My 100 Day Juice Fast

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This was me last summer.

I weighed over sixteen stones and felt encumbered by all the excess weight I was carrying.

This year, on March 19, at the age of 62, I began a 100 day Juice Fast…for a great many reasons.

Today I am over half way through my 100 day journey, Day 63 to be exact.

I am feeling fantastic.

I am in the process of writing a book all about my journey.

In the meantime, here is a small selection of photos that have formed part of that journey so far.

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Loss of Soul

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We live in a society and where darkness pervades our souls.

We continually invent ways to avoid and escape the darkness…one of which is endless buying of consumer goods.

Within our society today there is an illness that pervades all classes and levels of wealth, known as “Soul Loss.”

dsc03789It sounds like “Soul Less,” and indeed many people comment on aspects of our society that are indeed soul-less!

dsc03790Television programmes are more and more appealing to a lower denominator within audiences, especially reality shows that can be likened to much of the entertainment provided for the masses, referred to as “the Plebs, (short for Plebians), in Ancient Rome.

dsc03791 Many of these programmes are nothing but a reflection of the very worst in society!

dsc03792Jung described the unhappiness referred to as loss of soul, a concept borrowed from anthropology, referring psychologically to a state of general malaise.

dsc03793Many feel in today’s world that there is something missing from their lives, a sort of glue that holds everything together!

dsc03795Insomnia, depression and escapism through drugs or alcohol are all signs of Soul Loss.

dsc03796One can feel vulnerable, fatigued or simply not worthy!

dsc03797All of us have experienced some of these symptoms at some point in our lives and often refer back to them as low points.

dsc03798And it’s true indeed, for the soul feels as if it is dragged down.

dsc03799Much of commercial society today uses images, music and indeed brain-attack, to subjugate our beings into enslavement to the corporate will.

dsc03800So how do we overcome this dark malaise?

dsc03801 Well, it is often written and spoken about here at Bealtaine Cottage…reconnect with Nature! dsc03802Taking one’s sadness, vulnerability, confusion, low self-esteem into the heart of Nature and communing with Mother Earth in all her wondrous life can be the best medicine…healing gently and cumulatively. 

dsc03807Spend less time being undermined and insulted by media and more time recovering your soul.

 

Miraculous Recovery

Bealtaine Cottage blue skies

Many of you are familiar with the tragedy recently encountered by Patrick and Jessica, both subscribers to Bealtaine Cottage and Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

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The surge of good wishes, prayers and healing energy that was manifested by all of you, through Bealtaine Cottage, has led to a nothing short of a miracle being experienced on the other side of the Irish Sea!

Valerian at Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 011

Patrick rang me this morning to tell me the wonderfully uplifting news!

I asked Patrick to email a little of what he spoke of to me, so I could share this wonderful news with you all.

These are his words…read and be inspired!

Evening at Bealtaine

“I’d like to give you and your followers an update on how my partner Jessica is doing after her tragic accident on December 1st.
Medical professionals told us then, and have repeated since, that her head injury was ; ” as bad as it gets “, that they expected her to die , and if she did live , it would be with a great deal of impairment, and quite possibly in a vegetative state.

kitchen window sill at bealtaine cottage

She has confounded their expectations !

She came home on February 3rd.

Medical staff would have expected, even now for her to be in a hospital bed and several months from discharge.

She visited the hospital last week, but as the lay member of an interview panel for a senior critical care nurse vacancy.

Doctors and nurses are now using words like ” AMAZING ! ” , and indeed ” MIRACULOUS “, to describe her recovery.

wild honeysuckle on the table at bealtaine cottage

Jess has an amazing spirit.

She had so much to live for before the accident; we were planning a new life together , we were going to relocate to Ireland….. buy a smallholding … bring her horse and our dogs …. Live the GOOD LIFE !!

porch at bealtaine cottage

To get Jess back was like a lottery win, we remembered that you wrote that we should keep our dreams ‘warm’; and it was tantalising to think that maybe , just maybe ???

Well we did more than maybe.

We’ve gone ahead with the purchase of a smallholding at Hawksford Co. Roscommon!

Oak seedlings growing at Bealtaine

We came over to Hawksford on April 13th and Jess saw our new home.

