23 Further Networking

In 2005 the Devon and Cornwall Pagan conference changed their venue from Camelot Castle in Tintagel to Penstowe Manor in Bude.  The main building was a wonderful period property with gothic style. 

Penstowe Manor. Image - Penstowe Holidays

Penstowe Manor. Image – Penstowe Holidays

Chalet accommodation was also available for Conference attendees.

The Function Room at Penstowe. Image - 21st Century

The Function Room at Penstowe. Image – 21st Century

I saw the small woman with the crooked top hat that I met at the Cornwall conference in Tintagel. During this event she gave a talk about her work as wise woman. Her appearance was unique to other Pagan women and her talk was interesting with humour. There were occasions when she cursed and profusely apologized which seemed to make it worse. The wise woman was one of the organizers for the Pagan Federation events in Cornwall and her attire was rather masculine, therefore I assumed she was ‘gay’. When the time arrived to draw the raffle she stood on stage voicing cheeky remarks about various women that approached to collect their prizes. It seemed to amuse them being accustomed to her ‘holiday camp’ persona, but my husband was unimpressed. 

During the lunch break a woman approached me and introduced herself as the photographer for the Cornish Pagan Wheel magazine. She asked me to pose for photographs outside the venue with a group of Pagans. Two blonde women I usually danced with during the evening entertainment were there and one of them wore a leather witch’s hat that received a lot of attention . A well-known artist selling on a stall expressed a desire to paint me and I appreciated the compliment. 

I consumed a large glass of red wine during the lunch break that affected me more than expected. The first talk after lunch was by Teresa Moorey who asked the audience to participate in a relaxing meditation. We closed our eyes and she began to count: “One…….sleeeeeeeeeeep……….two….sleeeeeeeep” as this continued it amused my son. The next talk was given by an archaeologist who had an unfortunate lisp. My son, who was now a teenager, also found this amusing but managed to contain his laughter. It was an interesting talk as the archaeologist also presented a good selection of photographic slides, but it went over the allotted time by twenty minutes. The audience became restless and I noticed the wise woman at the side of the stage discussing a tactful way to end the talk. The archaeologist then spoke a sentence that contained many letter S’s and my son could restrain his laughter no longer which was rather infectious and I blamed the wine.

I continued my communication with the young man from the Cornish Witchcraft group (who I will now call the traditional witch) and informed him I would attend this Conference. He did not attend the event himself, but suggested I introduced myself to an elderly man who was high priest of the Traditional Cornish magical group. He was easily identifiable as the traditional witch thought he looked like a well known television actor. He was a lovely man who provided me with information about the group and pointed out another woman who was also a member.

Image - Diary of an internet nobody

Image – Diary of an internet nobody

The elderly man was energetic, he loved to dance and I spent a wonderful evening with him on the dance floor. When it was time to leave I thought about the wise woman and another year would pass before I saw her again. 

In May 2005 I began teaching courses for my Reiki teacher. He had  Reiki students in all parts of the U.K. that taught courses for him. He provided manuals and dealt with the correspondence sending the students to his teachers on a pre-arranged date for the practical aspect of the courses. They would receive their certificates on completion of the course. I taught many students at this time.

Local Library. Image - UK Attraction

Local Library. Image – UK Attraction

We began our Cornwall property search via the internet at the local library. I would print copies of properties which suited our requirements in preparation for our next visit to Cornwall. We  also investigated an empty church that needed renovation but discovered the graveyard was still in use with reserved plots.

Back in Kent my friends asked if they could join me once again for ritual work, but this time we arranged to meet at their places of residence My Reiki student had realized the younger woman had developed a ‘crush’ on her.  Some young people can be drawn to an older friend or partner as a ‘parent figure’ in order to fill a void. With knowledge of this their meetings together became less frequent.

London College of Psychic Studies. Image - Nickel In the Machine

London College of Psychic Studies. Image – Nickel In the Machine

I attended a day workshop on psychic development at the London College of Psychic Studies with a friend. This event was three days after the London bombing at Kings Cross. I was understandably apprehensive about using public transport so my husband kindly drove us into London by car. The College of Psychic studies was a fascinating place. There were painted portraits of spirit mediums who founded the college. It was a fabulous building with large stone pillars at the entrance, Georgian windows and spacious rooms.

Image - Travelling Calavera

Image – Travelling Calavera

The intense energy and spirit presences were prevalent. Many people regularly attended talks and workshops there, but it was also a long and difficult journey through London. The couple I met at the Egyptian group attended their workshops regularly as they lived nearby.

My mother in law visited on one occasion while my husband was at work. I usually avoided conversing with her and would leave her to speak with my husband.  On this occasion I could not avoid her. She enjoyed challenging and debating and did not approve of my occupation or beliefs. The only positive feedback I received from her was that I kept our home exceptionally clean and tidy. There was also video footage of me bathing my new born son, which she thought was good enough to for an educational tool to teach new mothers. Hearing this from a nurse tutor was a huge compliment! My mother in law was not a believer in life after death even though she attended church.  I had reached a time in the month when I was outspoken and rose to her challenges. I called into question her attendance at church if she did not believe in heaven to which she replied it was more about the social aspect than any religious belief.  My mother in law stated she did not believe in magical practices and referred to it as fantasy. There were times when she babysat for my son and I returned to find a line of chocolate wrappers in a line upon the altar. My son had learnt to show respect for the altar and would not do that. My mother in law also took hold of the Sekhmet statue asking if it was my God and whether it was made of wood while tapping its head on the edge of the table.  I questioned her judgement on magical practices when she had no experience of them. She did not reply to this but I surprised myself that I had successfully debated with her.

Image - Rightmove

Image – Rightmove

My mother in law planned to sell her home due to unexplainable occurrences as items in the home had moved and reappeared in strange places.  A buyer withdrew from the purchase and she then told my husband it no longer mattered as the unusual activities had ceased. My mother in law also consulted an optician but her test results were normal.  I sensed that my father in law’s spirit created a little mischief as he disagreed with her sceptical and judgemental nature.

I looked forward to my next visit to Cornwall as further developments were about to take place.