Sacred Ireland 2018 ~ for women

pilgrimage to the mysteries of the celtic sacred feminine

DATE: 12 to 28 September 2018

DURATION: 17 Days

START: Dublin, Ireland

FINISH: Dublin, Ireland

COST: $AUD6000 – $AUD6250

  • Twin Share (single supplement $1450 extra)
  • Price does not include International Flights

ENQUIRY

Sacred Ireland 2018

Sacred Ireland is a rich pilgrimage for women of all ages, into the heart of the sacred feminine, guided by Cath Connelly, Australia’s foremost Celtic harpist and women’s group facilitator with Celtic spirituality guide and ritual midwife Alison Powell. Between them Cath and Alison have many years experience in group facilitation and Cath has guided pilgrimages through Ireland for many years. In 2018 they team up for what will be an particularly deep pilgrimage filled with ceremony and visits to Ireland’s most potent sacred sites.

BOOK NOW TO SECURE YOUR SPOT!

Early Bird $AUD6000
$AUD2000 deposit on booking, $AUD4000 by 1 March, 2018

Regular Price $AUD6250
$AUD2000 deposit on booking, $AUD2000 by 1 March, 2018 and $AUD2250 by 1 June 2018

Payment by Direct Transfer to Australian Bank Account or Credit Card securely via Paypal +3% merchant fee (not required to join Paypal)

Description

During this pilgrimage we will visit several of the core places around Ireland where the invitation to dwell with the sacred feminine are provided.  Ireland is a country seeped in history and mythology; where the rivers are named after the goddess and where sacred wells, stone circles, mountaintops and valleys hold the stories of those who have honoured the feminine under many names.

The Celts speak of the ‘thin place’, where the membrane between this world and whatever else exists appears to be thinner, more translucent, more permeable.  We will travel to the ‘thin places’ of Ireland, to those places where it seems that we can reach through the membrane to that other dimension.  Starting with a visit to the Book of Kells in Trinity College, Dublin, then heading to the Boyne valley, we visit the megalithic passage tomb of Knowth, Cairn T and the Hag’s Chair at Loughcrew, the The Hill of Tara, the Hill of Slane, the Hill of Ward and Uisnech (considered the very centre of Irish being) all find their home in the vicinity of the Boyne valley.  We will visit them all before heading West to the mystical places of the Burren (visiting the extraordinary Poulnabrone dolman) County Galway (including a day at Brigit’s Garden with a personal tour and herbal exploration of this visionary place).  

This visit to Ireland is not tour, but rather, pilgrimage.  We do not pass through the landscape, but instead open ourselves to opportunities for the landscape to pass through us.  We head to Connemara, to the island of Inishbofin, where we will stay for three nights, truly allowing the landscape to weave her magic around us.  Whether it is walking along the shoreline or indulging in a seaweed bath, the time spent at Inishbofin will be true retreat and renewal. 

Inishmore (also called Aran Island) in Galway Bay, will be another highlight.  This island was established by St Enda in the fifth century C.E. as a centre for monasticism and learning.  Remains of several monastic dwellings remain, offering an invitation to explore an ancient time of prayer and offer our own reflections in this place.  Dun Aengus and the Black Fort, thatched cottages, stone fences, donkeys, seals, goats, cliff-tops and sheltered beaches all invite us to linger during our three nights on this stunning island.

Each day offers opportunities for ritual and reflection.  We will focus on the feminine whispers of this country, at all times with the sense that we are heading towards Kildare, the landscape of Brigid in her spirit as both saint and goddess.  We will spend time with the Brigidine Sisters in Kildare as they tell us some of the legends around this strong feminine energy.  We will visit her sacred wells and her cathedral, we will walk the very steps she travelled and we will honour her with ritual and respect.

And then Glendalough!  Valley of two lakes, home of St Kevin, monastic ruins, walking tracks and labyrinth.  St Mary’s chapel stands aside from the main monastic settlement.  A very special place, our pilgrims will be invited to participate in a ritual in this place where the women stepped aside from the main activities and found community together.  

