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.)
 
 

A Pagan Woman

DSC00677

True morality consists not in following the beaten track but in finding out the true path for ourselves and fearlessly following it.

Mahatma Gandhi

DSC00676The word, “morality” comes from Latin, moralitas, meaning “manner, character, proper behaviour” 

DSC00675One would be forgiven for thinking that morality was invented therefore by the Romans…in my view a most immoral culture and empire!

DSC00674Following on from the collapse of the Roman Empire, morality became the foremost banner of the Abrahamic religions, as they prescribed the life to be adhered to for those in Europe and later North and South America, as well as large parts of Africa.

DSC00673Failing to adhere could mean being cast out from society, which was governed in strict terms by the church, in almost every instance.

DSC00671And this has remained de rigeur until recently…in fact, my own lifetime.

DSC00668In fact, social acceptability and indeed family acceptance was predicated upon one’s adherence to religion…or apparent adherence!

DSC00667This blog was preceded and inspired by a conversation I had a few days ago with a family member, a sibling.

DSC00669We both recalled how dominant religion was in our childhood, education and subsequent life outside of Ireland.

My Mother declared towards the end of her life, that she felt fortunate to have reached a time in history when she could ask questions about the institutions that governed much of her life and embrace the possibility of a much bigger picture.

DSC00514 We shared many interesting conversations on many aspects of life…she felt the “lid was off the box!”

DSC00512I have recently declared myself to be a pagan woman, in that I do not believe in any form of killing, for any reason, nor do I believe in a “creator” as in any sky god, including Zeus and I seek the Divine in all life. Mother Earth is both my home and “church,” feeding my deepest spiritual needs.

(Paganism is not dogmatic. Pagans pursue their own vision of the Divine as a direct and personal experience. ~Pagan Federation)

DSC00665 As I revealed this to my brother, we both realised that this would have been impossible to declare for any of our previous family over the course of the last 1500 years .

So, here I am, the first woman in my family for 1500 years to happily and openly declare my spiritual path outside of any established, monotheistic  church or religion and reconnecting with ancient family …that’s quite profound, don’t you think?

If you think that 1100 blogs and over 8,000 photographs are a good free resource…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!

Latest Podcast and Blog at BCGL…

LILITH AND THE WELL

Or…simply make a donation

Thank you for supporting Bealtaine Cottage.

A Free Festival!

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.” – John Keats

019

Amid much conflict in the world, austerity, unemployment and strife, the seamless story of Mother Earth moves across the landscape.

020

In these days of early Spring in the west of Ireland, her joyfulness plays out in the changing earth beneath our feet, as sap pushes up stems and trunks, thickening buds as it moves the life force skywards.

021

Earlier mornings, filled with birdsong.

Hens back laying eggs.

Sunshine and showers.

There is a deep sense of an Ode to Joy!

022

The world of man is in chaos…and always has been in one form or another.

Yet, here in Nature, Great Mother Nature, time continues in an almost unaltered way.

023

I say “almost,” because, of course, Mother earth has been greatly harmed by Mankind.

Today, I do not want to write about that, but instead invoke a little of the joy that is manifesting around us all.

The earth, here in the northern hemisphere, is inviting us all to a long party.

The doors have opened, the dance has begun!

024

The brown mantle of winter is now cast aside and the greening has begun.

Already there are lambs in the fields and Catkins emerging on Willow.

There are no tickets to be bought for this party…all is free!

You are even allowed to take things away from the party and bring them home…flowers, Catkins, sunshine, food and even music.

Open your doors and windows to the music…it is magical music indeed!

025

Mother Earth holds no fear…she sings despite the wars.

006

Mother Earth is not impoverished…she keeps giving despite austerity.

010

Mother Earth cares not for politicians or governments…she will not be governed or subdued.

012

Mother Earth knows no religion, for she is the great Creatrix.

Bring nothing but joy!

***************************************

If you enjoy the free content of this website, please consider making a donation using the button below.

