Posted in Childhood, Current Affairs, Dublin, Economy, government, History, Hope, Thoughts

Homelessness and Vulture Capitalism

DSC01744Why has the government of allowed Funds to cash-buy over 60% of when we have a ?

A simple question.

A simple tweet, made this morning, as I pondered what government is actually for…

DSC01723It concerns me deeply to imagine the almost two thousand  children who are awakening this morning in their homeless temporary accommodation…mostly Bed and Breakfast only hotels!

DSC01743I live in a comfortable little cottage, but grew up in circumstances not dissimilar to the homeless children of Ireland today, in that I was a child of an economically disadvantaged family. 

1624264_577952575629990_150204437_nThis is what economic inequality looked like in Ireland 53 yrs ago…that’s me on the left.

Eleven children living in a two bed-roomed terraced house.

mum-0071Yet over half a century ago, despite the cramped conditions, we had a house we called home!

My mother lived a long healthy life despite birthing eleven children…here she was in her eightieth year at Bealtaine Cottage.

DSC01742There should not be a homeless crisis here in Ireland…or anywhere for that matter!

DSC01741There were 5,811 people ‘officially homeless’ in emergency homeless accommodation in February 2016 – an increase of 48% over the previous February. This figure includes adults (3,930) and children with their families (1,881), but it does not include the ‘hidden homeless’ who are living in squats or ‘sofa surfing’ with friends or people who are living in domestic violence refuges.

~ http://www.focusireland.ie/resource-hub/about-homelessness/

DSC01739If every country in the western world can find endless money for war and bankers…need I say more?

DSC01738The Irish Government should be particularly ashamed this morning in the wake of yesterdays revelations that over sixty per cent of all houses sold last year in Ireland were to cash buyers…most of whom commanded the wealth of so-called Vulture Funds! 

vulture fund
noun

FINANCE
plural noun: vulture funds
  1. a fund which invests in companies or properties which are performing poorly and may therefore be undervalued.
    DSC01729In this so-called republic, for any child to go to bed hungry or awaken in cramped squalor is an utter disgrace.
    Shame on us all!
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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.”

www.bealtainecottage.com (3)

 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 Celtic Mythology, Celts, History, Inspiration, Ireland, photography, Spring

The Enchantment of Belcoo

www.bealtainecottage.com 003It’s late as I write this blog…I really should be in bed, but the beauty of the day has filled me with enthusiasm to share it with you!

I made a journey to Omagh this morning to visit my mother.

The day was bright and the sky clear as I set off on the journey North.

I drove up around Lough Allen, across the border at Belcoo, through Enniskillen and onto Omagh.

www.bealtainecottage.com 005On the way I stopped by Lough McNean at Belcoo.

www.bealtainecottage.com 014 Legend has it that this was the scene of an ancient massacre.

www.bealtainecottage.com 006It’s a strange place, resonating some kind of ancient energy.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012The mountains around the Lough stand guard over deep, dark waters that mark the borderlands

www.bealtainecottage.com 022The landscape pulls one in as if by magic, forcing the eye to examine the shadows in search of something…something…some memory of being here before…

Many thanks for the continuing support for the work of this Bealtaine Cottage  website.

Blessings

Posted in Autumn, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, photography, Spirituality, Thoughts, Trees, Woodland

The Girdle of Green

www.bealtainecottage.com 002An old castle on an island in the forest, not far from Bealtaine Cottage, and where I walked today with my daughter, Cara, whose birthday we celebrated, with a walk through this magical landscape on a glorious autumn day.

www.bealtainecottage.com 007This is Lough Key and the castle once belonged to the MacDermott clan who lived here hundreds of years ago.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003The castle is mentioned frequently in the ancient annals, being a focus for both fighting and partying.

Brian of the Carrick, Chief 1585-92, is reported to be last head of the clan to live on the island.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004 There is reference to Castle Island in the annals of Lough Ce as early as 1184.

During this time the park was called Moylurg and the Kings of Moylurg were the MacDermotts.

www.bealtainecottage.com 017The real pleasure lies in walking among the mighty Oaks that guard the Lough.

www.bealtainecottage.com 031This Oak tree was warm and welcoming…an ancient heart holding the history of the land within.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021Just resting against this tree made me feel joyous…what amazing energy and strength emanates forth from trees like this!

The mighty  Oak has had importance and great significance to the Celts, from ancient to modern times.

www.bealtainecottage.com 034This is where the ancestors worshipped and held important events in the old calendar, for the Oak Grove was considered sacred.

www.bealtainecottage.com 048Oak trees grow in almost every part of the world.

The Druids made their magic wands from only three woods…Yew, Oak and Apple.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054

As the sap begins to drop in the trees and the leaves turn colour, Ivy, that has previously been shaded out by canopy, emerges into its own, as a permanent reminder to us all that spring will return.

www.bealtainecottage.com 057The evergreen girdle of Ivy, on many trees, keeps a host of small birds and insects warm and fed over the dark days of winter.

www.bealtainecottage.com 043Similarly, the girdle of Moss, around the base of the mighty Oak, will secure the winter for many small creatures.

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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 Current Affairs, History, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Katharine Gun and Tony Blair…a Tale of Two Englands

April 2011 Bealtaine 028Ten years ago Tony Blair stood up in the Mother of all Parliaments and told a yarn  about Iraq.

April 2011 permaculturecottage 047It was a story about weapons of mass destruction and the need for people, other than himself, to take to the gun and the tank, the bomber jet and the bomb and go invade another country.

