Magical Wild Herbs and Other Things

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Hawthorn is one of the sacred Ogham trees of Ireland. It goes by the name Huath in Irish,  being the tree that symbolises Bealtaine, the merry month of May! This is also a wonderful, magical herb of abundant medicine. Hawthorn, or whitethorn, is easily identifiable during this time as her creamy blossoms brighten hedgerows, stone walls, fields and sacred sites.

IMG_0087Hawthorn is also known as the fairy tree for it is believed, especially a solo tree in a field, that it is a place that fairies would stop to rest (or party!) as they traversed across the land.

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There was a frost this morning, as you can see from the roof of the cottage. Insulation in the loft keeps the frost on the roof. You can always tell a poorly insulated home from the state of the roof on frosty mornings!

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An icy cover on the rain barrel by the lodge!

IMG_0165Myself and Jack set off for a morning stroll in the woodland gardens.

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I was reminded of the many herbs growing freely at Bealtaine Cottage and all along the roadsides here in the west of Ireland, as I walked along the woodland paths.

IMG_0169Dandelion, another exceptional wild herb growing abundantly here, with Its young leaves that can be used to make a tea with potassium-saving diuretic properties, so very useful for treating people suffering from high blood pressure.

IMG_0170Consumption of the bitter leaves will also aid digestion and act as a general laxative, while eating the ground root helps detoxify the liver.

IMG_0172It’s good to remember that the sticky, milky- white latex contained within its stalks can be used externally to kill warts and veruccas.

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The fire pit near the cottage has lots of precious wood ash to be spread out into the gardens. I continue to burn some of the dried blackcurrant stems from last year.

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The tidy up continues as I move the rusted bin over to the back of the old compost heap near the tunnel.

IMG_0175There are many wild and naturalised herbs growing in this semi-wild area, such as Comfrey, Nettle and Wild Garlic. Sweet Bay is planted to the right of the path in this picture. The Potager Bed is filled with many other cultivated herbs, growing happily alongside their wild cousins!

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Growing here at Bealtaine Cottage, in damp, grassy places, from July to September, this majestic, sweet- scented perennial, Wild Angelica, is known as Gallfheabhrán in Irish. Here it is, covered in frost this morning…

IMG_0178Wild Angelica was eaten in past times as a vegetable and used for dyeing cloth.

IMG_0182Traditionally it was used to treat rheumatism, gout and indigestion or to flavour liqueurs.

IMG_0184It really is amazing the vast quantities of wild herbs that are growing all around us. We have forgotten many of them and know very little of the edibility and uses of many of the recognisable plants. You can see some of the Chives spilling out from one of the Potager beds here by the Sedum.

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The colour wash across the woodland gardens continues this morning, the second day of Samhain as the progression of winter moves across the land. Flat Parsley is visible to the front of the bed! I moved all the Nasturtiums this morning from near the old Hen House, as the great tidy-up continues.

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Burdock, Nettle and Meadowsweet all grow with wild abandon here at Bealtaine Cottage. Meadowsweet contains essential oils, flavonoids and tannins. It is renowned for its anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, analgesic, and relaxant qualities. Just walking among it during the heady days of summer induces all of the above!

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Wild Oregano, or Marjoram, Yarrow, Coltsfoot and, Mullein…still in flower in the Lughnasadh Garden by the way!

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I shall post a photo of this over on the Twitter account for Bealtaine Cottage later on…

Bealtaine Cottage Goddess Permaculture Gardens

@PermaGoddess

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Plantain, Herb Robert and Feverfew can be added to the extensive list…I am now imagining a Bealtaine Book of Herbs and their uses, as I realise what a Herb Sanctuary this little acreage has blossomed into!

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Books, map and calendar can be accessed through the link at the top of the website.

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The calendar is packed with 46 photographs! The months of the year are all in Irish and there is room enough to write notes and appointments daily.

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The map is printed back and front on thick card with beautiful detailed artwork just waiting to be coloured in!

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Moon phases for 2019 and 2020 are all included!

Mabon Moon

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Much of the day has been spent in the garden, working, head down, cutting back and meditating as I chop and drop. It’s been a long day and tiredness has forced me indoors. This is the first day of a seven day Juice Fast and, as always, my energy levels are high. Working hard enables me to sleep deeply and restoratively.

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There is something incredibly magical about working in the garden during Autumn. It is the scents arising from the earth that trigger memories and feelings. Then the hot tea, so well earned after hours of work.

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There is also the light that seeps into the trees and plants during Autumn. I stood outside last night and watched the full moon shine like a bright lamp onto the trees. This was a Mabon Moon, special, magical, conjuring otherworldliness among the woods that now surround the cottage.

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And the colours…oh, the colours!

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The Stone Circle seemed a fitting place to sit and drink my tea…there is an enchantment within…

 

…and without.

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Indoors there are some of the most magical photographs I have ever seen, framed and ready to hang on the walls. I am pondering the best way to exhibit them. This is all the work of Beth Trepper. I made a video of her work at the Clifden Arts Festival…you may have seen it on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…

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Calendars continue to be available…the link is at the top of this page.

Blessings to all XXX

Colette

Observed by Consciousness

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Reality only exists when it is observed…

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These are images I photographed yesterday…what I observed here in the woodland gardens and food forest that is now Bealtaine Cottage.

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Reality can only be observed by consciousness.

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Is this why we are here?

IMG_6773Are we part of the consciousness of Mother Earth?

IMG_6771I believe we shape the beauty around us with both our physical selves and our conscious minds.

IMG_6769We often hear the statement, ‘seeing is believing.’

IMG_6768I say, believing is seeing.

