It Still Takes My Breath Away!

dsc04149Each morning I arise and embark on a series of rituals, that culminate with a hot cup of tea in one hand, my camera in the other and faithful Jack by my side.

dsc04146It is then that I step out…

dsc04145This has been my ritual, though not always with Jack, for the past twelve years.

dsc04147And so it continues…

dsc04133What has manifested here on this little piece of sacred Earth still takes my breath away!

dsc04134I touch base with it as many times a day as I can!

dsc04132I take thousands of photographs every year, for the sheer beauty of what Mother Earth can do on three acres of “poor land,” is beyond incredible!

dsc04126And this has manifested in one of the last remaining countries on Earth that continues to refer to itself as “Mother.”

dsc04125“Mother Ireland”

dsc04124The Great Mother, Mother Earth, Goddess, Creatrix!

dsc04089The Celts were one of the last remaining tribes of the Goddess…in that they recognised the spirit of the Earth as female. 

dsc04118There lies a message in that…

dsc04115I believe it to be simply this…”I am alive and filled with joy and waiting…”

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View from the cottage in 2004 

dsc04083And earlier today…

Those who answer her call become immersed in joy and surrounded with beauty…and so it is.

It still takes my breath away!

Lunar Eclipse in Pisces Full Moon

full moon 21 oct 10 007I walked out tonight into the bright light of the full moon.

Harvest Moon in the West of Ireland, tonight!We have, over the past few days, experienced a wonderful full moon and lunar eclipse.

During this time we have been getting connected with our intuitive energies.

Bealtaine Cottage standing stone in permaculture gardensOur ability to connect the head with the heart.

Pisces is a very emotional and intuitive sign.

We need to get ready for some big shifts in our lives.

Bealtaine Cottage moon rising over the permaculture gardensProcessing painful memories can be very fruitful now.

This is a positive time for people in general.

It’s a good time to deal with issues and have an emotional clear out.

The Fairy Wood at Bealtaine CottageThe Lunar Eclipse was on the 16th of September and the vibrations from that continue to be felt.

This is a cycle of completion and closure…an opportunity to move on!

Celtic Triad BroochThis full moon is also about release.

Eclipses are often linked to accelerated development.

Angel at Bealtaine CottageFull moons illuminate, so you have experienced memories from the past that have emotional resonances.

This has certainly been true for me.

The experience can be intense indeed.

Amethyst horn at Bealtaine CottageHowever, the space is now cleared and has opened up new space to rebuild.

bealtainecottage.com 007Time to move forward!

Benediction

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I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire.
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock. 

~Saint Patrick 

DSC02696Waking up this morning, I smile,
Twenty four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.  

~Thich Nhat Hanh

DSC02695Such a beautiful Sunday morning here at Bealtaine Cottage!

DSC02694I walked out to greet the day and marvel at the subtle changes in the season.

DSC02698It is a Benediction each morning here at Bealtaine.

DSC02699A Benediction is a prayer asking for divine blessing.

DSC02688My Benediction is a prayer to spread the love of the Great Mother out far and wide.

DSC02690DSC02691There are people all over the Earth embracing this Benediction and spreading it further…blessings like little breezes.

DSC02692The invocation of blessings from the Divine Energy of Mother Earth. 

DSC02686For me,there is a deeply emotional conviction of the presence of the Divine all around this land.

DSC02685It is shared by the many visitors to Bealtaine.

DSC02683It is revealed in ways that are quite magical.

DSC02677Each morning there is another layer of beauty and abundance added. 

DSC02678Instead of an intellectual search, there was suddenly a very deep gut feeling that something was different…seeing that Sun…set in the background of the very deep black and velvety cosmos, seeing – rather, knowing for sure – that there was a purposefulness of flow, of energy, of time, of space in the cosmos – that it was beyond man’s rational ability to understand, that suddenly there was a nonrational way of understanding that had been beyond my previous experience…On the return trip home, gazing through 240,000 miles of space toward the stars and the planet from which I had come, I suddenly experienced the universe as intelligent, loving, harmonious. 

