Joan Clark’s Mystical Pilgrimage to Ireland

Travel Sacred Ireland: A Pilgrimage to the Emerald Isle

We are excited to invite you to travel with us to Ireland—the land of poets, mystics, wandering hills, deep forests, and some of the most beautiful emerald landscapes in the world; a place of alchemy, wisdom, ancient lore and prophecy.

Ireland is a land of exquisite beauty and holy sites where rituals and ceremonies for the sacred have been honored throughout time. Here one connects more deeply to the land, one’s roots, one’s self. And from here one prepares to draw in their Anam Cara—literally, “soul friend”—sacred intimate, whether in the form of one’s highest Self, a teacher, spiritual guide, companion. An inner and/or outer manifestation of a sacred friend who frees the wildest possibilities within us.

Thus we journey together in search of a homecoming—a tilling and making ready of the soil of our essence—such that we prepare to receive and have received, at more profound levels, authentic essence—the next level of being. Where we fall headlong in love with our own oneness and divinity.

“In this love, you are understood as you are without mask or pretension. The superficial and functional lies and half-truths of social acquaintance fall away, you can be as you really are. Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person’s soul… This art of love discloses the special and sacred identity of the other person. Love is the only light that can truly read the secret signature of the other person’s individuality and soul…

“Being an anam cara requires a purposeful presence—it asks that we show up with absolute integrity of intention. That interior intentionality… is what sets the true anam cara apart from the acquaintance or the casual friend—a distinction all the more important today, in a culture where we throw the word ‘friend’ around all too hastily.”

(John O’Donahue, author—Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)

As we traverse the beautiful countryside listening to the ancient lore, presenting ourselves at sacred sites, our mission will be to unite with the inner soulmate/soul-friend/muse who has brought us to this mystical homeland. Each place we visit shall open us up to the power and presence of our own inner soulmate—which is our true divine partner throughout all eternity, the essence within us that never ends but moves with us lifetime after lifetime. Over hill and dale—from Dublin, the Book of Kells, Newgrange, the Boyne Valley, Glendalough, Kildare, the Ring of Kerry, Kenmare, and beyond—we squeeze in as much of the sacred, ancient, magical and delightfully joyful as any band of pilgrims possibly could!

Come Home

I am here within.
I am your soul, your friend speaking to you.
I am the soulmate you yearn for.
S/he whom you have been seeking outside of yourself… Is actually deep within.
I am here within you. Not separate from you, but one with you.

Come Home, Move inward.
For this is where you will meet me.
And all the longings of yesterday will cease to be.
For what you have been seeking has been within you all along.

(To your health!)


After passing through immigration in Dublin at 9:00 AM, we begin our adventure. First, travel a short distance to the center of Dublin, where we discover the charm of the city as we embark on a brief walking tour. We will visit the many historical sites including Christ Church Cathedral, National Museum of Ireland, and Trinity College, home of the Book of Kells.

Then enjoy country hospitality when we arrive at our hotel. There we are served a delightful meal in a quiet, peaceful atmosphere, retiring early to relax and refresh yourself after your long journey. Overnight in our hotel in Dunboyne.

Today we experience The Boyne Valley. We will visit three ancient temples. These sites are older than the pyramids of Egypt and their uniqueness will astound you. Each temple was carefully built to be aligned to the sun. Some believe these are remnants of the Atlantian civilization.

At Newgrange we view the enormous stones etched with ancient art that surround the temples. As we enter the temple, we experience its energy as the ancients did before us. On winter solstice the sun rises in perfect alignment, casting a beam of light down the center of the temple.

Knowth - Joan Clark's Mystical Pilgrimage to Ireland
Next, we travel on to Knowth, which consists of one large temple surrounded by more than eighteen satellite structures believed to be tombs. Ancient kings once ruled from this site. Hill of Slane and more. Overnight in our hotel in Dunboyne.

This morning we will visit and experience Loughcrew with its magnificent Cairns, also known as Slive Na Callaigh or Hill of the Witch. The central and biggest Cairn is known as Cairn T. The largest kerbstones are near the entrance to the tomb. A large stone in the northern part of the kerb is known by three names: "Chair of the Witch," "The Chair of Queen Tailtiu," and "Queen Maeve." Here you will sit on the chair to receive your personal message from Queen Maeve. This site is aligned to the spring and autumnal equinoxes.

In the afternoon, we visit Tara, one of the most venerated places in early Ireland. Tara is one of the largest Celtic monuments in Europe. In ancient Celtic spirituality and mythology, Tara was revered by the Druids and as a dwelling place of the gods. Here we will have a special ceremony opening wider the inter-dimensional doorway, taking us to a greater place of conscious awareness as we climb Jacob's Ladder on our journey of ascension.

We will have time to visit a Tara gift shop, featuring all things Celtic. There you can partake in afternoon tea. That evening, we travel to Glendalough where we enjoy a beautiful dinner. Overnight near Glendalough for 3 nights.

The little people are sure to touch our hearts in Glendalough. Here, we will be enchanted by feelings of joy, love, and peace as we walk the well-traveled and the less traveled paths through this ancient monastery. This exceptional place, Glen of the Two Lakes, is the only surviving example of an entrance to an early Irish monastery and university. As we stroll through this ancient Celtic spiritual power site, we will be encouraged to take in the calmness and natural beauty. Here one will connect with the beauty of the heart and the perfect balance of the masculine and feminine within each of us. This is a place of sacred balance and awareness.

During our stay in Glendalough we will have some time for a group ceremony and individual and group meditations, reflections, and integration, as well as talks and discussions about the energies of awakened consciousness.

