Ancestor Retreat – What was it like?

Ten people completed the Ancestor Retreat in Achill, Sept. 11- Sun. 16th. 2018. The venue was a beautiful house: ‘Achill Shore View’, situated very near Achill Sound.

The theme of the week was accessing the gifts and wounds of our Ancestors. One participant described it as followed:

Peter, thanks for the deep stirring days in the amazing beautiful landscape. When I say stirring, that’s what I mean, stirring outside and stirring within. I am so grateful for your gentle encouragement. Something in me was pulling me back and something was moving me forward.  Now I can say, it was richer beyond my expectations. Peter, may you have the health to continue your mission of awakening. Blessings galore, Anne


One of the most difficult tasks of parenthood in my experience is teaching our children resilience. I want to share with you a poem entitled ‘Nettles’ by Vernon Scannell, which captures this theme. Hopefully you find some encouragement and grounding in this lovely poem. Good luck with the going back to school phase.

My son aged 3 fell into the nettle bed
Bed’ seemed a curious name for those green spares,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I saw
White blisters beaded on his tender skin.
We soothed him until his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed that blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more. And then I lit
A funeral pior to burn the fallen dead.
But in two weeks the busy sun and rain
Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:
My son would often feel sharp wounds again.



Information to Reflect on

Dear Reader,

I would like to recommend an excellent book by Mark Wolynn entitled:
‘It didn’t start with you’ – How inherited family trauma shapes who we are and how to end this cycle.

The following are some quotes from this book, that you may find useful as you reflect on the gifts and wounds of your ancestors.

  • Sometimes pain submerges until it can find a pathway of expression or resolution.
  • Studies performed on offspring, for example, have shown that traumas, such as the stress of maternal separation causes gene expression that can be traced for three generations.
  • When I work with families in my practice, I often see recurring patterns of illness, depression, anxiety, relationship struggles, and financial hardship, and always feel compelled to look deeper.
  • The notion that we inherit and ‘re-live’ aspects of family trauma has been subject of many books by the renowned Germany psychotherapist Bert Hellinger. Hellinger teaches that we share a family consciousness with our biological family members that come before us.
  • The vast reservoir of our unconscious appears to hold not only traumatic memories, but also the unresolved traumatic experiences of our ancestors.



Listening to Our Ancestor’s Stories (Retreat)


just a short note to say that I have extended the early bird fee (630 Euro)  for the upcoming 5 day residential Ancestor Retreat in Sept. 2018, on Achill Island. This fee includes accommodation, guides fee and delicious home cooked food. There are still a few places available. Please feel free to spread the word and if you are interested, I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you and enjoy these sunny days!


Listening to our Ancestor’s Stories

Accessing the gifts and healing the wounds of our inheritance
Tue. Sep. 11th. Evening – Sun.16th. 2018 till 1pm,  Achill Island, Co. Mayo
Guides: Peter Devlin with Sheila McHugh

Humanity is built on the bedrock of our desire to belong. That we are part of a particular family and family tree is an indisputable fact. How we are in this world, how we live, how we react to the events which life presents us with, and rear our children, is no doubt deeply influenced by the family and tradition we come from.

During the retreat we will seek to explore our ancestral inheritance, and inform us as to how the lives of those who have gone before us shape the way we live today. It will help us find our place in our ancestral family.




5 Tips for Taking your Life Back after Addiction (by Adam Cook)


just to say that 5 men completed the two day addiction programme which I facilitated recently. It went really well. Great participation, presence and honesty from those taken part. Since then I have received an article from Adam Cook which I am very happy to publish on this website.

Wishing you a good summer. Peter Continue reading “5 Tips for Taking your Life Back after Addiction (by Adam Cook)”

Listening to our Ancestor Stories

Listening to our Ancestor’s Stories
Accessing the gifts and healing the wounds of our inheritance

Tue. Sep. 11th. Evening – Sun.16th. 2018 till 1pm
(on ever ancient, ever new Achill Island, County Mayo)

Guides: Peter Devlin with Sheila McHugh

Cost: 690 Euro
This includes guide fee and five night’s accommodation: €200 non-refundable deposit secures a place. Numbers are limited to 10.  Book before 31st May 2018 to avail of early bird discount (€630).