~Edgar Mitchell 

DSC02679We need silence to be alone with the Goddess, to listen to her and ponder her words deep in our hearts. 

DSC02684 Prayer is the recovery of the souls breathing. 

~Gerald Heard

DSC02652Have a Blessed Day wherever you are with Mother Earth.

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In The End…

DSC02270I know I should not have gone out today!

DSC02269I know in retrospect, on reflection, it was a mistake…

DSC02199I had already heard something on the morning news, a tail-end of some report…something about an animal being killed, and I thought, Oh gosh, here we go again!

DSC02200Anyway, what happened was  I decided to go into town, taking one of my grandsons into Sligo. DSC02202Later on, I was waiting around for him to meet me at the car, when I decided to go into the Newsagent and see if I could get hold of one of the broadsheets for a good read!

DSC02203What a mistake…the papers were mostly head-lined with the news of the killing and other dreadful stuff.

DSC02204I could hardly avoid the image…on one particular paper there was this image on the front cover of this beautiful Bear…this beautiful, beautiful Bear, dying, impaled on a spear.

DSC02206The horror that was man, hovering over the magnificent creature, like some dreadful Nosferatu…gloating, menacing, triumphant!

Not a sight that anyone wants to have inflicted upon their vision!

Very disturbing!

DSC02207As I write this, the Bear is dead.

DSC02208The beautiful soul of that incredibly extraordinary creature has passed into the heart of the Great Mother, the Universal Consciousness…Mother Earth.

DSC02211The man…that dreadfully twisted, sickening human being who destroyed that incredible life, lives on…

DSC02212And as I look around my gardens and walk among the trees, with Jack, I’m reminded of the importance of love in this world.

DSC02213The longer I am here at Bealtaine…and this is the longest I have ever lived in one place…

…the more I realise that what Mother Earth is crying out for, to all her sentient beings, but especially to us, for it has taken such a very long time for Her to evolve us…

DSC02215A species that has the right and the left brain thinking… though invariably we invoke the left brain… DSC02217…but we have the right brain, we have the capacity for compassion and love…

DSC02218And at this point in time, Mother Earth needs us to bring into conscientiousness our right brains! DSC02219For we need to express love and understanding and compassion and beauty and creation… and all those deep qualities that link us to the Divine.  

DSC02221That’s all I have to say…that’s my prayer, my daily prayer!

DSC02222Christopher Hitchens was right… “In the end there is only love…”

DSC02223This is what I show and remind my grandchildren.

This is what I try to live…a life of love.

DSC02225My love is there for Mother Earth and all her sentient beings…

But, especially, especially the ones that cannot talk.

We are duty-bound to speak for them.

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

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Midsummer Vigil

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The wall is silence, the grass is sleep,
Tall trees of peace their vigil keep,
And the Fairy of Dreams with moth-wings furled
Plays soft on her flute to the drowsy world.
~Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

DSC00869And as the seasons come and go, here’s something you might like to know.

There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day.

So listen, touch, and look around — in the air and on the ground.

And if you watch all nature’s things, you might just see a fairy’s wing.

~Author Unknown 

I often walk the gardens in the early morning, taking my tea or coffee with me…and always my camera.

DSC00874It is often in the early morn or at dusk that I find myself in a strange little corner of the gardens, which stretch to three acres and I attempt to capture the moment through the lens.

DSC00882For my part, I believe in the Sidhe and have often felt their presence.

This morning there appeared to be a humidity in places which made it’s presence felt in some of the photographs I took.

DSC00885You may make of them what you will.

DSC00887Bealtaine Cottage is quite alive at all times and especially today, Midsummer, 20th day of June 2016.

DSC00888The veil is thin…

DSC00892This is of very special meaning to me and heralds the presence of my Mother, for this is her Angel sitting by a plant which was dedicated to her.

My daughter bought this pot and plant as a reminder for me of my Mother and her Grandmother…it sits near my seat by the veranda, just outside the back door.

