Sacred Celtic Journey: Ireland
Thursday June 27
My husband (who had not flown in over 20 years due to experiencing a near crash in Reno) and I departed on a night flight out of Orlando, Florida for a life-affirming, adventurous 18 day spiritual vacation to the British Isles. This was quite the big deal for us, since it was also my first 2 week vacation from work in 40 years! For more on what prompted me to take this trip, and why my husband went–click [placeholder for link to come later].
But I digress for a moment. Prior to the sacred sites package part of our trip beginning, we arrived in Dublin, Ireland on Friday, June 28 to have a free day exploring Dublin city centre and prepare for a full day Game of Thrones tour on Saturday.
Our GoT tour did not disappoint! It was amazing! Our tour guide, Eric, had been an extra on the show for 8 seasons and totally knew his stuff. He gave us inside information about the show, behind-the-scenes, making of, the locations, and much more! He brought every location to life! He brought 8.5 x 11 inch laminated photos for us all to link the locations to scenes from the show to give us a point of reference, and to enable us to relive our tour whenever we rewatched the show! Excellent!
We had not expected it to be so physical, but we walked and hiked over 14,000 steps (equating to about 7 miles) over hilly terrain. We were pleased that we had the stamina to do it though, as it was quite the extraordinary experience! For more specifics on that day tour–click [placeholder for link to come later].
Our Sacred Celtic Journey tour included:
- 12 night’s accommodations; we tacked on additional nights (before and after) to really make the most of it. Ultimately, we were so glad we did!
- Transportation to/from airports and hotels to magnificent sites
- Several meals with our group
- Entry fees to parks and exhibits
Locations / Itinerary of our Sacred Celtic Journey:
Sunday, June 30
In Dublin, we visited St. Stephen’s Green and attended the opening ceremony “get-to-know-you” meeting with our group at a covered pavilion in this lovely city park. After hearing everyone’s intro stories and reasons for being on this trip, I resonated with unbounded JOY!
We stopped by this bench, the story of which I knew nothing about, held hands and said prayers for the historical women who had been so maligned and mistreated.
We walked through the city to an Irish pub for lunch–The Bankers Bar, where a sweetheart of a guy sang an Irish song to Susan when she ordered the Irish coffee, and Patricia (Patricia McGivern, certified hypnotist, author, and speaker and amazing leader of this tour) joined our table to hear Richard talk about UFOs.
Next, it was off to Trinity college to see the Book of Kells.
I was in awe of the whole place and had so been looking forward to this! However, the book was nice, but not as stupendous as I had expected. And similar to Disney, when you exit downstairs, you can’t leave without going through the gift shop. I made a mental note to look online later for souvenirs.
Don’t get me wrong, I was totally enthralled with the upstairs library and was told that students of Trinity college could check out books from it. Some of these books are worth a lot and are hidden!
After leaving the Book of Kells, our group walked through Dublin to dinner, seeing many sights such as the Ha’Penny bridge and taking photos along the way.
We dined with our group (well, part of our group) at another Bankers restaurant (not related to the lunch place), The Bank on College Green, which was fine dining and gorgeous. We sat in separate rooms (it’s not always easy to get 15 people seated together) and made the most of it by playing “table wars” with the other members of our group that weren’t seated near us.
It was a blast and our servers had a lot of fun taking part in that with us too! 😉
This light and fluffy strawberry cheesecake and sorbet dessert was like none I’d experienced before! Not too sugary. Yum!
This particular evening, we stayed at the lovely Trinity City Hotel. Note: Before our group had all arrived, my husband and I stayed at the modern Gibson hotel, which was a luxurious treat! (More about that on the next post.)
After dinner, a few of us met outside the hotel bar and heard lots of stories from an Irish tour guide, Amon (who was Scottish and not one of our guides), whom Pharon had met at the lobby elevator. He was lively and we all enjoyed his company. I kept looking up at the skylight because it was so light out at 10:30pm!
