North Carolina School of Earth & Soul

Celtic Wisdom 2: Sacred Earth

October 18–20, 2023Adult
Sponsored by the School of Earth & Soul in cooperation with Montreat Conference Center
Registration is now closed for this event

In 2016, John Philip Newell began a teaching initiative that is called The School of Earth & Soul. Its purpose is to reawaken awareness of the sacred in all things through the recovery of Celtic wisdom for today and to help translate this awareness into compassionate action. The School follows a three-year cycle of teaching in its annual retreats. Participants may join at any stage in the three-year cycle and attend any of the Earth & Soul venues across the country.

Celtic Wisdom 2: Sacred Earth focuses on reawakening to the sacredness of Earth through the teachings of Eriugena, the Carmina Gadelica, and John Muir.

The essential text for the three-year program is John Philip Newell’s Sacred Earth Sacred Soul. The shared prayer book for this program is Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter.

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Rates & Registration

Comprehensive Rate

Comprehensive rates below include the program fee of $332, a room (Wednesday and Thursday nights), meals in the Galax Dining Room (Wednesday dinner through Friday breakfast), plus a $2 community service fee per adult for public services provided by the Town of Montreat and the fire district.

Room check-in AFTER 3:00 pm on Wednesday. Room check-out BEFORE 11:00 am on Friday.

Assembly Inn
Single Occupancy
Private Bath
Double Occupancy
Private Bath
Glen Rock Inn*
Single Occupancy
Shared Bath
Double Occupancy
Shared Bath

*Glen Rock Inn is a modest housing option that offers single and double occupancy with shared bathrooms. It not ADA compliant and is about a 5 minute walk to Assembly Inn.

Commuter Rate

Commuter rate is $373. This rate includes the program fee of $332, plus Wednesday dinner, Thursday lunch and dinner in the Assembly Inn's Galax Dining Room, and a $2 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. This rate DOES NOT include room accommodations.

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by September 6 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after September 6, but on or before October 4 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable) less $40. No refunds will be issued after October 4. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

Other Housing

Housing for this conference is also available at William Black Lodge. Full details about accommodations and how to make reservations can be found on their website or by calling 828.669.6314.


If you have questions regarding registration, please contact the conference registrar, Sarah Akin, at 828.419.9813 or saraha@montreat.org.

Program Format and Schedule

Each day begins and ends with meditative prayer and chant. John Philip teaches from the wisdom of Celtic prophets over the centuries, applying this ancient wisdom to the most critical challenges of today. Cami Twilling invites us into spiritual practice bringing our inner attention to the presence of the sacred within us and within all things. In the early afternoon there is silence and free time for resting and walking. Our meals are shared in common.

Wednesday, October 18
*asterisk indicates entering meeting space in silence
2:30-4:30 pm Registration/Check In (Room check-in begins at 3 pm)
*4:45 pm Evening Prayer
5:30-6:30 pm Dinner
*7:00 pm Sessions 1 & 2: Welcome & Introduction + Teaching I
9:00 pm Sacred Silence (until breakfast)
Thursday, October 19
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast (if staying in Assembly Inn)
*8:30 am Morning Prayer
9:00 am Break
*9:15 am Session 3: Teaching II
10:15 am Break
*10:45 am Session 4: Spiritual Practice I
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Siesta/Reading/Walking
*3:30 pm Session 5: Spiritual Practice II
5:00 pm Break
5:30-6:30 pm Dinner
*6:45 pm Gather in Assembly Inn Lobby for Piping to the Barn
7:00 pm Ceilidh and Book Signing at the Barn
9:30 pm Goodnight and sleep well!
Friday, October 20
7:30-8:30 am Breakfast (if staying in Assembly Inn)
*8:30 am Morning Prayer
9:00-9:30 am Break/Room Check-Out (if necessary)
*9:30 am Session 7: Teaching III
10:30 am Break
*11:00 am Session 8: Thanksgiving
12:00 pm Departure

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