Another Trip Around The Sun!

18

IMG_9956My birthday has passed.

IMG_9961 It was a wonderful day and here I am in a new year of my life, another journey around the sun!

IMG_9951It’s been an extraordinary journey so far and, as usual, it’s been a wonderful time for casting the occasional, cursory glance over my shoulder to the past.

IMG_9960To this end, I have recalled many aspects of my relationship with my parents, especially in my younger years, realising more and more just how wonderful they both were!

IMG_9962When one is in the thick of it all it’s sometimes very hard to see the people behind the parent mask.

IMG_9959As a parent it became obvious to me how much of a mask one had to don, at times…from the tough to the understanding and sometimes with little in-between!

IMG_9963However, I recall much of my memories of my parents with enduring humour, for I now am fully cognisant of what I put them through!

IMG_9965And so my birthday was a time to celebrate with both my parents in mind, especially my Mother! IMG_9969Her permanent optimism must have been difficult to carry at times, especially when faced with loss, grief, unhappiness and the all-permeating poverty.

IMG_9970I admire her more than ever with each passing year of wisdom and reflection.

IMG_9968Love endures.

IMG_9971I am fortunate to have reached a point in my journey where it is possible for me to understand the woman who was my Mother and the man behind the mask of fatherhood…one he rarely let slip, but I was lucky enough to see the interesting and caring man behind that mask.

IMG_9974The celebrations continue into Samhain, the 31st of October.

IMG_9972Tomorrow the fire will be lit and the ancestors invited into the midst of the family and friends who will gather.

IMG_9975The following day will herald in the first day of the Celtic New Year…a great time of renewal, wishes and hopes for the journey ahead.

IMG_9973On another note, I am aware that Thursday will be the first day of November and I have several boxes of calendars here in the study, waiting to be re-homed!

IMG_9978So if you want to think about possible Yuletide gifts, then look no further!

IMG_9979I am happy to post on your behalf to anywhere in the world!

IMG_9980There is also a wonderful selection of Bealtaine Cottage books and a magical, mythical map…here are the links:

 

Bealtaine Cottage Calendar for 2019

Price includes postage and packing worldwide! The calendar hosts a page of colour photographs from Bealtaine Cottage for each month of the year. The months of the year are written in Celtic script…ie: May is Bealtaine, August is Lughnasadh and so on…many of you are already familiar with the Celtic Calendar. The pictures on each month also feature some added wisdom from Bealtaine Cottage and information on the ancient festivals of Celtic Ireland.

€17.00

 

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

 

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

 

“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

My Best Ideas…

8

IMG_8466…flit into my head as I walk the woodland sanctuary, for it is here that I feel able to simply be, unaware of even myself!

IMG_8459I imagine this is the same for most people, for it is in this state of unawareness that the creative mind begins to flow evenly, unstoppable.

IMG_8465It was in walking among the trees yesterday that thoughts began to emerge about writing and where it all began for me in earnest.

IMG_8462It was of course here at Bealtaine Cottage where I found “a room of ones own,” as Virginia Woolf referred to the creative space.

IMG_8422However it’s not just about space, but time also.

Here I have more time to simply be.

IMG_8417My brother Hugh understands the importance of creative space.

Hugh lives a solitary, happy life, in a small cottage without electricity, where he writes poetry and creates from hedgerow wood and excavated Bog Oak.

IMG_8432Although Hugh had never seen any of the images unearthed by Professor Marija Gimbutas, as she carried out her archaeological work in Old Europe, he was moved by the forces around his little cottage to carve this strikingly similar Bird Goddess image into an Ash walking stick for me. IMG_8431Much of the creativity I am immersed in is governed and directed on a deeply magical level by Mother Earth too.

IMG_8427I use the word “magical,” for what I cannot rationally explain.

Shape-shifting in Ireland

13

IMG_7239The stories of shape-shifting can be found in many cultures throughout the world, but none so prominently as that found in Celtic culture.

images (4)Within the near area of Bealtaine Cottage can be found a wealth of ancient history many thousands of years old.

IMG_7240The Tuatha Dé Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland.

