The Cave of The Cats…a Samhain Journey.

Today is the day after my birthday. The morning is clear and sunny, a brightness fills the air. The woodland gardens are filled with birds eagerly seeking breakfast after a long cold night…and a Sparrow Hawk is hunting for his breakfast too.

He sits atop the bird table, very still, eyeing up the landscape. The small birds have felt his presence and flown! He may have to hunt further afield this cold morning for his breakfast!

To see such a hunting bird visit one’s garden is to witness the re-balancing of Nature in a once impoverished landscape. A very fitting celebration of my birthday, for my heart’s desire was to help Her become restored, vital and once more, abundant!

Rich woodland now surrounds the cottage…a mere few steps from the front door.

Those who talk about leaving Nature to regenerate on Her own in an impoverished landscape know little of the struggles She faces in a world where we have taken everything from Her and then tell Her to get on with it! Fifteen years of careful nurture, love and planting, planting, planting has brought Her back to healthy abundance…now She regenerates!

In the early days of the Bealtaine Project I cut the rushes, millions of rushes…and kept the land clear for my planting, so as the young trees would not be strangled by the monoculture mess of rushes left behind after decades of meat raising.

Yesterday, the day marking my 64th year with Mother Earth, I visited one of the most sacred sites in all of Ireland, Rathcroghan and Oweynagat, The Cave of the Cats…the portal into the Otherworld. Unlike all other cultures, the Celts believed we could cross back and forth to the Otherworld. It was not to be feared, but existed parallel to our own world.

This is from Wikipedia:

Rathcroghan (IrishRáth Cruachan, meaning “fort of Cruachan”) is a complex of archaeological sites near Tulsk in County Roscommon, Ireland. It is identified as the site of Cruachan, the traditional capital of the Connachta, the prehistoric and early historic rulers of the western territory. The Rathcroghan Complex (Crúachan Aí) is a unique archaeological landscape with many references found in early Irish medieval manuscripts.

Located on the plains of Connacht (Mag nAí/Machaire Connacht), Rathcroghan is one of the six Royal Sites of Ireland. This landscape which extends over six square kilometres, consists of 240 plus archaeological sites, sixty of which are protected national monuments.

These monuments range from the Neolithic (4000 – 2500 BC), through the Bronze (2500 – 500 BC) and Iron Age (500 BC – 400 AD), to the early medieval period and beyond. These monuments include burial mounds, ringforts and medieval field boundaries amongst others. The most fascinating of these are the multi period Rathcroghan Mound, the mysterious cave of Oweynagat, the Mucklaghs – a spectacular set of linear earthworks, as well as the Carnsmedieval complex.

There are many interesting historic references to Rathcroghan (Ráth Crúachan) recorded in early medieval manuscripts, including the 12th century Lebor na hUidre. Rathcroghan is recorded as the location of one of the great fairs of Ireland, as well as being one of the island’s three great heathen cemeteries. It is also the location for the beginning and end of a national epic tale – an Táin Bó Cúailnge, and the royal seat of Medb (Maeve), Connacht’s Warrior Queen.

Rathcroghan is said to provide entrance to the Otherworld, via Oweynagat (the Cave of the Cats). Sadly, the newly arrived Christians name-called this sacred site, “The Gates of Hell,’ despite the fact that Hell was a new concept to the Celts! The cave is the starting point for the ancient festival of Samhain, as well as being described as the “fit abode” of the Morrigan, a Celtic Goddess of pre-Christian Ireland.

I want to say a big “Thanks and Blessings!” to all who sent me good wishes and birthday presents!

I want to thank all of you who have supported me through Patreon during the past year…Bless you!

Also those of you who donate apart from Patreon…bless you!

Blessings to those who support the Bealtaine Cottage Press through the purchase of a book, map or calendar!

Samhain Blessings to you all


Colette and Jack


  1. Greetings from the wilds of France,

    I was wondering if you could answer a few queries I have about purchasing a calendar for a friend in the UK.

    Obviously it would make more sense for me to get the calendar sent directly to her. However, I notice that you do not seem to have any kind of ‘basket’ or ‘order page’ but go straight to Pay pal payment. Am I right in presuming that further down the payment trail there will be somewhere for me to add a name and address to send the calendar to? Am I able to add a note with the calendar so they know who has sent it? Are invoices sent with the items as obviously, as a gift, it would be better if they weren’t? Finally, if I want to order more than one item do I have to order them all individually?

    Thanking you for your time and trouble. Kind regards, Linda Farhall

    On Wed, 30 Oct 2019 at 12:35, Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland wrote:

    > Colette O’Neill posted: ” Today is the day after my birthday. The morning > is clear and sunny, a brightness fills the air. The woodland gardens are > filled with birds eagerly seeking breakfast after a long cold night…and a > Sparrow Hawk is hunting for his breakfast too. ” >

    • No invoices other than a confirmation email. you can order more than one. No basket system. Email me the address for the recipient and I shall post directly. Blessings Colette

  2. Maybe the magnificent and noble sparrow hawk brought you a message for your birthday. What a gift!. And what a perfect and fitting way to spend your birthday visiting such a magical place. Just poignancy at its very best. How blessed you are.

  3. Brilliant Colette! Thank you for bringing us to Her ancient portal gates. May we, in this lifetime, enter in through our open hearts. May we come to know Her dark innermost wisdom. May we bring Her gifts of courage, levity and clear Vision. Prepare the festival fire Colette!!! All blessings and gratitude to you and Jack,

  4. We do it because we love what you do, Colette, and what you’ve achieved. And the fact that you share it with us through your wonderful videos that make us feel part of it too 🙂 xx

  5. A toast to the New Year for you Colette.❤️ Give Jack a rub around his ears for me❣️ So happy for you that you had a lovely birthday, many happy returns of your day.🥰

  6. This page is so fascinating !, I just love history like this, You always have great writings and pictures!, Thank you!

  7. Beautiful post! Thank you, Colette! Sending good wishes for another lovely year in your Eden! Nancy


  8. Hope your birthday was very special, Collette….just like you. May Blessings abound in the coming year!💝

  9. Glad your birthday was magical Colette. So amazed to see your photo of the sparrow hawk – beautiful. We get a glimpse when our local sparrow hawk dive bombs through the garden after a small bird and, in a flash, has gone… with love. Linda

Your comments are welcome!