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The Rose Path: Iona Women's Retreat 

17 - 24 September 2024
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‘If you feel the call of Iona, then answer that call and make the journey to her. She is like a very old Crone, rocky and barren and eternally loving and gentle and tough and wise. She is very old. She is very holy. There is no other place on earth quite like Iona.’

 -  Elinore Detiger

You are warmly invited for the second edition of the Iona Women's Retreat in Scotland from 17-24 September!

Iona is one of the most pure, wild & magical places I have ever been and I am so excited to host the second edition of the Iona Women's Retreat in September 2024. You are warmly invited for a week of deep nature connection, elemental ceremonies, delicious ayurvedic food and creative expression of the truth of our hearts & bodies through music, movement and writing. Guided by the healing powers of the Rose, empowering feminine stories and the elemental magic of the Isle of Iona we will listen to the whispers of our soul and tune into the next steps we wish to take on our life's journey from here.

This retreat is an invitation for all women who feel the call of Iona and wish to join me for a week full of magic, wild nature, creativity, ceremony, stillness & rest together

Iona: Her-Story

The Isle of Iona is nestled in between the Isle of Mull in Scotland on one side and the wild Atlantic Ocean on the other side. It carries a magical and pristine energy as the island has been a place of devotion, prayer and spiritual practice since ancient times. It houses the famous Iona Abbey, which was founded in 563 AD by Saint Columba who traveled from Ireland to spread Celtic Christianity in the rest of Europe. Before the arrival of Columba the island was known to be a sacred island for the druids and before that there are stories of it being a special island of women.

 

The spiritual associations between women and Iona are reinforced by the fact that the abbey has always been a prominent pilgrimage destination to honor Mother Mary as well as the stories about Saint Bridget of Kildare and Mary Magdalene that tell of their visits to the island. What really happened remains a mystery, but surely there is a tangible feminine energy present on the island. During the Rose Path retreat we will connect with this special feminine energy, with the energy of Mother Earth, by walking the land and spending time in ceremony with the waters, the earth, the fire and the wind. The island is here to help us to deeply sink into our bodies and listen to the silent whispers of our hearts.

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The Rose: A Path of Feminine Power and Wisdom

Iona is one of the pilgrimage places of the Rose Path as it has an ancient connection with the divine feminine which is still felt in the wild nature on the island. During the retreat we will be working with the feminine aspects of both our physical and spirit bodies. We will (re-)connect to the sacredness of our wombs, to the feminine power of creation and to the infinite wisdom of the heart. Energetically we will also work with our motherline, remembering the wisdom of our ancestral & soul lineages and taking time to clear possible obstacles of past times to help you more fully embody the woman you came here to be. As we walk and explore the island we will connect with the powerful stories of St. Bridget of Kildare, Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene and their connection to the Rose Lineage. We will work with the Rose as a plant to help us feel, heal and renew the places inside of us that ask for our loving attention. 

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Nature, Joy and Rest

In addition to moments of ceremony, our time together will be devoted to being in nature, with moments of music and movement and plenty of time to rest and spend time for yourself. One day we will make a boat trip to the magical Fingal's cave on the Island of Staffa, a cathedral created by nature, half immersed in the ocean. There will be time to spot dolphins, seals and (if we're lucky!) whales. We will visit the Iona Abbey and you will have the chance to attend the special ecumenical services that are held in the Abbey every morning and evening.

 

As there is generally not good phone reception on the island, you are invited to be more or less offline and give your entire nervous system a deep rest by connecting to nature instead. One day in our retreat will be a silent day where we take time to be still and listen to the whispers of our soul.  As the island is a very vivid presence in itself, the schedule below is meant as a guideline: our days will look different depending on the weather and the intuitive guidance received from the island.

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Daily schedule

07.45 – 09.00:   Morning Yoga / Sound Healing / Meditation

09.00 – 10.00:   Breakfast

10.00 – 13.00:   Rose Path Morning

13.00 – 16.00:   Lunch/ Rest/ Free Time

16.00 – 19.00:   Rose Path Afternoon

19.00:   Dinner

20.30 – 22.00:  Yin Yoga / Singing / Dance / Ceremony/ Free Time

Accommodation

We will spend the week at the beautiful location of The Green Shed situated on the northern tip of the island. Mealtimes and indoor activities will be centered in The Sea Room, a magical space with a beautiful view of the ocean. The Sea Room has a cosy living room with a fireplace and we will enjoy our meals at the large kitchen table. It sleeps up to ten people and consists of three shared bedrooms with two or four beds. Separately located is The Studio, which sleeps two people in two single beds or one double with a private bathroom and kitchenette. For additional indoor activities that require more space, we will make use of The Byre, an atmospheric shed with fireplace located close to the Sea Room.

