The Arrogance of Certainty

IMG_2440Thirteen years ago I made a decision to follow my heart and return to Ireland, with a mighty quest.

IMG_2439I wanted to prove the cynics and naysayers wrong.

IMG_2438I believed it was possible and doable to repair Mother Earth…at least a small part of her, whatever little piece I could afford to buy.

IMG_2434Now, thirteen years is a short time in the scheme of things and those who have looked at the before pictures are as amazed as I am at the speed, health and abundance of her recovery!

IMG_2436It is important to state here, for the record, that most people I knew, including friends and family, seen my quest as a form of madness that had taken hold of me in my post menopausal state!

IMG_2435During all of the thirteen years, as I wrote and photographed the unbelievable progress of this little bit of Mother Earth, I became aware that I was one of a small, but increasing band of strange people who had heard the call and got stuck in, doing, what seemed to others, a crazily mad thing!

IMG_2434I became used to the naysayers and the cynics.

IMG_2433I looked up occasionally from my ceaseless planting and sowing and saw people who talked the talk in fine measure, but stopped there!

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Almost from the beginning of posting this blog, I have been lucky to have had some quite remarkable people who have made donations that have kept my mortgage going during the worst of times…and I have always struggled to keep the bank on the other side of the gate.

IMG_2430You know who you are and I am eternally grateful for your love and support!

IMG_2429At this thirteen year junction, for it feels like a crossroads for sure, I have become increasingly aware of what lies ahead…and, as with my strong feelings to do what others scorned some thirteen years ago, I care little for what the response is to my words…they must be recorded!

IMG_2428The arrogance of man is shocking indeed!

IMG_2422To have been so certain in the face of their own destructive ways, that the greatest seed bank ever built and guaranteed to last for centuries, if not millennia, was brought to within a hair’s breath of destruction within a few short years of its completion, should be the wake-up call of wake-up calls!

IMG_2421Read the arrogance of certainty in this Time article…

IMG_2416Now, we all know what happened this year, don’t we?

IMG_2415The Doomsday Vault has not even survived its first ten years!

IMG_2414So this brings me to what I want to say…

IMG_2408Things are changing faster than anyone could have expected!

IMG_2406I have witnessed the longest drought ever this year here in the west of Ireland.

IMG_2395The water table dropped in early April, the driest in forty years and has not risen since, but continued to fall!

IMG_2392We are now entering a period of great change.

IMG_2390The Arrogance of Certainty seems ridiculous with hindsight, for nothing is certain anymore!

IMG_2386Man has chosen to try to outrun Nature in a feeble attempt to remain in charge!

Mother Earth has poured scorn on his attempts in what was arrogantly termed the Doomsday Vault!

IMG_2442I continue to sow and plant…one of many little Arks across the Earth…and plant out the little clocks that
“Beats out the little lives of men.” ~Alfred, Lord Tennyson

 

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Remembering…

dsc05339As the days grow shorter and the evenings longer there is a quietness in the gardens and around the cottage that is rather haunting.

winter sunrise at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens Much of what I do now is centred around preparing for the Midwinter Feast and the continuing festivities of Yule.

BgQ7qv3CEAAL835 Family and friends will be arriving from as far away as Canada.

dsc05353 A house has been rented for the days that are in it, for Bealtaine Cottage is small!

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dsc05352Baking is underway in the kitchen, making full use of the hot oven in the even hotter Stanley stove that is burning constant to keep the cottage warm.

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dsc05329Cakes and bread are then being moved to the freezer in the barn and will be ready to assuage the hunger of visitors and guests alike. dsc05349The cake stand has been dusted off for the festivities.

dsc05331I am transforming the Lodge into a big dining room, moving beds and other furniture out and a huge extending dining table in.

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dsc05333dsc05334This was brought over from the tunnel where it had been in use for years as a potting table, but a good clean down and polish, followed by the adornment of a starched table cloth, has lent the old table an air of noble gentility.

dsc05335dsc05336Candlelight will soften the decrepitness of the piece and even add a touch of shabby chic!

dsc05337In the event it isn’t really about grandeur or showing off, but about coming together to celebrate…something we have almost forgotten how to do.

dsc05338The remembering that less is more…that a pot of well made soup and home baked bread is unique to that day and all who partake of the feast.

