Posted in Fairies, magic, Summer, Woodland

The Watchers

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Here in the study the light is low as the day fades into the west.  

DSC00106Ten O’Clock rings out as I take up my camera and head out into the warm evening.

DSC00107I have enjoyed visitors for much of the day, so stepping out into the evening allows me time to be quiet and absorb the ending of the day. 

DSC00108“Be calm…calm as a calm lagoon, then you will look beautiful as a beautiful calm lagoon crowned by the Moon and sheltered by the brilliance of the stars reclaiming your royalty of regal life…”
Oksana Rus 

DSC00109The light lends an ethereal touch to everything. 

DSC00110“When one tunes in into nature’s frequency, life becomes change, change becomes hope!”
Aniekee Tochukwu 

DSC00111The birds continue to fly to and fro their nestlings in a frenzy to keep them fed.

DSC00112Fortunately, Bealtaine Cottage can now support dozens of pairs of breeding birds and all from the plentiful supply of food in the gardens and food forest. 

DSC00113DSC00114DSC00115“It was that time of dusk when there is a—deepening of the interior shadows. It is a melancholy time: all you need do is switch on one lamp and the inside and the outside will separate, held apart by the reflections in the glass, and evening will begin.”
Rudolph Delson 

DSC00117DSC00116DSC00118As always at this time of evening, there is magic in the air.

DSC00120DSC00121DSC00125Flowers are dancing in billows of colour around the cottage.

DSC00137DSC00127DSC00138As I walk, snapping pictures here and there, I fancy my camera may capture an image of the other world that is veiled so very thinly at this time of day…

DSC00119DSC00124DSC00123I sense the watchers…

…and then

…something moves,

DSC00142and is gone in the blink of a lens.

(This photo is as it appears…I NEVER use photoshop!)

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Posted in ancient, Fairies, Garden, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland, woodland walk, woods

Magic in the Fairy Wood

On such a morning as this, there can only be one place to gently go…come with me as I venture down into the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage. Nature spirits are in evidence in the lush new growth. Magic abounds…

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Posted in Fairies, Ireland, Landscape, tales

The Shining Ones

To understand Celtic Spirituality we must suspend the normal way of looking at the world and ‘sense’ the other worlds around us.”
– Donald McKinney, Celtic Spirituality for the 21st Century

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Looking North East towards Slieve Anieirin Mountain…

Slieve Anierin, known as the Iron Mountain, is a magical landscape, where Iron Age people once mined Iron Ore. 

Slieve Anierin in Leitrim; Sliabh-an-iarainn, the mountain of the iron; from its richness in iron ore.

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Bealtaine Cottage is surrounded by landscape, where traces of ancient peoples are to be found with ease. 

The Tuatha de Danaan were one of these ancient races and were also known as the Shining Ones.

Candle at Bealtaine Cottage

Few people are aware of the fact that it was these people who became the origins of what we know worldwide as the Fairies…or the Sidhe.

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This was the Tribe that became the Sídhe…the Fairy Folk.

The stories of the Sidhe abound in Ireland.

We live alongside our ancestors.

This path at Bealtaine leads down into the Fairy Wood.

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There is much written about the 

Sídhe, pronounced “shee”, and a lot of the writings are contradictory, much like the 

Sídhe themselves! 

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Living among the remnants of ancient tribes, as I do, here in the West of Ireland, watching skies with stars so bright, they illuminate the night, it is easy to believe in theSídhe…even revere them at times.

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There comes a shift in perception, when one’s closest allies are the invisible forces of Nature.

Where does reality begin and end?

What is actual and what is reflection?

For much of it is coloured by perception. 

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This was something debated by the Romantic Poets, as they often explored the world around them, using reflections, as they held up mirrors to gaze into Nature.

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There are many tales relating the emergence of Fairies in Irish Folklore.

Many legends recall how once  great Queens, Kings and Warriors became

Sídhe 

upon death.

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In turn, these mortals went on to  establish new kingdoms in the ancient mounds and hills of the landscape we know today.

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It is easy to regard these ancient sites with reverence and understanding, for even though there are millenia of time that separate us from them, they are part of our ancestral being.

Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardens

The true origin of the legendary Tuatha De Danaan lies somewhere between the worlds of reality and perception of reality.

The name means literally “the folk of the god whose mother is Dana.”  

