Walking the Songlines of the Soul: A Pilgrimage Walk, Le Puy-en-Velay to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, on the Camino Path of Stars, An Inner Journey in the Outer World

Veronica Goodchild, PhD
June 2016

(Copyright – All rights reserved)

How does pilgrimage help the Earth? …

a pilgrim’s relationship with the Earth, with the landscape, can be a love relationship. Just like us, the Earth longs for such love and calls us to love her. The Earth in her love for us helps us towards illumination, and we can help her towards hers. That is the hidden purpose of pilgrimage – the so-called redemption of mankind and Nature, the raising of all to light, wherein Light is the manifestation of Love.

Peter Dawkins, Elder and co-Founder, Gatekeeper Trust, UK

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown,
for going out, I found, was really going in.

John Muir, Naturalist, Conservationist, and Founder, Sierra Club, USA

When we touch the Earth mindfully every step will bring peace and joy to the world.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Touching the Earth

On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space toward the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, harmonious.
My view of our planet was a glimpse of divinity.
We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians.

Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut and IONS founder.

Part 1: Le-Puy-en-Velay to Conques

Chapter One: Our Environmental Crisis and the Call to Pilgrimage

Dear Reader, Walking the Songlines of the Soul, is a companion to my previous book, Songlines of the Soul: Pathways to a New Vision for a New Century. In that Songlines, I wrote about the breakthrough of the imaginal world – or Other world as I sometimes call it – into this world in experiences of synchronicity, UFO phenomena, Crop Circles, Near-Death experiences, and the Mystical Cities of the Soul. The focus of these direct encounters of a subtle world in this world happens with the opening of the heart, rather than the interpretations of the mind. Despairing about the prospect of yet another war (this time in Syria) and lamenting the continued disregard of environmental concerns in the collective, not to mention a feeling of overwhelm and helplessness about these large issues, I felt I had to undertake something on a smaller and more human scale, something that I could actually do. So living at the foot of Mt. Ste. Victoire near Aix-en-Provence during the summer of 2013, and hiking almost every day on this sacred mountain, I made plans to walk part of the El Camino de Santiago, not in Spain, but in France, called there Le Chemin de Saint Jacques: I would start from Le-Puy-en-Velay in the Haute Loire to Conques, a mediaeval village in the Auvergne, a journey of some 230 kilometers (or approximately 140 miles). In the autumn of 2015, I walked the second part of the Le Puy route (as it’s called), from Conques to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, some 550 kilometers (or 330 miles).

This book is a story of how, in unexpected and unanticipated ways, imaginal experiences with the spirit and spirits of nature during my walks helped to transform my grief into what I can only describe as a deepening of love both for our Earth, and from the planet toward me. These chance encounters that opened me in subtle ways to other dimensions then led me to the next phase of my life, as if a resonant field of songlines or dreaming-tracks was orchestrating the invisible threads of fate. The encounters also reminded me of the first time I had had an experience of the ‘light of nature’ which was also a felt expression or manifestation of love. I was somewhere between the ages of four and six, and it took place in our vicarage garden in Sussex in my native England one summer evening.

To read the complete chapter, please CLICK HERE to download the pdf.


Mary of Magdala is inspired by a dissident Christian legend that had its origins in Provence. The drama takes place one night in the year 54 A.D., in Marseille, when Mary’s voice is being isolated in a Church where the doctrine of Paul of Tarsus increasingly helps blot out the important role played by female preachers during the first two centuries of the Christian era. The play portrays the clash between an alternative religious experience at the roots of Christendom, personified in Mary of Magdala, and an official dogmatism that predicts the marriage of convenience between the Roman Empire and the Roman Church. This is the first publication of the play in English.


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Eros and Chaos: The Sacred Mysteries and Dark Shadows of Love is a provocative book that reminds us that our soul’s primary longing is for love and then explores that longing.

Veronica Goodchild explains that our most important task is the growth of our consciousness and that this cannot be accomplished apart from an awareness of the complexities of love and its shadows. It takes the reader into that domain where eros’ arrows thrust us into those shadowy depths where our keenest vulnerabilities and woundings and our deepest imaginings and longings are hidden.


“This book grows out of a fully embodied, compelling, passionate, profoundly personal, richly imagined, reflective and visionary engagement with its theme, the inescapable connection between Eros and Chaos, love and its wounds, both given and received. Veronica Goodchild has learned that these wounds, painful and unwelcome as they may be, can nevertheless be what opens us to the divine.”

– Christine Downing, author of The Goddess and The Long Journey Home and many other writings.

“With threads of Jungian thought, mythology, poetry, and unique personal experiences, Veronica Goodchild weaves an exploration into the interrelated dynamics of Eros and Chaos, not only in the universe, but in one’s personal psychology – a microcosm within a macrocosm. An engaging book!”

– Nancy Qualls-Corbett, Jungian Analyst and author of The Sacred Prostitute.

“Veronica Goodchild honors the mystery of dream-vision and synchronicity. She explores the fierce truth of how the shadow side of Eros refreshes soul-growth and, like a Renaissance alchemist, she calls for an inner science and art equal to the wonder and wildness of experience. I feel a profound creative urgency here.”

