Posted in Books, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Climate, Cottage, Current Affairs, Eco-Living, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Permaculture, Politics, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Thrift, Uncategorized

Light, Midwinter Sun, Signs and John Seymour

Light

What an opportunity!

As we descend into the dark days of midwinter, what better thing to do than light a candle and enjoy the soft light and warmth.

I was making candles today to add to my stockpile for the coming weeks, when candlelight is really the best light medium to illuminate the darkness.

Midwinter Sun

Sun worship was a common practice among the Celts…one only has to look at the amazing amount of motifs from that time to see this.

The god Belanos, known as, “the shining one,” had his feast on May 1, also known as Bealtaine!

The festival of Bealtaine was celebrated right up until 1895 at a place known as Mount Callan, near Ennis in County Clare.

There remains a sun altar at this place.

There is another sacred stone near Macroom, a standing stone known as “Stone of the Sun.”

It is easy to see and perhaps understand this Celtic fascination with the sun, when looking at the life and vibrancy exuded by the midwinter sun, on a clear morning at this time of year.

Signs

It’s possible to assess the insulation needs of any house by looking at the roof.

There are obvious signs to look out for!

For example, does the frost or snow remain on the roof as the house heats up?

If it does, then all is well, insulation is adequate up above.

Bealtaine has a double layer of sheep’s wool insulation added this year and it is paying for itself already.

Walking in this weather can identify insulation needs just by looking at the houses…snow or melt on the roof?

Insulation is one of the many ways we can help ourselves to live better and more frugally in these times of hardship.

I think it is time to re-visit what John Seymour, in his wisdom, had to say…

“…We have allowed ourselves to get where we are because of the ‘blind workings of the market’.

But we are not blind, so we must now start using our good sense to ‘break this sorry scheme of things and remould it to our hearts desire,’ as old Omar Khayam had it.

To allow ourselves to be dependent on some vast Thing created by the Merchants of Greed is madness.

It is time to cut out what we do not need so we can live more simply and happily.

Good food, comfortable clothes, serviceable housing and true culture – those are the things that matter.

The only way this can happen is by ordinary people, us, boycotting the huge multinational corporations that are destroying our Earth – and creating a new Age – an Age of Healing in place of the current Age of Plunder.”

Posted in Art, Christmas, Crafts, Permaculture, Sustainable Living, Thrift, Uncategorized

Country Living, Permaculture Style, in the West of Ireland

Aug 2011 Permaculture Cottage 001

Lots of cutting back to be done at the end of the season.

Masses of kindling here that will be stored to dry in the barn.

Aug 2011 Permaculture Cottage 015

The land is slowly returning to fertility as the trees grow and shed leaves each Autumn and the bird-life increases, along with insects and bees.

September 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 001Jack waits patiently for his walk as I take a rest from candle-making…the day is ripe for being outdoors…

There’s something quite delicious about sitting down with a cup of tea and putting one’s feet up…in this case on the coffee table.

I don’t have a television so keep an abundance of books around me…

The candle-making continues…tidying up to do, but not before a dozen or so big candles are made…

Posted in Cottage, Country Living, Eco-Living, Food, Frugal Living, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Poetry, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized

Sustainable Living and the Mystical Poets

May 2011 permaculture 018Social unrest is being driven by corporate greed, and the resulting societal chaos compounded by unemployment, mental trauma, & poverty!

 Energy and food, the two most basic
commodities of life on this Earth, are increasing in value as demand for both escalates.
May 2011 Bealtaine Cottage 004This should alert everyone to the need
to prepare both individually and
collectively for the times ahead by becoming more self reliant.
May 2011 Bealtaine 002In this respect, Permaculture and the Transition Towns Movement have been at the forefront of thinking and policy development.
At Bealtaine Cottage the focus is on
creating an infrastructure for a lifestyle that is as practical and
self reliant as possible.

In doing this, one of the results is that it leaves a small ecological footprint. 

Bealtaine Cottage May 2012 013Growing lots of  food and trees for energy, as well as crafting in many different skill areas, such as spinning, knitting, sewing, making clothes, soaps, creams…all go some way towards this end.

Home made country wine book,Bealtaine Cottage permaculture


Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.  It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.  ~E.F. Schumacher 
www.bealtainecottage.comSustainable living attempts to reduce use of the Earth’s natural resources. 
www.bealtainecottage.comIn conducting one’s life in ways that are consistent with sustainability, and respectful of a symbiotic relationship with the Earth’s natural ecology and cycles, you will find that the actual financial cost decreases!  
www.bealtainecottage.comTherefore, sustainable living is a continual action against the vagaries of the whole system…a system that is causing such problems for so many!
www.bealtainecottage.comIn choosing to live this way, you will be voting with every penny you spend…against the corporate greed that has caused so many environmental and humanitarian problems!

recycling tins at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars…
and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is
joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are
not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to
become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers –
for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  ~Osho

I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have
planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the
healing shadow of the woods.  Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and
pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.  ~Wendell Berry

Poetry and Nature – An Introduction To The Mystical Poets

  http://youtu.be/vjxZ-yD-AMg

 

Bealtaine Cottage has built up a Permaculture Seed Bank.

If you want to see a list of available seeds, this link will take you there…http://bealtainecottage.com/seeds-from-bealtaine-cottage/

Seeds from Bealtaine Cottage in Ireland are posted all over the world!

Bealtaine Cottage is also on YouTube…with over 110 videos about Permaculture, planting, growing and living.

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