Sacred journeys are as old as human cultures. They evolved from the ritual paths of tribal societies; from the sacred ways of classical Greece, Egypt, and the East; and from the flowering in the Middle Ages of the great religious pilgrimages that still flourish. Today, the numbers of people of all faiths and cultures engaged in pilgrimages are swelling. Each year, millions around the world leave behind the routine of daily life and seek the profound and sacred through journeys to places of incredible power, mystery, and beauty.Pilgrimages share a common pattern. Each is a spiritual as well as a physical progress with a beginning, midway stage, climax, and homecoming. Part I of Sacred Journeys leads the reader through these stages in twelve sections with themes such as Longing, Getting Ready, Adventures and Difficulties, Arrival, and Coming Home. Illuminating these stages are twenty-five personal narratives of pilgrimages to such sites as Shikoku in Japan, Chaco Canyon in the United States, Croagh Patrick in Ireland, Canterbury in England, and Arunachala in India. Part II is a concise, practical guide to more than forty of the essential routes and sites around the world.Organized into three groups according to the type of destination - Journeys to Sacred Landscapes, to Sacred Temples, and to Sacred Shrines - each summary provides crucial information on recommended itineraries, appropriate times of year, key roadside features, the environment, necessary clothing, talismans, equipment and other accessories, and much more.