Leave Space for Synchronicity and Pilgrimage
We must leave space for synchronicity and pilgrimage to align. When our travel plans are filled with every minute being spoken for, there is little opportunity for happenstance to enter our lives. Therefore I find the most ideal trips include both plans and free time.
Planned Pilgrimage and Space
This was this case on my most recent trip to Switzerland. I travelled to Zurich, as a hub for accessing the country Lichenstein. On this journey, I was also able to pilgrimage to the Black Madonna at Einsiedeln, who Jung had written about. After I had booked my airline tickets, I found out Carl Jung was also from the Zurich region. I had wanted to visit his museum and home, but due to the fact that people still live in the home, it wouldn’t have been open the days I was in town. Despite this, I tried to make the most of the time I had in Zurich. One entire day was left to wander the streets.
As I sat at a café on my wandering morning, I noted my waiter’s tattoos. One particular pulled at me, there was an image of a snake that curled around a tree. I asked him about this, he said it was linked to Jung. He further said, “The snake represented our shadow which must be embraced if we are to grow and ascend. Snakes were also representative of kundalini energy and the tree was the tree of life.” He looked at my table and saw the book I was reading, was about pilgrimages, Jung, and Teresa of Avila. In that moment, both of us gasped. This was pure synchronicty at work. It was apparent this happened. I knew I must leave space for synchronicity and pilgrimage, so the magic would arise.
“Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.”— C.G. Jung
He proceeded to tell me how he lived closed to the cemetery that held Jung’s grave. The past three years Jung highly influenced his life. As luck would have it, he discovered his grave was fifty meters from the apartment he was living in. He showed me photos of what the grave looked like, pointing out that the tombstone held Carl Jung’s name, but also the names of his family members that were buried there. The town of Kusnacht was only 10 minutes by train from that exact spot we were in. I needed to know nothing more. I took the free time that I allotted for and went straight to the town that held his grave.
Pilgrimage to Jung’s Grave
When I exited the Kusnacht train station, an elderly man pulled out a cigar, and began singing before he lit it. He walked slowly and sang, as if he was in his own world. I wondered if the essence of Jung was in this man, as it seemed like this was a scene from a movie. As I continued to walk following the directions on my phone, I passed by a young boy playing classical music, as he sat next to his music teacher at school. I began to cry.
This seemed so picturesque, and so full of synchronicity. The beauty of the world seemed vibrant in that moment. I did leave space for synchronicity and pilgrimage, and now look at what was arising. Intuition and signs led me there, the synchronicity of that barista, the book I was reading (which I had purchased the year before in Paris but never read), the older singing man, the young pianist, and being in Zurich at this exact moment to visit Jung’s grave.
I thought I would find it easily, believing it would be the only tombstone with flowers. This cemetery was one of the most peaceful, beautiful, and well taken care of cemeteries I have seen. There were flowers at nearly every grave, a tranquil pond with a lotus flower in it, and beautiful trees throughout the grounds. After searching, row by row, I finally found the grave. Thanks to seeing images of it earlier that morning, I knew to look for a family tombstone. I sat down in front of it and cried once again. These were tears of gratitude.
This was an impromptu pilgrimage, but was the perfect time in my life. I was currently immersing myself in Jung, in regards to the book I was reading but also a course. Earlier in the summer I had completed an applied mythology course at a Jungian school and was debating to return to that same school to pursue an additional degree in mythology the following year. Several weeks ago, I had accepted a job that would be relocating me to California. It was located forty-five minutes from this Jungian school. I had hesitations with returning to America, after having lived overseas for ten years. Additionally, I was cautious of returning to the field of psychology. But the only thing that gave me hope was knowing that I would be studying Jung in the future.
And here I was in front of his grave. I wrote several words of gratitude, and left it on a card on the top of his grave, under a small set of stones I tried to stack high. Generally, when one does a pilgrimage, it is important to leave an offering, whether this is something tangible, words, thoughts, or a donation.
Reflections of Synchronicity
As I sat on the train returning back to Zurich, I noted the chapter I was reading in my book discussed the exact town I was visiting: Kusnacht. This same book proceeded to discuss the Black Madonna at Einsiedeln. It was the perfect reading companion.
The next day, I attempted to post 9 different photos and 1 video on social media regarding synchronistic experience. But all 9 photos that were shown upon upload appeared to have only been one repeated, like a Warhol series. It was Jung’s grave. Was it a technological glitch or was the other side was communicating with me in that moment? Perhaps Jung wanted me to know that his presence and words of wisdom are guiding me as I start this next phase of life. I would have nothing to fear if I followed my passions that that include themes of Jungian principles such as archetypes, symbology, and myths. One must leave space for synchronicity and pilgrimage. They go hand in hand.
“The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.”
― Carl Jung
*To read a blog post about my pilgrimage to the Black Madonna in Switzerland, read this https://amodernpilgrimage.com/sharing-sacred-to-the-everyday/