Posted in Buddha, Cottage, Country Living, Culture, Current Affairs, Garden, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Uncategorized

View from the Edge of the World

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As the Roman Empire came apart at the seams, the safest place to be was on the very edges of that dying empire.

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I have recently been reading the books, by Robert Harris, detailing the life of the great thinker, orator and statesman, Cicero.

bealtainecottage.com 028It is uncanny how many parallels with modern day life can be drawn from the novels,  ‘Imperium’ and ‘Lustrum’…(the third in the trilogy is yet to be published).

Of all the cumulative reasons why the Roman Empire came apart, endless wars, an over reliance on slave labour and corruption in government appear to be at the forefront.

bealtainecottage.com 016As I read chapter on chapter, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with the state of our world today…and viewed with horror an emerging pattern of decline and fall.

bealtainecottage.com 020The template of decline and fall remains the same regardless of time.

Wealthy Romans drank water transported through lead pipes into their villas.

The water contained up to 100 times more lead that that from spring wells.

bealtainecottage.com 023Lead poisoning leads to erratic behaviour, mental decline etc., much of which could be viewed in the conduct of the ruling elite during the final days.

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 Much the same appears to be happening now, even to the point of corrupt and debased behaviour within the ranks of the ruling elite.

bealtainecottage.com 027I never cease to be both amazed and appalled at the continuing scandals.

We appear to be not so much governed, as presided over by people we would otherwise be embarrassed to call our friends…integrity and compassion being somewhat lacking!

bealtainecottage.com 030When Rome fell, the world entered the “Dark Ages”.

bealtainecottage.com 031The Dark Ages lasted several hundred years, but birthed a new Age of Enlightenment.

bealtainecottage.com 001The light of civilization was carried back into mainland Europe, from, of all places, Ireland.

bealtainecottage.com 003The edge of empire for me is a mindset, a refusal to be drawn into the madness.

bealtainecottage.com 006A resoluteness to live with integrity.

bealtainecottage.com 005A desire to continue to cultivate and practice compassion, even when our leaders applaud war and attempt to vindicate suffering and destruction.

bealtainecottage.com 010In these days of crumbling empire, (for this mayhem cannot last much longer!), it is not such a bad place to be…the edge of empire.

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94.   LILITH AND THE WELL (BLOG AND PODCAST)… NOVEMBER 2016

93.  HOME MADE ORGANIC INCENSE…GROWING, MAKING AND BURNING… NOVEMBER 2016

92.  AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE… NOVEMBER 2016

91.  LEY LINES, ENERGY AND PATHWAYS…NOVEMBER 2016

90.  THE SACRED WELL (PODCAST)…NOVEMBER 2016

89. SATURDAY MORNING PODCAST AND PICS FROM BEALTAINE COTTAGE …NOVEMBER 2016

88. SECOND IN THE MIDWINTER SERIES OF STORIES FROM BEALTAINE COTTAGE…THE ANGEL (PODCAST) …NOVEMBER 2016

87. FIRST IN THE MIDWINTER SERIES OF STORIES FROM BEALTAINE COTTAGE : OTHERWORLD MANIFESTATIONS (PODCAST) …NOVEMBER 2016

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Birds, Buddha, Cats, Earth, Organic Garden, Smallholding, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Uplifted

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The roses are in bloom on the veranda.

The view through the sitting room window is cheerful and lovely!

DSCF1684I sit with my back to the stove, warm, waiting for the kettle to boil on the hob, so as I can make a big pot of tea.

As I type the kettle begins to sing…

DSCF1688The day has been warm and dry with lots of sunshine.

I am still in my dressing gown, more relaxed and rested, thank goodness!

DSCF1689Sammy-Bear and Che-Mousey have kept me amused all day and Jack has been excellent company, staying close by my side, stoic and silent, as only the best dogs can be.

DSCF1690I have listened to music and read, made vegetable soup and slept.

DSCF1699Thank you all for your lovely, warm and uplifting messages…such a pleasure to read and such reassurance too…Bless you all XXX

DSCF1701The full moon is now waning and I feel I have learned something quite valuable…something to do with energy and being, though am not sure how to articulate it just yet.

DSCF1712I feel a shift of energy has taken place…for the better!

DSCF1714 The weekend lies ahead and this Bealtaine Moon in Scorpio is waning.

DSCF1715May you all have a lovely, uplifting and positive weekend

XXX Blessings XXX

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Cats

Scorpio Moon

 

Approaching the full moon in Scorpio feels quite tense...
Approaching the full moon in Scorpio feels quite tense…

This month marks the tenth anniversary of Bealtaine Cottage.

Today, the 14th of May 2014, is the full moon of Bealtaine.

This marks the actual Bealtaine celebration, as many of you know.

The full moon is in Scorpio, my star sign.

DSCF1265All I can say is that I am exhausted and feeling like I have reached rock bottom.

According to what I have read on many of the Astrology sites, this is to be expected!

www.bealtainecottage.comApparently, all the ups and downs I have been experiencing are almost at an end.

Even as I write this, my photographs are refusing to upload!

This Full Moon in Scorpio illuminates the last of negative issues, though tonight feels very intense indeed!

DSCF1029I have been advised to gather my courage and take action that will enable me to  move forward.

