Mabon Moon

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Much of the day has been spent in the garden, working, head down, cutting back and meditating as I chop and drop. It’s been a long day and tiredness has forced me indoors. This is the first day of a seven day Juice Fast and, as always, my energy levels are high. Working hard enables me to sleep deeply and restoratively.

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There is something incredibly magical about working in the garden during Autumn. It is the scents arising from the earth that trigger memories and feelings. Then the hot tea, so well earned after hours of work.

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There is also the light that seeps into the trees and plants during Autumn. I stood outside last night and watched the full moon shine like a bright lamp onto the trees. This was a Mabon Moon, special, magical, conjuring otherworldliness among the woods that now surround the cottage.

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And the colours…oh, the colours!

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The Stone Circle seemed a fitting place to sit and drink my tea…there is an enchantment within…

 

…and without.

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Indoors there are some of the most magical photographs I have ever seen, framed and ready to hang on the walls. I am pondering the best way to exhibit them. This is all the work of Beth Trepper. I made a video of her work at the Clifden Arts Festival…you may have seen it on the Bealtaine Cottage YouTube channel…

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Calendars continue to be available…the link is at the top of this page.

Blessings to all XXX

Colette

Equinox Return

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I have returned home from my friends Terri and Lol in Clifden, Connemara. The Arts Festival was in full swing in the town, with a real buzz in the air! Staying with my friends whose house is outside of the town near the ocean was a calm and reviving experience. This is one of their beautiful cats in the garden.

IMG_8544Driving home through the landscape of this beautiful part of Ireland was a holiday in itself. The road from Clifden to Westport is the stuff made of legends, with mountains that rear up in front of one and water reflecting the ever-changing sky.

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This is Kylemore Abbey, where I stopped for tea and a welcome rest…it’s a long drive, over three hours in total!

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If you look closely you can see the mountains behind the tree…

Then I arrived home…

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Three days away makes a big difference as I walked the woodland gardens admiring the rapidly developing colours of Autumn. Today is the Equinox and midway between Lughnasadh and Samhain, so the Autumn is really colouring the land.

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Jack was delighted to have me home…well the feeling was mutual, as I was over-joyed to see him!

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Lots of work to get done now that I am feeling invigorated with new thoughts and ideas, especially here in the Lughnasadh Garden…masses of bindweed to remove as well!

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It is pure joy to be able to be outdoors at this time of year…ah…if only there were more hours in the day!

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Thanks to all of you who have ordered a calendar…I shall be posting calendars and books in the morning! Lots of calendars left…the link is at the top of the page!

 

Shape-shifting in Ireland

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IMG_7239The stories of shape-shifting can be found in many cultures throughout the world, but none so prominently as that found in Celtic culture.

images (4)Within the near area of Bealtaine Cottage can be found a wealth of ancient history many thousands of years old.

IMG_7240The Tuatha Dé Danann, the people of the Goddess Danu, were one of the great ancient tribes of Ireland.

DSC00561These people who appeared to “land on top of a mountain”, Sliabh an Iarainn, a great brooding mass of sandstone rock and thin soil, visible from Bealtaine Cottage.

IMG_7188 The ancient manuscript ‘The Annals of the Four Masters’, records that the Tuatha Dé Danann ruled Ireland from 1897 B.C. to 1700 B.C.

images (3)The Tuatha Dé Danann were eventually consigned to mythology, disappearing from the face of the Earth, but going underground, emerging later as ‘Aes sidhe’ (the people of the mound – fairy mounds)., now referred to simply as the Sidhe.

IMG_7120The people are known as “The Sidhe” or people of the mounds, or “The Lordly Ones” or “The Good People”.

poster fairy woodOnce consigned to the underworld the Tuatha Dé Danann engaged their powers of shape-shifting, emerging in many forms, even that of apparent human form.

IMG_7125In Irish mythology, we come across a number of stories about shape-shifting beings.

544131_1412925595612240_770913028_nThese shape-shifters are often goddesses, gods, magicians, witches, fairies and other supernatural creatures.

DSC00672Shape-shifting is an important aspect of understanding the complexities of the influence of the Sidhe in contemporary Ireland, as it is believed this magic is employed to allow the Otherworld to communicate with humans.

