Posted in Celtic Mythology, Celts, Ireland, magic, Poetry

Good Magical Morning!

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The Stone Circle here at Bealtaine Cottage is infused with early morning light.

A wild wind blows in from the West carrying energy and a sense of renewal as it blows Hawthorn flowers in front of it.

The morning is defined by change and renewal.

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Stillness pervades the air at the back of the cottage where shelter holds sway…

Nearby a new sculpture of a Hare holds pride of place in one of the Potager beds…

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The Celts believed in the magical strength of the Hare.

The Hare belonged in essence to the Celtic goddess Eostre.

It was her most favoured animal, representing love, fertility and growth.

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In Celtic mythology the Hare was associated with the Moon, dawn and the belief in the transmigration of the soul. (I have written about this in a previous blog and can be accessed by typing Transmigration of the Soul into the search bar on this page).

Eostre was reputed to have changed into a Hare at the full Moon.

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The poet Robert Graves referred to the Hare as sacred to the White Goddess, the Earth Mother, being regarded as, and considered to be, a royal animal.

“…language of poetic myth anciently current in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe was a magical language bound up with popular religious ceremonies in honour of the Moon-goddess, or Muse, some of them dating from the Old Stone Age, and that this remains the language of true poetry…” ~ Robert Graves

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Boudicca, the Queen of the Celtic tribe of Iceni in England, was said to have released a Hare as a good omen before each battle.

The Druids were said to have been able to divine the outcome of battle by the hare’s movements.

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In some parts of Ireland hares continue to be celebrated, such as  the legendary ‘White Hare of Creggan’, a sculpture of which can be seen at the “An Creagan” Visitor Centre in County Tyrone.

Even in the local community, its white silhouette continues to adorn homes.

Posted in celtic festivals, Gardens, Ireland, Permaculture

You Are Invited…

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Bealtaine celebration is almost here!

This is the biggest event in the Bealtaine Cottage diary and this year is the eleventh celebration of Summer in the permaculture gardens!

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As part of the anniversary celebration, Bealtaine Cottage and gardens will be open all day on Friday the 1st of May, Bealtaine!

And open to all well-wishers who want to celebrate Bealtaine with Colette on this most magical of places in the West of Ireland.

Sedge in flower today at Bealtaine
Sedge in flower today at Bealtaine

There will be food, drink and a festival ambience for all friends of Bealtaine Cottage, free of charge.

This is an All-Day Event…come at whatever time suits you during daylight!

Near the veranda at Bealtaine Cottage
Near the veranda at Bealtaine Cottage

Directions…

From Ballyfarnon in County Roscommon, travel on the R284 to Keadue for approx 4km.
In Keadue turn right at the top of Village, signposted Leitrim Village.
Travel for approx 2km and take right (L5036) and house is third on the left.

From Carrick on Shannon in County Leitrim, travel on the R284 to Leitrim Village, approx 5km.
In Leitrim Village go over bridge and take left road signposted Keadue.
Travel for approx 6km and take left (L5036) and house is third on the left.

Distance from:

Keadue 2km
Boyle 12km
Carrick on Shannon 11km
Sligo 35km
Dublin 160km

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Posted in Fairies, Ireland, Landscape, tales

The Shining Ones

To understand Celtic Spirituality we must suspend the normal way of looking at the world and ‘sense’ the other worlds around us.”
– Donald McKinney, Celtic Spirituality for the 21st Century

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Looking North East towards Slieve Anieirin Mountain…

Slieve Anierin, known as the Iron Mountain, is a magical landscape, where Iron Age people once mined Iron Ore. 

Slieve Anierin in Leitrim; Sliabh-an-iarainn, the mountain of the iron; from its richness in iron ore.

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Bealtaine Cottage is surrounded by landscape, where traces of ancient peoples are to be found with ease. 

The Tuatha de Danaan were one of these ancient races and were also known as the Shining Ones.

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Few people are aware of the fact that it was these people who became the origins of what we know worldwide as the Fairies…or the Sidhe.

