There were two bereavements within in my family, my Uncle passed away in 2002 and my brother in 2003. I was unaware of my Uncle’s passing due to no contact with family and missed the funeral. Close friends informed me of his passing and I contacted the undertakers who informed me the funeral took place the previous week. I visited the cemetry alone with a bouquet of flowers and laid them upon his grave.
My father contacted me when my brother passed away and I attended his funeral. I did not attend the wake as many church members were there supporting my parents. I returned home and performed a solitary Requiem for him.
At Samhain my husband and I visited St Nectan’s waterfall to experience the ‘lighting of a thousand candles’. It was the final evening before the waterfall closed to the public at the end of tourist season.
We owned a fabulous sports car, a Hyundai mark 1 F2 model. It had a black exterior and interior with black leather seats. I referred to it as my ‘bat-mobile’ and my husband had purchased the silhouette of a bat for the rear window as a birthday gift. We left Kent at midday on Samhain and stopped half way through the journey at a petrol station. I entered the shop to use their lavatory and the door was locked. While waiting I heard a rustling sound and assumed the occupant was reading a newspaper. After some time I became concerned about the occupant and knocked on the door to check that all was well. As I did so the door opened and the lavatory was empty. My son referred to it as the “haunted toilet” when we passed on our journeys to Cornwall. The three hundred mile journey took only three and a half hours this time.
We arrived at St Nectan’s waterfall by early evening and it was raining heavily. We sat in the small meditation room waiting for the rain to ease. More visitors arrived and joined us in the meditation room, two of them were women who were about sixty years of age wearing identical rain coats and head scarves. I assumed they were twin sisters but after conversing with them discovered they were not. I dressed for the occasion in a black hooded cloak and my son wore his wizard’s hat and cloak.
When the rain began to ease, we carefully descended the steep slate steps to the bottom of the waterfall. Each visitor was given ten tea light candles to place within the cavities and on ledges of the rock face. The ambience of the waterfall and the flickering candles were wonderful. The candles did not total one thousand that evening as there were only twenty visitors but two hundred candles created a beautiful scene. I heard the powerful roar of the waterfall and also singing. I followed the voices and saw the two sisters I conversed with earlier who had removed their coats and stood by their flickering candles near the waterfall. I heard their voices clearly despite the rushing water. A while later they seemed to have disappeared and when I enquired about them no one had seen them leave.
There is a gravestone by the waterfall where two sisters are buried. Could it be that on Samhain night the spirit of the two sisters who sang so beautifully may have returned?
When it was time to leave, we realized that we had no torch. My husband thought the glen too precarious to walk through in darkness, therefore the narrow lane behind the glen would be safer. We walked slowly in the darkness and as in one part of the lane, I noticed a misty white figure to our left. My husband could also see it in the same place which confirmed my eyes did not deceive me. My son had a tight hold on the back of his father’s coat and we laughed like children riding a ghost train until we emerged from the lane to the car park. We began our journey home and arrived during the early hours of the following morning. What an adventure!
The Lammas edition of the Pagan Dawn magazine contained an article and photographs of the Eastbourne folk festival including our performance with the Morris team. I also noticed an advertisement in the contacts section for new members to join a Cornish Traditional Witchcraft group. Experiences of Kent magical groups deterred me from working with another, but this was a Cornish group. An opportunity such as this would not often present itself often and could be where my development was leading me. It would also be deeply rooted within Cornish ways that I had searched for. I sent an email to the address provided, expressing an interest in joining the group. I explained about my future move to Cornwall in six years time and my yearly visits there. This would enable them to get to know me via correspondence and meetings during visits to Cornwall. I included sufficient information concerning my life and magical development and eagerly awaited their reply.