One that had not threatened the security of the state.

One that would pay a terrible price for the fact it had a wealth of oil.

April Bealtaine Cottage 2011 013Meanwhile, Katharine Gun was a young woman working at GCHQ, specializing in speaking Mandarin.

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 027Katharine became aware, through her work at GCHQ, that there was an official drive for the invasion of Iraq, that included spying on the UN and working to ensure a UN mandate for a war based on lies.

April 2011 Bealtaine Smallholding 004To her everlasting credit, Katharine decided to go public with the information, in a bid to stop what was to become one of the most horrific slaughters of human beings not recorded! (It was decided in both London and Washington that a body count of civilian death was not needed!)

Bealtaine Permaculture march 2011 013

“On a per-day basis, the highest intensity of civilian killings over a sustained period occurred during the first three “Shock and Awe” weeks of the 2003 invasion, when civilian deaths averaged 317 per day and totalled over 6,640 by April 9th, nearly all attributable to US-led coalition-forces, reaching 7,286 by the time of President GW Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech of 1st May 2003″ ~The Guardian

May 2011 Bealtaine 007

Katharine Gun lost her job.

Tony Blair went on to become one of Britain’s wealthiest ex-prime ministers.

Thank you for supporting this blog

Posted in Cats, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Childhood, Climate, Current Affairs, Ecology, Food, History, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Uncategorized, Wildlife

The Circle of Greed, The Spiral of Life and The Tipping Point

Bealtaine Cottage in April 2011 025The tipping point has been reached.

Reading this report from yesterday quantifies everything that is wrong with our approach to food.

You see, Salmon, used to be a seasonal food.

Bealtaine Cottage Gardens  in April 2011 001Much like other seasonal foods, it was enjoyed as a celebration of a particular time of year.

I remember this time as a child.

Fairy Dell at  Bealtaine Cottage011The salmon would return to Ireland to spawn…swimming furiously up the rivers to lay their eggs in dark, sometimes shallow, pools of freshwater, having survived a momentous journey across the Atlantic Ocean and into the fast, freshwater rivers of the west of Ireland.

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage Laurel arch023It was easy enough to catch them, though not always legal, but then people rarely took more than they could eat or share.

Irusan at Bealtaine Cottage Fairy DellWe had no fridge in our tiny house and no freezer.

Barely standing room for parents and eleven children!

Inside Bealtaine Cottage 001The salmon was a great supplement to a frugal diet and the men seemed to understand the value of the sacred fish, for they were regarded as such in the old ways.

The Salmon of Wisdom.

The Salmon of Knowledge.

Pond in the Bog Garden at  Bealtaine Cottage There was a sense of compassion by the banks of the River Strule in Omagh.

An empathy even with this most magical of all fish… Fish Farms put an end to all this, injecting a venom of disconnect into the veins of human beings.

Mirror in the garden at  Bealtaine Cottage Greed over-ruled millennia of links between human and salmon.

This is what I have just read from yesterday’s paper…

The number of salmon killed by diseases at Scottish fish farms rose to more than 8.5 million last year.

New figures released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) reveal losses from all salmon farms have reached nearly 10% of production.

The main problem has been the spread of amoebic gill disease, blamed by some on the warmer seas caused by climate pollution.

In 2012, 13,627 tonnes of dead fish had to be disposed of by 230 fish farms along the west coast and on the islands, compared with 9717 tonnes in 2011 and 7159 tonnes in 2010.

This has raised questions about how such large amounts of diseased waste are safely disposed of, and how the process is regulated. Sepa and local authorities both say it is not their responsibility.

Anglers and environmentalists pin the blame on production methods and are demanding a halt to any expansion plans.

“It is clear from these massive mortality figures there are major problems,” said Hugh Campbell Adamson, the chairman of the Salmon and Trout Association in Scotland. “When a large number of fish are closely confined, the likelihood of endemic disease is greatly increased.”

Fish farmer Grieg Seafood declined to comment.

HeraldScotland

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/disease-deaths-on-salmon-farms-soar.20177714

Posted in Art, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Country Living, Crafts, Folklore, History, Imbolc, Ireland, Lifestyle, Saint Bridget Cross, Spirituality, Spring

Saint Brigid’s Day, Imbolc and the 1st of Spring!

Brigid's Cross made at Bealtaine CottageMaking a St. Brigid’s cross is a special traditional ritual here in Ireland.

The ancient festival of Imbolc reminds us that deep in the earth lie the dormant seeds of new life and creativity

Brigid, the goddess of fire, whose manifestations were song, craftsmanship, and poetry, which the Irish considered the flame of knowledge.

 Bealtaine Cottage stone circleThis ritual marks the end of winter and the beginning of early spring, 1st February.

Bealtaine Cottage SpringBrigid’s crosses are made of rushes that are pulled from the ground and made on the day.

The rushes must be pulled,rather than cut.

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture It is the custom to hang the cross by the door, as this is regarded to protect the house from fire and all negative energy.

Imbolc marks the centre of the dark half of the year.

Following the darkness of midwinter it is the time to prepare for growth & renewal

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture According to tradition a new cross is made each St Brigid’s Day.

Bealtaine Cottage spring wellThe old one is then burned to keep fire and all bad energies away from the house. Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture winter sun

Imbolc fell midway between the winter solstice & spring equinox of the Celtic calendar, but now falls on 1 Feb in the Gregorian calendar.