Throw into this mix evenings of traditional music, times of meditation, opportunities to linger on significant landscapes, two very experienced pilgrimage facilitators and yes, the Celtic harp as well!  Both Cath and Alison invite you to join them on this very special pilgrimage. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Maximum group size 20 (plus 2 facilitators)
  • 16 nights’ twin share accommodation in beautiful hotels and guest houses
  • 6 single supplment rooms available
  • Expert sacred guides at special site along the pilgrimage
  • 3 night stay and retreat on the beautiufl island of Inishbofin
  • Entry to too many sacred sites to list
  • Daily body prayer, ceremony and sacred circles led by Cath and Alison
  • Ritual, prayers and mediations at many sacred sites
  • Celtic Harp mini concerts from Cath (with her travel harp pictured above)
  • Incredible access to sacred sites and teachers of Ireland through Cath and Alison’s deep connections
  • Comfortable 29 seater coach with PA for travel teaching
  • Accompanied by Cath and Alison throughout

INCLUSIONS

  • 16 breakfasts, 16 dinners and 2 lunches, great quality food
  • All accomodation (twin share)
  • All entrance fees to listed sites
  • All guide fees
  • Ground transport in comfortable coach, minibus on the islands and ferries between islands
  • Tips (Euro50 per person, apx $AUD90)

NOT INCLUDED

  • Return flight to Dublin
  • Spending money
  • Meals not stipulated
  • Comprehensive travel insurance (required)

DAILY ITINERARY (available as a download at pdf downloads tab)

Day 1 ~ Wednesday 12 September 2018 ~ gathering in Dublin

Whether you have already been in Ireland a few days or are just flying in today, the group will gather in a private room at the Castle Hotel in central Dublin to come together in circle. We have chosen The Castle Hotel for it’s fine Georgian Architecture and because it is in the heart of Dublin with many attractions within walking distance. Please arrive at the hotel and be settled in by 3pm, to allow time to rest before an opening circle and shared evening meal at the hotel.

Included meals: (D) dinner

Overnight: Dublin

 

Day 2 ~ Thursday 13 September 2018 ~ Dublin to Navan

Following breakfast the day will start with a circle and body prayer. We will then check out of the hotel and at 9:30 make our way on foot for a guided tour of Trinity College located in the heart of Dublin City. In the magnificent Old Library building resides the Book of Kells, a 9th century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world. After some free time and lunch we will return to the hotel and board our coach to Navan, our home for the next three nights. The evening will include with ritual and group sharing circle.

Included meals: (B) breakfast, (D) dinner

Overnight: Navan

 

Day 3 ~ Friday 14 September ~ Knowth and Loughcrew

Following breakfast and our daily body prayer we board the coach for visits to Bru Na Boinne for Knowth and then Loughcrew Megalithic Cairns. We hope to gain access inside of Cairn T for a ritual at Hag’s Chair, one of the larger keb stones forming the base of Cairn T. We will return to the hotel and have a sharing circle following dinner.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Navan         

 

Day 4 ~ Saturday 15 September ~ Hill of Slane, Hill of Tara and Hill of Ward at Athboy

Following the regular morning ritual we drive to the Hill of Slane to visit the monastic Abbey, the remains of Saint Ercs tomb and the dried up holy well. We then drive on to the Hill of Tara for extended time there including lunch at Maguire’s Cafe upon the Hill of Tara. Following lunch we travel on to the outskirts of Athboy where we visit the Hill of Ward for contemplation and ceremony. Back at our hotel there will be a shared meal followed by sharing circle.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Navan

 

Day 5 ~ Sunday 16 September FULL MOON ~ Navan – Inishbofin, Connemara via Hill of Uisneach

The full moon day marks a beautiful full day journey to the enchanted island of Inishbofin in the far West of Ireland, place of our retreat and the heart of the pilgrimage. Following breakfast and daily group body prayer we board our coach at 10am, packed lunch boxes in hand for a full day. Inishbofin, a tranquil natural place ideal for contemplation, is set in the wild splendour of Connemara, amid the magical beauty of sea, lake and mountain, located off the beautiful Galwey and Mayo coastline.

On the way to Coonemara we will visit the Hill of Uisneach for a private tour with time to meditate at the sacred capstone, taking our lunch in the beautiful surroundings. And then on to the port of Cleggan for the ferry crossing to Inishbofin and the Doonmore hotel, our home for the next three nights.

Included meals: (B) (L) lunch, (D)

Overnight: Inishbofin

 

Days 6 & 7 ~ Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 September ~ Inishbofin Celtic Wisdom Retreat

Two days of ceremony, sharing and diving deep into the wisdom of the Celtic Wheel, Irish Goddesses and Celtic Shamanism, with time on the land amongst serene nature. A time of honouring the Sacred Feminine and the Sacred Feminine within self.

