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 wild and beautiful island off the west coast of Ireland– where Gaeilge (Irish) is the native language and Celtic traditions flourish. The retreat is guided by Ireland native Mary Meighan, founder of Celtic Journeys, with songs and chants by Seán Johnson.
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. Our Celtic retreats are unique, hand-crafted experiences designed for small groups of people.
It’s important to us to have an engaged group of people that share some common understandings and intentions for the retreat, to enhance the quality of the experience for all. With this in mind, our retreat is ideal for people who are seeking to explore a heart-centered lived experience of Celtic Spirituality in Ireland; are open to participating in the practices we’ll be sharing together including singing, chanting, pilgrimages to sacred sites on the island, listening to the daily Celtic themed talks including poetry, blessings, and stories; contemplative writing; meaningful Celtic rituals; connection with locals; gentle Celtic-themed yoga; free time to wander the island; and interest in exploring ways to integrate Celtic Spirituality into their own lives.
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 director of The Asheville Yoga Center and 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 Celtic Spirituality Gatherings throughout the year, honoring the major Celtic Festivals within the seasons of the Celtic Calendar, exploring how these ancient holidays can enrich our souls and deepen our connection with life.
Spaces limited. The retreat is set up for an intimate group to attend and often books up fully in advance – so early registration is highly recommended to reserve your spot.
$2259. Full balance due by April 2nd, 2024. Does not include BrightStar and credit card fees.
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 $75 per night – $300); four hearty Irish breakfasts; three dinners; buses on Inis Mor 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.
“Shared time with you two and our entire Pilgrim Family on the beautiful Island of Inis Mór 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 Mór. Mary and Seán 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 Retreat and spending time on the magical island of Inis Mór has been life changing! I am so grateful to you, Seán 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
“Seán 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 Inis Mór. Go for your Soul! Go for your Heart! Find your Anam Cara through expression of the wildness and rawness that is YOU.” — Sudha
“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 led 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
“If you are looking for a true immersion into the beauty and mystery of Ireland, look no further. This masterfully crafted retreat by the gifted musician, Seán Johnson, and mystical, Celtic wise woman, Mary Meighan was deeply transformative. By providing a lovingly safe container for us group of delightful fellow soul travelers, we experienced ancient sites, authentic rituals, heart-opening chants, delicious food and even extremely comfortable accommodations!” – Nancy
"The resonances of our time together on Inis Mór are thankfully still very strong. What a joy and privilege it was to spend 5 days with you both. You two are a great team, as your strengths complement each other so well. Mary, I had read quite a bit about Celtic spirituality, and I already felt a strong pull into it, but hearing you speak at our morning gatherings, and seeing you quietly but wholly being present to and in every place we went really showed me what it looks like – sacred and secular woven together in every normal act of the day. I know I have been changed, and I thank you for that. Seán, I can’t imagine that retreat minus all the songs we sang, the Gaelic words we learned, and the places we sang and listened in. It facilitated the opening up of our hearts. It helped me to sustain being open to all the vibrations of the places we were in, and the presence of the other retreatants. I feel a deep resonance with Inis Mór that I’m betting will pull me back again, but meanwhile stays with me." – Karen
“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 Seán’s beautiful Irish songs which all are inside me.” – Mary
“For me it was the space created by Seán 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
“Mary and Seán 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
"A deeply rich and soulful immersion into Celtic Spirituality, with genuine Irish hospitality. It was truly transformative and healing.” – John
“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
The sample itinerary below gives you a feel for how our days will flow and the kinds of experiences included in the retreat. Our plans may shift in the flow of the week.
Each day we will have a Celtic Gathering, 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, where we can ramble to from our Guesthouse.
Day One- Monday.
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 Celtic Retreat will begin.
A few steps from our Guesthouse for a little Celtic connecting time together in the remains of a beautiful ancient Celtic Church.
Lunch together in a lovely cafe nearby.
Settling-in time at our welcoming family run guesthouse.
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. And an opportunity for everyone to share the call within and without that brought you here on this wild and beautiful Island for this Celtic Retreat.