DSC00561These people who appeared to “land on top of a mountain”, Sliabh an Iarainn, a great brooding mass of sandstone rock and thin soil, visible from Bealtaine Cottage.

IMG_7188 The ancient manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that the Tuatha Dé Danann ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C.

images (3)The Tuatha Dé Danann were eventually consigned to mythology, disappearing from the face of the Earth, but going underground, emerging later as ‘Aes sidhe’ (the people of the mound – fairy mounds)., now referred to simply as the Sidhe.

IMG_7120The people are known as “The Sidhe” or people of the mounds, or “The Lordly Ones” or “The Good People”.

poster fairy woodOnce consigned to the underworld the Tuatha Dé Danann engaged their powers of shape-shifting, emerging in many forms, even that of apparent human form.

IMG_7125In Irish mythology, we come across a number of stories about shape-shifting beings.

544131_1412925595612240_770913028_nThese shape-shifters are often goddesses, gods, magicians, witches, fairies and other supernatural creatures.

DSC00672Shape-shifting is an important aspect of understanding the complexities of the influence of the Sidhe in contemporary Ireland, as it is believed this magic is employed to allow the Otherworld to communicate with humans.

DSC00424A poem in the Lebor Gabála Érenn says of the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann:

DSC01039“the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars,
whether they were of heaven or of earth.”

IMG_7229 (2)Colette O’Neill is a writer and photographer living at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland.

Colette follows the Path of the Goddess at Bealtaine Cottage and is the innovator of Goddess Permaculture, which holds Mother Earth and all Her life to be sacred.

Colette O'Neill

This is a special offer on my first book, usually 27.50 now 22.50 but only until 7th July!

“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

 

Thirteen and The Eternal Return

14

IMG_1913Evening descends.

IMG_1973 The cottage stands silent on the little hill.

IMG_1976Jack, SammyBear and I head off down the cottage lane for a walk.

IMG_1962The clock salutes the hour of ten, as night begins its descent in the west of Ireland.

IMG_1959As we move towards Midsummer, the light holds sway.

IMG_1953I carry words in my head as we make the descent along the little lane, planted on either side with generous intent.

IMG_1951The words were spoken by a Native American many years ago, but are as relevant today as they were then…perhaps more so.

IMG_1950“Wherever forests have not been mowed down, wherever the animal is recessed in their quiet protection, wherever the earth is not bereft of four-footed life – that to the white man is an ‘unbroken wilderness.’

IMG_1947But for us there was no wilderness, nature was not dangerous but hospitable, not forbidding but friendly.

IMG_1940Our faith sought the harmony of man with his surroundings; the other sought the dominance of surroundings.

IMG_1937For us, the world was full of beauty; for the other, it was a place to be endured until he went to another world.

IMG_1935But we were wise. We knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard.”
Chief Luther Standing Bear

IMG_1933We carry words and music in our heads, most of which seems trivial in reflection.

IMG_1934I have turned many of my favourite poems, quotes and words into mantras of meditation.

IMG_1920Some, like this one, become prayers.

IMG_1926They were wise.

IMG_1981Their wisdom makes our so-called civilisation appear trite in comparison.

IMG_1982As I climb the lane towards Bealtaine, the air is silent.

IMG_1986Birds have gone to roost.

IMG_1983Night is drawing in.

IMG_1987Bats have taken flight.

SammyBear watches with solemn intent.

IMG_1995As Bealtaine Cottage prepares to celebrate it’s thirteenth Midsummer, the tide of life amidst it’s trees and woodland swells.

IMG_1997In this year of the feminine thirteen, I dedicate this sacred space Mother Earth, free from impoverishment of spirit and death…

IMG_1996the eternal return!

Alchemy…The Great Magnum Opus

5

dsc03688

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.

transmutation

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!

This website, Bealtaine Cottage, is free and has over eleven hundred blogs, as well as over seveb thousand photographs!

PLEASE SUPPORT THE BEALTAINE PROJECT THROUGH A SUBSCRIPTION TO BEALTAINE COTTAGE GOOD LIFE...

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life membership is 12 euros per year and allows me a small income to continue to grow the Bealtaine Project both here in Ireland and in the hearts and minds of good people all over the world.

