Celtic Retreats in Ireland - Testimonials & Impressions
“When I contemplate what steps can be taken to explore the soul of any culture, its truth or essence, I always begin with exploring the poetry, and preferably on foot, as a pilgrim in search of the truth that vibrates in the heart. For many years, I have the past few years, as part of my search for the soul of Dublin I have sought out the tough-and-tender poetic wisdom of the peripatetic Patrick Kavanagh.
My enjoyment of his work has been vast, but recently it has been deepened by the guidance of the scholar-pilgrim leader Mary Meighan. Not only is Mary’s knowledge of Kavanagh impressive, her affection for him is palpable and her ability to convey his importance as a voice of both rural and urban poet is vital for any understanding of modern Ireland. Moreover, her enthusiasm brings to the forefront one of Kavanagh’s greatest invocations, which was to “Let words laugh.” In other words, let language bring joy to one another. I highly recommend Mary’s pilgrimages, her sacred travel Celtic Journeys, and her guided tours of Patrick Kavanagh and guided Celtic Retreats.”
“May all visitors to Ireland re-joyce in the revival of the poetic-pilgrimages that Mary specializes in.”
— Phil Cousineau, author of “The Art of Pilgrimage” and “The Book of Roads”
Mary welcomed our group of American yogis and cyclists right into the heart of Celtic spirituality with simple, sweet and clear invitations into her authentic practices. Mary created the space to connect more deeply to Ireland, ourselves, and the many wonders of life and death. Mary’s presence is absolutely precious, filled with grace and wisdom and allowed each of us to slow down and truly feel. The blessings from our time with Mary are immeasurable – our group chanted a Celtic song we learned from Mary to open our heart and listen to our heart before our first bike ride today. And I know the spirit of the Celtic ways will continue to unfurl and spiral into the rest of our journeys in Ireland, returning with us home and wherever we are in each moment.
“Once again I would like to thank Mary for leading us on the wondrous Celtic Pilgrimage in June. So many good things have come from it. Glendalough is with me, and within me, every day. There are not enough words to thank you for the experience. With affection and gratitude.”
— Reverend Barbara Prince. USA
(If you are considering coming on a Celtic Journey or Celtic Retreat with Mary and would like to speak to someone who has experienced a Celtic Journey / Retreat I would be delighted to talk with you about my experience. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for my telephone number. )
Private Celtic journey
I could not have imagined a Spiritual Guide like Mary with her capacity to perceive my deepest draw to Ireland. With the depth of her understanding of the Celtic world and with her ear to my heart and soul – she provided experiences that were the most nourishing for my particular journey.
Everything about our time together was fluid – nonlinear – and joyful.
I feasted on fresh picked poems and stories, drank deep peace in Glendalough Valley, savored the sounds from old pipes played by a modern day Fairy and soaked in the sacredness of the land and it’s wells.
Each day was full of blessings – but the biggest blessing of all was simply being in Mary’s presence. She so embodies the spirit of the Celtic heart that I felt I could simply rest – and receive – a download of the essence of Celtic spirituality from her very being.
An invitation into the heart of Ireland doesn’t get any sweeter or more effortless than all of the above! In deep gratitude, I went on my way – through the rest of my trip – with my heart tuned into the whisperings of Ancient Ireland – listening to the rhythm – and finding my way – Home.
— Paige Rhine, USA
In summer 2013 Ireland called me to come. I didn’t know why. Then I came and met Mary. She spent a few days with me for a private Celtic Journey. She was so careful and gentle. She organized a place where I spent my time as I needed. I heard so much about Celtic history and Spirituality.
When we were in Glendalough I felt like I was coming home. Every morning I walked a labyrinth. Mary read Celtic blessings and showed me Celtic music – my heart felt the big old love of this Celtic land.
The nature, the different greens, the silence, the fairy places, the stone circle – Mary showed me so many different lovely parts of this land.
I feel blessed that I met Mary. She helped me to find another place where my soul felt at home. I’m thankful for her wisdom and the wonderful time we spent together.