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dsc05345It is not about shop bought, ready-made food, or flashy decorations that will still be intact in the landfill when you are long gone from this sacred Earth. dsc05343

dsc05344My little bathroom has had a coat of paint applied and a polish-up!

dsc05346Remembering the importance of gathering and celebrating…this is real civilisation!

 

 

The Other Website… https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-good-life/

 

 

 

Simple Living

As we approach the craziest spending part of the year…

Bealtaine Cottage ~ The Oldest, Independent, Permaculture Smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, Designed, Planted and Worked by One Woman!

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“We’d incorporated Asia into our bones – its colours and laughter, its smells, its rhythms, its tolerance and patience, its compassion, its lack of ageism.”
~ Jane Wilson-Howarth

DSC00922DSC00921DSC00920DSC00915Colour is important to me, as you can see from both the cottage and the garden.

DSC00917DSC00916I am led to infuse it into my daily life, as in the tie-dyed sheet that hangs as a curtain on the old doorway.

DSC00914Sometimes it’s all too easy to go to the shops and buy what is deemed suitable for covering a doorway…usually a door!

DSC00912But, as always, a cottage can be very forgiving and accommodating to whatever furniture or resources one has.

DSC00905A cottage is never in competition with the big, new house down the road!

DSC00906It’s more of a “make do and mend” kind of home, where anything goes, be it period or modern, or just recycled, as is the case here at Bealtaine.

DSC00907As I…

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View from the Edge of the World

The safest place to be…

Bealtaine Cottage ~ The Oldest, Independent, Permaculture Smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, Designed, Planted and Worked by One Woman!

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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…

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While Rome Burns…

It doesn’t have to be this way…

Bealtaine Cottage ~ The Oldest, Independent, Permaculture Smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, Designed, Planted and Worked by One Woman!

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There are no solutions to the instability in the world that I care to offer, as my voice is irrelevant in the scheme of things that cause mayhem and war.

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I can only offer advice on what works for me…on what keeps me sane in a world filled with lunacy!

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Keep grounded!

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Do what you have to do and do it well!

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Look ahead into the seasons and make plans for planting, working, visiting and caring for the world around you.

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Think about ways in which you can heal the world around you, be positive and nurture.

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Don’t allow the mayhem to grind you down…life went on after the Fall of Rome, as well we know!

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Remember, even as war, austerity and breakdown of society is happening right now in countries around the globe, people continue to look after their children, grow food, make food, wash clothes and generally get…

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The Midwinter Archives

A Time of Gathering…

Bealtaine Cottage ~ The Oldest, Independent, Permaculture Smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, Designed, Planted and Worked by One Woman!

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Midwinter, past and present…all here for you to see!

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Feeling a touch nostalgic, I decided to share some of the magic of Midwinter with you from previous years.

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The silvery light of a midwinter sun captures a sense of magic indoors.

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We are all deeply affected by light and respond in varying ways to it, though mostly it makes us feel happier and more positive about life.

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The light of both the sun and moon proved so important for our ancestors that they integrated all aspects of both into their spiritual lives.

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Somewhere in the depths of Winter was born a sense of the light returning and the cycle beginning once more. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

At midwinter, the sun appears to stand still, for three days, before rising on its ascent back up into the southern sky. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

The light changes. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Shadows grow shorter. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Our bodies and minds ascent with the sun towards Midsummer…

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A Pagan Woman

Happily setting and following my own moral compass…

Bealtaine Cottage ~ The Oldest, Independent, Permaculture Smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, Designed, Planted and Worked by One Woman!

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True morality consists not in following the beaten track but in finding out the true path for ourselves and fearlessly following it.

Mahatma Gandhi

DSC00676The word, “morality” comes from Latin, moralitas, meaning “manner, character, proper behaviour” 

DSC00675One would be forgiven for thinking that morality was invented therefore by the Romans…in my view a most immoral culture and empire!

DSC00674Following on from the collapse of the Roman Empire, morality became the foremost banner of the Abrahamic religions, as they prescribed the life to be adhered to for those in Europe and later North and South America, as well as large parts of Africa.

DSC00673Failing to adhere could mean being cast out from society, which was governed in strict terms by the church, in almost every instance.

DSC00671And this has remained de rigeur until recently…in fact, my own lifetime.