Included meals both days: (B) (D)

Overnight: Inishbofin

 

Day 8 ~ Wednesday 19 September ~ Inishbofin to Inishmore via Brigit’s Garden

An earlier start this morning to catch the 9am ferry back to Cleggan where we will meet our coach and driver. We drive on to Brigit’s Garden for a guided tour of the Celtic Gardens and a special teaching on Brigit, to explore the symbols of this tradition in more detail. After some relaxed time and lunch we re-board the coach and travel to Rossaveal ferry port to travel over sea once more this time to Inishmore and the Aran Islands Hotel, our home for the next three nights. Following dinner at the hotel there will be a circle and intention setting for our time together on Inishmore.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Inishmore

 

Day 9 ~ Thursday 20 September ~ Inishmore

Following the morning rituals we tour the island visiting Inishmore’s many sacred places to include Ciaren’s Chapel, the ancient Monks school, Dun Aengus, Teampull Bheanain, the Seven Churches Monastic Settlement and St Edna’s Monastery. Deirdre Ni Chinneaide will be our sacred guide at the Seven Churches. Evening meal and sharing circle.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Inishmore

 

Day 10 ~ Friday 21 September ~ Inishmore rest day

Leisure day, near the midpoint of the pilgrimage we will take a day for rest and relaxation on this beautiful island; between the morning and evening sacred gatherings the day will be at your leisure.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Inishmore

 

Day 11 ~ Saturday 22 September ~ Inishmore to Ennistymon via Fanore and Ballyvaughan

This morning we travel by sea for 90 minutes to the port of Doolin, where our coach will be waiting to carry is to Creggagh Cemetary near Fanore to visit John O’Donohue’s grave for prayer. Then on to Ballyvaughan for a slightly later lunch and on to Ennistymon and the Falls Hotel and Spa for dinner and overnight stay.

The Autumnal Equinox falls at 2:54AM on 23 September 2018, there will be a special ceremony to mark this planetary alignment of the Goddess at a time and place to be decided by Cath and Alison.

Included meals days: (B) (D)

Overnight: Ennistymon

 

Day 12 ~ Sunday 23 September ~ Ennistymon to Adare via Poulnabrone Dolman and Kilfenora

The first site we visit today is St Brigid’s Well for prayer and meditation, a very special place, central to the story of this pilgrimage. And then onto the Burren Centre in Kilfenora for a walk through time of Irish culture and traditional music. Following lunch we visit Poulmabrone Dolman for sacred connection and then on to the Dunraven Arms Hotel in Adare, our lodgings for the night.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Adare

 

Day 13 ~ Monday 24 September ~ Adare to Roscrea via Lough Gur

Today we travel to Lough Gur for a tailor-made folklore journey taking in Grange Stone Circle, Giant’s Grave (megalithic wedge tomb), Carriag Aille (ring forts) culminating with a meditation led by Cath and Alison at Grange Circle. Followed by picnic lunch beside the lake. We then travel on to Roscrea for an early arrival and afternoon of leisure before the evening gathering.

Included meals: (B) (L) (D)

Overnight: Roscrea

 

Day 14 ~ Tuesday 25 September ~ Roscrea to Glendalough via Kildare

This is a very special day in our pilgrimage, today we visit St Brigid’s most sacred site, the goal the pilgrimage has been building up to; St Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare. Before arriving at Kildare we will visit St Brigid’s Church in Suncroft and then onto Kildare and the Cathedral where the group will listen to the story of Brigid before visiting Brigid’s Well and the Cathedral grounds. At the Fire Temple Cath and Alison will lead a ritual and then Cath will play her harp. We also hope to view the Sheela na gig inside the Cathedral. Following lunch in Kildare we will drive on to Glendalough, our home for the last three nights of our pilgrimage.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Glendlough

 

Day 15 ~ Wednesday 26 September ~ Glendalough

In the morning we will walk Glendalough Labyrinth led by Cath. Following that we will meet Father Michael of Glendalough who will tell us about the Celtic heritage of this beautiful place. The afternoon will be for leisure and integration prior to the evening sharing circle.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Glendlough

 

Day 16 ~ Thursday 27 September ~ Glendalough

Integration day, ritual and ceremony led by Cath and Alison with sharing circles and time for rest and integration in these beautiful natural surroundings.

Included meals: (B) (D)

Overnight: Glendlough

 

Day 17 ~ Friday 28 September ~ onward journey

Following breakfast and a closing circle, we head onward and to the return journey to integrate the blessings we have received into our families and communities.

