As the days grow shorter and the evenings longer there is a quietness in the gardens and around the cottage that is rather haunting. Much of what I do now is centred around preparing for the Midwinter Feast and the continuing festivities of Yule. Family and friends will be arriving from as far away as […]

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Rituals of Midwinter

Christmas Eve in an Irish Cottage

In preparing for the season of Yule, I follow the age old traditions of all the women who have gone before me. Preparation is everything. This begins in the home and involves casting an eye over all that will be of importance during this sacred time of gathering. I am driven with the desire to […]

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Yule and the Turning of the Wheel

bealtaine cottage dec 11 007

Origins of Yule The great Festival of Yule, beginning at the time of the Winter Solstice and lasting for a full twelve days, summed up the cycle of the Celtic year. The word Yule, according to the Venerable Bede, came from the Norse word Iul meaning ‘wheel’ and suggested that this was the time when […]

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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 […]

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Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas!

Christmas Eve 2010 019

Christmas fever is widespread as the orgy of spending takes hold. Ordinarily sane people are in-debting themselves to a year ahead of pay-back as they tread wearily around shops filled with Chinese imports! Some years ago I made a decision to opt out of mainstream. I had come to the conclusion that much of what […]

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Circling Celebrations

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:  it is the time for home. Edith Sitwell                    And so the story of Autumn and Winter begins, not in cold and […]

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Midwinter Blessings

The ancients believed winter, especially Midwinter, was a time of tremendous spiritual power. And so the shortest day has passed and we are looking forward, at last, to the ascending sun, from tomorrow. The greenery on the mantelpiece will stay a few days longer, as the days slowly lengthen. Work on the potager beds and […]

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