“The symbol of Goddess gives us permission. She teaches us to embrace the holiness of every natural, ordinary, sensual dying moment. Patriarchy may try to negate body and flee earth with its constant heartbeat of death, but Goddess forces us back to embrace them, to take our human life in our arms and clasp it for the divine life it is – the nice, sanitary, harmonious moment as well as the painful, dark, splintered ones.
If such a consciousness truly is set loose in the world, nothing will be the same. It will free us to be in a sacred body, on a sacred planet, in sacred communion with all of it. It will infect the universe with holiness. We will discover the Divine deep within the earth and the cells of our bodies, and we will lover her there with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
This quote from Sue Monk Kidd has served as a wonderful source of inspiration for me, as I move slowly on my journey through this world.
In working so closely with the land over the past years, I have come to understand the meaning of the holiness of every single living thing.
Last summer, for example, I came across a beautiful Wasp nest in one of the trees.
When I put the photo of it onto my Facebook site I was immediately alerted by several people to destroy the nest and kill the wasps.
Why, I thought, must this thing of beauty be destroyed if it not causing harm to me?
Wasps are pollinators and help keep a balance among pests too, such as aphids.
In the eleven years working the land here, I have never been stung, by bee or wasp. Creatures only attack when under threat!
“If such a consciousness truly is set loose in the world, nothing will be the same.”…and nothing has been the same in this little three acre plot since becoming aware of the deep connectivity between myself and Mother Earth…call her the Goddess if you will…but the Divine presence for me is compassion itself.
“Yet rather than calling the earliest religions, which embraced such an open acceptance of all human sexuality, ‘fertility cults,’ we might consider the religions of today as strange in that they seem to associate shame and even sin with the very process of conceiving new human life. Perhaps centuries from now scholars and historians will be classifying them as ‘sterility cults.”
― Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman
Much of my journey has involved stripping away layers of religious and cultural imposed identity.
This is a hard task, as one tries not to alienate others.
At times this journey has felt like one is walking on eggshells, attempting to negotiate a path between questioning/understanding and simply being part of family and community.
In search of an understanding of soul… a communion with the sacred…and being unafraid of where that takes me.
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The feast of Lugh, Lughnasa, or Lughnasadh happenssoon…on the eve, which is the 31st of July. A time for a bonfire and celebrations of the harvest…celebrations here at Bealtaine Cottage will be focused around a rather small outdoor fire but with the equivalent gusto of the eve that’s in it!
The Festival of Lughnasadh
This was said to have been begun by the god Lugh as a funeral feast commemorating his foster-mother, Tailtu, who died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. Little changed there then, as most of the agricultural work in many African countries is carried out by women!
In days of old, Lughnasadh was a favoured time for trial marriages that would generally last a year and a day, with the option of ending the contract before the new year, or later formalizing it as a more permanent marriage.
Lughnasa is the first of the three autumn harvest festivals. The Autumn Equinox and Samhain, or Halloween, being the other two.
Already there is a feel of Autumn in the air and can be seen in the plant life as harvests begin and fruits ripen on the trees. The days have shortened, now over a month past the longest day.
Here, plums ripen on one of the trees at Bealtaine Cottage and nettles produce their seeds…
Flowers like this Perscaria Bistorta, a late flowering perennial, begin to show a magnificence beyond their humble beginnings!
is a pre-Christian, Celtic system of keeping the year and still in popular use today to define the beginning and length of the day, the week, the month, the seasons, quarter days, and festivals.
The meteorological seasons begin on March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1.
The Irish Calendar observes the equinoxes and solstices and has a more realistic seasonal observance…
Spring – February, March, April.
Summer – May, June, July.
Autumn – August, September, October.
Winter – November, December, January.
These seasons are much more in keeping with the observations I make here at Bealtaine Cottage and I would abide by these dates rather than any other.