Walking Awake into the Celtic New Year

Walking Awake into the Celtic New Year

Denise Crawn

Details & Online Registration

Program information

This event is full with a waiting list. To be added to the waiting list please send an email to janetl@kirkridge.org

The cost ($350, or $400 for a single room) includes the programming, overnight accommodations, and meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch. Scholarships are available. Contact Lydia Wylie-Kellermann at lydiawk@kirkridge.org.

If you feel a deep connection to Nature, have an interest in Celtic Spirituality, and a longing to be amongst the stunning autumn foliage at Kirkridge, this weekend retreat may indeed call you ‘home’ to the mountain.

Throughout the weekend we will explore some of the many surrounding lessons and gifts available to us as we ‘walk awake’ together into the Celtic New Year. 

In Nature: it is the time of year when the woodlands transform: Leaves begin to turn vibrant colors and float to the forest floor as the trees prepare for dormancy. Animals are busy gathering, storing, and filling themselves with food as they prepare for hibernation and the approaching cold winter months. The hours of daylight are becoming shorter and shorter.   

On the Celtic Wheel of the Year: we are entering the time of Samhain, the last of the three Celtic Harvest Festivals and the return of the dark half of the year.  The ancient Celts believed everything began in the darkness therefore, Samhain is referred to as the ‘Celtic New Year’.  In realms of Celtic Spirituality, it is a time when the veil between differing worlds becomes its thinnest. A ‘betwixt and between’ period of ‘no-time’ when the spirits of the ancestors, those recently passed, and the world of the Fae might slip between the veil and communicate with those left behind. 

This weekend’s schedule will ebb and flow with the energy and interest of the group. Structured group gatherings may include sessions on various aspects of Celtic Spirituality (past and present) with attention on the Celtic New Year and the honoring of the ancestors, nature walks with focus on recognizing and connecting with the ‘seen and unseen’ in Nature and weaving the history and mystery that connects the mountain and the Isle of Iona, Scotland. The weekend will also include an eclectic mix of ritual, ceremony, morning mediations, time to walk and wander, song, and poetry. 

Additionally, we will have the unique and memorable opportunity to attend Columcille Megalith Park’s Celtic New Year Celebration* amongst the torchlit Standing Stones on the Saturday evening. You may even wish to dress up in your best Celtic or Halloween attire for this event!

How to prepare for this magical weekend?:

Be sure to bring your love of Nature and your curiosity about Celtic Spirituality, Kirkridge, Columcille, and Iona. 

Sessions will be held both indoors and outdoors so please come prepared to as we will walk the wooded paths and amongst the standing stones of Columcille).

A more detailed itinerary will be sent to those registered a few weeks prior to the event.

*If planning to attend the Columcille Megalith Park’s Samhain Celebration, there is an additional $10.00 pp suggested entrance donation to Columcille which will be collected by retreat facilitator during the retreat prior to event.

Facilitator’s Bio:

Denise Crawn

A former Kirkridge employee, Columcille Board Member, and resident of the mountain now residing in Scotland, Denise has had a deep fascination of all things Celtic since an early age and enjoys spending as much time as possible wandering in nature and exploring ancient and sacred sites.

Owner of Walking Awake, LLC, author of “Walking Awake: The Faces In Nature”, and the “Walking Awake on the Isle of Iona Inspirational Card Deck and Book Set”, Denise’s deep-rooted relationship with the natural world began as a child when she would spend extended periods in the great outdoors with her Father and siblings. Feeling most at home in the outdoors wandering and foraging, she has a keen eye for tracking and a gift for spotting, interpreting and sharing Nature’s hidden messages.  

As an ordained Interfaith Minister (through One Spirit Learning Alliance in N.Y.C.) with experience in the performing arts, hospitality and Celtic shamanism combined with a love of myth, history, poetry, and music, Denise brings an eclectic mix to her ministry.  This ministry she defines as companioning and mentoring others on their individual quest to deepen their awakening of humankind’s innate connection to Nature. As a facilitator, Denise has been leading Celtic and Nature-focused workshops since 2005, and group pilgrimages to the Isle of Iona since 2009. In her private life, Denise has become ‘a walker between worlds’, literally; after her first encounter with the Standing Stones of Columcille Megalith Park (in the late ’90’s), she first traveled to Iona in 2003. Since then, she has returned numerous times on extended personal retreats, and to lead small group pilgrimages. While visiting Iona in 2013, Denise met Nick Prance on the ferry from Oban to Craignure and so began their “Ferry” Tale come true. In 2016 they were married in Scotland surrounded by family and friends (some of whom were from Iona and Columcille). While she values her ‘hermit time’ during which she loves to write, craft, and create magical treasures of all kinds, Denise’s life has evolved to include extensive travel between her home with Nick in Scotland and back ‘home’ to visit with family and friends in the U.S. Together, Denise and Nick enjoy exploring ancient and sacred sites, leading pilgrimages within Scotland and workshops on ‘both sides of the pond’.