Santiago de Compostela

Katharine Elliott, “The Walking Woman,” USA

“In 2014, I walked the Camino Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. I walked after knowing for over two years that I would walk. When people asked why, all I could say was, ‘I am supposed to.’ Their puzzled faces were nothing compared to the confusion in my own mind. Yet I knew deep in my being that this Camino, this 500-mile walk across northern Spain following in the footsteps of centuries of pilgrims before me, was mine to walk. It was a deep ‘soul knowing’ which made no logical sense based on my current life commitments or finances. It just was.

This knowing took place in the fall of 2011. It had been a year during which I had spent several months with my mom as she battled the decisions, and inevitably the surgery, she would face in learning she had a very aggressive form of breast cancer. It was also the year I realized the inevitable: my marriage was crumbling and would not survive without a new outlook. I needed a new perspective.

In the summer of 2011, I started reading. Our small outdoor garden in Rovinj, Croatia became my sanctuary. Dr. Wayne Dyer, Anita Moorjani, and Gregg Braden became daily companions. My paperback version of The Power of Intention was frayed after three readings, and my poor Sony E-book was locked onto Dying to Be Me and Deep Truths.

What happened was an awakening. In a short time, I understood that there is no then and now, here or there… everything is happening at once and time is not a linear continuum. And I came to believe there are no coincidences. I now understood the saying ‘the teacher appears when the student is ready.’ Often in the most fascinating of ways!

Late in the summer of 2011, my copy of Paulo Coelho’s The Pilgrimage, his tale of walking El Camino, appeared. That I happened upon it hidden in the back of a dusty bookshelf intrigued me. Reading his words a second time, this ancient trek called to me.

That summer, I opened my thoughts to the possibilities that life as we see it is simply a fraction of what is taking place in our Universe. I came to understand that messages are sent in many ways if we but watch and listen. Synchronicities such as Coelho’s book no longer surprised me. What also no longer surprised me was the validation and guidance we can receive from our angels.

I had believed since my mother-in-law’s passing, a woman I dearly loved as family and friend, that the energy of our souls continues to cross boundaries after death. Difficult to comprehend, this communication can come to us in a variety of ways. She taught me that Angels exist!

By early 2012, I committed that I would indeed walk the Camino. By that time, my sister Jeannie who had passed away of pancreatic cancer in December of 2007 and my Aunt Mary Jo who died in February of 2012, had made their way to me. Angels surrounded me! And my belief in their abilities to guide, as well as my new-found belief that we can co-conspire with the Universe, were my operating status quo.

And so it was set. Fall of 2014 was the timeframe for my walk. In April of that same year, the faltering, maybe healing, marriage tumbled. Without the specifics which are not important here, my husband and I both knew it was over. How interesting the timing of the Universe! I would be walking the Camino as my marriage was ending… when I likely needed solitude the most!

In September of 2014, I followed my heart – followed my soul’s call – and began the Camino Frances from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. The experience of my trek was completely and utterly joyful. It reaffirmed my belief, an unquestioning understanding that the Universe will conspire on my behalf if I just flow with it… if I simply let it. Everything in my life was happening in undeniable precision… nothing in my life was out of order. And my angels were with me, teaching and guiding.

Beyond all else, these last remarkable four years of my life have taught me to listen. Listen to the energies of the Universe. Listen to the knowledge my soul cradles deep within. Listen to the love and guidance of my guardian angels…believe that all I need to know, all I need to understand, is available to me if I simply remain open to the forces of the Universe and listen.

As I write this, well over a year since that magnificent Camino experience, my soul’s knowledge that I am to continue to walk far away trails has taken me to the southern reaches of Patagonian Chile and Argentina. I have traveled to remote reaches of the Scottish Highlands. In the fall of 2015, I walked a 200-mile portion of the famed Via Francigena in Italy, the ancient pilgrimage walk from Canterbury to Rome. And coming up next, the Camino Portuguese in fall 2016!

Guiding messages from my angels, along with the belief and understanding that the Universe truly conspires with us when we allow ourselves to surrender, all led me to the above, which is an excerpt from my book, A Camino of the Soul: Learning to Listen When the Universe Whispers. I hope you’ll also take a look at my blog, where I cover many more of my other travels, and my Facebook pages. And that you never forget to listen. Always listen.”

-Katharine Elliott, “The Walking Woman,” USA