Sounding Sacred Ireland vacation

With Hope V. Horton and Gabrielle O. Laden

May 15-26, 2008, only a few seats left. 

View from inside the Carrowkeel Passage Cairn, Co. Sligo


Some places seem charmed, blessed with a beauty and essence both seen and felt that draws forth the soul.  Ireland is one of these places.  Poised on the farthest edge of Europe, it us the home of some of its most ancient sacred sites, exquisite scenery, and friendly people.  In Ireland, the otherworld of spirit and legend is alive and it thrums throughout the land. 


In the fall of 2006, Hope visited Ireland for several months.   She found healing and nourishment through the people, places, and spiritual forces she experienced.  She was especially moved and inspired by the megalithic stone structures that date from as early as 3700 B.C.  These places seem to carry a pure and original impulse that can help us to re-connect with our core and quicken our purpose. 


This journey to Sacred Ireland is an alchemical one, designed to contact and re-unite the forces of heaven and earth, male and female, body and soul within us through sounding, ceremony, and depth experiences.   It is a catalyst to ignite your inner fire and to connect with the archetypal spiritual energies of Ireland.   It is also an opportunity to hike across verdant hills, eat great food, play, laugh, shop, and meet wonderful people with much to share with you.


Meet some of the people who welcomed and inspired Hope during her travels:


John Willmott, our marvelous guide, is well versed in both the landscape and the legend of Ireland.  He will bring us to exquisite places where we will have time and space to experience the history, myths, beings, and energies associated with them. To read more about his knowledge and approach, go to


Claire Roche, a gifted singer harpist, will treat us to a concert of her own moving words and music in an intimate cottage setting.


Fiona Marron, fine artist, will help initiate us into the world of the Sheela na Gig, the mysterious and provocative goddess images that appear throughout the British Isles.   She will warmly welcome us into her 200-year-old cottage studio.


Sister Mary, co-founder of Solas Bhride in Kildare, will help us connect with the Light of Brigid, Goddess and Saint, through a pilgrimage to her Holy Wells, Cathedral, and original Fire Temple.


John has arranged for other special people to enhance our experiences along the way who are listed in the itinerary. 


Why This Trip? 


This is not your typical group tour


·         Our guide, John Willmott, is highly attuned to the seen and unseen dimensions of this land.  The itinerary has been carefully crafted and customized with both your inner and outer experiences in mind. 

·         Hope and Gabrielle are designing rituals and ceremonies to help us to connect viscerally with the four elements and the sacred energies of the land, the rock, the sea, the sites, and ourselves.

·         The emphasis is on quality rather than quantity.  Though we will cover a lot of territory, we will have time to really connect with and absorb the carefully chosen places and experiences. 

·         The small size of the group allows us to be flexible, go off the beaten track and avoid large crowds. 

·         John is a walking encyclopedia of Irish myth and lore.  He will regale us with stories of the gods, goddesses, kings, and queens of this ancient land from out of the mists of time. 



Hope and Gabrielle will be creating rituals and ceremonies to deepen and enhance our experiences along the way.   This itinerary is fluid, depending upon the elements, and is open to delightful surprises.




Fly to Dublin



Morning arrival at Dublin airport.   Travel a short distance to Clane, Co. Kildare.  We are privileged to be welcomed by the fine artist, Fiona Marron who will help initiate us into the meanings and visual interpretations of the Sheela na Gig, the mysterious and provocative goddess images that appear throughout the British Isles.   Accommodation in Celbridge.





Travel to nearby Kildare where we will be embraced by Sr. Mary, the co-founder of the Solas Bhride (“Light of Brigid”) sanctuary.  She will lead us in meditation and assist us with our walking pilgrimage of the life of St. Brigid, including her Holy Wells and Cathedral, where Brigid’s Perpetual Flame was kept alight for centuries in an ancient Fire Temple.   Accommodation in Kildare.





