Another Pilgrimage


Rhyd island
Photo by Aaron Shenewolf ( Used with Permission

I just finished editing the second largest section of Your Face is a Forest, ‘Wanderings,’ the travel journals from my pilgrimage last year.

You’ve heard I’m going to Newgrange, yes?  I don’t know if I told all of the story about this yet, and I’m only now beginning to understand parts of the story I forgot about.

The first night in Bretagne, I camped next to an Irish couple.  Great people, awfully kind, plying me with wine and cigarettes and tea and stories.  Inebriated, we talked the first night until quite late, and Ian, the husband of the two, made a particular point of telling me about a place, insisting repeatedly that I should find myself there.

I’d forgotten about that until reading these lines:

When I returned to the campground, I hung out with an Irish couple who drank me a bit too much and regaled me with stories of their homeland (New Grange–I must go)..

I wrote about Ian’s voice haunting me for a few days afterwards, his lilting accent presenting itself repeatedly to my thoughts in that ‘important’ way.

My friend Joseph put my name in for the drawing to attend during the short period where the chamber fills with winter light through a small opening.  You can go any other time of the year without having to enter a lottery, but for that period, it’s random: they get between 30 and 40 thousand requests, and they only pick 50.

I didn’t ask my friend to do this.  We met briefly before I left on my pilgrimage, talked about gods and Norse and Icelandic myths, and then he moved to Dublin for work.  We’ve kept in touch a bit, but not much, so the fact that he entered my name is quite incredible and was unexpected.

But, so here we are.

I’m doing a short fund-raiser for the trip.  Sales from Your Face Is A Forest will partially pay for the journey, and I’ll likely work a bit of overtime (which cuts heavily into the quality of my writing, sadly) to fund it.  If you can help, that’s damn awesome.  Buying a copy of the book when it’s released will help a lot, too.

My life’s been pretty damn enchanted since meeting the gods.  This is yet another aspect of it.  I’m all gratitude, and all love.


Thanks to Aaron Shenewolf for permission to use the photo of myself at La Push, Washington.

4 thoughts on “Another Pilgrimage

  1. So where about’s in Wales do you have plans to go? If you are open to suggestions then I can let you know some good places – also which to steer clear of.

    1. Hello! I’m VERY open to suggestions, actually! I’ve a friend in Cardiff who is going to meet me at the ferry from Dublin, but beyond that I’m unsure. I get the sense I should do some looking in the North, but I’m otherwise uncertain. It looks like I’ll be there for about five days, and I’m hoping to find a way to get to Caernarfon (or actually, Dinas Dinlle/Llandwrog). There’s a map from the 1800’s showing a sunken island called, of all things, Caer Arianrhod. It seems a good place to start (winter or otherwise!).

      Any suggestions would be incredibly helpful! Thanks. 🙂 (email’s

  2. Okie doke – so arriving from the ferry in Pembroke Dock I guess?

    If you can, North Pembrokeshire is awesome – and where I am from so i recommend the Preseli Hills and surrounding area.

    In North Wales, Cadair Idris could be good, most of Snowdonia is spectacular though might be impassable with snow.

    Learn some basic stuff in Welsh; hello, thanks etc etc. North Wales people can be a funny bunch – far more nationalistic and quite happy to speak welsh in front of strangers to the point of sometimes changing to Welsh when strangers are around. Nuts I know but hey ho…

    Have a go at Cardiff – I love the place, nice museum there too. Night life can be …interesting. Good sized city to have all you might want but not so big its sprawling.

    Be careful if you go off on your own up mountains or hills – the weather can turn fast and be a bitch. Take a mobile and be sure to tell someone where you will be, obvious but essential.

    I will have a think about the best places in Pembrokeshire to visit and get back to you on that 🙂

    You might have a job spotting Caer Arianrhod as it’s only seen at super low tides – it’s a reef offshore.

    1. Thanks so much!

      Caer Arianrhod being a reef makes me wonder on some stuff. I need to write up some more on it sometime, but there’s a connection between some of the Breton myths of Merovechs and Morgans (sea creatures, both) and a witch-queen from the North. Now I’m really fascinated…

      Also, I know a little Welsh, thanks to a friend who offered to teach me. Funny…I’d been concentrating entirely on the North Welsh variants while studying without having any idea I’d actually be going this soon!

      My friend in Cardiff has strict orders to prevent me from running headlong into snow-covered forests in the middle of the night alone, just in case the urge hits me.

      Thanks again!

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