Irish Blessings Tours is pleased to announce the 2014 Brigit Tour. This eight day tour will meet in Dublin on 30th January to participate in a tour that will burn with Brigit’s proverbial flame of inspiration. An evening reception at our Dublin hotel will give everyone an opportunity to meet and be greeted by the tour leader and escort, Bee Smith. Bee is a Brigit expert who led a tour for the Celtic Women International in 2011.
Central to the tour is spending three days – from 31st January – 2nd February- where we will be delegates at an international gathering at Brigit’s Garden in Rosscahill, Co. Galway. This Celtic themed garden dedicated to the spirit of Brigit is the ideal place for this Gathering .
The Gathering takes as its theme “Spreading Brigit’s Mantle: Brigit’s Vision for the 21st Century.” Mary Condren, author of The Goddess and the Serpent will give a keynote address as well as launching her latest book. The gathering will offer facilitated workshops, community and an evening ceilidh over the course of the weekend.
The final four days of the tour will take us to sacred spaces – holy wells, cursing/blessing stones, fairy woodland, and dolmens as we head towards northwest Ireland where the Tuatha de Danaan, the fairy race from which the goddess Brigit sprang, first landed in Ireland.
We will end the tour by visiting Solas Bhríde in Kildare where the eternal flame that had burned for centuries was rekindled in 1992. We will visit both holy wells and the cathedral where you will need keen eyes to spot the Sheela-na-gig.
This tour will be of special interest to women and men who have an interest in the spiritual heritage, traditions and devotions that surround Ireland’s matron goddess and saint. Whether your interest is in pagan or Celtic Christian spirituality, we will visit places that have remained sacred to all spiritual traditions in this island.
Your guide, Bee Smith, is a a regular contributor and former Sagewoman columnist and long-time Brigit devotee. She is a published poet and is included in Goddess Ink’s anthology”Brigit: Sun of Womanhood”, editted by the late Patricia Monaghan and Michael McDermott.
Tour costs will include entrance fees, shared room, breakfast and evening meals.
For full tour itinerary and costs email email@example.com
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This summer if you are travelling to Northwest Ireland – especially West Cavan and Fermanagh – walk with Irish Blessings Tour guides Bee Smith and Tony Cuckson to some of the betwixt and between power places of this unique border region. With many visitors arriving in Ireland this summer for The Gathering 2013 walk the places where our ancestors have lived continuously since the times of the Megalith Makers.
Irish Blessings Tours creatrix, Bee Smith is a Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark trained tour guide. Her talks with walks will enhance your understanding of the ancient sites, natural heritage, mythology and local history. Storyteller and musician Tony Cuckson embellishes the walks with his beguiling Armagh accent and humour.
Allow poet, writer and storyteller Bee Smith to lead you on a fairy hunt in the magical places within the ancient Irish kingdom of Breifne. Bee’s tours will show you places where modern and mythic Ireland meet, sharing those ‘betwixt and between’ places of Tir na nÓg, the rainbow bridges between time and the timeless. No tour of Ireland is complete without that ‘tingle factor’ that this part of Ireland never fails to deliver.
So come walking Betwixt & Between with Bee to places where the fairies still thrive, where you can feel the ancestors watching your back and feel peace dropping slowly upon your soul.
Pricing- €30 per hour
Book via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 071 964 3936.
Payment should be made via PayPal upon receipt of confirming email or text message.
Groups up to eight people, children with focus welcome
Seeking the Source at Shannon Pot
This one hour tour of the source of Ireland’s longest river, the Shannon, includes storytelling and music with Tony Cuckson. Meadows, fairy trees, story and song. This walk is completely accessible.
Crossover with Crom Cruich
The Ancestors at our Back
This walking tour of the Cavan Burren is a minimum two hours and includes the guide’s own poetry inspired by the landscape and the folklore associated with it. A half day could be easily spent exploring dolmens, cairns, wedge tombs and boulder formations. A longer tour with a picnic included can be negotiated.
In conjunction with Amy Bogard (www.amybogard.com) Irish Blessings Tours is pleased to announce our collaboration in creating an Irish Sketch Tour. Based on Amy’s Sketchbook and Journal workshops back in Cincinnati, Ohio we are now going to take the concept on the road to Ireland.
Dates are still to be confirmed but we have penciled in the last weeks of September/early October for the tour in 2013.
Want to know a bit more about the concept?
Well, check out Amy’s blog to see what she has done on her tours to the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. And read how my own love of poetry, and haiku in particular, lends itself to experiencing Ireland on tour.
Smouldering Lough Talt
Hemmed in by the hills
Cloud above the cauldron
In August 2011 I guided Amy and her friends around my part of the world – West Cavan in Ireland – a landscape of myth, megalith and sacred power places. It turns out that Amy leads groups who journal their trips through art. While I am a deep devotee of art, that gene passed me by. I did, however, get the writing gene and while Amy wields her drawing pencil, I journal trips by writing haiku.
Haiku is a Japanese poetry form, deceptively simple and fiendishly difficult (but fun!) if you play by the classical rules. It is simply three lines composed of no more than seventeen syllables. The classic format is lines of 5,7,5 syllables but these days we tend to play it a bit looser since we are not writing in Japanese after all. There is generally a ‘seasonal’ word that tells the reader the time of year for the scene. It also is alive to the natural world, which then can stand for the universal, even Zen, truth. Unlike English poems we don’t use simile and the metaphors are very oblique. What you aim to do is to capture a moment in time and share the feeling/seeing/hearing/sensing with the reader. Using the seasons as a leitmotif the little poem aims to capture mood, moment and image.
A cow’s anguished moo
A calf taken from its mother
I generally have a small notebook in my handbag and haiku is a convenient way of jotting down what I am experiencing. I’ve been a professional foreigner for more than thirty years. I left the USA in 1980 and lived in England, where I met my Irish partner, for twenty years. We moved to Ireland in 2001. We live deep in the country on an acre where we garden organically. For someone who loves nature and needs solitude and quiet it is like heaven. Only better, because I’m alive to enjoy it.
Through poetry I not only met my partner, I also made other friends. One of those poetry buddies suggested to a group of American women that they let me organise a tour for them over the Festival of Brigit, who also happens to be the matron goddess/saint of poetry.
So poetry gave me my new vocation as tour guide and creatrix of tours for people who want to immerse themselves in an authentic Ireland. This Ireland is not always furnished with an interpretative centre but allows the visitor to draw their own conclusions. It does allow the visitor to experience for themselves, take the pulse, to be inquisitive and meet people in their locality.
Open-hearted traveling yields many pleasant surprises.
It is a way of touring that lends itself to journalling through art and poetry, in particular that three lined haiku that can get swiftly jotted in the pocket size notebook. To travel should engage your heart as much as other senses. Jotting down a haiku you often capture that heart sense. It captures that moment just as a photograph. But the poem or drawing uses your hand, muscle, coordination – and they are connected to your heart.
The roaring cascade
Raw assertion over rock
Lichen bearded glen
Amy wants to bring contact me at email@example.com or Amy at www.amybogard.com to express interest in joining us on this tour. We will forward full details of the dates, itinerary, and costs later in 2012.