Happy Sheela Na Gig Day!

Ah, today! It’s Sheela Na Gig Day! Yes, a day that celebrates the Celtic icon/goddess, Sheela, statues of which can be found all over the UK, but mostly in Ireland.

There are various legends and stories surrounding the Sheela and what she represents, but one thing that intrigues me is the one about pregnant women. It is said that if a woman in labor focuses on a picture of a Sheela Na Gig her labor pains ease! Talk about the mind-body Connection!

I learned–of my namesake story–about the Sheela Na Gig, on our trip back to Newgrange for Winter Solstice 2019, from our beautiful bus driver Edel (link to her tours here).

Sheela Na Gig images on Pinterest

To celebrate, I shared a few posts from others on Facebook and created a Pinterest page of the various images shared there.

Here’s a link to one article I shared on Facebook.

How do you celebrate this iconic legend of the Sheela Na Gig?

I never used to be a symbol person

A couple years ago, especially after visiting Ireland, England, and Scotland (on our Sacred Celtic Journey with Patricia McGivern), I found myself using symbols daily in one way or another—mostly as my signature in social media comments.

My signature symbols ❤️🦋🌀〰️

Why?

Perhaps due to the spiral symbols of Knowth and Newgrange informed me sooo much (and reconnected me to the Reiki power symbol I use when sending love and healing vibes to someone (or myself). Or because of my natural spiral curly hair! Ha!

Spirals

Spirals of Newgrange, Ireland.
Spiral at Faerie Glen, Scotland.
Triple spirals engraved into the interior rear stone of Newgrange chamber.

Some of you remember I treated myself to this energetic Celtic pendant that I have worn everyday since I bought it in Dublin, Ireland. That’s when we took our second trip to Ireland (a few months after the first trip), because I had won the Newgrange lottery to go into the chamber for Winter Solstice 2019—also, by the way, the last days the public has been allowed in the chamber!

Closeup of triple spiral pendant bought in Dublin, Ireland (Dec 2019).

Now, since I may never get back to Scotland again, I have Connected with a wonderful new friend who lives in Edinburgh Scotland and makes these beautiful pieces: Enya James.

Handmade neck torc by Enya James, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Closeup of spirals (on the back) of the torc I ordered from Enya (a birthday present to myself).

Enya, kind soul she is, also included a bracelet! you can follow her on Instagram and Facebook too!

Handmade Enya James spiral bracelet.
On the arm. Spiral bracelet. 🌀

Churches

Today, I was cleaning a PartyLite church I had bought from my daughter (back when she used to sell PartyLite stuff), and the thought hit me:

“I don’t even like most church buildings or temples, etc because WE humans ARE THE CHURCH!”

So, why don’t I just clean up this statue = graven image and give it away?

Hmmm.

And I sat with this thought while I went back to work on some documentation.

A couple hours later, a thought (or Aha moment) dropped into my mind:

“Because it reminds me of my daughter, my past experiences while attending the church ⛪️ of my youth with my family, my grandfather and uncle building churches, AND the chapel at Rosslyn!”

I will let it go. And I will know the right time for me to do so. And I will gift it to someone with lots of love attached, instead of my current vibration of, “I don’t like church buildings.”

You may remember some of my previous church rants/posts like this one. Enough said about that.

I actually have more recent notes about stuff I just learned that also pisses me off about how some church buildings are built by the congregants financial contributions (and hands on TIME), but then when the building is SOLD, the head church or corporate church or whatever you want to call it, KEEPS ALL THE MONEY!!! Grrr. S

“Sheila, quit your bitching!”—is what I have to tell myself. All those contributions of money and time were given freely of the people as a tithe or service to God. But then what does the world church do with the money? Grrr! “Sheila, Let it Go.” ❤️🦋🌀〰️🔥🙏☯️

Front of PartLite church
Side of PartLite church
Back of PartLite church (where the tea-light candle goes).

It ALL belongs to God.

Right.

And Omniscience SEES ALL.

God will deal with the money grubbers.

Okay.

Hmmm

Blessed BE.

