RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Sacred Places of Goddess: 108 Destinations, by Karen Tate

Sacred Places of Goddess

It might be argued that the moment a place is mentioned in a guidebook, it can no longer be rightfully described as "off the beaten path." In fact, when guidebook authors do research they sometimes encounter reluctance on the part of locals who have no interest in seeing their little piece of heaven turn into a tourist Mecca. Those who provided author Karen Tate with insider information, however, probably have little to worry about. The 108 "places of goddess" she profiles around the world are either already well-known sites of interest or will remain destinations that only the most dedicated pilgrims will seek out. It is her focus on sites dedicated to the feminine divine that make Sacred Places of Goddess a unique resource, not only for those who share her interest, but also for anyone who loves visiting unusual places.

Tate profiles sites around the world, but there's plenty to keep North American road trippers happy in her sections on Canada, the United States and Mexico. While sites like the Statue of Liberty and New Orleans' French Quarter appear in any number of guidebooks, few if any provide background information on their spiritual significance and connection to goddess worship. Definitely "off the beaten path" are sites like the Sekhmet Temple, an Egyptian-inspired sanctuary just north of Las Vegas. Others, like the Tien Hau Temple in San Francisco, are right in the middle of big cities, but are still off well-worn tourist routes. Nearly 40 such destinations in North America are described, and Tate also provides detailed information about how and when to visit.

While this guidebook is not for everyone -- it has a clear focus on feminist interpretations of both natural phenomena and human creations -- it is excellently and meticulously written and includes plenty of background information, history, archaeology, theology, and a generous number of illustrative black-and-white photographs and drawings. For those interested in seeking out "places of goddess," it is an indispensable resource. For those in search of unusual and out-of-the-way road trip destinations, this book, like its companion volume Sacred Places North America, offers tantalizing possibilities. The author, obviously a seasoned road warrior, has also provided excellent general information and tips for travelers.

Megan Edwards

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