My family and I walked from the campsite to a steep path on the cliffs that led down into Rocky Valley. The presence of the faerie folk was evident as they observed our journey along the valley.
My son darted here and there hiding in bushes and jumping out. He connected with the mischievous faer folk and did not stumble while moving at a fast pace over the uneven, rocky ground. My daughter also speedily climbed the cliffs. We discovered the remains of a mill house. The stone walls were still standing and there were cavities for the entrance and windows.
Carved on the wall inside the mill were two mazes. They are known by some as Cretan or Labyrinth mazes and used by magical practitioners. The path of the maze is traced with the practitioners finger from the outside towards the centre. This action induces an altered state of consciousness which can with experience transport them into the ‘otherworld’. I sat beside the lower maze and traced the path with my finger and sensed an energy from it. I have an image of my son playing at the mill house and after taking a closer look I observed a bright light above his shoulder on this image. The faerie folk maybe?
There were ribbons and other objects tied to the trees that I later discovered are known as ‘clouties’. Offerings of fruit and food had been placed on a slate ledge above the mazes and small crystals, stones and coins pushed into the cavities of the rock. We left the mill house and crossed a bridge over the flowing stream and I observed a young woman on the other side by a tree. She pulled out a strand of her long dark hair and entwined it around the branch of an overhanging tree as she prayed.
As we walked further along the valley, the flow of the river strengthened and a stiff breeze blew through the trees. The air was pure and reminded me of the pure oxygen I was given to inhale during childbirth.
My husband knew we were nearing St Nectan’s waterfall on this path and even though we had been walking for some time, the thought of seeing it energized me. We made our way through St. Nectan’s Glen as the rich green trees gracefully welcomed us.
I paused upon a wooden bridge and listened to the deep gurgling of water running over rocks and pebbles that created a sound similar to human voices. Some of the larger stones in the stream were coated with an oxide that turns blood-red in colour when wet. I had heard about the legend of King Arthur’s men, the wounded soldiers who staggered to the old monastery situated near the waterfall. The oxide upon the stones represented the blood that fell from their wounds during the journey. Our path slowly ascended to the top of the waterfall.
We entered a small gateway to a paved area with white garden chairs and tables. The owners of the waterfall welcomed us to their small tea garden for refreshments and the opportunity to rest after our long walk. I read one of their leaflets explaining the site’s history. Late at night the monastery bell can be heard and sightings of ghosts, spirits and orbs are captured on photographic images that were displayed upon a large board. After our refreshments, we continued down the steep slate steps to the bottom of the waterfall. On the way down was an entrance to a ledge where one could look down upon the waterfall. Initiates could jump from the top ledge taken by the flow of water to the bottom via a large hole in a rock. The rock now resembled a ‘bowl’ worn away by the flowing water and this opening could have been used as a symbol of re-birth. We passed down the remaining steps to the bottom of the waterfall which was not immediately visible. As we walked a little further and looked to our left, it appeared from behind the protruding rock face in all its splendour!
The waterfall is at least twenty feet high and cascades down with tremendous force. Visitors there blessed themselves with water and there were more clouties tied to trees and offerings on the rocks nearby. Those items were cleared away if the area became too cluttered, but I could not understand why visitors felt the need to carve their names into the rock face which spoilt its natural beauty.
I discovered a room at the top of the waterfall near the refreshment area. There were statues of Gods, Goddesses and a small water feature. The room was used for meditation and tea lite candles were provided for visitors along with a book for feedback. Many visitors left photographs of their loved ones who had passed into the spirit world, asking the Gods to watch over them. Small children too had left photographs and mementos of their pets. This was a place I felt connected to and wished to return again.
I brought a long black robe with me on this particular vacation. (It was originally created for a competition during my Beauty Therapy course at college. I achieved first place by creating an image for my model on the theme of “Moon Goddess”. She wore the black robe to represent the night sky and a silver turban with a glittered crescent moon attached to it. I applied silver and blue cosmetics to her face. After achieving first place I represented the college in the international competition at Brighton.) I took this robe with me late one afternoon when we walked the cliffs at Trevethy. I put it on and asked my husband to take a photograph.
We were high on the cliffs and the powerful breeze made it difficult to balance but I was pleased with the result and this image reminds me of my awakening years.
My son had bought a toy sword before our visit to King Arthur’s Castle. He enjoyed chasing imaginary soldiers and was fascinated by the story of the “Sword in the Stone”. He re-enacted this with my husband by wedging his sword between two rocks.
I could sense the ancient energy of the castle and thought of those who had walked the grounds throughout the centuries. I enjoyed this vacation and the discoveries we made. I had found what seemed to be a peaceful and tranquil spiritual path, which was a complete contrast to the life I knew before. My vacation boosted my enthusiasm for further study of the Craft and focus for meditation where I could re-visit these wonderful sacred places in my mind.