It’s not up to me to resolve the injustices of the world. Hopefully, those churches will feed the hungry and clothe the naked. God knows they don’t want to house them (in their locked churches). ❤️🙏🤦

Perhaps the stones are more my “church” anyway? Stonehenge sure Connected me. Inner heaven to the peace on Earth (during my meditation there). And I am eternally grateful. ❤️🦋🌀〰️🔥🙏☯️

Meditating inside the stone circle of Stonehenge. Photo credit: Patricia McGivern. 2019 https://www.patriciamcgivern.com/

Newgrange: Inside the chamber during the Winter Solstice

Newgrange: Inside the chamber during the Winter Solstice

I won a place for myself and a guest, (out of 30,861 lottery applications drawn by the local children from three different schools), to go inside the Newgrange monument burial chamber, at Bru Na Boinne, County Meath Ireland for the Winter Solstice sunrise on Dec. 18th, 2019.

And though the sun’s rays did not shine at sunrise the morning we were there, it was still a magnificent and surreal time to be in the chamber with a select few for the experience.

It was also another string of events that were tied to the date of the 18th, which held significant meaning for me. (I call those happenings, winks from my dad.)

A little background

We had first visited Knowth and Newgrange in July 2019, while on our Sacred Celtic Journey with Patricia McGivern—and I had felt palpable energy at Knowth, and been utterly fascinated by Newgrange. See my previous articles regarding that amazing trip:

Unlocking mysteries

Going inside the Newgrange chamber was such an incredible experience. This was my second time inside during the same year—and at such a special time of the year. I really felt as though I was walking into the mystic.

Unlocking mysteries at Newgrange during Winter Solstice.

The mysteries began to unfold for me, as soon as I got on the bus in the wee hours of December 18th, 2019.

I was so excited and thrilled to be back in Ireland, and to be one of the 10 Newgrange chamber Winter Solstice lottery winners who would go inside the chamber that morning!

Though our friends told me of the weather forecast (of clouds and rain), I didn’t want to believe it! I had sooo hoped to be mesmerized by the sunlight that was said could light the entire inner chamber at sunrise on the Winter Solstice!

As we drove from Dublin through the night, out to the sacred site (we had to arrive early in the morning predawn), there was a calm and peace overtaking me. I was there, along for the ride, and whatever the weather would do, was none of my business. Whatever happened, I trusted it would be for my conscious expansion.

Bundled up for the cold and wet weather outside the Newgrange chamber.

Our small group of 20 people (10 lottery winners plus a guest each), toured the brand new visitors center and rode a tram out to the monument. We walked through a light mist of rain from the tram stop to the chamber. All before dawn. All hopeful to witness something none of us had seen before—the Winter Solstice sunrise into a stone age chamber.

Since my husband did not care to go inside the neolithic chamber, we had invited friends to go with us. One of them went into the chamber with me, while the other waited outside. My hubby stayed back at the hotel and slept in that morning.

Our small group before heading in. Note the dark clouds in the upper right.

Inside the chamber

Heading into the chamber. Thank goodness for house lights, as it was narrow and I had to duck in sections of the passageway in.

While we all waited patiently for the sunrise, someone played crystal bowls and chanted lightly.

I caught a quick picture of the crystal bowls later, after the lights were on.

I think because the sun didn’t shine for us that morning, the stewards of the site, granted us a few more minutes, so after the 20 exited, our friends got to go back inside (along with myself and our driver, Edel). And we ALL felt sooo privileged!

Picture of a special recessed area in the chamber. Looking toward the back and top.
Picture of a special recessed area in the chamber. Looking towards the floor. The object on the floor is stone and shaped as a kind of slab.
Another view of that area looking straight ahead. The stones were gigantic and the etchings on each were fascinating!

I spent several minutes inside the chamber soaking up the feeling of just BEing there. Though my feet were cold, I remember thinking it wasn’t as cold overall as I had thought it might be. But without the little pen light flashlights on, or the house lights, it is really pitch dark in the chamber. I had put my hand out in front of my face at one point in the dark, as we all waited for sunrise, and I couldn’t even see my hand!

