September 4th-8th-14th, 2023
Fall Celtic Spirituality Retreat on a wild and beautiful island off the west coast of Ireland.
Guided by Mary Meighan, founder of Celtic Journeys & Seán Johnson.
Early Bird Special: SAVE $300 if registered by Wed June 7th
Renew your spirit, kindle your soul, and stir your imagination on this one-of-a-kind, intimate, spiritual retreat in one of Ireland’s most enchanting places. We’ll retreat on Inis Mór a small island off the west coast of Ireland where Gaeilge (Irish) is the native language and Celtic traditions flourish.
Celtic spirituality is the indigenous spirituality of Ireland. It is a gentle, nature based way of being that invites us to be our authentic selves and to live from our heart. On this retreat, experience the depth and profoundly simple inspiration of Celtic Spirituality through Irish blessings, songs, poems, stories, chants, music, meditations, rituals, visits to sacred sites, connection with locals, gentle candlelit evening yoga sessions inspired by Celtic wisdom, and free time to wander the island.
Register here. (If you have any technical issues with registration, please email email@example.com)
(Photo from our retreat by Simone Lipscomb)
Mary Meighan, a native of Ireland, is the founder of Celtic Journeys who offers soul journeys steeped within her native Celtic Spiritual Tradition. Mary has traveled to sacred sites across Ireland for decades renewing, sustaining, and sharing her passion for the Celtic world. She also visits the U.S. and other countries introducing Celtic Spirituality through talks and retreats, sharing her lived experience of this mystical and earthy Spirituality.
Seán Johnson is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, and teacher of spirituality and yoga. He is the founder of Wild Lotus Yoga, Soul School Teacher Training Program, and The Wild Lotus Band. Seán’s love of Ireland and Celtic Spirituality goes back to his childhood, and he did an intensive undergraduate program in Irish Studies. He has traveled to Ireland over a dozen times to deepen his connection to his ancestral homeland.
Mary and Seán have been dear friends for many years and have guided many retreats together in Ireland and the USA. In addition to guiding retreats in Ireland, they also offer online gatherings throughout the year, honoring the major Celtic Festivals as we journey within the seasons of the Celtic Calendar, exploring how these ancient holidays can enrich our souls and deepen our connection with life.
“Shared time with you two and our entire Pilgrim Family on the beautiful Island of Inis Mor has been heart soothing, mind calming and soul quenching. I came to the retreat open to its offerings and I leave the retreat more open to life, the internal stirrings and fire as well as the external. Feeling grounded, cradled and full of gratitude. Your guidance and this land – heartful blessings and full of gifts I cherish dearly.” – Tehroma
“It would have been more than enough to have only experienced the abundant, luscious sights, sounds, experiences and ideas offered to the group on Inis Mor. Mary and Sean invite everyone to come in and keep close, when folks wish to. But for me, in addition, my sense of understanding subtly changed and I can’t for the life of me explain; its purview lies beyond thoughts and words. You have to come here and wrap yourself around that Celtic Spirit, and identify that sense for yourself.” – Karen
“Taking part in the Celtic Spirituality & Yoga retreat and spending time on the magical island of Inis Mor has been life changing! I am so grateful to you, Sean and Mary, for the opportunity and for the wonderful experience you provided which has opened my mind and heart to a whole other world to continue to explore!” – Delilah
“Sean and Mary are truly mystical healers working to uphold the high vibrations palpable on our majestic planet Earth. Together, they weave the ancient splendor of spiritual traditions through the sensations of grounded humanity to create an uplifting, harmonious community that fosters great nurturing, healing, and growth, all in the most mystical environs of Inish Mor. Go for your Soul! Go for your Heart! Find your Anam Cara through expression of the wildness and rawness that is YOU.” — Sudha
“Thanks so much for the fully engaging and gentle retreat. I was especially grateful to get to know you both in such a sacred setting along with the trips to ancient sites around the island. I will take with me all of your gems of Celtic wisdom, stories , laughter, and Sean’s beautiful Irish songs which all are inside me.” – Mary
“I loved the retreat! The Celtic approach revealed the deepest, most poignant strands of my being that have been seeking manifestation for my whole life! I have done many retreats over the past 30 years and this one feels the most impactful.” – Peter
“For me it was the space created by Sean and Mary, the stories, songs, chanting, encouragement, shared experience, and genuine love for the Celtic way that allowed for such beauty to emerge in all of us. I keep looking at the pictures shared by others, the warmth in my chest, the quickening of my heart and joy in my soul are the result.” – Meg,
“A deeply rich and soulful immersion into Celtic Spirituality, with genuine Irish hospitality. It was truly transformative and healing.” – John
“Mary and Sean held a sacred space that allowed us to connect with the energies of the land, sky and sea in our own, individual way while providing a beautiful group experience. Whether a seasoned practitioner of Celtic Spirituality or brand new to it, it was rich and inviting and powerful.” – Simone
“Thank you for creating this blissful , spacious retreat. Your guidance and teachings about Celtic Spirituality enhanced being on this Aran Island and living together. I enjoyed every minute. Especially the singing and visits to sacred sites! It was one of the best retreats I’ve ever participated in and having lead a few myself, I know what’s involved in creating that kind of a safe and enjoyable space for people to be able to open our hearts.”=– Lin
The sample itinerary below gives you a feel for how our days will flow and the kinds of experiences included in the retreat. Schedule may shift in the flow of the week.
