Tenth Anniversary as an Old Craft Initiate.

The full moon of 28th March 2021, marked 10 years since my initiation into the Old Craft by Cassandra Latham Jones.

Image – John Isaac

For me, tuition in the Old Ways was more intensive than it is for members within a group as I have lived with my teacher and we were rarely apart, so I received constant tuition and discussion. The last ten years may have brought challenges and hard lessons, however they included a multitude of wonderful moments that made it all worthwhile.

To mark this special anniversary Cassandra decided it was time for me to receive my final initiation, an equivalent to a third degree within the Wiccan path.

On February’s full moon, I visited Men an Tol, where once again, I was overlooked by a bright full Moon. I performed a ritual of passing significant items through the holed stone a designated number of times to energise them while Cassandra observed nearby. I then paused and stood in the moon’s rays, feeling her energy while expressing my devotion.

From that moment on, Cassandra instructed me to record my dreams and sent me on four Quests to locations of my choice.

Lamorna Cove
Barnoon Cemetery St Ives
Carn Euny
Carn Euny
Crean Valley Woodland

I collected an item from each location and on the final Quest, I realized each one related to the elements, water, air, earth and fire. Cassandra stated that the directions were also significant.

The requirement of a ‘fast’ for a period of time was undertaken abstaining from stimulants, plus an added habitual action that I would find challenging.

During the weekend of my initiation, Cassandra instructed me to create a magical item related to all the locations I visited. There is a specific ritual connected to the creation of it that I followed during a designated planetary hour. I combined a blend of corresponding oils and herbs, placing them in a muslin bath pouch for my ritual bath. I cleansed and blessed all items that would be utilised for the ceremony.

Image – Cornish Bird Blog

On the evening of the initiation, we left home at 8pm to visit Boscawen-un stone circle where the first part of my initiation rite would take place, just as it had ten years ago. The difference on this occasion was the invisibility of the Moon shrouded in dark clouds on a dry evening, accompanied by a stiff breeze. This did not surprise me as Cassandra informed me it would be a ‘darker’ ceremony, therefore the absence of moonlight had great significance. I attempted to wear a hat that evening but the breeze repeatedly removed it, therefore I accepted that it was not required.

Cassandra and I used our bull roarers to call the spirits of place, she then instructed me to repeat a statement at each stone until I completed the circle. Cassandra stood by the Elder tree to observe and I slowly made my way around the circle laying my hands upon each stone, repeating the words, then moving on in the darkness, making my way over the tussocks and uneven ground. When I completed the circle, I turned to walk towards the King stone at the centre and in the darkness it seemed to transform into a tall hooded figure. I approached it and as I did so it reverted back to its original form and I rested my forehead against it, connecting with the energies of the site. After a while, I laid against the incline of the King stone feeling the breeze that rushed over my body and pressed me against the granite.

On our return to the cottage, Cassandra prepared the hearth and surrounding area, while I had my ritual bath in candlelight. I reclined in the water and contemplated on the impressions I received at the stone circle and the step I was about to take.

I put on my robe and awaited Cassandra’s call.

The initiation ritual was a wonderful experience and the initiatory words had such potency. Although my familiar Clutterbuck had entered the spirit world only 5 weeks before this,

Image – John Isaac

I felt his presence as he never failed to join us for celebrations in the physical world. I knew he would not miss this occasion.

When the initiation ritual was over, Cassandra hugged me and stated that her job was done. We celebrated with good old Cornish mead. Never before had she taught anyone as intensively over this period of time.

We have both worked well together over the years and will continue to do so.

I would like to express my gratitude to Cassandra for being such a caring, understanding and patient tutor. She has taught me invaluable skills and assisted me in developing a deep connection not only with Cornwall but also with the place and community of my birth.

Whatever the future holds and wherever life takes me, her teachings will remain and are a strong aspect of who I am.

Feedback from Cassandra Latham Jones: “Congratulations Laetitia! A worthy, hard working and fully fledged Wisewoman. You have remarkable psychic abilities – that definitely is your forte”.

Autumnal Activities at Equinox 2020

The latter half of summer had been rather busy for Cornwall and although this was welcome to help the economy, it included aggressive and thoughtless behaviour from many visitors. The land and sea no doubt breathed a ‘sigh of relief’ as summer turns to autumn and life returns to a more peaceful and slower pace.

Cassandra and I were occupied with distant work for clients, however August and September enabled us to see clients in person for socially distant readings, workshops and courses.

Autumn Equinox was overcast weather-wise, but dry which enabled Cassandra to venture out onto the land where she harvested local blackberries, apples and autumn leaves. Meanwhile I swept the hearth and prepared the fireplace, in preparation for our evening celebration.