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This was the Tribe that became the Sídhe…the Fairy Folk.

The stories of the Sidhe abound in Ireland.

We live alongside our ancestors.

This path at Bealtaine leads down into the Fairy Wood.

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There is much written about the 

Sídhe, pronounced “shee”, and a lot of the writings are contradictory, much like the 

Sídhe themselves! 

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Living among the remnants of ancient tribes, as I do, here in the West of Ireland, watching skies with stars so bright, they illuminate the night, it is easy to believe in theSídhe…even revere them at times.

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There comes a shift in perception, when one’s closest allies are the invisible forces of Nature.

Where does reality begin and end?

What is actual and what is reflection?

For much of it is coloured by perception. 

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This was something debated by the Romantic Poets, as they often explored the world around them, using reflections, as they held up mirrors to gaze into Nature.

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There are many tales relating the emergence of Fairies in Irish Folklore.

Many legends recall how once  great Queens, Kings and Warriors became

Sídhe 

upon death.

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In turn, these mortals went on to  establish new kingdoms in the ancient mounds and hills of the landscape we know today.

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It is easy to regard these ancient sites with reverence and understanding, for even though there are millenia of time that separate us from them, they are part of our ancestral being.

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The true origin of the legendary Tuatha De Danaan lies somewhere between the worlds of reality and perception of reality.

The name means literally “the folk of the god whose mother is Dana.”  

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It is merely recorded, that they appeared, as the clouds rose, from the mountain of Slieve Anierin, on the day of Bealtaine, the first day of May…Summer.

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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.

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Bealtaine cottage crafts 010Bog Oak Pendants are available from the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop. (Sorry, all are now sold. No longer available!)

Each pendant is hand-crafted from locally sourced Irish Bog Oak, an ancient and profoundly mysterious wood that’s been buried in the Irish peat bogs for thousands of years.

These pendants are made from wood dated as 5,600 years old.

Visit:

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Posted in Celts Celtic Festivals, Garden, Imbolc, Spring

Rising to Imbolc

The morning in the garden is bitterly cold.

These are the days before Imbolc.

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We have endured the long sleep and are ready to waken to Imbolc…

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Magical days, filled to the brim with anticipation, a sense of urgency too, as the precious days of sleep and hibernation in the gardens comes to a close.

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As I walk around the gardens this morning, I become increasingly aware of short time left in which to prune and cut back, clear and prepare, the gardens for Spring and Summer.

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Ah, Summer, just the thought of Summer on this cold, white morning of late Winter, comforts the bones.

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The days of walking barefoot in the damp grass lie ahead of me.

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The promise of a warm Summer makes the cold of the day recoil.

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Imbolc heralds Spring here in the West of Ireland.

It is one of the four big Celtic celebrations in Ireland.

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Imbolc was also Christianized into Saint Brigid’s Day.

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Imbolc is a festival of purification, hence the “Spring Cleaning” and a celebration of the first signs of Spring.

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Walking along the paths that wind through the gardens, the colours of an all year round planting scheme are evident.

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Here and there are stacked reminders of work to be completed, in this case, wood to be taken up to the barn, to be cut and stacked for the next winter.

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As the snow melts on the upper hill of Ballyfermoyle, so the water flows through the ponds to be carried further into the mighty Shannon and beyond into the Atlantic Ocean.

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Coming round once more to Imbolc, reminds one of the eternal cycle of renewal and one we are all a part of, though less understood today as by our ancestors of past millennia.

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Willows, Birch and Dogwoods fill ground where once only the Rush held sway. This is the new cycle here of regeneration and renewal…a return to a fertile Earth.

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And, where clean water flows, so does life!

To the ancients peoples of this sacred isle, the water was life and honoured in such a way.

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The starkness of these remaining days are etched with beauty…a rare kind of ethereal beauty that is both proud and alone.

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In a garden so welcoming of the sunlight, for this all faces north, each tree receives these low rays with grace.

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The old name Imbolc occurs only in the very old literature, as many have forgotten it’s magic as the move towards modernity was embraced…but what is lost?

