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Our Most Ancient Human Roots

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Ireland in Autumn…a special time.

The chill of early mornings and the ripening of hedgerow fruit.

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Blackbirds swooping low over woodland paths that wind out from the cottage. 

Grass, wet with early morning dew and mist rising from the valley, wisping skyward towards Kilronan Mountain. Autumn in the permaculture gardens of 001

The morning bridges late Summer and early Autumn in an ethereal, almost magical way. 

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There is nothing for it but to step into the gardens and be amazed at the gentle progression of the season, for we are, in essence,  seasonal beings, dependent on the cyclical nature of the Earth.

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Marija Gimbutas frames this beautifully, eloquently in concluding her book, “The Language of the Goddess,” writing: “The Goddess gradually retreated into the depths of forests or onto mountain-tops, where she remains to this day in beliefs and fairy stories. 

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Human alienation from the vital roots of earthly life ensued, the results of which are clear in our contemporary society.

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But the cycles never stop turning, and now we find the Goddess reemerging from the forests and mountains, bringing us hope for the future, returning us to our most ancient human roots.” 

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Maria Gimbutas, a foremost archaeologist of her time, in this most brilliantly researched book, goes on to conclude, “The Goddess in all her manifestations was a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature.

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Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds, snakes and fish, hills, trees and flowers. hence the holistic and mythopoeic perception of the sacredness and mystery of all there is on Earth.” 

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Joseph Campbell, who introduces the book, writes; “One cannot but feel that in the appearance of this volume at just this turn of the century there is an evident relevance to the universally recognized need in our time for a general transformation of consciousness.

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The message here is of an actual age of harmony and peace in accord with the creative energies of Nature which for a spell of some four thousand prehistoric years anteceded the five thousand of what James Joyce has termed the “nightmare” (of contending tribal and national interests) from which it is certainly now time for this planet to wake.”




16 years of Goddess Permaculture through the Bealtaine Project at Bealtaine Cottage, West of Ireland. Colette O'Neill is a writer, photographer, environmentalist and teacher who has devoted the past 16 years to turning 3 acres of derelict land into a woodland sanctuary for all life, planting over 1,100 trees in the process. Colette posts prolifically across Social Media, encouraging planting of trees and regeneration of Mother Earth. Her life energy is now devoted to the Great Goddess, Mother Earth!

12 thoughts on “Our Most Ancient Human Roots

  1. Wonderful photos and thoughts, Colette. Thank you!

    More on goddesses, from a 25 century-old poem:

    “[…] And the goddess welcomed me kindly, and took
    my right hand in hers and spoke these words as she addressed me:
    ‘Welcome young man, partnered by immortal charioteers,
    reaching our home with the mares that carry you. For it was
    no hard fate that sent you travelling this road—so far away
    from the beaten track of humans—but Rightness, and Justice.
    And what’s needed is for you to learn all things: both the unshaken
    heart of persuasive Truth and the opinions of mortals,
    in which there’s nothing that can truthfully be trusted at all. […]”

    (Peter Kingsley, In The Dark Places of Wisdom, London, 2001)

  2. oh yes! most fervently, yes! the threshold of spring this past year [after a truly, brutal winter here in these northern parts] jolted me out of the stupor that i had allowed myself to slip into [more of a frenetic striving to Do…which ended in a soul-draining stupor]…slowly, as the summer has unfolded and now, at the cusp of autumn…i find myself more closely attuned to the rhythms that i know as well as i know the beat of my own heart…

    beautiful post….so very beautiful.


  3. This reminds me of the Mists of Avalon, and also a verse from an old song from my Wiccan days: “We all come from the Goddess. And to her we shall return, like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean.”

  4. Autumn should be regarded as our gift from the planet. Not only from the bounty of harvest that we receive, but also the aesethetical side such as the vibrant colours at this time of the year. In a few months it is all gone into the ground again to replenish, and start the glorious cycle again. If autumn does not remind us that we need to protect what we are given, then nothing will.

      1. Ha! you mentioned my favourite man….the late and great Joseph Campbell! Once again ‘thanks’ for bringing me back from the avalanche of politics and sorrow.:-)

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