Spirit of Iona: Wisdom of the Celtic World for Our Time

Join this online pilgrimage deep into the heart of Celtic spirituality

Explore the meaning and message of the Isle of Iona as a source of inspiration, healing and hope for the future. Experience the Spirit of Iona and awaken to your sacred connection to the earth and her seasons. Deepen your connection to the Divine with its qualities of deep peace and beauty, and be inspired by the stories, traditions and resources from the Celtic world.

When we find a way to reconnect with the vital, vibrant, forces of life there is something we are gifted with – that so many are bereft of – is that deep sense of belonging, of homecoming, and a sense of trust that we are a part of something greater that holds us.

We will be meeting for each session online at 4pm UK time, until around 6.30pm. Across the world this will be:

8am PDT / 9am MDT / 11am EDT and Ottawa / 5pm Cape Town / 8.30pm Delhi / 11pm AWST / and AEST 1am Monday. If you are unable to be there at the time, replays will be made available within a week of each session.

Join us on 1 May for the first in this series exploring Beltane, the Celtic festival marking the blossoming of spring into summer.

Katherine Collis

about the 'Spirit of Iona' series



What does the wisdom of Celtic spirituality offer in these challenging times?

For centuries Celtic spirituality has provided a guiding light of faith and a connection to the invisible realms, offering a sense of belonging for the peoples of Scotland and Ireland. In modern times, Iona has mysteriously drawn people from all over the world who not only have their ancestral roots there, but who also come from different cultural and faith traditions. For many, wherever they may come from, Iona evokes a strong sense of homecoming and belonging.

Iona has held a legacy of inner knowing and inner listening for centuries, an invisible school built on centuries of a way of life that honoured nature and the Divine, the visible and the invisible. The Celtic spiritual tradition is a holistic one, in which the everyday and the divine are inextricably connected, one that holds a sacred relationship to nature and the cycles of life.

Just as we celebrate the cycles and seasons of nature, we begin to pay attention to all cycles and seasons of our own human life, of all things in creation and in the universe. There is a flow, a constant thread not just of time beginning and ending but of time eternal. And that’s the wisdom many tap into on Iona, that there is a sense of deepening into time eternal.

The Celtic spiritual tradition also reminds us that the divine is within us – that we are blessed, we are a blessing, we are sacred. When we remember this, something happens that is transformative, it is healing and it calls our souls forth – that soft, quiet, tender, receded essence that doesn’t get much recognition in our modern world. Everything shifts in our relationship to ourselves, our families, our community, and our place in the greater whole.

In this programme you will be given a sacred, blessed and safe space,  encouraged to remember your own connection to the cycles and power of our sacred earth and the divine light within you. A space for deepening into peace, prayer and pilgrimage and finding your purpose.

A celtic christian cross at Iona Abbey, a place for meditation and contemplation


Watch video

The Spirit of Iona


What to expect

Facilitated by Katherine Collis, with a co-host for each retreat session, you will explore historic writings, poetry, art, music and stories, including the traditions of creating blessings and prayers. We will explore different faces of this sacred Isle and its myths and legends, as well as having a specific seasonal focus. Each 2.5-hour inspirational session will feature a different author, scholar, musician or artist alongside Katherine.

You will be led in meditations on inner listening, attuning to the angelic presence of Iona and connecting into the etheric body of the earth. In addition to connecting to Iona you will be guided to connect with the sacred within the land where you are living.

We will build a learning community through sharing personal insights and experiences with participation in Zoom breakout rooms. Times will be available for reflective meditations, journalling, healing prayers, and optional assignments between sessions.

The writing of poetry, prayer, art or song, and creative expressions, will be part of the year-long programme.

The programme includes eight sessions, based around the four solar festivals and the four Celtic seasonal festivals.

Book all sessions for £175

You can also book the sessions separately. Please follow the corresponding link below.

Each session will be held online from 4pm, to around 6:30pm, UK time.


What does the Spirit of Iona inspire in You?

Imagine what kind of world we can co-create when our purpose and unique gift aligns with the World’s purpose? Linking into the Spirit of Iona and drawing on its many aspects and the visible and invisible information it holds – past, present and future – can help us align with our own and the world’s destiny, awakening and responding to what our soul is calling for us to be at this time.

When we celebrate and get in rhythm with nature, in sacred relationship to Earth, we open doorways for further exploration of living a purposeful life, to find an organic relationship with a larger purpose and pattern and then living and acting with the pulse of that connection coursing through our veins.

