phone and electricity. Plans to add a composting toilet and sauna are in the works... I'm dying to go visit her for a week or so - but this trip comes first...

GN - Colum Cille, or St. Columba, was exiled from Ireland in the early 6th century. He started the Abbey on Iona and the structure was based on the 12 disciples of Christ. Once he had an additional group of 12 under his wing, he would send out a cell to found a new abbey somewhere else in Scotland. I think, in the 40 or so years that he lived there, he was responsible for the founding of some 60-80 abbeys in Scotland... Before St. Columba - the place was considered holy ground for the Celtic people who inhabited the island. It has a loooong history of being a place of power. I'm not surprised that you could feel it. I'm looking forward to spending a few days in a place that has so much history.

Bodhi - Cell 617

norm
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: [s]underwater[/s] under-snow in Juneau
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 05-21-2003 07:09

I have not had one specific Pilgrimage, but each and every time I have wandered through the Chugach Mountains has left it's impression on my soul. They were a playground and a constant presence for me in my childhood. Always there, always inviting me to explore them, always surprising me with the new wonders they held. When I returned to Anchorage after an eight year absence, the first thing I did was hit the familiar trails and head up into the high country, home at last. Their continued presence reassures me that the world is indeed a fine place, a good place, a place worth being.

There are many other fine Mountain ranges, some larger ,some smaller. But the Chugach Mountains are a part of me, and I am a part of them. It will always be so. If I am away from them for too long there is a dull ache and an emptiness that will not go away. And after such a time, I am unashamed to say, the sight of those Mountains literally brings tears to my eyes. Tears of joy.

I return home in late June, I have been gone far too long..

[This message has been edited by norm (edited 05-21-2003).]

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 05-21-2003 18:56

A pilgrimage doesn't have to be long. Only as long as is necessary to bring about the desired changes... What a great feeling - to be so close to the land...

I must get up to Alaska to visit my friend... I keep hearing such wonderful things about that country up there...


Bodhi - Cell 617

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