I have been making Brigid’s Crosses today  for sale in the Bealtaine Cottage Etsy Shop.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BealtaineCottage

Posted in Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Bees, Country Living, cows, Garden, Growing Food, Herbs, History, Inspiration, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Wild Flowers

Herb Lore and Healthy Living

Valerian at Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureThe history of herbs is thousands of years old.

There are over 100 herbs growing here at Bealtaine Cottage.

Many, like this Valerian, are grown for their beautiful, Bee attracting flowers.

Elderflower herbMany herbs, like this sweet smelling Elderflower, used to make cordial here last summer, grow on trees.

Herbs, flowers and fruit on the veranda at Bealtaine CottageThe history of herbs dates back to the ancient Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine, although a seminal book on Chinese pharmacology was written during the Han dynasty, known as the Shen Nong Canon of  Herbs.

The Ebers Papyrus from Egypt was written around 1500BC.

Nettle, a permaculture herbGreek history acknowledges the importance of herbs in several important works on the subject…

Nature provides us all with everything we need to keep ourselves well and healthy.

Nettles are one of the great Spring tonics to be drunk as tea or cooked in the same way as Spinach.

valerian and Rosa Canina growing at Bealtaine CottageHerbs will grow happily alongside each other, such as the Rosa Canina and Valerian seen here on the driveway of Bealtaine Cottage.

Each year I take a stock of cuttings from the Bay tree, Laurus Nobilis.

This year I am relieved to have them growing so well as the big Bay tree in the orchard suffered badly with the frost.

Bay was revered by both the Ancient Greeks and  the Romans.

This was sacred to the sun-god Apollo.

The Bay Laurel was used to make wreaths that crowned Emperors!

It was also regarded as a highly prized protection against evil.

My favourite use for them is in hot milk before bed…delicious and nourishing.

Feverfew growing at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture smallholdingFeverfew is enough to be grown for its flowers alone!

The 17th century herbalist, Culpeper noted it as good for female conditions…whatever that may be! …and also as good for relieving headaches.

I also use it for this, macerating the foliage into a pulp and applying it to my temples before lying down and resting.

fennel in a vase at Bealtaine CottageFennel, Foeniculum Vulgare, grows in both the tunnel and outdoors, equally well.

You can see it makes a wonderful scented addition to flower arrangements here at the cottage.

Fennel tea is traditionally a remedy for baby’s colic.

I use fennel as a delicious addition to salads, both leaf and bulb.

Meadowsweet at Bealtaine CottageAll herbs are relatively easy to grow.

This Meadowsweet grows wild in the Bealtaine Bog Garden and is heavenly scented!

Rosa Rugosa at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Other herbs that grow easily here are Rosa Rugosa and

Woodbine at Bealtaine CottageHoneysuckle, or Woodbine as it’s more commonly known.

willow arch and spaghnum moss on the lawn at Bealtaine CottageHere in Ireland, Sphagnum Moss is dislodged by grass, which pushes it up from the soil, dislodging it from the earth, ready to be carried off by nesting birds in search of bedding.

Did you know that Sphagnum Moss is a natural antiseptic and blood coagulant and was used by French troops during W.W.1. as an application for wounds?…successfully!

Cows eat herbs and seek out particular ones for health benefitsHerbs are immensely important in all aspects of life, for healing, eating, flavouring, colouring etc.

Cows eat herbs and will seek out particular herbs for health.

permaculture cottage, july 2011 010The scents from a herb garden are nothing less than enchanting.

And if Pliny the Elder considered them of such importance that he wrote a book about them, then that alone should make them fascinating plants to grow in your garden…

 

Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 1100 blogs, as well as over 7,000 photographs.

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life (The Other Website) 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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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Christmas, Cottage, Country Living, Family, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Winter

Winter Solstice Gathering at Bealtaine Cottage

winter solstice 2012 at Bealtaine Cottage

Fires are lit and food prepared for this, the longest night of the year…the Gathering at Bealtaine Cottage.

Loved ones meet again to join the celebration from as far away as Canada, London, Belfast and Dublin.

Missy, the solstice catA night to gather around the fire and light the candles around the home.

Missy has found her warm spot and will not be moved…we celebrate around her!

The Solstice Feast at Bealtaine CottageAs preparations for the winter feast are under way, we join together in toasting the year and the time to come.

In Latin, solstice means sun set still. This is the still night, the silent night, the longest night of the year…

The turn of the wheelWinter Solstice is the great stillness before the turning, as the days grow longer.

yuletide tree decked with lights at Bealtaine CottageThe cottage is small, so the tree stands on the veranda outside the window.

This is the celebration of the silent night, a sacred time of rest before the awakening, and the slow build toward longer days.

solstice treeThe human race has observed the solstice for millennia.

This night is a continuation of that sacred tradition.

Inside the cottage Tomorrow we are past the dark and facing into the light.

The ascent to Spring will begin once more.

Happy Solstice Everyone!

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Christmas, Country Living, Earth, Garden, History, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

Yuletide Celebrations

Yuletide is an ancient celebration.

Midwinter mist at Bealtaine CottageAs the mist encircles the cottage this morning and the stillness of the air creates echoes along the hill, Midwinter seems very close.

Painted Irish dresser at Bealtaine CottageThis is traditionally a time for people to come together and celebrate the midwinter, with feasting, music and dancing.

I have been busy painting and decorating the cottage in preparation for this special time.

Even the old dresser has been given a much needed coat of paint!

Mist and trees in the permaculture gardens at Bealtaine CottageYule is traditionally celebrated over twelve days.

