Pilgrimage and Convocation

Walden Pond

Pilgrimage and Convocation by John Beckett Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship August 17, 2014 My Introduction to TravelWhen I was growing up, my family was blue collar middle class. We had everything we needed and not a lot more. Travel meant piling in an un-air-conditioned car with my parents and my pesky little brother and driving for hours on end to visit relatives. When we got there, my parents sat around and talked while I was left to fend for myself in a basement … [Read more...]

Nine Things I Think

The Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin

Nine Things I Think is an irregular feature whenever I have a list of things I want to talk about that aren’t long enough for their own individual posts.  Normally there’s no theme, but this time there is – these are the odds and ends from last month’s trip to England, Wales and Ireland.1) England drew the short straw on this trip in both time and impressions, but I hope my English friends don’t think I don’t like their country.  It’s beautiful and fascinating and it has more history than … [Read more...]


Bryn Celli Ddu

From the beginning, this was supposed to be “the Ireland trip.”  Seven of our twelve days were spent there, and while there were a few things we wanted to see in England and Wales, we were there as much for logistical reasons as anything else – the only place in Britain or Ireland you can fly direct from DFW is London Heathrow.  Cynthia’s primary reason for routing us through Wales was to take the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin, although she knew that as a Druid I’d want to spend some time on Angl … [Read more...]


the entrance kerbstone

Our original plans called for us to visit Newgrange on the Spring Equinox.  While Newgrange is famously aligned to sunrise on the Winter Solstice, nearby Knowth (which is aligned to the Equinoxes – maybe) doesn’t open to the public till April, and just being in the Brú Na Bóinne area seemed special enough.  Unfortunately, mechanical problems with a rental car forced us to change our plans, and we ended up visiting Newgrange on a bus tour as the last major stop of our trip.That was a disappo … [Read more...]

A Journey To The Isles

the Cliffs of Mohor

As I mentioned in the posts I scheduled while I was gone, I spent 12 days on a combination vacation / pilgrimage to England, Wales and Ireland.  I really need another day to recover from the travel and catch up from being away from home for two weeks, but it’s time to get back into the regular flow of things.While this is a religious blog, and while I intend to write several posts related to the religious and spiritual aspects of this trip, I’m going to start with a description of the ordi … [Read more...]

The Temple of Artemis

10 48 Temple of Artemis

I’m out of the country on a 12-day trip that’s part vacation and part pilgrimage.  Yes, you’ll hear all about it when I get back.  Until then, enjoy this report and pictures from my visit to the Temple of Artemis in 2012.The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today all that’s left is one column and a few low stones; the result of fires, earthquakes, plundering and the centuries of neglect that accompanied the shift from Classical Greek religion … [Read more...]

Pantheacon Recap

badge and ribbons 2014

Last year I wrote about my Pantheacon envy and said “maybe 2014 will be my year.”  This year I decided I needed to go, period.  I did and I had a great time.  It wasn’t a transformative religious experience, but it was a great experience of community and I’m very glad I went.This is what I did while I was there.  I’ll have at least two and maybe more posts exploring some of the workshops and rituals, but I’m going to start with a high level recap.One of the reasons I had always said no to … [Read more...]


Vicksburg Dec2013 02

Cathy and I visited the Civil War battlefield at Vicksburg on our recent trip.  We both have an interest in history and although we had driven through Vicksburg on several occasions we had never stopped – so this time we did.In the visitors center, we stood in front of a map that lights up to show troop movements and fighting engagements (is there a name for that kind of display?).  An audio recording told the story of the Battle of Vicksburg.Vicksburg was the last obstacle to the Union c … [Read more...]