A Way of Living in Circular Time

Hazel nuts ripen on small trees near the orchard at Bealtaine Cottage.

Many of the Hazel trees were planted at the beginning of the land conversion to Permaculture and some have been planted on a fairly continuous basis since, being eight years in total.

As a Vegan, nuts are important in my diet, and as Hazel Nuts are indigenous to Ireland, these would be the most compatible to the diet.

Nuts are easily added to food and form a tasty part of any home-made burgers and roasts.

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The Hazel is a small, deciduous tree and is native to Ireland.

They take up little space and are suitable for coppicing, as the wood can be used in different projects, especially for pea supports and woven fencing.

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Hazel has always been regarded as a ‘magical’ wood, with the stems used historically as ‘wands’.

William Butler Yeats used the Hazel as imagery in some of his poetry and writing.

“I went down to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head…cut and peeled a hazel wand…”

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The hazel tree in Celtic Mythology is associated with wisdom, intuition and creative energy.

It is no surprise then that the Hazel Wand has such magical connotations!

Permaculture…living in harmony, understanding our natural environment and helping it all to come together…a way of living, of looking at our world as our paradise of plenty.

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I have been trying to explain all this to a visitor today who came to see permaculture in action, but, sometimes it’s best not to go seeking, instead stopping to look…

After heavy rains here in the west of Ireland, the sky has cleared to reveal a beautiful sun rising in the East.

The colours of Autumn are like a technicolour display of Nature at her best.

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As the moon wanes in the evening sky and the earth cools, mists encroach on the morning air.

winter sunrise at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

The past nights have been clear and bright and very cold.

Even the waning moon has shone bright.

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The Celts respected the moon and rather than speak openly of it, alluded to it instead, calling it ‘gealach’, meaning ‘brightness’.

The Celtic calendar was based on the lunar cycles, in that a month began with the full moon.

The Celts believed in circular, not linear, time.

Maybe, just maybe, that is where we have gone astray…


  1. Lovely post , the hazel trees are lovely and the amount of nuts on the branches are abundant to say the least, I wonder if one can wish someone much gealach , I love the way the old Irish sayings so gently allude to things that maybe difficult or disrespectful to say in English we have a gentleness about us that you have captured wonderfully in your blogs . Kind wishes to you Kathy xxx

  2. Thanks for answering my question on the stone circle.

    I also wanted to ask if you’ve got a trick for drying and cracking your hazelnuts. I wildcrafted a quite a few one year, and I’m sure there must be a better method than the one I attempted to get at the nuts!

  3. I didn’t know you could coppice hazel! That’s really good to know.
    Could you please explain to me about the beautiful stone circle with woven arches around it? What a magical place!

    Thank you for your time

    • I created the stone circle using stone from the earthen bank at the edge of my land, There are thirteen stones and thirteen willow arches to link it all together. Thirteen is a sacred number as there are thirteen moons in the year and thirteen reproduction cycles in a woman per year. It is rather sinister that 13 was deemed to be an unlucky number! A reprehensible act on the part of patriarchal society.
      Blessings XXX

  4. I love your blog & want to live the way that you do. I have tried to get there for most of my 56 years & have not managed it. If I unsubscribe it is because I like it so much that I feel jealous & sad not because I don’t like it. Thank you for sharing your life- Willa


    • Willa…I write this blog to inspire people towards a better life, a free life and one that is there for everyone.
      Nothing I do costs money…it’s all about the Earth and connecting and I’m glad that you have connected.
      In reality I am financially impoverished.
      The funny thing is that Nature is abundant and rich and assures us we do not need money to be happy.
      You are on the path because you want to be…that is your beginning.
      Bless you,

  5. Love this, needed this, thank you. 🙂 I am planting willow and holly today makes me feel good all over!


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