Shape-shifting in Ireland

IMG_7239The stories of shape-shifting can be found in many cultures throughout the world, but none so prominently as that found in Celtic culture.

images (4)Within the near area of Bealtaine Cottage can be found a wealth of ancient history many thousands of years old.

IMG_7240The Tuatha Dé Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland.

DSC00561These people who appeared to “land on top of a mountain”, Sliabh an Iarainn, a great brooding mass of sandstone rock and thin soil, visible from Bealtaine Cottage.

IMG_7188 The ancient manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that the Tuatha Dé Danann ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C.

images (3)The Tuatha Dé Danann were eventually consigned to mythology, disappearing from the face of the Earth, but going underground, emerging later as ‘Aes sidhe’ (the people of the mound – fairy mounds)., now referred to simply as the Sidhe.

IMG_7120The people are known as “The Sidhe” or people of the mounds, or “The Lordly Ones” or “The Good People”.

poster fairy woodOnce consigned to the underworld the Tuatha Dé Danann engaged their powers of shape-shifting, emerging in many forms, even that of apparent human form.

IMG_7125In Irish mythology, we come across a number of stories about shape-shifting beings.

544131_1412925595612240_770913028_nThese shape-shifters are often goddesses, gods, magicians, witches, fairies and other supernatural creatures.

DSC00672Shape-shifting is an important aspect of understanding the complexities of the influence of the Sidhe in contemporary Ireland, as it is believed this magic is employed to allow the Otherworld to communicate with humans.

DSC00424A poem in the Lebor Gabála Érenn says of the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann:

DSC01039“the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars,
whether they were of heaven or of earth.”

IMG_7229 (2)Colette O’Neill is a writer and photographer living at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland.

Colette follows the Path of the Goddess at Bealtaine Cottage and is the innovator of Goddess Permaculture, which holds Mother Earth and all Her life to be sacred.

Colette O'Neill

This is a special offer on my first book, usually 27.50 now 22.50 but only until 7th July!

A Cottage and Three Acres

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.




  1. I thought of you yesterday while out in second hand store shopping. I let my eye skim for color and texture as you described. Found two lovely natural fabric tops with vibrant appealing colors. Also a blue ceramic teapot! It was a treasure hunt for sure. Listening/watching your shapeshifter video, after having a very disturbing dream about the Native American “Wendigo”, I was struck with the gentle strength of Bealtaine. The world is filled with a devouring greedy energy right now, but Bealtaine is a sacred place of safety and respite. A place protected and protecting. The Mother who is SO POWERFUL is everpresent in your home…Thanks Be for that! Also love that new jacket which looks like it was made just for you!

  2. Collette….. I did not realize that you had a special window of opportunity to visit Bealtaine. I had asked you in the past if it was possible to visit but you had declined.

    If you ever do have an opportunity again, would it be possible to be put on a list to visit. I would make a special trip back to Ireland just for this occasion.

    Many thanks,


  3. Such a beautiful post Colette thank you . You look absolutely stunning and I LOVE the jacket , and gorgeous sweet little Jack . Have a blessed day . Hugs and blessings to you Jack , Sammy Bear and Beauty xxxx🌎🌻❤️🐝

  4. I love how you placed your self portrait at the end. It is a good signature. We have been on our property (our space of love) for nine months so far. My goal is to become so much a part of it that one day I will simply disappear. I see in your photo that you have found your tribe, and you are no longer alone. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  5. Coming to Ireland in August. Landing at Shannon. How far are you from Ennis in County Clare? I have followed you for at least 4 years and love all you post. Blessed Be, Vicki

    • I am frequently asked the same request and have to disappoint I’m sorry to say. Bealtaine Cottage was open to subscribers for the entire 31 days of May, which left me exhausted, as it was a full time job, showing visitors around. All of my time is now taken up with writing , the website, my YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter.

  6. Colette, you’re looking vibrant! Thanks so much for sharing the photos and ancient history. I’ve been taking an online Celtic Mythology course with mythologist and author Dr. Sharon Blackie, who lives in Ireland and runs a Hedge School there. I think you’d love her work, if you’re not already familiar with it: her book “If Women Rose Rooted,” in particular. Many blessings, Laura

Your comments are welcome!