Included meals: (B)

Accomodation List

16 nights’ hotel accommodation, in twin shared rooms with ensuite bathroom (single supplment is available for up to 6 people with an additional charge)

12 September ~ Castle Hotel, Dublin ~ www.castle-hotel.ie

13,14,15 September ~ New Grange Hotel, Navan ~ www.newgrangehotel.ie

16,17,18 September ~ Doonmore Hotel, Inishbofin ~ www.doonmorehotel.com

19, 20, 21 September ~ Aran Islands Hotel ~ www.aranislandshotel.com

22 September ~ Falls Hotel and Spa, Ennistymon ~ www.fallshotel.ie

23 September ~ Dunraven Arms Hotel, Adare ~ www.dunravenhotel.com

24 September ~ Racket Hall Country Club, Roscrea ~ www.rackethallhotel.com

25, 26, 27 September ~ Glendalough Hotel, Gelndalough ~ www.glendaloughhotel.com

Please note under unexpected circumstances accommodation may need to change

 Guides and Facilitators

 

Cath Connelly

Cath has been playing the Celtic harp professionally since 1998. She is now considered one of Australia’s leading Celtic harpists, with her career flourishing since claiming 3rd prize (Seniors Division) in the 2004 Turlough O’Carolan Harp Competition, Nobber, County Meath, Ireland. These days Cath is very much in demand for concerts, weddings, conferences and workshops throughout Australia. Cath returned to Ireland to perform in 2006, 2009 and 2014. She also completed a solo tour of the East Coast of USA in 2012. Cath has produced six gorgeous albums over the past several years

Cath is well known for performances that invite audiences to engage in quiet reflection and a deeper sense of being. In true Celtic fashion, she incorporates storytelling into engaging concerts that span Irish folklore, Celtic tradition, music and spirituality. Her music is deeply grounded in the Celtic tradition, with its potential to dwell in that liminal space between the known and the unknown. It is here that Cath’s music melds contemporary spirituality with the ancient Celtic harp tradition.

When not performing, composing or teaching the Celtic harp, Cath leads workshops and seminars on spirituality. In 2008, she completed her Master of Arts thesis in Spirituality through the Melbourne College of Divinity. Cath’s thesis topic explored the mythic figure of Brigid and her representations as Celtic Saint and as Goddess. As a result of her thesis research, Cath, like Brigid, finds herself dwelling within a “Christian” spiritual context whilst simultaneously engaging with various creative “secular” and earth-based spiritualities.

During 2008 Cath also completed a four-year Spiritual Direction course offered by the Living Well Centre in East Melbourne. Consequently, Cath is now a qualified Spiritual Director, involved with the Leadership Team in providing spiritual direction training. In 2013 Cath became the co-director of the Living Well Centre in Melbourne. This is a position that she continues to hold. Her work increasingly involves leading retreats and facilitating workshops.

The completion of Cath’s thesis and other studies has freed up some time for playing in her vegetable garden on the outskirts of Melbourne. If you ever wander around Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges, you might just catch Cath in her gumboots in the backyard, composting, raising chooks and harvesting pumpkins!

For more information please see www.cathy.com.au

 

TESTIMONIALS

“A well experienced and compassionately committed guide like Cath Connelly has helped many a spiritual seeker on their pilgrimages whether in Ireland, on the Camino, or in the day to day issues of Spiritual Direction. By sharing her deep connection to Ireland and it’s music, culture and spirituality she has enriched many a seeker on their journey of discovery into the riches of the Celtic way.” Catherine, Melbourne

I attended your great performance yesterday at Chelsea Library…I would not have missed it! Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend such a beautiful performance… it truly touched my soul and heart as it did many others I am sure. If you have a mailing list informing your ‘fans’ of your public events, please add me to this!!  Paris, Melbourne

Cath, blessings in your wonderful work – what a gift you have!   Joyce, New Zealand

 

 

Alison Powell

Hello I am Alison, a Celtic spirituality guide and ritual midwife. My journey to Celtic spirituality and to becoming a ritual midwife for women has been lifelong but has intensified since I did a pilgrimage in Ireland in 2011. Ireland is the place of my ancestors and I had had a strong urge to travel there for 10 years. A friend and I booked to go on a women’s pilgrimage with Amantha Murphy, an internationally respected Irish Shaman and Healer. Little did we know just how life-changing this meeting and journeying with Amantha would become. Before I left I did have a deep sense that this pilgrimage was to be critical for my spiritual journey and I soon came to realise that if I did not go on this pilgrimage part of my essence me would die. I felt absolutely compelled to go. I prepared myself by finding a Spiritual Director to companion me on this journey. It needed to be someone who would be willing to accompany me in my very long journey to the Divine Feminine, the Goddess. I was fortunate to find Cath Connelly who became my Spiritual Midwife. I explored with Cath this longing and calling and was able to clearly proclaim my intent for the pilgrimage before I left. I had the clear image of standing at the helm of a wee sailboat sailing from Port Phillip Bay (where I live in Williamstown in Victoria) to the unknown shores of Ireland.

