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Pilgrimage Creations Newsletter

April, 2013

Welcome to our April 2013 Pilgrimage Creations Newsletter. Read on to see what's happening at Pilgrimage Creations these days.

Early bird special

Our early-bird special for our seven-day Finding your Camino Rhythms package is still available. If you sign up before April 30, you can save $200 off the normal price.

As we introduced Finding your Camino Rhythms in January, we proposed to teach, guide, and empower you to walk your pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. We will do this with a pre-walk workshop, then walk seven days on the Camino with you before releasing you to walk your Camino. Afterwards, we plan to contact you to see how your pilgrimage went and how you are integrating your lessons into your daily life.

We seek to help you get past your apprehensions and any other obstacles that may be in the way of you walking the often life-changing pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago. We want to help you find the spiritual, emotional, and physical rhythms that will help make your Camino experience rich and joyful and a path to improving your life. We want to guide you into the spiritual retreat and personal quest that the Camino can be. We offer you spiritual and both masculine and feminine insights to the many faces of this pilgrimage route.

Go now to Finding your Camino Rhythms to learn more about this great opportunity to begin your life-changing pilgrimage on the Camino with two well-seasoned Camino walkers. Do so soon so you can take advantage of our early-bird special that ends at the end of April.

Walking with Awareness Walking classes

If you live in the Santa Fe, New Mexico, area, Petra is beginning a new walking class. This is a walking class of a different kind. If you love to walk, to be outside, and you want to get deeper into walking, this is the right class for you. You will learn how to walk with more joy, awareness, and relaxation. At the same time you will develop your strength and health. Step by step you will experience how walking can also be a meditation.

There will be classes for pregnant moms as well as for anyone. Each class session is one and a half hours long and between 1.5 and 3 miles. Along our path, we will have different kinds of exercises, for example: how to find a comfortable walking pace; how easy it is to connect your pace with your breathing; how to stay in the moment. We will walk Santa Fe walking paths. You will learn and practice step by step walking meditation. Petra uses her Doula experiences as part of the pregnant moms walk.

We will have classes for pregnant moms late afternoon every Monday starting April 15. There will also be morning and late afternoon classes for anyone every Wednesday starting April 17. See our Walking with Awareness Walking class page for details. You can use the link here or choose Walking Classes on the Our Offering tab of Pilgrimage Creations.

Preparation for Walking a Pilgrimage

Our Spiritual and Practical Preparation for Walking a Pilgrimage workshop is back. And it is online now. We have scheduled an online workshop for June 22.

This workshop encourages you to become more aware of your "call" and motivation for going on your pilgrimage. In addition, the workshop gives you many insights into the practical side of pilgrimage walks. We encourage you to face fears and emotional feelings and come to see them as gifts to help you to discover new insights. We help you to decide what things to take along and to discover and celebrate the gifts of the joys, doubts, crisis, and fears that will surely come up before you walk and as you walk.

We have facilitated this workshop for many in group settings in the past. Now you can take this workshop from the comfort of your own home at your computer and save the expense of travel and lodging. Click the link above or go to Our Offerings, Workshops on Pilgrimage Creations.


Take a moment to read a thought for the day at Steps, our almost-daily sayings, meditations, and observations on our pilgrimage through life. Come back often.

Finding your Camino Rhythms

We will walk with you for seven days to help you begin your pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago September 10 to 17 this year. This offering includes a pre-walk workshop and follow-up contacts.

Save $200 by singing up with our Early Bird Special before April 30.

Learn more!

Also available at Our Offerings, Finding your Camino Rhythms on our menus.

American Pilgrims on the Camino Gathering

The American Pilgrims on the Camino had their annual gathering in Santa Barbara, California, March 14 through 17. Both seasoned Camino pilgrims and those who have yet to walk came from as far away as France to celebrate the journey across Spain and to share stories.

This year's theme was The Hidden Life so, among other things, we listened to talks on hidden monasteries, the geology and birds along the Camino, and those critters that are said to inhabit the beds in some refugios (I've never seen any). There were also the old standards of what to carry and wear and how to manage your health. We also heard about recent research and ground work on creating a Camino-like path between the Missions of California. And Gerard, who lives along the Camino (Chemin de St. Jacques) in France, talked to us about how the Camino in France is different from the Spanish Camino.

But of course, the real fun of the meeting was visiting with old friends and making new ones. It was a wonderful weekend. I look forward to next year's gathering. It will be at Our Lady of the Snows National Shrine near St. Louis, Missouri. That's in the middle of the country, much closer to many. Hope to see you there if we are not out walking somewhere.

From the pages of Pilgrimage Creations

As you know from browsing Pilgrimage Creations, there are many writings about our pilgrimage walks over the past ten years. While I was doing routine maintenance last month, I discovered several pictures that were not linked to our California to Jerusalem picture index page. They were never linked! Now for the first time, the link is there and you can look through our images of Illinois Canals.

Via Francigena

There are alternatives to walking the Camino de Santiago. The Via Francigena (the French way) was once the main road from Canterbury, England, through France and Switzerland, to Rome. The 1115-mile (1800 km) route has been around since before 1000 AD. It was used not only for commerce but also by people making pilgrimages to the tomb of St. Peter in Rome and even to Jerusalem.

The Via Francigena (VF) has been signed and is a recognized European route. Though it is now not always exactly on its original physical path, it is close. Today the VF caters both to sport walkers and to pilgrims on a spiritual or religious walk. We walked much of the Italian portion in the winter of 2006-2007. You can read about it on our Via Francigena page on Pilgrimage Creations.

Compared to the numbers walking the Camino de Santiago, few walk the Via Francigena. It is a wonderful alternative, complete with convents and monastery's to stay in, if you are not up to the crowds of the Camino. When we got our Testamonium (like Santiago's Compostela) in February 2007, only 600 walkers were recorded in the official book in the Vatican as having arrived since 2000. Wikipedia says an estimated 1,200 walked the VF in 2012.

The FV from Lucca to Rome goes directly through Tuscany. It takes around 21 days and is a wonderful walk if you have the time. We loved it even in the winter, especially in winter when the temperatures were in the 50s instead of around 100 as they often are in the summer.

Our Links and Resources page includes several references useful if you are thinking of walking the Via Francigena.

Coming up

In our last newsletter we promised to tell you about three other pilgrimage routes. And today for lack of room we only give you the Via Francigena. The others and more are coming in future versions of the Pilgrimage Creations newsletter along with more news of what is happening in the Pilgrimage Creations world.

Visit Pilgrimage Creations' Our Books page and browse through and consider buying one or more of them for yourself or as gifts.

Petra Wolf and Mike Metras
Pilgrimage Creations.

Note: You can always read our newsletters online by choosing Newsletters under Pilgrimage Creations Home on our menus.