Wednesday 20 April 2011


I am a counsellor/workshop leader/tarot reader living and working in North Leitrim. For many years I saw adverts for the Wise Women Weekend – in local shops and the library - and thought to myself ‘I would love to give that a go’. But I always seemed to be too busy or something else would be going on, and somehow I never made it. Then last year I had a stroke of luck. One of the facilitators had to cancel and I was invited to give a workshop.

So I planned my offering, wondering what the event would be like. When I turned up for lunch with the facilitators and organisers on the Friday I was happy to see a few women that I already knew, and to feel myself drawn into the warmth and excitement of the gathering. Having discussed our roles in the evening’s events we all moved to Ard Nahoo. This is a beautiful health and yoga centre near Dromahair – where visitors can stay in eco-cabins and generally get body and soul nourished. The opening ceremony for the Wise Woman Weekend was held here (and will be again this year) in the circular outdoor space of the Wise Woman Mandala.

Noeleen, who runs Ard Nahoo, sang accapella with her singing women as everyone arrived for the ritual and gathered in a big circle. The light was fading, midges biting (bring repellent!), the scent of the garden after a warm day filling the hazy blue air as we began to pull all this wonderful womanly energy together. And then I had one of those special moments of recognition – feeling the joy of gathered women, all anticipating a weekend away from routines and responsibilities - standing outside in the lap of Nature a shiver ran through me and I knew that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. It was not just special, it was magical.

The whole weekend proved to be like that for me. Empowering and full of funny, enlightening encounters with other women – and with myself. This year I am doing a workshop called ‘Dance your Feelings’. I am a chunky,  middle-aged woman who loves to dance (I say this so that other women realise it takes all sorts – and all sorts are welcome!), and I want to share what dancing does for me with other women. I am really looking forward to giving my workshop, but most of all I am looking forward to meeting a hundred unique women, celebrating and sharing everything that we are, and yearn to become. Stepping a little closer to the goddess within.

If you want to know about the Wise Women Weekend I could tell you about the workshops, rituals, shared meals and beauty of Leitrim. I could point you in the direction of the women who know so much more about it than me and have been developing its magic for years. I could give you one of the brochures that women have lovingly put together to communicate a little of what this weekend will be like. But really I would just say – come and join us. The experience goes beyond words, into the heart and soul. And whatever your experience is, you will find the opportunity to remember how alive you are, and how lucky to be a woman!

If you enjoyed this blog, I have more that might interest you at

Wishing you all the gentle blessings of Spring

1 comment:

  1. Lovely memories Rachael! There's something special alright about gathering as women - something that is not experienced enough or by enough women. It's great to connnect with lots of like minded souls too :)