DSC00424A poem in the Lebor Gabála Érenn says of the arrival of the Tuatha Dé Danann:

DSC01039“the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars,
whether they were of heaven or of earth.”

IMG_7229 (2)Colette O’Neill is a writer and photographer living at Bealtaine Cottage in the west of Ireland.

Colette follows the Path of the Goddess at Bealtaine Cottage and is the innovator of Goddess Permaculture, which holds Mother Earth and all Her life to be sacred.

Colette O'Neill

This is a special offer on my first book, usually 27.50 now 22.50 but only until 7th July!

“A Cottage and Three Acres,” by Colette O’Neill

Please email Colette if you would like a particular inscription in your book. From a desolate cottage set in 3 acres of monoculture sadness, to a vibrant, thriving food forest of life…the journey back to Eden over 13 years… Bealtaine Books and Maps are printed in Ireland and posted from Ireland to support the people of Ireland.

€25.00

 

Midsummer and the Earth is Singing

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The back door of the cottage lies open.

IMG_2240Outside the birdsong carries vibrant energy over the land.

IMG_2233On this, the longest day of the year, the Earth in the northern hemisphere basks in the glow of seemingly eternal light.

IMG_2221The shades of green seem endless, a patchwork of effervescence with splashes of outrageous colour.

 

Ox-Eye Daisy and Feverfew compete in the borders of the Lughnasadh Garden.

IMG_2225As fast as flowers open they turn to seed and the future summers to come.

 

Bees are everywhere, feasting and dancing through their very own garden of abundance and delight.

IMG_2220The hard work of the winter, creating the Lughnasadh Garden, has paid such rewards as could only have been imagined.

IMG_2215Midsummer marks the year in glorious technicolour and song, as befits Mother Earth. It’s like a birthday for her!

IMG_2187I have run out of space on this land…there is little room for more…yet more grows and arrives as gifts.

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I will be hosting another workshop on July 1st.

IMG_2208The workshop on July 1st covers aspects of co-creating a garden with Mother Earth, creating micro-climates, incorporating fruit and vegetables and the no-dig method of establishing, building and maintaining a regenerative Eden.

IMG_2205 Aspects of seed saving will be part of the day.
IMG_2171A full walk and talk of the gardens will also be included.
IMG_2203You are welcome to take photographs and ask all the questions you may want.
IMG_2200Please allow for the weather in your outdoor clothing considerations…and footwear.
IMG_2199The day begins at 11am and finishes at 5pm.
IMG_2191Morning and afternoon tea and vegan cakes are included.
IMG_2196A vegan lunch, also included, is served at 1.30pm.
Spring water is provided.
The cost is 75 euros.

Please email Colette to check availability as two places are already taken.

IMG_2185As of this posting there are two spaces left.

I will update when all places are filled.

This is the button to use for payment once your place is confirmed.

 

 

If you would like to support the work of Bealtaine Cottage, there are two ways you can do just that…

Here is the link to my new Patreon page
https://www.patreon.com/user?u=6605173

Here is where you can send a donation via PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com
coletteoneill2010@hotmail.com

 

 

 

Evening in an Irish Cottage…

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The sun has set into the west, far out on the Atlantic Ocean and the night draws in.

DSC09709The candle is lit in the kitchen window, a soft light to welcome the night, while on the far side of the room a small lamp illuminates the dark. 

DSC09712“I love to watch the fine mist of the night come on,
The windows and the stars illumined, one by one,
The rivers of dark smoke pour upward lazily,
And the moon rise and turn them silver. I shall see
The springs, the summers, and the autumns slowly pass;
And when old Winter puts his blank face to the glass,
I shall close all my shutters, pull the curtains tight,
And build me stately palaces by candlelight.”
Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du Mal 

DSC09711The Blackbird has sung out the day and in the night, as it flies around it’s territory, marking out it’s boundary in song.

DSC09708“Inhale and hold the evening in your lungs.”
Sebastian Faulks, Engleby 

DSC09717“Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev’ning in.”
William Cowper, The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper 

DSC09713The time between blue and black is quiet, almost timeless.