One of the stones were carved into a huge basin or bowl!
This is one of the professional marketing pictures the visitor center displays for how it looks inside the chamber during a Winter Solstice sunrise.
This is what it looked like when they turned on house lights to simulate a bright sunrise for us.
Pen light sunrise simulation.
My favorite (and perhaps the most well known) of the carvings or etchings into the stone at the rear of the chamber. Note: It is the symbol on the pendant I bought there and have worn everyday since.

On the way out of the chamber the last time, I consciously chose to take my gloves off and touch the ancient stones and whisper, “Thank you” to them. I felt such a connection with those incredible stones.

Coming out of the chamber

Coming out of the chamber.

The majority of our group had walked back to the tram that moves people from the visitors center to the chamber site, so only a few of us remained. It was so delicious that we had more time inside the chamber and were able to really engage with the park staff and ask questions, take pictures (normally not allowed), and sing, chant, or meditate. Afterwards, we caught another tram back to the visitors center, which gave us even more time to visit!

You can see how bundled most of us were and that the ground was wet. This was at the entrance/exit of the chamber. One way in and out. Everyone has to duck at the the entrance.

As for the sunrise, a cold weather front happened to be moving in just as the sun was about to rise. Go figure! We’d experienced beautiful weather all week in Dublin (cold but clear), but the day of our chamber visit, it chose to rain. It is what it is. And I gained insights.

Insights

Some of the inspiring messages that dropped into my mind were deeper “unlockings” (yes, my new word), of concepts that I’d been given previously, and others were new. See these examples:

Expanded quotes of mine.
A release mantra (prayer or meditation) that I was given. ❤️🦋🌀

I had questioned myself (when Bru na Boinne visitor center had contacted me that I’d won the entry), about spending the time and money to go, since the sunrise only lasts for 17 minutes and is weather dependent, but I chose to go. And we did have an excellent time with our friends.

We got to learn so much more about Dublin on this trip. As well as, I had gotten to meet Edel, and hear some timeless stories (such as the one about my namesake, Sheela na gig), that we otherwise would not have known.

Christmas in Dublin

Me by the Christmas tree at the Trinity City hotel, Dublin Ireland.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Christmas time in Dublin was a beautiful treat too! We visited several places during our week there, sites we had not had the time to see in July.

We spent half a day at the Guinness factory, went to a botanical park, shopped (I bought Claddagh rings for my granddaughters), visited the Whiskey Museum Experience, went to the oldest pub for a dinner and musical storytelling evening, as well as laughed ourselves silly on a haunted bus tour that ended up at a pub and cemetery!

Richard and me at Guinness, Dublin Ireland.

Coming home

I returned to the USA with energy, enthusiasm, and enlightenment from my time at this sacred site.

Visiting Ireland

https://www.wildirishtours.com

When you visit Ireland, arrange a multi-day tour with Tony Corcoran of Wild Irish Tours:

Or a fascinating ride with Edel, of Eriu Tours:

https://m.facebook.com/eriutours/

With Tony you will experience the authentic Ireland, with storytelling and singing to boot! Tony’s sense of humor will delight you. Tony’s bus was so comfortable and provided all the needed amenities to make riding all day in it a pleasure.

We booked our December ride from Dublin to Newgrange with Tony, but through a twist of fate, he was unavailable at that time. However, because Tony is incredibly caring, he arranged for another driver and guide, Edel, to take us out to Newgrange for the Winter Solstice sunrise event.

And right from the get go (as we left our hotel), I felt a strong sense of connection with Edel. Edel told me deeply meaningful stories, as we rode out to Newgrange in the early morning of December 18th, that brought a tear to my eye more than once! I felt so supported by my family (all Beyond The Veil) and by the Universe.

My time at Newgrange and our entire week in Dublin was ALL pure magic.

❤️🦋🌀☀️💦🌱🍀🌿🌳🙏

A bit about me, your Spiral Sister

I would love to speak at your bookstore, crystal shop, acupuncture / chiropractor office, or other holistic / natural fair or festival. I support healthy lifestyle businesses. For information on both of my books, visit my Amazon author’s page — Click here.

An Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon. 

