THE MYSTICAL BEAUTY OF Ireland
Both Trips are now full!
I am inviting ten kindred spirits to join me on a journey that connects us to the soft caress of the divine feminine in Ireland. This sojourn is for both men and women who are quickened by lush woodland forests and glens, fairy rings and stone circles, sacred wells and waterfalls, poetry, storytelling, song and the mystical shimmering of harp strings. For 10 days, from May 22 - 31, 2018, we will soak up the sumptuous green lands of County Sligo with its lochs and cairns and fairy trees.
Our emissary will be a delightful woodland bard named John Wilmott - poet, storyteller and maker of magical labyrinths that we will traverse. John will share with you the myth and story and stirring poetry of Ireland. I will initiate ritual and share my own poetry to call forth your inner well of creativity, making this journey a life-changing pilgrimage to touch a place of magic all but lost to our modern world. This is a slow ramble in that we will be staying in Sligo for 8 nights in order to savor its wondrous offerings away from the hurried crowds. We will then make our way to Meath to explore beautiful Loughcrew, a mystical place that that is home to the Cailleach, the Irish sovereignty goddess of winter. Loughcrew holds ancient cairns and stone circles and will inspire you deeply. We'll finish at Tara, where we can wander the land, soak up its beauty and sit by the faerie tree - (the OTHER faerie tree that the crowds don't know about).
In Sligo we’ll be staying at a private B&B called Lisserlough House. We will be there for 8 nights and we’ll have the place to ourselves. Maria, Kathleen and Joe will provide delicious breakfasts each morning, and many of the evenings will be spent there, enjoying sumptuous meals. You will be treated to quintessential Irish hospitality, welcomed like family, and beautifully nurtured.
In addition, you will enjoy a day at Strand Hill beach where we will relax and indulge in a detoxifying seaweed bath followed by a massage at gorgeous Voya, a spa located on the unspoiled Atlantic coast of Ireland. We will have lunch at the cafe next door and wander the sandy coastline to our heart's content.
Here is the full itinerary:
Day 1: May 22
Arrive Dublin Airport. Flights get in that morning. John and I will be there to greet you. then our bus will take us all together to Sligo, arriving mid afternoon. We’ll have lunch on the way there. Settle in at Lisserlough Retreat House. Dinner, relax and early to bed.
Day 2: May 23
Here John will give us an introduction to the mythology of the area. We will head to the Caves of Keash where we will climb to the entrances and gaze out to the magnificently extensive views of lake-dotted southern Sligo, east Mayo and Roscommon. Known as the “fairy mountain of Keshcorran” one old tale tells of a hunting party accompanied by the harper, Corann. They left the palace of the Bru na Boinne (Newgrange) to chase a giant evil sow that was causing death and destruction. Corann’s harp enchanted the beast, allowing the hunters to kill it. Its massive body became the mountain of Keashcorran.
We will finish the day at Carrowcrory cottage where we will walk the tree labyrinth, visit the well and listen to John’s stories and poetry. John’s lovely wife, Claire, will shower us with her harp and beautiful voice.
Day 3: May 24
William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and one of the foremost literary figures of the early 20th century. He was deeply connected to the fae or “Sidhe” (shee, the Irish word for fairy), and wrote extensively on the subject. We will devote this day to exploring the haunts of Yeats who dearly loved Sligo. The fairy folk will await our arrival to the green forest of Hazelwood and the great waterfall of Devil’s Chimney. Walks through Hazelwood are some of the most beautiful in all of Ireland. This day will inspire and call forth your inner poet. Other haunts we may visit are Drumclife and Tobernault.
Day 4: May 25
We visit County Donegal to behold the sacred mountain of Slieve League Cliffs, which are the highest and most exquisite marine cliffs in all of Europe with views that will take your breath away. This was a place of Christian pilgrimage and before that, sacred to early pagans.
Day 5: May 26
Morning at Knocknarea, thought to be the resting place of Queen Maeve of Connacht. This is a massive cairn, classified as a passage tomb and thought to be the largest in Ireland. The views are magnificent and one thing we will figure out fairly soon is that in this part of the country there is striking beauty everywhere you look.
The afternoon will take us to a stunning forest near Knocknarea where we will commune with the local spirits and engage in ritual for personal and collective healing and evolution.
Day 6: May 27
Seaweed Baths and massage at VOYA at Strand Hill.
Saturday will be one of glorious pampered indulgence. Described as “Heaven in a bathtub” these are detoxifying seaweed baths where hand-harvested seaweed is used to moisturize and nourish your skin, increase circulation and promote healing. This sublime indulgence begins with a steam treatment to open pores so nutrients from the seaweed can be absorbed. You are then immersed in a bath of seaweed from the unspoiled Atlantic coast of Ireland. You will feel relaxed and reborn and your skin will look fantastic. This will be followed by a luxurious massage, then lunch at a fabulous café next door. The rest of the day will be spent by the seaside where you can engage a long walk or curl up with your journal by the ocean.
Day 7: May 28
We visit Carrowkeel, thought to be a power spot and one of the most important centers of Neolithic Ireland. Passage tombs are found here and can be entered by carefully crawling into the womb-like burial chambers. These are ritual sites of antiquity that contain a collection of the most mysterious mounds in all of Ireland. This exquisite locale will captivate and call you into its mystery.
Day 8: May 29
We explore Cavan Burren, a site filled with early Neolithic tombs and dolmens. Legend tells of two giants, Lugh and Lag who both desired a young giantess. In their desire to impress her they challenged each other to jump over a wide chasm, which they did. Lag thought he could do it backwards and promptly fell to his death in the chasm below. He was buried in a chasm now known as “The Giant’s Leap.”
Here we will enjoy a picnic lunch with our guides, Bee and Tony. Tony is a master storyteller who will enchant you with his mythological stories that penetrate the heart. Bee is a poet and scholar of Irish legend and she will shower you with her knowledge and her delicious food.
Day 9: May 30
Loughcrew Cairns in West Meath.
Commune here with the nature spirit goddess, Bearra, where she sprang fertility and dropped the cairns from her apron. These cairns had astrological significance as evidenced by Cairn C, which is illuminated by a beam of light at sunrise on the spring and autumnal equinoxes. Cairn T, known as “Hag’s Cairn” is of similar design to Newgrange. When the rising sun appears during the equinoxes its movement is mapped on the back stone of the Cairn, which lasts for almost an hour. These Cairns are another place of power and they will beckon you to still yourself and experience their mystery.
Evening: Lodging at Lakeside Manor Hotel, Virginia – Single rooms.
Day 10: May 31
Tara! The Hill of Tara is associated with the ancient rituals of kingship. Said to represent the Womb of Ireland, Tara’s central Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny) roared loud enough for all of Ireland to hear when the king was crowned. We will spend time at this sacred place that has many stories to tell.
Lunch at Loughcrew’s Visitor Center (Great food)!
At the end of day guests are dropped off at Airport View Hotel in Lusk (20 minute drive from Dublin Airport) where we will enjoy a final delicious dinner together before departing the next day.
Breakfast at Airport View Hotel then leave for home.
Cost: $3300.00 USD A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your place. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 night’s accommodation, double occupancy
Pick up from Dublin Airport to County Sligo
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner excluding alcohol for all 10 days
Transportation to all sites
Airfare to and from Ireland
Airport departure taxes
Cancellation & Medical Insurance
Laundry, telephone calls from hotels
Taxi to airport June 1st
Email me at email@example.com