This is where the Twelve days of Christmas come from.

It is also traditional to have a Yule log which will burn all night, on the longest night of the year.

The barn is filled with logs for the stoves.

Most of the wood comes from fast growing Ash, a tree which grows easily here in the west of Ireland.

Wood burning stove at Bealtaine CottageLight is important at this time and this is where the idea of Christmas lights comes from.

Opening the doors of the wood burning stove in the sitting room, allows light to fill the room.

There are many celebrations of light all across the world at this time.

Irish dresser in the cottage kitchen at Bealtaine CottageWe are drawn towards the light, in this time of darkness and mellow sunlight.

The winter will have reached it’s shortest day this week.

The Barn at Bealtaine Cottage, midwinter 2012 A time to celebrate, keep warm and look forward to the ascent towards Spring.

Veranda at Bealtaine Cottage, midwinter 2012Make the most of this beautiful aspect of the year, wrap up warm and spent time outdoors.

There is beauty in every day…and it allows you to appreciate the warmth of your home.

Happy Yuletide, everyone!

Posted in Cats, Current Affairs, History, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Peace on Earth

Bealtaine Cottage before Christmas 2012

In the remaining days before Midwinter of 2012, a time much talked of as something to be feared, I have discovered an old 1939 cartoon film entitled “Peace on Earth.”

Bealtaine Cottage Christmas 2012It  is a one-reel film directed by Hugh Harman, about a post-apocalyptic world populated only by animals.

Who was to know, that another world war was about to begin?

For me, this is the point of 2012.

Events are not to be feared.

Rather we should fear the consequences of our own actions, or, inactions.

War is wrong.

Bealtaine Cottage Christmas CatDress it up in whatever flag one wants…it is, and always will be, wrong.

Peace on Earth…a sacred wish.

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Here it is, less than 10 minutes long and a wonderful Christmas treat!

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.

006

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.

These three things will light the life path and bring you forward, safely and in contentment.

My paternal grandmother had little in terms of money or property, but was immensely wealthy of spirit and generous with all.

Bealtaine Cottage 009

Her own mother was an equally remarkable woman and incredibly attuned to the natural world around her.

She loved the world outside of her little lime-washed cottage and slept in a big, brass bed in the barn, all year round, waking with the birdsong and living a long, contented life.

Happiness, contentment and the recognition of Divinity in all life, were never strangers on her journey.

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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.

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Posted in celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Christmas, Culture, Folklore, Garden, History, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Midwinter, Newgrange and Sacred Light

Mornings arrive later as the sun struggles to climb above the eastern horizon…we slowly descend into winter.

Blackbirds swoop low across bushes in the garden, as they protect their territory from other hungry birds.

The hours between dawn and dusk grow thin and precious light appreciated.

Our ancestors appreciated the light of the day and made great effort to welcome it.

Newgrange was erected as a passage-grave and aligned to receive the first rays of the midwinter sun.

Our ancestors knew the importance of the midwinter solstice and the importance of light to all life on Earth.

Newgrange is the place to be on this auspicious morning of the winter, the solstice…

Midwinter can be a magical time here in Ireland, as this photograph shot from my kitchen window last year shows.

The light is different from all other and must have held a sacredness for our ancestors as the darkness engulfed them through November and December…

Newgrange was built around 3,200 BC and belongs to a time before metal was used.

Despite this, the construction was specifically aligned using knowledge that included details of the tilt within the axis of the earth and the exact information to design and build a window above the door lintel to receive the light from the rising sun on the solstice day.

So, as the light becomes increasingly important to us during this slow descent into Midwinter, can I make these small suggestions?

Find time to be quiet.

Explore in your environment a peaceful, comfortable place.

In this sacred space keep comfort with you.

Place a little bell here.

When you take time out to be quiet, light a candle, ring a soft sounding bell and meditate on the season of welcome light.

Posted in Books, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Culture, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Spirituality, Thoughts

The Prophecy of Merlin and the Vatican

The spiral, so long viewed as a mystical symbol…associated with the ancient Celts.

Merlin was one of the great mythological figures, also associated with those ancient people.

I say, “mythological,” only because we have no written proof…or do we?

Merlin, according to the Celts, was reported to have made many prophecies in his mythological lifetime…

Nonsense, I hear you say…but, read on, for this is where it all gets rather tangled and interesting!

It is interesting to note here that any writing to do with prophesy is of great interest to an old institution, famous for the suppression and burning of women and especially those with healing and esoteric knowledge at around the same time as this book was published…and into the centuries that followed.

A patriarchal institution of great secrecy…

You see, there is a book in the Vatican Library, amongst many hundreds of thousands of books, that are not to be read, or studied, except under the prescriptives of the higher echelons of that closed, patriarchal institution.

This book is a copy of an original manuscript, dated 8 October 1474.

The extraordinary title of this closed document is, Merlini Prophetica.

  This title, simply translated from the Latin, reads, “The Prophecy of Merlin.”

Amazing importance given to someone who was said not to have existed, don’t you think?

Posted in Celtic Mythology, Celts, Culture, Fairies, Folklore, Garden, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Spirituality, Trees, Woodland

The Magical Garden

This is the magical Stone Circle at Bealtaine Cottage.

It lies at the southern edge of the land and was, until recently, part of a form of ancient stones that had been cleared from the surface of the soil and pushed back into the recesses of the hill.

Some of the stones are huge and took several people to move them into position.

I worked alongside an archaeologist friend of mine, who had shown an interest in this particular site for some time.

