Alchemy…The Great Magnum Opus

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There is pure Alchemy happening at Bealtaine Cottage right now.

dsc03693The great Magnum Opus of the year is taking place all around us. 

dsc03690The Alchemy of Transmutation refers to the change of one substance into another.

The flowers of the Blackcurrant became food for the Bees and as they fed, so the flowers became food for humans and birds…then to become wine…from one alchemical transmutation to another.

dsc03689The word “transmutation,” comes from the French (12th century) transmutacion, meaning”transformation, metamorphosis”, and it’s primary source is to be found in the Late Latin transmutationem, from Latin transmutare, the verb ‎“to change”.

dsc03716Everything in the gardens and woodlands in undergoing change…from what it was in Summer, to food in Autumn.

Here are both the flowers and berries of the Leycestria Formosa.

The berries, when squashed, emit the scent of Vanilla Chocolate!

No wonder the Blackbirds fight over them!

dsc03717dsc03718dsc03712Its quite amazing when one thinks about it.

dsc03747Take for example the beautiful Roses that so blessed the veranda at the back of the cottage.

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They have transmutated into these wonderful Rose-hips.

dsc03745The process of Alchemy is happening all around us in Nature, but because we have debased and destroyed much of the Natural world, so we have come to belittle her magic and, as a consequence, stripped away the regard we once held for the Great Mother!

dsc03739dsc03737dsc03736dsc03738Is it any wonder we, as a species, are so sick, depressed, joyless?  

The incredible Alchemy of Mother Earth is happening all around us…step outside!

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Permaculture Midwinter Gathering

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Sprouting winter greens on the kitchen window sill, couldn’t be easier than this…the top of a swede sitting in a saucer of shallow water and left to continue growing and giving!
I shall harvest small leaves to add to stir-fries.
It actually looks quite Christmassy too!
www.bealtainecottage.com 001The seed-heads of Poppy and Honesty, now void of seeds, but perfect for winter displays.
I have harvested all the seeds and am packing them up for distribution across the world…especially for the bees, but also for their extraordinary beauty, even when dried!
www.bealtainecottage.com 003Dried Chillies, ready for packing into containers and storing in the pantry…an effortless way to store food!
www.bealtainecottage.com 012And outside, in the gardens this morning, the colours of winter deepen as the mists continue their journey from the lough.
www.bealtainecottage.com 008Nature’s baubles decorate the bare trees…
www.bealtainecottage.com 016The mild, early winter creates a feast of chocolate scented berries, for the Blackbird, on the Leycestria Formosa…early mornings can be noisy, as birds squabble over this winter feast!
www.bealtainecottage.com 004This old bread tin, bought in a Charity shop in Belfast last month, is ready to be packed with seeds, saved at Bealtaine Cottage…a perfect container for this purpose!
www.bealtainecottage.com 009Potager beds continue to hoard food in this little micro-climate area at the back of the cottage.
www.bealtainecottage.com 013Vibrant red dogwood splashes colour here and there, making winter as joyous an occasion in the gardens as any other season!
www.bealtainecottage.com 015Midwinter, on the 21st of December, is a lovely time to be with loved ones and celebrate!
This year will be easy to gather, as the 21st falls on a Saturday…
I had arranged a get-together for the Sunday, 22nd, but…The Midwinter Gathering is transferred to a closer date…all on the list have been contacted and there’s sure to be some great fun on the day!
 
Enjoy your Gathering!
 
www.bealtainecottage.com 017Blessings X