14 Days of Hillwalking, Exploration, Storytelling, Music, and Gentle Qigong in the Southwest of Ireland
October 20 – November 2, 2022
I am excited to invite you along on a once in a lifetime experience in the ancient land of Ireland.
Together we embark on a spiritual journey to connect with the ancestral energies of the land, attune to her sacred sites, and to open ourselves to an expanded reality and deep connection to the stones and wells of Western Ireland.
We travel together to sacred sites and standing stones that have called to us through the realms. Many of these sites are off the beaten track and ʻoʼer hills and valleysʼ.
Each morning after breakfast I guide us in a gentle Qigong practice to open our inner gates and allow us to more fully merge with the energy of the land. Qigong is an ancient Daoist practice which strengthens the body, opens the energy gates (joints) and helps us experience our union with nature. Visit www.qiofsound.com for more info on Qigong.
We open and connect to the sites with sacred sound, music, silence, walking meditation and a playfulness of heart. We enjoy the warming food, friendly community, and local music in Pubs and Inns along our way.
Sacred travel is always open and shifting, and our itinerary may change with the flow.
Day by Day Itinerary:
10/20 – Arrival
Our journey begins when your plane flies over the green rolling hills of Ireland and lands at Shannon Airport. We will gather the group from the airport, have lunch in the beautiful nearby town of Ennis and begin our journey West to the musical village of Doolin, stopping by for a walk in the enchanted Dromore Woods to stretch and get our feet on the land. We spend our first night in Doolin, which is famous for it’s nightly traditional music sessions in it’s two pubs.
10/21 – The Burren
• Poulnabrone Portal Stone
• Cliffs of Moher / Brigid’s Well
• Burren Walk to Brendan’s Hermitage and Holy Well
The Burren is a fascinating landscape located south of Galway. A mystical limestone land dotted with ancient cairns (burial mounds), portal dolmen, and faery forts. This land calls for ancestral connection and healing, and we will answer the call with open hearts and grounded spirits. Here we visit the famous portal dolmen known as Poulnabrone.
We meet with our friend Tony Kirby who will guide us into a lesser known section of the Burren and give us the transmission and story of the landscape. This walking tour ends at St. Brendan’s hermitage and holy well where we will practice gentle Qigong to attune to the energies of the sacred site.
We visit the highest sea cliffs in Europe, the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher and connect with the mother goddess Brighid, and collect a bit of the healing water of her sacred well.
10/22 – 10/23 – Isle of Inishmore
• Dun Aengus
• The Black Fort
• Seal Colony
• Swans of Inishmore
• “Angel’s Walk”
• Poll na Peist, the “Serpent’s Lair”
We take a ferry to this gorgeous fishing island off the coast of Galway. On Inismore, we will open to breathtaking views in the ancient Black Fort and Dun Aengus, atop the 500 foot sea cliffs.
Here we embark on a pony and trap tour around the island guided by our local friends Christopher and Geraldine, visit the swans and seal colony, stand within the smallest church in the world (2 people at a time) and walk the ʻAngelʼs Walkʼ.
We will enjoy the fabulous seafood of this fishing community, and perhaps a pint of Guinness in the local pub. This is the place to find your own famous Aran wool sweater.
This evening we will meet with Dara Molloy, the Celtic monk who was good friends with the poet John O’Donohue. Dara will talk with us about the life of the Celtic monk and what it means to live in presence with the landscape.
10/24 – Máméan and Journey to Dingle
We take the morning ferry back to the mainland and head up to the pilgrimage site Máméan, the Valley Pass of the Birds. Here we walk in about a mile to the pilgrimage site where St. Patrick was said to bless the valley and sleep in the cave. The beauty and spirit of Connemara shines brightly here.
Next we drive South and West and out to the enchanted Dingle Peninsula. We arrive in Dingle and have the evening to settle in and explore Dingle town.
10/25 – 10/28 – Dingle Peninsula
• Slea Head hiking and drive
• Tempeal Geal, “The Bright Temple”
• Fungi the Dolphin
• Gallarus Oratory
• Anascaul Valley Hike
• Free Day
ahhh, wonderful Dingle!
Here we ground for a few days, exploring the many powerful sites of the peninsula. Among the many wonderful adventures awaiting us in Dingle, we will commune with Fungi the dolphin who lives in the bay and heals people with his vast heart, visit Tempeal Geal (the Bright Temple), and take one of the most beautiful hikes in the world from Anascul Lake to the mystical valley.
We also have a free day here in Dingle to explore on your own, go shopping, or just rest and process from the comfort of your four star B&B room overlooking Dingle Bay.
10/29 – Kerry, Killarney National Park
• Ring of Kerry
• Beehive huts
• Staigue Fort
• Ross Castle
• Flemby Ringforts
We say farewell to Dingle and decide, based on the weather and our group energy whether to travel along the Ring of Kerry or spend the afternoon in Killarney and the surrounding National Park. We will be treated to a delightful and magical storytelling session by our friend and third generation Seanchai (storyteller) Ray O’Sullivan.
10/30 – Kenmare
• Kenmare Stone Circle
• Bonane Heritage Park
Kenmare is a darling little town, known as the “Nest” of Ireland, and is the perfect center from which to explore the Beara Peninsula and Killarney National Park. This area is dense with ancient standing stones and archeological sites. We visit Bonane Heritage Park which is a recently discovered treasure of sites including a faery fort, stone circle, famine house, a bronze age cooking pit, and the Ballaun Stone.
10/31 – Meeting of the Waters
• Upper Lough, the Meeting of the Waters
Killarney National Park is a paradise of ancient forest and spiritual energy. Here we gaze across the Upper Lough and sing a new world awake within us. The beauty and power here is beyond words.
11/1 – Beara Peninsula
• Uragh Stone Circle ~ closing the journey
Today is our final day of the Journey and we will celebrate by spending the day at Uragh Stone Circle, overlooking mystical lakes and distant waterfall. We will hold a special closing ceremony here to honor the stones as the sacred beings they are. We awaken the stones, as the stones awaken us.
11/2 – Ennis, Shannon Airport
We spend the night in Ennis and get everyone to Shannon Airport to catch their flights home. We return home transformed, ever holding the strong, silent, musical transmission of Sacred Ireland within our heart, mind and soul.
Fill out the contact form below if you would like to join or have any questions at all.
Testimonials from past trips:
“My 2016 Ireland Journey with Ryan, Kristin, and the wonderful Ireland crew was an absolutely magical, alchemical, and transformational experience! Ryan and Kristin are truly wise, sweet, and powerful beings that expertly lead our large group through all the ebbs and tides and suns and moons of our time in that ancient powerful land of Ireland. Together, with intention, attention, chigong practice, meditative walking, musical offerings, magical storytelling, and enjoying music in pubs in age-old tradition, we wove together the spirits of land, our ancestral lines, and our very own souls.
I’d previously been to Ireland two times before, but on this trip my heart finally found some effervescent experience it was craving. If you yearn to visit Ireland in an intentional, heart centered, spiritual way, going with Ryan and Kristin is the best way possible! It was so very much more fulfilling than just being a regular tourist. It was a sacred pilgrimage!”
“Travelling through Ireland in 2016 was a big highlight for me – I’d been wanting to go there for several years, back to the home country. But, I really wanted more of a spiritual journey there, versus just being a tourist travelling through. Ryan did an amazing job of organizing this trip to be just that! I went into the trip a bit anxious about travelling with so many folks that I didn’t know, and yet there was such a loving, tribal feeling amongst us – it made it one of the easiest trips I’ve ever taken!”