Midsummer Vigil

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The wall is silence, the grass is sleep,
Tall trees of peace their vigil keep,
And the Fairy of Dreams with moth-wings furled
Plays soft on her flute to the drowsy world.
~Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

DSC00869And as the seasons come and go, here’s something you might like to know.

There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day.

So listen, touch, and look around — in the air and on the ground.

And if you watch all nature’s things, you might just see a fairy’s wing.

~Author Unknown 

I often walk the gardens in the early morning, taking my tea or coffee with me…and always my camera.

DSC00874It is often in the early morn or at dusk that I find myself in a strange little corner of the gardens, which stretch to three acres and I attempt to capture the moment through the lens.

DSC00882For my part, I believe in the Sidhe and have often felt their presence.

This morning there appeared to be a humidity in places which made it’s presence felt in some of the photographs I took.

DSC00885You may make of them what you will.

DSC00887Bealtaine Cottage is quite alive at all times and especially today, Midsummer, 20th day of June 2016.

DSC00888The veil is thin…

DSC00892This is of very special meaning to me and heralds the presence of my Mother, for this is her Angel sitting by a plant which was dedicated to her.

My daughter bought this pot and plant as a reminder for me of my Mother and her Grandmother…it sits near my seat by the veranda, just outside the back door.

DSC00896The Realm of the Sidhe is a shadow land, carved out by the Tuatha de Danann following the defeat of the tribe in their last great battle.

Many of the sacred places in Ireland are also home to the Sidhe lying just beyond the fields we know.

DSC00904The Tuatha de Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland.

The important manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that they ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C

Bealtaine Cottage appears to be  alive with ancestors.

Midsummer Blessings to All XXX

 

 

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Magical Evening of Ostara at Bealtaine Cottage

This is the evening of Ostara, the Spring Equinox…of equal day and night.

The Great Turning of the year as Spring moves with joy towards the Summer and Bealtaine, the first of May.

A magical time.

The word Ostara is just one of the names given to the celebration of the Spring Equinox, also known as the Vernal Equinox, on March 20 this year.

The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north.

This happens on March 19, 20 or 21 every year.

The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word Ostara is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. 

Solstices and equinoxes mark key stages in the astronomical cycle of Mother Earth.

Each year there are two equinoxes (spring and autumn) and two solstices (summer and winter).

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Celtic Ireland~Imbolc Rising

And so the wheel turns towards Spring and its tentative beginnings in the West of Ireland as the sun rises tomorrow morn.

With the rising of the sun comes Imbolc!

Oftentimes it does not look or even feel like Spring, but the light has changed…something that animals see, feel and react to before we do.

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The understanding of the changing seasons grew from the deep connections between us and the natural world, as can be seen in the word itself, for “Imbolc” refers to sheep’s milk in Old Irish.

During ancient times, lactating ewes represented one of the first signs of Spring.

Imbolc is a Cross Quarter Day, which means it is midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

Depending on the year that’s in it, Imbolc can fall between the 2nd & 7th of February…the  calculations vary, despite the best will of man to box it all up into calendars!

Celtic festivals are based on astronomical events!

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Festivals like Imbolc are often claimed to be Wiccan or Pagan, but Imbolc belongs to the ancient peoples of Ireland who were neither Wiccan or Pagan!

Wicca itself is less than one hundred years old

Pagan was a term used to describe those in Ireland before Christianity…a sort of name-calling, in that it became and remains for many, a derogatory term.

My ancestors were never without spiritual beliefs!

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Paganism is a term that developed among the Christian community of southern Europe during late antiquity to describe religions other than their own, Judaism, or Islam–the three Abrahamic religions.

Imbolc (February 2) marks the lengthening days as the growing light awakens the Earth Goddess.

The warmth of the rising, growing sun fertilizes the Earth (the Goddess), and causes seeds to germinate and sprout.

And so the earliest beginnings of Spring occur.

As Imbolc rises on the second day of February, the last quarter moon is in Scorpio, my birth sign.

Now is the time to secure your seeds for the Spring sowing which is now well underway in propagators and sheltered places.

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You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

I continue to clear out spaces in my cottage and renew many aspects of my life…always a good preparation for Imbolc!

Happy Imbolc to you all!

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Country Cottage Journal ~ A Christmas Eve Message from Bealtaine Cottage

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The cottage is quiet.

Outside the remains of the storm huff and puff it’s remaining fury.

Inside the thick stone walls it’s Christmas Eve.

There will be a full moon on Christmas night, the first one since 1977.

But, this morning, the rays of the Midwinter sun illuminate the grey morning and all is quiet.

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Quiet is a welcome word after a night of howling wind and relentless rain.

DSC07785My blessed thanks to those of you who sent me good wishes and gifts.

I am heartily grateful to receive the appreciation of friends.

DSC07784Friends like Heather, who made me this beautiful brooch, stitched with love.

I have pinned it to the lapel of my jacket…it is a thing of beauty indeed!

It is the little notes, gifts and donations that bring a sense of being appreciated.

I am indeed blessed to live my life in the service of Mother Earth and able to live without the needs so many feel they must have, forever indebting themselves to the corporate machine that is destroying her.

DSC07782As I write this journal, the radio informs me of another storm on the way.

I will soon light the traditional candle in the window of my small sitting room.

candle and spiral at bealtaine cottageThe placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is still practised today.

It remains a symbol of hope.

PaddyDog Designs at Ballyfermoyle, sold in the Bealtaine Cottage shop on EtsyHope is what Bealtaine Cottage is all about…hope and renewal.

I am a woman and a pragmatist who looks to the future.

Full moon over Bealtaine Cottage IrelandDespite the wars of man, the fear of climate upheaval, the greed of those in power and the relentless drum-banging of the corporate consumer world, life, in all it’s imperfections, is sacred and beautiful.

DSC07780On this blessed Christmas Eve, I will step out with my spade and wheelbarrow, to plant the future, in the form of five trees.

May you be blessed with love, light and happiness on this wonderful day and in the days of light to follow.

XXX Colette XXX

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Lughnasa Eve Blessings

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Today is the final day of summer in the Celtic Calendar…Happy Lughnasa!

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May the days of harvest be filled with abundance and delight!

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As the Earth offers up her bounty, may your heart be filled with thanks.

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Enjoy the coolness of the early morning air as the days move inexorably toward Autumn.

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Take time to preserve your harvest for the months ahead…

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Bless you all!

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The Secret Energy of Midsummer

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As the days of early summer move inexorably towards the Solstice, life at Bealtaine Cottage takes on a brilliant energy.

Everything is growing!

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There’s a bench in my garden,  shaded by many beautiful trees, near to the lower pond, where I enjoy sitting alone, as early in the morning as I can manage… to simply be.

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“I can’t get enough of watching the bees and trying to imagine how they experience the abundance of, say, a blue Campanula blossom, the dizzy light pulsing, every fibre of being immersed in the flower. …”

~ Mary Rose O’Reilly

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Moments of such silence are overlaid with birdsong, a joy-filled backdrop to the main stage, where images manifest peace.

Flowers growing out from gravel and roses creating miracles from old tyres, are as much a part of Midsummer madness here at Bealtaine as some of the ancient celebrations themselves!

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“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,

Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows,

Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”

~ From “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare

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We all know of places where the secret energy of Midsummer holds sway.

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It is to these special places we are continually drawn, where peace is found and imagination set free