In the summer of 2019, I had the incredible opportunity to walk the Camino del Norte, a 500-year-old pilgrimage route that runs across the entire country of Spain. Also known as the Way of Saint James, the trail of Saint James, or The Way of St. James, this route is filled with historical places, religious sites, and small villages where pilgrims can rest during their journey.
As a "peregrino" or pilgrim, my goal was to reach the shrine of the apostle James in Santiago de Compostela, located in northwestern Spain. While many people choose to walk the Camino de Santiago on foot, others opt to ride bicycles instead. However, I personally wanted to take the time to connect with nature and fully immerse myself in the experience, so I decided to walk the entire route.
The Camino de Santiago has a rich history dating back over 800 years. According to legend, the apostle James is buried in Santiago de Compostela, and the route to his shrine became a popular pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. Today, people from all over the world come to walk the Camino de Santiago for a variety of reasons, including spiritual or religious purposes, personal growth, or simply the desire to take on a challenging and rewarding journey.
As I walked the Camino del Norte, I was struck by the beauty and significance of the scallop shell, which is the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. Pilgrims have been wearing scallop shells on cords around their necks to commemorate their journey for centuries, and I knew I wanted to bring this symbol back home with me.
Inspired by my experience on the Camino de Santiago, I decided to create my own scallop shell ring, decorated with tiny scallop shells along the band. I wanted to create a piece of jewelry that symbolized the journey, whether it was from France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain or simply from one's home to work. The scallop shell ring serves as a reminder of the journey and the lessons learned along the way.
But the symbolism of the scallop shell goes far beyond the Camino de Santiago. Scallop shells have been associated with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite, the Roman Goddess Venus, and the Goddess Juno. In ancient Greece, scallop shells were used in religious ceremonies and worn by brides. In Celtic folklore, it was believed that scallop shells would protect a person from evil spirits and bring good luck. The scallop shell has also symbolized safe homecoming from war or travel.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to walk the Camino del Norte