Plus, my holistic health book that details how I naturally reversed asthma, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is available now. Buy it here

Be the best version of who you want to be

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Follow me on Twitter at: TakeOnYourself

About the Winter Solstice

Until recently, I didn’t know a whole lot about the Solstices.

Previously published on The Wellness Universe, December 20, 2019

Except that many years ago, I had been told by a particular religious group that the Christmas holiday was celebrated at about the same time that Pagans celebrated the Winter Solstice. I knew that astronomically-speaking, the Winter Solstice was the shortest day, (a day with the least daylight), that we experience during a year. So if this is your first dive into the topic, you’re not alone.

When is the Winter Solstice?

In the northern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice occurs from about December 18th to the 25th; depending upon the year. Most people acknowledge the Winter Solstice only on December 21st or December 22nd. At the prehistoric sacred site of Newgrange in Ireland, the sunrise Winter Solstice will be observed and celebrated between the dates of December 18th to the 23rd, 2019.

Since many people from around the world revere the Winter Solstice as a deeply spiritual time, that reason alone makes it an interesting topic to understand. We all know how fractional religious matters can be. Yet, Spirit seeks to unify the fragmented parts of the whole.

Different Views

Some think the Winter Solstice is a time of connection, quiet reflection, and profound joy. Others experience this time as busy, complicated, or even chaotic; and not just around planning celebrations or such. Sensitive or intuitive persons actually dream a lot or experience spiritual downloads of information!

Naturally, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season may make it difficult to find time for ourselves, but we can use the Winter Solstice as a way to excuse ourselves from some of the drama and overwhelm and take a pause. Yes, take some time and sit for awhile to reflect on your hopes, wishes and desires for the future.

It might also be a good time to contemplate about how your year went, and maybe set new intentions and realign your priorities.

Eastern beliefs offer an explanation of how the Solstices affect us. Not only symbolically, but in a very real sense; yin energy is the darkness before the Winter Solstice and then at sunrise, the dark opens to the lightness of the yang energy.

By seeking to first understand, we may actually give ourselves more space to live and let live, let go of the past and give ourselves a break from feeling the need to control.

Curiosity, Like Love, is Eternal

Like the spirals engraved on the neolithic and monolithic rocks at sites like, Knowth and Newgrange in Ireland and Stonehenge in England, humans have sought to leave their mark on the planet.

I listed Knowth first because some believe it to be the oldest of the astronomically-oriented structures built. Unfortunately, the caretakers of the Knowth site do not allow entrance into its chamber.

Exterior of the large mound at Knowth

Thankfully, near Knowth you can visit the larger site of Newgrange and go inside its tomb. However, to enter the burial chamber during the Winter Solstice sunrise, you must fill out a lottery application and be chosen to gain entry. The lucky few who win the opportunity to go inside the tomb at sunrise, get to see the rays of sunlight fill the chamber via a lightbox cut-out of the stones above the passageway entry. Those inside the chamber during sunrise will watch as sunlight fills the entire chamber, (weather permitting), for 17 precious minutes. Yes, it’s a very big deal and a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Entrance to the Newgrange neolithic chamber

Interestingly, Stonehenge may be the world’s most famous prehistoric monument and sacred site to host the Summer and Winter Solstices that is aligned to the Winter Solstice sunset; while Newgrange only aligns to the Winter Solstice sunrise. I find this dichotomy intriguing.

The opportunity exists for all of us to visit these sacred sites and stir our inner curiosity about who and why all of the etchings were made on these gigantic stones. And we can be grateful that we are alive during this time in history when it is possible to visit these sacred sites.

I have been forever changed by visiting the West Kennet Long Barrow, (an Avebury site), Knowth, Newgrange and Stonehenge. Where allowed, I stood, walked, sat near and touched, many of these incredible stones; marveling their presence.

Last July, while meditating at Stonehenge inside the stone circle, I came to know of our “rightness to BE,” in the world. The experience quickly put me into a meditative state; when I am home, it takes me many minutes to reach that state of meditation. At Stonehenge, I became aware of why certain sites are sacred, and why, if we have the opportunity, we should protect them.

