The Evolution of Bealtaine Cottage…a Fifteen Year Odyssey

This is year fifteen of the Bealtaine Project…where has the time gone? Much has happened here on the land and in the cottage since May 2004. However, the real change has happened in the outside world, beyond the boundary hedges of Bealtaine Cottage.

I shall begin with Bealtaine Cottage… The plan in the beginning was to create a garden with hundreds of trees interspersed with paths that would become a symbol of regeneration and hope in a landscape that represented one of the poorest and therefore cheapest places to create. North-facing, thin, poor soil- my first book, ‘A Cottage and Three Acres,’ details the story well.

(And, by the way, the tunnel is fifteen years old with the original plastic covering…nothing special, 6mm and middle price range in case you are interested!)

The plan evolved into a full Permaculture design in the first year, with swales and ponds, drainage and raised beds, fruit and vegetable gardens and so on. Then, as the years progressed and trees began to grow, the energy changed. It became evident to me and those who were following my journey, (online since around 2010), that Bealtaine Cottage and the Project was heading in a different direction, fuelled by a potent and powerful energy!

Permaculture alone seemed complete and static as the trees began to develop and dominate the landscape. I had to give in to the force that was awakening in the Earth below my feet and so, Goddess Permaculture was birthed!

I explain this by way of the word, “innovate.” The tremendous force of energy that was growing around me innovated Goddess Permaculture.

Innovate: To give new form of that which exists.

This force of Nature was a Divine Feminine force of such tremendous power, that it was impossible to resist. Those who have visited Bealtaine Cottage will bear witness to this energy!

I felt drawn towards the story of the Goddess and began to explore the relationship my ancestors had with this powerful Creatrix. Academics like Maria Gimbutas, opened doors into the world of the Goddess and slowly, slowly, the dire situation developing in the outside world began to make sense! We had abandoned our relationship with the Great Goddess, Mother Earth, fuelled by a belief system that was inherently patriarchal and dominating of Mother Earth.

We had developed a totally extractive way of living with Earth…out for all we could extract from Her…greed has overwhelmed everything!

The overwhelming sense of loss began to be replaced with a powerful sense of regeneration and re-birth. My second book, “In Search of the Goddess Rising,” heralded the beginning of my understanding of the Great Awakening!

Yesterday I felt compelled to write a note on social media, expressing something of the dilemma many people feel and are unable or even fearful to articulate…

As we enter the #SixthMassExtinction,

remember this…

We sacrificed our divinity to sky gods, religions, a promised afterlife,

ignoring the sacredness of #MotherEarth

the abundance She creates in joy for us all!

We were taught dominion over Her.

We became #abusers

And so it is.

In order to move forward and embrace great change, it is imperative we accept what we have done. We are all included here…

Arrogance, hubris and ego will be our downfall if we fail to make the radical changes needed to live in peace with Mother Earth!

There is so much more to say, but I am both mentally and physically exhausted at present and am embracing a regeneration for my own health, in the form of a Juice Fast for the next few weeks.

Blessings to you all XXX Colette and Jack

PS: I noticed that my address on the website had been changed…and have no idea why or how this happened! The past two weeks have been rather strange in that I have not received any mail, which led me to check the address!…please check the website as I have corrected the address. please understand that I don’t have the time to respond to personal emails or letters, though read all.

The Woodland Cottage

IMG_7964

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

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

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

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

IMG_7976And so the wheel turns…

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

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

Indeed my face looked older and more stressed.

I am happiest here keeping care of this sacred place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

€25.00

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

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

For more info on Bealtaine Books…

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

The Pivotal Point

IMG_0866

The west of Ireland has been drying out over recent weeks, as the drought continues to make it’s presence felt in streams, rivers and, most importantly for Bealtaine Cottage, Spring Wells…mine in particular!

Those attending yesterday’s workshop noted the now empty rain barrels!