– Coleman Barks, author of The Soul of Rumi and many other works.


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“There are certain moments in the history of cultures when changes in perception occur with such dramatic effect that one can speak of a paradigm shift out of which emerges a new way of understanding life, death and the meaning of both our personal and collective destiny.  These are often times of great confusion as the old dies and the new only slowly reveals itself.  At such times it is good to have a guide, and Veronica Goodchild presents herself in this book as a guide with a clear understanding of what must replace our old perceptions of the universe and our place within it.  Combining deep insight into the nature of the new with examples from the lives of real people Veronica compiles an impressive overview of the direction of human evolution, as experiences of UFOs, synchronicities, crop circles and other forms of non-ordinary perception force us to reexamine the nature of the universe we live in.  This book is a gift to those seeking to understand and to participate in the amazing diversity and richness of life on both the material and spiritual planes.”

—Dr. Jeffrey Raff, Author and Jungian analyst from Denver, Colorado.
Jung and the Alchemical Imagination (2000);
The Wedding of Sophia: The Divine Feminine in Psychoidal Alchemy (2003);
The Practice of Ally Work: Meeting and Partnering with Your Spirit Guide in the Imaginal Realm (2006).

“This truly wonderful book takes us into the new era announced by science with
the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson particle. Goodchild acts as guide, taking us beyond the limitations of rational thinking into unrecognized subtle dimensions of reality, helping us to reconnect with the forgotten pathways of the soul.”

—Anne Baring, Jungian Analyst, author of The Dream of the Cosmos: A Quest for the Soul and co-author of The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image

“A stunning achievement. I am on my second read through and still do not feel I have plumbed its depths. Here is a book that I resonate with so highly with that it has on occasion brought me to tears. It will now sit on a very special shelf in my bookcase with a small, but choice, selection of others that have become my indispensable guides to the birthing of this new state of consciousness through which we are all living.”

—Karen Alexander, co-author with Steve Alexander of Crop Circles: Signs, Wonders and Mysteries, and The Crop Circle Yearbooks

“Veronica Goodchild has written an important counter to the oppressive scientism that tends to silence our connection to dimensions of reality that are not readily amenable to empirical study. She shows us that there is a subtle More to reality than we have been led to believe, and she introduces us to these mysteries in a provocative and scholarly manner. As we read this book, the universe suddenly becomes deeper and more intriguing than we could have imagined.”

—Lionel Corbett, author of The Religious Function of the Psyche, Psyche and the Sacred, and The Sacred Cauldron: Psychotherapy as a Spiritual Practice

“As Veronica Goodchild picks up her alchemical stone, the veins in the stone come to life and her illumined eye and finely tuned mystical soul find their way to the page with these visionary mysteries, and Songlines of the Soul is born. An alchemical mystical treatise, Songlines takes us on an extraordinary journey into realms of the imaginal that expand our consciousness and our map of reality. Goodchild’s keen intelligence and visionary capacity hunt and track down patterns of fundamental mysteries about the nature of the psyche and psychoid that take us into phenomena on the edge of consciousness that knock at the doors of the known world : Mystical Cities, UFOs, crop circles to name a few. Anyone interested in depth psychology and the mysteries of our times will get a vast drink of the living waters of the psyche and psychoid with Songlines of the Soul, where Veronica’s work has driven a tap root down into this soul nourishing realm.”

—Monika Wikman Ph.D. Jungian analyst and author of Pregnant Darkness: Alchemy and the Rebirth of Consciousness

“Veronica Goodchild’s book Songlines of the Soul is the first book I know that speaks of the deeply emotionally touching and transmuting aspect of UFO phenomena. As she writes, every UFO encounter and ‘abduction’ is a call for initiation into the reality of the subtle body phenomenon neither explainable by natural science nor superficial psychology. We need a completely new worldview based on the reality of the unus mundus (C.G. Jung) or psychophysical reality (Wolfgang Pauli) to understand such phenomena. Today, in more and more people, this new worldview is constellated. To me, this is a great hope for our world in danger of being extinguished by our completely destructive behaviour.”

—Remo F. Roth, Author of Return of the World Soul (2011/2012).

“Veronica is [what I call] a reliable Witness. I learned about this term from a Catholic prelate at a conference in San Marino in April 1999, who reported that the Vatican takes UFO phenomena seriously because there are so many reliable Witnesses. The Church relies on this notion when evaluating miracles. The Witness is in a sacred tradition. The Zen master too speaks of the Witness as having a clarity of mind, is not attached to what they are saying, and a purity of expression. I feel my role is Witness to the Witnesses, helping to give them voice, asserting their reliability, giving them a chance to be heard, because they bring something of extraordinary importance to the culture, because they are receiving information from whatever source this phenomenon emanates from that says: human beings have to change; we have to open our consciousness, and stop the destructive path we are on. Veronica is such a Witness.”

—Dr. John Mack, Harvard psychiatrist, researcher of extraordinary experiences, and author of Passport to the Cosmos