DSC00896The Realm of the Sidhe is a shadow land, carved out by the Tuatha de Danann following the defeat of the tribe in their last great battle.

Many of the sacred places in Ireland are also home to the Sidhe lying just beyond the fields we know.

DSC00904The Tuatha de Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland.

The important manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that they ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C

Bealtaine Cottage appears to be  alive with ancestors.

Midsummer Blessings to All XXX

 

 

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Envisioning the “Impossible”

DSC00742Envisioning the end is enough to put the means in motion.  ~Dorothea Brande

DSC00745Many people ask me, time and again,

“Where did you begin planting, Colette?”

“Did you have a plan?”

DSC00747The answer is simple, as is much of what I do and how I live my life…no plans, just a vision!

DSC00746The power of envisioning is just beginning to be understood.

DSC00748Much has been said about this process and, as yet, we have only a small level of understanding how it works, but the process of manifestation is a powerful one indeed. 

DSC00749Dreaming is the first step to becoming. 

To dream of the time ahead is to welcome an inner fold of reality we long for but have not yet realized. 

It is an act not just of hope but of inspiration. 

~Paul H. Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson

DSC00750At a time when hope seems to be marginalized, almost cast aside, as the grim reality of the world today pervades our lives, creating a vision of a better world can be a powerful beginning.

DSC00751I don’t have a television in my home…that leaves a wonderful void to be filled, and I fill it with imagination and creativity. 

DSC00752Simply unleashing our imaginations can be empowering. 

~Paul Rogat Loeb

DSC00753We really have such little understanding of the power of our imaginations.

DSC00754Yet most of us are aware of the ways in which a troubled mind can manifest and create chaos and unhappiness!

DSC00755If one, then the other (opposite), is equally possible! 

DSC00756If we cannot envision the world we would like to live in, we cannot work towards its creation.  If we cannot place ourselves in it in our imagination, we will not believe it is possible. 

~Chellis Glendinning

DSC00757My vision was always one of co-creating with the Goddess, a Garden of Eden.

DSC00758One of abundance and beauty.

DSC00759A tribute to Mother Earth.

DSC00760I veered away from straight lines, squares, harshness that implied dominance.

DSC00761I wanted to coax Her into life, reassure Her that this would be Her garden.

DSC00763Everything seems to indicate that we must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become a reality. 

~Václav Havel

DSC00762And so it is…

The Bealtaine Project is a full-time labour of love for Colette O’Neill, aiming to encourage and support those wishing to live more sustainably “with” rather than “on”” Mother Earth.

To this end, Colette writes, photographs, films and podcasts regularly every day in multi media form.

Your support is appreciated

Blessings X

Colette at Bealtaine Cottage

 

 

 

A Pagan Woman

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

Mahatma Gandhi

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

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

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

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

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

DSC00668In fact, social acceptability and indeed family acceptance was predicated upon one’s adherence to religion…or apparent adherence!

DSC00667This blog was preceded and inspired by a conversation I had a few days ago with a family member, a sibling.

DSC00669We both recalled how dominant religion was in our childhood, education and subsequent life outside of Ireland.

My Mother declared towards the end of her life, that she felt fortunate to have reached a time in history when she could ask questions about the institutions that governed much of her life and embrace the possibility of a much bigger picture.

DSC00514 We shared many interesting conversations on many aspects of life…she felt the “lid was off the box!”

DSC00512I have recently declared myself to be a pagan woman, in that I do not believe in any form of killing, for any reason, nor do I believe in a “creator” as in any sky god, including Zeus and I seek the Divine in all life. Mother Earth is both my home and “church,” feeding my deepest spiritual needs.

(Paganism is not dogmatic. Pagans pursue their own vision of the Divine as a direct and personal experience. ~Pagan Federation)

DSC00665 As I revealed this to my brother, we both realised that this would have been impossible to declare for any of our previous family over the course of the last 1500 years .

So, here I am, the first woman in my family for 1500 years to happily and openly declare my spiritual path outside of any established, monotheistic  church or religion and reconnecting with ancient family …that’s quite profound, don’t you think?

