On the 12th June 2018 it was the 10th anniversary of my move to Cornwall. The life I envisaged here and the one I now have are extremely different.
Living near the sea, the elements of the rain, wind and storms intensify. Cornwall may not be as cold as other parts of the UK (although the last winter was a harsh one) and frosts happen less here. The cost of living is rising everywhere, but in tourist areas, prices rise during the holiday season and even though tourists pay these prices for the short time they are here, residents pay higher prices throughout the holiday season. Work opportunities increase during the summer, but lessen in the winter. The cold weather also means an increase in household bills too.
Taking a vacation in Cornwall is easier than surviving here. During a vacation you can take time out to visit beaches and places of interest, but when one is trying to survive and so busy with work, pleasure visits to beaches or sites rarely occur even though one lives in close proximity to them.
On a positive note I have enjoyed my work as a Wise Woman throughout the last 9 years. I have learnt so much from Cassandra Latham Jones, it has been a fascinating and testing journey. Working with the land and sea here and its powerful unpredictable energies has been a challenge. The tests can be severe and obstacles are put in one’s path. It takes strength of character and determination to overcome these and continue………the spirits constantly present challenges as if to say……..”how much do you want this???” Cassandra admits that she has been tough with me throughout this time and admires my tenacity. I have witnessed others who have wanted to learn from her who were unable to withstand the tests and tasks given.
Image -Mandy Raywood
My experience and training in ceremonial magic while in Kent has been useful when conducting Rites of Passage. Cassandra is happy to leave the – as she calls it – ‘arm waving’ to me when setting up the space for ceremonies.
The consultations we do together work well, the moment just before a reading when Cassandra holds a client’s hands to connect with their energies, I tune in to any spirit presences that may be around them. While Cassandra shuffles the Tarot cards I provide the client with a description of the spirit presence and also any messages they wish to pass on. Cassandra then lays out the Tarot spread and there have been many occasions where the same messages have appeared within the cards giving double confirmation for the client. I have witnessed many readings by Cassandra over the years and am familiar with her cards. I purchased an identical Tarot pack and I am able to provide readings using them.
Property cleansing needs a huge amount of work, particularly if they have been inhabited by a variety of residents over time,(more-so with period properties). The energies from traumatic events are contained within the foundations of these buildings which can have a profound effect on any future residents. In hotels and public houses/inns the energies can intensify and can affect the smooth running of businesses. We have had many successful outcomes from this work.
Image – John Isaac
Curse breakings are another area of intense work. Many clients consult us concerning this matter and Cassandra has a unique and powerful method for dealing with these energies.
Wart charming was a service that at first I was sceptical of as it was difficult to understand how this could possibly work. Even now I could not explain exactly how it works but have witnessed the success of the process with our clients.
I have constructed many charms over the years and have had a high success rate with them, fertility charms in particular. It delights me to think that I have assisted in creating new life and brought much happiness to others.
I still provide Holistic Services and have taught Reiki courses here too which benefit clients greatly, particularly because the Reiki practice is more about the spiritual and emotional development of the person rather than a complementary therapy. I have also helped a wide range of clients from the terminally ill to pet owners who now are able to calm their stressed animals.
My counseling services have also come to the fore as often clients are affected by childhood abuse and do not realize how much this can affect their everyday lives as adults even though these events happened long ago.
Walks with Wise Women is an enjoyable aspect of our work as it enables us to visit and enjoy the sites with our clients. I have learnt about the folklore associated with them by listening to Cassandra repeating the information on each visit. We also discover more about our clients as we are able to converse with them while walking to and from the sites.
Our Working on the Wild Side workshops have been successful during the last few years. I suggested them to Cassandra who was a little reticent, but due to many enquiries about them, she agreed to try. The workshops have gone from strength to strength with a new subject introduced each year. We have met some fabulous people who have experienced some extraordinary occurrences during them. The preparation and the workshops themselves are hard work but also energizing and satisfying on a deeper level.
I have learnt many things since being here and the main lesson is that life is indeed unpredictable. One can plan the future to a certain extent but circumstances that create a sudden change can have an incredible impact on one’s life with positive or negative results.
I have also learnt that being successful in work and within a community brings rivalries, competitiveness and jealousies from some, who will then project the dissatisfaction with themselves and their lives onto another. When a person experiences this level of pettiness it is vital to remember that these people, by their treatment of you are validating that you are exceptionally good at what you do. If you were not successful or talented, negative ones would not bother with you.
When a person moves into a new community, they are on ‘foreign territory’ and therefore vulnerable to predators and bullies. Genuine good-hearted people in the community will do what they can to assist especially if they were once in the same position themselves.
Image – John Isaac
Cassandra Latham Jones falls into this category and has assisted me in so many ways.
I have also integrated myself socially by attending festivals and utilising my talents as a musician and dancer. By doing this I have met some kind, thoughtful and talented individuals.
The residents of St Buryan village have been particularly welcoming and now consider me part of their community.
My time here has been creative too as Cassandra and I along with my son Rhys formed our Guise team Boekka with Penkevyll the Lands End ‘Oss. Our team has performed for 8 years now and we have introduced Morvargh my new Sea ‘Oss as a recent addition. To top it all, my idea of Cassandra, myself and Penkevyll the ‘Oss meeting Phil, Vivien and their Mari Lwyd at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic on Samhain in 2014, has developed into a fantastic event The All Hallows Gathering!
I have lived in Cornwall 10 years now and am no longer a ‘newbie’. The local and Pagan community has witnessed how difficult it has been and the obstacles that were placed in my path. I am certain that some individuals could not have withstood or endured a fraction of what they have directed my way, but that is par for the course. The positives far outweigh the negatives and I am still here…….