The pilgrimage became an ancient Goddess Hunt. I experienced a deep sense of belonging to the sacred land and ancient sites of Ireland and became aware of the presence of my ancestors. And I heard them calling me. Amantha’s storytelling and deep spiritual connection to the land, her ancestors and to the ancient Irish Goddesses oozed through the pilgrimage. I was blown away by what was awakened within my soul.

18 months later I returned to Ireland to join Amantha in an Apprentice Week based on the Seabhean (Womyn’s Way) and Ancient Irish Shamanism and Spirituality. I was initiated into the Celtic Wheel, the 8 ancient Irish Goddesses aligned with each point on the Wheel, ancient Irish shamanic practices and women’s rites of passage rituals. The Apprentice Week was followed by another 11 day pilgrimage to more Goddess sites. This time the experience with the land, Goddesses and the ancestors was much deeper. My roots had begun to grow into the land and the Divine Feminine/ the Goddess in the land.

On my return home I spent the next 6 months journaling, reflecting on all that I had learned and experienced and distilling the wisdom passed onto me. From this distillation I commenced writing rituals and celebrating the Celtic Wheel festivals- at first on my own and then with two and then three others. From there my vocation has unfolded in the most exciting and unexpected ways:

  • Co-leading a women’s group to educate and celebrate the cross quarter festivals of the Celtic Wheel. Each time we spiral back to a season we go deeper into their mysteries.
  • Co-leading a Red Tent retreat day for our women’s circle in which we shared the deep nurturing, connection to the Divine Feminine.
  • Writing rituals for women’s rites of passage including the unexpected joy of writing rituals for women set in sacred landscapes.  I have written women’s rites for passage rituals for women visiting Ireland.
  • Completing an online introductory Celtic herbal course with Tonja Reichley, who lives in Co. Clare in 2015.   A magical course attuning to traditional Celtic herbs, the cycles of the moon, herbal lore and rituals.
  • Co-leading our women’s circle in reading and reflecting on If Women Rose Rooted: the Power of the Celtic Woman by Sharon Blackie.  This book outlines the Eco Heroines Journey and is steeped in the women’s mythology of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  • Commencing the Sharon Blackie’s on line course- Reclaiming the Wise Woman as I seek to explore further the wise women in the Celtic tradition and as I journey to becoming a crone.

In my spare time I delight in growing many Celtic herbs in my garden. Through the herbs my spiritual connection to the spirit of Mother Earth and trees and plants where I live in Williamstown has come alive.

This is the colourful weave I bring to the women’s tour to Ireland.

 

TESTIMONIALS

“Alison is a warm and generous facilitator. Her rituals are thoroughly researched and thoughtfully presented. Alison creates and holds a nurturing sacred space in which everyone is invited to engage in trust and safety. Alison offers a place of wisdom and insight to invite participants on a rich and personal journey of discovery. The friendly and open atmosphere which Alison fosters within each circle invites deep sharing, warmth and humour. “ Fyona, Australia

“Alison Powell’s dedication and passion for the Celtic journey of life has been a great inspiration for me and for many others who have shared in her group work. Her love of Celtic spirituality is authentic, well researched and fun loving. The rituals she had led have been times of deep awakening of the timeless Feminine Spirit while being true to the Celtic Way and are just as real for the 21st century as they were for our ancestors.” Catherine, Australia

“Alison’s authenticity shows in her passion and her depth of understanding of Celtic spirituality.  Her ability to weave  wisdom, compassion and humor into her ceremonies, awakens ones spirit and invites the soul to be free.  She is a true Celtic goddess. Alison lovingly designed a beautiful ceremony for my retirement at Glendalough, a monastic site in the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland.  My ritual honored and released my past career, and brought me to the threshold of deep peace and hope for my future.  By bringing the Goddess Brigid and her flame to us, Alison showed me how to honor the spark within, and how to reignite that spark to pursue my dreams. Should you want to be with a teacher/guide/wise woman to know Ireland, the world of Celtic Spirituality, into your own soul, chant and song and poem, into wonder and mist and mystery…I encourage you to walk through the threshold with Alison.” Laurie, Canada

“I struggled to find a way to move forward after my divorce in a positive manner and still acknowledge the time in my life spent married. I wanted to do what was best for myself and my ex husband, whom I still considered my friend.  With Alison’s guidance I found a way to do this through ritual, in a place that my soul felt at home.  Glendalough, Ireland. Alison helped me to acknowledge my married life and divorce in a way that felt right right for me. I felt a great sense of gratitude and calmness following the steps as suggested by Alison. “ Patsy, Canada

FAQs

Do I need to follow a particular spiritual path myself? ~ You do not need to follow a particular spiritual path to join us on this pilgrimage.  Both Cath and Alison have many years experience of working with women from many different spiritual paths and are dedicated to empowering women to honour their own authentic path.  What is required to join us on this pilgrimage is to come with an open heart and eyes of wonder.

