A Story of Transformation in Ireland, by Jill Swenson – Part 1 (days 1-6)

A Story of Transformation in Ireland, by Jill Swenson – Part 1 (days 1-6)

Where should I begin to relate the story of a transformation?

About two or three months ago my friend Troy, who’s a medium, called to ask me if I was planning a trip to Ireland as he’d had a vision of me on one. I laughed and said no, but I had it on my vision board and had wanted to go all my life. I told him I didn’t see it as happening anytime soon … if ever. Two weeks later he sent me a website with this trip with a notation saying, “I wonder if this is the trip I saw you on?” I read the information on the pilgrimage and pondered the trip from every aspect. I knew it was meant for me, but how would that be possible? Why did I question, for something that is mean to be WILL be. And so it is.

Christ Church of Dublin
Day 1 – Christ Church, The National Museum and Trinity College

The day we arrived at the airport and I had my passport stamped for the first time, I also met our guide Finbarr. I intuitively knew something immediately as I shook his hand. We had met before, not in this life, but another. I had been told by my friend who is a pyschic that when my feet hit the ground in Ireland I would be immediately energized with an immense powerful burst. And so it was. I was told I would meet someone from my past. Boom! Both those things happened within an hour of deboarding the plane.

“Celtic Mystical Journeys” says it all. And off we went to tour Christ Church, The National Museum and Trinity College. I think everyone was interested when Finbarr told them to stand in the large design in the floor at Christ Church. Some felt the energy coming from the vortex. I didn’t feel much, my experiences would come later. The National Museum was amazing with all of the artifacts and ancient museum pieces. The thing that caught my eye was the long, long hand hewn boat with the raised center to help keep it balanced. I enjoyed Trinity College with the room containing “The Book of Kells” as I have always been fascinated by the lettering in the book. I even considered using one of the designs when I got my tattoo.

The food was fabulous. The service was delightful as we listened to the Irish accent. It was like being sung to at every meal! The pubs were so friendly and they made us feel right at home. The one thing we all noticed was how much food was served.

Slane Abbey
Day 2 – Boyne Valley and Three Anceint Druid Temples

Toured The Boyne Valley and three ancient Druid temples. Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, all had their unique characteristics.

The guide at Knowth was so informative and seemed to relax into our group and share some of his own insights that weren’t necessarily the same as the general information. We all ponderd whether the smaller chambers had been initiation chambers. At Dowth, the one tomb that has not been reclaimed yet, we all felt it was more of a burial site. Here, our leader, Kathyrn had us do a circle and then led a releasing ceremony for us. It was quite powerful for me … the first step to one of my purposes here, I believe.

Jill Swenson at stone in cemetary

From there we went to Slane Abby were St Patrick built a fire. The ruins of the Abby were really cool, but my mind was on going to the cemetary. My friend, the medium, told me that the second cemetary I saw we would go in (this was the second one) and there I would be drawn to one stone and then another and the third one would be the one I’d stop at. Well, there were two there and I wondered which one it was so I put out my hands and felt the energy draw me to one of them.

I wondered what the purpose was but that was revealed through three separate observations by myself, Finbarr and Kathyrn. They all dealt with Mary and when all put together told me why I was led to that stone. Holy Mary is my spirit guide. To say I was blown away would be a very mild statement. From then on, the experiences just kept happening for me. Kathryn is a pychic and she told me her guides had told her to come find me in the cemetary from where she was in the Abby and then to find two stones by the grave I’d found and give them to me. She did that without me knowing and then gave them to me and explained their meaning. I carry those stones everywhere with me. What a powerful day that was. Thank you, Holy Mary.

