“Seven Sacred Sites: Magical Journeys That Will Change Your Life” and “A Magical Journey: Your Diary of Inspiration, Adventure and Transformation”, by Serene Conneeley

Reviewed by Mary Frankland

These are truly unique books, each in their own way a guide to the inner self.  A Magical Journey is a slim volume, but has much useful information from phases of the moon to popular festivals from several cultures and religions.  In the latter, you will find everything from Goddess festivals to the Celtic tree calendar.  However, most of the book is a journal for you to complete yourself - your life story.  As the author says, "(A journal) allows you to explore your psyche, and is a valuable tool of self-expressions, self-discovery and self-knowledge." Every other page of the journal has a wise quotation from politicians, poets and philosophers.

Seven Sacred SitesWhere A Magical Journey deals with the interior voyage of discovery, Seven Sacred Sites is concerned with physical travel to sites as varied as Avalon, Hawaii and Uluru in Australia.  I think the quotation by Miriam Beard at the start of the book probably describes its aim best: "Travel is more than the seeing of sights.  It is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."

This is certainly true of my own life! I have only visited two of the sites mentioned in the book, Avalon and Santiago in Spain, but this book inspires me to seek out and visit other sacred places.

A Magical JourneyI found the author's description of Avalon (Glastonbury in Somerset), resonated strongly with me.  It is a genuinely ecumenical place where everyone of all faiths and none can feel at home spiritually.  I am particularly drawn to the Chalice Gardens as there is such a feeling of peace and tranquillity, deep and profound.  It is also a place of healing of both body and soul, as I can say from own experience. No words of mine could describe Avalon, so let me quote again from the book.  This is by Mara Freeman, a British druid: "Avalon is a landscape of the soul, a country of the heart. It's the land the poet and mystic see in visions, where the artist and musician find inspiration and the soul goes for healing and spiritual refreshment. A timeless land that offers initiation and enlightenment to all those who embark on the inner voyage.” (Italics mine).

The quotation is describing Avalon of course, but really it could be applied to any of the sites in this book.  The photographs are very beautiful and inspirational.  I would recommend both these books as easy to read, with a wealth of information whether your journey is a physical or interior one. Inspired by this book, I'm hoping to travel to Egypt in the near future.  These books will definitely be among my companions!

Mary Frankland

Mary writes: I'm 53 (54 in December and therefore a Crone!) I live in Knaresborough, of Mother Shipton fame, and work in York as an administrator with the City of York Council's Marketing dept.I first heard of the Goddess when I was at school in Sheffield, and she has been calling me since then.  I have been so happy since we finally came together but maybe it was the right time.  I am very interested in holy wells and healing with crystals.  I have also studied herbal medicine.I have particular devotion to Isis, Hecate and Bride, quite a broad span across the pantheons!