Holy Rover

“Whether describing mystical visions or the rhythms of everyday life, Erickson turns the spiritual journey into a series of exciting transformations.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[Erickson] spins a fine yarn and weaves in a mighty dose of insight along the way . . . And her explication — never settling for an off-the-shelf recounting or humdrum heard-it-all-before — digs deep, shining light on little-known nooks and crannies of the religion world’s most uncanny characters and sacred landscapes. With every stop on the ‘Holy Rover’ tour, the armchair spiritualist stumbles into something new to learn.” Chicago Tribune

“The respect that Erickson evinces both for the God of her chosen tradition, and for the gods that came before, is scintillating.” Foreword Reviews (5-out-of-5 stars review)

“Reading Holy Rover is like hitting the lotto of a road-trip with Anne Lamott, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Elizabeth Gilbert—one filled with intoxicating conversations, exciting discoveries, and plenty of spiritual rule-breaking.” –River Jordan, author of Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human Spirit 

“The writing is so good that you’ll speed through this book and wish it didn’t end. Add the perfect touch of humor, and you won’t realize how much serious ground historically and theologically you’ve covered. Read it with pleasure.” –Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and Ageless Soul.

From her childhood on an Iowa farm, Lori Erickson grew up to travel the world as a writer specializing in holy sites—journeys that led her on an ever-deepening spiritual quest. In Holy Rover, she weaves her personal narrative with descriptions of a dozen pilgrimages.

Her trips give Erickson the chance to reflect on her Lutheran upbringing, her flirtation with Wicca, and her admiration for Tibetan Buddhism. A trip to the healing shrine of Lourdes is intertwined with the story of her son’s serious illness as a baby, while visiting Thoreau’s Walden Pond blends with ruminations on being a writer. Along the way, Erickson encounters spiritual leaders who include the chief priest of the Icelandic pagan religion of Ásatrú, a Trappist monk at Thomas Merton’s Gethsemani Abbey, and a Lakota retreat director at South Dakota’s Bear Butte.

Both irreverent and devout, Holy Rover includes images of holy sites around the world taken by several of the nation’s leading travel photographers.

Travel writer and Episcopal deacon, Erickson is an engaging guide for pilgrims eager to take a spiritual journey. Her book describes travels that changed her life—and can change yours, too.

The Inca Trail in Peru is one of the sacred sites featured in Lori Erickson’s Holy Rover. (photo by David Noyes)

Additional Praise For Holy Rover:

“Lori Erickson is just the sort of person you want to take with you to some of the most spiritual places on the planet. Her honest, wise, and humorous prose makes her zigzagging journey, and its search for spiritual truth, our own.”—James Harpur, author of The Pilgrim Journey: A History of Pilgrimage in the Western World

“Lori Erickson’s sense of adventure and sense of the sacred —as well as her open spirit and love of life—made me grateful to follow her wherever she went.”— Rivvy Neshama, author of Recipes for a Sacred Life: True Stories and a Few Miracles

“With grace and wit, Lori Erickson takes us on a pilgrimage to sacred sites around the world. In each of these locations, Erickson reveals a bit more of her own spiritual journey, of her own exploration of the deeper mystical meanings that underlie all faiths. Through her own quest, she becomes a healer and a wise woman.”–Mary Swander, author of The Desert Pilgrim: En Route to Mysticism and Miracles

Discussion guide for Holy Rover

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