Magical Wild Herbs and Other Things

Hawthorn is one of the sacred Ogham trees of Ireland. It goes by the name Huath in Irish,  being the tree that symbolises Bealtaine, the merry month of May! This is also a wonderful, magical herb of abundant medicine. Hawthorn, or whitethorn, is easily identifiable during this time as her creamy blossoms brighten hedgerows, stone walls, fields and sacred sites. Hawthorn is also known as the fairy tree for it is believed, especially a solo tree in a field, that it is a place that fairies would stop to rest (or party!) as they traversed across the land. There was…

Another Trip Around The Sun!

My birthday has passed. It was a wonderful day and here I am in a new year of my life, another journey around the sun! It’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. To 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! When one is in the thick of it all it’s sometimes very hard to see the people behind the…

An Open Portal in Time…

SAMHAIN…The Celts believed that Oidhche Shamhna, Samhain, was an open portal in time. This weekend marks the prelude to Samhain. https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=QE3V4W5FYDFA8 Monday is the day of  https://bealtainecottage.com/2013/09/29/the-night-of-the-thin-veil/ and is marked as a holiday here in Ireland. It is a time of in-between…between worlds as the Celts believed it to be…  https://bealtainecottage.com/2015/10/05/between-world-we-celebrate/  The Celts understood the year to be divided into two halves associated with the dark and the light. The dark half begins at sunset on October 31st with Samhain. https://bealtainecottage.com/2012/10/15/the-celtic-new-year-festival-of-samhain/ Samhain ends at Bealtaine, when the light half begins at sunset on May 1st. Both festivals are closely linked,…

Old Year’s Night…Celtic Samhain

Between two worlds, that of Summer and of Winter, rests Samhain.  Samhain, (pronounced “Sow-when”) is the most important time in the Ancient Irish (and Celtic) Calendar. The time of Samhain starts at dusk, when the light and dark are in balance. This was never regarded as a time of death, but a time of incubation for Mother Earth. It was the onset of Winter that allowed the Great Mother to get ready the seed for Spring. Samhain is the Celtic New Year’s Eve. It is at this time, between worlds, that the veil is thin. A time of possibilities. A…

Wild Atlantic Way

A visit to the wild Atlantic Ocean marks the day that’s in it! The turning of another year for me, so close to the Celtic New Year, I can almost taste the wood-smoke in the air from Samhain bonfires. The ocean is strong and volatile today, churning and heaving life, as it crashes on the stony shore of Strandhill in Sligo. This is my birthday, the beginning of my sixth decade experience with Mother Earth. Visiting the Ocean is as close as I can get to her heart beat, rhythmic and strong…pounding out the pulse of life upon the shores of this…

Between Worlds We celebrate

As with all things Celtic, the merging of time and place meant boundaries became thin and blurred… Known as “The Night of the Thin Veil…a time of “between worlds”…the fertile edge when all is possible! Today’s Podcast… https://soundcloud.com/bealtaine-cottage/between-worlds-we-celebrate Bealtaine Cottage is free and has over 850 blogs, as well as over 3,500 photographs. Bealtaine Cottage Good Life is a mere 12 euros per year and allows me a small income, to keep doing what I love doing most…writing about Mother Earth and photographing her. To subscribe, a small donation of 12 euros per year, will add your name to the subscriber…

From Lughnasadh to Samhain

  We have entered the final month of Lughnasadh and the wonderful Indian Summer continues here in the west of Ireland! As we journeyed through the Equinox and welcomed a spectacular moon, the nights seemed to draw in dramatically. The Seed Site on Bealtaine Cottage has been updated today and now includes Willow. I will be adding to the site as more and more seed becomes ready to be packaged. Today I have collected Flat Leaf Parsley and will be adding Celery seed this weekend. As we begin to make plans for the final Harvest Feast…From Lughnasadh to Samhain…enjoy today’s…

Decorating an Old Cottage

Those of you familiar with Bealtaine Cottage online and the many hundreds who have visited will be interested to see the results of what a little paint can do in terms of brightening up a home. Yes, I’ve been busy over recent days, stood on a step-ladder, paintbrush in one hand and paint tin in the other, alongside dusters to remove the heaps of cobwebs…eek! There’s a certain old world loveliness to “Duck Egg Blue,” as the paint is referred to, more often than not! The colour is reminiscent of the eighteenth century and the novels of Jane Austen…a favourite…

The Passing of Samhain

Autumn remains, despite the passing of Samhain. Nasturtiums hold their blooms and the occasional bee busies himself with work, inside the generous flowers of orange and yellow. Sammy-Bear and Che-Mousey have drunk all their milk and turned their noses up at the biscuits…they may be spoiled! The leaves of the Nasturtium appear to grow huge, as the season of growth comes to an end…capturing and reflecting the dew of the morning. Giant Willow, (Biomass), drops its leaves and the winter duvet, that will cover the earth, spreads. This Willow grows at the top of the gardens and is pollarded, to…