Stephanie and I are off to France on Saturday for an OBOD members retreat in Burgundy. Beltane celebrations and talks and workshops of all kinds are planned, and we will have the wonderful harp playing of Myrdhin and his partner Elisa to accompany our meetings. Perhaps a drop of wine or two, and then we will be visiting Philippe Greffet’s fantastic vineyard at Pouilly-Fuissé – La Source des Fées. We can’t wait!
In preparation for this trip, I have been reading Nick Inman’s Mystical France: Secrets, Mysteries, Sacred Sites. The introduction, entitled ‘How Not to Get There’, sets the scene perfectly. Before writing Sacred Places, back in 2008, I researched masses of writing about the spiritual dimension of travel, and Nick Inman’s introduction is probably the best overview of the role travel can play in our spiritual lives that I’ve ever read. From this initial scene-setting, the reader is offered 180 pages or so that deal with key themes relevant to mystical France, such as sacred caves, megaliths, the Cathars, and alchemy. Finally, a further 70 odd pages act as a gazetteer, suggesting sites to visit, organised by region. Every page is richly illustrated with photographs, many taken by the author himself.
If you’re thinking of visiting France, or know it well and want to dive deeper into its esoteric landscape, this is the book for you! Mystical France: Secrets, Mysteries, Sacred Sites.