What is the purpose of traveling to a thin place?
If thin places are those where the veil between this world and the Otherworld is thin... what, exactly is the draw? People say after visiting - "A sense of peace washes over you" or "I feel closer to God."
Personally, I can feel close to God in church, in my home, or driving to work; and I can have a peaceful feeling wash over me when I take a walk. So why are thin places any different that any other place where spirituality is exercised? And what is it about these sites that draw generation of pilgrims and visitors back over and over to the same sites?
Remarkable things happen when you visit a thin place and allow your spirit to communicate. Answers come to us, messages are relayed, strength is absorbed, healing happens. We go to thin places for answers to prayers, for wisdom, for energy, for power to overcome or endure, to be healed. We go there because thin places are inherently charged with the Divine, and like a great well filled to the brim, the spiritual gifts are ready to be drawn out by the faithful.
These days, I mostly go to thin places to listen.
Caitlin Matthew in Walkers Between the Worlds (co-authored with her husband John) states that these two worlds are one reality - one existence with two sides. We experience our physical world with our bodies and we communicate with our five senses. But our souls communicate with the other world. Every human being has a spiritual side. This spirit moves and shifts in a different way.
Looking for coincidences or signs of synchronicity can be indicators of the two worlds communicating. This happens all the time to me - and I don't always understand it. But sometimes later - like pieces of a vast jigsaw puzzle - the coincidences and events begin to speak. A journal is crucial for understanding what has happened, or trying to make sense of voices, the communications, the messages of the eternal world.
A few of my own experiences in thin places ....
- The man in the sand which I wrote about in a post last month about an experience I had in Dingle on Fermoyle Strand in the shadow of Mount Brandon. Just after a silent (if desperate prayer), I looked across the sand and noticed an image of a man.
- The proposal of marriage I received at St Kieran's Cell in Clonmacnoise (skip down to the last long paragraph). It was strange how this old man appeared, and strange how he began speaking to me right away and within minutes asked to marry him. I wrote it down. Only after reading my journals years later did I discover that he proposed on the same day that I met my husband - in the same place where my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.
- The rainbow over the lake on the Leenane Road - this happened while I was with two other people who were equally stunned.
There are so many more - the arrow on the stone at the Isle of Mull, the Mysterious Lady at Kincora, the sky opening at the Hill of Uisneach ... some day I'll write about all of these, but suffice it to say ... if you look for messages, listen for the voices, reach out for the signs - they will be there.
Many disbelievers will say it's all contrived. No evidence will ever be enough to persuade the folks that there is another world. But for those who are open, great spiritual growth awaits in thin places.
Consider going on our thin places tour of Ireland.. It will be a rewarding experience.