Alice and The Pilgrim

C77“Alice” in this blog’s title could easily refer to the Alice of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Pilgrim spirituality certainly has a quirky rabbit hole quality about it; one never knows what to expect next. Pilgrim spirituality is also spirituality that requires extraordinary faith in the unseen world and an unquenchable sense of purpose that escapes easy explanation.

This faith may be interpreted as faith in one’s inner voice and instincts, in the Law of Attraction, in the ancestors, or in the Higher Self’s inexorable pull on your psyche. Alternatively, it could imply faith in the infinite wisdom of a hookah-smoking caterpillar. However contextualized, it’s faith in the mystical apparatus of synchronicity that guides The Pilgrim along her journey toward personal destiny and self-actualization.

Any attempt to define or dogmatize this faith only strips it of its beauty and sovereignty. There is a great deal of difference between religiosity and spirituality.

Our blog’s Alice is the nickname of a small town in central Australia officially called Alice Springs. In 1977, in the spirit of Doris Lessing, with four camels and her faithful dog, Diggity, Robyn Davidson began a 1,700 mile pilgrim’s quest from Alice Springs through the rugged interior of Australia’s Outback to the Indian Ocean. Against all odds, the pilgrimage took over 7 months and earned her the nickname, “The Camel Lady.”

In the less arduous interior journey of Chrysalis Tarot, The Troupe cards like The Pilgrim are there to remind us of the spiritual axiom that no one ever walks alone. The Troupe helps us allegorize our own spiritual progress and discover the underlying purpose of our quest, a purpose that often comes as a complete surprise. Pilgrimage spirituality assures us that we will meet the right people and receive the right inspirations along destiny’s road at the right time.

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Davidson said she felt the trip work magic on her in strange and unexpected ways. ‘When there is no one to remind you what society’s rules are, and there is nothing to keep you linked to that society, you had better be prepared for some startling changes.’ (Photo by Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions)

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“She [Robyn Davidson] was a good woman. She had a dream about a kind man who would help her find her way, then she met my father [Mr Eddie] near Wingellina. He knew that country and he helped her. When she wrote her book, Tracks, my father was in there.” ~ Jean Inyalanka Burke, 1945-2012

Mr. Eddie (actor Rolley Mintuma) is pictured with actress Mia Wasikowska, who played Davidson in the filmed version of Tracks, now available on Netflix. This is a link to the book, which I highly recommend.

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(Left) Robyn Davidson with Diggity, her dog, in 1977 (photo by Rick Smolan). (Right) Mia Wasikowska is seen with the movie-version of Diggity at Ayers Rock in 2014.

In memory of storyteller Jean Inyalanka Burke.

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