IMG_0871

There is rain promised for Friday the 12th of May…the day when a visitor from America flies in to take up a week long course at Bealtaine Cottage…so rain will be greatly appreciated on this occasion in order to facilitate shower facilities in the cottage!IMG_0873

On the plus side, there’s a new wooden veranda to enjoy sitting out on…the lodge is where visitors get to stay, in comfort and, to some degree, independence and privacy…that is unless SammyBear, Beauty or, indeed, Jack, try to barge in, as oft they try!

IMG_0878

Over recent years, this early summer drought has become a feature of our evolving weather systems.

Who would have ever imagined this to become a pattern here in Ireland, but it has!

IMG_0879

More water butts are needed and will be put in place at the end of this year in preparation for next!

Planning and implementing are both important tools in dealing with what appears to be deepening climate change.

IMG_0881

Putting in place as many practices and resources to ameliorate the worst effects of climate change are important to building resilience.

IMG_0884

It is no longer practical to plant trees and shrubs in Spring, as the reliability of previous planting times are now in question.

Autumn and winter are now the only times to plant and be assured of the conditions needed for healthy rooting.

IMG_0886

The dense planting schemes I introduced at Bealtaine Cottage at the beginning of this project thirteen years ago have served the land well!

Plentiful shade and supporting growth has helped establish real resilience!

IMG_0888

What we carry in our hearts and nurture, is either an image of the beauty of Mother Earth, or, one of darkness, and the horror, we, as a species, have cultivated.

To this end, the image of light and joy, I created the stone circle which sits on the outer edge of Bealtaine.

I say this because a recent visitor asked me why I made it.

It is sad to forget the joy of imagination and magic.

IMG_0890

That question asked of me, helped remind me of this beautiful quote, so apt in these times of awakening…

IMG_0893

“I thought that you would be frozen in awe when you found the sequence, when you heard a bird’s song repeating my Morse code, my cry for help, my S.O.S, when you saw the same numbers in the petals of a flower and the structure of a pine cone, when you saw with your own eyes the interconnectedness of all things.
But I was wrong.
You searched for a male god, a creator, an intelligent designer, or you banished the beauty and mystery of the world beneath the cold concrete grave of closed-eye scepticism. The few of you who could still hear my music felt tortured and misunderstood; you reached out for any conspiracy theory large enough to explain your alienated despair, your sense that the Earth was dying and no one cared.
But listen to me — you are not alone.

Run your fingers through the grass and grab it in your fists, feel my pulse echoing through your blood.

You.

Are.

Not.

Alone.

And I —

I am not dead yet.”


~ Sarah Warden, Blood of Earth

IMG_0897

The above quote from Sarah Warden sums up, for me, the reasons for my optimism…or in part at least!

I have witnessed the surge of life across this once derelict, sad and lonely place!

IMG_0901

In a way, my building the stone circle encapsulated the joy and magic I often felt and continue to feel on this land.

Mother Earth is like Sleeping Beauty, simply waiting for love!

IMG_0903

I am a great proponent of technology, as it is through the medium of the internet and a good camera, that the beauty and promise of Mother Earth can be celebrated worldwide from this little piece of her, here in the remote west of Ireland…and using a phone hot-spot as my connection!

IMG_0904

The ancient peoples who built this cairn atop Kilronan mountain would have been  intrigued!

IMG_0906

I am in the process of writing another book, one that may further express the magic and wonder I feel living here.

Added to this the decision to embark on a second print run for “A Cottage and Three Acres,” a book I never imagined would be as successful as it is!

It is wondrous for me to see how many are encouraged and enriched by the story of Bealtaine Cottage.

IMG_0908

Sitting by the stone circle this morning, Jack at my side, snapping photographs as I sipped my coffee, seems so personal, yet this is how many of you tell me you feel when looking at the images on your phones, tablets and computers…now that is magic!

IMG_0910

I believe that we have evolved to this point where Mother Earth can be seen, in detail, close-up, by all for the first time!