Humanity is built on the bedrock of our desire to belong. That we are part of a particular family and family tree is an indisputable fact. How we are in this world, how we live, how we react to the events which life presents us with, and rear our children, is no doubt deeply influenced by the family and tradition we come from.

Continue reading “Listening to our Ancestor Stories”

Vision Quest

Carrowkeel, Passage Tomb, Co. Sligo
Date:  Fri. 20th. July 11am – Sun. 22nd. July 2 pm 2018

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not ta their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
and I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For the time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
(Wendell Barry)

A vision quest is an ancient rite of dying, passing through, and being reborn.

Wilderness fasts have been a part of human culture for many thousands of years. Writer and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin, who has revived this ancient tradition as part of his work in Animus, describes Vison Quest as: ‘Honouring a fallow time in our spiritual lives, an emptiness into which something utterly new and generative might enter. It is to create an open vessel capable of being filled to overflowing by the sacred Other”.

The basic, universal elements of a vision quest are: a remote wilderness setting, fasting from food solitude (no other human companions), direct exposure to the forms and forces of nature, attention focusing and consciousness –shifting ceremonies, prayers, and practices, a significant period of time.

Continue reading “Vision Quest”

Addiction Days – A new Beginning towards Healing

Spring – An opportunity to begin the journey of Healing

Two days with a difference!

Details and Dates:   Wed. 16.5. 2018, 10am – 4 pm  +   Wed. 30.5.2018    9am – 4 pm
Venue:             North Sligo Area.  The sessions will be conducted in beautiful wild                          areas of North Sligo.
Price:              130 Euro for both days

The breeze at dawn has something to tell you,
Don’t go back to sleep,
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the door sill
Where the two worlds touch
The door is round and open.

As we enjoy the season of spring delayed, but nevertheless welcome, I would like to invite you to this event, which is designed for those who struggle with addition, big or small.

Both days will include input, time alone and an opportunity to share where appropriate. The event will be conducted in the outdoors provided the weather is suitable. Wilderness informs us that wholeness is not about perfection.

Confidentiality is stressed and we will take solace that we are not alone in our human condition.

Continue reading “Addiction Days – A new Beginning towards Healing”

Focusing – Finding the Wisdom Within

When: Sat. 26./ Sun. 27th. May 2018
Time:  10 – 4pm
Cost:  140 Euro

How often have you said ‘I know I should have listened to myself’ … but didn’t?  Most of us don’t know how to tune into those subtle, vague, mysterious, irrational ‘gut’ feelings that are hard to pin down and describe … let alone, understand. Focusing is a gentle yet powerful process of inner knowing.  It invites us to pay attention to body feelings and learn from them.

This weekend course will provide an introduction to the skills of focusing, which will help you gain clarity, peace of mind and peace of body.  Inner wisdom and emotional healing are two of the most important results of this skill.

Continue reading “Focusing – Finding the Wisdom Within”

Sitting with Each Other in Grief and Loss

Sitting with each other in Grief and Loss

When you lose someone you love,
your life becomes strange,
The ground beneath you becomes fragile … 
(John O’Donohue)

Date:      Good Friday, March 30th.2018, from 8 – 10pm
Venue:   An Talamh, Skreen, Co Sligo (Direction: Drive out main road towards Ballina. In Skreen turn left towards Lady’s Brae Mountain (at the Health Center there, sign for Holy Hill Hermitage). Drive Road up for about 2 miles until you come to a crossroad. Turn left, drive 500 m. There is a derelict white cottage first on left side. Turn immediately left into lane (Stonepark). An Talamh is at the end of the lane. Miles: 17 from Sligo Town.)
Cost:       10 Euro.

Loss is part of the human condition. Death and bereavement we all know. The pain of grief visits us all regardless of culture or belief system. Loss of relationship, home, job, health, way of life is just some of the ways that loss show its face. The language of loss and the process of grieving involve tears, anger, sadness, questions, wondering. Sadness like the other emotions demands to be felt.

Continue reading “Sitting with Each Other in Grief and Loss”