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Virtual Celtic Pilgrimage: The Wisdom of the Irish Saints Brigid, Ciaran, & Gobnait

Registration Fee: $180.00 USD

Program Description

You are invited on a journey of the heart. In the Celtic imagination, the portal to cross thresholds into other realms is as close as our breath, as near as the pulse of our aliveness. You are invited onto a pilgrimage where you might physically walk only a few steps, but your soul can travel vast distances.

During the time of pandemic our travel opportunities became more limited. Maybe we aren’t able to travel long distances at all for other reasons. Abbey of the Arts created this way of becoming a pilgrim of the imagination. With the help of our wonderful filmmaker friends at Morgan Creative and some of our favorite guides in Ireland we invite you into the beauty of some of Ireland’s sacred places without having to pack a suitcase.

We originally recorded this event at the Feast of St. Brigid so may make references to that time of year. However you can move through these materials at any time.

What might your intention be in this season of your life?

What are the seeds you feel rumbling inside of you?

How might making a 9-day commitment to your inner journey reveal new pathways into the future?

What's Included

Each video recording of the live session originally offered around the Feast of St. Brigid will last approximately 75 minutes and will include teaching and meditation from Christine Valters Paintner, music and prayer from Simon de Voil, invitations into embodied prayer with Betsey Beckman, and beautifully filmed videos with local guides Dara Molloy, Deirdre Ni Chinneide, Jenny Beale, and Pius Murray offering their wisdom and insight into aspects of Celtic pilgrimage and spirituality. These 10-15 minute videos were filmed at Brigit’s Garden and the islands of Inismor and Inisheer (two of the Aran islands off the coast from Galway)

We will be exploring the gifts and invitations that Saints Brigid, Ciaran, and Gobnait have for us. Each day we will explore a different theme connected to their life and vision. Each day you will be invited into meditations to connect to the Celtic imagination and unearth your heart’s deep longings. There will be suggestions for practices of contemplative walking and other meditation between sessions.

If a nine-day pilgrimage is too intense for your life commitments, you can spread them out over nine weeks or nine months as you have lifetime access to them. Pilgrimage is time outside of time, so however you are being called to journey is perfect.

Weekly Themes

Day 1 - St Brigid

Stand at the Threshold

Day 2 - St Brigid

What Season Are You In?

Day 3 - St Brigid

Receive the Gift of Abundance

Day 4 - St Ciaran

Listen to Your Dreams
as Wise Guides

Day 5 - St Ciaran

Drink from the Sacred Source

Day 6 - St Ciaran

Go to the Wild Edges

Day 7 - St Gobnait

Call in Protection

Day 8 - St Gobnait

Embrace the Spirituality of Landscape

Day 9 - St Gobnait

Seek the Place of Your Resurrection

Your Guides for the Journey

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE

Christine is the director of, a virtual monastery exploring contemplative practice, creative expression, and ways to nourish an earth-cherishing consciousness. She is a spiritual director, teacher, pilgrimage guide, and author of nine books on spirituality and the arts. 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.

Simon de Voil playing guitar

Simon de Voil

Reverend Simon Ruth de Voil is an interfaith-interspiritual minister, sacred musician, spiritual counsellor, and chaplain.

His sacred work—both musical and interpersonal—explores themes of the inner landscape of the soul, the enchantment of the natural world, and the healing power of spiritual practice. As a chaplain and counsellor, Simon helps individuals and groups connect sacred presence with everyday life. Simon is also a transgender activist and a luthier in training.

Visit Simon’s website here.

Betsy Beckman

Betsey Beckman

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. As dancer, choreographer, author, mother, wife, teacher and spiritual director, she is passionate about living life fully and fostering creativity in all those with whom she shares life and ministry. Betsey’s publications include books (she is co-author of Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Expressive Arts to Spiritual Direction), recordings, and The Dancing Word series of DVDs on embodied prayer. She offers the gift of playful improvisation whenever possible.

