Pilgrimage to Santiago
Since the beginning of time, pilgrimage has been a sacred practice common to all cultures and religions. It is a process of purification and devotion as well as a profound spiritual initiation.
The ‘Camino’ (way) to Santiago-de-Compostela has since the Middle Ages been the most popular Christian pilgrimage in Europe. As more and more people seek meaning, this walking pilgrimage has enjoyed a spectacular revival in the last decades, especially due to the popularity of the books by Paulo Coelho and Shirley McLain.
Apart from enjoying the beauty of the countryside, historical architecture and true group sharing, we will channel the intense power of the Camino for personal transformation and (non-sectarian) spiritual connection through guided processes and breathwork.
Respecting everyone’s different walking style, we will set a rendez-vous each evening at a pre-determined destination, meaning that the pilgrim can walk at his or her own pace. Processing sessions will be held every evening, leaving the rest of the day free for communion with self and the surroundings.
The average distance covered each day is about 17KMs. Excluding stops, this can be done at a comfortable pace within six hours (depending on terrain).
The prospective pilgrim does not need to be super-fit or have high endurance levels… simply the desire to complete the process as well as enjoy the unfoldment of the journey.
We will start in the Castilian capital of Leon with its extraordinary Gothic cathedral and other exceptional historic architecture.
A few days later in Hospital de Orbigo, we will participate in the annual “Justas Medievales”, a mediaeval festival with jousts, people dressed in period costume, mediaeval music and food… a real Spanish Fiesta!
Passing through the arid heart of Spain, we will walk through country towns built in the Middle Ages. Most notably, there are castles (Ponferrada) and several cathedrals built by the Knights Templars that have great esoteric significance.
The Cruz de Hierro is the traditional point at which the pilgrim drops the baggage from the past symbolically – this takes the form of a pebble brought from home.
We will then pass into the mountains and forests of Galicia. Rustic villages of stone dot the countryside, as the character and local dialect ceases to be ‘Spanish’ and becomes Galician. El Cebreiro is said to house the Holy Grail.
Santiago has been a holy city since the Middle Ages. Its cathedral houses the relics of St James and is a truly inspiring end to this pilgrimage.
A pilgrimage is a true experience of walking your talk. This is a means to set an intention and literally walk to it. Everything that happens on the pilgrimage is symbolic, and your psychological issues WILL manifest themselves in one form or another along the Camino.
Principal Initiations – Leon (opening and setting of intentions); Cruz de Hierro (dropping the pebble symbolising your personal baggage) ;Villafranca (Emotional Rebirth – picture left); El Cebreiro (Holy Grail Initiation) ; Monte de Gozo (Closure); and, Santiago.
The Hero’s Journey Process: The entire 20-day process follows the steps of the Hero’s Journey; it is a structured way to helping you encounter your true self, and to transform your world afterwards. Daily group check-ins; meditation and/or breathwork sessions; personal initiation processes; Purification practices; Processing Manual.
This pilgrimage programme works on several levels:
- Given that millions of pilgrims have followed this route for thousands of years, the Camino contains a very powerful energy – this helps you shift any blockages hindering growth, thus making space for the qualities of life you desire.
- Being a process of 20 days of uninterrupted group work, the therapy is very intense; you can literally heal & re-invent yourself.
Logistics and Pricing
Starting in Leon (Castille, in Spain), walking to Santiago-de-Compostela:
Please note that all prices quoted on this page are subject to change.
- Madrid is the easiest point of access to the city of Leon (Castille)
- Return flights to Madrid are approximately US$1,000 (from South Africa, USA or Brazil)
- Bus /train to Leon (approximately 4 hours) – about 70 Euros.
- Pilgrims Refuges. Reservations not taken, and are subject to availability at each stop. Prices can range from 5 to 12 Euros per night.
- Hotels are also available, but are slightly more expensive (about 30 Euros).
- Everywhere along the Camino there are three course pilgrim’s menu’s available at around 10 Euros. Otherwise, light picnics are simple and cheap. There are shops and cafe’s every 5 to 10 kilometres.
- Total for food – about 15 to 20 Euros per day.
(Groups in English and/or Portuguese)
Individual travel insurance compulsory.
Please note that Jacques Theron runs the Santiago Pilgrimage as a Spiritual Facilitator, and not a tour agent or travel guide. Travel arrangements are the responsibility of the participant, although Jacques will give full support in the preparation process.