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The Simplicity of the Morning

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“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”
Henry David Thoreau 

DSC00013Half light and shadows as the morning comes into view.

DSC00012Reflections and sunlight as the day rises.

DSC00011The silent beauty of the morning is a template for us all to follow into day…quiet simplicity.

DSC00010Gazing around the cottage as I follow through on early morning rituals.

DSC00009Checking where Sammy-Bear spent the night, opening the door for Jack to go out…

DSC00008Lighting the stove to boil the kettle…

DSC00006Looking for where I put my camera last evening, for I should record this ethereal beauty of the early morning…

DSC00005Finally, making my pot of coffee and stepping out to embrace the day…

DSC00004The morning, the blessed morning…where all is possible.

DSC00003May the Goddess of the morning touch your heart with delight.

DSC00002May you be released into day, free from negativity and matters you do not control.

DSC00001Embrace your day…it’s a blessing! 

“When you rise in the morning, form a resolution to make the day a happy one for a fellow creature.”
Sydney Smith

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Magical Evening of Ostara at Bealtaine Cottage

This is the evening of Ostara, the Spring Equinox…of equal day and night.

The Great Turning of the year as Spring moves with joy towards the Summer and Bealtaine, the first of May.

A magical time.

The word Ostara is just one of the names given to the celebration of the Spring Equinox, also known as the Vernal Equinox, on March 20 this year.

The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north.

This happens on March 19, 20 or 21 every year.

The Venerable Bede said the origin of the word Ostara is actually from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring. 

Solstices and equinoxes mark key stages in the astronomical cycle of Mother Earth.

Each year there are two equinoxes (spring and autumn) and two solstices (summer and winter).

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Unseen

“I don’t just use yarn from a store. I buy old sweaters from consignment shops. The older the better, and unravel them. There are countries of women in this scarf/shawl/blanket. Soon it will be big enough to keep me warm. ”
Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls

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I love that quote.

Her words sum up for me the magic in up-cycling…materials already infused with the energy from other lives.

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 Energy is vital to our lives, not just what keeps us warm and dry, but what inspires us. many of us feel the energy of the full moon such as happened last night…it was a sparkling energy and one that had me fully awake at 6am today.

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The lovely energy one gets from holding a precious item, for that is all abut the energy it has been infused with.

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Have you ever noticed how small children often cling to an item given to them by a parent and often keep it near their mouth, as a way of scenting and tasting that energy.

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We are aware of how important it is for a baby in an incubator to have its mother as close by as possible, yet glass separates them!

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Somehow, this most important of energies, love, flows into the incubator and comforts the infant child. In these times of awakening, we are coming to understand the power of unseen energy…that of the spirit.

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“The energy of life entering and leaving your body flows evenly throughout the universe. With that current, the mind of the cosmos communicates with all things.”
Ilchi Lee  

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“Our exclusive dependence on rational thought and language has obscured our natural ability to sense the flow of energy.”
Ilchi Lee 

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And it is that flow that we are immersed in throughout our lives.

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It is that flow which we can influence at all times.

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Our disconnection from the essence of who and what we are causes us immense pain at times. DSCF0777

We are as disconnected from that universal flow of energy, as the premature baby in an incubator left alone.

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The quiet peace of Midwinter is a time for us to begin that immense and wonderful journey of reconnection.

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

A message received from Patrick…

Hi Colette

I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for several weeks now. I should have been coming to Ireland from the UK with my partner in the New Year to start our own smallholding .. However she had a tragic accident last Monday and is now in a coma with an uncertain future. I have decisions to make, but I am at a loss , I don’t know what to do. I need the help and intervention of a higher being ! Please can you and your followers have Jess and I in your thoughts, Patrick.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Patrick, it is done…my blessings to you and Jess XXX

___________________________________________________________________

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The Power of Ritual

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Ritual, everyday ritual, is incredibly powerful!

Examine the ritual of power, be that in the opening of parliament, royal celebrations, religious ceremony…and you begin to see the importance and power of ritual!