Visit Betsey’s website here.

Guest Teachers

Deirdre Ni Chinneide

Deirdre Ni Chinneide is trained as a psychotherapist / spiritual director and workshop facilitator. She has worked all over Ireland, the U.S.A. and Europe including Bosnia and Kosovo. The Aran Islands with its unique history, culture and natural beauty provides a special setting for the retreat work, and was the place of inspiration for Celtic Passage, a journey of the heart which she leads through music, reflection and prayer.

Deirdre divides her time between the Aran Islands and the mainland offering retreats, workshops and performances of spiritual music and also works part time with Partners in Faith, a Catholic adult faith education programme working in marginalised areas in Ireland.

Deirdre has also co-authored the book  Journey to the Well: Connecting to Celtic Ways and Wisdom

Visit Dierdre’s website here.

Dara Malloy

Dara Malloy is a Celtic Celebrant, pilgrim guide and author living on Inis Mór. His publications include Legends In The Landscape, a guide book to Inis Mór, which is now available in six languages, and The Globalisation of God, Celtic Christianity’s Nemesis. This latter work is the result of Dara’s lifelong interest in Celtic spirituality and Celtic monasticism.

Visit Dara’s website here. 

Dara Molloy headshot

Jenny Beale

Jenny Beale has always found inspiration in the natural world and is particularly interested in the intersection between Celtic spirituality and nature. Fifteen years ago she founded Brigit’s Garden in the West of Ireland, a Celtic-themed garden celebrating the Brigit tradition. Brigit’s Garden is a place of tranquillity, closeness to nature and environmental education, and welcomes pilgrimage and other groups from all over the world.

Visit Brigit’s Garden online. 


Jenny Beale

Pius Murray

Pius Murray N.T., B.A., H.D.E.(Hons.), LL.B.(Hons.), Diploma in Celtic Spirituality has his own guided walks business, Walk With Pius. He is a founder member of Pilgrim Paths Ireland and a member of the Burren Ecotourism Network. He is a member of the Burrenbeo Trust and a Burren Conservation Volunteer. He organises and leads walks, especially Inspirational Walks which enable walkers to connect with nature and with the spirituality of the landscape in the Burren and on Inisheer, for visitors of all nationalities, students of all levels and a variety of associations and organisations. Pius lives in Corofin, County Clare with his wife and family.

Visit Pius’ website here. 


Praise for the Virtual Celtic Pilgrimage

You worked together to create a wonderful sense of place and space. Your long residence in Ireland has led you to discover cultural informants who made us feel at home in their region and community. The whole retreat was presented with such respect that we were visiting truly from afar - virtually - yet longed to be present in those stunning lands and that marvelous world.
Carol Kassner
Delight! So many graces: Sweetness, wonder, curiosity, opening of heart to release and receive, Simon's lovely music, Christine's beautiful poetic way of being, the storytelling and videos, learning about the saints/seasons,the joy of communion and community. The beauty of Ireland, the ruggedness, the sacredness, the Earth wisdom and the Divine connection.
Mary B.
Such a wonderful expansion in my spiritual journey, calling me to align myself with the longing that the spirit has for us through the infinite symbols of creation--pondering one image at a time, inviting the guides to be with me, and releasing the gift of my heart along the way. So very grateful for what and how you have created this "marvelous" pilgrimage. Thanks to all who were involved!
Lynn Langdon
This pilgrimage brought me from a place of dryness in my writing to a place of abundance and the recognition of expanding my vocation of spiritual direction. . . . I feel the fire of giving myself to others as I am meant to do wholeheartedly in both my writing and my listening with the ears of my heart.
Sandy Guffey


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Registration Fee

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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.

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Some self-study retreats include video or audio recordings of sessions that were recorded in a live community offering of the retreat and may make reference to forums or other modes of sharing. Please disregard these as self-study retreats do not have these available.

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