Yes, that just about sums up how I see it!

It is rare that I feel exhausted, but I have to conclude that tomorrow I shall stay in bed…well, as much as I can, between walking Jack, feeding the pets, lighting the stove, seeing to the hens…

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Buddha, Cats, Climate, Garden, Ireland, Permaculture, Spring

The Light of Spring

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Sammy-Bear lies concussed by the heat from the wood burning stove! It’s a tough life being a cat at Bealtaine Cottage!

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past week there has been a struggle between Winter and Spring as temperatures have moved up and down the thermometer, with hard frost, heavy rain, warm nights and brilliant sun all in the mix!

www.bealtainecottage.comThe rising sun reflected in the mirror at the far end of the veranda.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe amazing light of early Spring…

www.bealtainecottage.comMoving closer to the mirror, the rising sun looks back at me over the head of the Buddha…quite otherworldly.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis was how the Romantic Poets viewed the world…through a mirror…I understand why!

www.bealtainecottage.comFurther down the gardens, the last seed-head of the Gunnera Manicata stands tall against the storms of winter, saluting the Spring.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe ponds have remained in flood during this winter, the wettest on record since 1866 here in Ireland.

www.bealtainecottage.comCatkins stand out against a brilliant blue sky, providing some little food for any early Bees.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe shadows of Spring are long, casting patterns and shapes on an ever-changing tapestry.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe kitchen is illuminated by a different light…the light of Spring.

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Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

There are over 600 blogs in the archives on this site.

Posted in Animals, Art, Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Cats, celebrations, Childhood, Christmas, Crafts, Inspiration, Life, Personal, photography, Spirituality, Thoughts, Winter

Midwinter Cottage

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The air is still.
The storm has passed. 
Stillness and silence pervades the cottage.
Jack is in his bed, and the boys continue to doss away the morning in the Lodge.
A midwinter scene repeated all across the northern hemisphere.
midwinter cottage 006Someone remarked on the increasing silence they noticed in the world around them.
Midwinter is a silent time, suffused with echoes and occasional sounds from strange places.
Places that are more difficult to pinpoint on the landscape…it’s a trick played on us by Mother Nature as she paces the dormitories of sleep and hibernation.
midwinter cottage 014Candles illuminate the darkness, dispelling matt grey for moving shadows.
Jingles of Christmas on the radio, some lovely, most rapaciously dreadful, urging the listener to get out now and spend, spend, spend!
And so the radio is switched off and music switched on, low and evocative.
Midwinter enchants us all with memories of stillness and light, fires and food…times past, selected for our personal album of memories.
midwinter cottage 005I found this photograph recently.
It was taken around Midwinter, in a photo-booth in London, when I first ventured away from home and Ireland.
Scents were what I most missed.
The scents of home, like turf and coal smoke, wisping out of chimney pots on rows of terraced houses.
London was filled with new, more exotic scents, especially places like Portobello Road Market on a Saturday morning, where Patchouli oil perfume lingered in the air.
midwinter cottage 004Working patchwork, brings me back to early days, in London and the sheer wealth of fabric shops and stalls, Laura Ashley and the love of William Morris retro!
midwinter cottage 007Colours, fabrics and textures continue to fascinate.
midwinter cottage 003Natural fabrics hold most memory…perhaps because they are from the natural world, where energy is hosted.
midwinter cottage 009Sackcloth and old lace cover a jam jar, filled with Honesty.
midwinter cottage 010Cotton gingham of various colours in the kitchen.
midwinter cottage 012Willow, wood and clay pottery, mugs and bowls.
midwinter cottage 015The morning, washed by soft midwinter light…not to be bought and packaged for Christmas, but absorbed by the celebratory soul.
midwinter cottage 013Blessings from this midwinter cottage…
 
Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Earth, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!

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Today I felt a tiny bit sad.

Not for any reason in particular…I’m sure we all feel like this every so often.

Permaculture gardens in April at Bealtaine CottageSo there I was, having a good old wallow in being down, when something caught my eye, causing me to look up.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015It was a simple cameo…a blackbird that peered inquisitively back at me through the kitchen window.

I “heard” the look.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054The beautiful bird brought me a message from Nature, saying, quite simply, “look!”

Parsley growing at Bealtaine Cottage beside old iron kettleAnd so I did.

www.bealtainecottage.com 052I looked out the window.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 001I stepped outside and looked.

Lower pond in flood at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensThere was an entire world around me that was saying, “Step in here and lift your heart up!”

Welcome to the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageSince this morning I have looked and been lifted.

Sammy Cat on the roof of the porch at Bealtaine Cottage IrelandNow, here I am, sat by the keyboard, writing this blog and inviting you to share some uplifting pictures of what I have seen this year…

Buddha at BealtaineThanks to the Divine energy all around us that creates such beauty…Thanks!

fairy wood at bealtaine cottageThanks!

In the Gardens of BealtaineThanks!

Bealtaine Cottage PorchThanks!