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The Ancient Ways have been suppressed by all invaders and religions, and much dogma of uniformity, without thread of meaning.

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For many in the western world this is now Candlemas in non-Gaelic speaking areas.

However there appears to be a revival of many traditions as people seek to understand their tribal ancestry and re-establish the threads of the tapestry to an older time.

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And so we rise to Imbolc, as our faces seek out the sun and count the lengthening days.

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We strain our necks to peep out onto sunsets, remarking on the time that’s in it.

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Rising, from our long darkness, to Imbolc.

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I write to encourage, help and inspire mindfulness for our beautiful world and have photographed and written over 1,000 blogs on the Bealtaine Cottage site, as well as over 110 videos on YouTube…all free from advertising!

Most of you are familiar with this Bealtaine Cottage website.

Bealtaine Cottage is free to all, as it has been for the past five years.  

With over 1,000 blogs and 4,000+ photographs, Bealtaine Cottage continues as a free to access website.

As a way of supporting the work of Bealtaine Cottage, I have developed a second website… Bealtaine Cottage Good Life.

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

Blessings
Posted in charity, Christmas, Consumerism, Gifting, Shopping, stuff

Human Resources

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The Corporate Christmas is well under way, de-humanizing society and sterilizing traditions and beliefs.

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Human Resources is the new term for people who are employed.

This is how the Corporation views you…as a receptacle for stuff…So much stuff!

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Who owns the stuff?

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Do you own it or does it own you?

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You insure it!

You clean it!

You watch it.

You worry about it!

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It does not care for you.

You die, the stuff remains!

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Keep acquiring the stuff.

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Send some of your stuff to the landfill dump.

There is nowhere for the stuff to go…there is no away…stuff rules!

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The precious life you have is dominated by stuff that doesn’t care.

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Every last bit of that stuff has been excavated or tortured from Mother Earth.

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Forests have been ripped from her for the creation of stuff.

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Trees are cut down to create elaborated hardwood boxes to inter the dead…impregnated with chemicals before being buried in the earth…decades of pollution for the Great Mother to have to deal with!

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The Great Mother…perhaps if we had more understanding of the Mother Goddess and less of the patriarchal dominant society that is predicated on universal abuse, we would be living more harmoniously on this Sacred Earth today!

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I’m off to clear out more stuff for the Charity Shop and simple gifting to others!

However, Teddy stays!

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Posted in consciousness, cosmic, cosmos, energy, Spirituality

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.

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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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Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, celebrations, Christmas, december, family and friends, holiday, midwinter, Permaculture, season

Moving with Orion Towards Midwinter

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The signs are everywhere…

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Nights drawing in…

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Unexpected sunshine on frosted mornings.

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The bare beauty of trees silhouetted against clear winter skies. 

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As Orion strides across the evening sky, we draw closer to the Winter Solstice and the darkest, stillest, nights of the year.

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Winter Solstice celebrations begin on the 21st of December, a time of hope and joy for all, regardless of belief or religious observances.

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Magical Midwinter!

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Ancient tribes all over the world observed rituals around Solstice time.

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We too can  celebrate Winter Solstice, integrating it into our own traditional celebrations.

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A chance to step outdoors and observe the night sky.

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An opportunity to nurture and develop connections to family and friends.

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From this day, there are 22 days to go before the descent into the Midwinter Solstice.

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Yes, the coldest days precede the Spring, so January rarely feels like the prelude to that beautiful season!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture landscape

But, here in the West of Ireland, with Imbolc on the first day of February, the signs are there for all to see, as new life emerges from the frozen earth.

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Posted in Abundance, Books, Celtic Mythology, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, Sustainable Living

The Great Creatrix

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The photographer from Irish Country Magazine has just left…the magazine photo-shoot is over!
You can read all about Bealtaine Cottage in the Dec/Jan edition, which will be on the shelves at the end of November!

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As we walked around the gardens, the conversation turned to the story of how Bealtaine emerged from rushy fields and it became apparent that this story becomes harder to tell…for it all seems so improbable.

