Re-Setting My Life

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IMG_9918The virtual world of social media appears to be taking over much of what people refer to as “life!”

IMG_9920I challenge this assertion, for having spent the past few years on the most virulent form of social media, FaceBook, I have concluded that much of what passes for interaction is little more than soapbox spouting, increasingly dictatorial shouting at others and re-posting stuff!

IMG_9919That is not to say that there are many friends there, but I have made the decision to walk away from it.

IMG_9921To this end I’m no longer posting on the FB platform.

However I have to keep the FB account open in order to keep all the vast amount of material already posted on Bealtaine Cottage and Woodland Sanctuary…closing my account would mean deleting all the material on there!

IMG_9915To elaborate on the above statement I must add that time management for me is a big concern these days, as I am continually trying to catch up with work in the gardens, writing, working around the cottage and somewhere, somewhere, trying desperately hard to have a life of my own in social terms…aspiring to that!

IMG_9914I hope you understand my choices…caught between a rock and a hard place really!

IMG_9911So, it’s back to basics, where it all began…the website here, Twitter (I keep this as a good source of up to date news!) and YouTube.

IMG_9909Bealtaine Cottage on YouTube…
For more daily inspiration and thousands more photographs: Twitter… https://twitter.com/PermaGoddess
You can also enter your key search words into any search engine, followed by Bealtaine Cottage and lots of info will appear!
I am also discontinuing Instagram.
To keep up to date with Bealtaine Cottage please subscribe to the YouTube site and this website, where regular new material will be posted.
Blessings XXX
Colette

The Power of Ritual

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Ritual, everyday ritual, is incredibly powerful!

Examine the ritual of power, be that in the opening of parliament, royal celebrations, religious ceremony…and you begin to see the importance and power of ritual!

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So where does this fit into a sustainable life or a permaculture smallholding?

It is simple to understand in the context of power…

Since the rise of the Age of Technology, our real power as human beings has become diminished.

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We have become reliant on technology, without stopping to assess and filter the bits we really need and want.

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I was contemplating this as I lit the stove this morning, moving to and fro with paper and wood, collecting fuel from the barn, whilst casting my eyes over the pile of long thin trunks, standing erect ready to be sawn into logs. Autumn in the permaculture gardens of bealtainecottage.com 001

My early morning coffee is predicated on lighting the stove and doing small chores, as I wait for the kettle to boil. This is a ritual I choose to partake of.

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I could have kept my electric kettle and simply touched a switch each morning, but chose instead to avail of that great commodity: time!

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Rising a little earlier, cleaning the ash-pan, lighting the stove and waiting, allows my morning to begin a sacred quietness.

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I walk to the back door and stand by the open portal to Nature, as she heralds the morning in with birdsong.

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The power of ritual is our power.

It is what we have forgotten, as technology imbibes us to forget our humanity.

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We need both.

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We need to be selective and thoughtful about what we wish to keep in our lives.

It is our power to choose.

Otherworldly…

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 Sunday afternoon…picking flowers in the gardens.

This feels like the full, quiet days before giving birth…

bealtainecottage.comThe force of the full moon can still be felt in the stillness of the late afternoon air.

bealtainecottage.com (2)There is an otherworldly feel to it all… Time appears to stand very still.

bealtainecottage.com (3)Bees continue in a frenzy of work on this side of the Solstice.

I have often felt a slowness as time ascends towards Midsummer…it’s as though Mother Earth is not yet ready to let go…

bealtainecottage.com (4)Evenings merge with night as daylight seems eternal in the west of Ireland…Ox-Eye Daisies reach up toward the sun, basking in summer.

bealtainecottage.com (5)Returning from Belfast and the soft hum of the city to this place of quiet solitude, this otherworldly paradise of sights and scents…

bealtainecottage.com (6)Far back from the lane, this little cottage nestles into silence, a place of tranquil tolerance, a timeless existence at midsummer.

bealtainecottage.com (7)Wood Pigeon and Cuckoo call a mantra of hypnotic sounds…a lazy Sunday afternoon…

bealtainecottage.com (8)Ground Elder, the bane of many gardeners, is allowed her magnificence here, frothy lace adorning a mantle of green. bealtainecottage.com (9)Ragged Robin dances by the wheels of an old bike.

bealtainecottage.com (10)Himalayan Musk stands sturdy by the wooden porch.

bealtainecottage.com (11)Astrantia unfolds it’s papery petals in an unending delight of pinky white and green.

bealtainecottage.com (12)Bees delight in Jacob’s Ladder as it ascends to heaven…

bealtainecottage.comAnd blue Jacob’s Ladder adorns the kitchen table in a cottage lost in time…

Bealtaine Cottage has a brand new website…it’s called Bealtaine Cottage Good Life…TO READ MORE, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEW WEBSITE.

SEE:

https://bealtainecottage.com/2015/04/01/an-invitation/

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Not Our Enemy!

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“Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored.” — Terence McKenna. Wise words from a human being who explored his sacred journey to the end.

cropped-old-pictures-saved-by-dylan-3678.jpgThis really is about a mindset, a way of seeing the world around us.

