Alchemy…The Great Magnum Opus

There is pure Alchemy happening at Bealtaine Cottage right now. The great Magnum Opus of the year is taking place all around us.  The Alchemy of Transmutation refers to the change of one substance into another. The flowers of the Blackcurrant became food for the Bees and as they fed, so the flowers became food for humans and birds…then to become wine…from one alchemical transmutation to another. The word “transmutation,” comes from the French (12th century) transmutacion, meaning”transformation, metamorphosis”, and it’s primary source is to be found in the Late Latin transmutationem, from Latin transmutare, the verb ‎“to change”. Everything in the…

Equinox and Early Shadows

Autumn is a time of early shadows as the season of summer passes over. And cobwebs everywhere! And here, in the Northern Hemisphere, one can easily notice the later dawns and earlier sunsets,as Spring is ushered in south of the Equator. Equinox is all about balance…the balance of equal day and night, of dark and light. I await the first light of morning with great anticipation, aware that the light grows more and more precious, to be cherished. We are creatures of the light! During these colder mornings I use the electric kettle to make my early tea. There is something…

Recipes, Cats and Ponds

First of all, the recipes have just been posted over at Bealtaine Cottage Kitchen on the Good Life website…and here’s a link: https://bealtainecottage.org/bealtaine-cottage-kitchen/ Sammy-Bear is well and truly zoned out here on the sofa. I was going to sit down, for I’ve been out most of the day at the pond, finishing clearing the pond-weed! Oh…at last…job done! I stood and watched his restful sleep and decided to sit elsewhere! He’s a lovely boy who deserves his comfort! The signs of season change and early autumn are now quite visible from the windows of the cottage, with lots of yellow…

The Power of Ritual

Ritual, everyday ritual, is incredibly powerful! Examine the ritual of power, be that in the opening of parliament, royal celebrations, religious ceremony…and you begin to see the importance and power of ritual! So where does this fit into a sustainable life or a permaculture smallholding? It is simple to understand in the context of power… Since the rise of the Age of Technology, our real power as human beings has become diminished. We have become reliant on technology, without stopping to assess and filter the bits we really need and want. I was contemplating this as I lit the stove…

A Feast of Autumn

Autumn in the permaculture gardens continues in a glow. It’s near mid October…my favourite month, my birthday month! “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables Stoves are keeping the cottage and the lodge warm and snug. The nip in the morning and evening air is quite tangible. In the scheme of things, Autumn is an exuberant finale to the year, filled with colour and joy, mindful of all that’s passed and all left to come, as the descent towards midwinter moves ceaselessly on.  “The tints of autumn…a mighty…

Presents and Good Wishes

Lucky me! I received this beautiful pair of hand-knitted socks from Ally (a subscriber to Bealtaine Cottage), in time for the Equinox, a special Mabon gift! Ally writes, “Your lovely words and posts have given me much pleasure over the past few months…” Ally, the socks are simply beautiful and I shall treasure them, wearing only on special occasions…they are so finely knitted, I am in awe…Bless you! Walking in the woodland gardens of Bealtaine this morning, I noticed that the Spindle is in fruit. The berries are a delightful shade of pink, I love to see them! Trees have…

Equinox Magic in the Woods

, Equinox was a magical day, spent in the beautiful woodland around Lough Meelagh, about three miles from Bealtaine Cottage. Equinox is always a special time, with day and night perfectly in balance, a time to enjoy the last long stretch of day before time moves inexorably towards the dark. This is a Bog Oak sculpture by the Lough…beautiful, isn’t it? Herons are widespread in this region, with many visiting the ponds at Bealtaine Cottage. Pathways wind and snake their way into the depths of the woods, where an ancient Court Tomb, from the Neolithic period, is hidden among the…

A Place To Be Endured

As a species on this Earth, we are separated from other life forms by consciousness, in that we are aware of our own existence. In being aware, we are able to make conscious choices every day, as we proceed through the maze of miracles and events that makes up our lives. “Live like a tree, giving, forgiving and free.” ― Debasish Mridha M.D. The best choices we make are those that involve, in some way or another, a generosity of spirit, for in those choices we give. I was walking the gardens this morning…really I should say, woodland, for that…

The Magical and The Sacred

It is a rare thing…to be lost for words. A day in Autumn that changes one perspective on life and the meaning of it all. Where shall I begin? Perhaps where I started, this morning, camera in my dressing gown pocket and mug of hot coffee in my hand, traipsing out in rubber clogs onto grass saturated with morning dew. Or maybe, a little earlier, as this year began, immersed in deep sadness, as my mother made her own journey back to the Divine. But the Wheel, as they say, turns and the beauty of the Sacred overcomes the grief…