Posted in Buddha, Cats, Climate, Cottage, Country Living, Edible Gardens, Garden, Life, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

The Wood in the Willows

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This is when the coppicing begins…early winter as soon as the leaves have fallen.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011This Willow will make excellent logs for the stove, once properly seasoned.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009The thinner bits will be added to the kindling pile and left to dry.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Coppicing allows for continual regeneration of woodland and is an excellent way to help young woodland get established.

www.bealtainecottage.com 036This is a selective process and involves wonderful interaction with Nature, as it is slow and steady work.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003This is the interface of the young woodland, colourful and vibrant!

www.bealtainecottage.com 044The warmth of Bealtaine Cottage on a Winter’s night, is fast becoming dependent on this most under-appreciated of all our natural resources…trees!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012As I work through small areas of the gardens, it allows me time to tidy up some of the paths…though allowing the leaves to stay where they fall, as this helps to build soil and define pathways.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014Buddha sits among the leaves…

www.bealtainecottage.com 024Meanwhile, down in the Bog Garden, little Che-Mousey enjoys the November sunshine and temperatures of 14 oC!

www.bealtainecottage.com 032Spindle continues to hang onto its berries…

www.bealtainecottage.com 048And the Potager beds, at the back of the cottage, continue to deliver food for the table…

www.bealtainecottage.com 039So far its been a beautifully mild early winter, making the season seem much shorter!

A Little Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book…

I am into a second print run and am posting from today, Friday 15th of November!

Sad to add that all the lovely cards are now gone! (I can post seeds with the booklets!)

If any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, then…

This is the link to the details of how to purchase  your own copy…

http://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Blessings from Bealtaine X

Posted in Badgers, Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Cats, Country Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Fairies, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Monsanto, Permaculture, Seeds, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Blackberries at Autumn Equinox

www.bealtainecottage.com 006Early morning in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine, coffee in one hand, camera in the other, to record the passing of a time, a merging of a season, as we flow seamlessly into late autumn…the autumn equinox.

Blackberries hang heavy near the stone circle, flattened grass signs the badgers have been here.

www.bealtainecottage.com 001Looking skywards, all looks different as the season casts a spell over the landscape…I never noticed the ivy on the Ash tree before, really looked and wondered…

www.bealtainecottage.com 002And underneath the mighty Ash, a sacred tree in Celtic lore, the ferns remain green and lush in the warm September weather.

www.bealtainecottage.com 011The circle of stone and willow in the early morning light…

www.bealtainecottage.com 004Crossing the little bridge over the ditch to continue my walk.

www.bealtainecottage.com 020And down into the Fairy Wood…

www.bealtainecottage.com 022towards the pond…

www.bealtainecottage.com 023under Willow arches in the playground of Mother Nature.

www.bealtainecottage.com 029Along pathways evolved over nine years of delight with the Mother herself!

www.bealtainecottage.com 030Where the Sidhe dance and Badgers trundle…

www.bealtainecottage.com 031I spent yesterday clearing the paths a little, for I and many visitors walk these paths all year round.

Some wood I leave on the ground to feed the earth and provide habitat for all seen and unseen.

www.bealtainecottage.com 035As I write this blog, an email hits my screen, a response to one I sent earlier to a very kind donor to Bealtaine Cottage.

I sent an email to this wonderful man asking permission to publish a little of what he wrote to me recently…

www.bealtainecottage.com 036
I have discovered your beautiful cottage a week or so ago from an article in permaculture.co.UK, I have watched most of your youtube videos, subscribed to your newsletter and want to do my part to help you do the beautiful things you are doing….

www.bealtainecottage.com 041I was floored to see the transformation you have made around you through I’m sure a lot of hard work, an enlightened mind and a superb taste (and of course these wonderful trees)…
www.bealtainecottage.com 044I am personally still stuck on a corporate life that I don’t appreciate and I would love to gather the courage to make the jump and return to a more balanced, tastier, healthier and joyful country life…

www.bealtainecottage.com 045The address mentioned on my donation is actually my parents’, they have a lovely garden where I would love to have your seeds make their magic. Feel free to send whatever you have, don’t feel obligated to any quantity…

www.bealtainecottage.com 049The entertainment and inspiration you have provided with your videos and blog entries are already worth more to me than the money donated.
But if I am buying seeds to plant in my parents’ garden, I’d rather my money going to you than to Monsanto or another large commercial seed merchant!

All the best and keep these posts and photos coming, they make my day!

www.bealtainecottage.com 052That was a lovely email to receive today, the autumn equinox and I know you will be happy to read it too!

www.bealtainecottage.com 056Enjoy the rest of the photographs taken this morning, here in the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage…it’s always a pleasure for me to share this sacred place with you X

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Thanks and blessings XXX

Posted in Abundance, Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Climate, compost, Edible Gardens, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Vegan

The Permaculture Loop of Plenty!

bealtaine cottageHarvesting continues from the Potager beds.

It’s worth noting that theses productive little beds, built near the back of the cottage, straight onto gravel, have no soil in them whatsoever!

Soil is precious here in North Roscommon and the land is rushy and wet, so I filled the beds with home-made cold compost and shredding…I continue to build up the structure with shredding, made in my little electric shredder!

bealtaine cottageThe beds carry a lot of food in them still, due to the close planting system I use…as food and flowers are harvested, other plants spread themselves out and the gaps are quickly filled with seasonal planting.