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The Sea Room

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The Studio

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Retreat Team

Jeska Onderwater

Jeska Onderwater is an artist, singer-songwriter, yoga teacher, creative workshop & ceremony leader. Fascinated by the beauty of the natural world, the magic of creative expression and the mysterious journey of life she creates her offerings from and for the heart.

In 2020 she started receiving dreams about Roses and Mary Magdalene which lead her on a pilgrimage through England, France & Scotland. Her journey brought her to magical feminine power places and meetings with soulmates amongst which her life partner. It inspired her to write a book, create new songs as well as include the magic of the Rose Path in her offerings.

Jeska has been sharing her music and creative guidance in yoga classes, festivals, retreats, workshops, concerts & ceremonies all over Europe for the last 10 years. In deep attunement with the whispers of the Earth and those of her own heart she creates safe, loving spaces for deep remembering and creativity to flow through. 

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Rianne Toenhake

Rianne is a medical doctor, yogini and bodyworker. During her studies, her path led rapidly to holistic approaches that broaden and deepen the connection between mind and body. She specialized in mind-body medicine, lifestyle medicine and women’s health.

 

For her, vitality and health has everything to do with feeling at home in your body. It is our foundation ánd the place where our journey starts; every day, every now-moment again. “Your body, your home.” It has its own story and it we can learn to listen it. ‘What does my body want to tell me?’, but also ‘Where am I now? Where do I want to go? What’s in between?’.

 

Conscious movement and ritual can be of immense impact in this process, as they are passages for the soul towards creative and authentic expression. In her work (both 1-1 sessions and group sessions), Rianne loves to combine these experiences with inner reflections to come closer to the feeling of being at home in your body and feeling at home on this earth.

Caroline Frederix

Caroline has always been fascinated by good food. 

From her childhood home she inherited an interest in baking traditional sweet pies and other good stuff from the oven. In her mums kitchen, delicious, healthy and responsible eating came naturally. Food from the garden, local and seasonal products, fresh and home-made.

Caroline still enjoys baking and cooking and has been able to gain a lot of inspiration during her worldwide travels. From a RAW chef course in Australia, getting inspired by the Ayurvedic cuisine in India to working on food truck festivals throughout Belgium: food is her passion. As Caroline gained more experience, she also began to find the healthy aspect of food increasingly important and this is where her focus is now. She chooses to cook vegetarian or vegan, working with organic, local and seasonal products as much as possible.

More info via: https://njamaste.one/

What other women say:

about the first 2023 Iona Women's Retreat

'Visiting Iona was a soul-body experience. Its wilderness and softness, its strength and love, its infinite power are transformative. Being there with a group of women enhanced my feminine energy and healed old wounds. I saw myself reflected in others' words and it reminded me of who I am. Iona will always have a place within my heart, a little wild island now easily at reach anytime I think of her. 

 

Having Jeska's guidance was reassuring and relaxing. She speaks Iona's language, she was her spokesperson, knowing exactly when and where to go, sharing knowledge in a humble way. She and her team took care of every detail, and they were all very open to adapt. The programme was diverse and full of sensorial activities that deeply touched our souls, with time to fully experience the "nothingness', to be heard and to feel welcome. I am very thankful and happy to have said yes!

~ Carla Borges (Brazil / Luxembourg)

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It is hard to put in words how the retreat was for me. It has been such a magical journey. Apart from that Scotland and Iona are absolutely beautiful, there is also a very special energy there. Then being together with a group of women that are diving deep within themselves and share their truth, heart and wisdom with each other is really transformational. For me it really has been a pivotal journey. The way I was doing things and living my life, really wasn't nourishing me anymore and being on Iona has shown me a different path and different ways of being.