Please join…

FaceBook

77

permaculture @ bealtainecottage.com 005

There comes a point when choices are forced upon one.

I have considered leaving FaceBook ,as my time seems to be getting less and less for this website and indeed did not post for some time on there.

However, I am endeavouring to continue with the site that is hugely popular…Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens.

I must also remember…the integrity of the original has to be preserved.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.com 012The original being Bealtaine Cottage and this website.

I began writing, photographing and sharing Bealtaine Cottage back in 2006.

I did so in good faith with the magazine, “Country Living,” only to have all my work pulled and committed to the dead zone of cyberspace about two years later.

It came as a huge shock!

bealtainecottage.com 010The publication had been taken over and new management did not even give contributors like myself time to download and save our work.

It was devastating!

I had not backed up my work as I trusted it would always be accessible!

April 2011 Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensFrom that low point came the birth of this website…a place where I could share, in trust, the magic of this sacred little piece of Ireland.

cropped-dsc02856.jpgRecently I have found myself stretched beyond capacity, as I attempted to share more and more on Social Media.

Featured Image -- 21869

It can appear at times that sharing is something of a one-way street! For this reason I am no longer a presence on Twitter…though updates from this website continue to be channelled through.

Bog Oak garden sculptureThis will not alter my natural capacity to want to share, but sharing will, from now on, be concentrated back where I started from…Bealtaine Cottage website.

Bealtaine Eve in the Magical Gardens, Ireland.

3

An extra long video for you to enjoy Bealtaine eve in the magical gardens of Bealtaine Cottage here in the west of Ireland.

Enjoy!

Good Magical Morning!

10

permaculture at bealtainecottage.org 020

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.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.org 002

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…

permaculture at bealtainecottage.org 012

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.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.org 024

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.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.org 021

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

permaculture at bealtainecottage.org 011

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.

permaculture at bealtainecottage.org 026

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.

Magical Days

17

003

Gardens in Spring are one of Nature’s great delights.

Here at Bealtaine Cottage the back door remains open and the sun streams in.

My grandson, Dylan sips tea, whilst nearby, Charlie sleeps on the rocking chair.

006

It is days like these that are idyllic to recall, as the days of Spring and Summer stretch out before us. 008

Sammy-Bear sits by the open door, enjoying the strong sunshine.

011

Somewhere in the scheme of things, as the days lengthen and the early morning birdsong touches our souls, a deep sense of optimism pervades the humdrum of everyday life.

010

Animals react to Spring with displays of joy.

The image of the Spring lamb are there for all to see, but look at the behaviour of other animals…

020

And the Earth itself…I can smell the grass growing…it’s an earthy, green, living smell that intoxicates!

018

As I walk among the Potager beds in the garden, I notice how the Purple Sprouting Broccoli is regenerating, almost as fast as I can pick the small sprouts.

022

In the tunnel, Calendula flowers on last Summers plants…a welcome reminder of the flowers to come and oh, they smell so sweet!

023

Buds on the Peach tree are beginning to thicken.

This was a broken tree I rescued from the waste of a big store.

It’s taken four years to nurture it into a strong tree and this year, maybe, just maybe, I shall have some fruit!

025

The Kale has over-wintered well, keeping me supplied with plenty of this rich food through the dark months.

Now, as almost all the leaves have been harvested, it begins to sprout abundance all over again.

Time to feed and water well!

027

This Celery was planted and stem harvested last Spring.

It has regenerated and will provide yet more nutrients for juicing!

028

Spring flowers, beauty to behold…feeding the spirit as I work in the kitchen.

029

Flowers on the Ribes bushes have opened.

These will be ready to feed early awakening bees.

031

Wood, stacked in Wigwam shape to air dry before being cut and moved to the barn.

There is so much wood here at Bealtaine that I am never going to get around to coppicing more than about 25%!

034

Taking the time to bend down and look closer to the Earth, sights like this remind one there is another world below our view, reacting to the energy of Spring.

035

I hope you make time to go out into Nature and find repose with her, for these are days of Spring magic…Magical days indeed!