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The story has taken on myth-like qualities as visitors look around, finding it hard to believe that Nature could work such magic…but She has…the Great Creatrix!

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The gardens are now a riot of autumnal colour, due in part to what many call ‘mistakes,’ but have turned out to be inspired tree planting, with nothing other than a gut feeling of where to plant and plant without discrimination.

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When one considers it, Mother Nature does not discriminate.

She merely gets on with whatever needs to be done…nurturing and giving all her days.

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Rachel Carson was acutely aware of how the future might be, if humankind did not awaken to the need to live with her…the one…the Mother, Creatrix of beauty and life.

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“Silent Spring” remains to this time, an enduring legacy of the call to wake up and smell the roses.

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We cannot live without her, though she can go on and on into the future without us.

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The question is: does she want to?

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I believe Mother Earth is reaching out to us in a last desperate bid to stop us from destroying our habitat.

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What is being done in the name of economic progress is nothing less than a dance with death.

Despite what is apparent, there appears to be a mass awakening of people, much of it happening on internet media with a  gathering speed and force. permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 012

If this little website is anything to go by, then all is not lost, for I see the growing numbers of people interested in a more sustainable lifestyle!

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We are living in fast changing times, days of optimism and hope…we are moving into a time of co-creating with the great Creatrix…Mother Earth.

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I did not choose Bealtaine Cottage…it chose me, as one who would be an enabler of the great Mother.

In the Celtic calendar, the first day of May was known in Irish as Bealtaine.

This was the feast of bright fire, the first of summer, one of the four great quarter days of the year.

 The ancient Irish Book of Invasions tells us that the first magical inhabitants of the country, the Tuatha Dé Danaan, arrived on the feast of Bealtaine.

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Bealtaine is all about renewal, another chance, an awakening.

I will let the great Seamus Heaney have the last word…

Beacons at Bealtaine
Phoenix Park, May Day, 2004

Uisce: water. And fionn: the water’s clear.
But dip and find this Gaelic water Greek:
A phoenix flames upon fionn uisce here.

Strangers were barbaroi to the Greek ear.
Now let the heirs of all who could not speak
The language, whose ba-babbling was unclear,

Come with their gift of tongues past each frontier
And find the answering voices that they seek
As fionn and uisce answer phoenix here.

The May Day hills were burning, far and near,
When our land’s first footers beached boats in the creek
In uisce, fionn, strange words that soon grew clear;

So on a day when newcomers appear
Let it be a homecoming and let us speak
The unstrange word, as it behoves us here,

Move lips, move minds and make new meanings flare
Like ancient beacons signalling, peak to peak,
From middle sea to north sea, shining clear
As phoenix flame upon fionn uisce here.

Posted in Autumn, environment, healing, magic, mother, woods

The Magical and The Sacred

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It is a rare thing…to be lost for words.

A day in Autumn that changes one perspective on life and the meaning of it all.

Where shall I begin?

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Perhaps where I started, this morning, camera in my dressing gown pocket and mug of hot coffee in my hand, traipsing out in rubber clogs onto grass saturated with morning dew.

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Or maybe, a little earlier, as this year began, immersed in deep sadness, as my mother made her own journey back to the Divine.

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But the Wheel, as they say, turns and the beauty of the Sacred overcomes the grief of the mortal…I stepped out…

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What magic lies in Nature that transforms barren into life again and again?

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The gardens have emerged this year as Woodland…and my mother loved walking in the woods.

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Come walk with me…

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Blessings X

Posted in Earth, Earthing, good health, ley lines, mental health, stones

Earthing

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Earthing is a way of connecting with Mother Earth, going barefoot, without shoes whenever possible.

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There’s just something about the feel of the ground under my feet that is magical and energizing.

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The energy of the Earth was part of everyday life for our ancestors.

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They walked the Ley Lines, they felt the energy of the Mother beneath their feet.

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When was the last time you walked barefoot upon the Earth?

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Ley lines connect ancient monuments and sacred sites with Earth energies.

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To walk barefoot upon the Earth is good for mental health well-being.

