There was always understood to be a contract between the people and the land.
This reminder formed the words as I walked the woodland sanctuary, on this last day of November.
The leaf-covered earth I walked upon reminded me of that sacred contract, one long since forgotten by humankind.
From the sacred well flows the life-giving force of the Otherworld.
All the ancient races of the Earth understood this.
The contract was broken by those who nurtured a greed for more and more wealth.
This continues today and is the reason why Mother Earth has been brought to the edge of destruction all across Her land and seas.
The native pre-Christian mythology of Celtic Ireland is highly Goddess-centered.
This is in recognition of the understanding that the Earth is female and the force is that of the Creatrix.
Irish mythology, in particular, is filled with stories of powerful women.
These women, often revered and greatly honoured, were seen as incarnations of the ‘Sovereignty’ goddess.
On these mornings near Midwinter, the moon continues to move across the sky as the sun rises.
The land speaks.
The Goddess is imbued in the chalice and has become the sacred quest of folklore, that of the Holy Grail.
Here at Bealtaine Cottage she is the land Herself.
It is a most blessed time of the day, when the energy is rising.
My morning ritual is the same…I walk the land and listen, not just with my ears but with my whole being.
The energy of the Goddess flows out from the spring well and across the woodland…I listen.
I walk always in awareness of the Otherworld which influences my own.
I walk in service to the land.
This Goddess-centred land feels a part of me and I a part of Her.
The Otherworld is inextricably linked to the land I walk.
The Otherworld is not about the dead.
The Otherworld is referred to as the ‘land of the living’ in ancient lore.
The Goddess has a great propensity for shape-shifting…so as I walk the land it is oftentimes I am followed by birds.
Tomorrow marks the first day of December and the descent towards the Midwinter Solstice.
This will herald the return of the rise of the light, as we move towards Imbolc.
Yule begins on the Midwinter Solstice and continues until the first day of January.
The sacred walks of Winter continue…
There is something so simple, yet so unique about Goddess Permaculture. It’s evident to all who visit Bealtaine Cottage. It is the connectedness of everything. Earlier today, whilst walking the woodland gardens, I discovered the body of a fox. It had come to Bealtaine to die…a safe place, a quiet place where only the birdsong held sway in the shady gardens near the silt pond. The beautiful creature had already made itself known to me in the preceding days… Sometime last week, in the early hours of the morning, between three and four, I was awoken by a cry and then Jack barking. I got up and looked out through the glass of the front door. There it was, one of the oldest foxes I had ever seen, quite thin and scraggy, crossing the gravel by the front of the cottage. It is rare for me to rise out of bed at that hour, but something drew me to look. I now know it was this beautiful, old fox bidding me farewell…one last lap of honour around Bealtaine Cottage, before it laid itself to rest in a quiet, cool spot of safety for it’s final hours. I feel honoured that this once beautiful creature chose Bealtaine Cottage to die. A place of sanctuary. Somewhere, in a world where it was hunted, reviled and pushed out, that it found a place to simply die. This evening, as I write, I feel honoured and blessed to have witnessed such a life and peaceful passing.
I rarely dip into the outside world in terms of mainstream media, for it unnerves me!
I keep myself occupied in the world as I know it…the one where I weave wreathes from Willow and Dogwood…
The one where cruelty and chaos are not allowed entry!
You’ll understand my terror, for that’s why you’re here…to touch base with reality!
Yes, this is reality…as it was meant to be and in the world most inhabit, is not!
I have always chosen this reality, both as a child living in poverty and as a mother creating sanctuary for her children in London.
I have always sought out Mother Earth, wherever she was hidden from view by retail parks and shopping centres, housing estates and suburbia.
I chose this reality.
I planted it, brought it forward, share it and allow it’s force to move out in waves of healing and peace.
We all choose our own realities and what we allow carelessly in or strive to keep out!
The Lughnasadh Garden is another reality being birthed at Bealtaine.
Just as wanton destruction is being justified all over this Sacred Earth, the need for creation is more necessary than ever in the history of what we laughingly refer to as “civilisation!”
And, if you are brain-washed enough to think for a minute that politicians will lift us all up to a better life, then you should really seek your inspiration with them… and not here at this little portal!
Regardless of party/gender/colour or creed, politicians take us to war and care nothing for the protection of Mother Earth…and that in my view is unforgivable!