What are the spiritual paths of the pilgrimage guides? ~ Cath is an active Anglican.  Like the Irish Saint and Goddess, Brigid, Cath has one foot in the Christian world and one foot in the pagan world.  Brigid is a bridge between these worlds and so is Cath.  She is deeply committed to empowering women. Alison has a Christian background but now dedicates her path to honour the Divine Feminine.  She has been initiated into the Seabhean Way (Women’s Way) and the Ancient Irish Shamanism and Spirituality.  Alison is committed to companioning women on their own unique path.

What does the Sacred Feminine (Divine Feminine) mean in Celtic Spirituality? ~ Delores Whelan in her book Ever Ancient Ever New writes in Chapter 6: The Divine Feminine in Celtic Spirituality (p.69): “…an important truth at the heart of Celtic spiritual tradition, one that honours the presence of the divine feminine and understands that even God emerges out of the feminine energy of being-ness.  The presence of the divine feminine is central in both the Celtic Spiritual tradition and culture. The divine feminine has three different, but related manifestations- the maiden, the mother and the cailleach, or crone- which together comprise a feminine trinity.  Each aspect of this trinity occupies a different role within the life, death and rebirth continuum, another central concept in  Celtic cosmology.  …… All aspects of life, death and rebirth result from interactions between the masculine and feminine energies, which are honored through he pantheon of gods and goddesses that inhabit the pre- Christian Celtic myths and legends. “

The Sacred Feminine is the earth Herself and She is ever present it the land and the sacred and ancient myths and stories of Ireland.   We will be connecting to these Celtic women’s stories and energy as they are embodied in the sites we visit and ultimately it is hoped that we will meet the Sacred Feminine with ourselves.

 

 

How do I prepare for the pilgrimage? ~ Your pilgrimage starts as soon as you are drawn to joining us. We recommend you start doing the following as soon as you can:

  • Start journaling
  • Notice your dreams and synchronicities
  • Look at the recommended reading list and begin reading
  • Come to know your own neighbourhood and land around you where you live- spend time walking the land and open your heart and see with eyes of wonder.
  • Closer to the time:
  • Write down and set your intentions for the pilgrimage (note: this may change when you start the pilgrimage)Before you come to the pilgrimage read out loud your intentions to a trusted soul friend
  • Gentle regular walking to prepare for our walking on the land

Can I have a single supplement?

Yes, however there is a limit of 6 single supplements for this pilgrimage.  Please keep in mind it will be first come first served for this.

What meals are provided? ~ Meals will be as per the itinerary. All breakfasts and dinners are included and some lunches as per the itinerary.

What is the currency used in Ireland? ~ Ireland’s currency is the Euro.  We are not going to Northern Ireland, which has a different currency.

How much extra money should I bring? ~ We are not wanting to be prescriptive here, this will be a very individual things. You will need to budget for your own spending money, for most lunches and any personal requirements.  Please keep in mind the pilgrimage is for 17 days which is a significant noumber of  lunches. Euro500 (About $AUD700) is a reasonable estimate.

How much luggage can I bring? ~ We will be travelling on a 29-seat bus.  This means that there is a strict limit of 1 medium sized suitcase and 1 piece of hand luggage per person.

What kind of clothing will I need? ~ Ireland has unpredictable weather, it will not usually exceed 20 degrees Celsius and can be chilly in the morning and evening.  September is one of the better months for weather and can have some days that are quite warm and summery HOWEVER there is no guarantee and it may still be cold, windy and wet at times. Ireland is famous for its rain which is creates 40 shades of green in the landscape and the many, many rainbows.   We will be spending a lot of time on the land often with no cover so please come prepared.  