Monday, July 1
The next day we met Tony Corcoran, our tour bus guide and driver (of Wild Irish Tours), who took us to Westmead to meet a local named, Marty, who would give us all the ins and outs about Uisneach.
Uisneach, known to many as the spiritual center of ancient Ireland, was grand and magnificent. With soft grass, cows, and spectacular views of the countryside, it was even more spectacular to have it all to ourselves for a few hours.
At Usineach we walked many hilly acres, while Marty told us stories about the land and the annual Bealtaine Fire Celebration that occurs here.
I felt a heavy energy when I approached the circle where British soldiers had placed a stone marker. I acknowledged the powerful energy and when I walked away, it dissipated. On our way to the Catstone (a huge rock that not every visitor is allowed to see), my husband and I held back from the group a bit and spent some time with the trees, stones, and land. I loved the stones buried in the earth, the lush windswept grass, and the large clover.
At the Catstone, my first thought was, “I am watching you, rock. Don’t you move, rock.” from one of our favorite shorts, Dug’s Special Mission from the Pixar movie, Up. Mostly, I fondly admired the daisies growing up and out of the Catstone like hair. 😉
To help show the immensity of the Catstone, I’ll include a picture of our group:
While walking, Tony had told us a friend of his had died the night before and I expressed my sympathy and told him about my dad. As we walked together, I talked about the 200 acres my dad’s father had farmed in West Virginia and how this place reminded me of it. He patted me on my back and expressed his sympathy for me. Is that what Connection is all about?
Oh, and I had a “conversation” with the happy cows we saw. I felt connected with them too!
During the time I walked the lands of Uisneach, I thought of my family (my uncle Jim because he’s a woodworker, and my first cousin Greg because he’d love this place for the annual festival they hold and the cool vibe), and I took some pictures for them.
After leaving Uisneach, Tony knew of this aWEsOMe place for lunch called, Red Earth. It was a delicious food stop and store, where grabbed some snacks too! I loved it as much for their mouth-watering food, as I did for their butterfly logo! 🦋
I had the vegetarian green curry, which was the best I’d ever had!
And yes, I had to snap a quick selfie. LOL
And my husband really enjoyed his tantalizing burger too!
After an enjoyable lunch, it was on to Loughcrew. Since, for us, it was the second day (after our 7 mile GoT hike on Saturday, and our 10,000+ step day on Sunday) and the day our legs were the most sore, Richard and I stayed behind at the cafe while the group hiked to the stones. We shopped a bit, read about the place, and enjoyed carrot cake, coffee, and wine at the splendid Loughcrew cafe.
I was happy to have a break from the walking and realign my energy with a glass of delicious dry red wine. The name of it started with a U, something like “Undone” or “Unbroken” and it was from Chile.
I loved our group, especially Patricia, our fearless leader and organizer. She really had put together a most spectacular journey for us. And this was just the first of three countries! For me though, a spiritual journey means peace, quiet, slow, and time to “just BE.” And I was happy that Patricia encouraged us right from the get-go, to take care of our bodies. NOTE: From my NOW perspective, I understand why sometimes a spiritual journey must be a pilgrimage. Ahh, learning all the time!
Later on, Tony drove our group to the town of Kells, where we stayed one night. Kells is said to be the place (at the Kells monastery) that the monks kept the Book of Kells hidden and safe (during times of raids and wars). Tony told us a bit more about that and suggested we walk back up to the monastery (that we rode past) from our hotel, but hubby and I were too tired.
A nice thing about being in a group is that if you miss something, like the High Crosses, someone else will take a picture or video. I took tons of little videos on our trip because we really did see a lot!
In Kells, we stayed at the Headfort Arms hotel. It was a nice place, but the bathtubs have a very narrow bottom (they kind of slope inwards) under the showerhead. Perhaps they were made more for soaking than showering. And I don’t mean to complain, as overall, it was lovely.