Garlic will be planted out over the weekend in this bed.

bealtaine cottageLoads of material is then transported over to the growing compost heap…and so the cycle of life continues in a wonderful loop of plenty!

bealtaine cottageThe huge Sunflower head will yield a generous amount of seeds…I use these in Oat Smoothies, an important part of a healthy diet.

bealtaine cottageRudbeckia, Marigolds and Evening Primrose continue to bring colour and delight to the Potager Beds as they’re cleared, providing food for many visiting insects.

bealtaine cottageThere is a good amount of herbs around the edges of this bed.

They like the micro-climate afforded them by the stones, as well as the good drainage.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009Apples continue to plump out, surviving the storm of last weekend by virtue of the fact they are all very sheltered.

This is an important aspect to growing apples in the west of Ireland, as many storms blow in from the western seaboard at a terrifying speed, decimating fruit production that’s in any way exposed!

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Today is a fine day with clear skies and strong sunlight…this will help the tomatoes in one of the baskets to ripen, the salad tomatoes! it’s such a pleasure to be outdoors on days like today…one of the last flings of Summer as she goes on her wilful way!

www.bealtainecottage.com 006The hips of the Rosa Rugosa hang heavy over the path.

www.bealtainecottage.com 010“The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,” continues…

If you would like to support the work of the Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture website, Youtube (ad-free) videos and Open Gardens project, please feel free to…

or visit the Etsy shop and purchase a hand-made or vintage product.

Posted in Buddha, Current Affairs, Fracking, Ireland, Monsanto, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Uncategorized

War, Fracking, Oil and GMOs…ALL Connected!

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 024The connection between all of the above is…corporations!

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 001Corporate control of the world is very much in place.

Feb 2012 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 004Our governments have sold us out to the corporate machine.

Imbolc 2012 Bealtaine Cottage 028Here in Ireland, what happened in the sell-out was very dramatic and actually happened in ONE night, in November 2008, when our elected government signed over the sovereignty of the Irish people in a meeting that took place in the middle of the night with NO minutes recorded!

Bealtaine Cottage March 2012I could add into the title of this blog: banks; politicians;factory farming; monoculture; media…you can too!

Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2012 Permaculture Bog GardenIt still boils down to the same fact…it is all connected and quite deliberate!

cropped-november-2011-018.jpgIt’s about control, money, power, greed and to hell with humanity!

Bealtaine Cottage December 2011 007And that is the sad fact…we are pushing our own hand-cart to hell!

November 2011 018Banks, oil and arms!

November 2011 116It’s time to clock out of this madness, resign, sign out!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Feb 2011 005There is a better way…work it out and get on board…

 

 

If you would like to support the work of the Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture website, Youtube (ad-free) videos and Open Gardens project, then I thank you…

 

Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Buddha, Cats, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Country Living, Culture, Edible Gardens, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Monsanto, Organic Garden, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Seed-Saving, Seeds, Uncategorized

Images on the First Morning of Lughnasa

bealtaine Cottage windowThe first day of Celtic Autumn has arrived.

It’s cool.

Last night seen the hot water bottle come out of storage and be filled.

Rudbeckia at Bealtaine CottageRudbeckia has opened its beautiful deep orange petals…a marker of the time of year. This has been grown from seed, this year.

I started it off in the tunnel in February, from seeds I collected last Autumn.

Sammy-BearAs I walked the gardens, Sammy-Bear walked in front of me, finally stopping in the tunnel and rolling in the dirt!

Sammy-BearFor a white cat, he can be a dirty little rascal at the best of times!

Sammy-Bear passing BuddhaOn the plus side, he doesn’t seem to mind the rain, so cleans up well!

bee on Lavender at Bealtaine CottageSeed-saving continues apace and the bees keep up the good work, even on a wet morning like today…

Bee on lavender at Bealtaine Cottage…this is where the tunnel works really well!

purple-Sprouting Broccoli seed headsThese are seeds from the three year old Purple Sprouting Broccoli, still in the pods, drying.

These seeds are big and plump and represent the very strongest, biggest, most productive and oldest of the Purple Broccoli.

Monsanto eat your heart out!

Pom-Pom Dahlias at Bealtaine CottagePom-Pom Dahlias are making a show of themselves.

This is the first year I have grown these.

Buddleia growing in two tyres at Bealtaine CottageThis Buddleia was grown from Bealtaine Cottage seed and planted in the tyres two years ago.

Lunaria seeds drying on the veranda of the Lodge Many followers of Bealtaine cottage ask me for Lunaria (Honesty) seeds…and here are some drying on the veranda of the Lodge, hung up last evening.

This is a nice airy place to start off the drying process, though I may need to bring them indoors, if the wet weather prevails for much longer.

Apple havest at Bealtaine CottageThe Apple harvest continues to delight as the fruit appears so healthy and untarnished for another year.

Apple harvest at Bealtaine Cottage, IrelandI NEVER spray my Apple trees, or, for that matter, ANY of the fruit trees, and am rewarded with a bountiful, healthy crop year after year!

Truly Organic!

Leaves of the Crocosmia MontbretiaThe rain settles onto the leaves of the Crocosmia Montbretia, a beautiful harbinger of Autumn!

