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Writing Into Winter

with Christine Valters Paintner

Saturday, December 2, 2023

5-8pm Ireland

12-3pm Eastern

9am-12pm Pacific

Hosted by St. Placid Priory

Program Description

Join us just before Advent as the northern hemisphere slowly descends into holy darkness. We will explore the gifts of winter in this Zoom mini-retreat session where we will explore writing in alignment with the turning of the seasons. The equinoxes, solstices, and Celtic cross-quarter days are all threshold moments and portals to a new season of life. We are invited to listen to the new invitations being offered by the earth’s turning.

Winter is a time of hibernating, dreaming, incubating, and yielding to the mystery of things. It is a time to slow down and trust in the seeds deep beneath the surface. It is a season of profound rest so we can be renewed for what is to come. This fallow time is an essential part of the creative process, and we will explore what winter is inviting each of us to consider more deeply.

Christine will guide you through different intuitive exercises to help you access writing as a process of discovery and honoring of your inner wisdom. In this way we can approach our writing practice in an organic way, not “forcing or holding back” as the poet Rilke once wrote but allowing what wants to emerge in the moment. She will share many examples of poems that explore winter themes as inspiration for our own writing. Along the way we will discover how our intuition and dreams might reveal a new way into creative practice that has less to do with goal setting and visioning and more about allowing the unfolding within us and receiving the gifts that arrive.

We will engage in both free writing and poetry writing, and all are welcome regardless of level of experience or preferred genre. This is a generative workshop, we are not here to edit our work, but to show up for the Creative Source when we slow down and listen to what is erupting in the silence. You will be invited to set aside your planning mind and enter the playfulness of the creative heart, letting your writing guide you on a journey of discovery.

In addition to the writing exercises Christine will guide us in the contemplative practice of lectio divina, silence, reading of poems, song, gentle movement invitations to shift your energy and focus. These contemplative and creative practices help to stir the soul’s imagery and open us to be surprised by the holy movements within.

Please contact St. Placid Priory directly at for any questions about registration.

This program will be recorded.

Your Guide for the Journey


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE is the online Abbess for Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery and global community integrating contemplative practice and creative expression. Her programs draw on the wisdom of the desert, Celtic, and Benedictine spiritual traditions as well as the joy of the expressive arts, embodied practice, and Earth-cherishing wisdom. Christine is the author of numerous books on spirituality and creativity, including three collections of poetry. She lives on the west coast of Ireland with her husband John and dog Sourney. Find out more about her here.


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