Enchantment on the Last Day of November

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There was always understood to be a contract between the people and the land. 

IMG_0810This reminder formed the words as I walked the woodland sanctuary, on this last day of November.

IMG_0813The leaf-covered earth I walked upon reminded me of that sacred contract, one long since forgotten by humankind.

IMG_0814From the sacred well flows the life-giving force of the Otherworld.

IMG_0817All the ancient races of the Earth understood this.

IMG_0821The contract was broken by those who nurtured a greed for more and more wealth.

IMG_0824This continues today and is the reason why Mother Earth has been brought to the edge of destruction all across Her land and seas.

IMG_0826The native pre-Christian mythology of Celtic Ireland is highly Goddess-centered.

IMG_0806This is in recognition of the understanding that the Earth is female and the force is that of the Creatrix.

IMG_0804Irish mythology, in particular, is filled with stories of powerful women.

IMG_0795These women, often revered and greatly honoured, were seen as incarnations of the ‘Sovereignty’ goddess.

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On these mornings near Midwinter, the moon continues to move across the sky as the sun rises.

IMG_0716The land speaks.

The Goddess is imbued in the chalice and has become the sacred quest of folklore, that of the Holy Grail.

Here at Bealtaine Cottage she is the land Herself.

IMG_0724It is a most blessed time of the day, when the energy is rising.

IMG_0723My morning ritual is the same…I walk the land and listen, not just with my ears but with my whole being.

IMG_0720The energy of the Goddess flows out from the spring well and across the woodland…I listen.

IMG_0682I walk always in awareness of the Otherworld  which influences my own.

IMG_0686I walk in service to the land.

IMG_0684This Goddess-centred land feels a part of me and I a part of Her.

IMG_0690The Otherworld is inextricably linked to the land I walk.

IMG_0783The Otherworld is not about the dead.

IMG_0727The Otherworld is referred to as the ‘land of the living’ in ancient lore.

IMG_0746The Goddess has a great propensity for shape-shifting…so as I walk the land it is oftentimes I am followed by birds.

IMG_0816Tomorrow marks the first day of December and the descent towards the Midwinter Solstice.

IMG_0679This will herald the return of the rise of the light, as we move towards Imbolc.

IMG_0764Yule begins on the Midwinter Solstice and continues until the first day of January.

IMG_0772The sacred walks of Winter continue…

 

Resilience of The Bealtaine Project as Drought and Heatwave Ravage Ireland

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Extreme weather conditions have struck once again here in Ireland.

Planting over eleven hundred trees over fourteen years has meant resilience for Bealtaine Cottage.

IMG_7610This continual onslaught of extreme weather is fast establishing itself as the new normal!

IMG_7611From the normally mild summers of Ireland and the UK, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past two weeks!

This should be a wake-up call to plant…trees!

IMG_7612 Only three months ago the country ground to a halt with severe snow storms and massive fall of snow in 48 hours!

IMG_7613Now we are experiencing a heatwave and severe drought which we haven’t had since 1976!

IMG_7614There was a hurricane here in Ireland last year and a massive six hour thunderstorm that did incredible damage.

IMG_7615The Irish Meteorological service, Met Éireann says there will be ‘practically nothing’ in terms of rainfall for the next ten days!

IMG_7616And so it continues unabated!

IMG_7619There has been less than 20mm of rain since May 1st with twelve days of sweltering heat and temps approaching 32c (90F) with no end in sight.

IMG_7629This is the third major record breaking weather story in just nine months – from autumn hurricanes to winter snow storms and now a summer drought!

IMG_7632Have you noticed the effect of this heatwave and drought here at Bealtaine Cottage? Many of you are familiar with the Bealtaine Project motto:

“Plant like your life depends upon it, for it does!” ~ Bealtaine CottageIMG_7636There has been some leaf drop, but overall the land is in good condition and is surviving the extreme conditions well!

IMG_7639As I write this I am aware of extreme rainfall and flooding in Japan.

IMG_7642It appears that the entire world is experiencing extreme weather.

IMG_7643However, what is happening is a taste of what lies ahead, for whatever we do there are consequences.

IMG_7645Did we not all learn that simple rule as children?

IMG_7644If we fail to look after, respect and maintain our home, then it will fall down around us. IMG_7649The earth is our home.

IMG_7652We have treated Mother Earth with disdainful arrogance!

There is a video on this subject uploaded today over on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…subscribe for further notifications.

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“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

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

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

Lughnasa and the Solstice…Ancient Time

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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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Sunday, Sunday…

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Here she sits.

Missy loves the heat from the stove in the kitchen and as she has been poorly I am tolerant of anywhere she finds comfort! On this occasion it happens to be the shelf to the left of the stove.

It’s the early evening now at Bealtaine.

There’s a gentle rain falling outside.

The cottage is warm. The stove has been lit since early this morning.

 


It’s just gone 6pm here in the west of Ireland.

There’s a smell of wood-smoke on the evening air.

The birds continue to sing around the cottage…Blackbirds mostly! They mark out their territory, first thing in the morning and last thing at night, by going to all four corners of their own little piece of land and singing out loudly! 

Sunday, Sunday…love this day!

Permaculture Cottage ~ The Daily News from Ireland…Bumper Permaculture Harvest!

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The first day of Autumn in the Celtic calendar and the harvest continues. Blackcurrants are being picked at Bealtaine, along with masses of herbs, including Oregano, Chives, Dill and Fennel…though the Fennel in the tunnel is seeding and will be dried and stored for baking purposes later on.

The Plum trees are bearing up well with the wight of the fruit and this will be used for jam and wine. I have planted four Plum trees so far and am also growing some trees from seed.

Yes…it’s hard to believe, but there have been bumper harvest every year at Bealtaine and this is set to continue as the land moves from monoculture in year one to wonderful biodiversity in year seven, with shelter developing and compost heaps bursting…

This is the Fennel in the tunnel this morning, with a good crop of seeds developing.

Apple too are plumping out well…juice, chutneys, pies and crumbles here!

Remember the immense power as a consumer you have…and ultimately, your ability, with others, to control the market…buying Fairtrade and supporting local producers is one way to control the market for the good, rather than giving your precious money and support to the global corporations who wreak havoc on our world…

A Little Celtic Magic at Midsummer…

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Wild Honeysuckle…Woodbine

The Celts believed that endurance and patience were two of the elements in Woodbine, or Honeysuckle as we commonly call it.

The spiral journey could be found within the vine, so to have it growing wild at the entrance to Bealtaine Smallholding is magic indeed!

Winter and Summer…Thomas Telynog Evans

In lovely harmony the wood has put on its green mantle,

and summer is on its throne, playing its string-music;

the willow, whose harp hung silent when it was

withered in winter, now gives forth its melody-

Hush! Listen! The world is alive.

“We honour the land which supports us,

we respect the waters which give us life.”

Amergin the Bard

Here are three things to hold dear on your journey…

Belief in oneself,

Belief in a higher self, and

Belief in the truth.

Celtic Triad

The longest day is almost over…