This is the pivotal point in our own evolution…we either fall in love with Her or keep to the path of egotistical destruction that is the corporate madness of the latter part of the twentieth century and the utter stupidity of the twenty first!

IMG_0912

I will leave you with these photographs.

No doubt you will look at them and admire the beauty of our incredible Mother and the joy she exudes.

But there is something I have come to understand that I want to share with you…

IMG_0913

Just because mankind has wreaked havoc and destruction upon her, does not mean she is dead or dying, despite the images of the horrors we often see.

Indeed, the arrogance of many is verbalised in their dire predictions for Earth!

Even Stephen Hawking recommends that mankind move to Mars!

I say no!

IMG_0915

Bealtaine Cottage is proof, if ever there was needed, that she sleeps below us, waiting, waiting patiently to be awoken with love, tenderness and joy.

In our arrogance and hubris, we have been led to believe that we can destroy Mother Earth!

It’s time we grew up and left our spoiled and petulant childhood behind us and, instead, start to take care of our Mother!

Mars indeed!

Look at the photographs…

IMG_0917IMG_0920IMG_0922IMG_0926IMG_0928IMG_0931IMG_0933IMG_0934IMG_0936IMG_0938IMG_0941

The book “A Cottage and Three Acres,” is now available to purchase…with 71 colour photographs!

 

The cost of the book is 21.00 euros, plus 5.50 P&P for addresses in Ireland, 6.50 P&P the rest of the world.

Thus books posted to Ireland, total cost 26.50 euros

All other countries worldwide, total cost 27.50 euros

Once through to Paypal, currency conversion is worked out for you. I will acknowledge your order ASAP.

To order and pay, 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
 
(Don’t forget to include your name, inscription if wanted and full address.)
 
 

Like Noah

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no
difference what people
think of you.

Rumi

IMG_0387Another five days.

IMG_0385Bealtaine.

IMG_0386The beginning of Summer.

IMG_0388This Bealtaine is the celebration of thirteen years of the Bealtaine project.

IMG_0384A project once considered the silly dream of a ridiculous woman.

IMG_0383Against all financial advice it was conceived and against all horticultural wisdom it was planned.

IMG_0382Planned, planted and grown!IMG_0381

The Bealtaine Project is now complete.

IMG_0389This land is both resilient and regenerative…it can grow abundance without me.

IMG_0390I am now free to observe and delight, potter and sit, all the while simply ensuring the gentle maintenance of the edges and paths, free to harvest and raise plants for the Potager Beds which provide some of my food and much of my pleasure.

IMG_0391I have embarked on writing my second book, happy with the good reception of the first, “A Cottage and Three Acres.”

IMG_0392I recently read this quote by W. H. Murray and found it to be true to my experience at Bealtaine Cottage over the past thirteen years…

IMG_0393“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, the providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. “

W. H. Murray 

IMG_0394Wise words…live your life!

IMG_0396Click here to purchase the book… “A Cottage and Three Acres…One Woman’s Return to Ireland in Her Quest for Eden.”

Giordano Bruno

DSC01473

I have been reading much of late…in particular, two books by James Lovelock, setting out the case for Gaia and the ensuing extreme weather generated by a change in our climate, among other things, some would argue! 

DSC01461

DSC01462This is not a blog about Climate Change or, even, extreme weather…enduring it is quite enough!

DSC01467This is about an extraordinary human being, who, 400 years before James Lovelock, set out the case for our Earth being alive…as I know her to be today!

DSC01464For this and other beliefs, Giordano was burned at the stake in the year 1600.

DSC01471Giordano Bruno, born Filippo Bruno, was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and astrologer.

DSC01472He is remembered for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then novel Copernican model.

DSC01470He proposed that the stars were just distant suns surrounded by their own exoplanets and raised the possibility that these planets could even foster life of their own (a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism).

DSC01469He also insisted that the universe is in fact infinite and could have no celestial body at its “centre”.

DSC01463Beginning in 1593, Bruno was tried for heresy by the Roman Inquisition on charges including denial of several core Catholic doctrines (including Eternal Damnation, the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, the virginity of Mary, and Transubstantiation).