It was he who urged me to allow himself and some colleagues to move the stones back into place.

The site was chosen following careful study of the alignments of several megalithic structures within the area, including a cairn on top of Kilronan Mountain, which lies to the north of the circle, in a direct line with the centre.

Although the Celts did not build the megalithic structures found within their lands, they were certainly aware of them.

The Fairy Rings are as much a part of Irish folklore as the Celts themselves…with stories of the mysterious lights that are seen within them when the Sidhe or Fairy Folk dance on moonlit nights.

These monuments were attributed to the the Tuatha de Danann, whom, it was said, disappeared, underground, into the hills and mountains.

The ancient stone sites are portals, where entrance to the human world can be made…and vice versa!

So, the Fairy Ring is now restored…just what Bealtaine Cottage was missing!

 It sits well in the landscape of trees and Nature that abounds the land.

With a stone seat nearby to sit and wait for the Fairy Folk on a moonlit night!

 

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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, biodiversity, Current Affairs, Ecology, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Smallholding, Trees, Woodland

National Tree Day Ireland and the Kindness of the Twitter Community!

The package from the USA could not have arrived at a better time…for Thursday the 11th of October is National Tree Day here in Ireland!

There are so many fabulous, caring people on Twitter, that it has become, for me, more than just a social media.

David, one of a fantastic group of people, answered my call for seeds to plant here at Bealtaine Cottage, with a box full of tree seeds…acorns, all different varieties!

The excitement here at the cottage was tangible as the post arrived and the package from America was opened.

Tara, from new York City, also sent me some wonderful Black Tomato seeds.

Lá na gCrann 2012
TREE DAY 2012 is a day for reminding everyone about the importance of trees. Ireland was once a much forested land, leading up to the 16th century.

At the end of the 16th century, Ireland was still a relatively wooded country, with one-eight of its surface area covered in forests, but this was soon to change and the continued decimation of the Irish forests continued unabated until the present day.

Ireland currently has about 11% tree cover, but if one takes into account the fact that about half of that, at least, is the horrid, tightly planted, plantations of Sitkha Spruce, then the actual coverage figure is considerably lower…possibly as little as 5%! We need to plant trees!

In Elizabethan times, the extent of the forests in the southwest of Ireland was almost legendary.

 The Irish forests were a considered to be an impediment to troop movements and a place of concealment for Irish rebels…not unlike the merry men of Sherwood Forest and their  use of the trees as protectors of their freedom, so much so that Sir John Perrot, Queen Elizabeth’s representative in Ireland, suggested that the woods be cut to ”deprive the rebels of their place of succour”.

English settlers started the clearance of the forests for their own security and prosperity.

Wood was a much traded commodity, as boats and houses were built using the precious resource.

Today has been a good tree planting day here at Bealtaine Smallholding, with two fine Sweet Chestnuts being planted…both gifts from well-wishers…Thank you Helen and Blair from Sligo!

As the Autumn moves through towards midwinter and into Spring, any fine day is good for planting trees, so there is much opportunity ahead of us.

This Thursday will be a day for planting trees and thinking about the importance of trees in our lives…for, without them, we have no life!

Posted in Celtic Mythology, Celts, Country Living, Folklore, Garden, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Samhain, Spirituality, Vegan

A Way of Living in Circular Time

Hazel nuts ripen on small trees near the orchard at Bealtaine Cottage.

Many of the Hazel trees were planted at the beginning of the land conversion to Permaculture and some have been planted on a fairly continuous basis since, being eight years in total.

As a Vegan, nuts are important in my diet, and as Hazel Nuts are indigenous to Ireland, these would be the most compatible to the diet.

Nuts are easily added to food and form a tasty part of any home-made burgers and roasts.

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 013

The Hazel is a small, deciduous tree and is native to Ireland.

They take up little space and are suitable for coppicing, as the wood can be used in different projects, especially for pea supports and woven fencing.

Bealtaine Cottage 001

Hazel has always been regarded as a ‘magical’ wood, with the stems used historically as ‘wands’.

William Butler Yeats used the Hazel as imagery in some of his poetry and writing.

“I went down to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head…cut and peeled a hazel wand…”

Bealtaine Cottage 004

The hazel tree in Celtic Mythology is associated with wisdom, intuition and creative energy.

It is no surprise then that the Hazel Wand has such magical connotations!

Permaculture…living in harmony, understanding our natural environment and helping it all to come together…a way of living, of looking at our world as our paradise of plenty.

Bealtaine Cottage 009

I have been trying to explain all this to a visitor today who came to see permaculture in action, but, sometimes it’s best not to go seeking, instead stopping to look…

After heavy rains here in the west of Ireland, the sky has cleared to reveal a beautiful sun rising in the East.

The colours of Autumn are like a technicolour display of Nature at her best.

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As the moon wanes in the evening sky and the earth cools, mists encroach on the morning air.

winter sunrise at Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardens

The past nights have been clear and bright and very cold.

Even the waning moon has shone bright.

Bealtaine Cottage 001

The Celts respected the moon and rather than speak openly of it, alluded to it instead, calling it ‘gealach’, meaning ‘brightness’.

The Celtic calendar was based on the lunar cycles, in that a month began with the full moon.

The Celts believed in circular, not linear, time.

Maybe, just maybe, that is where we have gone astray…

Posted in Books, History, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spirituality, Thoughts

The Permaculture World According to William Blake

William Blake, born in 1757, was a wise man, a great poet, artist and seer.

