The All Hallows Dark Gathering 2017 event in Boscastle was significant for me. I have trained and performed as a Teazer alongside Cassandra Latham Jones since 2009 and it was at Chepstow in January this year that she handed over her snapper along with the position of Teazer.
At this event guiding the ‘Oss and standing with her while the Wassail ceremonies take place is required. The meeting on the bridge is a little more active as Penkevyll takes her place with the Maris meeting the English side at the centre of the bridge.
The St Pirans festival in March invites Penkevyll and Teazer to take part in their procession at Redruth. The procession is uphill which needs extra exertion when Teazing while interacting with the crowd and keeping an eye on Penkevyll’s antics.
The All Hallows Dark Gathering in Boscastle is now a popular event. During the afternoon I build the energy while moving to the music of Morris dancers and connecting with the spiritual energies entering the space from the land and sea at the wondrous harbour of Boscastle.
This year I also rode my ‘Oss Morvaugh during the afternoon accompanied by John and Sue’s new ‘Oss Seren. Dancing with her is the ideal workout for the Teazing of Penkevyll. Mole the Squire of Wreckers Morris invited Morvaugh to dance with the band while the team performed a dance about the sea. We worked well together and the audience enjoyed it immensely.
It was then time to take Morvaugh back to our room so that I could change into my Teazer kit. I prepared Penkevyll with the assistance of Cassandra and Kevin our rider. The procession led by the Maris made its way through Boscastle and when I heard the drums it was time to appear with Penkevyll.
Our space was restricted due to the fire display equipment for Mr Fox. Penkevyll danced and interacted with the audience until we noticed the flaming torches of the procession.
We welcomed the Maris before guiding Penkevyll into the Museum.
During this performance I was observed by my new apprentice Teazer. She is in her 30s and has a good connection with Penkevyll. She also connects well with the Cornish energies and has an enquiring mind with experience in performing arts. I look forward to her progression.
This year I sang the Cornish Pwmco alone while Susan Exton sang the Welsh version. I had no time to drink water after the energetic Teazing and hoped it would not affect my singing. Susan and I thought it went better than expected, especially as she had little notice due to Vivien’s sudden illness.
The Mari’s stayed within the entrance hall of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic while blessing the property, as the corridors and stairs are difficult for the taller ‘Osses to negotiate. After the refreshments of beer and cake, I guided Penkevyll outside to watch the fabulous Mr Fox perform. there is something primitive about their performance and it blended well with the event.
After Sarah Emery’s beautiful song, it was time for Cassandra, Michelle and I to invoke the spirits of place with our bullroarers. Will Fox from Beltane Morris delivered a wonderful speech about the meaning of Samhain followed by a blessing.
All participants worked hard, the cooperation and friendship of all concerned imbued positive energies into the All Hallows event of 2017. A fabulous start to the new Celtic year.