DSC00668In fact, social acceptability and indeed family acceptance was predicated upon one’s…

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Goddess Permaculture…Here It Is!

dsc05099This is a morning in early winter, at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland.

dsc05100dsc05108On this Sunday, the twentieth day of November, I awoke to frost, clear skies and that bitter cold signalling immersion in Winter.

dsc05112Bealtaine Cottage didn’t always look like this…you can see how it once looked at the bottom of this page…

dsc05118Twelve years ago it looked quite different.

dsc05120The monoculture of meat production had brought the land low.

dsc05121Mother Earth was slowly dying.

dsc05122The air was silent.

dsc05123This morning you can see for yourself the beauty brought back to the land through Goddess Permaculture.

dsc05125What is Goddess Permaculture, I hear you ask?

dsc05130It is simply this…to recognise the Goddess in all life and honour her beauty and abundance, living as close to the Great Mother, Goddess Gaia, as one possibly can.

dsc05136To understand the Divine Feminine as the source of all life.

dsc05138dsc05142dsc05145dsc05151To honour the life force of Mother Earth.

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To not just believe, but to understand that there is a way back to a beautiful Earth!

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You don’t need qualifications to restore Mother Earth…you need to open your heart and feel deep compassion for her loss…

Now we come to the end of this series of images taken this morning, you will find the images I snapped twelve years ago, when the Goddess lay buried deep within herself, hidden by patriarchal abuse and greed!

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If you think that 1100 blogs and over 8,000 photographs is a good free resource…Support the work of the Bealtaine Project…

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HOME MADE ORGANIC INCENSE…GROWING, MAKING AND BURNING…

Meanwhile, over at Bealtaine Cottage Good Life, (the other website!)

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

has just been published along with a catch-up Podcast!

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

Winter Work in the Permaculture Gardens

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Saturday morning at Bealtaine Cottage and the cold winter has set in…

dsc05049The Goddess Gardens are in the midst of an early winter tidy-up.

dsc05048This is a way of preparing the earth for the Spring to follow, and, it’s not that far away either.

dsc05032_li As we descend towards Midwinter, those involved in caring for the land are all too aware of the time available to prepare for Spring…and that comes in early here in the west of Ireland, with Imbolc on the first day of February!

dsc05046Due to the good Autumn we’ve had, the Winter seems shorter, indeed not all the trees have shed their leaves!

dsc05047Work in the new Lughnasadh Garden continues, as I move many of the perennial flowers from the Potager Beds, near the back of the cottage, over to the new beds prepared for them.

dsc05045I dearly hope to have all the work completed before the Spring, so time outdoors is precious! Mahonia is in full bloom by the bench. This is still in a big pot, but will be planted out if I get the time…another job on the long list!

dsc05044The leaf fall this year has been tremendous and will add considerably to the building fertility here in the Goddess Gardens.

dsc05041From a barren land to abundant growth in twelve years…I continue to pinch myself!

dsc05039As I type, the sun shines in that ethereal way that only descent into Midwinter can do!

dsc05035_liThe smell of beans, toast and vegan bacon emanates from the kitchen…a hearty meal before I step out to work on the land.

dsc05040I will burn Bay Leaves in my incense pot this morning and the cottage will be infused with sweetness.

The Bay leaf is known to contain a substance called Linalool which helps to decrease anxiety in humans and create a calm atmosphere in the home.

dsc05042I make my own blend of home grown organic incense, using blends that either calm, invigorate or cleanse.

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Support the work of the Bealtaine Project…

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Country Cottage Journal ~ A Christmas Eve Message from Bealtaine Cottage

Vintage Bealtaine Cottage and thoughts for the coming days…

Bealtaine Cottage ~ The Oldest, Independent, Permaculture Smallholding in Ireland! Conceived, Designed, Planted and Worked by One Woman!

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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.

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…

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A Big Thank You!

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I travelled up to see Christine Coulson this morning at the Leitrim Animal Welfare Centre, to make the presentation of the monies you raised for the much needed Animal Protection and re-homing work she does 24/7!

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(Mum and son both neutered vaccination and wormed looking to go to new home together sweet cats super friendly)

dogSome of the animals showing on the FB page were there this morning as I walked around the kennels…oh how I wanted to take them all home with me!

One of the lovely dogs was being prepared for his final home journey to England, where he has been adopted.

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(a boy and a girl never separated since birth so would like them to go together to new home)

Despite continued ill-health, Christine works hard to find homes for these unwanted sweethearts all over Europe, with 97% of all the animals getting new families to love and care for them.