Bealtaine CottageA pot of tea beckons…

Sammy-Bear CatSammy-Bear is sad to see me go indoors…

 

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 100 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Buddha, Buddhism, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Where Permaculture meets Buddhism

Permaculture and BuddhismThere has been hardly a day this Spring and Summer when Bealtaine Cottage has not welcomed visitors.

permaculture and BuddhismOften times I am left exhausted by the challenge of working, to keep production going and keeping a “welcome for all”

Permaculture and BuddhismThere have been occasions when I have had to turn away requests to visit…and I spend time regretting it, but I work on my own and have others to care for at times.

Bealtaine, where Permaculture meets BuddhismThis morning I received an email from visitors who came to see Bealtaine on Friday last.

Permaculture and BuddhismI thought I would share this with you, for what Michael has to say is thoughtful and profound. 

Hi Colette 

This is Michael!

I visited you on Friday with my partner Mairead.

Anyway I just wanted to say thanks again.

You’ve really awakened in me the real magic and mysticism held within our mother earth.

I was beginning to think permaculture was just another ego trip men were on, trying to use wacky methods to grow food, rather than cherishing and learning to live in harmony with mother earth and all her creatures.

The voluntary work I had done with some ‘permaculture’ enthusiasts had left me feeling very uneasy that this might be another path of excess, rather than simplicity and harmony.

I sort of turned away from the permaculture ideas.

I felt the Buddhist ideas of how to live simply and compassionately towards all of the earth’s sentient beings were being left out of this approach. Permaculture and Buddhism

Michael goes on to say…

I watched this documentary http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FumyvVOVbaY a few months ago and was extremely moved and humbled by how simply the monks lived in harmony with their surroundings taking very little from it and not disturbing any of the life around them.

I began meditating in the Zen tradition a while ago.

And after initially thinking it would be a way for me to find some peace and quiet in a busy world, the practice soon began to awaken in me the sacredness of the world around me and soon the practice became my life.

Visiting your place has made me realise how much the earth wants to come to life.

It’s hard to describe but the plants and insects and all the life in Bealtaine seem so alive and ultimately happy!

Its like the teachings I’ve been reading in Buddhist texts are alive in Bealtaine.

It’s like a microcosm of how the world would be, if we lived compassionately for all creatures, down to the tiniest microbes in the soil.

It’s truly a living revelation.

I had these strong questions in my mind about how to connect the material and spiritual world in a harmonious way, so that we can live balanced between the two, not giving too much time to either so that all life can flourish.

I had asked a lot of people, including monks and meditation teachers, but it took seeing your place to realize what needs to be done.

I think I had spent too much time over the last while being to into spiritual practices, thinking the earth might be better off without humans, but seeing your place has given me an understanding, that as conscious beings, we have been given the role of caretakers of the planet, but its something we’ve yet to realise.

I’ve read so much about balance, but It took seeing your place to see what balance is.

I’ve met so many teachers who seem to cling to one approach but my intuition has always kept me thinking that both the outer and inner worlds are equally important and need equal care.

Bealtaine really is this sacred balance and thank you for nurturing it to life!

I hope to visit it many times and please keep us informed of any courses. 

I thought I’d share this page with you..

there are some great lectures. the first one by Dr Vandana Shiva and the ones by Deepak Chopra and Helena Nordberg Hodge are particularly inspiring.

well have a great summer and hopefully we get to visit again in the not too distant future. and if you ever need a hand with anything, please let me know, I’d love to come and learn from you!

namaste

Michael

Permaculture and Buddhism

Posted in Autumn, Buddha, Childhood, Family, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Spirituality

A Sacred Space for the Mind

Cobwebs on Fuschia

The morning was misty, with an autumnal feel in the air…cool and damp with dew. hanging webCobwebs hung on trees and bushes, sometimes stretching for metres in the air.

misty morning at Bealtaine CottageIt felt so liberating to just amble around with tea in one hand, camera in the other and not be oppressed with heat.

The misty hill of BallyfermoyleI don’t tolerate heat too well and look forward to autumn, it being my favourite season of all. Buddha at BealtaineThe early morning sun began to evaporate the mist, bringing to mind the day ahead and all that needed to be done. 

Dew catcherI love the time in the morning before any other creature has stirred…it’s magical and charged with a wonderful energy.

secret pathI was born and grew up in a tiny two bedroom house in Omagh, shared with parents and 8 siblings, so have come to appreciate the calm, before the day begins in earnest.

Sitting room windowQuiet, early mornings, hold a sacred space for the mind.

Buddleia on the gravel driveEarly morning, as the sun rises, is an almost different world…a world apart from the mundane and expected.

A world filled with possibilities, hopes and plans.

setting sunAnd the setting sun carries away the hot day, into the embrace of another cool, welcome night.

Posted in Angels, Animals, Buddha, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Folklore, Gardens, Inspiration, Ireland, Saint Bridget Cross, Spirituality, Thoughts

The Transmigration of the Soul

back door of the cottage

The Romans conquered Europe, but resolutely refused to invade Ireland, despite ruling England, Wales and Scotland for several hundred years.

Angel at sunsetRecently I have made a concerted effort to find out why this was…Why continual Roman Emperors left Ireland alone…?

Sunset through the trees at Bealtaine CottageWhat crops up in my investigations time and again, is the issue of the ancient Celtic belief in the transmigration of the soul.

