Sacred Medicine Journey

Ireland

September 1-10, 2017

Throughout our 10 days we will be visiting ancient oak forests, dulse and kelp beds by the sea, standing stone ceremonial sites, holy wells, and rich ecosystems filled with ancient medicinal plants. Greet each day with ceremony and prayer at the stone circle, morning yoga and meditation, or a quiet walk through moss covered oak forest. As we journey each day with the Druid's sacred plants, we will weave in healing rituals, meditation, medicine making, and wild plant harvesting.

 The retreat will be located at two beautiful eco-lodges, Crannog Eco Farm and Boghill Eco Center, offering organic meals from their beautiful gardens. Each day of the course will center on journeying with sacred plants of Ireland, learning their medicine, magick, history, and botany. The retreat will include traditional healing practices, daily plant medicine classes, meditation, yoga, hiking, plant medicine journeys, medicine making, and ritual. Bodywork and massage will be available for those wishing to schedule healing sessions.

This course is for anyone interested in exploring the roots of traditional herbalism of Ireland and the British Isles. We will explore the history, ethnobotany, ecology, and landscapes of Western Ireland as we journey to meet healing land and sea plants. Guest teachers will be brought in from Ireland and those with Irish roots to share some of their sacred plants with us.

Plants we will be journeying with throughout the retreat will include ~ Rowan, Elder, Hawthorn, Heather, Gorse, Bramble, Vervain, Ivy, Blackthorn, Linden, Mallow, Meadowsweet, Angelica, Yarrow, Nettles, St. John's Wort, Dock, Oak, Dandelion, Burdock, Yew, Hazel, Apple, Cherry, Willow, Mullein, Thistle, Valerian, Dulse, Irish Moss, Kelp, Bladderwrack (and other seaweeds) and more! Throughout the retreat we will talk about both the medicine, ethnobotany, ecology, and sacred uses of each plant.

As in all Gaia School courses, students learn through experiential learning with the plant teachers themselves. We will enjoy plant medicine walks, guided journeys with plant spirits, meditation and ritual with sacred plants, wildcrafting and medicine making with prayer and offerings.

Program Includes ~

 

• Communications with plant & nature devas
• Daily plant medicine classes of folk & traditional herbalism
• Ethnobotany & history of Ireland
• Celtic & Druid Sacred Plants
• Wild Foods
• Plant identification, wildcrafting & foraging
• Meditation, hiking & yoga
• Nourishing Traditions & Permaculture
• Danu & Faery Traditions
• Sacred Wells & Water Ceremonies
• Plant identification
• Daily organic meals
• Ritual, Drum & Prayer

• Sacred Trees - Medicine & Magick
• Seaweeds - Haresting for food & medicine
• Shamanic Journeying
• Ancestors & Roots
• Blessing Herbs & Sacred Fire
• Medicine making - tinctures, shrubs, oils
• Burren Artic Flowers & Plants
• Flower & Tree Essences
• Pagan Traditions & Wheel of the Year
• Bodywork & massage (upon request)
• Magical Herbalis & Folklore
• Body centered & heart based learning

Accommodation

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Boghill Centre

The Boghill Centre is a residential venue holistic focused retreats and workshops in Ireland. Boghill offers a sustainable complex including organic vegetable and fruit gardens, a nature trail, a stone circle, a wildlife pond, two rush labyrinths, a chicken coop, an orchard and recently planted native woodland areas. The Boghill kitchen is renowned for its delicious nurturing vegetarian food sourced primarily from the adjoining organic garden and orchard.

The Centre nestles on the edge of the Burren - a unique limestone area offering one of the most distinctive landscapes in Ireland, and a varied coast stretching south into the Cliffs of Moher. With its unusual geological features, its well preserved archaeology, its unique flora and fauna and its local culture, it is a magical area to explore.

Situated in 50 acres of natural bogland in the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark, North Clare, the centre is secluded and has a quiet atmosphere making it the perfect place to relax, unwind and renew your spirit. The nearest villages are Lisdoonvarna (2 miles) and Kilfenora (3 miles).

Crannog Eco Farm

A beautiful paradise of 14 acres of natural gardens, trees, arches, domes and tunnels. Hand crafted living willow features meander through a contemplative garden and pond. Overlooking these is the bright yoga studio, serving also as meditation hall and training room. Accommodation in two cabins, yurts and bell tents. Beautiful outdoor facilities in the Hog an round house. Gorgeous grounds, friendly animals and access to surrounding wilderness.

Facilities are hand crafted from reclaimed and recycled materials, avoiding use of potentially toxic building materials. There are additional areas for camping, retreating, playing and many friendly animals. The simple quality of Crann Og has been recognised by Eco Tourism Ireland and it's strict certification criteria as Gold Standard EcoTourism. This certification is recognized and ratified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. The ultimate in 'up-scale' recycle building and a comprehensive reduce, re-use and recycle program give Crann Og an incredibly low carbon footprint.

The perfect location to get away from the hustle and bustle. So close to all the action, yet far enough away to be another world. Utter tranquillity in nature. Crann Og uses dry composting toilets, solar heated showers and generally keeps energy consumption to a minimum. All of the facilities, including the main house and Yoga studio, are constructed using re-use and recycle principles.

Crann Og is also perfect for nature lovers seeking a quiet, restful break where you can hear only the sound of the wind and the birds in the trees, the animals of the forest and the farm. Connect with nature and relax away from the modern, hectic lifestyle. Learn to be and play in nature once again, leave rejuvenated, happy and peaceful!

 

Retreat Facilitator

 
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Sage L Maurer

Sage is the director of The Gaia School of Healing & Earth Education, where the school has its home on 10 acres of sacred land covered in nettles and singing pines in Southern Vermont. Sage teaches folk herbalism, shamanic plant medicine, ethnobotany, and sacred earth ceremony. In 2001 Sage founded The Gaia School of Healing and has trained hundreds of apprentices in the past 18 years in New England. Sage holds a degree in anthropology with a concentration in ethnobotany from The University of Hawaii, and a Masters degree in environmental education focusing on plant ecology. Tracing her Irish and British roots led her to the incredible healing traditions and medicinal plants of Ireland. She has spent over 20 years working with the sacred plants of the holy isles.

 
 
 

Yoga with Paul Wild

Paula is a masterful yoga instructor who most deeply enjoys practicing and teaching in nature's outdoor studio. Her yoga classes combine movement and breath-work to increase physical awareness, strength, and mental clarity. Paula has been practicing Hatha yoga since 1999, and is currently embarking on a two year journey with the Niroga Institute in Berkeley, CA to become a certified Yoga Therapist. In addition to 500 hours of yoga teacher training certifications, Paula holds a Masters Degree in International Agricultural Development and a certificate in Permaculture Design. She is fascinated by the overlap between the practice of yoga and the design of sustainable livelihoods. Paula's greatest intention is to provide opportunities for more people to explore and enjoy the wild world within, and around us.

 

Rates

Sliding Scale from $1475 - $1575 in US Dollars includes cost of course, all classes, dorm lodging, 3 organic vegetarian meals a day, saunas and transportation to sacred sites for 10 days.
***Sliding scale is an honor system based on what you can afford. By choosing the higher end of the scale, you help support lower income students.
***Reduced tuition for camping. If you would like a private or twin room, please contact us for cost and information.

The $350 deposit is part of your tuition, and should be subtracted from your total payment. Retreat cost must be paid in full by August 1st unless a payment schedule has been arranged.
*** European and Irish attendees should contact us about currency payment options.