Check out the FB site…

https://www.facebook.com/LeitrimAnimalWelfareCentre/

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(HI my names is Sean and this is my friend Max, poor Max has been badly treated and he is wary of humans our Dog Warden paired us together, so I can help Max be a happy dog again and we have a bed each but Dog warden keeps finding us cuddled in one, sometimes you just need your own kind to help you be yourself . Woof woof Max)

Sean looks just like my Jack!

A big thank you to the following subscribers…

Anne Faught, Alaska…28.00

Cathy Lawlor, Ireland…20.00

Sharon Hiltz, Fairmont, WV., USA…60.00

Mark Mcvittie, Rostrevor, Newry, Northern Ireland…50.00

Snapdragon Plants, Lampeter, Wales…30.00

Jane Potter, Manchester, UK…15.00

Cormac Breslin, Dublin, Ireland…50.00

Patti, Rossinver, Ireland and USA…25.00

Frances Brotzel, Stoke Newington, London…50.00

(To all past and present animal friends.)

Judith Gamble, Ireland…50.00

(Donation on behalf of our dog, Roxie, who was dumped on our Lane 7 years ago and has been with us ever since!)

Debbie Ledgard, Yorkshire, UK…50.00

Barbara Wingrove, UK…10.00

Anonymous, Ireland…50.00

Catherine McGuckin, Oughterad, Co Galway, Ireland…10.00

Beverley Little, Cornwall, UK…10.00

Linda Jarreau, Denham Springs, LA, USA…25.00

In memory of Karen, my mother who loved dogs so much!
Contributor: Marianne Burkhar…21.00

Margaret Quinn, Meath, Ireland…20.00

Lorna Lees, Moray, Scotland, UK…15.00

Anna Ballard, Bristol, UK…10.00

Willow Antiques, Leigh on Sea, Essex, UK…25.00

Karen Hillier, Herts., UK…20.00

Pamela Waterworth, Wigan, Lancs., UK…10.00

Fiona Fitzpatrick, Buncrana, Donegal, Ireland…20.00

Tina, West Wales…20.00

Jenny in Scotland…20.00

Sharon Hiltz, Fairmont, United States…30.00

Hanson design group dba HotPatterns, USA…20.00

Majella Callaghan, Lurgan, N. Ireland, UK…50.00

Denise Machon, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, UK…30.00

Miss Susan K Wilson, UK…50.00

Cormac O’Neill, London, UK…50.00

Colette O’Neill, Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland…100.00…from Jack to Christine XXX who was there when I needed a friend!

Irfan, Darkness, Light and Healing

(Starting with the Podcast will allow you to listen as you look through the photographs)

dsc04994Channelling is a skill that takes practice, eventually becoming an intuitive director of energy, good or bad.

dsc04991Yesterday, angry energy was channelled into this creation.

dsc04995As we channel energy from one place to another, so we work as alchemists in this world.

dsc05008 Alchemy is a subject I have talked about in previously at Bealtaine Cottage…this little piece of Sacred Earth being itself changed in the most alchemical way by the Goddess of eternal change, Gaia.

Above is a plant that holds the secret of healing…

Aloe Vera

dsc05007…and I have cut part of a leaf to help heal Sammy-Bear’s right eye that has become rather sore following a fight with another cat…not Beauty!

I have simply squeezed the healing juice onto a clean tissue and wiped it over the skin around his eye.

Aloe Vera have been used for medical treatment for centuries.

The plant contains antiseptic elements that can curb the growth,

of or even destroy bacteria,fungi and viruses.

It is also effective in treating burns,cuts and grazes.

Aloe Vera is today used in a wide range of cosmetic products

and homeopathic ointments.

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For followers of Bealtaine Cottage and all aspects of ancient Celtic life and Goddess Permaculture found therein, there is a second website, growing daily and now with over 90 new blogs and several thousands of unseen photographs, as well as podcasts and stories… Visit:

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life Membership~ Subscribe Today!

Upcycled Fashion

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I took my own advice today…see the motto at the top of the website page…and created this…

dsc04956And yes, the motto is some of the best advice one could ever act upon!

dsc04969dsc04972dsc04976So, I present to you my Celtic Dream Coat…

dsc04978dsc04980Made from 100% recycled materials.

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This is called upcycling!

For lovers of Bealtaine Cottage and all aspects of ancient Celtic life and Goddess Permaculture found therein, there is a second website, growing daily and now with over 90 new blogs and several thousands of unseen photographs, as well as podcasts and stories… Visit:

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life Membership~ Subscribe Today!