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It is merely recorded, that they appeared, as the clouds rose, from the mountain of Slieve Anierin, on the day of Bealtaine, the first day of May…Summer.

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Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

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Bealtaine cottage crafts 010Bog Oak Pendants are available from the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop. (Sorry, all are now sold. No longer available!)

Each pendant is hand-crafted from locally sourced Irish Bog Oak, an ancient and profoundly mysterious wood that’s been buried in the Irish peat bogs for thousands of years.

These pendants are made from wood dated as 5,600 years old.

Visit:

http://bealtainecottage.com/craft-shop/

Posted in Angels, Blessing, Fairies, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Spirituality, Thoughts

Angels

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Embracing one’s journey means being ready for change.

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To be ready, one has to be open and receptive.

This morning I searched for an explanation of what I experienced in my dreams; the kind of dreams that seem real, so real you get confused, almost trapped between two realms; that of sleep and wake.

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Before going to bed, I went through the usual ritual of walking Jack around and under the trees near the cottage.

The moon was full and very bright…it had risen late.

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The night was still and the moon was rising in a cloudless sky.

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The West of Ireland enjoys many nights of star-filled skies and amazing moons, but last night there was a strange feeling in the air…something akin to an ethereal experience.

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My rational mind simply couldn’t engage with it; I couldn’t explain what I was feeling.

I must have fallen asleep quite quickly after going to bed, for the dreams I experienced seemed to go on and on.

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My dreams were filled with angels, small moth-like beings that were also fairies, yet I knew there were angels.

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Isn’t it a strange experience to have rational thoughts in a dream and “know,” what things are about?

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As I walked through what appeared to be the world, the angels flew around and around like butterflies, whispering to me and making me smile.

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I don’t know what they said, but the whispers were happy and reassuring in their tones.

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Recently, like many of you, I have felt anxious and disturbed to see what humanity has done; atrocities committed and the blood of innocent children spilled so casually.

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The threat of war prevails.

Weather has become violent and unpredictable.

All around, this violence pollutes the Earth and humankind.

We stand near a precipice and dare not acknowledge it!

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However, upon waking, all my anxieties had disappeared…I felt renewed!

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I have felt for a very long time, indeed for the past ten years, that the Earth is trying to communicate with us.

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Mother Earth is desperate for us to live in peace with her, rather than against her!

Living in the simple way I do has allowed me time and space to consider her.

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There are no distractions at Bealtaine Cottage, no TV, radio or harsh intrusions, yet still I sense the formidable force of what lies beyond the gardens…it is dark indeed!

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There is a mighty transition taking place and those who would destroy are on a final rampage across our Sacred Earth.

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In the midst of all this darkness, I believe there are forces of light, unseen at most times, but gathering and sharing strength.

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Yes, we are living in a time of Apocalypse, but please, remember what the true meaning of the word really is…’lifting of the veil.’

Take heart…we are not alone.

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The word,“apocalypse” comes from Ancient Greek and pre-dates the Bible.
To source the word one has to look to writings from that period.
It is there.
 Apo=un
Kaluptein=to cover
Apokaluptein=uncover
Apokalupsis, from ancient Greek, to modern Greek then into Old French/Latin=Apocalypse.
The original meaning is lost in translation, though it is relevant to point out that the word is found in the Book of Revelation. Revelation coming from “reveal” or uncover!
Does make one think, does it not?
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Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her.

To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.

You will then have access to the website and full blog as published twice each week.

This amounts to 104 publications per year, at a cost of 12 cents each!

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Link to Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop…just opened…

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Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Bloom, Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Edible Gardens, Fairies, Frugal Living, Garden, Home Made Wine, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, Permaculture, Self-Sufficiency, Summer, Uncategorized, Wine

Bottling Summer

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com

The old tin bath has been taken down from the wall of the barn.

Used wine bottles are left to steep for a few hours in rainwater.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (3)Washed and clean, ready to be filled with home-made Blackcurrant wine.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (4)There is always at least one day during the Summer, when one feels enthusiastic enough to overcome the reluctance to get stuck into bottling wine…today, all the right chords were struck and the work began!

Cork stoppers were duly washed and left to soak and soften, till, finally…

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (2)the wine was securely bottled! All that remains to be done is labelling…Chateau Bealtaine!