Walk together to a nearby beautiful beach for a Celtic Elemental Ritual by the Seashore.
6pm Evening welcome dinner together.
A session of gentle Celtic-inspired yoga, Celtic chanting and Irish lullabies, to bring you towards sleep and dream time on this mystical Island…
Day Two- Tuesday.
10am Mary will offer a morning Celtic Gathering to further unfold more of the natural gems of the Celtic Tradition. Be introduced to the Celtic Calendar and how we can live more within this circular sense of time and the joy and care of living within the seasons.
Mary will introduce you 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 about Brigid.
Seán will introduce you to some of the beautiful Sacred Chants dedicated to Brigid that will offer another Celtic Way to connect you to Brigid’s Spirit.
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 We will first have a tour of part of the island and later in the afternoon a Pilgrimage Walk in to one of the Holy Wells on the Island where you will be guided in one of our traditional Celtic Holy Well Rituals and receive Water Blessings at the Holy Well.
Time for reflection to interact with this ancient Sacred Site hearing the stories of these sacred places.
In the evening our bus driver will take us to Kilronan, the main village on the Island, for dinner and traditional Irish music, experiencing the culture and conviviality of a local Irish pub.
Day Three- Wednesday.
10am Celtic morning Gathering with Mary bringing you deeper within the Celtic Spiritual Tradition and touching into the energy of Celtic Poetry and how Poetry can animate our being and enhance our connection to our hearts.
During this Gathering you will hear Celtic Poetry, Blessings, Stories and Song.
After a reflective break join Seán and Mary for chanting and experience the essence of what chanting some words as Gaeilge (in Irish) can do for touching our Hearts and Spirit.
Participate in a Celtic Contemplative Practice, that offers you the opportunity of going within accompanied by a supportive set of principles and the comfort and nurturance and also vitality that such a Celtic Contemplative Practice can offer and it is a Celtic Contemplative Practice that you can bring into your life at home.
Time for Reflection and Lunch.
In the afternoon our bus driver will bring us to another part of this beguiling Island, sharing stories along the way about Island life and if the weather allows Seán will offer chanting outdoors under the sky and share some Irish songs.
5pm Dinner together.
Evening. Gentle Celtic inspired Yoga and Celtic Lullabies with Seán.
Day Four- Thursday.
Here we are on this wild and beautiful Gaeilge (Irish) speaking Island. We open our day with an early morning silent pilgrimage walk up to Dún Aonghusa Fort (weather allowing). Dun Aonghusa is perched spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic ocean….. next stop the USA.
Here you can experience a Celtic Ritual including Song and Chant for the further opening of our hearts to the Celtic Spirit. Aonghus is the Celtic God of love and poetic inspiration
Walk back down to our guest house for breakfast and then time for taking a breath, and free time for yourselves until we meet again at the cafe for dinner. There are many possibilities as to how you might like to spend this time…….
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, take a guided pony and trap tour around the Island hearing stories while traveling slowing and absorbing this glorious landscape, bicycles can also be hired to explore other parts of the island, maybe Journal, or sit and be with what this sacred island of wild beauty on this Sacred Journey is offering you.
5pm Dinner together.
An evening Celtic Gathering of Celtic Song, Ritual, and Celtic Blessings and a Reflective Practice to deepen within the heart.
Day Five- Friday.
Following breakfast at 9am walk to the Beach for a Ritual at the Seashore.
Depart the guesthouse midmorning for a Farewell Ritual at a Celtic Labyrinth located near a beautiful beach on the other side of the Island. At this gathering we begin weaving together the strands of this Celtic Retreat with a Farewell Ritual and begin the harvesting of the treasures and making ready for the path onwards….knowing that the harvesting of this Retreat will continue to unfold as you travel in Ireland and homewards.
Celtic Blessings to be with you as you make your journey back to the mainland from the wild and beautiful Island of Inis Mór.
Take the noon Ferry back to the mainland arriving at (Ros a’Mhíl) Rossaveal (in English) by 1pm 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…
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 Monday, 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. (Book your round trip ferry ticket to return at noon on Friday.)
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 9 Euro and the Ferry cost is 30 Euro 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.