The Retreat runs from Saturday 19th – Monday 28th May 2018. The Retreat officially starts with an evening meal on Saturday at 6pm at the Glebe Barn on the Isle of Eigg and finishes on Monday 28th May at 11am. The total length of the Retreat is 9 nights and 8 full days.
Day 1. Saturday 19th May. Travel from Glasgow to the Isle of Eigg
Retreat group option to travel together meeting at Glasgow Queen Street and then board the train for the West Highland Way – one of the most spectacular train journeys in the world. Feel yourself begin to integrate with the nature of your pilgrimage with a train journey that takes you through some of Scotland’s most beautiful scenery – stunningly wild and beautiful landscapes and magnificent mountains. You’ll travel over the Glenfinnan Viaduct made even more famous by the Harry Potter films – there’s also the chance to spot some red deer. After arriving at Mallaig, a one hour ferry ride takes you over to the Island of Eigg, a journey where you can often spot dolphins and whales. The Retreat starts with an evening meal at 6pm and a welcoming circle.
- Group meeting time at Glasgow Queen Street Station: 07.30am
- Train Leaves Glasgow Queen Street: 08.21am
- Train arrives at Mallaig: 13.34pm
- Ferry departs Mallaig: 14.25pm
- Arrive at the Isle of Eigg: 15.40pm
Day 2. Sunday 20th May. A Visit to the Abandoned Village of Grulin & Blessing at the Well of the Holy Women
We begin the day after breakfast with our opening circle as well as setting some collectively agreed on circle guidelines for our time together. In the afternoon we will visit the ruins of Grulin village and the Well of the Holy Woman to ask for a personal blessing on the work we do throughout our time together.
Day 3. Monday 21st May. Storytelling Circle: The Ancestral Mothers & The Big Women
In the morning circle we will share a little about ourselves as well as share stories of the Ancestral Mothers from the mythic Big Women of this island, as well as historic figures such as Queen Moidart and her Amazon warriors and Scathatch, a female warrior from the neighboring island of Skye.
Day 4. Tuesday 22nd May. Loch of the Big Women Visit
Walking an Ancestral Soul Path often has a way of guiding us to the work require to reclaim lost parts of ourselves. Our culture has created the illusion that we are apart, aloof and somehow separate from nature. Eigg can feel like an island on the thresholds of worlds one in which everything is interconnected and the otherworld is never very far away. After a morning circle exploring any feelings we have in relation to spiritual longing and yearning we will take a packed lunch and walk to the Loch of the Big Women where we will perform a ritual of initiation acknowledging commitment to your own unique journey on the Ancestral Soul Path with an optional submergence under the water (weather depending).
Day 5. Wednesday 23rd May. Visit to Local Croft
In our morning circle we will share our experiences from yesterdays Loch visit and in the afternoon we will take a tour of a local working croft and historic croft museum. We’ll learn about this farming model which is unique to the west coast of Scotland as well as meeting the birds and animals of the croft. We will also visit a historic croft museum.
Day 6. Thursday 24th Cailleach Doll Making
In the morning we will begin working with the Cailleach with a guided meditation and otherworld journey with some live drumming we will spend some time recording any impressions from the journey through art. We will then carry those impressions over into our doll making using a needle felting process including some wool from local island as well as some Harris Tweed (from the Scottish Hebridean Isle of Harris). We will use some of the items we’ve been collecting in our Gatherers Bag (provided) from small natural items such as shells etc and filling little glass vial jars as well as writing intentions and gratitude’s onto scrolls of paper which can all be added to our dolls.
Day 7. Friday 25th Visit to the Singing Sands & Beach combing
We will have a free morning with time to lie in, head out for an early morning walk or enjoy a slow breakfast. We will pack our lunch and head to the Singing Sands for some exploring and beach combing. We’ll create a nature circle to the Ancestral Mothers – built from natural materials on the sand leaving it for the tide to wash away as well as visiting a special site, the Eye of the Cailleach.
Day 8. Saturday 26th. Council of All Beings
We will begin this day in silence with an invitation for each woman to head out to a place on the island where they will sit and just be. The aim is to connect with a resident of that place – maybe a bird, an insect, a plant or a four-footed. In the afternoon we will make art around our experience in preparation for the evenings Council Circle where each person speaks for the animal, land they connected to.
Day 9. Sunday 27th May. Ritual Gesture
In the morning we will take time to prepare for our personal reflection and a ritual gesture of what your experience on the island has meant for you – what were your inspirations and what you connected to most. There is no set way to do this and each women can explore this in her unique way from story to song, from dance to mask! You are also invited to share how you might weave these elements into your life and work with them in the everyday.
The activity for our last evening together will be a group decision.
Day 10. Monday 28th May. Depart
Group travel for those wishing to travel back to Mallaig and then Glasgow:
- Ferry departure from Eigg 16.25
- Mallaig Arrival 17.40
- Glasgow train departure 18.50
- Train arrival into Glasgow Queen Street 00.14