Entrance to Glendalough - Joan Clark's Mystical Pilgrimage to Ireland

As we walk through this picturesque valley we will encounter Trinity Church, Saint Mary's Church, Reffert Church, the main complex, the Green Road, lakes, streams, Saint Kevin's Cell, St. Kevin's Well, and much, much more. We will also experience a Celtic night of traditional song and dance. Overnight in our hotel in Glendalough.

This morning we say goodbye to Glendalough and travel to Kildare. There, we visit the Flame of Saint Brigid. Her flame burned for over a thousand years prior to the English reformation. The flame was rekindled in 1993 by the Brigidine sisters. Saint Brigid is believed to have been a Druidic priestess who converted to Christianity. She is the patron Goddess saint of Ireland.

St. Brigid's Holy Well - Joan Clark's Mystical Pilgrimage to Ireland

People who visit the holy well often tell stories of miraculous healings and divine inspiration.

In the afternoon we will depart Kildare and travel to our hotel in Killarney where we will overnight.

Early morning departure for Killarney National Park where we will visit the beautiful Torc Waterfall. We will visit Muckross House with its 52 chimneys and 365 windows to view the house and the gardens. We will rent some jaunting carts and journey back in time as you explore the mystical grounds, waterfall, and magical forest. Some have reported seeing a leprechaun or two.

Later, we will wander through an ancient abbey and experience the mystically powerful energies of the Yew tree. Overnight in our hotel in Killarney.

Our journey continues as we visit the Dingal peninsula and the mystical Gallarus Oratory with its inscribed stone. It is one of the finest examples of an early Celtic Christian church. The small oratory was built of large cut stones neatly fitted together to resemble an upturned boat.

Later in the day, we experience Kilmalkedar Church and Cross, Ogham Stone, Alphabet Stone, Sundial and Saint Brendan's House. The early history of the site is associated with Saint Maolcethair who died in 636 AD. It is also the starting point of "the Way of the Saints," which takes you to the top of Mount Brandon along the old pilgrims' path. We visit ancient Beehive Huts and experience how ancient communities lived. We overnight in Killarney where we enjoy a fun-filled evening with a wonderful dinner.

Saturday morning we depart Killarney for Kenmare to explore its sacred stone circle associated with the Goddess and sacred dance. Here, you can take part in a ritual, getting in touch with the past. Experience these stones as our ancestors may have done thousands of years ago.

We also experience the exquisite seaside town of Glengarriff, where we take in the local color. Weather permitting, we may visit Garnish Island, a subtropical paradise, a remarkable place on a 37-acre island reachable only by boat from the village of Glengarriff.

Garnish Island - Joan Clark's Mystical Pilgrimage to Ireland

The gardens were created in 1911 and are the joint work of John Bryce, the owner of the island and Harold Peto, architect and garden designer. The signature area of the garden is undoubtedly the Italian Casita, overlooking a formal pool in an area lushly planted with fuchsias, camellias, myrtles, and scented rhododendrons. It also has an amazing temple where we will do a ceremony.

We then journey to the enchanting valley of Gougane Barra, Saint Finbarr's first settlement on the shores of a beautiful lake. We visit the oratory and walk the grounds of the old monastery, feeling its energies and sacredness. Our stay in Glengarriff will be a time of weaving the energies of sacred sites with our group and personal energetic work. Feel free to explore and shop. Overnight in our hotel in Glengarriff.

Today, Autumn Equinox—early departure as we travel to the Drombeg stone circle known as the Druid's Altar. This special site is aligned with the Winter Solstice. Starting at Winter Solstice (for 3 days), the sun disappears behind the hill on the horizon and then reappears in the lower valley. At the point of reappearance, the stone circle is dramatically illuminated. Remember: don't sit on a Druid alter unless you can handle the vibrations! Here we will do a special ceremony for Autumn Equinox.

Blarney Castle - Joan Clark's Mystical Pilgrimage to Ireland

In the afternoon, we travel to Blarney where you settle into your hotel or shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills. You may visit the Blarney Castle and optionally kiss the Blarney Stone. Here we experience the beauty of Blarney and its ancient Druid heritage. In Rock Close, ask the giant Dolmen if it still rocks. Maneuver the Wishing Steps and have your dream come true. Experience the sacredness at the altar of the Druids or stand in their ancient circle. Will we see the Witch as she pokes the ashes of her kitchen fire? Are there fairies at the bottom of the garden? We can of course just simply marvel at the unrivaled beauty that Mother Nature so generously sets before us. Overnight in our hotel at Blarney.

Today we explore the Rock of Cashel—an ancient royal site of the kings of Munster, and one of Ireland's most mythic sites. Its origins as a center of power date back to the 4th or 5th centuries. Two of the most famous people of Irish legend associated with the Rock of Cashel are St. Patrick who, according to legend, arrived in Cashel in AD 432 and baptized King Aengus, who became Ireland’s first Christian ruler. The second was Brian Boru, crowned High King in 990. He was the only king who was able to unite all of Ireland under one ruler. Today It has a 12th-century round tower, high cross, and the ruins of a Romanesque chapel—Cormac’s Chapel—one of the earliest churches built in the Romanesque style. The 13th-century Gothic cathedral without aisles was built between 1230 and 1270. There is also a 15th-century castle and the Hall of the Vicars at the entry point to the ecclesiastical compound. The original Cross of St. Patrick can be found in the Hall's museum house.

In the afternoon we travel to our hotel at Dublin airport for an Irish farewell dinner and overnight at the hotel in Dublin Airport.

We say our farewells and depart for home grateful for all that we encountered and experienced.

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