I was recently reading through the itinerary details for the three tours of Ireland Body Mind Spirit Journeys is offering this year and one name stood out: the Grange Stone Circle near Lough Gur. It’s not a place I have been to, but I finally recalled who had told me about it. It was Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, the M.D., psychiatrist and author whose books include Crossing to Avalon and Goddesses in Everywoman. I had interviewed her about the pilgrimages she had made to sacred sites, and it was among her favorites.
“It’s drawn me back to Ireland five or six times,” she told me. The Grange Stone Circle is only about 10 miles south of Limerick, and it’s very large — nearly one hundred feet across.
Dr. Bolen described being there: “You walk into the circle with the pillar stones and then you are in this timeless, beautiful place, aligned to the summer solstice. I was taken by…the energy, the beauty, the nature of it,” she said, adding that she felt it had “heart energy” and “invited a lot of intuitive imagery. Some element of the place lends itself to a kind of mystical experience for me,” she concluded.
I suppose this is why tour host Amantha Murphy not only features this Irish stone circle in each of her tours, she even holds her opening ceremonies there. Amantha has been leading pilgrimages in her native Ireland for nearly 20 years, including both sacred journeys and spiritual group tours for women only.
The women’s only Ireland tour dates are August 27 through September 4, 2011.read more