The Rose Path: Iona Women's Retreat
26 September - 3 October 2023
‘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
In the beginning of 2022, Iona called me. She whispered to me from inside my heart to come and visit her. I followed the call and in July last year I arrived at her ancient shores to spend some solo time on the island.
What followed was a magical week of deep connection with Mother Earth, a week of deep rest and rejuvenation, beautiful soul meetings and magical encounters with dolphins, whales and the spirits of the land. During the last days of my stay I again heard a whisper inside my heart, that said:
‘Will you take a group of women to Iona next year?’
I did not have to think twice about my answer and a few months later I'm so happy to share
'The Rose Path: Iona Women's Retreat' with you.
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, music, wild nature, ceremony, stillness & rest together
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 Saint Columba it is said that it was 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 legend that Mother Mary visited the island as well as Mary Magdalene. 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.
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 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.
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.
Every morning of our retreat Rianne will guide a gentle yoga session to wake up the body and connect with what is alive inside of you. Caroline will cook for us during the week, sharing her delicious Ayurvedic food with us, nourishing body, mind and soul as we transition from summer to autumn. On Friday the 29th of September we have a full moon beaming in the sky and we will have a special ceremony night with cacao, roses, music and movement for our wild feminine souls. As the island is a very vivid presence in itself, I have outlined a schedule below as a guideline: our days will look different depending on the weather and the intuitive guidance received from the island.
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
20.30 – 22.00: Yin Yoga / Singing / Dance / Ceremony/ Free Time
We will spend the week at the beautiful location of The Green Shed situated on the northern tip of the island. Our main activities will be centered in The Sea Room, a magical space with a beautiful view of the ocean. Our indoor moments will be held in the cozy living room with a fireplace and we will enjoy our meals at the large kitchen table. 'The Sea Room' sleeps up to ten people and consists of three shared bedrooms. Separately located on the land of the Green Shed is 'The Studio', which sleeps two people in two single beds or one double with a private bathroom and kitchenette. Lastly 'The Snug' will be available, a beautiful private space with ocean view, private bathroom and kitchenette for two people in two single beds or one double.
The Sea Room
Jeska Onderwater is an artist, singer-songwriter, poet, yogini, 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 to 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.
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’s 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 is us that can (learn to) listen. ‘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 of immense impact in this process, as they can be passages for the soul towards creative and authentic expression. In her work (both 1-1 sessions and group sessions), she 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.
I have always been fascinated by good food.
From home I inherited an interest in baking traditional sweet pies and other good stuff from the oven. In my mums kitchen, delicious, healthy and responsible eating came naturally. Food from our own garden, local and seasonal products, fresh and home-made.
I still enjoy baking and cooking and have been able to gain a lot of inspiration during my 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 a passion. I also began to find the healthy aspect of food increasingly important and this is where my focus is now. I choose to cook vegetarian and vegan. Working with organic, local and seasonal products as much as possible.
More info via: https://njamaste.one/
of other retreats (co-)hosted by Jeska
'The Sacred Womb weekend was a magical blessing. Through the beautiful unfolding of the weekend and support of Mother Nature, loving Jeska and Gita could help us reconnect with our own wombs, our sacred feminine energies. It birthed this loving power to go deep into our feminine roots that I didn't even know existed.
Through music, meditations, sacred cacao and fire ceremonies, prayers, blessings and intuitive women sharings and each other's support, we were able to go deeper, to release pain that was waiting to be let go and instead heal ourselves with the medicine of love. Once the pain was released, we were nourished and reconnected with the feminine sacred side to life and nature. I feel the Sacred Womb Retreat was a timeless gift that I can still connect to each day when I tap into my inner womb wisdom and just listen. I feel like such a simple but powerful truth came to my consciousness: 'I am the key to my own healing.'
Gracias sisters, no words can describe the gratitude and power of such women’s retreats’
~ Ana Tisov (Slovenia)
on 'The Sacred Womb' retreat in October 2020
'It was marvelous: through storytelling, music, scent, singing, dancing & eating incredible food, all my senses got awakened to the full. That enabled reconnection to my deepest needs, blockages, and desires. For a start I got shaken in every cell of my body by the music, literally all water in me resonated, that is how I best can describe the feeling.
After that, in the safe and warm space the ‘sisters of the rose’ created all of us felt free to be and to express what was appearing. I felt invited and welcomed fully. Each one of us in her own rhythm, in our own balance, in our own courage could let go of layers and just be. It was beautiful to watch and to be part of. None was old, stiff, or ugly, everyone’s song and dance was transcending judgment and stunningly beautiful because we were in a space of truth.
So, we watched all these souls, taking brave steps back to our energy bodies, to our finest and deepest layers. To me the retreat has been nourishment we are so often deprived of in day-to-day life, feeling my deepest joy and my deepest sorrows but accepting them, embodying the deep respect and love for this life. It gave me inspiration, made me feel stronger for the challenges ahead, and healthier too.'
~ Bonnie Chopard (Switzerland / Netherlands)
on 'The Sanctuary of Venus' retreat in September 2021
Option 1 (3 spots left): 1,555 EUR
single bed in shared private studio (The Snug or the Studio) for two with private bathroom & kitchenette
Option 2 (5 spots left): 1,222 EUR
single bed or bunk bed in the Sea Room shared with 2 or 4 others with shared bathroom
Deposit to reserve your spot: 333 EUR
Balance due by the 1st of August 2023
Payment plans available upon request
Scholarship Spots (1 spot left)
As I am aware of different financial realities for each of us, I am offering two scholarship spots for this retreat.
These are spots for two women who feel deeply called to the retreat but do not have the financial means to pay the full retreat fee.
The scholarship spots offer a 500 euro discount on the amount of 1,222 euros. You can apply for this spot by sending an e-mail to email@example.com with your motivation.
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
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)
Feminine Healing Stories & Meditations
Sacred Womb, Cacao & Rose Ceremonies
Poetry & Creative Writing workshop
Singing Circle and Vocal Expression
Free Dance & Body Exploration
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.
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
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!
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