A time of evolving away from fear of the dark.

www.bealtainecottage.com 009I was mindful of this last evening when I had to go out searching for Sammy-bear, in the dark, armed with a wind-up torch…oh, how I wish I’d wound it up fully and charged it beforehand, for there I was, walking, winding and calling, in the dark…crazy cat lady!

www.bealtainecottage.com 005Walking back up through the gardens, in the moonlight, Sammy-Bear doing his best to trip me up, for he loves to wind himself around my feet as I move, my mind wandered onto these words of wisdom.

As I called to mind what Terence had said, I began to look around me in the moonlight.

I stopped and listened.

www.bealtainecottage.com 003Here and there I heard the sounds of birds in trees and bushes, as I disturbed their sleep.

It became apparent to me that I was not alone and all around me was in its natural state.

www.bealtainecottage.com 026Yet, since writing and film media began to create images for us to consume, we have been drawn away from Nature, in the pursuit of fear-mongering.

I wonder why this is?

Exploitation of our deepest fears?

www.bealtainecottage.com 022Our deepest fears lie within us, not without.

www.bealtainecottage.com 002Realizing that Mother Nature is not our enemy, goes a long way in addressing all of our fears, including the deepest fear of all…our own mortality!

www.bealtainecottage.com 012The ancients Celts did not have a fear of mortality, for they believed in the immortality and transmigration of the soul and this was why Julius Caesar feared them so.

It is not possible to control those who do not fear death.

www.bealtainecottage.com 024This was also why the early Christian Church was so powerful…no fear!

www.bealtainecottage.com 007My grandmother was a mighty cool woman, who spent the last 38 years of her life on her own, going to bed alone and blessing the light of another day.

The night before my stillborn niece was buried, my grandmother kept the little white coffin in her bedroom, with her, close to the most powerful energy in the family, that of the matriarch.

Life and death were deeply intertwined and sacred for her…

www.bealtainecottage.com 027Whatever any one of us believes, it is a universal truth that Mother Nature is there to support us.

She is not our enemy!

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A Little Bealtaine Cottage Christmas Book…

I am going into a second print run and will be ready to post again by Friday 15th of November!

Sad to add that all the lovely cards are now gone! (I can post seeds with the booklets!)

 If any kind visitor to this blog would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, then…

This is the link to the details of how to purchase  your own copy… https://bealtainecottage.com/christmas-book/

Blessings X

A Way of Living in Circular Time

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Hazel nuts ripen on small trees near the orchard at Bealtaine Cottage.

Many of the Hazel trees were planted at the beginning of the land conversion to Permaculture and some have been planted on a fairly continuous basis since, being eight years in total.

As a Vegan, nuts are important in my diet, and as Hazel Nuts are indigenous to Ireland, these would be the most compatible to the diet.

Nuts are easily added to food and form a tasty part of any home-made burgers and roasts.

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The Hazel is a small, deciduous tree and is native to Ireland.

They take up little space and are suitable for coppicing, as the wood can be used in different projects, especially for pea supports and woven fencing.

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Hazel has always been regarded as a ‘magical’ wood, with the stems used historically as ‘wands’.

William Butler Yeats used the Hazel as imagery in some of his poetry and writing.

“I went down to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head…cut and peeled a hazel wand…”

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The hazel tree in Celtic Mythology is associated with wisdom, intuition and creative energy.

It is no surprise then that the Hazel Wand has such magical connotations!

Permaculture…living in harmony, understanding our natural environment and helping it all to come together…a way of living, of looking at our world as our paradise of plenty.

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I have been trying to explain all this to a visitor today who came to see permaculture in action, but, sometimes it’s best not to go seeking, instead stopping to look…

After heavy rains here in the west of Ireland, the sky has cleared to reveal a beautiful sun rising in the East.

The colours of Autumn are like a technicolour display of Nature at her best.

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As the moon wanes in the evening sky and the earth cools, mists encroach on the morning air.

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The past nights have been clear and bright and very cold.

Even the waning moon has shone bright.

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The Celts respected the moon and rather than speak openly of it, alluded to it instead, calling it ‘gealach’, meaning ‘brightness’.

The Celtic calendar was based on the lunar cycles, in that a month began with the full moon.

The Celts believed in circular, not linear, time.

Maybe, just maybe, that is where we have gone astray…

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Lughnasa and the Solstice…Ancient Time

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At certain times today, as I was working outside, I had a distinct sense of Autumn.

The way the sun shone on a plant, the smell from the earth around my feet…it was quite tangible.

The growing cycle in the west of Ireland adheres very much to the old Celtic calendar.

It is easy to tell the season just by walking the land and watching shadows…

Autumn begins on the 1st day of August.

This cycle is in essence closely linked to the Solstices and Equinoxes of the year.

 It is the  same solar alignment that determines the correct time for Lughnasa and this is also the exact same alignment for Bealtaine.

The ancient calendar is correct, as it follows the sun and planets rather than the time of man.

I am more attuned to Natural Time as I work on the land.

I am also much happier in this time mode.

The midsummer solstice was last month, four weeks ago and harvesting is well under way.

I do believe that animals are more closely tied into these ancient seasons than we care to admit.

I have enjoyed the company of many rescue dogs and cats over the years and often observed their habits, right down to times when they will bury food.

Flo, here, is a little hobo dog and has been used to fending for herself for most of her life…

Flo is a persistent food secreter and will often sit on a stash in her basket!

On that note, I think I’ll just go and check…

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