Retreat – Irish sacred trees – A Spiritual path

Retreat – Irish sacred trees – A Spiritual path

We are going back to our roots!

Connecting with our true ancestral selves through reconnecting with our sacred trees of Ireland. 


Name of Recipient(s)

Ireland has had a long and intimate relationship with trees. Re-forestation projects are currently restoring our forests—slowly. But let’s remind ourselves as to why trees are so sacred to Irish people

Up to six thousand years ago native forests of oak, ash, elm, birch, pine, alder and hazel trees flourished across Ireland’s landscape. By 1900, less than one percent of these woodlands remained. Progress has been made in restoring forest cover, but still, Ireland stands today as one of the least wooded countries in Europe. Our native tree species have been linked with Irish culture and society from the earliest times. Trees were of the greatest importance, not only for the obvious practical reasons but also for spiritual reasons. Imagine what the ancient woods of Ireland must have been like for our ancestors. Every tree had its uses; ash for hurleys, alder for shields, hazel for construction. The most important tree of all was the mighty oak, which was considered chief among the airig fedo or nobles of the forest.

In pre-Christian times, brehons or judges were responsible for the law and some of these laws dealt specifically with trees.

This residential retreat is for anyone who is curious about learning how to connect with our natural world through understanding our ancient and spiritual connection with “Bile” (old Irish) our Sacred Trees of Ireland.

We will be combining this work with:

  • Mindfulness & Mediation Practice
  • Ancient ceremonies honouring our natural world (our natural selves)
  • Exploring and understanding how our Sacred Trees still play an active part in developing spiritual purpose
  • We will incorporate some Irish Celtic Mythology and storytelling/poetry into our work, which will restore some balance into our knowledge and deepen our relationship with these sacred creatures…. Our Sacred Trees
  • We will step gently into a space where we will connect with some of the most powerful Celtic Irish Gods and Goddesses and understand how in ancient times why our Celtic Deities were and still are so powerful, for example, Celtic (Irish) Goddess of love and fertility, later known as the fairy queen. Goddess related to the moon, crops, and farms or cattle. Aine is revered among Irish herbalists and healers and is said to be responsible for the body’s life force. A woman of the Leanan Sidhe (Sweetheart of the Sidhe). Some said she was the daughter of Manannan, some said she was the Morrigan herself. There was a stone, Cathair Aine, belonging to her and if anyone sat on the stone, they would be in danger of losing their wits, sit three times and they would lose them forever. Aine was very revengeful, and it was not a safe thing to offend her.
  • Weather permitting, we will spend some time outdoors and will have an experiential session sharing time with local trees and listening to the messages that they provide over and over for us (when we listen to them and pay attention to them)
  • Sharing pure organic homegrown and wild food around Mary’s country kitchen table.

This event is being offered to only 8 participants. This is to allow individuals to absorb the richness of the day in a gentle way.


Leona is offering a retreat on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th November 2018.
Mary Bulfin of Wild Food Mary has kindly offered her beautiful home near Birr Co Offaly for this enriching event.

Overview of the day:

Arrival Friday 16th November 6pm – 7pm

Welcome and Introductions

Dinner 8pm – Mary Bulfin of Wild Food Mary is our Chef and host for this wonderful weekend

Special Samhain ceremony welcoming in the “new” for the coming year.

This will allow us to ground and anchor ourselves for the evening and prepare for the following day.

Evening meditation will follow to invite a restful night’s sleep.

Saturday 17th November

Breakfast 8.00am

Morning meditation

Workshop starts at 10.00am

Lunch 1.00pm

Finish time 4.00pm

Closing with a Shaman ceremony

About the facilitator:
Leona has worked in the areas of addiction and mental health for over 25 years.