We ate dinner together as a group and talked a lot! Getting to know everyone in our group was one of the best parts of traveling this way! One of the coolest parts was learning of new shows and books to dig into. I was amazed how we all came together for this journey from so many different traditions (directions).
Tuesday, July 2
We visited Knowth and Newgrange, and both are noted to be older than Stonehenge & the Egyptian pyramids! Newgrange was the place of the blue light and spiral stone carvings that had magnetized me to take this tour!
Knowth was really amazing! The size of the mounds, as well as the number of them, really surprised me. The views from here were also grand. We could see Newgrange from Knowth.
We got to go inside and explore the megalithic tombs at Newgrange–they wouldn’t let people in the tomb at Knowth anymore. It’s sad and frustrating that some people carve or mark these ancient artifacts and ruin it for those who come later.
I FELT the Energy at Knowth. It was palpable! And I sensed a strong connection both for my mom and myself here when I saw the small white stones that looked so much like the Georgia white marble stones my mother just had to have in the home she and my dad built in West Virginia in the 1970s.
The construction of the mound at Newgrange was different than the mounds at Knowth. But many of the carvings were similar. Plus, we got to go inside the mound at Newgrange and experience a short light show (which simulated the sun coming through) and historical talk. Photos were not allowed inside though.
Later that day, we went to the Hill of Tara to visit its Stone of Destiny. Another bit of a hike, but we all wanted to see it.
Tony told us amazing Irish folk stories (that are passed down verbally within families) while we sat near a special healing tree at the Hill of Tara. I was moved to tears while he told a story about a midwife that had been told to children to scare them away from digging under the tree. It was so multifaceted and layered that it touched my heart deeply and I felt cleansed and wiped out afterwards.
Synchronistically, as Tony was telling the story a young girl walked behind him (like a scene out of a movie) and I thought of my granddaughter, Jennifer, and how intricately interwoven our lives are.
Before we left, Tony also told my husband, myself, and John, an amazing story about his Keyes/Keays lineage, and also about bog Myrtle (which calms nerves and can be put on skin to clear acne). We loved all the wisdom stories we heard and soaked it in.
Afterwards, Tony (of Wild Irish Tours) drove us to Glendalough in the Wicklow mountains and told us about the trail across the street from the hotel. Our group said our thanks and goodbyes to Tony and he was on his way. We felt very privileged to have met him and hope to see him and meet his wife when they travel to Florida.
We experienced gentle healing, emotional support, and peace in Glendalough our entire stay. And we genuinely loved the Glendalough hotel–our room was lovely with a view of the beautiful grounds, the restaurant was fantastic, and the bar was comfortable and fun!
We spent two nights here, but felt we could have stayed 4 or 5 days, as it was that important and special.
From our hotel room window, I watched this hawk! And I fell in love with these trees.
I walked the labyrinth and spotted a family of deer. I experienced an emotional healing at St. Kevin’s well and was stung by stinging nettle. Synchronicities being as they are, stinging nettle tea is very good for the lungs and I had been drinking it for about a year, since visiting my girls in New Hampshire!
Wednesday, July 3
While in Glendalough we had our first of three past life group regressions with Patricia. Plus, Patricia had arranged for our group to meet and learn about the softness of Celtic Spirituality from Mary Meighan. And Mary was exceptional. We all wanted to bring her home with us!
Celtic Spirituality, as turns out, was an outgrowth of Paganism (though not the same, and not what we expected). We learned the history of Brigid, the softness and gentleness of Celtic Spirituality, and that it’s all about an invitation to walk the “tread easy upon the earth” path–giving more than taking, versus a hell and damnation fear-based faith.
Before Mary left, she gave us an Irish blessing and taught us an easy chant. And we all took turns holding and connecting with her ancient carving of Brigid, as shown next.