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (2)Outside the back door, Summer continues in layers of sheer abundance…Feverfew splurges on masses of tiny, daisy-like flowers.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (5) Midsummer has only just crossed over and the garlic is ready to pull, with the first batch of Garlic and Oregano Olive Oil infusing.

Summer just keeps on getting bottled!

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (4)There is so much food and flowers, it’s sheer Heaven!

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (5)Walking around the cottage is a feast for the senses!

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.comEven the ancient Polygonum is covered with bright red flowers…one of the very few plants here that has nothing for the Bees…but a delight for me!  

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (6)Yellow Loosestrife stands tall in the casual cottage borders.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (7)Roses fall over in a drunken Summer stupor, heavy with scent and bees.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (8)Petals cascade onto stone steps, ivory wraps for blushing fairies.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (9)Valerian falls onto the gravel path, dropping seeds and heavy flower-heads onto the visitor’s shoe.

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com (10)And the Summer that was bottled today, will be brought out amidst smiles and raised glasses in the depths of Midwinter.

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Cottage, Country Living, Culture, Earth, Fairies, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, photography, Summer, Uncategorized

Midsummer Rising

www.bealtainecottage.com

Farewell Bealtaine!

Rising on the last morning of Bealtaine and looking out the window of the lodge to be greeted by mist and sunshine.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe heat of yesterday rose in a mist over the valley and mountains beyond.

www,bealtainecottage.comRising towards Midsummer is a most magical time in the west of Ireland.

Between the rain and the sun, the jigs and the reels, the land has grown a mantle of green.

www.bealtainecottage.comFestivals are held in every village as birds, from thousands of mile away, fly low over the feeding grounds of this small island. www.bealtainecottage.comMidsummer customs prevail in much of Europe and certainly here in Ireland, where the traditional bonfire is part of the celebration.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe fire is lit exactly at sunset on the eve of the solstice and celebrations continue until sunset on the solstice itself.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe sense of abundance is quite tangible and visible at this time, helping to create a celebratory atmosphere.

www.bealtainecottage.comMidsummer  was seen as a time when the veil between this world and the next was thin, and when the spirit of the land itself held sway.

This is encapsulated in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

www.bealtainecottage.comThis year I shall be lighting the Midsummer fire with wood cut around the time of Midwinter, in honour of my  Mother.

www.bealtainecottage.com It is a time for gathering and spending time together and a celebration I look forward to…

www.bealtainecottage.comAs I walked I the gardens this morning, there arose a great sense of peace and harmony, again something which seems to be released from the very Earth herself each year, at this time of ascension to Midsummer.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe promise of a good harvest holds firm as the beautiful weather continues.

www.bealtainecottage.comHere is one of my favourite quotes by Carole Carlton…

“The festival of the summer solstice speaks of love and light, of freedom and generosity of spirit.

www.bealtainecottage.comIt is a beautiful time of year where vibrant flowers whisper to us with scented breath,

www.bealtainecottage.com (2)forests and woodlands hang heavy in the summer’s heat and our souls become enchanted with midsummer magic.”

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 For magical crystals…

https://bealtainecottage.com/charged-crystals-for-sale/

For seeds…

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

For Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

 

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Fairies, Garden, hens, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spirituality, Summer, Uncategorized, Wild Flowers, Woodland

Follow Your Bliss and the Universe Will Open Doors

Looking out on a May evening...
Looking out on a May evening…

Making a decision is always the most difficult part of moving forward.

DSCF1379In deciding, one simply puts it out there, for the Universe to pick up.

DSCF1382That is what I have done here at Bealtaine Cottage…the next move comes from that energy.

Sammy-Bear takes a seat...
Sammy-Bear takes a seat…

The sale may, or may not happen…but the planting of trees will move forward.

The feeding system I have devised and constructed for the hens...an old pipe and tin, firmly secured on the wall of the hen-house!
The feeding system I have devised and constructed for the hens…an old pipe and tin, firmly secured on the wall of the hen-house!

I have done what was asked of me and agreed to the sacrifice.

What happens next is synchronicity and the will of Divine Energy…The Forest of Bealtaine will happen in the same magical way as Eden emerged here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Food is poured in to the top of the pipe and emerges from the feeder at the bottom as the hen peck!
Food is poured in to the top of the pipe and emerges from the feeder at the bottom as the hen peck!