Katherine Collis sitting at the Iona Nunnery

Whether you have spent time on this sacred isle or not, the Spirit of Iona teaches you:

  • to live in balance between the wild and tamed aspects of yourself
  • to explore your connection with the invisible, magical and mystical
  • how to love and be loved
  • to experience a deep sense of belonging, of homecoming
  • to deeply feel a sense of trust that you are a part of something greater, and timeless, that holds you in sacred belonging

and can inspire in you:

  • a deeper meaning, vision and direction in life
  • an experience of the sacredness of Iona
  • the ability to create a holy space wherever you are
  • an opportunity to express your creativity, through the crafting of poetry, writing, prayer, song or art
  • the fulfilment of the longing to connect with your own Celtic roots and spiritual lineage
  • a pilgrimage, adventure, an online journey, even if you’re unable to travel
  • a sense of holistic Celtic worldview, which may hold a key for us all today
  • the opportunity to discover the sacred flow of the divine through all of life
  • an opportunity to follow your calling to serve the spirit of healing and wholeness in this time
Spirit of Iona BlessingIn the linking of our shared threads of connection May we each be grounded, our roots deep in rich, fertile earth, reaching to our connections that go out, way beyond the stars. May the blessing of all life be upon us. May the Spirit of Iona reconnect us with the vital, vibrant, forces of life and so with a deep sense of belonging, of homecoming, a sense of trust that we are a part of something greater that holds us.


This journey will be from 1st May 2022 to 30th March 2023.

The sessions will be held around the time of the annual solar festivals and the Celtic seasonal festivals. For times see the section above titled What to Expect.

Course price: £175

If you’d love to join us but find the rate a financial strain, please contact Bookings to apply for a subsidised place on the course.

Book now

Katherine Collis

Facilitated by Katherine Collis

Katherine Collis is a Findhorn Fellow who lived in the Community in the early 1970s and has maintained a close relationship over the decades. She and her husband Roger were instrumental in Traigh Bhan – the Findhorn Foundation retreat house on Iona – being gifted to the Foundation in 1972. Upon leaving Scotland she moved to the United States as part of the founding of the Lorian Association – a sister organisation to the Findhorn Foundation.

Katherine has a background in adult education, gerontology, human and spiritual development and works as a spiritual counsellor, retreat leader and teacher. She has a 51-year relationship with the Isle of Iona, where she has led annual retreats and conference groups with a focus on Celtic Spirituality and its vision of the sacredness at the heart of all life.

In travelling to Iona and holding groups there, Katherine has learnt from the many faces of the island, as well as learning from all the people she has met. Many of these people have experienced a deepening of a sense of time eternal, an authentic sense of homecoming and belonging and that their experiences on Iona have prepared them to meet certain challenging situations with strength and resilience.

Katherine and her guests on the Spirit of Iona programme will share with the participants the weaving together of many different threads that had become disconnected – disconnected in our understanding of ourselves and of and our own nature, a sense of ourselves as blessed, in our own blessing and agents of blessing. This is something the Celtic spiritual tradition is all about, it was a practice of the way of understanding the human as blessing. We are born in blessing, we live in blessing, we are restored to being blessed, through the blessing of one another. Through the beholding of that Divine essence within, we call our souls forth – that soft, quiet, tender, receded essence that doesn’t get much recognition in our modern world.

Katherine lives in Santa Barbara, California where she partners with her husband Roger in mentoring groups and individuals.

Your session with us was as much a work of art as it was a session of wisdom level teaching. If my breakout group was any example, your choice of stories and information stirred responses below easy rational levels with a quality of authenticity present in what they each said. Thank you for sharing the journey”

“I was stunned by the tales you told of the sheep touching everyone in the circle on Iona and the wild geese pausing mid-flight to join another circle. What a blessing you’ve been and continue to be to all of us!

PL, Word and Life Study Group 2022

A message of gratitude… A big THANK YOU to Katherine for your help in the workshop “the divine gap“ on Iona and for your intelligent guidance. It was you and the island who helped me make a decision to heal and live

IW, Art Therapist
Iona Retreat Participant

I have really enjoyed all that you have contributed to this spiritual direction program over the past year!  Thank you!  This has been so perfect for me as an intro to Celtic Spirituality.

EK, Methodist Minister and Life Coach 2019

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