Clothing essentials:

  • A raincoat or jacket
  • An extra pair of sturdy, walking shoes that are waterproof
  • Casual clothes suitable for walking
  • Warm clothes for evenings and any cold days

 

Other items:

  • Offerings you may like to leave at special sacred sites – please ensure they are biodegradable e.g. biodegradable ribbon to tie on fairy trees, a small pebble from your home, a feather, a line from a poem or sacred text or something you have written on a small piece of paper.  Think light, small, meaningful and biodegradable.  (Note: The fey like humour and chocolate!)
  • Medications – anything you regularly require
  • Toiletries
  • Electronic devices and charges
  • Journal and pen
  • Camera
  • Spending money for lunches, shopping and personal items

 

What will a typical day look like? ~ Each day after breakfast we will commence with a Body Prayer acknowledging each direction. We will then board our bus for the day and spend time on the land.  There will be meditations, rituals and attunement to the sacred sites and land we visit.  At some sites there will be prearranged local people who will lead us in a tour or speak with the group on an aspect of Celtic Spirituality.  Each evening before dinner there will be a sharing circle. After dinner there is free time for the evening. Note: There will be a Retreat Day in the Connemara lead by Cath and Alison.  And some days will have free time as per the itinerary.

Why were these places selected for the itinerary? ~ Cath and Alison have chosen places we will visit based on:

  • Ancient Sacred Sites with a focus on the Sacred Feminine, and the feminine stories and mythologies of Ireland
  • Some sites will be well known however, others will be less known- we will be keeping tourist places to a minimum
  • Wild places that will connect you to the mysteries of Mother Earth as she is embodied in the Irish landscape
  • The pilgrimage will be working towards our goal of meeting Brigid in her most sacred place of Kildare

Recommended Reading

Ever Ancient Ever New: Celtic Spirituality in the 21st Century, by Dolores Whelan

If Women Rose Rooted: The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging, by Sharon Blackie

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O’Donoghue

Kindling the Celtic Spirit, by Mara Freeman

The Celtic Way of Prayer: the Reovering of the Religious Imagination, by Esta De Waal

The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seekers Guide to Making Travel Sacred, by Phil Cousineau

 

Websites

Sharon Blackie: www.sharonblackie.net & www.thehedgesschool.org

Dolores Whelan: www.doloreswhelan.ie

Mara Freeman: www.chalicecentre.net/mara-freeman.html

 

 

PILGRIMAGE TO THE MYSTERIES OF THE CELTIC SACRED FEMININE

SACRED IRELAND PILGRIMAGE 2018

PILGRIMAGE DATES: 12 to 28 September 2018

PILGRIMAGE RELEASE TERMS

I.  DEPOSIT AND PAYMENT: The investment for the Pilgrimage is either A or B or C

A: $AUD 6,250 > deposit of $AUD2,000 on booking and two subsequent payments; $AUD2,000 by 1 March 2018 and $AUD2,250 by 1 June 2018

B: $AUD 6,000 > deposit of $AUD2,000 on booking and $AUD4000 by 1 March 2018

C: $AUD 5,750 > deposit of $AUD2,000 on booking and $AUD3750 by 1 September 2017

SPACE IS LIMITED.  Reservations are made on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED basis.  A deposit is required to reserve your place on the tour. If the balance is not received 7 days after its due date, the reservation is subject to cancellation.

Payment must be in AUD (AUD Dollars) into our bank account held in Australia or by credit card via PayPal.

  1. Direct deposit into bank account.

Please contact transformational tours to receive a payment request with bank details.

2. PayPal

  1. If you are registered you can send money from your bank account to Transformational Tours bank account by Send Money using jeremy@transformationaltours.org as the recipient.   Please ensure your payment also covers PayPal transaction fees. Please ensure you include a message stating your name and/or invoice number.
  2. Credit card. You do not require a PayPal account to pay by credit card. If you want to pay by credit card through PayPal let us know and we will email you a PayPal invoice, simply click the link and you can pay securely using your credit card. This will incur an additional 3% PayPal credit card transaction fee.

II.  CANCELLATION: Cancellations must be made by email, or letter, to Jeremy Ball, at Transformational Tours.

All payments are strictly non refundable, the cancellation policy will be applied. We recommend comprehensive travel insurance including cancellation cover be taken out at the time of booking.

Any domestic or international flights booked either personally by you, or by Transformational Tours on your behalf, do not apply to these cancellation refunds and refund amounts for those flights will be strictly as per the airline policy.

If the minimum number of participants for the tour is not reached, you will be notified as soon as possible and your deposit will be refunded in full.

III.  RESPONSIBILITIES OF TRANSFORMATIONAL TOURS: Transformational Tours agrees to provide the travel services identified with this travel program, as outlined specifically below. 

IV.  RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTICIPANTS: Participants agree to respect the customs, peoples, and lands covered by the tour. Participants also agree to be respectful to the group participants and the various group leaders. We are non-judgmental, safe, healing, and accepting, and by signing this document, you agree to abide by those ideals in your comportment with the group and with our environment.