As my friend, Rosie, on Twitter, pointed out to me this morning…“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” -Joseph Campbell

DSCF1394Bealtaine has begun here in the west of Ireland.

Down the steps into the may gardens
Down the steps into the may gardens

Planting is under way of crops and even a few more trees, though mostly the trees are in pots awaiting a forest!

Sedge in bloom to the left of the steps.
Sedge in bloom to the left of the steps.

Walking around the gardens this morning I snapped these pictures…

Through the Fairy Wood...
Through the Fairy Wood…

 

 

Foxglove in Spurge on the woodland floor...
Foxglove in Spurge on the woodland floor…


Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage
Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage
Sedge in the Fairy Wood
Sedge in the Fairy Wood
Stopping by the Silt-pond
Stopping by the Silt-pond
Willow in the Bog Garden
Willow in the Bog Garden
Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Childhood, Country Living, Edible Gardens, Fairies, hens, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Smallholding, Spring

Sustainable Food Revolution

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Living in a time when the cost of food is rising day on day, it might be time to re-think the lawn! This is what Bill Mollison, one of the founders of the Permaculture movement has to say on the subject:

Bill Mollison

“. . . every society that grows extensive lawns could produce all its food on the same area, using the same resources, and . . . world famine could be totally relieved if we devoted the same resources of lawn culture to food culture in poor areas. These facts are before us. Thus, we can look at lawns, like double garages and large guard dogs, [and Humvees and SUVs] as a badge of willful waste, conspicuous consumption, and lack of care for the earth or its people.Most lawns are purely cosmetic in function. Thus, affluent societies have, all unnoticed, developed an agriculture which produces a polluted waste product, in the presence of famine and erosion elsewhere, and the threat of water shortages at home.

The lawn has become the curse of modern town landscapes as sugar cane is the curse of the lowland coastal tropics, and cattle the curse of the semi-arid and arid rangelands…

www.bealtainecottage.comOver the past few days I have been busy converting this little shed into a new hen house and run…food to swap and share…fresh eggs! it is going to be a simple enough barter, swapping a sack of logs for nine eggs. Most logs are traded at 3.50 a sack, so that’s a fair swap!

www.bealtainecottage.comThat makes a good swap as eggs are getting more expensive by the day and the logs will be delivered to my door! I just have to ensure that the hen house and run are secure against Mr ans Mrs Fox and family!

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As Spring moves across the land, a drying wind is working its magic on the earth. The greening is under-way.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe view from the sitting room window is being filled in like a ‘Painting By Numbers,’ canvas. Ash trees are the last to get their leaves and so stand proud in all their silver glory against temperamental Spring skies.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis is the beautiful Field Maple to the front of the cottage.

www.bealtainecottage.comContinuing my lifelong passion for trees…this is a wall tile I made from clay…complete with tree, a fairy tree.

www.bealtainecottage.comThe lone Fairy Thorn one often sees growing in the middle of fields here in Ireland served as my inspiration. They are often windswept and leaning away from the west.

www.bealtainecottage.comThis sits upon the dresser in the kitchen…a time when preserves were sold in stoneware jars. All containers were re-cycled, in that they were re-used…even milk bottles! Lemonade bottles had a money deposit attached to them and children would collect them up to return to the shop, as a way of earning pocket money!

www.bealtainecottage.comEven cream came in little stoneware jars like this, as it kept cool in the pantry in the days before every home had a fridge!

“A sacred way of life connects us to the people and places around us. That means that a sacred economy must be in large part a local economy, in which we have multidimensional, personal relationships with the land and people who meet our needs, and whose needs are met in turn.”
― Juliana Birnbaum FoxSustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Edible Gardens, Fairies, hens, Life, Lifestyle, Nature, New Year, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Woodland

A Year at Bealtaine…part 2

Lime tree walk at Bealtaine Cottage

Nine years of planting trees into barren, north-facing land has now awoken a magical earth, with paths that lead forever among dappled shade.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageAnd every now and then open up into a secret garden…

Plant Sanctuary, Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…or two…

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageSome paths get overgrown fast as Nature’s abundance keeps giving.

Permaculture Gardens of Bealtaine CottageThe thousands of plants all jostle for space…

A Cherry seed grows by an Oak tree at Bealtaine Cottageand are now self-seeding, like this little Cherry tree growing next to an Oak!