According to William Butler Yeats, he was also of Irish stock, originally bearing the name I share with him, ‘O’Neill’.

The story goes that Williams’ father married Catherine Blake and took her name to evade the shame associated with a being in a debtor’s prison.

William adopted the name his father took, despite being the stepson of Catherine, but, I digress…

These two lines from Blake, memorised when a child at school, have helped shape my life and influenced my perception of the world…

“A Robin Redbreast in a Cage

Puts all Heaven in a Rage.”

This, for me, simplified the connection between Nature on this planet and the entire Cosmos/God/Cosmic Energy/Higher Power…whatever one connects with and understands.

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This intuitive understanding of right and wrong, of how to live in harmony with Nature rather than trying to control and dominate this magnificent, regenerative force, has guided me into Permaculture. The more planting one does, the more evident it becomes…the inter-connectedness of all life on this planet.

The world in which Blake lived was markedly different from what it is today.

His empathy with the sentient world was profound and inter-connective, something we could all learn from as a way of trying to live in harmony with the Earth, rather than the continual domination man seeks:

A dog starv’d at his master’s gate

Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misus’d upon the road

Calls to heaven for human blood.

Each outcry of the hunted hare

A fiber from the brain doth tear.

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From the poem “Auguries of Innocence.”

Planting for the bees is the next most important thing to growing food in my book!

Always trying to ensure a steady supply of food for the bees,  Michelmas Daisies spread into bigger clumps each year and bloom all the way through late August, all of September and well into October.

They seem to be happy just about anywhere as I have them growing in all parts of the garden.

The birds are happy to feast on the seed-heads and the bees will feast before that!

June 2014 permaculture@bealtainecottage.com 031

When one thinks about, it is easy to understand the vital connection between both, for without the bees, we have no food!

William Blake understood that more than most, for he was attuned to the Earth, both physically and spiritually.

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Posted in Autumn, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Country Living, cows, Culture, Garden, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Samhain, Spirituality, Thoughts

Driven Headlong by Passion…

Walking along country lanes in late September is a joy, when wrapped up warm.

The sun shines bright, but there is a chill in the air.

cropped-morning-at-bealtaine-cottage-001.jpg

Colours are brightening before the leaves finally shed their food onto the earth, replenishing the soil and adding fertility for the next growing season.

Cows muster around hedges, watching the road for signs of movement, for they are curious and social animals.

Autumn walks are precious.

The colours of autumn lead towards Samhain, pronounced, “Sow-een,” the end of summer proper and the start of winter.

Many know this festival today as Halloween.

The festival of Samhain is an ancient Celtic one.

Traditionally, there were many festivals celebrated to mark the passing of the seasons and indeed this celebratory feasting and dancing was noted by other, more formal civilizations.

The Celtic characteristics of spontaneity and passion were remarked upon by many in the Classical World…”I say…in everything they attempt, they are driven headlong by their passions and never submit to the laws of reason.” written by the Greek Historian, Polybius[200-118BCE] 

Such characteristics form part of the driving force which propels me here at Bealtaine Cottage.

The matrilinear society I come from encourages connections with, and observations of, the natural world, that is, for me, the driving force behind Permaculture.
Dragon's Breath at Bealtaine Cottage 034

An aspect of the present day sickness of consumer driven materialism is the alienation of many in society, from the natural world and certainly, many of the so-called celebrations of today are corporation rackets and little more!

Roman society was predominantly patriarchal and much of western civilization is based upon the Roman model of governance and living.

Celtic Cross at Bealtaine CottageCentralized forms of government are now the norm., in the developed world, leaving communities behind or confining them to the edges of importance.

Within the framework of my life, based solely on the approaches of Permaculture, I am driven by the influences of my Celtic predecessors with their more harmonious and indeed balanced approach to life.

It is a way of living outside of the dictates of consumerism.

Posted in Autumn, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Country Living, Culture, Earth, Fairies, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Poetry, Samhain, Spirituality, Thoughts

A Time of Early Shadows

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Autumn is a time of early shadows as the season of summer passes over.

Scents of woodsmoke and compost fill the air.

Samhain is close.

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The Celts divided the year into two parts…the light and the dark.

Samhain is the crossover point into the dark.

Seamus Heaney wrote a wonderful collection of poetry entitled, “Into The Dark.”

One of my favourite reads at this time of the year.

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Poetry is like that…it can be turned over again and again, extracted from the past into the present and enjoyed afresh.

The turning of the year towards the light is heralded in the Feast of Bealtaine.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054Bealtaine also means, “May,” in Irish and is why I named this cottage Bealtaine Cottage…for it was in May I first spied it!

Bealtaine celebrates the beginning of summer as we turn towards the light and short shadows.

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In Ireland the Tribes gathered for Samhain, at the ritual centres across the land to celebrate this most important festival of the year.

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It was a time to reconnect with the past, a time of early shadows and light veils of separation.

A time of magic.

Posted in Childhood, Culture, Current Affairs, Garden, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Personal, Spirituality

The Return of the Divine Feminine and Earth Healing.

For several thousands of years there has been a dominance of patriarchal religion.

The role of women has been greatly suppressed and undermined.

As a consequence, we have forgotten and been denied the sacred power of the divine feminine.

As a woman growing up here in Ireland I was taught that God was male and women were subservient at all times to the male.

The role of the feminine was diminished at all levels of society.

I recall my mother having to endure a ceremony called, “being churched,” after childbirth.

The RC church regarded my mother and all like her as being “dirty,” following childbirth and that only a male priest could cleanse her and make her fit for the world in which she lived.