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So where does this fit into a sustainable life or a permaculture smallholding?

It is simple to understand in the context of power…

Since the rise of the Age of Technology, our real power as human beings has become diminished.

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We have become reliant on technology, without stopping to assess and filter the bits we really need and want.

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I was contemplating this as I lit the stove this morning, moving to and fro with paper and wood, collecting fuel from the barn, whilst casting my eyes over the pile of long thin trunks, standing erect ready to be sawn into logs. Autumn in the permaculture gardens of bealtainecottage.com 001

My early morning coffee is predicated on lighting the stove and doing small chores, as I wait for the kettle to boil. This is a ritual I choose to partake of.

bealtainecottage.com Permaculture 002

I could have kept my electric kettle and simply touched a switch each morning, but chose instead to avail of that great commodity: time!

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Rising a little earlier, cleaning the ash-pan, lighting the stove and waiting, allows my morning to begin a sacred quietness.

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I walk to the back door and stand by the open portal to Nature, as she heralds the morning in with birdsong.

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The power of ritual is our power.

It is what we have forgotten, as technology imbibes us to forget our humanity.

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We need both.

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We need to be selective and thoughtful about what we wish to keep in our lives.

It is our power to choose.

Into the Heart of the Goddess

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I came to a little cottage in an unfamiliar place in the west of Ireland ten years ago… I was a very different woman then.

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I rarely questioned the matrix that was my life.

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Much has passed.

Much of me is gone too.

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The years here have seen a new woman emerge, one who would have been barely recognisable to me all those years ago.

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Bealtaine has sculpted me, hollowed out the fear and uncertainty, re-shaping and moulding me into someone very different.

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I have journeyed back to the Mother.

I now live my life to serve the interests of Mother Earth.

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I love to listen to Mother Earth, to be close to this higher power and live in awe.

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I love to walk with her through seasons, work to help her overcome and, little by little, day by day, let the Goddess in.

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What began as a journey into Permaculture, has transformed and taken me deeper into the heart of Sacred Earth.

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There is much for me to understand and connect with, for to be in communion with Mother Earth is what energizes me and fills me with joy. 

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If you decide to continue this journey with me, I welcome you.

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I care deeply about her restoration to health and beauty and need to listen to her heart.

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What is here has grown from love and respect.

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Blessed be!

Angels

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Embracing one’s journey means being ready for change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The threat of war prevails.

Weather has become violent and unpredictable.

All around, this violence pollutes the Earth and humankind.

We stand near a precipice and dare not acknowledge it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take heart…we are not alone.

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

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The Month of Lughnasa

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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The seasons continue, undisturbed by the vagaries of man.

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And so shall I!

 

 

 

In a Time of Apocalypse

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Apocalypse…full disclosure of all the truth, of what was, is and will be.

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Most of us are aware of the Biblical connotations of the word,”apocalypse, but few know that the word pre-dates both the old and new testament of the Bible and is actually from Ancient Greek. 

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The verb form of the Greek means simply “uncover,” and the word is often used in a basic physical sense for uncovering the head or body, or metaphorically for the disclosure of a hidden water source or a hidden wrong.

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Very few people know that the original Greek translation of
“Apocalypse” means “lifting of the veil” or “revelation”… a
disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era
dominated by falsehood and misconception. 

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The veil hides the truth from mankind.

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We are living in a time of Apocalypse, where the truth is being revealed to us in a cumulative way, day upon day. bealtainecottage.com 008

There are layers of misconception and deception being peeled back, slowly allowing the veil to be lifted.

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For many people this is a fearful experience and they try to shield themselves from the reality being revealed to them. bealtainecottage.com 019

However, there is nothing to fear.

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All is understandable.

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For those whose courage does not fail them, the lifting of the veil is an epiphany, an awakening of immense reassurance.

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The truth will set you free.

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Truth is both a shield and comfort in the times we are evolving through.

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Apocalypse represents the revealing of truth and awareness

of the true nature of things.

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In a time of illusion and cover-up…

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Apocalypse is to be welcomed.

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