Willow arch into the Fairy woodland at Bealtaine CottageWillow arches that lead into the Fairy Wood at Midsummer.

Blossom on a Rowan tree planted in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageThe delicate blossom on the Mountain Ash, also known as the Rowan Tree.

Permaculture Paradise at Bealtaine CottageA place for tea in the garden on long summer days.

Pond at bealtaine cottageThe standing stone by the lower pond in the Bog Garden.

willow archway at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensWillow…

willow arches, dogwood and beechWillow…

crossing the pondAnd more Willow!

bog garden of bealtainePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottagePaths…

permaculture gardens of bealtaine cottageAnd more paths!

Manifesting the Divine FeminineThe lane-way in Summer, walking down to collect…

The postbox at Bealtaine Cottagethe post!

Water garden in permaculture at Bealtaine CottageThe plants take over as Summer holds sway…

Roses at bealtaine cottageAnd roses outside on the veranda go completely crazy!

Gosh…there’s lots more to share for 2013, so a “Part 3” will be needed!

Happy New Year from Bealtaine XXX

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Fairies, Folklore, Winter

Ghosts

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Winter has finally gripped the land.

Frost has dipped icy tentacles into the earth itself, no longer content to dust the trees and whiten the slates.

www.bealtainecottage.com 016The evening sky turns a cold blue.

Freezing, white mist swirls up the valley from the deep waters of Lough Allen.

Winter is here!

www.bealtainecottage.com 017Sliabh An Iarainn Mountain catches the dying rays of a winter sun.

Cleaving  the south eastern shores of Lough Allen, Sliabh An Iarainn sits humped and heavy, a brooding reminder of ancient tales and times.

 Ancient  legend tells of the Tuatha De Danann landing in Ireland in this very place.

 Descending in a thick mist, the Tuatha De Danann found the mountain and the lough.

The mountain contained deposits of iron, and so the magical people proceeded to forge the first metal weapons in Ireland.

There followed a mighty battle with the Tribe of the Formorians, nearby at Magh Tuireadh…and so the legends began.

www.bealtainecottage.com 010Willful and determined, like ancient tribes who once battled on this land, Fuchsia continues to hold their flowers, in sheltered parts of the gardens.

There are pockets of Bealtaine that refuse to give up Summer, protecting and nurturing flowers through to Spring.

www.bealtainecottage.com 001Kilronan Mountain holds sway to the north of Bealtaine Cottage, washed with shades of purple in the early evening thin winter air.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Of all of Ireland, the mountains and valleys of this part hold most history, legend and mystery.

The Tuatha De Danann, as legend tells us, never died, but were banished underground.

They became the Sidhe…the Fairies.

On an evening like this, the ethereal energy of the Tuatha De Danann is almost tangible…

 

A video from Bealtaine…Towards Midwinter…enjoy X

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOu72QAAkro

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Blessings X

Posted in Birds, Fairies, Herbs, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Trees, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Winter

Overwintering in the Lodge

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For the past few evenings I have lit the stove in the Lodge and turned down the sofa bed to make a cosy sleeping area that is easy and cheap to heat!
The little wood-burning stove that seems to emanate warmth from one or two small logs, is economic and easy to maintain, making this a snug and cosy place to overwinter.
The layers of insulation packed into the walls of this little wooden cabin, makes for excellent heat and maximum comfort!
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The nights are drawing in fast now and the ice, frost and mist has been a nightly feature for about a week.
Autumn appears to continue during the day and Winter holds sway from darkness onward.
www.bealtainecottage.com 005This morning was particularly beautiful, with swirls of icy mist hanging over the mountains and the air still and warming around the cottage.
www.bealtainecottage.com 010The berries on the Pyracantha are turning deep in colour, as the Blackbird and Thrush both eye them up!
www.bealtainecottage.com 012The Larch tree betond the Lodge is getting ready to shed its needles and the Purple Beech in the foreground hangs onto her leaves well into the middle of Spring!
Autumn is colourful and delightful and definitely my favourite season!
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Parsley grows through the winter in this old, bottom-less bread-bin, tucked into the raised stone bed…a good source of Iron and Vitamin C.
 