As I take the next long and luscious deep breath, I reach for the grace to continue to live and travel to these highly energetic places for many years to come. I want to take my granddaughters to these sites when they are of age.

Marking the Time

Nature shows us the effects of time. The inner rings on the trees mark the passing of years. Very few things last forever and no one agrees on the age of the neolithic structures that still stand on the earth.

Astronomically-speaking, the Winter Solstice marks the beginning of longer days and shorter nights. This is why it makes sense that as we head into the dark time of year, with shorter days, we allow ourselves the luxury of some time to journey within.

The Winter Solstice is observed by various cultures; not only Pagans and Druids. Eastern and Western cultures give meaning to the Solstice, because it marks the transition from darkness to light, or cold to warm.

In Japan, the Winter Solstice is a celebration of all things pertaining to the fruit Yuzu; that typically includes taking hot bath soaks filled with different tart citrus fruits. This event ushers in an important change in season. Cleansing rituals like celebrating the Solstice are honoring, both to us and our ancestors, before the earth makes another journey around our golden and life-giving sun.

Balance and Synchronicity

For me, this will be the first holiday I’ve experienced without my dad and third without my mom; at least in the physical sense, and I am an only child. Perhaps that is why the Universe has gifted me with so much recently; I’m thrilled, no matter the why or how!

I am simply grateful that through the use of all the holistic tools I have put into my proverbial “wellness toolbox,” I finally feel centered and balanced; even when emotionally triggered. Yay!

As an aside, one of my blog articles, “Why Am I So Emotional-Tips for Grief” was scheduled to be published on January 6th, 2020; that is my parent’s wedding anniversary! When I read the email from the Wellness Universe with that publishing date, I immediately sensed it was because my mom and dad are still with me in spirit. Truly, you can’t make this stuff up!

Yes, I see the synchronicity more clearly and feel this statement that was given to me spiritually or psychically years ago, even stronger now; “We Are ALL Connected.”

I write this as an aside, and that it’s a big reason why I am personally going to spend dedicated and focused time before and during the Winter Solstice to unpack my thoughts and set a new course for adventure!

I hope this article has been interesting and informative and that sometime soon you can experience the joy that awaits for you on the Winter Solstice in whatever way you observe this time marker.

I won a place for myself and a guest, (out of 30,861 lottery applications drawn by children from three different schools), to go inside the Newgrange burial chamber for the Winter Solstice sunrise on Dec. 18th, 2019 in Ireland and we are going! Stay tuned for the next post to read all about what mysteries it unlocks for me.

Thank you. Amen. Awomen. Namaste. OM

❤️🦋🌀

A bit about me, your Spiral Sister

I would love to speak at your bookstore, crystal shop, acupuncture / chiropractor office, or other holistic / natural fair or festival. I support healthy lifestyle businesses. For information on both of my books, visit my Amazon author’s page — Click here.

An Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon. 

Plus, my holistic health book that details how I naturally reversed asthma, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is available now. Buy it here

Be the best version of who you want to be

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Follow me on Twitter at: TakeOnYourself

Game of Thrones Tour: Dublin Ireland – Winterfell

Game of Thrones Winterfell Tour Dublin Ireland

Well, yes I know. This was a long awaited post for many of you! My apologies for putting this next to last on my list of our European trip articles to get done, but I hope worth the wait! And anyway, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

I still have one more article of our arrival and first day in Ireland to post. So stay tuned! ❤️🦋🌀😉

Our Game of Thrones tour (from Dublin, Ireland June 29, 2019) went to northern Ireland, which seems to be a different country, as the monetary system changed to the British pound. Only a small sign marked the border along the highway as our tour bus drove us near Belfast.

Preparing for the trek

Prior to beginning our Sacred Celtic Journey, and as a bit of bait (nah, not really needed though, as my hubby had already decided to go to Europe with me), we arrived in Dublin, Ireland on Friday, June 28, 2019. This afforded us the luxury of having a free day to acclimate to the time difference and explore Dublin city centre before embarking on a full day Game of Thrones trek on Saturday.

