Elemental Scotland — July 21-27, 2019


A Retreat and Pilgrimage on the Isle of Mull (with visits to Iona and other sacred sites) — led by Carl and Fran McColman, Laura Imperial, and Phil Foster

This retreat is fully booked. Please contact us if you would like to be placed on a waiting list.

Iona Abbey

Explore the wisdom, the poetry, and the sacred stories of Celtic Scotland on this seven-day retreat in the windswept Hebridean Isle of Mull!

Join Carl McColman (author of Invitation to Celtic Wisdom), contemplative artist Fran McColman, poet/storyteller Phil Foster, and tourguide Laura Imperial as we celebrate the spirituality of the saints, the legends of ancient heroes, and the abiding mystery of the old Celtic lore.

Lochbuie Stone Circle

We will be based at the elegant Ardfenaig Lodge (previously the hunting lodge for the Duke of Argyll), with easy day trips to Duart Castle, Lochbuie Standing Stone Circle, Staffa Island (home of Fingal’s Cave, immortalized by poet James McPherson and composer Felix Mendelssohn), and Iona — legendary home of Saint Columba, burial place of Scottish kings, and the sacred destination of Celtic pilgrims from the world over.

Our time together will foster a meaningful and contemplative retreat experience. Each day Carl and/or Phil will guide us into the spirituality of the Celts through stories, poetry, legends, liturgy and lore.

Duarte Castle

Carl and Fran will offer guidance for contemplative creativity (journaling, photography, and art). Laura will help us to appreciate the history, geography and local lore of this sacred place.

Our schedule will balance our day-trips with time for reflection and the space to explore and enjoy the convivial culture of the Scottish Hebrides, including visits to pubs, churches, and cafés.

ArdFenaig Lodge

To maximize the contemplative nature of our week together, we are limiting this experience to 11 participants.

The cost for Elemental Scotland is $2200. This covers:

  • Lodging (double occupancy) for 7 nights (no single occupancy rooms available)
  • All breakfasts (including fresh eggs), 3 lunches, 3 dinners with wine
  • Transportation (including ferry to Iona) around the island after arriving at Ardfenaig
  • Duart Castle tour
  • Standing Stones
  • Trip to Staffa
  • Sunday service at Iona Abbey
  • Tour of Iona Abbey
  • Pilgrimage walk around Iona led by a member of the Iona Community

This price does not include air fare or transportation costs to and from Ardfenaig. We recommend you travel to Edinburgh or Glasgow, and we will provide detailed instructions for making your own pilgrimage from the city to the remote setting of our retreat.


Space is limited for this Celtic retreat, so plan to register soon.

We expect this retreat to fill up quickly. A $300 deposit will hold your spot, with the balance due by June 1, 2019.

This retreat is fully booked. Please contact us if you would like to be placed on a waiting list.

To read the terms of service for this retreat, click here.

Carl McColman is a contemplative author, teacher, and spiritual guide. He is the author of various books, including An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom366 Celt: A Year and a Day of Celtic Wisdom and Lore and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Celtic Wisdom. He blogs for the Contemplative Channel on Patheos and is the co-host of the Encountering Silence podcast. He is a life professed Lay Cistercian of the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA.

Fran McColman creates beauty in a variety of media. She is a contemplative photographer, artist, and a certified Zentangle teacher. She loves working with watercolor, pen and ink, and dyes for silk. Her work celebrates the splendor of nature, the love of the Divine, and the yearning for compassion and connection in each of our hearts. She particularly enjoys helping others find their own artistic voice through a contemplative approach to creativity.

Laura Imperial, MS, LPC, LMFT has been going to the Isle of Mull annually for the past 20 years, and calls it her spiritual home and sanctuary. She is a psychotherapist and marriage and family therapist, and lives in New Orleans, LA, USA.  Laura currently works as a consultant and volunteers with the Mental Health Crisis Unit of the New Orleans Police Department. She enjoys gardening, triathlons, and playing bass guitar.

Phil Foster, MDiv, LPC, LLC is a psychotherapist and consultant from Decatur, GA, USA.  Phil has led dozens of workshops and retreats on spirituality, mythic-poetics, and archetypal/transpersonal psychotherapy. He is an ordained Disciples of Christ clergyperson, and a life professed Lay Cistercian of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, in Conyers, GA.  Phil enjoys poetry and is a life-long drummer.

Fingal’s Cave

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About the author

Carl McColman

Soul Friend and Storyteller. Lay Cistercian, Centering Prayer Presenter, Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker, Teacher, Retreat Leader.

By Carl McColman



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