An Open Portal in Time…

SAMHAIN…The Celts believed that Oidhche Shamhna, Samhain, was an open portal in time. This weekend marks the prelude to Samhain. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QE3V4W5FYDFA8 Monday is the day of  https://bealtainecottage.com/2013/09/29/the-night-of-the-thin-veil/ and is marked as a holiday here in Ireland. It is a time of in-between…between worlds as the Celts believed it to be…  https://bealtainecottage.com/2015/10/05/between-world-we-celebrate/  The Celts understood the year to be divided into two halves associated with the dark and the light. The dark half begins at sunset on October 31st with Samhain. https://bealtainecottage.com/2012/10/15/the-celtic-new-year-festival-of-samhain/ Samhain ends at Bealtaine, when the light half begins at sunset on May 1st. Both festivals are closely linked,…

The Great Awakening

With each day that passes, more aspects of the Awakening come to pass. Yesterday morning, as I walked in the early light in the Lughnasadh Garden, imagining how it would look and feel in the next Summer, something I yearned deeply for came to pass…and just as I had imagined it! A Flight of Swans was to be heard in the distance, somewhere above and behind my head. Looking up, this way and that, I saw them, in their changing formation, as they banked and turned directly above me, towards the East, to head off in the direction of Lough…

The Goddess in the Well

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
Yesterday was a special day for me! The beautiful, ethereal mountain that is Ben Bulben will give you a clue… I travelled to Sligo, passing along the shores of Lough Gill, to collect a very special ring, that was made for me by gifted Silversmith, Mirjam Schiller at  https://www.facebook.com/Wildheart-290973244286031/timeline My daughter, Cara, was driving, so we stopped by the shores of the Lough, made famous by W.B.Yeats in his poetry. Birthdays come and go and I have enjoyed sixty of them, all in the month of October, near Samhain…so this, along with a second…

Times of Insanity…Seeking Reality

I rarely dip into the outside world in terms of mainstream media, for it unnerves me! I keep myself occupied in the world as I know it…the one where I weave wreathes from Willow and Dogwood… The one where cruelty and chaos are not allowed entry! You’ll understand my terror, for that’s why you’re here…to touch base with reality! Yes, this is reality…as it was meant to be and in the world most inhabit, is not! I have always chosen this reality, both as a child living in poverty and as a mother creating sanctuary for her children in London….

Why Save Seed?

All seed-saving at Bealtaine Cottage helps to preserve heirloom seeds’ genetic diversity! This is Bealtaine Cottage Lunaria. This seed has adapted over twelve years to grow in difficult conditions, for as you know, it rains frequently here and the gardens are all on a north-facing slope. This is why the seed saved here, year after year, is more resilient than commercial seed, which is grown in ideal conditions for the maximum production value! Saving seed also makes one value the pollinators, especially the Bees…for without their incredible work there would not be any seed to collect!  During the 1900’s we…

It Still Takes My Breath Away!

Each morning I arise and embark on a series of rituals, that culminate with a hot cup of tea in one hand, my camera in the other and faithful Jack by my side. It is then that I step out… This has been my ritual, though not always with Jack, for the past twelve years. And so it continues… What has manifested here on this little piece of sacred Earth still takes my breath away! I touch base with it as many times a day as I can! I take thousands of photographs every year, for the sheer beauty of…

Permaculture Learning Opportunity

Bealtaine Cottage was conceived, designed, planted and worked by one woman, Colette O’Neill, over twelve years, on some of the poorest land in the North west of Ireland…all North-Facing!  Colette is now offering, for the first time, a series of week long, intensive learning programmes here at Bealtaine Cottage.  ONE WEEK OF INTENSIVE PERMACULTURE A unique opportunity to stay for a full week at Bealtaine Cottage and experience life in Ireland’s oldest self-funded, financially independent Permaculture Smallholding. You will learn: Winemaking Seed-saving Using Wool in Permaculture Fertility without animals Creating a Woodland Building an easy compost toilet system Fedging Using Willow…

The Celtic Roots of Samhain

Originally posted on Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland :
The bright red of the Ruby Chard will add colour to the Samhain feast! In Celtic Ireland, Samhain marked  the division of the year between the light (summer) and the dark (winter). For me, the customs of my ancestors are important to acknowledge and continue. This time of tuning into the seasonal shift and preparing for the darkness of the winter months ahead, is important. Even today, as I stacked these logs in the shelter of the veranda, I couldn’t help but think about Samhain and its meaning as a custom and special tradition.…