The Woodland Cottage

IMG_7964

It is Lughnasadh, the last great festival of the Celtic Calendar!

IMG_7974The year is tipping towards an end as Samhain marks the beginning of the new year… IMG_7971There has been much change here at Bealtaine Cottage as the canopy of trees has merged to form what is now truly a woodland.

IMG_7977This evolution has happened at just the right moment in time as we have witnessed a terrifyingly hot summer and drought…the woodland gardens have come through the worst unscathed…no loss on anything!

IMG_7966Beauty now lies between the stones of the great circle. I have flowers to plant here and many, many happy memories of this visiting soul who decided to spend time with us here at Bealtaine.

IMG_7976And so the wheel turns…

Jack is happy I am home from London and SammyBear sleeps on my bed. I wonder the woodland gardens able to breath once more!

For much of my time away I was very aware of my shallow breathing.

Indeed my face looked older and more stressed.

I am happiest here keeping care of this sacred place.

IMG_7960Much of my holiday was spent walking, something I love about being in the city!

To walk and be able to peer into other’s lives, through windows that are close enough to touch in the winding streets of North London.

I continued on my Whole Food Plant Based Lifestyle while on holiday and was two pounds lighter upon my return home!

There are many more Vegan eateries and it was much easier to eat this way.

IMG_7980IMG_7990Rain had fallen in my absence and the Spring Well was refreshed enough to send water to the cottage down the hill…the tank in the loft is now full and filling!

IMG_7987IMG_7983IMG_7995I expected to see much more leaf drop, but as you can see for yourself here in these photos, the trees have come through unscathed!

IMG_7997The forecast for Autumn seems very much as it should be and may prove to be quite a spectacular colour show!

IMG_7999This website is now approaching two million views…wonderful to imagine all those who have stopped by and perhaps taken a little inspiration into their lives, shaking off the old paradigm of what a garden should be…

IMG_7998The gardens at Bealtaine are all dedicated to the Great Mother and thus are charged with her energy.

IMG_8008IMG_8009IMG_8012IMG_8016The energy of earth is healing, both of herself and all her life upon.

IMG_8039As I walked with Jack around the cottage I was stopped in my tracks by this image…that of a woodland cottage, for this year has seen the manifestation of my heart’s desire from fourteen years ago, that of a cottage in the woods.

One has an idea of scale when seen against the car…

IMG_8025IMG_8019IMG_8018IMG_8028Butterflies were out in force today, in time for the sweet flowers of the Buddleia!

IMG_8022IMG_8030I uploaded a video shot this morning showing some of the Butterflies feasting on the flowers!

IMG_8032I want to say a special “Thanks and Blessings,” to all of you who sent condolences for Beauty…such kindness and compassion, Bless you XXX

IMG_8042IMG_8041IMG_8034IMG_8031There is the beautiful month of Lughnasadh to enjoy and appreciate the changes as summer merges into Autumn.

The special offer on the books continues and prices INCLUDE postage WORLDWIDE

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€27.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €36.00 but can be purchased together for for €32.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€32.00

Magical Mythical Map of Bealtaine Cottage and Gardens

Beautiful map created by the artist David Gascoigne, especially for Bealtaine Cottage. The picture shows one side of the map…it is printed on both sides, see the photos on this page. The price includes all Postage and Packing to wherever you live in the world! Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€12.00

For more info on Bealtaine Books…

https://bealtainecottage.com/bealtaine-cottage-publications-books-and-maps/

Lughnasadh Garden

DSC02751

Just published over at Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

Lughnasadh Garden…here’s a link for members:

https://bealtainecottage.org/2016/09/02/lughnasadh-garden/

If you would like to support the Bealtaine Project by becoming a member, here’s a link:

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

To The Mountain!

DSC01770I’ve been spending much of this week catching up with a great many tasks that were backing up around me…cork-tiling the bathroom floor and part of the Lodge floor, clearing the tunnel for the winter crops and all the usual stuff such as clearing and mowing the paths in the gardens!

DSC01861I have got a lot done because I made the decision last week to come off Facebook…and have shared my thoughts with you on this…

DSC01860I posted a number of pics on FB this morning, as so many people delight in seeing Bealtaine Cottage!

