“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!”
• Faie M.
“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!”
• D.A. Wiley
Tale and Testimonial from 2018:
When Kristin first told me about your trip to Ireland, it was 4 or 5 years ago. In my heart, I knew I would go and told her as much. I continued on about my life and sending my children into the world. My yes came as I sent my youngest off to college, 4 years later. As the time approached and I saw you or Kristin in community, my eyes would well up with tears and my heart would fill and overflow with emotion. I asked you about it … you said I was being called home. And that made sense to me. To say that the pilgrimage changed my life is true.
I will never walk in the world the same way again. In what ways have I changed? I understand what it means to be welcomed by the land; to feel the grassy meadow open up to me and receive me as her child. To sing to the sea and have a seal share her selkie story with me. I understand what it feels like to belong to a culture that is mine by ancestral right. I began to understand myself as other than white; a Celtic descendant, separated from her culture.
There was much grieving and joy woven throughout the journey. Grief in bearing witness to the same kind of anhiliation of culture that occurred on Erin that plagued this country centuries later. As you brought us to the sites, to feel beneath the Catholic overlays to the older energies there, I began to feel my ancestral wounding and see more clearly that of the Indigenous people of the land we occupy now. I began to feel the sameness of all people. That at some point, for my ancestors, many, many years ago, we too, lived with nature; were a part of nature; not apart from it. I grieved the loss of the Celtic culture and celebrated the intact parts and the reclamation of it. And I felt my ancestors. I felt my ancestors who have oppressed, urging me to stand up to oppression; and I felt my older ancestors who had been oppressed/killed/burned celebrating my life and gifting me strength. And when I say I felt them; I mean they were actually with me and still are.
I am braver upon my return because I know I have support from my ancestral line to become more human. To stand up to racism and hatred and structural oppression is what I come home to. I step closer to embracing my humanity to walk along with all peoples; knowing that we liberate together or not at all. I will bring my children to Ireland, I’ve dreamed of that already. My young cousins, whose dad crossed the veil while we were walking the Burren want to make the pilgrimage.
It is a privilege to be able to go; but if one has this privilege … go! Go and find your most human self. Two weeks of waking to a morning qi gong practice that slowed down our minds and opened our hearts; a daily preparation to meet the land. The mindfulness intention to be on a solo inquiry amid a quiet and not so quiet group of seekers who supported and celebrated each other along the way.
The musical tapestry that was woven throughout the day from the Irish tune car rides to the mystical bouzouki, celtic harp, digeredoo, guitar, flute inspirations as we ambled our way to each sacred site. The music created a vortex felt by our group as well as the folks of Ireland, feeling our desire to connect with the land and the people of the land. The joy on the faces of strangers and the eager joining in and co-creating of moments out on the land or in a pub with a whiskey. The recognition of friend in a stranger and of connection to the heart was at the center of the learnings. Music. Poetry. Stories. Intentional weaving of thoughful itinerary coupled with faith in following the moment of a faierie clue to lead us to the next site or insight.
I’ve told folks that I could make 100 trips to Ireland and not have a fraction of the experience that I had with you and the merry band. I haven’t become a Celtic priestess; I haven’t mastered the bodhran; I haven’t become fluent in Gaelic. But I have started walking slower. I have made more communion with the trees in my yard. I have spoken to more flowers and moss and ferns and am making relationships with those who have gone before me. I have become more human by walking next to the Cliffs of Moher and by dancing in the sea. I am kinder and can see more beauty AND more oppression than I ever have, perhaps by sitting inside of the earth and hearing music and the old ones whisper hello. I am knowing who I am by going to where I come from. I am a Celtic woman and an ancestor in the making. I am a walker on the path to knowing myself and my rightful place in the order of all that is.
• Kristin W., 2018 Trip Attendee