Seven stages of pilgrimage
This outline of the Seven Stages of Pilgrimage comes from the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) which drew on its long experience of working with the major faiths. As ARC says, these are ideas, not rules, to help explore how any journey can become a pilgrimage.
'Simple, green, modest pilgrimage
The first stage involves thinking about being a pilgrim rather than just travelling from A to B.
2. Journey / Voyage
The second is about recognising that journeys are entities in themselves and can, if you allow them, take on a life of their own. They are not just a means to an end.
3. Companionship / Friendship / Consideration / Awareness
The third is becoming aware of the people with whom you are travelling and why you are together, discovering what each of you brings as well as being honest about some of the tensions.
4. Illumination / Seek / Epiphany / Exploration / Understanding
The fourth is about understanding the story that has brought you there: your story.
5. Absorption / Zen / Immersion
In the fifth stage you lose your role as an observer and become part of the landscape and part of someone else’s story.
6. Observation / Appreciation / Appraising / Praising
The sixth stage is to actually look at the landscape you are passing through.
7. Metamorphosis / Transformation / Transfiguration /
Ascendance / Transcendence
The seventh and final stage is to recognise that at the end of the journey you should be a different person from the person who set out.