Light, Midwinter Sun, Signs and John Seymour


What an opportunity!

As we descend into the dark days of midwinter, what better thing to do than light a candle and enjoy the soft light and warmth.

I was making candles today to add to my stockpile for the coming weeks, when candlelight is really the best light medium to illuminate the darkness.

Midwinter Sun

Sun worship was a common practice among the Celts…one only has to look at the amazing amount of motifs from that time to see this.

The god Belanos, known as, “the shining one,” had his feast on May 1, also known as Bealtaine!

The festival of Bealtaine was celebrated right up until 1895 at a place known as Mount Callan, near Ennis in County Clare.

There remains a sun altar at this place.

There is another sacred stone near Macroom, a standing stone known as “Stone of the Sun.”

It is easy to see and perhaps understand this Celtic fascination with the sun, when looking at the life and vibrancy exuded by the midwinter sun, on a clear morning at this time of year.


It’s possible to assess the insulation needs of any house by looking at the roof.

There are obvious signs to look out for!

For example, does the frost or snow remain on the roof as the house heats up?

If it does, then all is well, insulation is adequate up above.

Bealtaine has a double layer of sheep’s wool insulation added this year and it is paying for itself already.

Walking in this weather can identify insulation needs just by looking at the houses…snow or melt on the roof?

Insulation is one of the many ways we can help ourselves to live better and more frugally in these times of hardship.

I think it is time to re-visit what John Seymour, in his wisdom, had to say…

“…We have allowed ourselves to get where we are because of the ‘blind workings of the market’.

But we are not blind, so we must now start using our good sense to ‘break this sorry scheme of things and remould it to our hearts desire,’ as old Omar Khayam had it.

To allow ourselves to be dependent on some vast Thing created by the Merchants of Greed is madness.

It is time to cut out what we do not need so we can live more simply and happily.

Good food, comfortable clothes, serviceable housing and true culture – those are the things that matter.

The only way this can happen is by ordinary people, us, boycotting the huge multinational corporations that are destroying our Earth – and creating a new Age – an Age of Healing in place of the current Age of Plunder.”


  1. Hi

    Do you have a recipe for making candles you could share please?



    Sent from my iPad

    • The easiest way is to recycle used candles, melt down and remodel…all one needs is a roll of wick.
      I save and recycle from friends and neighbours with an ad in the library and a box for collection.
      There are lots of recipes online and in books, if you want to go down that route, but sourcing the materials can be expensive and difficult.
      Beeswax candles are the easiest to make as you only have to roll the wax around a wick.
      All wax should be prepared and melted in a double boiler as it is very flammable.
      I would get a book on the subject from your local library first.
      I hope this helps.

  2. Collette
    Many thanks for mentioning John Seymour. He is an inspiration to us all. I bought The Self Sufficient Gardner many years ago and practiced what he preached. I now have his book bought used Self-sufficient Life which is equally as good.
    Its so good to know that there are groups of us all over the world trying to live a simplier life and helping Mother Earth.
    You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you.

    • Carole, it is always good to hear from good people and for the connection to be forged through Bealtaine Cottage is extra special.
      John was an inspirational human being and his words help us today.
      We never forget a good teacher!

  3. Too true Colette. It gets easier to do this once you put your mind to it. Beautiful posts recently. thank you,xx

Your comments are welcome!