For the first time since the accident Jess was ‘alive’ , animated and herself.

You could visibly see recovery taking place!!!

We had to return to the U.K. after 3 days as Jess had medical appointments, BUT she left reluctantly!

Bealtaine Cottage on Midsummer morning

We will have to use our new home as a holiday place until Jess’s recovery is complete, but then we hope to live there permanently and live OUR DREAM.

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Thank you again for your, and your followers positive energy, love and support …. it really helped !!!

We hope to visit you soon at Bealtaine ; especially as we’re almost neighbours,

Patrick and Jessica xxx .”

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I think I can safely add that we all wish you blessings, love and continued health XXX

Colette and all well-wishers and friends of Bealtaine Cottage XXX

The Year Ahead…Be prepared!

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When I was growing up it was an expectation to be free from debt, ie: mortgage, loans, etc., by the time near retirement.

What has in fact proved to be reality is quite the opposite.

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Whereas “debt” was once perceived to be a shameful state, it is now considered to be the absolute norm!

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We have been asleep at the wheel, as we have been suckered into a system where we are little more than Serfs.

So what is a “Serf” I hear you ask?

Wikipedia sums it up thus: Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for the Lord of the Manor who owned that land, and in return were entitled to protection, justice and the right to exploit certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence.

Indebtedness, in other words, is the key to not owning one’s own existence.

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Many of my friends and family are waking up to the fact that theirs is a debt-based existence. Some have confided in me, that they will have to stay in work past official retirement age, in order to service the inflated mortgage they are now tied to.

Once in retirement, the family home will have to be sold!

And this, at a time when many adult children are moving back into the family home!

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In past blogs I have offered advice in terms of the practical adjustments you can make to your home in order to make it easier and cheaper to run.

If you have a huge mortgage, think of selling while prices are fairly high.

Trade down to something small and affordable.

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Land, no matter how small, once bought and paid for, will be a great buffer against the vagaries of the present crumbling financial system.

If you continue to live in the cities, pressurize your local politicians for Allotments and Community Gardens, where food can be grown and a sense of self-support maintained.

This approach has proved itself already in post-Soviet Russia and in Cuba as well as other countries.

Here’s a link to how Permaculture ensured continued food support to the people of Cuba in a time of sanctions…yes, it works!

https://www.transitionnetwork.org/stories/chris-bird/2014-01/permaculture-gathering-cuba

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Creating a Food Pantry can help you take full advantage of storing food, as well as making the most of supermarket offers to help offset the rising costs we are facing into!

Pay off your debts and try to avoid any loans, plastic cards etc.

Keep a housekeeping book, tracking all your income and outgoings, so as you can grab more control of your life.

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All this will take time, so it’s best to make a start as soon as you can.

There are, however, two simple skills you can learn, to make a practical start to the New Year ahead.

The first is easy and will save you a small fortune, as well as increasing your good health…teach yourself to make some of the best food ever…Soup.

Home made soup is a meal in itself.

…and Bread, for good home made bread is the “Staff of Life!”

We are facing into an uncertain future in terms of economic stability…Be Prepared!

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Energy Exchange

Bealtaine Cottage is all about making inspiring and uplifting, sometimes challenging, information freely and conveniently available to all who seek it.

Keeping it all running, however, does take up a great deal of my resources – time, energy and money.

I rely upon the financial support of those willing and able to help me operate and grow this site (and my other free sites, listed below).

https://www.youtube.com/user/BealtaineCottage

Blessings to all who contribute to the energy exchange, you are most welcome.

The Rise and Rise of Famine Farms

Before permaculture. Bealtaine CottageI describe monoculture  practice as creating “Famine Farms” for bees and wildlife…becoming places of slow starvation for all.

I recall thinking this when first beginning to plant out the permaculture gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage.

As you can see from the place as it looked then, it was bereft of food for anything!

Bealtaine Cottage potage beds in the permaculture gardensWalking around the gardens of Bealtaine during the Spring and Summer, watching bees forage in the blossom, frogs delight in the ponds and listening to the birds sing out a mighty chorus, makes me think of the dire situation these creatures face in the monoculture world of modern farming.