Having worked in well known high profile clinics in the UK, USA and South Africa, Leona has turned to a more soft and gentle path in the work that she is now engaged with.
Coming from a professional background of counselling and psychotherapy, Leona has practiced meditation for many years and in gaining her teacher training in Mindfulness and Meditation combined with her interest in Celtic Mythology, Storytelling, Shamanism and Eco Therapy, Leona now offers retreats and events in her adopted home at the foot of the Slieve Bloom mountains in Co Offaly, Ireland.
Inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh who coined the phrase “Peace is Every Step” Leona has followed a gentle mindful path and continues to be inspired by the lifetime work of this very special Tibetan Buddhist Monk.
Turning to her Irish roots and having lived away for a long time, Leona is inspired by professionals, artists, writers, poets and more importantly by our “ancient history and ancestry “.  She has a particular interest in the power that our Sacred Ancient Trees of Ireland has offered us in the past and believes that this power is more poignant now than ever before.
As we continue to live in challenging times, on a global level, with climate change having an enormous impact on our Mother Earth, Leona has worked and continues to work in an area together with what she now calls her “Tribe” to work towards sustaining and maintaining a more balance way of life, living and how we can work together in very simple ways to protect our Mother Earth for the future.
Leona strongly believes that “Nature and Mother Earth including our Blessed and Sacred Trees, whisper to us every day, we just need to tune in and remember our ancient ways”
And as John O’Donogue so beautifully wrote in Eternal Echoes – The tree is wise in the art of belonging. The tree teaches us how to journey. Too frequently our inner journeys have no depth. We move forward feverishly into new situations and experiences which neither nourish nor challenge us, because we have left our deeper selves behind. It is no wonder that the addiction to superficial novelty leaves us invariably empty and weary. Much of our experience is literally superficial; it slips deftly from surface to surface. It lacks rootage. The tree can reach towards the light, endure wind, rain, and storm, precisely because it is rooted. Each of its branches is ultimately anchored in a reliable depth of clay. The wisdom of the tree balances the path inwards with the pathway outwards.


Name of Recipient(s)

Walks & Workshops

Extra date 2017.

Mary has added an extra workshop for 2017.

  • Sunday December 10th @ Nenagh, run in conjunction with Steeples this will be a farm, wood and wetland walk followed by indoor lunch and workshop. Book with folks @ Steeples or through Mary 087 7418536 cost €50 includes lunch and tastings.


2018 dates, here are some dates for 2018, more will be added.

  • March 10th
  • May 12th
  • September 22nd
  • October 13th


  • March 11th
  • May 13th
  • September 23rd
  • October 14th

 Mary offers workshops to schools, primary, post primary, College and private groups, just call to discus  your own specially tailored event. See below for some scheduled dates.

Workshops can be themed around such topics as fun with wild flowers and plants. Biodiversity, Natural health boosters, wine-making. Fungi… So if you are looking for an unusual gift or a fun educational/cooking experience contact Mar


  • PLEASE  NOTE: workshops subject to minimum of 6 people, max 15.



To arrange a workshop for your family or group, home or away, please contact Mary.

mush Chantarelle basket 1

2015 calendar

Thank you for the many enquiries for 2015. Weather permitting walks will commence in late Feb or early Mar, dates to be finalised shortly.

All walks are family friendly, small groups, minimum 4adults max 16 and include lunch of wild and local organic produce. Gift vouchers now available, contact me on 0877418536 or email



How about a gift voucher for a workshop with Wild Food Mary.

Workshops take place throughout the year, midweek and weekends. The day begins with a welcome cuppa and introduction. Then it’s off out a-gathering and identifying plants fungi, berries, herbs. Lunch is of best local organic and foraged foods and guests are welcome to help out. Afternoon is spent swopping recipes and ideas with possibly a second short forage.

Hannah and Lucy discovering wild foods at Roundwood house,

Hannah and Lucy discovering wild foods at Roundwood house,

Transition Year workshop samples

Transition Year workshop samples

Blackberry friands with hazelnut crackle, yummm

Blackberry friands with hazelnut crackle, yummm

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Vouchers available now in 25 euro and 50 euro or more.To book please email me with value of voucher, your address or address of recipient, then pay by bank transfer or postal order.

Vouchers are valid to end of 2015 and redeemable against workshops and/or Liqueurs etc.Workshop dates posted here in mid January and subject to numbers. Minimum 4 maximum 16 people.


Time to go a gathering April May 2014

New Dates for Walks and lunch,

Fresh green growth is everywhere,spring flowers are appearing, it’s time to go a gathering.If you would like to get to know more about what’s available all around, how to cook it preserve it or even make simple home remedies. Join us for wild food walks and talks, lunch of wild and organic foods included.

Cost is 25Euro per person for walk and lunch.

In order to offer best experience numbers are limited so book early.087/7418536.


Pignut / Fairy Potato / Prata Sioga



April 12th Saturday.Offaly.

April 21st Easter Monday. Offaly.

April 26th, Saturday. Offaly.

Dates for May and June to be posted.







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