Minogue,Aine - Celtic Pilgrimage
Celtic Pilgrimage
Notes / Reviews
Few events change one's life as deeply as a sacred pilgrimage - a journey that recharges the spirit, returns us to wholeness of mind and body, and brings us clarity to our relationship with the divine. On this 2008 release, Irish harpist Aine Minogue uses instrumental music and rich lyrical poetry to capture the full emotional spectrum of a pilgrimage. From the initial fears of unknown territory and the longing for home, to the new perspective and the rediscovery of joy we gain when the journey is complete, these 11 moving selections lead us on adventure in sound to remind us of the sacred road we all travel. Aine writes: "People of all faiths through the centuries have made pilgrimages to the holy sites of revered figures. Their motivations are as various as their numbers are vast. Some seek healing, blessing or forgiveness of their sins. For others the journey is an expression of gratitude for an answered prayer. In the Middle Ages, Catholics undertook pilgrimages on behalf of loved ones who had died, hoping to shorten their time in purgatory. Prisoners of those times were sometimes made to go on pilgrimage as a way to atone for their crimes and thus re-enter society. Buddhists or Hindus still undertake pilgrimage in order to gain merit for a favorable rebirth, and the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, is required of every Muslim with the means to make the journey. In any tradition, pilgrimage honors the sacred and powerful nature of places. It provides a direct means for the pilgrim to connect to miraculous events and holy persons. Often physically and emotionally taxing, pilgrimage is a humbling and transformative rite of passage. "Although not a common religious practice for American Christians, pilgrimage is making a resurgence in the modern West. In Ireland it has never really gone out of fashion. The three patron saints of Ireland, the well known St. Patrick, St. Brigid and St. Colmcille, each have their own pilgrimage sites, some dating to pre-Christian times. The tradition of climbing the mountain Croagh Patrick, often barefoot, has never waned. People continue to visit the site of Patrick's Purgatory. The pilgrimage sites of St. Brigid, a very complex "saint" connected to the Celtic Goddess Brigid, are numerous, if not as well known. Brigid's wells can be found throughout Ireland, containing waters that are believed to have curative powers. St. Colmcille was himself a pilgrim monk. People still go on pilgrimage walks in his honor, re-tracing his steps across Ireland. "Originally I envisioned Celtic Pilgrimage as a sort of travelogue, a musical diary. But as often happens when one undertakes a journey, preconceived notions must be abandoned and the path itself becomes the destination. I find that although the outer pilgrimage is complete, my inner pilgrimage has not ended. Will it ever? I invite you to follow the footsteps of the countless pilgrims that precede us and to begin your own sacred journey."


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