DSC01859It is, however, almost impossible to respond to comments left on FB as I simply do not have the time and am resolved not to negate my commitment to this blog and the second website at bealtainecottage.org

DSC01853Those of you who have followed this blog for any amount of time will be aware of the enormous workload I carry and will, therefore, totally understand this.

DSC01852Recently I came across this quote by Joseph Campbell and was deeply moved to meditate upon it for a while. 

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. –

Joseph Campbell

DSC01850It has inspired me to “go with the flow” much more and to simply get on and do whatever tasks need doing, rather than planning and then becoming despondent at what I have not achieved…I can be my own hardest and most severe taskmaster!

DSC01846I am determined to come away from this driven approach and relax into life more!

DSC01784DSC01787I could do with taking lessons from Sammy-bear, seen here by the Catnip in the tunnel, out of his mind!

DSC01786DSC01785DSC01781Cats remind us all how we should relax…frequently and often!

On the other hand…looking at his spaced-out expression…maybe not!

DSC01846There is another quote I wish to share with you. It is on a slightly different note, but one that you may find meaningful at this time…for I am aware of the events in our world recently…

DSC01845This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma of our world. So don’t be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger or fear, because these responses arise from the depth of your caring and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings.

Joanna Macy

DSC01844I have found this to be comforting as I attempt to make sense of the chaos!

There is so much to rejoice in when out in Nature…

DSC01837DSC01836This is a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland, and also the great festival of Lughnasadh!

DSC01835DSC01834DSC01832 I will stride forth on Lughnasadh Eve to a high point on a nearby mountain to welcome in the new season and pay tribute to Mother Earth and in particular, Mother Ireland.

DSC01829DSC01823DSC01820DSC01818To celebrate the season is to turn one’s back on the machinations, arrogance and hubris of Man, seeking instead, the warmth and generosity of the Great Mother…Earth, in all her beauty!

DSC01777DSC01772Before I go, just to let you know, I am writing a blog on the Bealtaine Cottage Good Life website, all about using sheep wool in the tunnel as I prepare it for the Autumn/Winter sowing and planting.

I am still clearing, but once I begin using the wool I shall take lots of pics and post them in the blog, along with detailed explanations of how and why.

You can become a member of the site here…

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

DSC01797

See you on the other site tomorrow!

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

 

 

 

Lughnasa Eve Blessings

lughnasa at bealtainecottage.com 010

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

lughnasa at bealtainecottage.com 029

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

lughnasa at bealtainecottage.com 024

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

lughnasa at bealtainecottage.com 031

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

lughnasa at bealtainecottage.com 036

Take time to preserve your harvest for the months ahead…

lughnasa at bealtainecottage.com 034

Bless you all!

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

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

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

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

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

                                                          Click on button below to join the website…

You may like to visit the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop…

Bealtaine cottage crafts 010

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

The Month of Lughnasa

bealtainecottage.com 004

Lughnasa heralds the beginning of Autumn in the Celtic calendar.

Leaves have already begun to drop, with the gentle Birch tree being the first to shed.

bealtainecottage.com 005

There is so much fertility in this annual drop…Bealtaine now boasts reasonable soil, compared to ten years ago!

bealtainecottage.com 002

The change is equally gentle this year, as the summer gradually fades. 

Sedums are developing their flower heads, slow to open, with big, flat, pink flowers coming through.

bealtainecottage.com 006

Pockets of light mist occur in the early evening, shrouding valleys and dips.

bealtainecottage.com 003

Lughnasa is my favourite month as the transition into Autumn begins.

Tonight a full moon will rise.

The air is still. Woodsmoke drifts lazily from the old stone chimney and bats begin to venture out.

bealtainecottage.com 007

I am half-sick of the daily news and the threat of war.

I have started knitting again, as a form of relaxing therapy and a choice to be constructive in the face of impending destruction!

Just handling the pure wool and staring at the colours and textures is both a comfort and a delight!

bealtainecottage.com 008

As we enter Autumn we are ready for change.

As we are driven into unstable times, so we need to prepare too.

Creating is important.

It keeps us grounded and optimistic.

bealtainecottage.com 009

The seasons continue, undisturbed by the vagaries of man.

bealtainecottage.com 012

And so shall I!