Each day we will have a Celtic Gathering that begins with songs and chants to tune your spirit to the Celtic world. Our gatherings are ways to draw you deep into Celtic Spirituality, a way of experiencing the world that is ancient, yet very much alive. This time will give you an internal understanding and feel for the Celtic Tradition – a world filled with mystery and natural wonder. We’ll share Celtic talks, poems, music, stories, chants, blessings and prayers of this ancient land allowing the Celtic Spirit and mystery to stir your imagination and nurture your heart. During our days together, we’ll also be weaving in Celtic rituals at the sea shore,
Day One. We will meet you at 11:30am and give you a warm Irish Fáilte (welcome) in the small ferry port on Inis Mór Island, County Galway. We will go by bus to our Guesthouse which sits at the foot of Dun Aonghasa (A World Heritage Site) where the retreat will begin. Settling-in time at our welcoming family run guesthouse, then a break for lunch.
In the afternoon we’ll have an opening Celtic Gathering beginning your introduction to Celtic Spirituality through Celtic poetry, music, song, blessings and chants, some in Ireland’s native tongue – Gaeilge (Irish). We will also share details of our time together. Evening welcome dinner together at our guest house, followed by more Celtic chanting, Irish lullabies, a session of gentle yoga, and Celtic Blessings to bring you towards sleep and dream time on this mystical Island…
Each day we will have a Celtic Gathering that begins with songs and chants to tune your spirit to the Celtic world. Our gatherings are ways to draw you deep into Celtic Spirituality, a way of experiencing the world that is ancient, yet very much alive. This time will give you an internal understanding and feel for the Celtic Tradition – a world filled with mystery and natural wonder. We’ll share poems, music, stories, chants, blessings and prayers of this ancient land allowing the Celtic Spirit and mystery to stir your imagination and nurture your heart.
Day Two. Here we are on this wild and beautiful Gaeilge (Irish) speaking Island. We open the day with an early morning silent pilgrimage walk up to Dún Aonghus Fort (weather depending). Here you can experience Celtic morning Chanting for the further opening of our hearts to the Celtic Spirit. Aonghus is the Celtic God of love and poetic inspiration and the fort is perched spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic ocean….. next stop the USA.
Receive a Water Blessing from the Holy Well of Surnaí, a Celtic Woman Saint from the 6th century who had a Monastery here on Inis Mór. As you receive water from Her Sacred Well here on Inis Mór, tune in to Her energy. Walk back down to our guest house for breakfast and then time for taking a breath.
After journeying to more sacred sites on the island– dinner and traditional Irish music, experiencing the culture and conviviality of a local Irish pub.
Day Three. We’ll have a morning gathering to further unfold the natural gems of the Celtic Tradition. You’ll be introduced to the Celtic Calendar and how we can live more within this circular sense of time and within the seasons. Be introduced to the Spirit of Brigid – our beloved ancient Goddess and Celtic Saint, The Divine Feminine of Ireland. Learn the importance of Brigid in the heart and soul of Ireland. Hear some of the myriad of stories, poems, songs, blessings and Chants about Brigid. Be part of a Brigid Ritual that is heart easing, heart warming and will fire your imagination. Receive a Water Blessing from Brigid’s Goddess Well.
Hear about our Celtic Practices, opening your hearts to these, simple, yet powerful Celtic rituals and experience how you can bring them into your daily life to nurture, support and inspire…..
A little reflection time and a lunch break.
More of this island’s sacred treasures await us for the afternoon as we explore and interact with some of the sacred sites of Inis Mór, sharing the stories of these sacred places. We will first have a tour of part of the island and later in the day at one these Sacred Sites you will be guided in a traditional Celtic Ritual and receive a Water Blessing at a Holy Well. Dinner followed by a gentle yoga session and Celtic lullabies.
Day Four. We will have shared with you how the very nature of Celtic Spirituality offers a guiding hand to turn gently within, offering you guidance to assist you on the inner journey within the Spirit of the Celtic Wisdom Tradition. This island offers peace and an expansiveness to journey deep within and as we are about an inner journey as well as an outer journey Celtic Spirituality offers the encouragement and inspiration. Relax and let this sacred landscape nurture and fire your imagination. You can walk to the beautiful nearby beach, walk up to Dun Aonghus, bicycles can also be hired to explore other parts of the island, journal, or sit and be on this sacred island of wild beauty and what this Sacred Journey is offering you. Late afternoon Celtic meditation together in the remains of an ancient Celtic church.
