April 2019 – Pilgrimage to the Otherworld

Pilgrimage to the Otherworld— A Mythical and Musical Journey through Irish Sacred Landscape

Dates:

  • Depart USA April 22 and arrive Ireland April 23, 2019
  • Return USA May 3, 2019

Flights:

Travelers purchase their flights after being accepted on this tour. Most travelers choose to arrive and depart Shannon Airport

Guides:

Kate Hennessy and Garry Jones.

Tour Fee:

$3500 plus airfare and travel insurance

Contact Us

Tour Description:

What transforms a journey into a pilgrimage? What compels us to become pilgrims? What is sacred landscape? How do we connect to it, and what does it ask of us?

Pilgrimage to the Otherworld explores these questions while journeying through some of the most powerful and beautiful landscapes and sacred sites of both ancient and Christian Ireland.

We will begin our ten-day exploration at the Hill of Uisneach, seat of the goddess Ériú, after whom Ireland is named, and the site of a 4,500-year-old fire ritual. We will then wander through a landscape of stone circles and passage tombs, of monastic ruins and Celtic crosses, of fairy forts and holy wells. We will travel by boat to a remote island and follow thousands of years of pilgrims’ footsteps up a sacred mountain pathway. We will immerse ourselves in the music and stories of the land, and visit the site of the mythological battle between the Tuatha de Danann, the fairy folk, and the Fir Bolg, people of the earth. We will walk the landscape of Mebh, goddess of Connaught, visiting some of the most extensive raths and passage tombs in Ireland, and relax in the gentle beauty of the hills and lake of Áine, goddess of Munster.

This is Ireland in the breadth of its astounding spiritual history. Come join us in celebrating through music and storytelling these sacred sites pivotal to the spiritual life of Ireland.

PILGRIMAGE LIST OF SITES

County Clare:

Ennis, quaint and quintessential Irish town

Poulnabrone Dolmen, 5,000-year-old megalithic dolmen

The Burren, World Heritage site of a unique limestone landscape

Kilmacduagh, monastery founded in the 7th Century by St. Colman

County Galway:

Kinvara, fishing village

Clifden town, “capital” of Connemara

Inish Bofin (island via ferry) rich in mythology, ecology, and history

Mám Ean, pre-Christian and Christian pilgrimage in the Connemara mountains

County Mayo:

Cong (village between Loughs Corrib and Mask), site of the First Battle of Moytura between the Fir Bolg and Tuatha de Danaan, Glebe stone circle, Eochaid’s Cairn, Cong Abbey

County Sligo:

Sligo (coastal town), landscape of Ben Bulbin, Lough Gil, and home of Yeats

Knocknarea, monument to goddess of Connaught Medb (Maeve) as part of an extensive ceremonial landscape,

Carrowkeel, neolithic passage tombs

Prehistoric village site overlooking the Second Battle of Moytura between the Formorians and Tuatha de Danaan

County Roscommon:

Rathcroghan, seat of Medb, featured in Táin Be Cuilgne, 10-mile square ritual landscape including Oweynagat Cave, entrance to the Otherworld, home of the Morrigan, triple goddess of war, and Tulsk Interpretive Center and Cafe

County Armagh (Northern Ireland):

Armagh Cathedral, prehistoric statues and carvings of mythological figures

Emain Macha (Navan Fort), prehistoric and early capital of Ulster, seat of the goddess Macha; huge ceremonial earthworks; only prehistoric artificial lake in British Isles

County Meath:

Kells (village where the Book of Kells was created), Books of Kells facsimile; Columcille’s Oratory; Medieval round tower, some of the best preserved Celtic crosses in Ireland

Newgrange, 5,000-year-old passage tomb along the sacred Boyne River featured in major myths, home of Aengus, Irish god of love

Hill of Tara, major mythological and archaelogical site, seat of the high kings of Ireland

St. Brigit’s Well, holy well dedicated to St. Brigit who is directly connected to Brigit, the goddess of Leinster

Hill of Uisneach, the sacred central hill of Ireland, site of a likely 4,500-year tradition of hilltop fires honoring Eriu, the sovereign goddess of Ireland

County Galway:

Galway City, “city of the tribes,” ancient cobbled streets, Corrib River and canals,                                               reputation for music and the arts

County Limerick:

Lough Gur and Knock Áine, sacred landscape of Áine, the goddess of Munster

The Grange, Ireland’s largest and most beautiful stone circle

Hiking Details:
Hiking days- (Travelers may opt for a more leisurely day near area rather than hike if desired)
Inishbofin – travelers can choose hiking options.  The longest is a 4 hours walk 5 miles return, mostly level (ish) ground, easy going but fairly long
Mam Ean – 2 hours walk ( up medium grade hill path 40 mins) 2-2 1/2 miles return
 Knocknarea early (dawn) 1 1/2 hrs hike medium to steep grade up 45 mins. Round trip 2 miles
After breakfast – Carrowkeel Passage  Tombs – 2 hrs return hike medium to steep (for short section) Round trip 2 miles
Uisneach hill – 2 1/2 hrs return walk, easy/medium, round trip 2 miles



Guides reserve the right to make changes to our Itinerary in the event of extreme weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances. Arrangements can be made (at additional traveler’s expense) for self-chosen local activities such as horseback riding or for additional self-chosen taxi service.

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