The Celtic Wheel of the Year is an ancient way of understanding the unfolding of the seasons and the slow turning of the earth. These eight hinges have ancient, pre-Christian roots, and link us to a cyclical rhythm, rather than a linear one.
As the Christian Church developed, many of these festivals were supplanted by Christian liturgies, and reclaiming the connection helps us to deepen our understanding of the original inspiration for the sanctity of these times of year. We can begin to bridge the richness of possibility these potent times offer to us through a myriad of doorways.
A closer intimacy with the rhythms of creation offers us a wisdom about the patterns of rise and fall, fullness and emptiness in our lives. A great attentiveness to the liturgical rhythm connects us to an ancient way of praying through story and narrative.
The Celtic framework is an indigenous tradition for many of us and our ancestors. Even if we don't live in Ireland or the British isles, we may feel a kinship and connection to this understanding of the year's rhythms.
Join us for a vibrant yearlong offering. For each of the 8 festivals and hinges of the year Christine will be hosting a live video webinar to invite you into meditation and ritual as a community gathered across space and time. You will also receive an invitation to dive into the spirit of this season through a PDF file with a mini-retreat. It will offer you a guided experience through reflections on the season written by Christine Valters Paintner and biblical reflections by John Valters Paintner, invitations to contemplative practice and creative expression, poems, art, music, dance, and working with herbs. A wonderful way to spend a day of reflection as a holy pause and chance to tune into how your inner world is being called forth by the outer world.
We are also excited to include a series of new meditative songs by Richard and Trish Bruxvoort Colligan for the feasts of Spring Equinox through Winter Solstice written for the Abbey, accompanied by movement prayers from Betsey Beckman.
*With sincere apologies to my southern hemisphere friends, but the alignment of seasons and liturgical feasts are reflective of the northern hemisphere. You are welcome to register but you will have to translate the materials into your context.
March 20: Spring Equinox and the Coming of Easter
May 1: Beltaine and Pentecost
June 21: Summer Solstice and the Feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24th)
August 1: Lughnasa, Transfiguration, Assumption, and Pilgrimage season in Ireland
September 20: Autumn Equinox and Feast of St. Michael (September 29th)
November 1: Samhain, Feasts of All Saints and All Souls
December 21: Winter Solstice and the Feast of Christmas (December 25th)
February 1: Imbolc, Feast of St. Brigid, Presentation, and Candlemas
What is Included
At each of the 8 sacred hinges of the year you will receive an email with a link to a PDF with your mini-retreat. As described above, the mini-retreat will contain reflections and opportunities for practice and integration including music, dance, and other creative invitations.
We will also be hosting a vibrant community forum where you can share signs of the season with kindred souls. The forum will be lovingly tended and supported by Melissa Layer who is a trained spiritual director and Abbey Wisdom Council member.
Our 8 live webinar sessions will happen on these Mondays:
2016: March 20, April 17, June 19, July 31, September 18, October 30, December 18
2017: January 29
Meeting time with be 3-4 p.m. Irish/UK time (7 am Pacific/10 am Eastern/4-5 pm central Europe/all other time zones check here). While we love it when you can join live and share your reflections and questions via our web chat feature, these sessions will all be recorded in both video and audio format and available within a couple of hours of the live session.
We will take registrations throughout the year, the materials will stay available to you to cycle through again and again.
Program fee: USD$180**
*If you choose the monthly installment option, you commit to making all four payments. If for any reason you stop making the payments, you will be removed from the course and no longer have access to the materials.
**If you were a paid participant in a previous self-study version of Sacred Seasons program, you receive a discount off the price of the current community version with added live webinars, herbal explorations, and facilitated community forum.
Please read over the Abbey of the Arts online Class Policies and FAQ. There are no refunds for online retreat purchases.
Discounts are available for small groups wanting to move through the material together: 20% off when 3 people register together, 30% off for 5, 40% off for 7 and above. Please contact Christine by email to request an invoice.
We also offer some partial scholarships to those for whom the full cost would be a financial hardship. Please contact us to inquire indicating your circumstances and need.
Early Registration Gift
If you register by February 26th you will be mailed you a package from Ireland containing the herbs we will be working with at each threshold. Please send us your mailing address.
Your Guides for the Journey
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is the online Abbess of www.AbbeyoftheArts.com, a virtual monastery offering resources, retreats, and pilgrimages which integrate contemplative practice and creative expression. She is the author of 8 books on monasticism and creativity including her forthcoming The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within. She lives in Galway, Ireland with her husband John.
John Valters Paintner, MTS studied education and earned a teaching certificate in his home state of California. John later went on to earn a Masters in Theological Studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. After working in parish ministry for several years, John returned to the classroom, teaching high school religion for twelve years. He now works as Prior of the Abbey of the Arts alongside his wife of twenty years, Abbess Christine.
Betsey Beckman, MM, is nationally acclaimed as a spirited dancer, storyteller, teacher of SpiritPlay and dancing Spiritual Director. With her extensive repertory of sacred storydances, she is regularly featured as artist/presenter at national conventions as well as local churches. She earned her Masters in Ministry degree from Seattle University, her certificate in Movement Therapy from the Institute for Transformational Movement, and is a certified InterPlay leader. Betsey’s publications include books, recordings, and The Dancing Word series of DVDs on embodied prayer.