Thank you for supporting Bealtaine Cottage

Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas!

www.bealtainecottage.com 003

Christmas fever is widespread as the orgy of spending takes hold.

www.bealtainecottage.com 035

Ordinarily sane people are in-debting themselves to a year ahead of pay-back as they tread wearily around shops filled with Chinese imports!

www.bealtainecottage.com 014

Some years ago I made a decision to opt out of mainstream.

www.bealtainecottage.com 015

I had come to the conclusion that much of what I lived by was the result of not questioning, but merely going along with everyone else.

www.bealtainecottage.com 021

Now, I must point out that once one begins to question the status quo, all sorts of issues raise their Medusa-like heads…religion, education, government, consumerism, et al! www.bealtainecottage.com 014

Every aspect of how I lived, and what moved me, was called to the fore of my interrogation.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003

In much the same way as I gave up eating meat, smoking and spending our civilisation out of recession, I gave up Christmas.

www.bealtainecottage.com 004

Christmas became something older and gentler for me…it morphed into Midwinter.

cropped-cropped-dsc02856.jpg

I say “morphed” because there are aspects of Christmas I continue to appreciate, such as gift-giving.

www.bealtainecottage.com 001

These are not the small-mortgage gifts however, but gifts of warmth and food and home-made trinkets.

www.bealtainecottage.com 012

Midwinter lasts longer too, for this is the time of Yule.

www.bealtainecottage.com 027

Yule marks the rebirth of the sun.
www.bealtainecottage.com 038

It is a potent symbol of death and rebirth – going from the darkness into the light.
bealtaine cottage

Yule starts before the Solstice and continues on until New Year’s Day.

www.bealtainecottage.com

There’s no rush, no crazy dash for the check-out.

www.bealtainecottage.com

Yule is a time and a time that makes sense to me.

www.bealtainecottage.com

An Irish Christmas Blessing

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you.

*************

For lovers of Bealtaine Cottage, there is a second website, growing daily and now with over 85 new blogs and hundreds of unseen photographs, as well as podcasts and stories… Visit:

Bealtaine Cottage Good Life Membership~ Subscribe Today!

 

The Rise and Rise of Famine Farms

Before permaculture. Bealtaine CottageI describe monoculture  practice as creating “Famine Farms” for bees and wildlife…becoming places of slow starvation for all.

I recall thinking this when first beginning to plant out the permaculture gardens here at Bealtaine Cottage.

As you can see from the place as it looked then, it was bereft of food for anything!

Bealtaine Cottage potage beds in the permaculture gardensWalking around the gardens of Bealtaine during the Spring and Summer, watching bees forage in the blossom, frogs delight in the ponds and listening to the birds sing out a mighty chorus, makes me think of the dire situation these creatures face in the monoculture world of modern farming.

Bealtaine Cottage barnThe average person knows little of bees and their importance to all life as we know it.

It forms part of the massive disconnect going right through the core of society.

Bealtaine Cottage Buddleia flowers for the butterflies and beesIn much the same way that medical doctors have a two week slot on diet and nutrition, during their four year medical training, farmers are unaware of much of the way in which the food chain operates around them and, in particular, the intricacies of Nature.

Bealtaine Cottage hanging baskets in the trees...a slug free zoneWithin western culture, religion teaches us that we are placed here to have dominion over Nature.

Such arrogance is reprehensible as we gather more and more knowledge of the decline and loss of habitat of life as we know it!

Bealtaine Cottage potager beds and BuddhaIt is widely held that our increasing use of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which honeybees ingest during their daily pollination rounds, are largely to blame for the continuing decline of the bees.

Many people point to the proliferation of  genetically modified crops, which may generate pollen with compromised nutritional value.

The list of who and what is to blame goes on…

Bealtaine Cottage flowering Ground ElderHowever, from my own observations I have come to this conclusion: we are responsible for starving the bees; with loss of hedgerows; tree depletion; use of chemicals; growing of gaudy flowers with no pollen; proliferation of ridiculous lawns and constant demand for monoculture raised foods, to name but a few!

Bealtaine Cottage flowers and porchIt behoves us all to make it our business to know how to create and nurture bee habitats.