It is within the discretion of the group leaders to address any disrespectful participant in a way deemed most appropriate to the tour and to the group.

It is a requirement that each participant holds a valid travel insurance policy which includes medical repatriation, for the duration of the trip and provides a copy of the policy to Transformational Tours before the tour departs.

It is the responsibility of the Participant to research and decide on any vaccinations or immunisations that are either required, or advised to be received for the countries being visited on this tour, if applicable.

It is the responsibility of the Participant to obtain any visa required for entry to any country visited on this tour, if applicable. Transformational Tours cannot be held responsible if a Participant is refused entry to any country.

Participants agree to arrive at the tour departure site on the date and time indicated by Transformational Tours. Failure to do so may result in forfeiture of monies paid.

V.  WAIVER: Transformational Tours, its agents or associates, shall NOT be liable for any delay, change in schedule, loss, damage, or injury to property or persons, including sickness and death, caused by reason of negligence, wrongful or intentional acts, acts of God, terrorist acts, governmental or political actions, civil unrest or hostilities, notwithstanding any travel advisories or warnings; or for defects of equipment of any Travel Supplier or Transformational Tours.

Transformational Tours, its agents or associates, shall NOT be liable for expense or inconvenience caused by late arrivals of any conveyances, or changes of schedule or accommodation provided by Transformational Tours or its agents or suppliers.

Transformational Tours shall have the right to decline to accept or retain any person as a tour participant should such tour participant’s health, mental condition, physical infirmity, or general deportment impede the operation of the travel program, or the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of other tour participants.

Transformational Tours reserves the right to substitute accommodation or alter itineraries.

Transformational Tours, its agents or associates, shall NOT be liable for or financially responsible for refunds in the event of cancellation of all or part of any tour due to acts of nature, governmental actions, travel advisories or warnings, civil unrest or hostilities, or acts of terrorist, or for any default on the part of Transformational Tours for any reason beyond the control of Transformational Tours including an activity or visitation of any part of the Tour needing to be cancelled for any reason.

Transformational Tours, its agents or associates, shall NOT be liable for any refund should a speaker or presenter or group leader cancel for any reason. 

Transformational Tours, its agents or associates, shall NOT be liable or responsible for any physical, mental, emotional, or other reaction, trauma, or ailment during the trip or occurring afterwards, that tour participants might experience at the sites, or from any lecturers, workshops, or sessions of any kind, including private sessions with tour leaders and presenters.

In the event that a dispute would arise between a tour participant and Transformational Tours, the parties hereto agree that such dispute would be subject to the laws and jurisdiction of NSW, Australia.

VI. INCLUDED: 16 nights shared accommodation (in hotels and guesthouses, 3 stars and above); transport to all destinations on the pilgrimage itinerary including expert guiding; entrance fees to national parks and other sites stipulated in the itinerary; activities stipulated in the itinerary; meals stipulated in itinerary (all breakfasts, 2 lunches and all dinners); guide services; tips to driver, guides, porters, etc (included tip kitty approximately EURO 1000 for the group).

Please note – all prices are quoted for shared accommodation.  If you are not travelling with someone you can share a room with, Transformational Tours will endeavour to provide you with shared accommodation with another tour participant.  If this is not possible, there will be a further charge for single accommodation.

VII.  NOT INCLUDED:  The price of the tour does NOT include international flights, international travel insurance; visa fees; vaccination costs; meals not stipulated in the itinerary (most lunches are NOT included); entrance fees to extra activities (unless stipulated) and or optional donations or offerings at any sites visited; personal spending; transport or entrance fees to optional sites during free or rest days; additional or unexpected expenses to include fees such as international or domestic airport taxes (if applicable and not already included on the ticket) and extra government fees; additional expenses due to tour disruption caused by events covered at V.

VIII. PILGRIMAGE GUIDES: Cath Connelly and Alison Powell are the Transformational Tours pilgrimage guides for this sacred journey. If Cath or / and Alison are not able to attend for any reason, the pilgrimage will still go ahead with other excellent guides in their place. We really do not expect this to happen as Cath and Alison are just as committed and excited about this pilgrimage as you are.

IX. HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE: Each pilgrimage participant will be required to complete a simple health and next of kin questionnaire in order for Transformational Tours, her guides and agents to support you and your pilgrimage to the best of our ability. We will hold the information you provide in the greatest respect and in confidence only sharing it with medical practitioners and our agents if and when required.

MEDIA

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