Enchanted Ireland Tour Summary
Land of the Faery Faith
Tour operated in cooperation with Gothic Image Tours
May 16 to 28, 2012
The prehistoric and historic sites of Ireland are among the most spectacular in the world and the country is rich in folklore, fairytales, myth and legend. Ireland truly has a magic all of its own.
On this tour we will journey to standing stones, holy wells, cromlechs, fairy forts, chambered cairns, Celtic churches, ancient crosses, round towers, beehive huts, Ogham stones, windswept islands and a multitude of ancient sacred shrines.
From the massive quartz-encrusted Neolithic chambered cairn of Newgrange to the tiny beehive huts of the Culdee monks on the island of Skellig Michael, we will have many opportunities to connect with the spiritual realms.
We travel to Sligo on our way to Carrowmore – the most extensive megalithic complex in Ireland. We shall visit the Cairn of Queen Maebe of the Fomorians and Carrowkeel, a collection of the most mysterious mounds in all Ireland. On to Navan in County Meath via the Loughcrew Mountains where we can see the wonderful megalithic art of Cairn T.
Then to Navan Round Tower and Slane Friary, the site of an early Christian monastery founded by Saint Erc – and the place where St Patrick lit the first paschal fire in Ireland in 433 AD. We also explore the ancient town of Kells with its famous high crosses.
Our journey begins at Shannon Airport in Ireland.
From there we travel to Craggaunowen Castle and the medieval church of Killinaboy with its ‘Sheela-Na-Gig’ carving. Then we journey on to The Burren where we will visit the Poulnabrone Dolmen.
After a night spent by the sea at Galway, we cross the famous bay to the Aran Islands and Inishmore, a place of peace and beauty whose earliest inhabitants were the Fir Bolgs of the first millennium BC. Here we will see beehive huts, holy wells, round towers, a medieval castle and Dun Aenghus – a magnificent stone fort.
We journey on to Sligo where lie the magnificent monuments of Queen Maebe’s Cairn, Carrowmore and Carrowkeel. We view the ancient Lough Arrow where the Tuatha de Danaan fought the Formorians and we enter the 6000 BC cairns of the Bricklieve Mountains at Carrowkeel.
On the following day we journey to the magnificent valley of the Boyne River where lie the spectacular Neolithic monuments of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth with their fine decorated kerb stones and megalithic art.
Then on to the Hill of Tara, said to represent the womb of Mother Ireland, in which rests the golden child or High King. The High Kings of Ireland were crowned here, and tradition recalls that the central Lia Fail stone roared when the King was accepted.
We will have a free day in Dublin to visit its famous museums, galleries, theatres and pubs, which resound with Irish traditional music. Then we make a special visit to Clonegal Castle, the home of Olivia Robertson, High Priestess of the Fellowship of Isis. She will lead us on a guided meditation into the Goddess mysteries.
On the way we will visit the largest dolmen in Europe – the 100-ton Browne’s Hill Dolmen. Then on to Tipperary via the magnificent Rock of Cashel and St Patrick’s Holy Well and thence to the tranquil beauty of Lough Gur, site of the Goddess.
Onward to the lively town of Kenmare en route to Waterville in County Kerry, from whence we cross the ocean to the breathtaking island sanctuary of Skellig Michael, with its glorious Celtic traditions.
Dingle Peninsula has a wealth of early Christian sites and we will enjoy the rare beauty of light and colour of the Atlantic Ocean stretching out before us. Here is a veritable cornucopia of delightful sacred sites. A special treat will be a swim with the famous Fungi the dolphin in Dingle Bay. We end our tour with a farewell party before departing the next day to Shannon Airport.
This tour is led by Jamie George, with the assistance of the following hosts at various stages en route. Born and raised in Scotland, Jamie George is a co-director, with his partner Frances Howard-Gordon, of Gothic Image bookstore and publishing house in Glastonbury. Jamie has organized tours for such groups as the American Society of Dowsers in Vermont, the Omega Institute and the Fellowship of the Spirit in New York, USA. He played a major part in the inspiration for the late Marion Zimmer Bradley to write her best selling novel The Mists of Avalon which is set in Glastonbury. He has appeared on many television programmes – including, most recently, The Quest For the Holy Grail.
Cary Meehan is the author of The Traveller’s Guide to Sacred Ireland published by Gothic Image. She has explored many previously uncharted sites in both Northern and Southern Ireland and in her book she reveals their secrets in historical and archeological detail, with the legends and folklore as well as the current information on earth energies. She is an invaluable addition to our journey, providing many insights into the sacred nature of Ireland’s special places.
John Michell is a world authority on ancient science and the code of number and measure that lay behind it. His numerous books have a common theme: the emergence of lost knowledge leading to the restoration of a golden age. His books such as The New View Over Atlantis, The Earth Spirit and The Dimensions of Paradise have affected the world views of our generation by illuminating the science,culture and wisdom of past civilizations. John is a delightful companion on our tours. His refreshing insights, kind and graceful presence and eccentric sense of humour make him a pleasure to be with.
Ken Hartmann is our esteemed driver on the Ireland tour. He has that special gift of the gab, having had special attention from the Blarney Stone. He is, we believe, the best bus driver in the world, but more than that he has terrific local knowledge and is a warm and amusing, great guy to with.
Jack Roberts is a published artist and author of many books on ancient Ireland. Among his special interests are the Sheela-na Gigs that appear on many churches and sacred shrines in Ireland. His books include The Sheela-Na-Gigs of Britain and Ireland and The Sacred Mythological Centres of Ireland.