John Philip Newell's New England School of Celtic Consciousness

In 2016, poet, scholar and minister John Philip Newell founded the School of Celtic Consciousness in the United States in the belief that Celtic wisdom is urgently needed at this time.  "Wholeness," wrote Newell, "consists of coming back into relationship with what is deepest in all things; that is, the of-Godness at the heart of the earth and all life forms and all people." 

The School specifically aims to:

  • Expand the consciousness of Celtic wisdom through study and reflection
  • Deepen spiritual practice in the context of Earth's sacredness
  • Nurture community and a commitment to compassionate action

There is a three-year curriculum based on Newell's Listening for the Heartbeat of God. Each year, a three-day retreat, led by Newell, will be held in four locations.  The retreat consists of:

  • Prayer
  • Presentations on teachings from the Celtic tradition
  • Meditative practices
  • Silence
  • Sharing

There is also free time to hike and rest, and a party on the second evening to celebrate our time together.

Currently, there are four schools:

  • The Colorado School of Celtic Consciousness at various locations in Colorado (every spring)
  • The New England School of Celtic Consciousness at Mercy by the Sea, Madison, Connecticut (every summer in mid-July)
  •  The Virginia School of Celtic Consciousness at Roslyn Retreat Center, Richmond, Virginia (every fall)
  • The California School of Celtic Consciousness at Bishop's Ranch, Healdsburg, California (in late January)

It is Newell's hope that the School will be a legacy of Celtic wisdom for today and will further enable the sacred work of healing and transformation in our lives and the world.

More information on this year's retreat can be found on the 2017 Annual Retreat page.

John Philip Newell is a minister, poet, peacemaker and scholar. In 2011 he received the first-ever Contemplative Voices Award from the Shalem Institute in Washington, D.C. He is based in Edinburgh where he does most of his writing but also serves as the Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Spirituality at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. There he teaches a course in Celtic Spirituality every spring. Newell has authored over 15 books, including Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality, Christ of the Celts, Praying with the Earth, A New Harmony, Sounds of the Eternal: A Celtic Psalter, and The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings.