field notes from the camino de santiago

Camino de Santiago

heroine's journey.jpg
creativity is at the heart of the feminine mystery.
— sharon blackie, if women rose rooted


The Alchemy of Pilgrimage: Your Heroine's Journey on the Camino de Santiago
Astorga - Finisterra, Spain | October 1-22, 2017

An invitation.

Join us for this special initiation journey, a Heroine’s Rite of Passage on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail this October. This unique combination of retreat and walking pilgrimage has been crafted intentionally to deepen the pilgrim's experience on the Camino. We will blend sacred artisan traditions, creativity, writing, ritual, and ceremony to prepare us for the walking portion of our journey.

Our four-day retreat begins at the beautiful Flores del Camino country home in the village of Castrillo de los Polvazares with Basia and Bertrand as our hosts. Then we will put our feet on the ancient pilgrimage road, traveling the Camino Frances. Your journey will be cared for by two experienced guides, knowledgeable at walking the Camino, and will offer support for your unique inner and outer journey. When we arrive in Santiago de Compostela, we will spend two nights to celebrate, explore this fascinating medieval city, and rest. Then we begin the last leg of our journey, departing from Santiago, heading westward again, but this time to follow the Path of The Sun, an ancient Celtic route. We will make our way to the end of the land, Finisterra, where we will watch the sun disappear into the sea. Here, our ending becomes a new beginning.

This intimate group quest is limited to a small number of women. Spaces are expected to fill quickly, so if you feel the Call in your heart, be in touch. More specifics are listed below. And to discuss further if this adventure of the spirit is right for you, please send me an email at (or click here) and we can arrange to talk more in depth. If you are ready to register, let me know and the journey begins!


O mother of the sea
lend me a wave that is strong and true
to carry me from this Age which unbinds me.

I do not need a ship, mother,
but make it a buoyant swell
to beat me up and float me on the sea's dreaming
then beach me on some lighter shore.

When I land there, give me warp and weft again,
an an urchin quill to remind me
how that prettiest barb can lodge under your skin
and leave you undone.

Only lend me a loom and I will
take up the threads of this unravelled life.
i will weave a braid from three strands of seaweed.
I will wind it three times around my finger
I will dig my salt-encrusted hands into the soil
and wed myself to the thirsty brown roots of a new beginning.

- Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted

— the alchemy of pilgrimage: a heroine's rite of passage —

Our Heroine's Rite of Passage begins on October 1, 2017 in Astorga, Spain with four days of retreat, followed by eighteen days walking on the Camino Frances. Our journey completes when we reach the sea in Finisterra at sunset on October 22, 2017. 

Sliding scale *$3800 - $4300 USD
(*Part of the proceeds of this quest go to Veterans on the Camino. See giving page for details or contact me for more information.)

A $500 non-refundable deposit will reserve your place on the quest. There are only six spaces available, so if you are feeling called, be in touch. The remaining balance is due on September 5, 2017. Connect with me for details.

• The four retreat days at Flores de Camino are all-inclusive with accommodation (shared room) and 3 meals, workshops, Qi Gong sessions, meditations. * If you have special meal requirements, please let me know at registration
• 18 additional nights accommodation (shared room) in small hotels and quaint inns, guesthouses and on a few occasions, private albergues, with all breakfasts included. 
* If you prefer to have your own room, a single supplement is possible at most locations, depending on availability. Ask me for more details.
• Qi Gong & Meditation Sessions along the Way (optional)
• Guide support for the entire journey. Personal guidance for trip planning if desired
• Pre-journey preparation for body, mind and spirit, a training guide and packing list
• Camino guide book and Credential (pilgrim passport)

•  All Flights and airport taxes
•  Meals not specifed under inclusion. You will be free (and encouraged) to walk independently during the days, lunch and dinners are not included, so you have the option of joining or free to spend time on your own.
•  Personal Items
•  Personal documentation and visas
•  All transport costs outside of and not included in this itinerary
•  All insurance, including personal liability, medical and/or baggage insurance, etc.
•  All items not specified, mentioned or covered as part of this itinerary

WHO THIS IS FOR: If you have made it this far down the page, your heart is on fire, soul stirred, maybe terrified as you realize that this is the journey that you cannot 'not' take, or a quiet, knowing voice inside is saying simply, yes, this. ... then, begin your journey here.  We will be a small, intentional moveable feast of women who are walking this ancient path on pilgrimage in a modern time ready to respond to the quest from our deepest place. The questions and prayers we hold for ourselves during this liminal time will be unique to our own journey as we surrender to the alchemical process of pilgrimage. This quest has been mindfully crafted for each peregrina to have the space to go within while also traveling the outward journey over the foreign landscape. This quest is open to those new to pilgrimage or those seasoned pilgrims who have traveled the Road before, but are looking to re-visit and deepen the experience. We will be walking an average of 20 kilometers each day. If you have physical limitations, please contact me to discuss possibilities. You will be encouraged to unplug and set technology aside as much as possible, instead, tuning in to the wisdom of your heart, listening to that small still voice that led you here. This is your Heroine's Journey.

WHO THIS MIGHT NOT BE FOR: The relationship between the Camino and those who feel called to put their feet on this old pilgrim's Way is a personal one. Everyone has their own reasons for coming to the Road, and not everyone is ready for, or is necessarily interested in consciously going deep. If you are looking more for a hiking holiday or historical tour without much interest in self-inquiry or soulwork, or if you need to be plugged in to the outside world through technology, then this probably isn't the quest for you. No judgment here. I am available to refer you to some excellent resources for guided tours that might be a better match for you. I have seen pilgrims on holiday, hiding out, or as one jolly American guy called his adventure, 'winging it and wine-ing it' and they have had an amazing time, even transformative journeys, without even meaning to.

In my experience, the most profound transformation happened was when I made a conscious decision to walk simply holding all I encountered during that time in the liminal space as sacred. I was blessed with a strange and mystical Meeting with The Mentor of my own who taught me to read the landscape stretching out behind me, before me, and under my feet, to recognize those I encountered along the Way as messengers and mirror reflections (encounters not always easy or comfortable), that circumstances don't matter, only state of Being matters, and ultimately, what I was looking for was where I was looking from. All elements of the journey becoming my own personal language of signs and symbols that I could learn to translate to make sense of the Heroine's journey that I was on.

It is all a truly a mystery. I can only say that the reason I am here doing this work is because I deeply believe in the transformative power of this Road. If we have the courage to set out, with a willingness to trust and to do our best to let go of all that no longer serves us, and with a sincere heart seeking to recognize and become our truest self, we will be filled to overflowing with all that is meant for us. You must go and see. Go and see."  




Welcome to Flores Del Camino, a traditional Maragato house lovingly refurbished with love and care for pilgrims and all guests.
We are situated on the Pilgrimage route to Santiago in the beautiful village of Castrillo de los Polvazares.