Bealtaine Cottage Missy and ValerianAnd that means looking at the natural world, not as a resource to be continually trodden on and suppressed, but as a wondrous gift from the Divine we all need to cherish.

Bealtaine Cottage website is free, with over 850 blogs and 3,500+ photographs.

However there is a new website for lovers of all things Bealtaine…

 Bealtaine Cottage Good Life

To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber list.

You will then access to the website at bealtainecottage.org

Click on button below to make your subscription.

A Sense of Purpose

This is a month of many visitors to Bealtaine.

It is also the month of midsummer.

The ascent towards the solstice is happening.

It is actually visible in the growth all around me at Bealtaine Cottage.

Grass has grown tall and is seeding.

Nettles are almost past their prime, for once the flower heads appear their culinary use is forbidden.

Blossoms are ready to harvest, especially the Elderflower, one of the most delicate and exquisite flowers to use for making cordial, jam and champagne.

Elderflower cordial, once made and safely bottled, will keep easily for a year or more…not that I have ever kept it that long!

It is one of the best tastes of summer, if not the best!

Many of the visitors to Bealtaine Cottage are as interested in the spiritual aspects of permaculture, as the practical aspects of embracing permaculture as a lifestyle choice.

I see both as intertwined, for as permaculture is practised, spiritual awareness deepens and religious thinking diminishes.

A transformation occurs that takes the participant to a higher plain of awareness and understanding.

For me, permaculture has led me quite naturally to a life of simplicity and increasing awareness of the natural world.

It has been a tuning in process that has reached a level of comfortable ordinariness.

In other words, I get it… I feel comfortable within the universe.

There is incredible peace of mind in a permaculture lifestyle.

Most of the time, the brain is in an alpha state, with virtually no anxiety.

There is little to be anxious about, as this lifestyle choice both empowers and disregards.

With little need for money, the desire to consume is abated and diminished.

The consuming society is fast consuming itself and mostly for greed, ego or other negative reasons.

So much of the negativity which once dominated thinking, is disregarded, thrown off.

Life is embraced as a series of sunrises and sunsets and all the day in between, noticing the natural environment, planting, harvesting and simply being.

Many who are unemployed can turn to permaculture as an unlimited resource, fractionalised only by one’s own imagination.

A sense of purpose is easily attained by working close to the Earth.

Here at Bealtaine Cottage, as the night draws in and the rain scatters nourishment upon the plants, I take a final walk around the cottage before reluctantly going in for the night…

Destroying Self-Sufficiency is ALL About CONTROL…Thoughts from a Permaculture Cottage

The Lower pond at Bealtaine this morning.

As I walked around the smallholding I thought about what it is we do to be self-sufficient and ultimately free from tyranny!

Yes…tyranny, because that’s what being at the mercy of the market and banks and importers of food is all about…tyranny!

The world today is governed by commerce, that means banks and business.

These institutions want us to be consumers.

Nothing else!

Just consumers!

In order to be a good consumer it is necessary to have money.

This paper trail enslaves us all.

That is why ‘bartering,’ is referred to as the ‘black market economy.’

Self-sufficiency is about providing as much as one can for oneself, family and wider community.

Is it any wonder that this is not taught in schools?

But then, the ‘make do and mend,’ philosophy does little to support any of the above…

I am not a good citizen.

I did not buy this flowering perennial, the Euphorbia above.

I got a cutting from a friend and propagated it, planted it, allowed it to spread and continued to give this plant forward to other people.

That makes me an economic terrorist.

Yet this is my philosophy for life.

To share.

I am not part of any religion.

Sharing is a human thing to do.

This is a pumpkin grown from a seed saved in Canada, planted yesterday in the tunnel.

I have grown dozens of plants this year  and given most away…because I could and I wanted to.

Growing seeds is an amazing experience as all tenders of Gaia know.

Sharing is liberating.

Why shop when you can share?

Oh dear, am I talking revolution again?

Ha! Ha!

Sharing is a human trait, beaten out of us in this competitive world we are submerged in…

Maybe it’s time to have a major rethink on that, for hard times are here…