Sunset at Bealtaine CottageThis was not just something that was taught by the Druids, but an unshakeable conviction in the afterlife…one so strong, that it made them absolutely fearless in battle.

view from a window at Bealtaine CottageTransmigration of the soul is a doctrine of reincarnation.

Flo and JackWithin this belief, spirits may be reborn into any of nature’s forms – human, animal, or even inanimate things, such as trees and water.

Water garden in permaculture at Bealtaine CottageThis is supported by evidence from the ancient Celtic Heroic tales.

Celtic Cross at Bealtaine CottageThe Greek writer Diordus Siculus (c. 60 BC – 30 AD) noted that the Druids believed “the souls of men are immortal, and that after a definite number of years they live a second life when the soul passes to another body.”

Bee on Lunaria flower at Bealtaine CottageThe Greek philosopher Strabo (c. 63 BC – 21 AD) observed the Druids believed that “men’s souls and the universe are indestructible, although at times fire and water may prevail.”

Angel at Bealtaine CottageJulius Caesar wrote of the Celts “They wish to inculcate this as one of their leading tenets, that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another, and they think that men by this tenet are in a great degree stimulated to valour, the fear of death being disregarded.”

Buddha at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThis was most troublesome for Julius Caesar, as he realized this race would not be easily defeated and thence subjugated.

Missy Cat sleeps on the bed at Bealtaine CottageThe Roman Empire was all too aware of what happened when the British Celts,  under their Queen Boadicea, decided to revolt against Roman tyranny.

The standing stone at Bealtaine Cottage February 2013The Celts, led by their Queen, cut a mighty swathe through the Roman settlements, towns and armies in England, almost wiping out Roman occupation!

light a candle at Bealtaine Cottage IrelandThe Romans had raped the daughters of Boadicea, making her watch…the entire Iceni Tribe rallied behind the dignity of their queen and against the tyranny of such barbarians as empire breeds.

Christmas eve moon above Bealtaine CottageAs for the women of the Celts, Roman Diodorus Siculus wrote of them, saying, “Among the Gauls the women are nearly as tall as the men, whom they rival in courage.”

Brigid Cross  Bealtaine Cottage Shop on EtsyAmicus Marcelling states – “A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Celt if he called his wife to his assistance”

Bealtaine Cottage candles in the windowJulius Caesar was frightened of the Celts, despite the mighty legions of Rome.

Bealtaine Cottage before Christmas 2012This is a truth I carry today…to be steadfast and resolute in holding fast to what I believe to be right.

Bealtaine Cottage bog garden 

Blessings X

 

Posted in Buddha, Country Living, Earth, Gaia, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Sacred Earth Rising

Bealtaine CottageIf, nine years ago, someone had told me that the Earth was sacred, I may have laughed and thought it a little eccentric of them to say the least!

Amethyst horn at Bealtaine CottageLooking back, through my collection of diaries, from the time when I first began planting the land here at Bealtaine Cottage, I realise that immense changes have happened, not just here, on the land, but here, within me too.

Roses at BealtaineThere is no doubt in my mind that the Earth is sacred.

Standing stone at Bealtaine CottageThis fundamental belief was what was missing from my life.

Shasta daisy at Bealtaine CottageIt is what binds everything else together and allows me to make sense of life.

Fowgloves at Bealtaine CottageIt is not a populist belief, but then this blog is not written from that precept of appealing to the popular or mainstream.

Bealtaine Cottage BuddhaThis blog is merely a way of focusing my thoughts for my diary entries.

Front garden at BealtaineIt is a way of sharing evolving values and ideas.

Box for the birds and the beesIt is a way of sharing what has empowered and enabled me.

Valerian by the barnHope and happiness walk hand in hand.

Bealtaine Cottage ValerianI have found both at Bealtaine Cottage…the blessed Earth…Sacred Earth…She is rising.

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Sharing this video made this morning here at Bealtaine…

Posted in Animals, Buddha, Current Affairs, E.U., Food, GM Food, Growing Food, History, Inspiration, Monsanto, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Thoughts

How is That Agriculture?

Veranda at Bealtaine Cottage

Food is now grown under mass monoculture systems of what is called Agriculture.

This is the madness of monoculture…

The Earth’s soil is depleting rapidly, at more than 13% the rate it can be replaced.

Massive amounts of chemicals and sprays are need to keep food growing.

How is that agriculture?

Veranda at Bealtaine CottageMonoculture is now being extended into the very seeds we use to grow food.

We have lost 75% of the world’s crop varieties over the last century!

Monsanto want to reduce that even more!

How is that agriculture?

Potting up in the polytunnelOver recent years, we’ve had hundreds  of millions of tons of herbicides, pesticides, pollutants and chemicals dumped onto crops, polluting our soil and waterways.

How is that agriculture?

Hanging basket at Bealtaine CottageMore than one million chickens are kept at any one time in intensive warehouse conditions.

Pig farms can house several thousands of pigs at a time.

How is that agriculture?

Buddha at the back doorIn many of these pits of despair the animals never see sunlight or touch earth.

Is 20,000 pigs in a warehouse now called Pig-Farming??

How is that agriculture?

The Nursery at Bealtaine CottageThe quality of life for those animals in factory farming is so horrid, that many people cannot bear to look.

How is that agriculture?

