“Buen Camino!”

“Buen Camino!”

These words offer wishes of good fortune to travelers of the Camino, or ‘The Way,’ – a pilgrimage on the Compostela de Santiago trail that runs from southern France through northern Spain. A friend from my writing critique group recently invited me to trek this 500 mile path with her. I was excited and intrigued at the prospect.

I wondered what it was about the Camino that had me so enthralled. The Camino pilgrimage is a physical challenge, but it is primarily a spiritual journey, one that thousands have traveled since medieval times. Daily hiking compels the traveler to interact with the land and its many ancient sacred sites along the way, as well as to inwardly focus on their own interior soul landscape. The pilgrimage is reminiscent of the Celtic Imram, the name given to the physical voyages and counterpart soul quests of the ancient Celtic peoples of Ireland and Britain. The Camino invitation brought back memories of one of the most important Imrams of my life – my journey to Glastonbury, England. It was a sojourn that eventually fueled the inspiration for my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea novels.

Glastonbury, the ancient isle of Avalon, is the setting in my favorite novel, the classic The Mists of Avalon, penned by Marion Zimmer Bradley. The story tells      the Arthurian Grail legend from the feminine viewpoint of Morgaine, King Arthur’s half sister and priestess of the Goddess. Bradley’s novel has been a best      seller for many years because it touches the collective psyche of our times. Her novel characterizes the re-emergence of the Divine Feminine in spirituality,  along with the return of respecting our hearts in balance with our heads, of acknowledging the validity of intuition and feelings, of valuing collaboration and love, and the reality of mystical and everyday magic.

My enchantment with Bradley’s novel and its setting not only catalyzed my imagination, it transformed my life. The protagonist Morgaine sparked a longing in me to learn about, and eventually become a priestess. It changed my life literally in that I felt compelled to move to Glastonbury. I discovered a kinship and affinity for Glastonbury that I have not felt in any other place on earth. The land and its sacred sites stirred my heart and nourished my soul.

While living there, I sought out the solace and magic of the holy Chalice Well on a daily basis. Often, while seated beside the well, I would experience spontaneous waking visions. These visions surprised me and threw me into a sort of spiritual emergency, and ultimately a spiritual deepening. From my meditative visions I came to know the Goddess of the Stars and the Sea. She is the face of the Divine Feminine who has since then inspired both my writing and my life.

I also had mystical nighttime dreams about Glastonbury and its history. I began to study Glastonbury’s folklore and legend, and its covert sacro-magical knowledge. I immersed myself in its energy, and did in-depth research.

I then built upon my natural writing ability by studying the craft of writing. Using all of these experiences, I began to create my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series about priestesses who had lived in Glastonbury throughout the ages through today. My first novella was published by Glastonbury Press.

Glastonbury taught me to explore the realms of the mystical and the magical, of worlds seen and unseen. The worlds that lay parallel to our everyday existence. I tapped into these realms of legend and archetype, especially Celtic lore, to weave a magical fantasy thread throughout my novels. Developing my relationship with the Goddess alive in the land of Avalon, I infused my novels with her energy, forming the underlying Visionary Fiction facets of my writing. This Visionary Fiction aspect became my passion, my purpose for writing.

Glastonbury remains one of my favorite spots on earth. The Chalice Well Gardens, the beacon-like hill called the Tor, the enigmatic remains of the ancient Glastonbury Abbey – all the sacred sites I was introduced to through reading The Mists of Avalon – touched my deeply and continue to inspire the content of all of my Visionary Fiction novels.

So, maybe I will indeed take my friend up on her invitation and hike the Camino Trail – and find a whole new arena of magic and mysticism to explore and inform my writing. Or, instead of the Camino trail, I might return to Avalon. Back to where my muse first spoke to me. Perhaps I will rent a cottage for the summer and complete my fifth novel in the Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series. Because Avalon is my perpetual grail cup of regeneration and inspiration.

No matter which pilgrimage route I choose, which Imram I embark upon, I know I will carry with me the spirit behind the wishes – ‘Buen Camino’!

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About Jodine Turner

Jodine Turner is an award-winning, best-selling Visionary Fiction and magical realism author, Adorata Practitioner, therapist, and consecrated priestess. She writes about how the most potent transformative power – Embodied Love – is the next step in the evolution of humankind. Through story, Jodine takes you on an initiatory journey into the Goddess, as well as the Sacred Union of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine within. Jodine authored “The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis” and “The Keys to Remember”, followed by "Carry on the Flame: Destiny's Call", and "Carry on the Flame: Ultimate Magic."
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5 Responses to “Buen Camino!”

  1. Admin - Eleni says:

    What a beautiful post. The way you describe you Glastonbury experience is so vivid. I almost felt as if I were there with you. It's amazing how the right book at the right time can have such a strong impact on our spiritual growth.

    I googled some pictures of the Camino trail, and I want to go! You're so lucky. Thanks for sharing and adding another location to my future travels.

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  2. I've dreamed of taking a pilgrimage on the Compostela de Santiago trail that runs from southern France through northern Spain since I saw the movie THE WAY (http://www.theway-themovie.com/) directed by Emilio Estevez and starring Martin Sheen. The movie — and the idea of taking such a spiritual journey — tugged at my heart and filled me with longing. What an opportunity that would be. But then again…a journey to Glastonbury, England and the magic of the Holy Chalice Well, especially as you describe it, sounds equally appealing. Maybe you can do both! I truly enjoyed this post, Jodine, and especially liked learning how Glastonbury and THE MISTS OF AVALON influencing your journey as a visionary fiction writer.

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  3. thank you Eleni and Margaret. I have dreamed of the Compostela de Santiago trail for a long time. I first heard of it when I lived in Glastonbury in the mid 1990's – I was on a side trip to Normandy in France when the Camino discussion came up. Back then I thought I'd like to travel it by donkey. I'm open to what this journey of 'The Way/the Camino" offers…it has already begun just with contemplating the trip!

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  4. vicsmith0123 says:

    You hit all the right notes to create a chord that resonated deeply with me, Jodine. Although I spent only a day at Glastonbury, it inspired a favorite piece of my own writing found on my website along with some of my most cherished photos. When I stopped for a last visit at King Arthur's grave in the late afternoon shadows and saw that someone had placed a fresh red rose in front of his tombstone (there's a photo of this on the above web page), I finally knew that the "other realm" was indeed as real as this one.

    Have not yet had the opportunity to walk the Camino (this lifetime) but when I was researching the Cathar regions of southern France, I was drawn to several sites that were stations along the way. A wonderful book on the Camino, in the Rudolph Steiner mold, is Virginia Sease and Manfred Schmidt-Brabant's PATHS OF CHRISTIAN MYSTERIES, FROM COMPOSTELA TO THE NEW WORLD, a must read about the trail and its mystical connections

    Thanks, Jodine, for the inspiration. Now back to work.

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  5. Vic,
    I resonated with your piece on Glastonbury when I first read it a few months ago – it is a beautiful and moving piece.
    I will have to read the book you recommend, thank you…it looks intriguing.

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