 
www.bealtainecottage.com 015Tiny Lichens are beginning to grow on this Birch tree…I love the delicate colours of the Lichens!
www.bealtainecottage.com 017Bamboo and Beech compliment each other on the driveway…both are a source of energy and usefulness at Bealtaine. Bamboo lends itself well to many projects and makes fantastic tapers for using in the cottage, between the fire and candles!
www.bealtainecottage.com 019Bamboo is also a wonderful medium to use when making wreathes, as it is very pliable when first cut and will bend into a circular shape with ease.
It can then be wrapped around with other plants and wood.
 
www.bealtainecottage.com 018Beech, seen here with Forsythia, grows into fairy tree shapes, all twisted and gnarled, reminiscent of the Arthur Rackham Fairy story  illustrations…these are indeed beautiful trees!
www.bealtainecottage.com 022Red Dogwood comes into its own at the entrance to the Fairy Wood.
Do I believe in Fairies?
Indeed I do…don’t you?
www.bealtainecottage.com 027Can you believe these cheeky little Perlagoniums, refusing to give up and go to sleep?
Tomorrow I shall lift them from their big pot and put them to bed for the winter!
Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Cats, Country Living, Dogs, Edible Gardens, Fairies, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Autumn Seeds, Berries and Lichens

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Harvesting Willow today in the Permaculture gardens of Bealtaine.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004This Willow is pollarded rather than coppiced.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006The day is fine…good for washing to dry out on the clothes line.

Fresh air and sunshine have an excellent cleansing effect on the materials.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012Working so close to the trees, and seeing the lichens and mosses in the sunlight is magical.

Little cobwebs, insects and textures becomes a world all of its’ own.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014An opportunity to admire the berries on the Hawthorn, set against the silver of the bark.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015Clusters of berries on the Ivy continue to develop.

www.bealtainecottage.com 016Not to be out-done…the cerise pink berries on the native Irish Spindle make a show of themselves!

www.bealtainecottage.com 020Seeds on the Alder trees hang low in the bog garden.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021The green of Autumn has a fairytale quality about it…it becomes a woodland green, reflected by silvery, autumnal sun light.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031Where summer sun on trees casts darkness underneath, autumn sun creates shadows…

www.bealtainecottage.com 034The Fairy Wood is timeless with trailing ivy and sunlight.

www.bealtainecottage.com 036Ivy and moss…

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www.bealtainecottage.com 056Jack and Che-Mousey-Bear play in the sunshine.

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Posted in celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Fairies, Folklore, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Half Light and Shadows

www.bealtainecottage.com 039The apricot glow of a fading October sky, merged with the heavy rustling of cows on the field across the lane, drawing me outdoors.

This is a magical time of enchantment, with Nature and late evening light.

www.bealtainecottage.com 027Any noise on such a still evening exudes an eerie quality of something not understood…always best to go out and uncover the mystery.

As it was, the cows and their calves had nuzzled in close to the hedgerow, to bed down for the night.

The heaviness of their bodies crushing branches, as they leaned into the conspiratorial thorn hedgerow.

www.bealtainecottage.com 056The stillness of the evening makes one want to tip-toe on the lane.

Peering back in through the window of the cottage, lit only by a candle, illuminating the kitchen, it is easy to believe in the fairy folk…

It was remarked by many in 1950s rural Ireland, that the newly installed electric light drove the fairies away…

www.bealtainecottage.com 048The light is on its descent towards Samhain and deeper still to midwinter.

This passing of the light should be a signal for us all to slow down and embrace the stillness of the year, allowing ourselves time to reflect on our sacred journey.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031The Fennel looks to all intents and purposes the magical plant it is said to be, in this half-light.

It is so majestic, scented, beautiful and useful, that I have a mind to plant it all over the gardens!

www.bealtainecottage.com 058…the warmth of the kitchen beckons me towards the light, as the apricot shadows fall back into night.

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…

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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 Celtic Mythology, Celts, Fairies, Folklore, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized, Woodland

Discovery in the Fairy Wood…

fairies 021Yesterday afternoon and evening was spent down in the Fairy Wood, cutting back the paths and lifting the canopies on some of the bigger trees.

fairies 022My work was intensive and totally absorbing, as you can imagine.

fairies 023It wasn’t until several hours of hard labour had passed that I began to look around me…

fairies 026… for I had moved about ten metres through the wood, without taking much note, other than look at what I was sawing.

fairies 027Taking a breather, I stopped and looked around at the unfamiliar surroundings…I was in a place unknown to me in all the nine years I have worked and planted this land!

fairies 028This is the most amazing aspect of the Fairy Wood…that it had transformed itself as I planted, worked and took daily walks through this magical place.

fairies 029I walked around to the far side of this ancient Ash tree, one that had stood in among the briars and thorns, alone, for all the time I have planted here.

