The Camino as Alchemist ~

It’s been about three and a half years now since I started this blog – and since I walked my first Camino.

A lot’s happened in that time.

I’m now nearing completion on a film on intuition that began seventeen years ago with my narrowly being killed by a marauding truck. And now, after traveling the world several times over, filming more than 70 interviews and amassing nearly 90hrs of footage, the film is on the home stretch.

Where does, or did, the Camino fit into all of this?

If you remember I dedicated my pilgrimage to PGS – my Personal Guidance System, which is what I call intuition. And that’s why i titled my Camino blog

I walked the Camino intuitively, allowing The Way to lead me. And it led me to some wonderful and sustained friendships – and to insights and experiences that would begin a transformative phase of my life that is ongoing.

It’s easy to say: The Camino changed me. I don’t see it that way.

Personally, I see the Camino in terms of alchemy. That it instigated changes that were lying dormant within me – that were in a state of potential. That were in wait.

The Camino acted like an alchemist to awaken those potentials. It triggered change that was waiting to happen, if given the right set of mixtures. Had I not walked the Camino I have no doubt the transformative phase that I’m currently going through would not have happened so emphatically.

I think it’s the same with many who walk the Camino. Some walk it with that dormant potential, and The Way helps to unlock it. Some have their potential more deeply buried, more heavily protected, and the Camino Alchemist has to work harder.

The Camino is a ley line. It has a powerful energetic imprint that is the product of millions of pilgrims having walked those paths carrying powerful spiritual intent. Through their footsteps it seeps into Gaia, Mother Earth – and Gaia in turn transfers that energy back to those that follow, and who allow themselves to ground.

Grounding is plugging into the spiritual energy of Mother Earth. We have chakras – energy vortexes – in our feet that facilitate this energy flow. This is why so many people with major health issues are able to walk the Camino. They are able to walk 800kms. The elderly and the infirm. They are energised, and some are healed, by the spiritual imprint of The Way.

Everyone has the potential. That’s why we incarnate. It’s to change, and grow, and learn.

Of course you don’t need to walk the Camino to affect change. But in my instance, it was the Alchemist. It did unlock my potential to transform. To raise my vibrations.

Every day is a test, every day a challenge. Every day an opportunity.


23 thoughts on “The Camino as Alchemist ~

  1. Bill – Your comment, “Everyone has the potential. That’s why we incarnate. It’s to change, and grow, and learn.” is so reassuring. I’ve been experiencing visa challenges for my return trip to India and add the recent election and it’s much easier to lose my personal GPS. So, thank you for reminding me about why it is we’ve incarnated! Much love to you and Jen.


  2. Bill,

    This post has surely hit home. Each time I return from a Camino new doors and new opportunities present themselves to me. I don’t actually think opportunities or doors are brought on by the Camino, but I do believe as you do, the Camino has as you say instigated changes that lay dormant.

    I believe in the energy from the earth and from the milky way. When I walk, I always remove my shoes to wiggle my toes and give my feet a rest. When I do so I stand barefoot on the path. I have always felt the energy rising from Mother Earth into me when I do so.

    Yes, Bill, an alchemist. I never thought of the Camino as such but yes I do agree. It is a strong power that brings about the changes we need and want but those that have been laying dormant. Thank you for this wonderful post.



    • You know it’s funny Arlene but I was almost going to include the Milky Way in the post but thought it might be a bit too “spacey” for some! Haha. It’s an interesting analogy isn’t it, thr Camino as Alchemist. Hope you’re well ell, and you have. Great Thanksgiving. Hope to see you in some exotic place sometime soon! bb xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bill, I like the exotic place meeting, yes, where?
        I’ve mounted 3 tours for the Spring back to back. Hey if I can fill them all, exotic place here I come. It sure would be great to see you and Jen again.
        I’m thinking of leading a Yoga retreat somewhere down under. We shall have to see how that pans out. (Should have my teacher certification by the end of February)
        I’m so sorry I couldn’t see my way clear for the Bavarian trip. But I am hopeful for the next time.
        Love to you both,


        • Ah Arlene – there will be times coming soon when we’ll meet up again. I hope you do fill those three Camino tours – you should. You know the ways so well now, you are an expert guide, and you price it well. Why wouldn’t get full tours! Ireland calls, as I mentioned to Ingrid – and perhaps so too Japan. We are thinking of going to Israel too. Would you be interested in that? With love, Bill


          • Bill, Ireland sounds lovely. And I have had the 88 Temple Pilgrimage in my sights for some time now, so definitely interested in Japan. Hmm, Israel…….So many places to visit, hope I can get to them all – Love Arlène


  3. Bill, you know how I feel about the Camino, no need for me to embellish. Aside from what it gifted me, is friendships beyond understanding. I don’t question, I accept. One of those friendships is ours. I remember lurking on your blog for a while… until the time was right to come out of the shadows… there were too many incidences that would have me not acknowledge that you were stepping into footsteps I created a year before you… down to your aches and pains.

    Just as some of what you have published in your “witches” book, or on this blog about the “cosmic rays”, your evolution and growth within the realm of spirituality ( some of which is way beyond my comprehension) your photos that sometimes elicit a different response in me then others… lets me believe that we were mend to meet, albeit through social media for now.

    I am looking forward to your stories of the Christmas Markets and am still hoping that there will be a time that you will revive your Celtic Camino tour.

    For now, I wish you the best of fortune and brilliant cosmic rays to take you to the completion of your much anticipated film.