Today I am feeling angry with what I saw as I looked at the world through the poisonous media.
Even Social Media is being taken over by hate and vitriol!
As I approach my birthday and my 61st year, I am becoming convinced more and more of the need to keep one’s head down and continue to nurture and care for Mother Earth.
It’s all I care to do, for there is much destruction and violence all around that has reached a point of insanity!
I don’t know where to go from here, except to keep doing as I do and keep this website going…where, I do not know!
(Thank you Alana!)
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:
“Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit
He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
This is very apt today as I have been in and out of the garden, working and reading…Dictator by Robert Harris, the third and last book in the Cicero trilogy.
Many of you are aware that I do not have a TV, nor want one, come to that!
I spend my time between the garden and reading mostly.
Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, political theorist, consul, and constitutionalist.
Cicero lived through the fall of the Republic and the installation of Caesar as dictator.
It was a time when Roman fought Roman and the fabric of society was torn apart.
Cleopatra was on the throne of Egypt and Mark Anthony was waiting in the wings, (…most of you know of the tempestuous love affair between them both!)
But, to return to the quote above…Cicero had life sorted in my opinion.
There is much anguish and depression in society today, and, in my opinion, exacerbated by the lack of connection we have to Mother Earth and each other, but particularly by noise!
There is a background noise that seems to permeate home life, emanating from TVs, computers and screens linked to the internet.
Gaming seems to be the order of the day for many young people.
In short, home, for many people, is no longer a sanctuary!
Creating a private space where you can go to read, write, pursue a craft, or simply unwind is a positive step towards establishing good mental health and physical relaxation, in other words, a body and mind space!
If you are lucky enough to have a garden, then that can be a wonderful environment to create “space”…or, as I did when I lived in London, a garden shed on my rented allotment was my personal retreat!
The words of Cicero are particularly relevant today as society seems to struggle to keep a grip on sanity and calm.
It was difficult enough for Cicero over two thousand years ago…and you know what they say about history and it’s apparent repetitive nature…
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Morning in the west of Ireland on a perfect day in late June.
The cottage will remain a cool sanctuary, as the heat of the day rises golden over the hill of Ballyfermoyle.
“Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
“Summer set lip to earth’s bosom bare, and left the flushed print in a poppy there.”
― Francis Thompson
Leaving this sacred place would never sit easy in my heart, for all that is Bealtaine Cottage has been co-created with the great Mother: Earth, Gaia, Nature…whatever insufficient name we draw upon to express the mystery of the Divine.
One day, a beautiful morning such as this will shine through onto a young forest floor, illuminating the darkness of a greed-stricken world.
Isn’t he lovely?
I say the gardens, but after spending time walking all the paths, I am now of the opinion that I have 3 acres of woodland…and am delighted at the ongoing transformation from bare, barren, rushy fields, to magical, thronging-with-life, woodland!
The Bealtaine Cottage Little Christmas Book will be posted out to you all in the morning!
There are a few remaining, (16), if any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, by purchasing this little booklet.
This is the link to the details of how to purchase your own copy… https://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/
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“Sanctuary” refers to a place set aside or designated as a protected spot.
Under EU Agricultural Policy there is a “Set Aside” plan for farmers to fence off small, protected areas for biodiversity.
However, this does not apply to Bealtaine Cottage, as the holding is too small to be significant!
Maybe that is why there is such diversity packed into these three acres!
The more well-known forms of sanctuary are areas set aside by humans for the protection of land wildlife, sea life, or ocean life.
Here at Bealtaine there are areas of woodland, fresh water ponds and wetland, as well as other significant areas.
Within these three acres exist a flourishing ecosystem, as well as areas set aside to maintain functioning natural habitats.
These ecosystems act as refuges for species, whilst maintaining ecological processes that cannot survive beyond Bealtaines’ boundaries in most intensely managed landscapes.
Protected areas act as benchmarks against which we understand human interactions with the natural world.
Today they are often the only hope we have of stopping many threatened or endemic species from becoming extinct.
In the midst of EU sponsored monoculture, Bealtaine Cottage is an Ark for Nature.
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 list.
You will then have access to the website and full blog as published twice each week.
This amounts to 104 publications per year, at a cost of 12 cents each!
You may like to visit the Bealtaine Cottage Craft Shop…