August 24-30, 2023
Listening for Whispers of the Holy Wild
O, kindly, generous Irish land,
So leal and fair and loving!
No wonder the wandering Celt should think
And dream of you in his roving.
The alien home may have gems and gold,
Shadows may never have gloomed it;
But the heart will sigh for the absent land
Where the love-light first illumed it
stanza from"The Exile's Return, or Morning on the Irish Coast" by John Locke
Have you ever walked into a particular place -- a forest or spot along a shore or a whole region and suddenly, unexpectedly felt as if you were home? A homecoming that often brings irrational tears, a remembering without words or logic. Maybe it's the place you were born. Or the place where your ancestors lived. Often, it is even more mysterious than that. You feel as if you recognize an unknown place, or that the place somehow recognizes you. This knowing-and-feeling-known is a phenomenon of interconnected belonging.
"There is a mysterious union that happens when we enter into relationship with the wild and practice sacred conversation."
Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred
Have you felt this? A bidding, a return of some kind, an alluring invitation to come closer, to listen, to enter into conversation. This is how the call of the sacred wild feels. When a place calls you quietly and persistently like this, I call it terra cognita: known territory. A territory of soul, connected to a particular land and sea.
This experiential offering is one of saying yes to that deep irrational even mythic call of the sacred wild to return to soul in Ireland. To listen with an open heart to the whispers of an alive and ancient world where we already and always belong. An exile's return, as the poem is called.
You don't need to be Irish or have ancestors from there to feel the call from this particular sacred land. But if this invitation resonates with that deep place within you, perhaps you are one of the twelve participants called to travel to Donegal, on the northern shores of the Irish coast, with me this summer.
FULL: Waiting List Available
Guided by author and wild spirituality guide,Victoria Loorz and Wild Church Network director, Valerie Serrels.
ARDS Friary Retreat Center
Letterkenny Donegal Ireland
Two hundred acres of coastline and forest for long contemplative wanderings to listen deeply to Soul, Spirit and the mythic land and sea of Ireland's northern coasts. Included in accommodations are single rooms with double beds and daily meals.
We will also visit ancient ruins, stone circles, sacred wells, waterfalls, and local pubs.
Guided five full day and two half day retreat led by Victoria Loorz and Valerie Serrels.
Lodging and meals at Ards Retreat Centre.
Online sessions before and after the retreat are included as well to prepare for the time together and to stay connected after the experience.
Travel to outings during the week is included.
Not included: travel expenses, food & Guinness outside of the conference center. :)