Tintagel sea coast, outside Merlin’s Cave
I have spent a lot of time thinking about the difference between Vacation & Pilgrimage. Vacation is warm and comfortable, it’s relaxing and filled with savory bits; yummy food & a bit of pampering. Pilgrimage is challenging, often lacking in comfort and has a tendency to push one to their limits; always asking us to look deep for what more we have to offer, change and release. Myself I prefer the latter. I like to be pushed, to hover on the edge of what I can and cannot handle.
Traveling with 21 people can be challenging, no matter how wonderful those 21 people are. Everyone has different needs, and getting all of us ready to go and in the vans on time is generally like herding cats. Now I mean this in the best way possible, because I love cats. But cats are independent and often have their own view on what they think is possible. Another factor around time is that everything over here takes about 20 minutes, with some 20 minutes being much longer then others. Yesterday we drove for 20 minutes into Tintagel. It was a long 20 minutes, about 2. 5 hours. I am learning that no matter what the suggested time travel is, it is not even close. The roads are incredibly narrow, with high hedges and the people of this country seem to live in an alternate reality of meandering and lollygagging, getting there when you get there. As someone who lives by a tight schedule in my regular world, this is one of the ways I am pushed out of comfort, and into more.
Outside the Witch Museum, sporting my completely impractical outfit for sea caving
As I said earlier, I like to be pushed, in fact I seek it out. I like to see what I am capable of and how much the universe has to offer. I like to look at things from the perspective of the Seeker, learning what the world is about with the curiosity of a cat. But like a cat, I am not always the most prepared gal. Yesterday, I remembered my rubber boots, but decided I would be fine with a light sweater, short dress and cape. Arriving in Tintagel, I was surprised by just how windy it was, and glad I wore full coverage underpants and I exposed myself to my fellow travelers in the parking lot, after exiting the van. The rain was a bit heavier then I thought, but even this just made me think how I was going to need to pull on my reserves to get through the day; which involved entering a sea cave, how I was going to have to hold my dress down the entire day or be constantly flashing people my undies.
Then my trusty companion & Spirit Guide, Adam (my doorman) reminded me that I had left my raincoat in the van. Brilliant…I had left it in the van, just for the purpose that I never knew when I would need it. This was a great reminder to me, that when we release control and avoid panicking, the universe usually provides. If I had been squirming about; fretting over my unsuitable clothes, I would not have heard his gentle reminder that I was more prepared then I thought. As I donned my jacket, I couldn’t help thinking it was not only protecting me from the rain & wind, but coming down below my knees, it also solved my flashy dress predicament. Life is good, and I was happy, warm and dry with low (underwear) exposure in my future.
Tintagel is the mythical birth home of Arthurian legend. With it’s unpenetrable castle remains on top of a high cliff, complete with a large Sea Cave beneath it, it is truly magical. I had been to Tintagel before in 2011, and decided to skip the castle remains as our time there was short and the weather is was very wet & blustery; not exactly the sort desired for being at a high elevation, with nothing to brace the elements (not to mention some serious land energy vortexes). But the cave, now that was a different story. In fact it was/is the story, the reason we traveled to Tintagel.
The back side of Merlin’s Cave
Merlin’s Cave as it is known, is a sea cave. It is open on both ends to the sea, and filled with water during high tide. Visitors need to plan their visits to coincide with low tide, or you will not be able to enter. We had planned accordingly, and arrived with plenty of time to explore & do a bit of magic (science that has not yet been explained). My favorite sort of magic to do in places such as this, is sound. I must first add, that the sound of the cave itself was magical; as the wind howled and whipped through the cave. The acoustics were amazing and called to us to lend voice and join in the revelry. Soon, many of our group were singing & toning, offering up our prayers for the land through our voices and energetic bodies. We howled and swooned, and let the wind blow us about; being so powerful I could let myself lean back into it and be supported.
Photo by Dynisio Singing with the Spirit of Place in Merlin’s cave
Our time in the cave was powerful, and we all explored, played an made magic in our own ways; receiving healing, giving healing, connecting to the land and one another as a group. Magic is not a foreign thing, a scary thing, but a powerful piece of human existence. It is the innate power that lies in all of us to connect to the unseen world and become more; both physical & spiritual. Children connect in this way naturally, as it has not yet been trained out of them. Most grown-ups need to relearn the ability to find magic, but when we do it is powerful and beautiful.
For me, Merlin’s cave was about recharging my battery. The wind that howled through the cave, sang deeply to my heart and spirit, reminding me of the timelessness of my soul. Fueling me with the vital life force the Earth itself gives to us. Returning to England, for me is like returning to a lover, for I first came here in 2011 when I married the Earth. To sit in the hollows of the mother/lover/Earth, I feel the love she gives to me, each and every day. I am reminded of the magic and power that stirs, and swirls in her depths and in my very being.
After coming out of the depths of the mother, we finished our magical day at the Witch Museum in Boscastle. I gave thanks for those that walked the path of the wise before me, the ones who suffered and were persecuted, and the ones who tended the needy from the hedge, and I gave thanks that today, I am able to use my gifts in the light of day. Well I hope you enjoyed the read folks, I am off and running, onto my next adventure.