It alone endures

While in Finesterre, Spain, the end of the earth, we discuss how we will begin our round-the-world pilgrimage. We purchase a EuRail pass and will go to the Cathedral of Barcelona. We walk around the town of Finesterre.

The town is filled with stone crosses and pilgrims who have completed their journey to Santiago. Like us, they are visiting the end of the earth to complete their journey.


The local church has a statue of Santiago (St. James), in pilgrim garb. He carries a staff and water gourd, symbols of the pilgrim.

The day before, we hiked to the lighthouse, where I retrieved a candle left by previous pilgrims. The candle had been part of a ritual of completion, conducted in a place of great spiritual power. Now, I conduct my own ritual, one based on rootlore. Rootlore, devised by African-Americans, combines Christian and African folk magic. I learned rootlore from a Wise Woman while I lived in rural North Carolina.

The ritual includes a magical script: I pray that you will find inner peace. Now we are intimately connected. You are our son, daughter,brother, sister, lover. Rootlore is strangely powerful. Even my skeptical wife has seen its effects. These rituals should not be discussed at length. Root lore is a variation of Hoodoo or a Hoodoo. Once a ritual is complete, the spiritual forces are beyond our control and we should remain alert to observe the results.

Karen and I explore a castle in Finesterre. We walk around its seaside face. The next video captures the image of a young woman. You will see her twice. Who is she? How did she get there? What is she looking at?

I have read the profiles of those who follow this blog. Some have just begun the Inner Way. Many are spiritually advanced. You are incredible! We love you! Here is what I say: this woman has come to bless us. We are bound together now. She is looking into your heart and she accepts what she sees. She can take whatever form you need: young or old, male or female. When the beautiful, kind stranger comes to you, you will say, “Yes! It is as it was written!”
Lao tsu writes (chapter 34):
“The Great Tao flows everywhere.
All things are born from it
yet it doesn’t create them.
It pours itself into its work
and makes no claim.
It nourishes infinite worlds
yet it doesn’t hold onto them.
Since all things vanish into it
and it alone endures,
it can be called great.
It isn’t aware of its greatness,
thus it is truly great.”

Karen and I watched the waves roll over some rocks. The Tao governs all ritual. Of course, the young woman is probably just another pilgrim. She has walked for over two months, coming from France and crossing northern Spain to reach Santiago de Compostela. She has experienced intense heat, chilling rain, deep loneliness, strong friendship, and overwhelming fatigue. There is power in this.

There are cycles within the natural world. The tides, moon, planets, stars, follow patterns. There are also cycles within the spiritual world. No matter how sad or lonely you may be, you can remember that all passes. The Tao nourishes us all. It alone endures.

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