Forty Days a Pilgrim

07-08-WalkingtheLabyrinthWouldn’t it be wonderful to embark on a Lenten pilgrimage? Here’s my plan:

In the Middle Ages, pilgrimages were popular. A group of people who may or may not have known each other ahead of time gathered, traveled together, stopped at shrines/altars to offer prayers of beseeching or thanksgiving. They were led by a monk/friar/priest, who read to them and encouraged spiritual conversation. Their travel was (ideally) a deliberate, spiritual one.

I’m creating a virtual pilgrimage during the forty days of Lent. We start at a newly created Facebook group: Forty Days a Pilgrim. The travelers are assembling as we speak.

Once gathered, we’ll start our journey on Ash Wednesday. This will be accomplished via labyrinth walks. Find one near you, or make a finger labyrinth, or…? I’ll provide detailed labyrinth instruction, in case some are new to the practice. Twice a week, I’ll send a labyrinthian meditation (I have books with great ideas – I’m not that clever all by myself.) 🙂 You’re free to use them or not, as the Spirit moves you.

Our spiritual leader will be Barbara Brown Taylor. Her book, An Altar in the World, will make a wonderful focal point for our travels. It’s available via Amazon or other bookstore (I have a Kindle download in addition to a hard cover) and it’s readily available in libraries.

We can read a chapter a week (not too arduous) or more if the group decides. We can take turns choosing a chapter. As we read, we can talk together on our Facebook page.

We’ll share prayers. We’ll share ‘travel.’ We’ll share our lives. I would love if we could even – via Skype or FB or something – share a meal or two! People are already ‘assembling’ from around the world.

Everyone can choose how much or how little they wish to participate. There is no pressure, no expectations. No one will be keeping score. We’ll just be journeying together and loving one another.

I hope that by honoring the way of the pilgrim, we’ll leave Lent as changed people – at least in little ways. (I can hope for total life transformation, right?)

So, what do you think? Are you ‘in’?

Holy Wanderer – the canon of the Journey

_DSC5832“I’ve been on many journeys.” – Paul of Tarsus, writing to the church at Corinth in autumn 55 CE.

I don’t know how many times I’ve begun my altar time with deep prayer and/or a card reading, then opened my daily reading book (currently Celtic Daily Prayer) to find that the scripture reading affirms and further enlightens the initial whisper of Spirit. It happened again today.

First, I meditated on two cards drawn from Wisdom of the Crone: Magick and Journey. They instructed me that my ‘glimpses’ are true visions of the Divine, and that my life path will include exciting journeys. They further noted me that ‘home’ is within me as I travel grounded in Spirit.

Then I turned to Celtic Daily Prayer and discovered that today’s readings centered around journey: specifically, the physical journeys that lead us to spiritual awakening.

I’ve always considered myself Peregrini – a spiritual wanderer. My life choices haven’t given me opportunity to indulge in much physical wandering, but Spirit assures me this is coming, and soon. So it’s no surprise that as I gathered books from my shelf inspire me, many revolve around travel. They include:

The Sacred Journey, The Art of Pilgrimage, A Desert in the Ocean, The Book of Creation, The Cloister Walk._DSC5830

I’ll talk about each of these books in subsequent posts, making the case for their inclusion in canon.  Then I’ll give you my fiction list. (Fiction? Divinely inspired story telling? Yep. Just like many of the stories in the Bible and other holy writ.)

If you’re feeling the tug of Spirit, read these books. Walk the path of the Peregrini with me.