Winter Solstice Gathering at Bealtaine Cottage

winter solstice 2012 at Bealtaine Cottage

Fires are lit and food prepared for this, the longest night of the year…the Gathering at Bealtaine Cottage.

Loved ones meet again to join the celebration from as far away as Canada, London, Belfast and Dublin.

Missy, the solstice catA night to gather around the fire and light the candles around the home.

Missy has found her warm spot and will not be moved…we celebrate around her!

The Solstice Feast at Bealtaine CottageAs preparations for the winter feast are under way, we join together in toasting the year and the time to come.

In Latin, solstice means sun set still. This is the still night, the silent night, the longest night of the year…

The turn of the wheelWinter Solstice is the great stillness before the turning, as the days grow longer.

yuletide tree decked with lights at Bealtaine CottageThe cottage is small, so the tree stands on the veranda outside the window.

This is the celebration of the silent night, a sacred time of rest before the awakening, and the slow build toward longer days.

solstice treeThe human race has observed the solstice for millennia.

This night is a continuation of that sacred tradition.

Inside the cottage Tomorrow we are past the dark and facing into the light.

The ascent to Spring will begin once more.

Happy Solstice Everyone!


  1. What is it about Ireland that tugs at the heartstrings Col?
    I know many people have grown up there and moved away but I feel the same.
    When I first visited Ireland, it felt as though I belonged there.
    My Great Grandmother came from Glenamaddy and I remember my Grandma talking about her.
    We visit Ireland most years and it’s our favourite place to be together as a family.
    The connection must run in our blood but whatever it is, it’s very powerful.
    Your posts and beautiful photos bring it all to life.
    Such a pleasure to read.
    Thank you x
    As the pressures of the modern world increase, countries like Ireland become havens of good life, despite the financial woes.
    Ireland as the Mother country is in the blood of many and this is what is pulling you. Ireland represents a spiritual home for so many people, even those with no apparent connection, but it’s in the blood, the genetic memory of many. I understand that pull, even though it can be hard to articulate and make sense of!
    Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage X

  2. Happy Solstice…I am so enjoying your beautiful, earthy, simple posts. The photos are always a joy, as my soul longs for Ireland!
    Thank you, Graham. I enjoy sharing Bealtaine Cottage and the lovely energy that is possible for all.
    Bealtaine Cottage blessings to you and yours

  3. Your Solstice sounds lovely Colette and it’s so nice to share these occasions with those closest to us.
    I had to venture out today to pick up a prescription, so I set off early to beat the mad rush. It was very chaotic, so I was pleased to get back home and light the fire and soak in the quiet with a nice cup of tea.
    I won’t venture out again unless it’s for a walk or something essential.
    Sending love to you, your friends and family.
    Kayte x
    That is exactly what I’m doing now, just enjoying the peace, with a large pot of tea on the stove. The chaos that is Christmas can pass me by!
    Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage

  4. Belated Happy Solstice Greetings Colette. I’ve only just opened your blog, having spent yesterday in Drumquin – a place you will certainly know of, and where I had a very enjoyable Solstice evening at a ‘Ceili House’ gathering of musicians from the town and local area. The images of your Christmas tree on the veranda and a welcoming light in the window are evocative and lovely, as is your description, “Winter Solstice is the great stillness before the turning, as the days grow longer”.
    It is lovely to hear of people celebrating this ancient festival and wonderful time of peace!
    Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage

  5. A wish for the world to dream the same lovely dream this night and find itself growing toward the light tomorrow. A peaceful Solstice to all there. Adrienne
    Thank you Adrienne,
    Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage to you and yours

  6. We here in Wisconsin, have had a snowy gift. 17 inches of snow fell in a wind filled night last eve. Already a limb has fallen with no harm done to building, person or wild life. Last eve we had candles going because of the storm. This eve I will burn one as a welcoming. Many wishes of joy for all.
    Winter has arrived in Winconsin!
    I hope all is well with you.
    Merry Yuletide and Happy Solstice to you all!

  7. Have a wonderful time with your friends and family. My Merlin is not unlike Missy, we must work around him. He absolutely LOVES our new woodstove and curls up in his little cave behind it or stretches out in front of it regardless of who else might want to be there. That is just the way of cats I think. Happy Solstice! Looking forward to the great awakening! Patti
    From conversations happening around me, I believe we are in the Awakening already! The year ahead will be very interesting indeed!
    Blessings from Bealtaine Cottage

    Thank you, Susan…a lovely time had by all!
    Bless you both
    Happy Solstice,

  9. Happy Solstice Bealtaine Cottage and all who reside there xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
    And you…Merry days ahead!

Your comments are welcome!