Witches Chair
Day 3 – Cairns of Loughcrew and Chair of the Witch

Up for a walk? We drove to the Cairns of Loughcrew to see the tomb and the “Chair of the Witch”. Finbarr had been talking about this on the way up to the site and it had me thinking, “what’s going to happen there?” When we got there the site was full of many scientists who were doing some investigative research. Lucky for us that they were there as the site was closed at the end of August and one had to get a key. Finbarr would have had a long walk back to get the key for us. But the fairies were good to us that day. The “ology” people agreed to stay and let us go into the tomb and then they would lock up and take the key back. I think everyone enjoyed this tomb and sitting in the “Chair of the Witch”. Finbarr said we would all get a message. I believe we all did in one form or another. Some got a message, I got the vision of a spiraling red, red sun. Kathryn told me this was a power image that Queen Maeve was giving me. Thank you, Maeve, I needed that! As we left the clouds were very ominous as if the sky would open and we would be drenched but we got back to the bus before it started.

Jill Swenson at stone in cemetary

The next stop for the day was Tara, one of the most venerated places in early Ireland. It was revered as the dwelling place of the gods. We entered what Finbarr called “the kissing gates” named such because of the way they opened. A few pictures were taken here of Kathyrn and Loren and Richard and Janet … kissing of course. As we reached the top, we were told that many years ago a group had come here and searched for the Ark of the Covenant and had dug everything up. There was a huge upright cylinder-like stone called “the stone of destiny”. We each put our hands on the stone to see what happened. I saw no reactions so when it was my turn, I was very uncomfortable when I found myself laughing out loud a few minutes after I put my hands on the stone. I stepped away, but when everyone moved on, I thought I must not be doing this right so I placed my hands on the stone again. Again I had the same reaction, only louder. I deduced that my destiny from there on out was to laugh. I accepted it gratefully.

Finbarr led us over to a cemetary. As he and I walked in the crows began to caw very loudly. I asked if there were crows in all cemetaries. It seemed like all the ones I visited had crows, because I always heard them crowing. Here he showed us a “shinlagig” (fertility symbol) on a stone in the cemetary. Seemed like a strange place for one. Finbarr is very informative on all aspects of Ireland and really makes the tour something you would not get from anyone else. From here we went back to the hotel and the pub. Ahhhh!

Druids Church
Day 4 – Glendaough, Druid Church, St. Mary’s, St. Kevin

First off today, we journeyed to Glendalough, where there are many paths leading to var¬ious sites through an ancient monastery. The first stop was at the ruins of an old Druid church. There Finbarr told us about how these churches were constructed and the rea-sons behind it. The archways had four major stones on one side and three on the other side representing the divine masculine and the divine fem¬inine. He had each of us stand in the doorway and place our hands on the sides of the arch to feel the energy coming from them. It gave one the feeling of peacefulness.

Blessing with Bell

The next church was St. Mary’s and we had to cross a sheep-filled pasture to get there. Kathryn wasn’t excited about sheep dung, but hey, it was part of the landscape and I’d had experience with sheep many years ago, so I was extra careful where I stepped. As we looked around the ruins, Finbarr brought out a bell of sorts. When I asked what it was, he told me it was a healing bell and asked if I wanted him to do the healing ceremony on me. Why not, I was there for every experience I encountered. When he was done, my reaction surprised me and I had to go behind one of the walls for a few minutes.

Behind the church there were several ancient gravestones. Our guide told us they were un-baptized baby’s graves. It was here that I felt a rush of emotion.

St. Kevins Church and Monastery

Next we went to St. Kevin’s Church and Cathedral ruins. This was one I was interested in because an old friend of mine had told me that legend said if you said a prayer and made a wish in this church, it would be answered. From the ruins we took a mile hike up the mountain in the beautiful woods to St. Kevin’s Cell. What is left are four original ancient oak trees surrounding a small circled site and an unimaginable view of the heather on the hills reflected in the lake below. It was such a peaceful place and we stood and talked there while Finbarr told us more about St. Kevin. Janet, one of my fellow travelers said it was the place that affected her the most on the tour. It was truly an inspirational site and I’m sure that is why St. Kevin spent his hermitage there.

