Jacinta Carey

Jacinta Carey

I planted the seed of living on Árainn twenty five years ago, a seed I promptly forgot about after going back to my hometown where I graduated with a Bachelor in Communications from Dublin City University.

My first visit to Árainn had been a choppy crossing during a family holiday. When I returned in the summer of ‘93 it was to meet with Dara Molloy, a former Catholic Priest who had left the church and was walking his own spiritual path as a Celtic monk. He had set up a publishing house for The Aisling, a visionary magazine, in a very basic thatched cottage on the island. His dream was to live in a sustainable community that generated its own electricity and to live in harmony with the land.

Inspired by this vision I wished to do the same however I didn’t think it was possible for me at that time and so I went on to do a H. Dip in Applied Communications in U.C.G. I started work as a journalist soon after, first as a freelance and then as a staff journalist in a variety of provincial newspapers.

When my daughter was born in 1999 I handed in my notice to the Drogheda Independent, one of the main reasons being that leaving her in childcare while she was still nursing was painful especially as I would be returning to an office to write about politicians and their personal gripes that rarely inspired me.

I started a yoga teacher training course with the IYA in 2002 and the following year I commenced, a 15-year shamanic apprenticeship with teacher, shaman and Medicine Woman Dr. Arwyn Larkin, a path that I walk to this day.

My medicine name is Dancing Seal Woman, hence that there is a resident seal colony on Árainn added to its allure for me. In Irish folklore Selkies are beings capable of transforming from seal to human by shedding their skin. The Conneelys of Connemara and Árainn are believed to be descended from the seals and it was taboo to kill a seal because of the Selkies. At the core of almost every Selkie story is the need to return home to our true calling.

During my apprenticeship, I obtained a Masters in Anthropology from Maynooth University completing a thesis detailing the impact of the medicalisation of childbirth on Irish mothers. I based my ethnographic research on Árainn. first moving here for a year and a half when my daughter was six years of age.

In the Autumn of 2013 I made a leap of faith leaving my job as a tour guide and information officer in the National Botanic Gardens, to return to live on Árainn with a small amount of savings and my daughter. I didn’t know how it would work out in the long term however my heart was clear that it was what I needed to do.

I have discovered since that when I follow my heart, especially when it means moving through childhood fears, amazing things happen. My daily life now revolves around living in harmony with the Earth as best I can. One part of my long-ago dream has been realised.

The Lodge where I teach and run retreats has solar panels with battery storage, heat pumps, storage heaters and external wall insulation. My daily life revolves around keeping a flower and vegetable kitchen garden, welcoming visitors, meditation, yoga, cooking, walking, writing, swimming, dancing and learning from my animals.

There is little doubt that these are turbulent and changing times on Grandmother Earth. The years since 2014 are the hottest on record and many are experiencing similar challenges and wake up calls in their own lives, a freak summer storm here this June wreaked havoc in our gardens.

And yet as the rate of change on our Earth speeds up, so too does the possibility for personal breakthrough. The sacred elements are asking us to restore balance to our lives and the Earth.

I continue to work towards fully opening my heart and hopefully helping other hearts to open in the knowing that each and every one of our actions matters and makes a difference. My dream in this time is that we build a bridge to a world of peace, that we find the way home to living Heaven on Earth.