Bealtaine Cottage barnThe average person knows little of bees and their importance to all life as we know it.

It forms part of the massive disconnect going right through the core of society.

Bealtaine Cottage Buddleia flowers for the butterflies and beesIn much the same way that medical doctors have a two week slot on diet and nutrition, during their four year medical training, farmers are unaware of much of the way in which the food chain operates around them and, in particular, the intricacies of Nature.

Bealtaine Cottage hanging baskets in the trees...a slug free zoneWithin western culture, religion teaches us that we are placed here to have dominion over Nature.

Such arrogance is reprehensible as we gather more and more knowledge of the decline and loss of habitat of life as we know it!

Bealtaine Cottage potager beds and BuddhaIt is widely held that our increasing use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which honeybees ingest during their daily pollination rounds, are largely to blame for the continuing decline of the bees.

Many people point to the proliferation of  genetically modified crops, which may generate pollen with compromised nutritional value.

The list of who and what is to blame goes on…

Bealtaine Cottage flowering Ground ElderHowever, from my own observations I have come to this conclusion: we are responsible for starving the bees; with loss of hedgerows; tree depletion; use of chemicals; growing of gaudy flowers with no pollen; proliferation of ridiculous lawns and constant demand for monoculture raised foods, to name but a few!

Bealtaine Cottage flowers and porchIt behoves us all to make it our business to know how to create and nurture bee habitats.

Bealtaine Cottage Missy and ValerianAnd that means looking at the natural world, not as a resource to be continually trodden on and suppressed, but as a wondrous gift from the Divine we all need to cherish.

Bealtaine Cottage website is free, with over 850 blogs and 3,500+ photographs.

However there is a new website for lovers of all things Bealtaine…

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Dried Herbs and Some Uses…

 Oregano, Origanum vulgare, is also known as Common and Wild Marjoram, Greek Oregano and Winter Oregano.

Oregano in flower at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensOregano is a warm and aromatic yet slightly bitter herb in the mint family.

The name is derived from the Greek, meaning “mountain of joy.”

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureOregano can be made into a tea, tincture, and has powerful anti-bacterial properties.

The Oregano I harvest comes complete with flowers, so is especially potent for tea!

Oregano before harvesting at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensSome interesting folklore concerning oregano…

The Greeks and Romans used it for a variety of benefits.

~Among the Greeks, if Marjoram grew on a grave, it augured the happiness of the departed, and among both the Greeks and Romans, it was the custom to crown young couples with Marjoram.

~Oregano corresponds to Venus and air.

~It is an herb of happiness, tranquillity, good luck, well-being, and protection.

Dried oregano from Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens Ireland~Promotes joy, strength, vitality, and added energy.

~Make a Tea or burn as an incense.

~Plant Oregano around your house for protection, and scatter it inside the house to protect it.

~Carry it in a sachet or charm to bring good luck and vitality.

~It is also said to protect and promote psychic dreams when worn on the head during sleep.

~A protective herb with the power to ward off troublesome and meddling individuals, especially those who may wish to interfere with one’s personal financial dealings.

Lavender drying on the back door of my cottage

Dried Lavender is also available.

The use of Lavender goes back into the mists of time…

~Both the Greeks and the Romans had many uses for it, the most popular being for bathing, cooking, as an ingredient in perfume, for well-being, and as an insect repellent.

~English folklore advises a mixture of lavender, mugwort, chamomile, and rose petals to attract sprites, fairies, brownies, and elves.

~Lavender is used in teas, tinctures, and added to baked goods.

~Lavender is an aphrodisiac, and is still one of the most recognized scents in the world.

~Put two handfuls of Lavender Flowers into a square of cheesecloth and tie with a white ribbon.

Use this aromatic “wash-cloth” in place of your usual one.

Dried Rosemary at bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Gardens


Rosemary, or Rosmarinus Officinalis, is also known as Romero, and Dew of the Sea.

Dried Rosemary is also available in 1/2 ounce bags from the gardens of Bealtaine Cottage.

Rosemary is most famous for its use in cooking.

Bees love Rosemary!

Burn Rosemary  for a restorative incense.