The tree looked totally different on the other side…

fairies 031The Ash tree has been coppiced at some point in the past and has grown into a multi-stemmed tree which now has an underground cave.

fairies 037Almost all kinds of trees found in the Celtic countries have been thought to have special powers, or to serve as the abode of the fairy folk, but especially the magical trio of the Oak, Ash and Blackthorn.

fairies 035The Ash was a sacred tree to the Druids and it’s wood was highly prized in making wands.

This a a very special tree and quite magical as you can see…

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Hi Colette,

I just received this petition. Perhaps you can mention it in your blog and get other people to sign it.

Love and best wishes

Terri

Bayer has just sued the European Commission to stop the ban on its bee-killing pesticides — despite clear evidence its products are behind the massive bee die-offs.

We can’t let Bayer and Syngenta get away with this blatant threat while the bees disappear. Sign the petition to tell them to drop the lawsuits now!

Sign the Petition

Posted in Cats, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Cottage, Fairies, Folklore, Inspiration, Ireland, Woodland

In Search of Fairies on a Summer Eve…

In search of fairiesIt could be the way the light hangs in the sky this evening…

Lysimachia Punctata and stone stepsOr the stillness of the air as a mist starts its’ way up the valley…

Entrance to the Fairy WoodOr may even be the predominance of moths fluttering in the still air down in the Fairy Wood, in the gardens below the cottage…

entrance to the fairy wood at bealtaine cottageI’m walking the gardens in search of the Fairies.

entrance to fairy wood at bealtaine cottageAlthough most people here in the West of Ireland will tell you they’ve left the fairy faith in the past, there is a lingering moment, between asking whether or not they believe in the Fairies, and the reply in the negative.

That moment of hesitation is all one needs to be aware of!

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageFairy faith is the belief in fairies, of course.

fairy wood at bealtaine cottageWhen the Milesians, the mythical race described by an 11th century scholar in Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of Invasions), came to Ireland they banished the natives to the underground and they became the Sidhe, the fairy folk.

Fairy cats in the fairy woodThey reside in old ring-forts, stone circles and inside and under magical trees like the Hawthorn, or Fairy Thorn as it is known here in Ireland…particularly one growing alone in a field.

A path from the Fairy WoodNo farmer disturbs the Fairy Thorn, for to do so brings almighty bad luck!

In the Fairy Wood below Bealtaine CottageThere is a Fairy Thorn in the wood below the cottage, hence the name, Fairy Wood or Dell, as it lies in a hollow, well below the cottage.

Willow Fedge leading away from the Fairy WoodAnd so I ramble the gardens, quietly, patiently looking here and there for movement or unexpected light.

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I would really appreciate if you’d take the time to vote for me in this Irish award…

Colette O’Neill

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

There are over 560 blogs in the archives on this site.

Thank you for supporting this blog

 

Posted in Animals, Cats, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Culture, Dublin, Fairies, Folklore, Ireland, Leitrim, Lughnasa, Permaculture, Tea, Thoughts, Woodland

Towards Lughnasa and an Open Weekend!

Stone planter at Bealtaine CottageThe festival of Lughnasa honours the Celtic god Lugh of the Tuatha de Danann.

Barn and Potager at Bealtaine CottageLugh was the  god of arts and crafts among Celtic tribes and Lughnasa sat high in the Calendar of festivals.

Polytunnel this morning at Bealtaine Cottage with Che Mousy Bear strolling through!Lughnasa ushered in the harvest season.

Che Mousy Bear rolls over in the tunnel this morning at Bealtaine CottageLughnasa was a celebration of, and for, the Divine, for a successful harvest.

Cats in the shade at bealtaine cottageThis ancient festival marks the first day of autumn in the Celtic Calendar, and thus the start of the harvest season.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageIn Britain Lughnasa is known as Lammas, from the Anglo-Saxon hlaef-mass meaning ‘loaf-mass’.

