Last September, I posted these words:
New plan. When we can safely travel again, you come to Ireland with me on an herbal retreat. We tour off-the-beaten-path stone circles and burial tombs; connect with and learn from local herbalists, storytellers, and organic farmers; forage wild things; plant some trees; hike to some magical mossy groves; and ground out deeply on the Emerald Isle. Who’s game for this plan? ( She asks, fully lost in the dream/fantasy realm…)
And your reaction was off the charts. You were feeling it, too, and shared my vision of what might be.
And I couldn’t shake this dream.
Day and night it followed me, whispering in my ear. Of how life-changing it could be; how magical; how transformative.
Instead of ignoring that whispering, I set to work breathing it into reality.
The vision: an herbal retreat to Ireland in 2022.
A gathering where we can come together and learn about ourselves and one another, make medicine and magic, connect with the songs of the land, the trees, and our own hearts. A trip where we might journey through portals we’ve only imagined.
I envisioned a small, sacred gathering where we had space to heal what is wounded, find our voices, remember our truths, and hear the songs of the plants, the Earth, and–for some of us–even our ancestors.
I knew this was not a retreat I wanted to craft on my own, so I spent last winter researching local teachers and guides who might take us there. And that was how I stumbled upon Tara and Chris of Wild Routes Ireland.
I knew immediately that I had found my partners for this transformative journey.
The three of us connected through email and Zoom, and then (surprising even myself) I decided to join them this September for their fall Deepening the Roots tour: to meet in person and get a taste for their programming and a feel for their energy, so I could be sure it was a great match.
And that’s how it happened that just a few weeks ago (exactly one year to the day from when I first shared my Ireland Herbal Retreat dream with you) I found myself back in Ireland once more–here to join their tour; to meet, plan, play, connect, and get a taste for what we have in the store for you in 2022.
And oh my, friend. It’s going to be so, so good.
So just a few weeks ago, I embarked on an 11-day adventure with Chris and Tara and 20-some other intrepid souls through western Ireland. And while I attended wearing my ‘retreat-planning hat’, I lost myself again and again in this beautiful, soul-shaping experience in this lush and captivating land.
Day after day, I was utterly captivated by the places we visited, the guides who led us there, and the magic that enveloped us.
Time and again I forgot I was there for work, and slipped deep into the magic of this otherworldly land.
And that told me everything I needed to know about these people, this place, and these plants.
The two dozen of us journeyed together as we forged friendships and foraged mushrooms; wandered amongst ancient yews and lush mosses; tasted wild herbs, flowers, leaves, and fruits; made essences under the moon; and rooted deeply with our backs against trees countless centuries our elders.
We sang songs of gratitude as we encircled prehistoric stone circles and 500-year-old hawthorns, shared stories, and drank from sacred wells.
And though we arrived as a rag-tag group of strangers from four countries, eleven days later we departed as friends.
And now it’s my turn to get to business planning an Ireland Herbal Retreat of my own. An 11-day journey for you and for me.
Want to co-create this journey with me?
I‘d love your input! We are currently deciding between two potential retreat dates: July 12-22 or September 6-16. If you’re serious about joining me, let me know below which dates you prefer.
Who is welcome? Anyone with a budding or blossoming interest in plants, herbalism, history, the sacred, and Ireland. Women, men, and non-binary folks are equally welcome, as are all races, spiritual beliefs, and backgrounds. Come alone or with a family member, partner, or friend.
The trip includes some moderate hikes on uneven ground (in whatever weather Ireland wishes to deliver) and is best suited for those comfortable with a moderate activity level. And while the programming is designed with adult participants in mind, mature, interested teens are welcome to attend along with a parent or guardian.
If your interest is piqued, drop me an email and ask me to put you on the Herbal Retreat mailing list! Then leave a comment below sharing the date you prefer most (July, September, or let us know if both dates work for you) along with one thing you’re excited to see or experience in Ireland.
Feel free to leave questions below as well, and I’ll get you answers just as soon as I have them.
Finally, pop over to follow me on Instagram and Facebook and find lots more photos and a few videos from these past weeks in Ireland. (I’m still there at the moment, traveling with my mom and my daughter for one more week.)
The video below from a past Wild Routes tour should also help get you excited for the trip to come!