DSC01460So, you can begin to see why I have warmed to this rather extraordinary and brave human being!

DSC01458Not, as some would imagine, for having strong views…but for daring to question!

DSC01457Bruno’s pantheism was also a matter of grave concern.

DSC01456 The Inquisition found him guilty, and he was burned at the stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori in 1600.

DSC01452In short, Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake just over 400 years ago for maintaining that the Earth was alive!

DSC01449After many years of isolation in the science community, James Lovelock was acknowledged as the bearer of truth, sometimes a painful burden to carry in a society fixated with staying well inside the box!

DSC01447I know from my intimate work with Mother Earth, that she is indeed alive.

I open myself to her communication.

DSC01439Her voice grows louder with each passing day…indeed, many of you hear or feel her communication.

DSC01432The change in acceptance of James Lovelock’s Gaia theory was summed up in a declaration published by scientists from the four international research programmes in 2001 which said…

DSC01428“The Earth system behaves as a single, self-regulating system,comprised of physical, chemical, biological and human components. The interactions and feedbacks between the component parts are complex and exhibit multi-scale temporal and spatial variability.” DSC01426We need to make peace with Her…and to do that we need to listen!

Thank you for supporting Bealtaine Cottage…there is a link at the top of this page where you may choose to purchase a book, calendar or map. Blessings X Colette

Signs of Spring

Catnip Heart Toy made at Bealtaine Cottage

Life is stirring.

Light shines higher in the morning sky.

Thickening buds cast a haze over the land.

“But there were certain early days in Casterbridge- days of firmamental exhaustion which followed angry south-westerly tempests-when, if the sun shone, the air was like velvet.”
Thomas Hardy

The woodland that surrounds Bealtaine Cottage

Colours emerge and birds sing out a joyous, higher note.

Warm weather in January

We are officially in the season of Spring in the West of Ireland and the new energy is tangible, from rising in the morning to the growing lateness of dusk.

The temperature seems rather unstable, as you can see evidence of in the photograph above.

The morning began very cold and in the space of minutes, the temperature had climbed by 18 F., causing the mirror on the veranda to steam up!

I recorded this as most of the only real information about climate and weather appears to be anecdotal evidence from social media! Cottage interior at Bealtaine, 2016

My favourite aspect of Spring is the way the light changes.

If one simply sat in this cottage and never ventured outdoors it would be possible to map the seasons in light play.

I expect birds, animals and even insects are similarly informed.

Living in the glare of artificial light can be dulling to our senses!

“She walks in the loveliness she made,
Between the apple-blossom and the water–
She walks among the patterned pied brocade,
Each flower her son, and every tree her daughter.”
Vita Sackville-West, The Land

DSC08092

Elsewhere in the woodland gardens at Bealtaine, frogs have emerged from hibernation and busied themselves, as only frogs can in cold ponds!

Frogs in Bealtaine pond have the luxury of a shallow, sheltered, ancillary pond, hand dug by myself, just off the main one.

This water heats faster and earlier, ensuring maximum attention to the detail of frog mating and spawning…a sort of nursery pond!

Anyway, it works a treat and has done for the past eleven years.

As a consequence, the amphibian life force has healthily expanded!

“Woods were ringed with a colour so soft, so subtle that it could scarcely be said to be a colour at all. It was more the idea of a colour – as if the trees were dreaming green dreams or thinking green thoughts.”
Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

 

Frogspawn at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, 1st Feb 2016

Frogspawn at Bealtaine Cottage, Ireland, 1st Feb 2016

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Permaculture gardens at Bealtaine Cottage Feb 2016

Diversity of planting not only has created resilience, but bestowed all year round colour to Bealtaine Cottage…so appreciated as Spring emerges…for with this rising of the sap, comes a much defined colour change!