Mother was not allowed to attend church until this ceremony had been conducted.

Imagine a world where giving birth to a sacred human being made one unclean in the eyes of God?

Without the divine feminine in our lives, we impoverish ourselves of the sacred meaning and divine purpose of being alive.

Without the divine feminine in our lives we lose our ability to heal, understand, nourish and empower ourselves and our world.

We allow the ignorance of patriarchy to diminish what we know to be sacred and special.

Without the understanding of the divine feminine we submit to chaos and fear.

The Earth and her inhabitants have had enough of chaos and fear…

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 120 AD-FREE videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Over 1,000 blogs from Bealtaine Cottage in the archives here…check them out!

Posted in Fairies, History, Inspiration, Life, Poetry, Sligo, Spirituality, Uncategorized

The High Cross of Saint Colmcille under Ben Bulben.

A day away from my permaculture smallholding, to visit the beach of Streedagh, in Sligo.

On the journey to the ocean, I stopped off at Drumcliffe to visit the grave of William Butler Yeats.

Yeats lies in the little churchyard beside the church where his grandfather was once a clergyman.

This was once an early Christian site of
major significance.

It founded by St. Colmcille in A.D. 575 – the round tower and high cross, as you can see above, still remain.

Saint Colmcille is remembered  for his part in the ‘ Battle of the Books’.

Colmcille copied a book while a guest
of St. Finian’s.

Finian claimed the copy as well as the book, but Colmcille refused.

Here you can see the beach of Streedagh and the mountain of Ben Bulben in the background.

Yeats lies in the churchyard at the foot of this great mountain.

Anyway, on with the story…The dispute was brought
to the High King of Ireland whose edict was: ‘To every cow its calf and to every book its copy’.

In consequence, in 561 AD, the High King and Colmcille engaged in battle on the slopes of Benbulben.

Aided by an angel, Colmcille won.

Thousands of men were slain and the King forced to concede the copy of the
psalter to Colmcille.

Stricken by remorse after the Battle of the Books,  Colmcille confessed and
was banished to Iona, Scotland, in 563 AD.

His penance was to convert more people to Christ than had
fallen at Culdreimhne.

Here is the poem by Yeats, “Under Ben Bulben.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXoM0Ze-9xE

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Climate, Country Living, Eco-Living, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Personal, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Winter

A Day Indoors at Bealtaine Cottage

It is cold and windy…quite an icy wind at that! maybe the predictions for snow are coming true…brrr!

An indoors day at the cottage…just a quiet time with some thoughts, reflections and maybe a little painting…

watch…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPaDutKYC6M

Posted in celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Culture, Folklore, History, Imbolc, Inspiration, Ireland, Poetry, Saint Bridget Cross, Spirituality, Spring, Uncategorized

On the Eve of Imbolc…

Imbolc is a time to celebrate the promise of Spring and to think about planting…

On the eve of Imbolc

Imbolc, or St Brigid’s Day  Lá Fhéile Bríde,  is an Irish festival marking the beginning of spring.

Imbolc is celebrated on the 1st day of February, the date that falls approximately halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

Hens at Bealtaine Cottage Jan 2012

The holiday was, and for many still is, a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring.

Stove at bealtaine cottageCelebrations are focused around hearth fires, special foods, as in a family dinner or feast, candles, invoking a sense of the light to come…

“The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground.” 

candle and spiral at bealtaine cottageFire and purification are an important aspect of this festival.

Brigid is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smith-craft. 

As both goddess and saint she is also associated with holy wells, sacred flames, and healing.

The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.

Laurel arch at bealtaine cottage permaculture gardens

Brigid is said to walk the earth on Imbolc eve.

Before going to bed, each member of the household may leave a piece of clothing or strip of cloth outside for Brigid to bless.

The head of the household will smother (or “smoor”) the fire and rake the ashes smooth.

In the morning, they look for some kind of mark on the ashes, a sign that Brigid has passed that way in the night or morning.

The clothes or strips of cloth are brought inside, and believed to now have powers of healing and protection.

Brigid Cross  Bealtaine Cottage Shop on Etsy

Traditionally, a cross made from pulled rushes is hung inside the home each Imbolc.

You can find these at the Bealtaine Cottage Etsy Shop, at the right side of this page.

Posted in Celtic Mythology, Celts, Culture, Folklore, History, Ireland, Permaculture, Poetry, Uncategorized

A Life in the Country ~ Knocknarea, Queen Maeve and W.B. Yeats

The sun shone brilliantly today and as it heralded the first day of winter, I felt it was a good time to visit the magical mountain of Knocknarea and the grave of Queen Mebh.

The huge cairn that sits on the top of Knocknarea Mountain and marks what is probably a passage grave housing the ancient Queen, is 55 meters in diameter by 10 meters high.

 It was constructed for the mythical Iron Age Queen Maeve, whose father, the high king of Ireland, gave her Connacht as a gift. Archaeologists believe it may really date back to 3000 BC.

It is considered bad luck to remove a stone from the cairn, and good luck to take one up the hill with you to deposit on it.

The view from the top of Knocknarea is spectacular!

Medb (old Irish spelling, pronounced Maeve), was the queen of Connaught. She ruled from Cruachan (now Rathcroghan, County Roscommon).

Maeve features in the story known as “The Tain.” This is also known as “The Cattle raid of Cooley.”

This is the incredible view across from Knocknarea to Ben Bulben. William Butler Yeats is buried at the foot of that great mountain!