My past life regression–Glendalough
If you haven’t had a past life regression, the following may seem outlandish to you. But this was only one of a series I’ve experienced with Patricia, and she’s masterful. Even if you don’t believe in reincarnation, think of it as a creative writing exercise. You breathe and allow your mind to flow along with Patricia’s words and become deeply relaxed. I won’t explain it away though, as for me, it is a profoundly personal and metaphysical experience. And even if you’re “making it all up”, what’s the impetus for it?
I was already in a meditative state upon sitting to begin our group regression. My field of vision (with my eyes closed) had become filled with the indigo and cobalt blue color (which has been a thing for me since my first one-on-one regression). However, before we actually got started, one of our group, Dave, asked if we could go around the room and offer comments about our experiences thus far. I could have nudged him, as he was sitting beside me, but in the state I was in, I easily let that all go. And by the time three or four had spoken, someone (I later learned it was Trudy), shared something that sent gentle tears flowing freely down my cheeks. John shared, and then Carol. Carol’s father had passed and her emotions were raw. I don’t remember the exact words she said, but they resonated thoroughly within me. When it was my turn, still from a meditative state, I offered words that both Carol and Trudy told me later were healing for them. I don’t know what I said, but I remember the whole feeling of thanks that reverberated through me. I was in utter Gratitude for life, and for this TIME.
As Patricia started the regression, my conscious mind followed Patricia’s voice, and now in a deeply relaxed state, I looked for my feet. But, I didn’t have any! I was a sea creature with an eel-like tail (instead of feet), a long thin body and long angular face. But the best part? I had these brightly colored, cellular deep, spinning, “all-the-way-through my translucent body” chakras, (but I had just watched Aquaman on the flight over, so one might say my subconscious picked up cues from it). However, I watched Aquaman again, after we got home, and no, what I saw was much grander and more detailed than what the creatures looked like in that movie.
As this underwater creature, I wasn’t able to cry, and it was made known to me (in my regression) that is why I had came back as a human. You see, underwater you can’t feel tears against your skin. For work, I was sitting in a field of labradorite stones! And in my real current life, I love those stones! They had a kind of hieroglyphic type of carving on them. But, I’ll share more about why this is important in a later post. Stay tuned!
After our group experience inside the hotel conference room, we went outside to the well and healing tree. I tied a blade of greenery to the tree in memory of my dad (who passed away in March of this year). Mary told me to ask my grandmother (spiritually) to comfort me both for that and the nettles sting. And she did!
Thursday, July 4
I woke up at 5:30am and by 6:45am, I was hiking alone on Wicklow Way (across from the hotel). This is where I fortuitously saw a deer family. The baby even tried to nurse, but mama deer saw me and nudged her away–or she was weaning it. Nonetheless, I felt quite special witnessing this family of three, and before I left, another deer appeared also. Then in a flash, they ran off through the thicket. I thought of my mom, dad, and me. Because this was a family of three, just as we had been. And I remembered my dad telling me in recent years, how he couldn’t shoot deer anymore. He’d been a deer hunter most of his life (skilled with both bow and arrow and rifle). He told me that he could see the natural beauty in them. I knew he had a soft spot for them because as a teen he’d shared that he couldn’t eat the venison of deer he’d killed and cleaned.
I loved the purple flowers, which Beverly told me were foxglove (a type of digitalis). I also loved the ferns, thatched roofs, moss, and stone walls (some with little faerie holes in them).
I also meandered through the cemetery. I went back to the room to get hubby for breakfast and after that, we walked through the cemetery again and to the lake.
We departed at 11am for the Dublin airport to fly to Bristol, England. Stay tuned for my next two posts about that. I have so many pictures to share. And you will be stunned by our pictures and experiences of Stonehenge (inside the stones)!!!
“Whenever a knight of the Grail tried to follow a path made by someone else, he went altogether astray. Where there is a way or path, it is someone else’s footsteps. Each of us has to find his own way, and this is what gives our Occidental world its initiative and creative quality. Nobody can give you a mythology. The images that mean something to you, you’ll find in your dreams, in your visions, in your actions – and you’ll find out what they are after you’ve passed them.” — Joseph Campbell