11. New Discoveries

 I had worked with ritual on dark moon phases for the Egyptian Goddesses Sekhmet and Nepthys along with my friend from college.

Goddess Nepthys. Image - Experience Ancient Egypt

Goddess Nepthys. Image – Experience Ancient Egypt

She also enjoyed Egyptian ritual and possessed her own collection of  statues and artefacts. Her husband would not allow her to display magical items in the home so they were stored in a cupboard. My friend knew a spirit medium since childhood and arranged to bring her to my home one evening. She suggested I invite a group of friends and host a clairvoyant evening.  When the medium arrived she smelt strongly of cigarettes as she was a heavy smoker. She did not remove her coat as she felt cold due to the spirit entities that surrounded her but I wondered if part of the reason was due to old age. The medium placed my hands near her body so that I could feel the cold energy surrounding her and it felt as if I had placed them inside a refrigerator! My college friend recalled past psychic evenings when the medium would sit quietly with her eyes closed to connect with spirit. People in the room watched expectantly and when she opened her eyes they thought she had connected to spirit but she then asked the host if the kettle was on! Apparently she was quite a character! 

The messages I received were similar to ones I heard from the other medium and Cornwall was mentioned once again.  Apparently witchcraft was practised by my great maternal grandmothers. I recall my mother describing how my grandmother bowed to the sun and moon and was very superstitious.  When I spent the night at my Grandmother’s home I observed her going through certain ‘rituals’ and unusual actions before retiring to bed. Many women in from our grandmothers’ generation believed in old superstitions and ‘old wives tales’ as a natural part of their lives and passed them on to future generations. 

In June of the year 2000 I attended the Beltane event in London. The Morris team were invited to dance during the closing ritual and we performed around a large ‘Jack in the Green’, which is created using a tall wire dome frame, decorated with leaves. It was a powerful performance with a dance entitled Gemini, which is a favourite of mine.

Jack in the Green. Image - Company of the Green Man

Jack in the Green. Image – Company of the Green Man

Two hundred people surrounded us forming a circle. Our team members took a few leaves from the Jack for good luck and attached them to their hats. One of the dancers advised me to keep the leaves until Samhain when they are burnt on a fire.

My college friend and I worked regularly together and our relationship grew stronger.  She had a bubbly personality and I enjoyed some female company as my daughter was no longer at home.  After a while my friend bought into her friend’s business which took up most of her time and her attendance at rituals became less frequent.

A woman from our Morris team who was a Gardnarian Priestess, expressed an interest in joining my friend and I for our celebration of Autumn Equinox.  She seemed a kind knowledgeable woman but spoke quite fast therefore we had to listen carefully to understand her. I also noticed that on one occasion she was quick to assume a dancer’s injury and ill health was a psychic attack from an ex team member rather than a natural incident.

In August 2000 the Morris team danced at a folk festival in Devon. My husband acquired a caravan he had gutted and refurbished.  I preferred a caravan, although modern tents are more comfortable now. Our other team members camped in tents and congregated in our caravan during the evenings. A few of the members slept in our awning rather than erect their own tents, even though it was quite cold at night. One female member informed me that she and her husband were members of our tutor’s coven. At this time I did not know the tutors were priestess and priest of their own group. The female member seemed enthusiastic about the coven and disclosed more information than she ought as there are rules on secrecy within groups. They were excellent tutors and organizers of our Morris team which meant their magical group would also be well structured.

After the festival we travelled to Cornwall for our vacation as we had already completed most of the journey. We arrived on the day of Lammas and although I hoped to find an open ritual somewhere, we were not as yet acquainted with local residents. Our base was Bossiney Camping and Caravan Park while we explored the area. Just across the road from the campsite we discovered an entrance to a large field.

tintagel-cliffs

Walking across the field took us to the cliffs where we followed the cliff path to the right and reached a slate rock face that we could climb down towards the sea. 

Image - Frances Firth

Image – Frances Firth

My husband discovered a waterfall amongst the rocks and went to investigate while I sat  listening to the sea and watching the seagulls. There were remnants of burnt out red candles and pieces of leftover strawberries on one of the nearby rocks which I assumed were left after a Lammas celebration.  I noticed when reading the Pagan Dawn magazine a monthly moot was held in Bude. We travelled there the following day and found the venue but arrived too early and my son tired of waiting, so we had to leave. While visiting the Witchcraft Museum the following afternoon I overheard a woman discussing the Bude moot with the owner expressing how much she enjoyed it.

The Cheese Wring site at Bodmin was our next adventure. It was found after a long walk across the fields pushing against a strong wind. We passed the Nine Maidens stone circle and I sensed a strong energy walking through the centre. My son attempted to avoid treading on sheep dung, his facial expression similar to when he ate vegetables! 

Cheesewring Bodmin

Cheesewring Bodmin

We eventually arrived at the Cheesewring site and my son happily climbed the large boulders forgetting about the unpleasantries of the walk.  The ancient sites evoked feelings deeper than the ones experienced in everyday life. especially when placing my hands on the stones. Something deep and spiritual emanates from these sites that drew me in and activated the hunger for further knowledge.

We made new discoveries on this vacation but also returned to Tintagel, Boscastle, Rocky Valley, St Nectan’s Glen and the waterfall as these were special places we frequented each year.

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