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
“Winter is dead.”
A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

Pussy Willow at Bealtaine Cottage. Ireland

Catkins have appeared on the Willow…and there’s many different varieties in the Woodland. Pond and even Orchard gardens. Essential food for the bees emerging from a hungry winter hibernation.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Quince flowers, Bealtaine Cottage, Feb 2016

This Quince grows in the Bog Garden and has begun to flower!

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
Margaret Atwood

DSC08097

Where would Spring be without the exquisite little Primroses?

Seen here in the Fairy Wood at Bealtaine, surrounded by Spurge!

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Spurge at bealtaine cottage in the Fairy Wood

The Fairy Wood awakens!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You can place an order for seeds harvested here at Bealtaine cottage, from the plants seen growing here…all strong and vigorous. Click on the link below that will take you to the selection available:

https://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-for-sale/

 

I’m happy to write, photograph, podcast, YouTube and Facebook on behalf of Mother Earth…it would be great if you could take a second or two to press the LIKE button, leave a comment, or even subscribe to Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…

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

Country Cottage Journal ~ A Christmas Eve Message from Bealtaine Cottage

DSC07781

The cottage is quiet.

Outside the remains of the storm huff and puff it’s remaining fury.

Inside the thick stone walls it’s Christmas Eve.

There will be a full moon on Christmas night, the first one since 1977.

But, this morning, the rays of the Midwinter sun illuminate the grey morning and all is quiet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Quiet is a welcome word after a night of howling wind and relentless rain.

DSC07785My blessed thanks to those of you who sent me good wishes and gifts.

I am heartily grateful to receive the appreciation of friends.

DSC07784Friends like Heather, who made me this beautiful brooch, stitched with love.

I have pinned it to the lapel of my jacket…it is a thing of beauty indeed!

It is the little notes, gifts and donations that bring a sense of being appreciated.

I am indeed blessed to live my life in the service of Mother Earth and able to live without the needs so many feel they must have, forever indebting themselves to the corporate machine that is destroying her.

DSC07782As I write this journal, the radio informs me of another storm on the way.

I will soon light the traditional candle in the window of my small sitting room.

candle and spiral at bealtaine cottageThe placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is still practised today.

It remains a symbol of hope.

PaddyDog Designs at Ballyfermoyle, sold in the Bealtaine Cottage shop on EtsyHope is what Bealtaine Cottage is all about…hope and renewal.

I am a woman and a pragmatist who looks to the future.

Full moon over Bealtaine Cottage IrelandDespite the wars of man, the fear of climate upheaval, the greed of those in power and the relentless drum-banging of the corporate consumer world, life, in all it’s imperfections, is sacred and beautiful.

DSC07780On this blessed Christmas Eve, I will step out with my spade and wheelbarrow, to plant the future, in the form of five trees.

May you be blessed with love, light and happiness on this wonderful day and in the days of light to follow.

XXX Colette XXX

Support the work of the Bealtaine Project…

Subscribe to the second website, growing daily and now with over 90 new blogs and several thousands of unseen photographs, as well as podcasts and stories… Visit:

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life Membership~ Subscribe Today!

Country Cottage Journal~Floods

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last night I encountered the severest rainfall ever…it was nothing less than apocalyptic!

I was awakened around midnight by the sound of gushing water.

It had been raining all day and the forecast was for the rain to persist until around 6am on Sunday morning.

Getting up and putting on my dressing gown, I opened the back door and switched on the outdoor light, to witness water rising up towards the door.

Grabbing a torch, I shone it along the back of the garden and was amazed to see waterfalls, cascading down from the hill behind the cottage, onto the gravel in my little courtyard.

It was horrendous…and very, very frightening!

I put my raincoat on over my dressing gown, slid into my wellies and clutching the torch, headed up the back garden, to see if it was possible to redirect the torrents.

I spent the next three hours with spade, hoe and rake, trying my hardest to channel the flooding away from it’s path of destruction.

I succeeded…eventually!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is extreme weather of biblical proportions!

The result of Climate Change due to the machinations of man…everything points that way!