The plant and tree nursery and Missy

“Beginning in the fifties and sixties, the flood tide of cheap corn made it profitable to fatten cattle on feed-lots instead of on grass, and to raise chickens in giant factories rather than in farmyards. 

Iowa livestock farmers couldn’t compete with the factory- farmed animals their own cheap corn had helped spawn, so the chickens and cattle disappeared from the farm and with them the pastures and hay fields and fences. 

In their place the farmers  planted more of the one crop they could grow more of than anything else:  corn. 

And whenever the price of corn slipped they planted a little more of it, to cover expenses and stay even. 

By the 1980s the diversified family farm was history in Iowa, and corn was king.”

~Michael Pollan

 

Posted in Abundance, Bees, Birds, Buddha, Current Affairs, Food, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Sligo, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Transition Town Sligo, Monsanto and No 2 GM

March against Monsanto, Sligo

On Saturday, as part of the “March Against Monsanto,” campaign held worldwide, I attended a public meeting to raise awareness about Monsanto,and the many issues surrounding GM foods.

march against Monsanto, IrelandJohn Brennan,a long time anti-GM campaigner,and a member of NO 2 GM,an anti GM organisation, http://www.no2gm.com, was the speaker at this event.

As Monsanto, the giant biotech U.S. company is becoming more and more determined to impose it’s GM foods on the populations of the world, people are equally becoming more and more determined to resist this pressure.

Sligo has just entered the Transition Towns Movement and has already established a Community Garden, where great, organic food is grown and people come together to make the transition from a world of peak oil to a more localized environment, where food and fuel do not have to be transported great distances.

It was a great day and an opportunity to power up with information, as well as meet new people involved in improving the world we live in!

Euphorbia in the front gardenBack home, in the gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage, the sun shines between heavy rain…ideal growing conditions!

Roses on the veranda at Bealtaine CottageThe roses on the veranda have opened their scented blooms, as the bees dart in and out to avoid the heavy rain.

Sweet Peas in a hanging basketSweet Peas have been planted in hanging baskets to avoid the slugs and…

Kanzan Cherry tree in flower at Bealtaine CottageThe blossom now covers the Kanzan Cherry Tree…a long wait, but worth it!

You can see the blue sky, but don’t be fooled as almost an inch of rain fell last night and continues, intermittently today!

Bird bath in tree at Bealtaine CottageThis is a brass dish I found at the second-hand market on Sunday.

It was 25cents!

Doesn’t it make a great bird bath set into the branches of this tree and filled with rainwater?

As the tree grows this summer, the branches will grow into the plate, holding it securely in place!

Courtyard garden at Bealtaine CottageEverything is making good progress as the weather improves.

permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe gardens are just drooping with abundance.

Celtic Cross at Bealtaine CottageBees and insects are in heaven!

And as you can see from today’s video…

“A Bee Healthy Permaculture Garden”

Posted in Angels, Bealtaine Cottage, Buddha, Cottage, Garden, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Summer, Trees, Uncategorized

May Morning in Ireland

Porch door at Bealtaine Cottage

A May morning at Bealtaine Cottage.

Looking through the front door, the sky is grey, but the trees are all greening up!

Back door at Bealtaine Cottage

The roses on the veranda are ready to burst into bloom quite soon!

Arabica floods the stone walls of the Angel planter and Poppies are still bulbous eggs waiting to open near the Buddleia.

Colour is just waiting to spring forth!

Pink tulips at Bealtaine Cottage

These are the Tulips this morning at the back of the cottage under one of the Beech trees.

The early morning rain sits atop the still closed petals.

Laneway at Bealtaine Cottage

The drive-way up to the cottage is filling out with greens, reds and whites as the trees take on their new mantles of summer cover.

Parsley growing at Bealtaine Cottage beside old iron kettle

Parsley and peas growing in one of the raised Potager beds at the back of the cottage this morning.

You can see the shreddings and seaweed!

Metal table and chairs at Bealtaine Cottage

I recently moved the garden table and chairs to this sheltered little spot near one of the Potager raised beds…near enough to the back door to nip out with my tea!

Honesty under the arch at Bealtaine Cottage

Lots of Honesty, (Lunaria), in bloom this morning under the shelter of the Laurel arch.

Crocosmia, Columbine and Geranium are growing up alongside.

flowers in a pot at Bealtaine Cottage

These little rockery flowers have blossomed in this earth pot for years now.

They sit atop an old iron fireplace filled with shamrock and watched over by Buddha.

Posted in Abundance, biodiversity, Buddha, Current Affairs, E.U., Earth, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Politics, Seeds, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living

Replacing Fear and Hopelessness with Fearlessness and Joy.

washing on the line at Bealtaine Cottage

The washing is on the line, as there’s a great breeze between the light showers and sunshine.

There is no washing machine or tumble drier here at Bealtaine Cottage, so a little barter or exchange takes place when the washing basket is full…which happens when I’m too busy to wash laundry daily.

A good friend did 3 loads of washing in exchange for a few kilos of blackcurrants from the freezer.

Jam making is under way at her house!

Blackcurrants in the freezer at Bealtaine CottageFrozen blackcurrants make a better tasting jam, as the enzymes have already begun to break down the sugars in the fruit.

recycling fish boxes for seed grwoing in the tunnel at Bealtaine CottageThe same friend brought me a stack of polystyrene fish boxes, that were to be thrown away at the market.