Evening meal together followed by an Irish ceili- an evening celebration together with participatory songs, dance, stories, and sharing.
Day Five. Closing Celtic Gathering as we begin the weaving together the strands of this Celtic Retreat with a closing ritual and begin the harvesting of the treasures including a Celtic Light Ritual, making ready for the path onwards….knowing that the harvesting of this retreat will continue to unfold as you travel onwards and homewards. Experience on this Celtic Retreat all that can be woven into your life with ease and naturalness…
Depart the guesthouse in the afternoon for a closing ritual at a Celtic labyrinth located near a beautiful beach. Take the Ferry back to the mainland at 5pm arriving back on the mainland at Rossaveal (Ros a’Mhíl) by 6pm and you can take the return bus to Galway City and travel onwards with the Celtic Spirit whispering in your hearts and on your lips…
Registration and prices:
Spaces limited. The retreat is set up for an intimate group to attend so early registration is highly recommended to reserve your spot.
Early Bird Rate: $1959 if registered by Wed June 7th. Register with $700 non-refundable deposit. After June 7th: $2259. Full balance due by August 1st. Price does not include BrightStar processing fees ($98.94), added at registration.
Price includes daily retreat sessions with Mary & Sean; four nights accommodations at an 18th century family-run guesthouse with shared accommodation (Limited number of single rooms available for an extra $80 per night – $320 plus BrightStar processing fees); lunch at cafe on day of arrival; four hearty Irish breakfasts; three dinners; buses on Inis Mór to and from the ferry port to guesthouse; bus excursions on the Island to sacred sites.
Price does not include airfare, ferry, and meals not listed above.
Travel insurance is strongly recommended to cover your costs in the event of any unforeseen changes in your travel plans, as we are not able to offer refunds under any circumstances. Once you are registered, attendance in the retreat you’ve registered for is not transferable to another future retreat. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have travel insurance to protect yourself should anything unexpected arise.
In order to attend the retreat, for the health and safety of all attending, participants are required to email the results of a COVID test the first morning of the retreat before the journey to the ferry.
Advice for traveling to Inis Mór:
For those traveling to Ireland for the first time, Ireland is an incredibly hospitable place for visitors and easeful place to travel compared to other countries. The 5 day length of the retreat on Inis Mór offers a cushion of some time before and after the experience to have your own adventures on the mainland. It may not be possible for everyone, but if you have the freedom to arrive in Ireland a couple of days early, it can be helpful to adjust to the jet lag and rest before the retreat begins. Similarly if you have the flexibility to stay in Ireland a few days after the retreat, you will find the retreat to be a wonderful immersion that will bring greater depth to your travels and adventures in Ireland afterwards. Below is some advice for traveling.
On Wednesday May 10th, please arrange to catch the 10:30am ferry from Ros a’ Mhíl (Rossaveal in English) to Inis Mór. We will meet you at 11:30am at the ferry landing on Inis Mór.
From Shannon Airport: Shannon Airport is the closest airport to Inis Mór. There are buses from Shannon Airport to Galway City (approx 1.5 hours). Buseireann is the national bus company and have buses running approximately every hour from Shannon Airport to Galway City and details are on their website www.buseireann.ie
From Galway City there are buses that will bring you out to Ros a’ Mhíl (Rossaveal in English) but as it is a Gaeltacht area the road signs are in Irish. Ros a’ Mhíl is 23 miles west of Galway City and return shuttle bus from Galway and back is 7 Euro and the Ferry cost is 25Euro return. The bus takes about one hour from Galway City to Ros a’ Mhíl.
All details regarding the ferry and the shuttle bus from Galway City are on the website www.aranislandferries.com. Just to be aware it is not a car ferry – as cars cannot drive onto the Island. The only cars on the island are islanders’ cars and small buses.
From Dublin airport: (Dublin is on the East coast of Ireland and Galway is on the West Coast). If you do fly into Dublin you need to allow time to travel to Galway City (approx 3-4 hours) and then on to the Ferry Terminal. Travelling to Galway from Dublin can be by bus or train – and obviously car hire is available at the Airport and in Dublin City. www.irishrail.ie has all the details of fares and timetables of trains from Dublin City to Galway City.
Buseireann is the national bus company and their website www.buseireann.ie has all the details of fares and timetables between Dublin City and Galway City. There are also many private bus companies that travel between Dublin City and Galway City.
To get a feel for us and a sense for what our time together will be like, we encourage you to attend one of our Online Celtic Spirituality Gatherings, that coincide with the ancient Celtic seasonal festivals . Visit the Events page to see when the next one is scheduled.