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We are a civilization without connection to the very world we inhabit.

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We fear the dark.

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We fear ridicule.

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We have entrapped our bodies from making progress on our spiritual journeys, for without our connection to Mother Earth we are wandering souls, alone and bereft of comfort and joy.

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Earthing is a part of Natural Healing.

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Walking barefoot invokes a calming energy and helps us to get to know who we are.

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When I feel in any way distressed, I walk to a special place in the gardens, remove my shoes and stand, stretched out on the Earth.

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It is comforting and empowering.

Stopping by the Silt-pond
Stopping by the Silt-pond

Try it…get earthed!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Beltane, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Ireland, Spirituality, Summer, Uncategorized

Bealtaine Eve in Ireland

 

The hen-house is all quiet on the Eve of Bealtaine.
The hen-house is all quiet on the Eve of Bealtaine.

 

The rain taps on the cottage roof as the Eve of Bealtaine draws in.

All the dry, warm weather is ended abruptly with heavy, rhythmic rain.

The lushness of Bealtaine Eve here at Bealtaine Cottage is merely a prelude to Summer and all to come...
The lushness of Bealtaine Eve here at Bealtaine Cottage is merely a prelude to Summer and all to come…

 

This Summer’s Eve will be freshened with Atlantic rain and the dry earth will release scents of green…yes, indeed, colour has a scent!

Honesty, Lunaria in full bloom this day
Honesty, Lunaria in full bloom this day

 

Bealtaine is the oldest festival in all of Europe and was historically celebrated on the Hill of Uisneach in County Westmeath.

looking deep into the gardens of Bealtaine
looking deep into the gardens of Bealtaine

 

This ancient ceremonial hill was, and remains, a sacred place and one of the most significant places of ancient ritual in all of Ireland.

Apple blossom on Bealtaine Eve at Bealtaine Cottage
Apple blossom on Bealtaine Eve at Bealtaine Cottage

 

This was the home of the Goddess Eriu…a place of High Kings and Tribes, a gathering place, where laws were passed and old allegiance re-newed!  

Bealtaine Eve by the Laurel Arch
Bealtaine Eve by the Laurel Arch

 

Bealtaine“Beacon-fires lit upon its summit could be seen over a quarter of Ireland, and in most directions the hills upon the horizons could relay the message of the beacon as far as the sea-coast.  The claim of Uisneach to be the centre of Ireland is thus quite justifiable, even though it may not be mathematically accurate.”[Macalister]

Bealtaine Eve in an Irish  Permaculture Garden.
Bealtaine Eve in an Irish Permaculture Garden.

 

In Irish mythology, the beginning of the summer and the bright half of the year started with the Fire Festival at Bealtaine.

Seedlings and new growth
Seedlings and new growth

 

May Summer be long and joyful for you, with a great harvest all the way through.

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…

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Blessings

Posted in Animals, Autumn, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Earth, Inspiration, Ireland, Lifestyle, Lughnasa, Nature, Permaculture, Thoughts

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…

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Posted in Angels, Birds, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Country Living, Culture, Fairies, Garden, Permaculture, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

Fairy Dell and Spring Well

Fairy Dell and Spring Well

This little area on the 3 acres that make up Bealtaine Cottage has slowly given up it’s secrets to me as the years have passed.

From the first days of discovery, when this appeared to be an overgrown thicket that was impenetrable, to the weeks spent slowly unravelling the beautiful space within…The Fairy Dell has emerged as a very special part of Bealtaine…perhaps the actual heart of the energy that has grown here…

Here is a short video…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKXzXxrFoFY&list=UUHkXJ9wsrdPEpzb-KMgmt-A&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Posted in Country Living, Earth, hens, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Trees, Uncategorized

The Life Force that is Spring…

The morning is damp.

This has been one of the wettest winters on record!

The earth is water-logged!

Despite this, the spring is coming in fast…

Kerria is just starting to bud, it will be a couple of weeks and full bloom will show.

Catkins are making a fine show on many of the willow varieties.

