Newgrange Passage Mound, Boyne Valley
TOUR AND WRITING RETREAT IN IRELAND
with Carolyn Brigit Flynn
September 15 – 26, 2019
Landscape of Soul and Story
PILGRIMAGE During this sacred pilgrimage, we will travel outward to the ancient landscape of Ireland and inward to the rich territory of our unfolding souls. We will experience Ireland's exquisite beauty, meet her people, and encounter her poetry, music and stories.
ANCIENT SITES We'll visit many of Ireland’s most spectacular sacred sites in the lush Boyne Valley, encounter the Irish goddess/saint Brigit in the ancient town of Kildare, and explore the blessings of the wild, rugged landscape of the Beara Peninsula.
SACRED EARTH We will embrace the Irish Celtic world view that the sacred is imminent within the land and within ourselves. Our tour and writing will open an ongoing dialogue with the vibrant, wild earth, inviting a realignment with the natural world at a time when so much is imperiled.
WRITING Ireland awakens something primordial and authentic within the soul. Carolyn will offer transformative writing circles, and we will explore the poetic literature and the sacred landscape of Ireland as we write together. We will emerge with our hearts and notebooks full. This retreat is appropriate for both new and experienced writers.
OUR CIRCLE Writers, poets, novelists, visual artists, photographers, and musicians are all invited. The retreat is open to women, men and all identities. Couples are welcome. Our small group will be limited to fourteen writers.
EXCELLENT ACCOMMODATIONS We will stay in wonderful hotels and classic Ireland Bed & Breakfasts, including a magnificent 18th century Georgian house and on the wooded grounds of an ancient castle. (See accommodation link below.)
BELOVED GUIDES Our guides, teachers and storytellers are now long-time friends who are eagerly awaiting arrival. They include our excellent, long-time guide, the ecologist and teacher Gerard Clarke in the Boyne Valley, the stone diviner Mary Madison in Eyeries, Sue Boothe-Forbes, the found of the Anam Cara Writers' Centre, our wonderful driver Trevor Mitchell, and Mary Minehen and Phil O'Shea at the Solas Bhride Centre. (See more on our guides below.)
REVISED DATES & COST Please note that the dates and cost for this tour and writing retreat have been adjusted from twelve to eleven days, which has meant a decrease in cost. The revised dates are September 15-26, 2019.
Three Beautiful Parts of Ireland
THE BOYNE VALLEY
We will explore the world-renowned passage mounds of Newgrange and Knowth, built 5,000 years ago along the River Boyne. These "mansions of the Boyne" are huge, incomparable cathedrals with exquisite alignments to the sun on the solstice and equinox. We'll also climb the stunning hill of Loughcrew, known as Slieve na Calleagh, or the "Hill of the Old Woman", with its several ancient passage mounds.
Newgrange Entrance Stone
We'll visit the ancient town of Kells and the Hill of Tara in the Boyne Valley, two beautiful and unique places of Irish spirituality and governance in old Ireland.
We will also visit the remains of the famous monastery at Monasterboice, one of Ireland's early Celtic abbeys with a beautiful round tower and one of Ireland's most exquisite Celtic crosses, as well as the haunting remains of the 12th century Bective Abbey.
Monasterboice Monastery, Boyne Valley
We’ll visit one of the most beautiful and isolated parts of Ireland in the far south west. We’ll explore the spectacular Ring of Beara, a gorgeous route through the peninsula, and make a pilgrimage to the Ardroom Stone Circle, an ancient circle of standing stones.
Village of Eyeries
While in Beara, we’ll stay in the enchanting, colorful village of Eyries, one of the most filmed places in Ireland, which overlooks Coulagh Bay. Places we'll visit include the Hag of Beara, Healy Pass, the Ardgroom Stone Circle, and Dunboy Castle, among others. We'll also take a ferry to the small, exquisite Bere Island for a view of spectacular Irish cliffs. Our home base will be the renowned Anam Cara Writer’s Retreat, with time to reflect and write on beautiful grounds.
Eyeries, Beara Peninsula
The ancient name for Kildare is Cill Dara, which means “Church of the Oak.” Our pilgrimage will bring us deep into the feminine divine of Ireland in the landscape of Brigit, the great goddess/saint of that land.