St. Kevins Cell

That night we settled in at The Merry Ploughboys Pub for an evening of Irish music and Irish dancing. Brian, one of our group, was called up to join in the Irish step dancing. The food was excellent and here is where I had my first Guinness, to be followed by many more! It went down like water… must be in my DNA! I think Finbarr was satisfied that there would be no more American beer crossing my lips for the rest of the tour.

Day 5 – Limerick, Lough Gur, Goddess Aine

This was an exceptional day for me. We went on to Limerick and Lough Gur with more stone circles and a tomb. As Finbarr started the walk through the grove, he told us we were going to experience the Goddess Aine. He told us we would get a message from her and when we did we should stop and listen. So I thought I was going to “hear” something.

Meditating with Goddess Aine

As we walked quietly into the wooded area of the lake, I felt two powerful energy spots, but I didn’t stop because I thought I was suppose to hear something. As I walked along, I encountered Finbarr stopped by a tree looking directly at me. He took my arms and turned me around and placed me by a tree. He said, “You are not listening.” I wondered how did he know that I had felt energy spots?

As I walked back down the path I looked at the lake. There was a strange wave pattern out near the center of the lake. The waves were all moving to the right of the water, but out in the middle it was as if the little waves were stopped in time coming towards me, but never moving, almost like a photograph.

I felt there was something under the water… like the Loch Ness Monster… but I believe it was the goddess Aine, for legend says sometimes she appears as a mermaid when she rises from her home beneath the waters of the lake. I captured it on my camera, and as I look again at the image, I still believe what I saw was Aine.

We traveled to Killarney to stay for two nights. Our guide, Finbarr had been getting sick and he left us at dinner to recuperate. It was then that our bus driver, Kevin, stepped up to take charge of us. We discussed the events of the next day for we knew Finbarr would not be with us. He needed to rest. Plans were made over glasses of Guinness in the pub.

Killarney National Park and Tor Falls
Day 6 – Muckross House, Killarney National Park, Tor Falls

Today we visited the Muckross House. In the basement, Kathryn, myself and Joanne felt the strange sensation that something bad had happened in the wine vault. The grounds were beautiful and Kathryn gave us an exercise on the bus that morning dealing with how to get the answer to a question we might have. While we were waiting for the tour of the house, Kathryn did a little palm reading. I learned I have two life lines and that the one signifies angelic protection … meaning I have had angelic protection my whole life. Good to know.

Kevin volunteered to take us all on the bus to the Killarney National Park and Tor Falls. Since no one was really interested in renting a jaunting coach, he said he’d be glad to drive us. He went way beyond what he was paid to do. This was the first experience we had with Kevin “paying it forward.” What a magnanimous site it was!!! I was in Heaven. The place was like an enchanted forest with a fast rushing falls and ancient trees covered on all sides in moss. It was not like the moss here in the US, but a fern-like moss that made the trees feel as if they were wearing coats.

From the moment I stepped into the place, I felt as if I’d been there before. As I climbed the path to the top of the falls, I was exhilarated. My heart beat faster and I breathed better than I ever have in my life … deep, deep breaths that went all the way to the bottom of my lungs. What was this place? When I had to begin the descent down the path and back to the bus, it was like something was holding me there. My heart felt sad. I walked off the path into the woods to a giant ancient tree covered in moss. I felt that I’d been here before. I walked around looking for something on the ground and then I spotted it.

Stone Portal

It was what was left of an ancient stone ring for a house or hut. There was a small place where there were no stones, like a doorway. I stepped inside the stones and immediately said to myself, “I’m home!” It was certainly an overpowering experience, one I’d never expected to have … nor probably believe anyone else would have … it was like movie, but it was happening to me right then. I was the last one back to the bus. But not before I patted the tree again and picked up one of her leaves and a little pine cone, which I brought home with me.

Another evening of delicious Irish food and then some of us met to discuss with Kathryn what we had experienced with our questions. She helped us understand what each of the things we saw meant as we asked our question and took note of the first thing we saw.