Another Trip Around The Sun!

My birthday has passed. It was a wonderful day and here I am in a new year of my life, another journey around the sun! It’s been an extraordinary journey so far and, as usual, it’s been a wonderful time for casting the occasional, cursory glance over my shoulder to the past. To this end, I have recalled many aspects of my relationship with my parents, especially in my younger years, realising more and more just how wonderful they both were! When one is in the thick of it all it’s sometimes very hard to see the people behind the…

Rituals of Midwinter

In preparing for the season of Yule, I follow the age old traditions of all the women who have gone before me. Preparation is everything. This begins in the home and involves casting an eye over all that will be of importance during this sacred time of gathering. I am driven with the desire to instil a sense of order upon Bealtaine Cottage as the Midwinter festivities approach. There is a history to this festival that precedes the usual image we hold as the collective ideal…that of a more recent celebration, Christmas. The Winter Solstice  has been celebrated for thousands of years….

Midsummer Vigil

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 And 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…

Magical Woodland by an Irish Castle

Stepping into a magical woodland can be one of the most healing and re-energizing acts of care for oneself. This morning I ventured into the woods around Kilronan Castle and the mystical Lough Meelagh, a short distance from Bealtaine Cottage. I’m glad to have brought my little camera, as am now able to share this enchantment with you. This sacred place nestles into the valley that sweeps off towards Sligo and the Atlantic Ocean. The Lough is dotted with Crannogs…ancient dwelling places constructed by ancestral forces on the Lough itself. You can just see this Crannog in the distance. These…

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…

Newgrange, Ancestors and Preparing…

In preparing for the season of Christmas, I follow the age old tradition of having a good old clear out and tidy-up…much to the discerning eyes and critical comments of family and friends…”but why are you changing the furniture around?”  “…re-painting that room…” etc.,  Well, don’t ask me…it’s just what I have always done! Yes, indeed, Christmas has some strange effects on people and it’s older than you think… I am driven with the desire to instill a sense of order upon Bealtaine Cottage as the midwinter festivities approach. There is a history to this festival that precedes the usual image we hold…

From Reproductive to Extractive Growing…What Lies Ahead…

The permaculture students have all left, making their way home filled with enthusiasm and plans for what lies ahead…and that is what a permaculture course does for one…giving hope for a future where the land is viewed as to be looked after and nurtured… The word ‘ecology,’ comes from the word ‘oikos,’ which means house or habitat. Ecology is something we have to understand fully before we can begin to implement the changes that are necessary to preserve our environment and nurse it back to health. Our resource base is what forms our ecology, or home…energy and materials. All primitive…

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Permaculture in Ireland.

Moon in the sky last night over Bealtaine, lighting the way back from the tunnel. the Cuckoo was still calling, even in the dark of the night and light of the moon. as we ascend towards Midsummer, the Cuckoo barely sleeps. I have heard him call in the middle of the night! The garden becomes a jungle as the rain falls and the sun shines inbetween. Willow is shooting up and all of the trees are rapidly assuming a look of maturity, though they are far from it, being 7 years old and younger! Permaculture is about connections, keeping mindful…