 

 

 

Celebrating Lughnasa

The carved head of Lugh looks in all directionsLughnasa (earlier, Lughnasadh) was the feast of Lugh.

Lughnasa Lugh, carved by Michael Quirke A harvest festival, its celebration marked the end of the period of summer growth and the beginning of the autumn harvest.

Lugh, carved by Michael Qirke of SligoIts original name does not survive in popular tradition, that being now the common word in Irish (Lúnasa) for the month of August. 

Lugh of LughnasadhThe festival is rather known as the Sunday of Crom Dubh (the god of harvest), or in varying areas as Lammas Sunday, Garland Sunday, Bilberry Sunday, or Fraughan Sunday.

Burlap and lace flower arrangementThe first weekend in August marks Ireland’s changing-of-the-season festival of Lughnasa.

Burlap and lace flower arrangementThe Irish playwright, Brian Friel, wrote the now famous,“Dancing at Lughnasa” which is all centred around the pivotal point in the Celtic calendar, Lughnasa.

Bealtaine flowers at LughnasaThe Celts regarded the Earth as a fertile Goddess, to be nurtured and honoured…a way of living I now follow, as a care-taker and care-giver to Mother Earth.

flowers for MichelleThe gate-keeper to the sanctuary of Bealtaine Cottage.

Lughnasa flowers for Michelle's weddingToday is the final day of summer in the Celtic Calendar…Happy Lughnasa!

 

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 100 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

Thank you for supporting this blog

Towards Lughnasa and an Open Weekend!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

********************************************************************************

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

Carole (wspines) from Whispering Pines Farm

Vivien Cruickshank

The All-Ireland Permaculture Gathering…

I brought lots of flowers and seed heads into the cottage to brighten up the greyness that is July.

Nothing stops the movement towards Lughnasa and the time of spiritual gathering.

The “All Ireland Permaculture Gathering,” takes place near Bealtaine Cottage this year in the town of Strokestown, County Roscommon.

It’s ideally placed, being located in  the near centre of the island.

It happens on the first weekend of Lughnasa.

For more details you can contact Hannah Mole on:

http://www.permaculture.ie/news/permaculture-gathering-2012

For those wishing to visit Bealtaine Cottage on or around this time, you can get my number from Hannah…I am happy to show visitors around the permaculture smallholding that is Bealtaine Cottage…

Lughnasa is a good time to assess one’s life harvest of wisdom, for the dark evenings of winter are a good time to learn new skills and crafts, to read and share, to think and plan.

It is about preparing the land for winter too, helping to put it asleep, mulching and covering…

We also need to prepare ourselves for the journey through Lughnasa and into Samhain, by ensuring we gather sunlight on ourselves, walk and meditate, enjoying sunrises and sunsets at this mellow time of the year.

Times like today, when the rain seems relentless will give way to sunny mornings and misted evenings, the Lughnasa of the year.

Long walks with Jack and Flo are great excuses to go out and explore new pathways, leaving the dark evenings ahead to navigate the pathways of the soul…

Lughnasa and the Solstice…Ancient Time

At certain times today, as I was working outside, I had a distinct sense of Autumn.

The way the sun shone on a plant, the smell from the earth around my feet…it was quite tangible.

The growing cycle in the west of Ireland adheres very much to the old Celtic calendar.

It is easy to tell the season just by walking the land and watching shadows…

Autumn begins on the 1st day of August.

This cycle is in essence closely linked to the Solstices and Equinoxes of the year.

 It is the  same solar alignment that determines the correct time for Lughnasa and this is also the exact same alignment for Bealtaine.

The ancient calendar is correct, as it follows the sun and planets rather than the time of man.

I am more attuned to Natural Time as I work on the land.

I am also much happier in this time mode.

The midsummer solstice was last month, four weeks ago and harvesting is well under way.

I do believe that animals are more closely tied into these ancient seasons than we care to admit.

I have enjoyed the company of many rescue dogs and cats over the years and often observed their habits, right down to times when they will bury food.

Flo, here, is a little hobo dog and has been used to fending for herself for most of her life…

Flo is a persistent food secreter and will often sit on a stash in her basket!

On that note, I think I’ll just go and check…

Thank you for supporting this blog