In place of more costly incense, the ancients used Rosemary in their religious ceremonies.

An old French name for it was Incensier.

I use dried Rosemary in my Wheaten Soda Bread!

It is delicious!

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Preparing for the Collapse.

Spinning wheel and craft studio at Bealtaine Cottage Over recent months it has become more and more apparent that there is a massive problem rolling towards us in the financial markets.

Angel and Field Maple at Bealtaine CottageMaking money without production has been the mainstay of the economic markets.

Bealtaine Cottage February 2013The men in suits deal in commodities, pension plans, mortgages and hedge funds.

The standing stone at Bealtaine Cottage February 2013Money that is put into savings and pension plans is being scooped up and processed out of the country, to be invested in other, slave-labour nations of corruption and despotism.

The lower pond in the Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage in February 2013That money should be invested in our own economies, but, asking for integrity and honesty from the bankers and brokers is a useless and pointless exercise.

The Ash tree walk in the Bog Garden at Bealtaine Cottage February 2013So, it behoves us all to think and act in a prompt and practical way to avoid, as best we can, being a hapless victim in all of this.

The woodland that surrounds Bealtaine CottageMy advice is simple and easy to apply.

1.Grow food. Edible gardens, allotments, containers, patios and window ledges…great fun too!

2.Build a pantry and stock it well. This will cut down on multiple visits to the supermarket.

3.Learn as many practical skills and crafts as you can. Knitting, sewing, carpentry…everything is treasured that is hand made.

4.De-clutter your home. Let the energy flow freely around your living space.

5.Teach yourself to cook and bake. This is a real chance to improve your health and become powered up!

6.Collect together a library of knowledge and interest. The internet may never be as reliable as a solid book of information.

7.Invest in the most comfortable bed you can afford. You do, after all, spend one third of your precious life in bed!

8.Make your home cosy and draught-free. Your home is your haven, your sanctuary, your blessed space…be comfortable and warm in it.

9.Bulk-buy local when available. This will enable you to turn food gluts into storable feasts.

10.Invest in a chest freezer and put it in your new pantry…don’t forget, even a spare room will double as a pantry, especially a north facing one.

bealtaine Cottage in February 2013*****************************

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My Herb Garden

I grow lots of herbs in the gardens at Bealtaine Cottage, picking freely wherever I walk along the paths.

Herbs grow very easily in the Irish climate, as the fairly constant temperature agrees with the plants.

Herbs have a variety of uses that include culinary and medicinal.

The crossover line is blurred, as much of what we cook with does so much good and is easily integrated with everyday food.

Think of Garlic for example, or Parsley, both great for the blood!

Herbs can also be used in spiritual practice too, usually through the method of burning to release scent and as a cleansing or purification ritual.

Many herbs release anti-bacterial oils into the air, thus cleansing, so again, the crossover line is easily blurred, as herbal oils released into the air can have a tremendously uplifted effect upon the senses.

This can also be in the form of strewing underfoot, as was the practice during medieval times, to combat pungent smells and general sickness.

Here at Bealtaine Cottage I grow over fifty different herbs, including perennials  such as Thyme, Lavender, Rosemary, Fennel, Lemon Balm and Mint.

The list goes on to include: Chervil; Angelica; Borage; Catnip and Chives.

Include in this list, Dill, Elderflower and Garlic. Lavender, Lovage and Salad Burnet.

Parsley is a good permaculture herb, coming up each year and growing steadily for two years as a biennial plant.

Most herbs self-seed easily.

Feverfew and Borage, once introduced to your garden will grow always.

Some perennial herbs are shrubs, such as Rosemary, Sage and Lemon Verbena, or trees, such as Bay laurel, all growing healthily here.

Oregano grows virtually wild here as does the strongest mint you will ever smell or taste, which grows in the Bog Garden as Water Mint.

Willow Herb is another wild addition and even the Valerian around the cottage looks after itself.

Inserting willow to make arches that will support the developing crop of Pumpkins and Butternut squash.

Many herbs are enjoying the space left in between the squash, such as Nasturtium and Thyme.

The production in these newly established raised beds has been phenomenal!

Growing herbs will give an easy and beneficial garden anywhere.

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