Ireland: Land of Shape-shifters and Dreamers

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A guest post by Kimberly Schneider

When I first visited Ireland several years ago, I felt I’d come home. Some part of me that had been sleeping my whole adult life stirred into consciousness.  I’d been studying Celtic Spirituality for years, but experiencing the spray of the wild Atlantic on my face, sensing the voices of the past in the stones of the Burren, rediscovering my own depths in wells and springs, brought the numinous to life. The part of my soul that had been longing to slow down, to be more present, to commune more deeply with the Divine throughout the day, took over.

I gave myself to the land of shape-shifters and dreamers. I began writing poetry again. I remembered how to breathe. I cried in wonder and beauty and joy. I danced. I sang. I laughed. I learned how to play the bodhran (the Irish drum).

Thank God, the immediacy of the Otherworld followed me back to St. Louis, where I found a new appreciation for the turning seasons, sunrises and sunsets, birdsong, breezes, and the earth beneath my feet.  Ireland helped me fall in love again with life.

I’ve returned to Ireland every couple of years ever since, and each time I return, I bring pieces of the magic home with me: the way the sky and the landscape change from moment to moment, mirroring your own inner shifts. Looking out from the cliffs at Dun Aengus and sensing that the Irish Otherworld is floating out there, just beyond your sight. Listening to Irish voices raised in song. Sharing poems and stories of who we are, whether around a peat fire, at the local pub or standing next to a towering cairn in the highlands.

Another piece of magic I discovered in Ireland was the people. And two of my favorite discoveries there are Owen and Moley O’Suilleabhain, amazing singer/songwriters, brothers, storytellers and teachers from a rich musical tradition, who also happen to be great people. I’m so excited to be welcoming them to St. Louis to facilitate a Celtic Spirituality retreat together at the CSJ Motherhouse on March 8. I hope you will join the three of us!

2013 Kimberly V. Schneider

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Kimberly has studied, taught and written about Celtic spirituality for decades.  She facilitates classes, retreats and ceremonies at sacred spaces in the U.S. and Ireland, helping modern seekers find fresh relevance in the wisdom of the ancient Celts.  On March 8, she will be co-facilitating a Celtic Spirituality retreat at the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Motherhouse in St. Louis with Irish singing/songwriting brothers Owen and Moley O’Suilleabhain. 

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