Writing Into Winter

with Christine Valters Paintner

January 15, 2022

9-12 Pacific

12-3 Eastern

5-8 pm Ireland/UK time

Hosted by St. Placid Priory

Program Description

Join us after the winter solstice and in the new year to 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 way 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 into 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, and an optional chance to share a piece your writing in small groups in a contemplative and structured way as well as a few invitations to read aloud to all gathered if you feel inspired (always optional). These contemplative and creative practices help to stir the soul’s imagery and be surprised by the holy movements within. 

The retreat will be recorded for those who pre-register but are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

Your Guide for the Journey


Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE​

Christine  is the founder and director of AbbeyoftheArts.com, a virtual monastery and global community exploring contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a poet, spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, and author of numerous books on spirituality and the arts including two collections of poetry. Christine has lived on the west coast of Ireland since 2012 with her husband John. She is a Benedictine oblate with the St. Placid Priory community. Her deepest belief is that the earth is the original monastery–a wisdom guide and mentor in living a soulful and vibrant life. Visit the “About Christine” page for more information.


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

This retreat is hosted by St. Placid Priory. If you need scholarship assistance please contact the Priory directly. 
All prices displayed in USD.


Regular fee

If you need a different payment plan or a greater scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch the St. Placid Priory. 

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

These videos are made available to registered participants and may also be included in future versions of the program including self-study. If you choose to speak during a recorded gathering, you are giving us your consent to record that contribution. If you prefer not to be seen or heard, you can of course switch off or mute your camera or microphone at any time. Chat sessions are recorded and posted as well. Participation in the chat function is also giving consent to their recording. Breakout groups are never recorded.