Cotoneaster buds continue to thicken and the Dogwood tips have gone a brilliant shade of lime green. This makes a stunning contrast to the red stems!

Catkins have come through on most of the willow and some have even shedded and come into leaf…yes, Spring has sprung !

Even the girls are fussing over eggs, despite the absence of a cockerel!

There must be hundreds of frogs in the upper and lower ponds this morning…it sits in huge pools of thick, shiny blackness all over the ponds.

There’s a green haze covering some of the older trees, especially in the distance where an ancient oak nestles into a dip between a stream and hillock. It’s top-most branches have developed a dull green haze, almost like an aura of life!

Posted in Animals, Cats, Cottage, Country Living, Fairies, Inspiration, Permaculture, Spring, Trees, Uncategorized

Primroses and Badgers and Irish Country Living

Primroses are open on the lane to the cottage.

Birds sing and the morning is clear and very still.

As I was driving up the lane last night I came across a badger, just a young one, but looking beautiful and wise as only a badger can…they have this really ancient look about them…

Here are just a few of the 650+ trees planted here at Bealtaine over the past seven and a half years.

These Pine Trees are near the eastern edge of the smallholding and afford great shelter form the east winds that blow during the winter months.

When the sun shines at this time of year, the silvery light is magical!

I googled Bealtaine Cottage images last night and was met with an assorted array of photos from this blog…this is page one…

Hmm…Che is up a field maple tree in the front garden…

He regularly gets himself entangled in branches and begins calling for someone to come to his rescue!

Fairies, ancient stones and spring daffodils…

I rescued this fairy from a junk sale! I paid one euro for the priviledge!

I thought she looked particularly happy this morning!

Ribes, (flowering currant) are coming into bloom this morning at Bealtaine Cottage…and they are beautiful!

Posted in Family, History, Ireland, Permaculture, Uncategorized

Old Stone Cottages and Windswept Mountains in the West of Ireland…Bealtaine Permaculture

Kilronan Mountain melts away into the valley below on a glorious easter sunday evening… The land below stretches west to Sligo Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, south to Boyle and the land of Roscommon  and east towards Dublin City. Loughs are too numerous to mention, villages and townlands with ancient names that stretch back into the mists of legends. Beauty that is both exhilarating and tragic… Abandoned amidst the bleak beauty of Kilronan Mountain, it’s empty windows gazing out across an early summer landscape.Ireland is dotted with these beautiful and evocative old stone cottages. It is heartbreaking to think of the skill and hard work involved in building these unique, vernacular style homes…and like this one, sometimes in the most windswept landscapes imaginable.As the evening draws in and the air begins to chill, it’s time to leave the mountain behind and head home to the warmth of Bealtaine Cottage and a mug of hot tea.

Posted in Baking, Bealtaine Cottage, Beltane, Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Ecology, Frugal Living, Gaia, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, Permaculture, Permaculture in Ireland, PermaGoddess, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, Wildlife, Wine, Woodland

Permaculture Interest? 30,000 visits to Bealtaine, Ireland.

This is growing on the side of a big log of cut wood near the veranda. Some kind of Fungi…not quite sure and am in the process of scouring books to try to find out! It’s soft, like a giant marshmallow and this is the actual size…but it appears to be growing…

Walking by Lough Key yesterday with the Tomster and his mum…well it WAS Mother’s Day and Tommy wanted to give his old mum a treat! …this tree, magnificent in its ancient grandeur.

Standing right up against it, heart to heart, looking up, skywards, through its giant arms towards the sky…it took my breath away!

And the little boat, nestled into the calm stillness of the lough…

And enough Ramsons, (Wild Garlic), to feed the world, growing everywhere in this massive old estate that was…the heady scent of delicate flavoursome food being carried on the cool, evening air…

…with just enough daylight left to harvest the first Rhubarb of the year and…

…make a Rhubarb Crumble, before saying goodnight to the Tomster and heading off out to dinner, Crumble in one hand, home-made Redcurrant Wine in the other…FRUGAL LIVING?…are you kidding?