Posted in Bealtaine Cottage

The Days Before…

This is Saturday morning, the last before December. Outside the sky is beginning to brighten, a slow morning waiting for the light. It is the light we seek in these darkening days of descent towards Midwinter and the Solstice.

Mist hangs in the valley. Dragon’s Breath, drifting slowly below the mountain, towards Lough Allen. Often the mountain looks cut off by a misty sea. This is the west of Ireland where optical illusions are manifest. No wonder it is referred to as “The land of mist and magic.”

Preparations for Yule are underway, there is a slow build-up to Midwinter, nothing is rushed as decorations are added here and there and the scents inside the cottage are a rising evergreen.


These are the days before the return of the light, the slow rising towards Imbolc and the wonderful early Spring that happens in the west of Ireland. Yes, Spring is noted on the Bealtaine Cottage calendar as the first day of February. This marks the day observed by the ancestors as the new beginning, the rising, the beautiful brightening! It can be seen in the air of morning and the silvery hues of sunset.

These are the days before…to be savoured in each little promise of the light to come.

Author:

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!

32 thoughts on “The Days Before…

  1. I’ve just listened to your reading from Walking Between Worlds – wow, this will definitely be my second book purchase from you! Discovering your journey (via YouTube initially) is such an inspiration to me. Whilst my heart & soul long to live in the country, for now I am based in a small town but have so many ideas to improve the nature I have so far welcomed into my small paved front and back gardens. I’m collecting scrap tyres from the local garage on friday so that I can plant some shrubs! Your videos are also a tonic to today’s world & you give me hope, where I was struggling to have any before. Thank you Colette & blessings to you 💙 xxx

    1. When one connects each day with Mother Earth it is apparent that the world of man is of little significance, despite the never-ending views of it we are forced to digest…in the end it is of little consequence! Mother Earth is the only reality!

  2. Colette,
    I love to wake up early, grab a cup of tea or coffee, head out to my plant room and delve into your posts. The ethereal and healing nature of Bealtaine Cottage is one that readies me for the day ahead and inspires me to work hard on my own land.

    Yule is soon to be and the faces of Nature are truly revealing that here. The light, too, shows the progression of the year. I’ve been around on the YouTube channel and Facebook lives whenever I get the chance and I feel compelled to let you know of the inspiration you provide.
    This inspiration has lended itself to me in my knitting/crocheting and thus I was curious to know if it’s possible to send something to Bealtaine? I’ve been working on a piece from natural, biodegradable fibers that I wish you to have. If not, due to your want for privacy, I completely understand!

    Again, I thank you for the content and the inspiration you provide. I hope the blessings that fall on your path outnumber the trees on the land you live. Blessings

    Nick McG

  3. Hi Colette, I have been loving your videos on You Tube. I just wanted to email you as I have been concerned when you mentioned that mice have chewed through your wiring in the attic. Please consider having an electrician check your wiring sooner rather than later. Working in the insurance industry here in the U.S. I can state that this wiring could cause a fire and I would hate to see you lose your beautiful home. Sorry this is not related to your topic above but did not know how else to reach you. -Susan.

  4. Good morning, I’ve been doing some reading about biodynamic gardening and rudolf Steiner and was wondering what your thoughts were? He seems to have a similar fundamental view as you, nature is perfect as she is and we humans need to stop violating her so much, but he can be a bit dogmatic. I was just curious about your opinion.

    I’m a new gardener, very influenced by your YouTube channel and am hoping to do something similar to the Bealtaine Project here in the States some day.

    Thank you for all you do. Many blessings to you!

    1. The moon has an enormous influence on all life on Mother Earth. Much of Biodynamic growing is predicated on the lunar cycles. I am, of course, a proponent of sowing and planting in harmony with the lunar cycles. I abhor dogmatism of any kind and do not follow any dogma, but use my own wisdom, intuition and common sense in tandem with education. Blessings Colette

      1. Thank you so much for that wisdom. I’m sure this is an intuition I’m going to need to work on developing over time. I appreciate all that you do!

  5. Hi, beautiful photos of the Dragons Breath. I was just wanting to check in on the postage to Australia at the moment, as I would love to order a calendar and book. Thank you for all you share. Much love xx

  6. I’m so happy to have found your lovely YouTube channel during this odd time in the world! I ordered a book, calendar, and map and they all arrived to me very quickly. Thank you so much!

  7. You fill my heart with happiness , I love your cottage , and your beautiful gardens , and especially your beautiful dog.. You all shine bright . Thank you.

  8. Colette,
    Many wonderful blessing to you. Do have any advice on rearing a little pup? Do you have any recipes for puppy treats? Why is the candle in your window sometime red and sometime white? Energy? All you do is lovely and good, thank you.
    Kathleen Ziser

      1. Thank you for your advice on puppies. Is blue a good energy color? I really like blues and greens and the color brown.
        My puppy’s name is SiSi. It was the name she was given by her rescuer. She (the pup) liked it and thus there was no need to change it. Sisi is currently pushing 16 1/2 weeks old. Her mum is a cattle shepherdess and her da a husky. She is smart, agile and sensitive. She also has a keen sense of nipping at your heals or pulling on your trousers. She is white with golden patches just like the morning light. She has a curly tail (she chases it around and sometimes will catch it). She came from the worst of conditions and I have spent a small penny at the vet for various worms, medications, and skin shampoo. I think she will grow into a beauty of sunlight and goodness.
        Thank you for the lovely thoughts and images that you share. I have several young trees to plant this spring with my grandson that we grew from acorn. You and your cottage and acreage are inspired us to grow trees.
        Love and Blessing, you are wonderful lady,
        Kathleen

  9. You have a beautiful way with words Colette . This is a lovely time of the year , but then to me every season is beautiful in its own way . Have a peaceful and restful evening . Blessings to you and darling Jack xxx❤️💜❤️

  10. Bealtaine cottage is so magical! It’s a bit like your Christmas tree and you and Jack are the lights and ornaments that make it sparkle! Blessings

  11. I really can’t wait to get the calendar. Just knowing that I will be receiving something that has stepped into your beautiful cottage, that you, yourself will be posting, with that scrunch worthy, beautiful Jack, will be the best Christmas present to myself ever 🎄♥️ Victoria Burns, from Canada 💐

  12. I love reading you blog. Hubby and I are beginning our journey into to Celtic Festivals and I’m finding it very Cathartic. Aside from the actual festivals, what will you be thinking about between Yule & Imbolc?
    Many thanks, and wishing you a joyful Yule.
    Ann

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