25 Jul Spanish Enchantment
Reflection by Gina Gibbons // Photos by Pure Planets
After a deep dive into the watery realms of both Great Britain and our Plant Spirit Medicine time there (more on that to come), Marissa and myself gleefully boarded a plane from London to Barcelona. We explored the unknown city a bit and after a few disorienting hours when you know you’re just in the wrong hood, finally found ourselves in the Gothic district, where we saw and felt the magic of this unique and rich city. We walked, danced, ate and rested by the pier. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the city vibe, it was clearly time for a bit of beach r&r, so we flew to Mallorca for some azure healing. The seafood was incredibly fresh and the grocery store was unforgettable—so many delicious Spanish ingredients at surprisingly affordable prices. The limestone seashore was dappled with pine trees and gorgeous tumbled stones. Marissa saw this as a wonderful opportunity for a natural hot stone treatment. As fearless goats and their kids roamed amongst us, we basked in the sweet Spanish sunlight and felt our souls renewed by the soothing hymn of the sea. Each singing in our own way to ourselves and the water, we shed our human skin and became mermaids that afternoon. Little words were said, yet much was felt, created and inspired by that day on the beach. The shoreline itself was quite secluded, as you basically had to scale an mountain to get down to the waves. As the sun started to sink lower, we swam up to some local Spanish chicos who were lounging on their boat and asked it we could hitch a ride back to town with them. They were happy to take us and we had the joy of a little island tour instead of having to climb the mountain again. The landscape was jagged yet soft, ancient yet fresh. Our batteries were recharged on a deep level that day which was just the medicine we needed for the rest of our journey.
Feeling ready to change locations and explore more of Spain, we consulted our Spanish friend who affirmed our hunch to head to Granada. We found affordable plane tickets and flew there the next day. The moment we stepped out of the frigid, air-conditioned bus and onto the oppressive concrete baking in July sun, we were inundated by ladies holding sprigs of Rosemary. In my mind when I pictured Granada, I pictured Rosemary, so it was no surprise to me. I felt the draw to this place after hearing about it from longtime herbalist and gypsy-lover, Juliet de baracly Levi. Though I’m an herbalist and I adore Rosemary, the whole thing felt like a tourist scam and I politely declined the suggestion of reading my fortune. What lay ahead was meant to be unknown.
We made our way to our residence for the next week and slowly fell into deep and sultry love with the magical limestone city. The ancient essence of Granada hasn’t changed much over time and its preservation is the root of what makes it so unique. Almost anywhere you are in the city, you can see the Alhambra which is a mystical place all of its own. It is a living representation of the long-standing power held within the creation of dedicated devotion. Though its creators, the Moors, were removed many moons ago, still it stands brilliantly preserved, cool white marble giving hot feet refuge and sweet waters offering respite for the many creatures who venture to it (ourselves and snakes included).
This sacred place, to me, is the epicenter of Granada’s rippling waves of indescribable spiritual potency that pulse throughout the hillsides. Each dusk, we would climb up the pale limestone cave dwellings and witness the blazing golden star descend into the distant horizon. Though there was always a bustle of sunset noises: the distant beat of Ivory Coast reggae artist Alpha Blondy, adhan (the Muslim call to prayer), dogs barking, Spanish guitar notes fluttering by, children playing and birds singing their final song of the day—a sense of peace and calm always seemed to cradle us. We would marvel in the majesty of creation.
Our enchanting times in Granada seemed to defy full, logical understanding. I could never completely explain why it was so special to me, or why I felt it altered my perception of reality. On the surface, it was a novel experience and the people I met there changed me for the better. But beyond the obvious, there was some elusive, mystical essence that I will never grasp with my rational mind and perhaps don’t want to. In Granda, I felt a sense of vastness and freedom. I felt connected to a living history with all of creation conspiring to reveal new gateways within myself and the world around me. I felt the bridge between form and formless, finite and infinite. To play and dream in this sacred place was to awaken to some deeper understanding of my human-self and our intriguing role within the chorus of creation. It is a place I hope to return to again and again.