I will come back soon.
Sylvia from Germany
Nine Days in August in Ireland
Should you want to be with a teacher/guide/wise woman into the world of Celtic Spirituality, into your own soul, into chant and song and poem, into stone circles and sacred wells, into story and laughter and tears, into wonder and mist and mystery, then we extravagantly and unreservedly recommend Mary Meighan to you.
Mary would teach us by symbol, by chant, by poem, by repetition, by ritual, by silence, by song. Mary embodied the bits and pieces she told us of the Celtic Ways. She is what she teaches. Hers is old wisdom, made new. We remain grateful for Mary’s authenticity, for her generosity, for her depth of understanding about spirituality. She is wonderful! We received more than we could ever have imagined. “
Patricia McGee, Teacher & Phil Garrison, Pastor,
Journeying to Ireland a dream I held in my heart for years. The Celtic Journey with Mary opened a door to a match only previously hoped for. Each day framed with morning blessings, music, and ceremony to gently and powerfully immerse us in the land, the waters and light, the people and spirits of Eire–all that I could have imagined and asked for was graciously and abundantly offered. Sacred wells visited. Water, a sacred gift from sacred earth, connecting all life and cause for celebration and reverent ceremony–a balm to my heart and spirit. To be in this small gathering, most auspiciously met, with prayers and blessings, laughter and joy in this green land–such peace and happiness to share. My heart overflows with thanksgiving. Thank you, Mary and Andrew, and all we met along the way. You are a great blessing to those who wish to know Ireland more quietly, more joyfully, in-the-flow, enriched by Irish poets, songwriters, singers, boatmen, guesthouse hosts, fine cooks, lovely waitpersons, and you are more-than guide and driver, companions on the journeying of our souls.
Kathleen Simpson Myron, Canby,
Many thanks, Mary, for the very special time my mother and I spent with you in September. We had been to Glendalough before, but on a tourist bus. What a different experience being with you and understanding the spiritual history and energy of the place. It was a very rich time for us both entering into the world of the spirit of Ireland more deeply, and opening to the healing it offers. Wonderful for my Mum as it is a language and way of being she understands well, being Irish, and for me looking into a world which seems unfamiliar in one sense (as I have lived in Africa almost all my life), but in another way completely familiar and a sense of being at home. With both of us being at ‘thresholds’ in our lives, the experience touched us deeply and, for me, gave me a better understanding of the true stars to guide my life by.
Mary and Barbara Vitoria,
My daughter and I decided on a trip to Ireland and included a two and a half day Private Celtic Journey with Mary Meighan. This allowed us to immerse ourselves in the beautiful Celtic energy and traditions. Her open and generous sharing of her vast knowledge and wisdom made it an unforgettable experience of the indigenous wisdom of Ireland.
Waukesha, WI (USA)
I had the wonderful experience of making a Celtic Journey with Mary Meighan. While I knew what spiritual lines I was searching for in this journey, I had no idea of what places to visit or what shape to give to this journey.
Thanks to Mary, this proved to be a spiritual experience that I will never forget. She seemed to read my mind as to the kind of private journey I wanted. From spiritual sites, to the practical details, to wonderful touches such as an unforgettable meal in her home. Mary had it all figured out. Last, but certainly not least, Mary’s company is a delight, thanks to her personality and humor.
Carmel, California, U.S.A.
In Mary’s presence Irish heritage, mythology, poetry and music comes alive. Her deep embodiment of Celtic Spirituality and her phenomenal facilitation instilled in a deep sense of mystery and the sacredness of all things as well as laughter…I discovered here myself writ large, and go home renewed. I know this journey will continue to support my larger life for a long time to come…Thank you Mary for bringing all of who you are.
President and CEO, Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
Ireland is indeed a magical place. Mary and Sean’s magnificent weaving of sacred sites, ceremony, music and poetry reawakened my spirit and invited my soul to fly. Enchanting!
Moira Brigid Conroy,
Co-Founder Anam Cara Retreat Center, Del Rio, TN. U.S.A.
