Celtic Pilgrimage

Áine Minogue

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"A Healing Journey through Sound to the Sacred Sites of the Celts"


"Mesmerizing soprano vocals and shimmering notes of a Celtic harp float off of Aine Minogue's lastest recording, Celtic Pilgrimage. The contemporary Celtic harp and vocals find themselves embedded in a lush sound scape of cello, bansuri flute, drum &

"A Healing Journey through Sound to the Sacred Sites of the Celts"


"Mesmerizing soprano vocals and shimmering notes of a Celtic harp float off of Aine Minogue's lastest recording, Celtic Pilgrimage. The contemporary Celtic harp and vocals find themselves embedded in a lush sound scape of cello, bansuri flute, drum & percussion, guitar, keyboards, bass, piano, overtone singing and chanting." WHOLE MUSIC EXPERIENCE (Global Music Consciousness)

"Aine Minogue's latest CD "Celtic Pilgrimage" combines Aine's beautiful voice and mystical harp talents to create a true Pilgrimage into the Celtic world. Inspired by the spirtual sites of the British Isles, Celtic Pilgrimage will take you away into the timeless world of Aine Minogue. 5 Mystical Stars for Celtic Pilgrimage!" CELTICRADIO.NET

"Irish harpist and singer Áine Minogue has been exploring the mystical side of Irish music for many years. Even though she became popular in new age music circles, her highly melodic music has always included authentic Irish folk and sacred music elements. On Celtic Pilgrimage Minogue paints a portrait of the feelings pilgrims experience. Buy Celtic Pilgrimage" WORLD MUSIC CENTRAL

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-A journey, esp. a long one, made to some sacred place as an act of religious devotion:  
-Any long journey, esp. one undertaken as a quest or for a votive purpose, such as to pay a journey to a sacred place or shrine.  
-A long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance.

A personal letter from Aine

Buen Camino!

I have always loved old places or even land that had an old feel to it.  It was inevitable that having visited and loved so many sacred sites that the Camino de Santiago, which runs through the Celtic area of Spain known as Galecia, would eventually make the list. The route stretches a full five hundred miles.   My journey began 300 miles from Santiago in Burgos, an accident of language and train schedules.  It ended in Finesterra, (tr: "end of the world") the more ancient end point by the sea.

In between was the journey or "Celtic Pilgrimage," one I've seen written about many times but rarely expressed through music.  In Ireland, pilgrimage has never really gone out of fashion and although not a common practice today, pilgrimage is making a resurgence in the modern West.

In any tradition, pilgrimage honors the sacred and powerful nature of places.  It provides a direct means for connection to miraculous events and people. Often physically and emotionally taxing, it is thought to be a humbling and transformative rite of passage.   

The three patron saints of Ireland, the well known St. Patrick, St. Brigid and St. Colmchille, each have their own pilgrimage sites, some dating to pre-Christian times. The tradition of climbing the mountain Croagh Patrick, often barefoot, has never waned.  People continue to visit the site of Patrick´s Purgatory. The pilgrimage sites of St. Brigid, a very complex ¨saint¨ connected to the Celtic Goddess Brigid, are numerous, if not as well known.  Brigid´s wells can be found throughout Ireland, containing waters that are believed to have curative powers.  St. Colmchille was himself a pilgrim monk.  

During the Middle ages, the three primary pilgrimage destinations were Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago in Northwestern Spain. There are several routes across Europe that lead to Santiago, however, the five hundred mile “French” route beginning in St. Jean Pied de Por, just over the French border, has remained virtually intact for over 1000 years and is traversed annually by over 70,000 pilgrims of all faiths from all over the world.

Originally I envisioned Celtic Pilgrimage as a sort of travelogue, a musical diary. But as often happens when one undertakes a journey, preconceived notions must be abandoned and the path itself becomes the destination. I find that although the outer pilgrimage is complete, my inner pilgrimage has not ended.  Will it ever? I invite you to follow the footsteps of the countless pilgrims that precede us and to begin your own sacred journey.

Buen Camino! 

Áine (Minogue)

"May the longtime sun shine on you 
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide you on your Way."]

(From 'Blessing' Celtic Pilgrimage, Traditional Celtic Blessing)


By John O Donohue

Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.


  • Monuments – structures left o the landscape by earlier civilizations
  • Artifacts – moveable objects created by earlier civilizations
  • Megalithic Tomb. Built of large stones; burial chamber(s); roofed in stone; on an earthen mound; known as Dolmens, Cromlechs or Druid’s Altars. 4 categories:
  1. Court tombs (open court at entrance) used for relig. Ceremonies – face east, burials cremated; Before 3000 BC
  2. Portal Tombs – 3 or more stones w/ a capstone; usually Domlons (150 in Ireland) 2500-2000 BC 
  3. Passage Tombs round mond w/ passage into chamber. Neolithic age c4000-200 BC often faced w/ white guartz; found in concentrations (300 in Ireland) e.g. Newgrange
  4. Wedge Tombs; chamber that narrows and lowers – face winter setting sun. 400 in Ireland (100 in Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland) Early Bronz Age, after 2000BC 
  • Mounds, Carins & Barrows; Circular mounds; various sizes thru varying ages; usually burial mounds  
  • Ringfords 30-40K, most numerous; Neolithic to Mediaeval. Circular 25M to 50m in diameter; some oval or D shaped. “Rath” very common in Irish townland names.
  • Stone Forts. When the bank is a stone wall, then they are stone forts. Many have steps.
  • Hillforts and Promontory Forts – forts constructed on hills. Usually Iron Age. Often became defense strongholds. 
  • Stone Circles, mostly mid-Ulster and Cork/Kerry, also elsewhere; 180 in Ireland; Cork/Kerry best ones 4 to 17 m in diameter and p to 17 stones. Usually combined w/ alignments and burial areas; appear to be for rituals. Astronomical theories discredited
  • Standing Stones. Widespread. Varying height, max 5m. probably multi purpose – phallic; some have male and female pairs.
  • Ogham Stones; old writing mostly Cork, Kerry, Waterford. 
  • Holed Stones; small number of stones have holes perforated through them.; unclear as to purpose but connected to folklore re; fertility, childbirth, love making. Hands clasped through holes to seal love bargains. 
  • Petroglyphs, contain concentric rings, spiral and circles. Believed to be for ritual magical purposes. Associated w/ Bronze Age folks. 

*Buriel Tombs – Newgrange – pilgrimage aspect. While the astronomical significance of many of the sites has been discounted (at least as anything more than rudimentary astronomy), Newgrange appears to be an exception....