 

The biggest change I've experienced is that on Iona a much deeper layer of feeling has opened up to me. Feeling my own emotions and rhythm, but also the emotions and rhythm of other people and life around me. I held a big fear around this and so I blocked this for most of my life. Being on Iona and being in a safe space with a group of women, has allowed me to peel away some of those protective layers. This now allows me to be more connected to my body, emotions, my own energy and helps me to understand a lot more the messages they have for me, so that I can keep on growing and nourishing myself in a much healthier way.

 

~ Eva Toes (The Netherlands)

I had a wonderful week on Iona. The retreat exceeded all my expectations, such a warm, welcoming, loving experience, and the location is awesomely magical. I have felt more grounded in my plans for creating change in my life. Things I've wanted to do for a long time, but haven't made a start on, because of fear of failure, I now feel ready to move forwards, and have taken some steps to get things going. I feel I trust my intuition now, and believe in myself more fully. 
 

~ Julie Gatens (Scotland)

It felt like I was in a whole new world. A different dimension. I was really tuned out of my daily life. It was magical to be on Iona with a beautiful group of women. Slowing down in nature, the ceremonies, daily yoga, connecting with the women, yourself and my holy spirit! It was a beautiful experience! Everything was so aligned! I'm feeling more clear in my body and mind. More space for new things and adventures. Feeling really soft to myself. I got rid rid of blockages inside and feel more clear the direction in where I want or have to go.

~ Arielle (The Netherlands)

It was the retreat of my life till now. So much sacredness in a weeks time, I mean... I'm happy to be aliiiiive! Thank You all so much for making it possible to experience all that on Iona. It definitely started working some magic, I feel so much stronger and connected. I am proud of all of us. It's definitely one dream came true for me.

~ Iringó (Hungary/Germany)

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Investment

Option 11,777 EUR  

single bed in shared private studio for two with private bathroom & kitchenette

 

Option 21,555 EUR 

single bed or bunk bed in the Sea Room shared with 2 or 4 others with shared bathroom

Deposit to reserve your spot: 444 EUR

Balance due by the 1st of August 2024

Payment plans available upon request

Cancellation policy

  • If you cancel before the 1st of August, you will receive a 90% refund

  • If you cancel between the 1st of August and the 1st of September, you will receive a 50% refund

  • After September 1st, we're unable to give any refunds, but you can transfer your spot to a friend

What's included?

  • 7 nights accommodation at the Green Shed Iona

  • Three delicious vegetarian meals a day (or lunch box if we are outdoors)

  • Unlimited Rose Tea served throughout the day

  • 7 mornings of Gentle Yoga with Rianne

 

Full Rose Path program:

  • Elemental Ceremonial hikes (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether & Light)

  • Feminine Healing Stories & Meditations 

  • Sacred Womb, Cacao & Rose Ceremony

  • Creative Writing workshop

  • Singing Circle and Vocal Expression 

  • Free Dance & Intuitive Movement

  • Special boat trip to the magical Isle of Staffa

  • Visit to the Iona Abbey & Nunnery​

And a whole lot of magic, nourishment & adventure!

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from Iona

  • Optional 1-1 Massage Sessions by Rianne

  • Additional snacks or meals in local restaurants

  • Any other expenses on the island outside of the retreat program

How to get to Iona?

Traveling to Iona is a magical pilgrimage in itself.

By car:

Taking the ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull you will drive until the village of Fionnphort.

There are no cars allowed on the island, so you can park your car in Fionnphort and take the short ferry to Iona from there.

Find out more details about the travel to Iona from Glasgow/Oban here

By plane/public transport:

Flying into Glasgow is most convenient as there is a direct train that takes you to Oban, where the ferry towards the Isle of Mull departs. You can also fly into Edinburgh but it will mean another train ride to Glasgow first. If you have more time or want to explore Edinburgh too, this could be a wonderful option.

Find out more details about the travel to Iona from Edinburgh/ Glasgow/Oban here

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Questions?

Feel free to contact me directly for any questions or to schedule a call if you're wondering whether this retreat is for you. I'm happy to connect with you!

Mail: jeska.onderwater@gmail.com

Whatsapp: +31615145757

Follow me on Instagrafor more sharings on the retreat via stories & posts or sign up to my monthly newsletter here

With love,

Jeska

 

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