This Celtic journey was an amazing experience. It was a great opportunity to learn about Ireland from a spiritual point of view. After only a week I felt as though I had grown spiritualy. Mary and Sean are wonderful and do a great job of balancing deep spiritual work with humor and fun. There was also a significant amount of time to spend in reflection. I would recommend it to anyone, and hope to do it again myself.
I want to thank you again for your Celtic Soul Retreat at Evergreen Cove. It was amazing, and just what I needed. It has been an inspiration and a validation of what I have been thinking and feeling for many years. Bless you,
Cassi Friedman, Easton, Maryland, USA
I so enjoyed the day with Mary. I left Evergreen Cove yesterday evening feeling as if I had been on a timeless mystical journey back to my heart. I enjoyed the homecoming.
Linda Mastro, Easton, Maryland. USA
12 Step Recovery and Celtic Wisdom:
Woven Together into a Beautiful Journey
I have been on a spiritual journey through a 12 Step Recovery program for the past 13 years. I was struck by the way the spiritual paths of both the 12 Steps and the Celtic way were intertwined. I was able to bring into my daily life the things I learned at a day Celtic Wisdom Retreat guided by Mary Meighan and this has surely enhanced my own spiritual journey. I immediately knew that a tour of Ireland with Mary was to be part of my own journey.
Our “little band of pilgrims” as Mary liked to call us, embarked on a journey of discovery. A discovery of the beauty and wisdom of the land the and culture of Ireland herself; and a journey of self discovery.
Through our daily morning rituals Mary offered us a chance to look at our own lives through the eyes of Irish blessings and ritual to honor all that is beautiful and good in this world and in ourselves. By bringing the Goddess Brigid and her ﬂame to us, Mary showed us how to honor the spark within each of us, and how to reignite that spark into the ﬁre of passion to pursue our dreams. Mary took us to special places not found in a traditional tour of Ireland, so I believe we got to know Ireland in a more sacred and intimate way. We also had a opportunity for traditional Irish culture at a local pub for a night of music and dancing.
The journey has caused a change in my soul.
Slinger, Wisconsin, USA
A wish to visit Ireland became possible in my 70th year. I needed a guide for my Irish soul who was physically and spiritually connected herself, to the land, to the people and to the ‘other crowd’. I found that person in Mary.
There was something ‘intangible’ about the woman and the environments we explored, that made me feel so very much ‘at home’. I recognised in Mary what I had experienced in my own Irish ancestors – humour, simplicity, wit, honesty and warmth. We jelled!
In just two and a half days I began to experience the ‘thin places’, to feel the liminality of thresholds, to honour the mystery in everything and my connectedness to all. I began to intentionally ‘practice’ doing the rounds of sacred wells, rocks or trees and to ritualise my having been there.
The Celtic Journey I experienced with Mary was a sort of ‘threshold’ for my time in Ireland. I went on to other places with openness to the land and the new friends I was destined to meet.
Noelene Landrigan rsj
Whanganui, Aotearoa/New Zealand
I thank you sincerely for the celtic retreat. It was, I think, the first time I have felt utter peace in a very long time. It was truly amazing. I am so lucky I was able to attend….and you did an incredible job. I’m so incredibly grateful that we were able to have you back this year.
Amy Baynard, Staff, Evergreen Cove, Maryland, USA
Flying alone from Australia my intuition and the internet led me to spend two and a half days on a Private Celtic Journey with Mary Meighan. With Mary as my guide and companion I was deeply affected and most certainly blessed by this journey …. I will carry this time in my heart always.
Mary P. O’Meara
My experience with Celtic Journeys was everything I hoped it would be, and more. From the moment we arrived, through the entire trip, I felt well taken care of. Mary was knowledgeable and organized. The carefully orchestrated itinerary, meaningful rituals, comfortable accommodations, and delicious meals were all woven into a seamless experience that continues to enrich my life. I would not hesitate to recommend Celtic Journeys to others – indeed I have already done so.! Thank you again for a life-changing experience.