Wild Hypericum in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageHere in Ireland the nearest Sunday to Lughnasa was known as Cally Sunday, the traditional day to lift the first new potatoes.

Astrantia by the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage this morningThe man of the house would dig the first stalk, while the woman of the house would don a new white apron and cook them.

Nettle seed forming at Bealtaine CottageThe floor would be spread  with fresh, green rushes in their honour.

Wild roses and Valerian at Bealtaine CottageLughnasa was celebrated on the hills and mountains as well as the valleys.

Valerian in abundance around the cottage this morningClimbing a hill or mountain and celebrating with lighting a bonfire was, and remains, a tradition.

Valerian this morning around the cottageIn addition to climbing hills, Lughnasa was also a time for visiting holy wells.

Front of cottage and porch surrounded with Valerian this morning.Lughnasa falls on August the 1st and the evening before is usually when the celebrations begin…

Che Mousy Bear today at BealtaineI am hosting an “Open Weekend,” for anyone who wishes to visit the Permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

Bealtaine Cottage this morningThis will be over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of September and in aid of The Leitrim Animal Welfare Shelter, so there will be charge of ten euros per adult…and will include tea and home made cakes!

Bealtaine CottageThis wonderful animal sanctuary is where I have adopted two dogs from, including Jack!

Bealtaine Cottage this morning.If you would like to visit Bealtaine Cottage on this special open weekend, please let me know in advance, so I can make arrangements for cakes, teas and coffees to be available!

This is a link to a short film made by RTE TV all about this wonderful animal sanctuary!

Hopefully we can raise much needed funds for this cause so close to my heart!

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Thanks to the following lovely people who have donated to the Leitrim Animal Sanctuary…

Carole (wspines) from Whispering Pines Farm

Vivien Cruickshank

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Birds, Childhood, Earth, Fairies, Garden, Gardens, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Seeds, Uncategorized, Woodland

The Woman Who Planted Trees

Trees at Bealtaine Cottage

Many people ask if they can visit Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens and I always try to oblige if it’s at all possible!

Young Apple tree at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensSome advance notice is welcome, as life on 3 acres on one’s own can get pretty full on at times.

Front garden at Bealtaine CottageLast evening I was called by a friend, who wanted to know if she could bring a neighbour of hers to visit Bealtaine.

Deep in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageHer neighbour referred to me as “the woman who plants the trees!”

(By the way, it’s a beautiful morning as you can see from the pics!)

Trees in the pond garden at Bealtaine CottageIt’s an odd thing to do really, plant trees…so far over 900 planted!

Stream in the bog garden at Bealtaine CottageOdd, in so far as so few people get this obsessed! Trees change every aspect of one’s life.

Some of the trees planted at Bealtaine CottageAs I sit here typing this blog, the birdsong is magical and very loud!

A Cherry seed grows by an Oak tree at Bealtaine CottageMy childhood was impoverished as far as trees were concerned.

Cherry seedling and Oak sapling at Bealtaine CottageI grew up in a tiny terraced house with no garden, just row upon row of slate roofs and grey walls.

Young Chestnut tree at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensMy first encounter with trees was at school.

Bealtaine Cottage IrelandEntering the gates of the Convent school grounds, greenery enveloped me.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensMy childhood was transformed by the gardens of Loreto Convent.

Permaculture Paradise at Bealtaine CottageI recently returned and collected seed from the convent grounds in Omagh, to grow on here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Chestnut and Sycamore saplings at bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensVisitors bring me trees.

Willow arch into the Fairy woodland at Bealtaine CottageSubscribers to this blog send me tree seeds, from all over the world.

Blossom on a Rowan tree planted in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageI dream about trees.

A Copper Beech and wild rose at Bealtaine CottageI have left instructions to be buried in a woodland…let a tree rise from me!

Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Fairies, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Spirituality, Summer, Trees, Wild Flowers, Woodland

Blessings from Bealtaine

willow arch and tunnel at Bealtaine Cottage

The permaculture gardens of Bealtaine Cottage today, Tuesday 7th of May.

I’m too exhausted from working in the gardens to write…enjoy the pics, mostly taken this morning in the Fairy Wood here at Bealtaine Cottage!

Blessings to you all!

Celandines at Bealtaine Cottage

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Primroses in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine Cottage

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