These make excellent seed boxes as you can see in the tunnel today, I have been busy sowing seeds and potting on.

Seed growing in the polytunnel in late April at Bealtaine CottageI lay the boxes on the soil as the warm earth will keep an ambient temperature over-night.

Plants and pots are packed into every available space in the tunnel today.

permaculture at Bealtaine cottage

People are angry with the governments who refuse to listen!

A petition was presented to the UK government recently, highlighting the concerns we all have for the health of bees.

It was ignored.

Governments are there to serve us.

The politicians are our servants.

They need to be reminded!Bees are the workforce of Mother Nature!

 

Buddha at Bealtaine Cottage Ireland

Aquilegia, Valerian and pot lilies surround Buddha in the potager beds today.

I will leave you with these wise words from Dr Vandana Shiva, my inspiration…

“[How do I do it?] Well, it’s always a mystery, because you don’t know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I’ve learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don’t cripple myself, I don’t tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.” ― Vandana Shiva

Posted in Angels, Buddha, Earth, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality

You Feel It Too…Don’t You?

Bealtain Cottage Permaculture Gardens...Ribes

Something quite extraordinary is happening.

Bealtaine Cottage foxgloveMore and more people are finding words to express it.

Rhubarb at Bealtaine permacultureThe Great Mother, Our Earth, is in contact with us.

Bealtaine CottageI heard her voice nine years ago, as she led me here.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture gardensThere were no words at that point, that could articulate, the reasons for why I changed my life or my thinking.

Bealtaine Cottage spring wellI have had to immerse myself, into the rhythm of the seasons, for the words to be  formed.

barn window reflection Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 015I imagined, at first, that I was on my own and it was a personal journey.

 Permaculture @ Bealtaine Cottage 005These past few years, writing this diary of Bealtaine Cottage, have led me to understand I am not alone.

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureA growing swell of people are being contacted…not by anything from beyond this Earth, but from a power deep within the Earth itself… the life force of the planet.

Shabby chic at Bealtaine CottageWe are being guided, just as a mother guides her child, towards safety.

Buddha at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThe perception of separation from our Mother has gone, as we awaken and expand the collective consciousness that connects us to her.

Angel at Bealtaine CottageMy friend David from the United States reminded me of this today.

Mother and childa at Bealtaine CottageWe are not alone…

 

 

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 500 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here.

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, biodiversity, Buddha, Cottage, Country Living, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Nature, Permaculture, polytunnel gardening, Smallholding, Spring, Trees

April 2013 in the Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland

April 2013 Permaculture gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

Lots of work in the gardens over recent days…cutting back, shredding and tidying up.

Grass paths have been dug in along the edges and the birds have followed looking for tasty morsels!

Ribes in bloom at Bealtaine Cottage, great for the bees!eRibes bushes are now heavy with flowers, attracting the bees and feeding some of the early risers.

An early bee in April 2013 at bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensAnd just in case you thought that the bees were still in hibernation…

Polytunnel at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens in April 2013The polytunnel has been cleaned and tidied, as this becomes very abundant during the summer months!

Can you see the pink blossom on the Nectarine tree?

Buddha under the Laurel arch at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensThe Laurel Archway has been given a good trim.

You can see it better in the top pic.

Laurels grow very fast and if an archway is to be maintained then a heavy cut must be carried out every 2-3 years.

All the cuttings are shredded and spread on beds and compost heaps.

Polytunnel at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThis morning is warm and filled with sunshine as I walk the permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

Water Garden at the Permaculture gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe water garden is emerging from slumber as the frog-spawn hatches.

Bealtaine CottageThe gardens are coming back to life…

Willow archways and fedges at Bealtaine CottageWillow archways and fedges are in bud…

Broad Beans at Bealtaine Cottage

Broad beans are ready to plant out…

permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageWhat a wonderful start to the weekend!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 85 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

The archives on this blog measure over 500 in total!

Donations are always welcome.

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Birds, Books, Buddha, Childhood, Family, History, Inspiration, Poetry

Bringing Light into your Life

Irish cottages are fairly dark houses, designed to be snug and keep in the heat, working well it has to be said…but I love the light, so have judiciously placed mirrors, here, there and everywhere!

This is one near the north window, reflecting light from the west window.

roses at Bealtaine Cottage

A well placed mirror can act like another window in terms of light.

www.bealtainecottage.com

I never turn down the offer of a mirror, even a broken one and have even used bits of mirror in the garden to reflect light onto plants.

Contentment is often found to be lacking in the world today.

So many people want more and more and, as they acquire material goods, become weighted down with the accumulation of such.

Materialism is like the albatross in the poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”

When the mariner finally looked down upon the creatures in the sea around him and recognized their divinity, the dead Albatross finally fell from his neck…he became one with all life…contentment descended upon him.

To free oneself, it becomes imperative to examine the inner self and one’s values and beliefs.

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There is an old saying, a proverb if you like, that I often heard as a young woman growing up in my home town of Omagh.

Bealtaine Cottage 010

Of all we know life to be, three aspects of it will guide your journey: truth, nature and knowledge.