5 Sacred Travel Books to Warm up Your Winter Reading

The Reader – Fragonard

Indulge your body’s craving for hibernation this winter and curl up with one of these fabulous books on sacred travel – simply add a warm cup of tea and a favourite wool blanket and you’re good to go.


art-2Bof-2Bpilgrimage-2BimageThe Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred

by Phil Cousineau

Author Phil Cousineau is a regular tour leader for Sacred Earth Journeys and his “long conversations” and daily discussions on travel, spirituality and culture continually enthral all who journey with him. Those same insights and wisdom are ever-present in this work, described by Deepak Chopra as “a classic”.

“I am convinced that pilgrimage is still a bona finde spirit-renewing ritual. But I also believe in pilgrimage as a powerful metaphor for any journey with the purpose of finding something that matters deeply to the traveler. With a deepening of focus, keen preparation, attention to the path below our feet, and respect for the destination at hand, it is possible to transform even the most ordinary journey into a sacred journey, a pilgrimage.”
~ Phil Cousineau, from The Art of Pilgrimage

A new edition with a forward by Huston Smith was released in 2012. Read more here. Phil will be leading a tour to Ireland as well as a writer’s retreat in Connemara, Ireland in 2015 with Sacred Earth Journeys. Visit our website for more information.


MiguelBookMayaShamanism-150Mayan Shamanism

by Miguel Angel Vergara Calleros

Another regular tour leader for Sacred Earth Journeys, Miguel Angel is a Maya Master Teacher and an expert at making Mayan culture profoundly accessible to journey participants and readers. Mayan Shamanismand its companion book The Maya Goddess Ix’Cheel: Our Divine Mother use prayers and hieroglyphs to explore Mayan culture, “helping us to see the beauty of life and the sacredness of every being in this universe.”

Available through Lightnews bookstore.


sacred-2Btravels-2BimageSacred Travels: 275 Places to Find Joy, Seek Solace, and Learn to Live More Fully

by Meera Lester

Self-help author and sustainable living blogger Meera Lester provides a guide to, as the title suggests, 275 sacred spots around the globe. Organized into ten chapters by emotion or value (Chapter 1: Love, Compassion, Devotion; Chapter 2: Health, Healing, Wholeness, and so on), the book neatly summarizes the sacred importance of each place, suggests an activity or meditation the traveller can perform when visiting and shares a “deeper look” fact about the site. A good book to dip into and discover places far and very near that are worth seeking out on a future sacred adventure.

In a similar vein: National Geographic’s Sacred Places of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Peaceful and Powerful Destinations


shamanic-2Bvoices-2BimageShamanic Voices: A Survey of Visionary Narratives

by Joan Halifax, PhD

Originally published in 1979, this book allows shamans their own authentic voice to tell us about themselves and the work they do. The anthropologist, and now American Zen Buddhist roshi, Joan Halifax, collected the words of shamans – either from living people or “hard-to-get primary sources” to create a work that explores the universe of the shaman from his initiation to his transformation, the medicine he uses and the dreaming state he enters.

These “technicians of the sacred and masters of ecstasy” are “familiar with cosmic as well as physical geography; the ways of plants, animals, and the elements are known to them”. With this excellent book, that’s still very much relevant today, their ways become more tangible and even more intriguing to us.


spiritual-2Bquest-2BimageThe Spiritual Quest And the Way of Yoga: The Goal, The Journey and The Milestones

by Swami Adiswarananda

In this book Swami Adiswarananda takes us on an inner spiritual journey that is, in terms of yoga, not a choice but rather “a vital necessity for our total well-being”.

“The spiritual quest, from the point of view of yoga, is an inward journey – a journey through the layers of our mind, through the wilderness of temptations, desires, and delusions. The journey has its peaks and valleys, hopes and despairs. […] Yoga is raising the blaze of Self-awareness”.

While every travel experience helps us connect more deeply with our own true self, it is important to consciously honour our continually evolving inner journey and this work beautifully guides us through the steps we need to take.

Whether you’re planning your next sacred destination or journeying solely inwards in 2015, I hope these books will inspire your travels. For further inspiration, our website offers details of all our sacred journeys and custom group tours!

~ Kim Bridgett