IMG_6766Belief in the sentient being that is Mother Earth has formed a major part of the energy that has manifested here.

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Not so long ago, the reality of this land was a different picture.

There are links at the top of this page where you can see what was…

IMG_6761IMG_6756IMG_6757IMG_6755From the very first time I saw this place I envisioned a cottage in the woods, surrounded by the music of Nature and the beauty of life.

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And here it is.

Blessings X Colette

“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.

€25.00

In Search of The Goddess Rising

This is the second book in the Goddess Permaculture series from Colette O’Neill at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland. In this book I explore the ancient landscape, mythology, literature and life around Bealtaine Cottage… in search of the Great Goddess. The price of the book 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.

€19.00

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.

€10.00

Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter

A little Yuletide book filled with colour photographs, recipes, reflections, lore, poetry and mirth to guide you through the wonderful days ahead. Fifty pages of sheer delight from Bealtaine Cottage to you. The book is fully bound and can be posted direct as a gift. Price includes P&P worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€13.00

Special Offer

In Search of the Goddess Rising and The Bealtaine Cottage Guide to the Deep Midwinter…both books normally cost €32.00 but can be purchased together for for €28.00 which includes P&P Worldwide. Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€28.00

Morning

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The first week of July and there’s a feint scent of Autumn in the air this morning.

The morning brings a quiet and gentle beginning to the day, untouched by the continuing perplexities of man.

IMG_2384IMG_2385“Man has drawn artificial lines on the chest of the Mother Earth, which have no significance, except for the sake of war and clashes between countries. The soil seems to be the same, the trees the same, the grass the same, and the fragrance of the air, the smell of the earth the same.”
~ Girdhar Joshi

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Yes it is…all the same…at most times hard to believe when one watches the circus of life on MSM.

IMG_2388Bread and circuses, but we all know and recognise real life.

IMG_2417It has a colour and fragrance all of its own.

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“The earth is a mosaic, and most fail to notice the gossamer tesserae floating down from the realm of the mind that form its images of beauty and horror.”
~ Lawren Leo

IMG_2423If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, completely dependent on people who value what I do, here’s how…
The Book… https://bealtainecottage.com/a-cottage-and-three-acres-the-bealtaine-story/

or…

 

or…

The book: “In Search of The Goddess Rising,” by Colette O’Neill…to be published in early September. You can secure your copy here…

Price 13.00 Euros plus 6.00 Euros P&P (worldwide)

Total 19.00 Euros

Once through to Paypal, currency conversion is worked out for you.

I will then acknowledge your order ASAP.

To reserve your inscribed copy, use this button…

 
 
 You can also pay by cheque, made out to Colette O’Neill and posted to:
Bealtaine Cottage
Ballyfermoyle
Keadue
Boyle
County Roscommon
Ireland

The Art of Seduction

15

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0341.jpgRain falls softly as I type.

The day has given way to evening and the sun sets in the west behind the trees.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 024There is a chill in the air; I have lit the stove.

Birds swoop low over the roof of the lodge; so low, I can hear the sound of their wings.

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0024.jpgOver recent weeks there has been much clearing out of sheds, cupboards and closets, as the energy of approaching Midsummer holds sway.

Through all of this, I have been mindful of need; keeping up a steady flow of goods to charity shops.

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Ever mindful of human need, my mind turns to scarcity.

What does it mean and how does it affect us?

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 020Scarcity is the fundamental economic problem of having seemingly unlimited human wants in a world of limited resources. It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfil all human wants and needs.

The art of seduction in society has led to a feeling of scarcity in the mindset of many people.

Solstice morning at Bealtaine Cottage 2013Media and advertisements seduce many into a perpetual state of want; and when not getting what they desire, into a state of perceived deprivation.

The standing stone at Bealtaine Cottage February 2013This is what creates and maintains consumers.

table on the verandaLiving in a corporate society means being a consumer.

cropped-060.jpg It has suited successive governments to align their economic policy with that of corporations, turning us all into little more than consumers.

Autumn 2013 at Bealtaine Cottage 002Every aspect of our lives is heavily weighted in favour of consumption, yet not even the corporate junk food fills us up!

cropped-www-bealtainecottage-com-0141.jpgIn the process of this debasement we have lost our sense of community and dignity.

We have been systematically seduced into a continual state of perceived scarcity…the cause of a deepening unhappiness. 

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A Life in the Country ~ Today at Bealtaine Cottage

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Missy. Staring wisely through her beautiful cat’s eyes. Such wisdom in that little head…  

Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most
inconvenience.  ~Pam Brown   (Indeed…sitting in my seat, I do believe)!

A catless writer is almost inconceivable.  It’s a perverse taste, really, since
it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one
cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the
typewriter keys.  ~Barbara Holland

I bought this painting recently, having been drawn towards it and virtually hypnotised into the purchase…it is old and evokes a sense of 1950’s rural Ireland…and one of my favourite authors wrote expansively about this time…Edna O’Brien.

 Every
artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his
pictures.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

Jack looks over at Missy the cat…yes, Jack, keep watching…don’t take your eyes off her! 

There has never been a cat
Who couldn’t calm me down
By walking
slowly
Past my chair.
~Rod McKuen

History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man.  ~Percy
Bysshe Shelley

Today I went for a lovely, long walk, down in the old park around what was an ancient house by Lough Key. This is the old stable block as seen through the portcullis…

If one could make alive again for other people some cobwebbed skein of old dead
intrigues and breathe breath and character into dead names and stiff portraits. 
That is history to me!  ~George Macaulay Trevelyan

This is the old family church near where the old house once stood…the roof has gone and the shell of the beautiful old building stands alone…