A Mystical Tour Across Southern Spain

January 14, 2018 | By More

Recently, I travelled through Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Ronda, Barcelona, Montserrat, Girona, Figueres and Besula on a mystical, cultural, architectural and historic immersion into southern Spain. Much of my journey was with 40 other participants on a trip organized by the New York C.G. Jung Centre.  I was often overwhelmed by the very deep differences between Spanish culture and beliefs and those of North America.  I was very impressed by the feeling of community in many city squares and village parks.  For example, the main thoroughfare in Barcelona, Las Ramblas, was like a sea of humanity surging in random poetic motion.  In the smaller medieval towns, the alleyways and doorways seemed to contain within their walls the shadows and echoes of past generations.  In a traditional tapas bar in Triana, Seville, I experienced what the original stand-up meal for common folks has been like for a few hundred years. Community spirit and communal eating were at their peak.  In Ronda, my favorite town, the Hotel Enfrente Arte was the warmest, communitarian lodging I have ever experienced.

Spain, and southern Spain in particular, was ruled consecutively by the Romans, the Visigoths, the Moors (for 800 years), and the Catholic monarchs, Isabel and Ferdinand.  One of the most important facts I uncovered was that, in 1492, it was not Isabel and Ferdinand who funded the voyage of Christopher Columbus. It was a wealthy Jewish merchant in Seville who was trying to save the Jews from the Inquisition and extermination by funding Columbus’s exploratory voyage to North America. In one day, in 1391, four thousand Jews were slaughtered in the Jewish Quarter of Seville.  I could feel the strong undercurrent of violence and fierce anger in the tradition of the bullfight, in the sharp clicking of heels in Flamenco dancing, and in the harsh response to the cry for independence from the people of Catalonia.  Barcelona and Girona are the centres of the resistance against the central government in Madrid.

Another overwhelming aspect of this mystical journey was the abundance of art in the form of paintings, sculptures, landscaping and architecture.  The beauty of the Alhambra in Granada and the Moorish mosque in Cordoba took my breathe away.  Gaudi’s buildings throughout Barcelona were just plain surreal.  Salvador Dali’s Museum in Figueres was beyond bizarre.  The Benedictine Abbey of Montserrat, high up on a mountain top in the Pyrenees region of Catalonia, was the most Sacred site that I have visited in my many years of travelling all over the western world.  The museum there contains works by Caravaggio, Monet, Degas and Picasso.

If you are planning to go to this part of the world, I would be happy to share with you some ideas/tips on spiritual places and cultural activities.

Richard M. Haney, M.Ed., Ph.D. (Counselling and Mediation). Richard has been practicing Wholistic Counselling, Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Mediation for the past 25 years in Ottawa.  Contact Richard: (613) 234-5678 richard@ottawacounselling.com

Category: Articles, Counselling & Coaching

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