New Mexico, USA
I really don’t know how to thank you – words just don’t seem big enough. To say this was a life-changing experience doesn’t seem big enough. It’s almost as if everything shifted a bit and is now in clear focus. I hope to return to Ireland. And thank you, thank you to you Mary.
Dale from the USA on
Two Day Private Celtic Retreat in Ireland
Celtic Journeys took me through profound contemplation to joyous wonder, from sacred silence to uproarious laughter. This is balm for the soul.
Thank you for an experience I will treasure and savor for as long as I live.
Dr. Morrie Kleinplatz, Psychologist,
This has been a remarkable journey, crafted and arranged with loving and care, well thought out in details and the general plan meticulous in its planning and execution. As an introduction and initiation into celtic culture and spirituality Celtic Journeys’s pilgrimage has been in every way first rate, indeed outstanding.
…I would encourage anyone seeking to know Ireland and the celtic culture to explore such a journey.
Nancy E. Lamb DML. MBA. University Professor,
(French Lang., Lit. and culture.)
Starting this weekend, I had no expectations. I came away with a deeper understanding of myself and a magnificent appreciation of the Celtic way of life that I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life.
Michelle Alcina, College student.
The celtic retreat was profound. The rituals, songs, chanting, presentations activities were seamlessly, flawlessly, engaging. The depth of Mary’s knowledge of Celtic Spirituality and depth of her own spirituality took me by the hand and led me to new places in myself, places I feared to go.
Jo Harriet Haley,
Founder of Sacred Places Travel, USA
Mary infuses her passion for her native Ireland with her earthy love of the spiritual path to nourish the space for pilgrims to honor the light and the dark within their depths Her wisdom, humor, and kindness light the way.
Founder of Wild Lotus Yoga Studio and Musician, New Orleans.
Thank you for one of the most remarkable weeks of my life. I can’t put my feelings into words about the peace, joy and passion I have found here.
Rev. Marian Hale,
This journey gave me an experience of Ireland and Celtic Spirituality that would be hard to replicate. I highly recommend to all who wish to know Eire to walk with Celtic Journeys.
A Californian pilgrim
A journey like none other, opening the senses to the celtic contribution to our century. I will share my experience with everyone I meet.
Retired Physician, MN. USA
This celtic journey interwoven with wisdom, compassion and humor has changed my connection and being on the earth forever.
Gail Buchbinder, Registered Nurse
In the summer of 2014 we transported 8 people (three different families) on a 10 day tour of Ireland. This included four teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 18, and four adults.My wife had heard about Mary and her passion/expertise in Celtic mysticism, history and culture, and included a period of our trip with Mary. I, being far less intellectual and spiritual than my wife, was a little skeptical, and worried as to how others, particularly the kids, would respond. I must admit it added a wonderful dimension to our trip, that made it a truly special vacation.Normally, you do the “canned” history/cultural tours of a country. With Mary, we got a great sense and appreciation for the Celtic influence, not only to the Irish, but to much of our own heritage. You also gained an appreciation as to how Celtic culture and mysticism is so relevant to today.The adults and kids all appreciated this truly special insight. Mary was able to cater to everyone’s particular taste in participating. It would be nice if there were more “Mary’s” in the countries we visit!
— Joe P. , Buffalo, New York
Mary the time with you in that glorious Wicklow area was one of the most profound and deeply spiritual times I have ever had in my life…… and, I have had many.
Your peaceful spirit, your rooted Celtic spirituality, your quiet teacher, your singing, chanting self, your joyous soul, your special guide and your wonderful listener and translator.
Our trip together to Brigid’s Fire Temple and Well were particularly meaningful to me, as was ……… well, everything!
I loved that I could, finally, embrace my pagan self.
Simply put, my words cannot convey my thanks enough.
— SoulWINGs Win
Thank you for sharing your treasures. I feel so much braver with this spark inside my heart.
Nina Sandot, Dance and Yoga Instructor