Journey cross country to Kenmare, Co. Kerry, on the exquisite Beara Peninsula.   Stop at Doneraille Park, Co. Cork, a lovely landscape connected to water, designed by Capability Brown, and once the home of Elizabeth Aldworth, Ireland’s only Mason of the Lodge.  We’ll have lunch and hear tales of the Hedge Witch and the origins of Wicca.  We proceed to Beltaine City to see the Paps of Anu, the mountainous bosom of Ireland’s original creator goddess, as well as holy well cairns, meeting stones, and remote views.  Accommodation in Kenmare.  




Beara Peninsula.  Hike to the Uragh Stone Circle, set in magnificent scenery between two lakes and backed by a mountain waterfall where John will share about the male archetypes related to stone circles.  After a spiraling drive down the Healy Pass, we will lunch in Casteltownberehaven before spending time with the Eyeries Ogham Stone and the Ardgroom Stone Circle, facing out to sea.  Accommodation in Kenmare.





Journey to Co. Galway by way of the unique and magical landscape of the Burren in Co. Clare.  Consisting of miles of huge limestone slabs stretching out to sea, this area is famous for its springtime flora and its wildness.  We will visit the nature devas with Sadie Chowen of Burren Botanicals and Perfumer.   She will be our guide through her gardens and the surrounding landscape, which merge to create a welcome sojourn of peace and pleasure.  Accommodation at the Ross Lake House Hotel.





Pick up the trail of Brigid in Brigid’s Garden in Galway’s scenic Connemara region.   It is a wonderful sculptured garden that beautifully portrays the traditions of the four ancient fire festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine, and Lughnasa.  Jenny Beale will lead us in an intimate tour that includes a passage cairn, fairy fort, tree sculptures, and a home style café.   After lunch, we will proceed to Moytura, Co. Sligo, the land of warriors and legends from pre-Celtic Ireland.  Accommodation near Sligo.





Explore the territory between two worlds, beginning with the extraordinary 5500-year-old Carrowkeel Passage Cairns.  Set on hills with a panoramic view, we will crawl through narrow passages into womb-like chambers of rock that were used from time immemorial as inter-dimensional portals.  In the afternoon, Claire Roche will spin her musical web of voice and harp music in the shadow of the hills of the goddess Morrigan, mother of Brigid.  Then we will go to the beach strand of the Druids with distant views of Donegal.  Accommodation near Sligo.




DAY 9 – FRIDAY, MAY 23  

Visit two ancient sources of fertility, first climbing to the Keash Caves in the mouth of the mountain of Morrigan, where legends tell of the birth of goddess Brigid -- a wonderful place for sounding, meditation, and exploration.  After lunching in Ballymote’s Rock Café, we will proceed to the Shannon Pot, the source of the Shannon River whose fertility quickened all of Ireland.  Accommodation in Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland.  





At the foot of one of Ireland’s 7 fairy hills, we will partake in traditional folk drama at Masks and Mischief in Knockninny, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.  After much merrymaking and a picnic on the shores of Lough Erne, we will travel Co. Cavan.  Accommodation in Virginia.



DAY 11 – SUNDAY, MAY 25 

The culmination of our journey brings us to Tara Hill, the spiritual heart of Ireland and the court of the High Kings for 3200 years.  After ceremony and ritual, we then proceed to Newgrange, a truly magnificent passage cairn that needs no introduction.  That evening we will stay in Dublin and prepare for our return.





Return to the U.S.  Fly out of Dublin Airport.


Sounding Sacred Ireland

May 15-26, 2008

Limited to 16 participants (now limited vacancies)

Price: $3,200.00 for double occupancy

$315.00 supplement for single occupancy


Cost includes nearly every expense in Ireland

Guides, driver, and bus

All accommodation (10 nights) in 5-, 4-, and 3-star hotels

All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, including tea and coffee with all meals

All entry and shuttle fees and fees for special guests

Gratuities for hotels and meals staff


Cost does not include


Travel insurance (mandatory)

Additional beverages with meals

Transportation to the Dublin airport for the outbound flight (approx. $15)


As you will be arranging your own airline reservations this will provide you with the freedom and choice to extend your vacation in Ireland for a few more days to explore more on your own. 



Please contact Hope Horton if you would like to register at 608-233-5232 


or  ….  Inquire through Celtic Ways


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