Nestled in on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean…descending Knocknarea today!

The Atlantic Ocean on this calm first day of winter!

From: The Old Age of Queen Maeve, by William Butler Yeats

MAEVE the great queen was pacing to and fro,
Between the walls covered with beaten bronze,
In her high house at Cruachan; the long hearth,
Flickering with ash and hazel, but half showed
Where the tired horse-boys lay upon the rushes,
Or on the benches underneath the walls,
In comfortable sleep; all living slept
But that great queen, who more than half the night
Had paced from door to fire and fire to door.
Though now in her old age, in her young age
She had been beautiful in that old way
That’s all but gone; for the proud heart is gone,
And the fool heart of the counting-house fears all
But Soft beauty and indolent desire.
She could have called over the rim of the world
Whatever woman’s lover had hit her fancy,
And yet had been great-bodied and great-limbed,
Fashioned to be the mother of strong children;
And she’d had lucky eyes and high heart,
And wisdom that caught fire like the dried flax,
At need, and made her beautiful and fierce,
Sudden and laughing.

Posted in Autumn, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Culture, Fairies, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Lughnasa, Permaculture, Samhain, Smallholding, Spirituality, Uncategorized

Bealtaine Cottage ~ Autumn Equinox and Samhain…Lifting the Veil.

Saturday Morning at Bealtaine Cottage

Sun and clear skies.

As the sun rises in the east, so the moon sets in the west…one of those glorious autumn mornings in Ireland.

Today is a busy one for me.

Visitors, willow cutting, fedging and lots more.

Yes…that is a little tomato you can see in there…this being a permaculture smallholding there are lots of food plants everywhere to be harvested in the most unexpected places…


Autumn is a time of early shadows as the season of summer passes over.

This is one of the best videos  that explains with images, words and enchanting music, this time…

http://youtu.be/nLZSy1GsvCk

We are just 4 days away from the Autumn Equinox…the turning time and the descent towards Samhain.

The sun is casting long shadows…

And as the harvest continues at Bealtaine, a Celtic blessing from Tyrone… 

http://youtu.be/4PkU0GOUCNY 

Posted in Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Celtic Mythology, Earth, Ecology, Fairies, Folklore, Food, Gaia, Garden, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Music, Permaculture, Poetry, Recipes, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Vegan

Permaculture Cottage ~ Recipes, Fairies and The Ways of Old

The storm continues to rage. Walking Jack this morning, I was pulled down the road by an over-enthusiastic dog and blown back home by the gale force wind. It was brilliant and energizing and really uplifting!

A Lovely, Tasty, Hot Recipe for a Cold Autumn Day…

Vegan Chilli

  • 4 cloves of garlic  (finely chopped)
  • (1 onion (diced)
  • 2 large cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 250mls passata tomato
  • 500g cooked  red kidney beans
  • 3 tbsps of olive oil
  • 3 tbsps of chilli powder
  • seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons tomato puree

Fry the onion, oil, garlic. Add tomato puree and fry another 2 minutes. Add chilli powder and fry a further 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, passata and beans…let it cook for about 20-30minutes. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste! Yummy…serve on a bed of wholegrain rice, with green salad and fresh deliciou bread…STOP DROOLING!

A Simple Idea to STOP That Draft…

You will need a staple gun or hammer and tacks. Cut a strip of material the width of the door and about 20-30cms deep. Fold and tack to the bottom of the door, with the folded side just touching the floor. Now you are draft free!

And…Fairies…

http://youtu.be/54XztbNJ87g

And, finally for today…the magical and enchanting, Ways of Old, from Loreena McKennitt…

http://youtu.be/0SG6ZITbWpU

With amazing images!

Posted in Birds, Culture, Current Affairs, Folklore, Fracking, Gaia, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Lough Allen Basin, Permaculture, photography, Poetry, Politics, Smallholding, Spirituality, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage Daily ~ Wonderful Visitors, Dr Helen Caldicott and Seamus Heaney

Wednesday 7th September 2011

More Wonderful Visitors to Bealtaine Cottage…

But, before I begin…

This wonderful young fella turned up at the protest on Monday evening, outside the Council Offices in Carrick-on-Shannon…complete with Gas mask, (Josh Fox) style and home made placard and got a rousing cheer from the protesters!

Visitors to the Permaculture Smallholding today… Bernie and Colin.

Both inspired and enthused with lots of ideas and lots of free plants to take back to the 7 acres Colin tending near Ballinamore. Wonderful people, filled with good energy and leaving some of it behind for me.

I am a great believer in good energy and realise how important this is for people to thrive. Those whose energy is sick or failing can get very angry with life and lash out at people. Many of these people can do a great deal of damage as warmongers and people of greed. We have all encountered people like this on our journey.

Wood-chopping and Tidying up…

And as the day moves on, the chores continue…chopping wood for the stove, though it’s warm today and I will light the smaller stove in the sitting room later on, just for comfort and hot water.

The tidy up continues, as I clear out sheds and bag up endless bags for the charity shop in Carrick. Kevin, who runs it, is always so very pleasant and appreciative, it is a delight to visit!

As I take a rest on the veranda, I can’t help but think of the events of Fukushima this year and how it has so quickly disappeared from our news media.

Dr Helen Caldicott has spent most of her professional life keeping us informed of the facts about Nuclear energy and all the associated problems.

Here is Helen talking about the recent events at Fukushima…it’s well worth a watch…just click on the link below!

http://youtu.be/4ITrXVJMKeQ