DSC09715There is an ethereal glow that conjures night.

DSC09716And slowly, slowly, the hush becomes night.

DSC09714Goodnight from Bealtaine Cottage…goodnight.

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As Evening Descends…

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Towards the end of a perfect day at Bealtaine Cottage. The gardens are looking well tended as the evening descends. Strawberries have been potted up in hanging baskets and seedlings rescued from the gravel around the cottage and potted up. These will make fine plants for the Summer ahead! And…all the while…the birds sing!

Please consider supporting Bealtaine Cottage

Moving with Orion Towards Midwinter

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The signs are everywhere…

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Nights drawing in…

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Unexpected sunshine on frosted mornings.

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The bare beauty of trees silhouetted against clear winter skies. 

Full Moon at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture

As Orion strides across the evening sky, we draw closer to the Winter Solstice and the darkest, stillest, nights of the year.

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Winter Solstice celebrations begin on the 21st of December, a time of hope and joy for all, regardless of belief or religious observances.

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Magical Midwinter!

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Ancient tribes all over the world observed rituals around Solstice time.

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We too can  celebrate Winter Solstice, integrating it into our own traditional celebrations.

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A chance to step outdoors and observe the night sky.

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An opportunity to nurture and develop connections to family and friends.

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From this day, there are 22 days to go before the descent into the Midwinter Solstice.

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Yes, the coldest days precede the Spring, so January rarely feels like the prelude to that beautiful season!

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But, here in the West of Ireland, with Imbolc on the first day of February, the signs are there for all to see, as new life emerges from the frozen earth.

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Gardens in Early May

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Growth in the gardens has really taken off!

Kanzan Cherry and Purple Beech

Kanzan Cherry and Purple Beech

I was away for the weekend in Belfast and returned last night.

Euphorbia and Purple Beech

Euphorbia and Purple Beech

Making coffee and doing my early morning stroll of the gardens, coffee in one hand and camera in the other, it was a revelation…everything has grown and spread since Friday!

Fuchsia, Poppy and Lady's Mantle

Fuchsia, Poppy and Lady’s Mantle

No wonder, as a mix of rain and warmth has created the perfect conditions for plants.

Clematis, planted last year on the north-facing wall of the cottage...ready to bloom!

Clematis, planted last year on the north-facing wall of the cottage…ready to bloom!

It’s always a pleasure to walk out on a May morning.

DSCF1441It is primarily because of the growth as we ascend towards Midsummer.

By the east gable wall this morning.

By the east gable wall this morning.

The days continue to stretch before us and the promise of Summer holds sway.

Aqilegia under Fuchsia

Aqilegia under Fuchsia

Nights are shorter and days grow longer…

DSCF1460Enjoy the rest of the pics!

Blessings XXX Colette

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It's easy to believe in Fairies...isn't it?

It’s easy to believe in Fairies…isn’t it?

 

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Kandinsky, Stars and Solstice Preparations

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Bealtaine Cottage, Midwinter 2012

As the winter moves towards the Solstice and Midwinter festivities grow closer, cleaning and painting the cottage is taking up most of my time.

Doors have been painted, along with window frames and furniture.

Bealtaine Cottage PantryThe thing is, once started, painting just goes on and on, as more things look grubby alongside freshly painted wood!

This is the newly decorated pantry…with a piece of art on the wall by Kandinsky, one of my favourite artists.

Bealtaine Cottage Shower roomThe shower room, (I don’t have a bath), was also given a complete makeover, including some stencilling on the walls.

The stencil was cut out of cardboard for free.

Bealtaine Cottage VerandaThis morning here in the west of Ireland is filled with sun, clear skies and frost.

The weather has been frosty, but mild enough to keep the blooms on the Geraniums.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture midwinter 2012It’s the kind of day that should be bottled and sold as perfect Midwinter weather!

I have just started putting out food for the birds, in the form of rolled barley.

Barley grows here in the British Isles, so there is little transportation involved.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture midwinter 2012The birds love this and one big sack from the farm store costs less than 10 euros and lasts all winter.

There is plenty of food in the garden, but this is a supplement as many small birds use Bealtaine Cottage as a food stop.