We brought our good hiking boots, and dressed in layers, and though I had trained for about a month prior to going on this trip, I found out that I hadn’t done enough! 🤣

The GoT trek

Our GoT tour did not disappoint! In fact, it was entirely amazing!!!

Our tour guide, Eric, had been an extra on the spectacular and daring Game of Thrones (GoT for those unfamiliar with the abbreviation) show for 8 seasons and totally knew his stuff. He gave us inside information about the show, including behind-the-scenes, making of GoT episodes, site locations, and much more!

Eric in the bus
My husband by the GoT tour bus.
And me by the GoT bus

Eric literally brought every location to life for our tour group! He provided us all a look at 8.5 x 11 inch laminated photos so we could link, in our mind, each location to scenes from the show and enable us to have a point of reference. This not only enhanced our enjoyment of the tour, but gave us the ability later to relive points of the trek when we rewatched episodes of GoT! Excellent!!

In the scary Tollymore forest.
Here’s your sign!
Okay, so I loved the scary forest.
The moss captivated me

We learned all about how they made the fake snow. Really incredible.

Eric our guide.

Eric talking, see the visual perspective he gave us?

Eric carrying a visual cue. Imagine dressing all these trees with fake snow!
Everyone was very present for all Eric was explaining. ❤️😉
Tollymore forest provided all minds of grand views.
Rock walls, bridges, and beauty abound
Crossing this stream was a bit precarious
Love the rocks and ferns
Highlight ferns and water
The lush forest floor and stream
Snapped these mushrooms for my son-in-law
Beautiful bridge

Physicality

We had not expected this trek to be so physical, but we walked and hiked over 14,000 steps (equating to about 7 miles) over hilly and uneven terrain. So, if you go, and we highly recommend all fans of GoT go, really check your physicality, stamina, and endurance levels! Oh, and it would serve you well to take along a tube of our gel product for any tired or sore muscles you experience—you can order from me (comment for more info).

We were pleased that we had the stamina to do it though, as it was quite the extraordinary experience! And yes, we had some small tubes of product with us, but had I known how sore my legs and feet were going to be, I would have taken the larger tube with us!

Love the show even more now

After experiencing several of the site locations, and hearing about how the extras often carried set items or equipment on foot to each of these locations (because the first season had a lower budget), it gave us new respect as to how it all got done. And now we can really imagine how difficult it was.

The lunch menu. We all preordered. Think the restaurant was called the Lobster Pot.
Lunch. My Guinness in a wooden mug. 😉
Best seafood chowder I had the whole 18 days of our trip!
Geoffrey’s crown.

After lunch, we had great joy meeting the actual dogs that were used to portray (with CGI help), the Stark family’s Dire wolves.

The dogs used to portray the Dire wolves.

Winterfell

Entering Winterfell – The tower
Looking up – The tower
Inside the Winterfell location
Looking out and beyond the tower

From the Winterfell site, we hiked a loop to see a couple more locations. First, the infamous hanging tree, then the expansive views where several waters edge and water landings scenes were shot.

The hanging tree. It was so creepy!!
Hiked to Audleys castle
I am enjoying the views they filmed many of the sea or water landings.
Amazing view
Gorgeous closeup
Happened to catch a bird in flight!

Final stop

At the last stop, Inch Abbey, (after we were quite worn out from the day), we were all invited to dress up with actual clothes and props from GoT and play among the ruins. I did my best to make some mean faces (not good at that), and make believe for awhile. The end of a grand tour!

Hubby and me
Loved the wrap
I can’t snarl!
Richard played his part well!
Mean?
Inch Abbey ruins
Inch Abbey

Thanks for a grand tour!

Screen capture of our tour post
Our group photo (June 2019)

A bit about me, your Spiral Sister

I would love to speak at your bookstore, crystal shop, acupuncture / chiropractor office, or other holistic / natural fair or festival. I support healthy lifestyle businesses. For information on both of my books, visit my Amazon author’s page — Click here.

An Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, available on Amazon. 

Plus, my holistic health book that details how I naturally reversed asthma, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is available now. Buy it here

Be the best version of who you want to be

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Follow me on Twitter at: TakeOnYourself

A Sacred Celtic Journey (Part 1): Ireland

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