    Light and Love as always, Ingrid


    • Dear Ingrid – you have brought such a strong energy to this blog with your sincerity, your wisdom, and your love and compassion. I thank you for that – and hope that we do meet soon, although I think we have already met. Yes, Ireland calls to me too! I can’t get that Wild Atlantic Way out of my system. It will happen, although I have some other commitments to complete first. But it will happen. In the meantime, I thank you again for being such a strong presence on this blog. With love, Bill


  4. The Apostle rather than the Alchemist, God rather than “gaia”, and the Tradition rather than a ley line — but I’d not be surprised if you were to say that these are mere differences in vocabulary, and whilst I’d say that you’re understanding the underlying Truth through your own prism, the Truth itself is still the same one. 🙂


  5. Otherwise, well hmmmm — there’s certainly a great deal of truth in your underlying point about dormant potentials being revealed by the Camino ; the Self can after all be quite starkly revealed when you step out of your comfort zone and into the Way, particularly if you make a longer pilgrimage including a substantial degree of walking alone with yourself in the face of God.

    But still, the Camino can actually change you from the outside in, whether from the people you meet that you’d simply never talk with otherwise, or physically (either positively or negatively) leading to a changed relationship with the world itself, or more deeply in Conversion, which is by definition by Encounter with God as being outside instead of being some “potential” that was hidden inside all along.

    Radical change from without is perhaps unusual on the Way to Santiago, and many who start their Camino somehow expecting it in some fashion start making jokes about it into their second week ; and so it’s certainly sensible to talk instead about the more or less subtle changes from within that most do in fact experience, except for those who start their Camino having already found the insights that they might have gained from it.

    But it’s also possible to become overly inward-looking in these ideas about chakras and spiritual “energy” and so on, as if inner change were the only locus and the only goal of the Way — but the Camino isn’t just an encounter with oneself, but with the World as it is instead of how we like to make it, and with the Divinity of God in Himself rather than in His created souls that He gifted us with.


    • I agree Julian – it IS an encounter with the world, but through the Self, and I would say that the hypnotic and unrelenting nature of the walk opens up potential should the pilgrim allow it. It doesn’t happen to everyone – but to those that desire it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes.

        And it’s important to realise here, when we start to make these fundamental distinctions regarding Spirituality and the various related concepts, that whilst some may be called to a more transcendental Spirituality focused on the immaterial and therefore upon the Divinity as such ; for the most part, the Spirituality that people will achieve, if they do, because it is the Spirituality that they actually need and is given them, will be an immanent one, grounded in the reality and the truth of the here and now, but nevertheless transformative in its nature.

        The genuinely Spiritual religious Traditions, whether the various orthodox forms of Christianity, or Buddhism, Hinduism, orthodox Judaism, Shinto, North American Shamanism, and so on are centred, generally, on the Truth that God is both immanent and transcendental. As is the Self.

        The Camino is a pathway to both aspects of the Divine Nature and of our own Created Nature.

        But I think that insight into immanent Spirituality requires at least some openness to the transcendental, and the other way ’round too as well. And the Camino can indeed be either a brutal or a gentle crucible where the openness can be gained.


        • Julian – sorry it’s taken me so long to get to this, but my schedule on this trip has been very tight, plus I have been battling jet-lag infused cold/flu, which thankfully (with the help of Vit C overdoses) has almost passed.

          What you say here requires thought to import its full meaning – and I look forward to the time when we can get together and talk this and other like matters through, no doubt in a rambunctious manner. I have been told that I have to make three films – a metaphysical film, a spiritual film, and a transcendental film… the intuition film is the first, and will be of a metaphysical nature. The second film I wish to make will be one reincarnation. The third film will be on ascension.

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          • I have been told that I have to make three films – a metaphysical film, a spiritual film, and a transcendental film… the intuition film is the first, and will be of a metaphysical nature.

            yes, that makes perfect sense

            The second film I wish to make will be one reincarnation. The third film will be on ascension.

            Look forward to them, but maybe reincarnation & resurrection — they’re not quite the same, though in their more immanent sense of personal renewal, there’s little they don’t have in common.


  6. I seem to be moving forward towards actually doing my reverse-Camino project, Fatima to Santiago, then Francès to SJPP, then Lourdes.

    Well, I consider it to be the second stage of my 2014 one from Lourdes, and for various reasons as the same Pilgrimage.

    If all things were equal, I’d likely just pack up and leave next week — but they’re not, and there’s “stuff” to attend to, and so I must project how to turn that dream into reality.

    Which is of course the very process of alchemy in itself — I think the problem here though is how not to become so familiar with the Camino as to cancel out its transformative quality.

    Spiritually, the danger is worse — true spirituality does not turn novelty into habit, the present into the permanent, insight into mere ideology.


    • Julian – you are indeed a true pilgrim. And I know what you mean about wanting to just pack up and go immediately. I would dearly love to do that with my “front door” walk, but it’s not possible, now with the work commitments I have currently. But the time will come, for you and for me.

      Your words: ” the problem here though is how not to become so familiar with the Camino as to cancel out its transformative quality. ” strikes true. I think it requires an openness, and awareness, to make sure that doesn’t happen. Also, the growing popularity and crowds also impact. You struck that last time you walked.

      Also, if I can say – your comments here on this blog are very important Julian. Thank you. They allow others to see a different perspective. Please don’t stop being Julian!!


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