We will visit Brigit’s Holy Well, Fire Temple and the Curragh, known as Brigit’s Meadow, as well as the site of her monastery, cathedral and the ancient Kildare round tower.
Brigid's Well, Kildare
Solas Bhride Centre
We will deepen into the feminine divine spirit of Ireland at the Solas Bhride Centre in Kildare, a beautiful new eco-center devoted to the legacy of the goddesss/saint Brigit. The remarkable women of Solas Bhride have devoted their lives and all their works to continuing the peace and justice spiritual legacy of Brigit of Kildare. The new centre is located in the lush open landscape in south Kildare.
Solas Bhride Center, Kildare
COST AND REGISTRATION
Cost is $3,850 shared occupancy. Additional cost for single occupancy is $650. Airfare arrangements and expenses are on your own. Cost includes all lodging, ground transportation within Ireland, local Irish guides and teachers, entrances to sites, writing group facilitation and all meals with the exception of a few lunches and dinners on your own. Group is limited to twelve participants. This tour and retreat could fill quickly, so reserve your space as soon as possible.
TO REGISTER, SEND AN EMAIL to indicate your interest and we'll send you registration forms. Your space will be reserved with your $600 deposit and signed registration.
CAROLYN'S ROOTS IN IRELAND
Ireland is the land of Carolyn’s ancestors, and the sacred ground of her creative and spiritual work. Her private journeys over the past 23 years feed her deep connections with Ireland’s history and lush landscape. She has lifelong friendships with Irish guides and teachers, as well as longstanding connections with relatives in County Roscommon and County Dublin. As a writer and teacher who carries the spirit of Ireland’s goddess/saint Brigit, she also regularly visits and makes offerings at Ireland’s holy wells and sacred shrines. Carolyn first led groups of writers and artists to Ireland in 2002, with a focus on meeting the creative spirits and the ancient ancestors in the landscape, the carved stones, the hills and fields. Her writing circles create a unique container for writers to develop and deepen their own authentic voice.
“The Mystery of deep green rolling hills, underground passages and deep dives of sharing writing—- this all created an experience I am still talking about 15 years later! Traveling with Carolyn Brigit Flynn is a completely magical experience.” --Marci Graham, Lakeport, CA
“The alchemy that exuded from the land and the beautiful poetic soul of our leader provided the perfect ambiance for a deeper listening to and expression of my most authentic soul voice. If you possibly can…just do it! It’s a memory/memoir maker of the highest order!”
-- Mary Orlando, Phoenix, Arizona
"In 2016, I toured Ireland on a writing retreat organized and led by Carolyn Brigit Flynn. I am not a 'writer,' but I wanted to engage in deliberate self-exploration. Carolyn’s skilled facilitation of writing sessions helped me to open and fully explore my voice. Her knowledge of Ireland and its history, as well as the amazing places we visited and great guides she lined up for us, made this a spectacular trip!" -- Suzanne Daub, Philadelphia, PA
“We journeyed through stunningly beautiful landscapes and made pilgrimages to ancient sacred sites with expert guides. One of my favorite parts of the trip was the regular writing circles led by Carolyn which created a unique group experience and allowed us to get to know one another in a deep and moving way." -- Judy Tsafrir, MD, Newtown Center, Massachusetts
“Lingering with me are the experiences and locations that Carolyn so carefully chose so that each pilgrim could learn, reflect, and appreciate the people and landscapes of Ireland. Carolyn was an encouraging guide to each writer and artist from the first moment. Lively conversations, good food, new adventures...go if you can!” --Janis O’Driscoll, Santa Cruz, CA
"Our tour of sacred sites with Carolyn Brigit Flynn exploring the magic and myth of Ireland's beauties was a deeply spiritual and transformative experience. So was being in traditional Irish pubs, and the writing sessions led by Carolyn exploring the inner landscape as we experienced the soil and soul of an ancient and wondrous land." --Sarojani Rohan, Watsonville, CA
"If you haven't yet been to Ireland, this is the tour for you! A wonderful balance of travel, learning from expert guides, walking at sacred sites, and soul-stirring reflection. And if you have been to Ireland, as I had, the sacred sites will open up the landscape in a new way. The tour with Carolyn and 13 intrepid writers and artists in 2016 was life-changing. My connection with ancestors, the spirits of the land, and my writing, all deepened. Heed the call and go!"
-- June BlueSpruce, Seattle, WA