We had time to bake a wonderful apple and blackberry crumble containing seasonal spices of cinnamon and cloves, before keeping an appointment with one of our clients.

We were given a wonderful opportunity by the new owners of Caer Bran Hillfort to bless their land. The following article has information about the site:

During the Iron Age a variety of different types of settlement were constructed and occupied in south western England. At the top of the settlement hierarchy were hillforts built in prominent locations. In addition to these a group of smaller sites, known as defended settlements, were also constructed. Some of these were located on hilltops, others in less prominent positions. They are generally smaller than the hillforts, sometimes with an enclosed area of less than 1ha. The enclosing defences were of earthen construction. Univallate sites have a single bank and ditch, multivallate sites more than one. At some sites these earthen ramparts represent a second phase of defence, the first having been a timber fence or palisade. Where excavated, evidence of stone- or timber-built houses has been found within the enclosures, which, in contrast to the hillfort sites, would have been occupied by small communities, perhaps no more than a single family group. Defended settlements are a rare monument type. They were an important element of the settlement pattern, particularly in the upland areas of south western England, and are integral to any study of the developing use of fortified settlements during this period. Despite subsequent mining activities and the bisection of the fort by a later track, the Iron Age defended settlement, 330m south east of Caer Bran Farm survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, strategic importance, agricultural practices, social organisation, domestic arrangements and overall landscape context.

Details

The monument includes an Iron Age defended settlement, situated at the summit of the prominent hill Caer Bran. The settlement survives as a roughly-circular enclosure defined by two concentric lines of defence, the inner formed by a rampart and ditch and the outer by an inner ditch, rampart, outer ditch and counterscarp bank. The defences survive differentially; the inner rampart and ditch are much slighter in construction than the outer defences, the rampart of which is up to 4.6m high. The outer defences survive best to the north. Within the interior are the low rubble walls of at least two stone hut circles. The best preserved is centrally located and measures approximately 16m in diameter. This hut circle and the fort have been bisected by a later track, and much of the interior has an irregular appearance caused by numerous pits and spoil heaps associated with mineral prospecting and extraction from the medieval period onwards.
Other archaeological remains in the immediate vicinity are the subject of separate schedulings. 

Legal

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Historic England

Our blessing ritual was simple, but nevertheless potent as we experienced positive reactions from the elements to our invocations.

The owners were keen to show us around the site particularly the quarry, where tangible energies of elementals and guardians were present. We were surrounded by wonderful autumnal colours and as we stood on the highest point of the site and the evening mist began to descend, we could see for miles all the wondrous landscape of West Penwith.

We returned to Cassandra’s cottage and enjoyed a well-earned rest by the hearth, discussing our experiences of the site while indulging in Cornish mead and warm home-made crumble.

We sat by a blazing fire enjoying a small, meaningful equinox celebration, toasting the ‘powers that be’ and hoped the changing season would bring a positive outcome to the problematic situation we are all experiencing. We hope communities will work together, caring for one another and our environment. A perfect end to an energetic equinox!

Tenth Anniversary as Village Wisewoman

Spring Equinox 2020 marks the tenth anniversary since Cassandra Latham Jones handed over her business of Village Wisewoman to me.

I had previously worked as a qualified holistic therapist and was therefore accustomed to dealing with clients, however with this alternative way of working, clients are dealt with in a different way.

The consultations providing guidance can be similar to counselling (in which I now have a Diploma) as clients contact us with various dilemmas in their lives. We discuss appropriate methods or courses of action that could help them.

Cassandra has a unique way of working and has built a good reputation which means she is a tough ‘act to follow’. I was a Cornwall resident for only ten months when I embarked on these new pursuits and local residents did not know me well, but I had adequate experience to provide the services required. Over the years I have settled into the village community by frequenting our local Inn, some of the church services and village events. I have also performed at local festivals in West Penwith.

In a short period of time I developed an organized correspondence system when dealing with clients. I have a selection of email folders for: inquiries, readings, distant readings, spells, charms, handfastings, rites of passage, feedback, property cleansings, wart charming, Wisewomen walks and workshops. Notifying a client of the list of items required when working with them is much easier now and I converse with the confidence that comes with experience.

Cassandra taught me to do my own business accounts, which is quite an easy task with a small business. I admire her for managing this despite her having ‘dyscalculia’. It was less of a problem for me as I am good with numbers and nowadays modern technology lessens the burden of mathematics.

I understand why a ‘code of ethics’ is necessary and it is not good practice to cast spells for clients to influence others against their will. These spells can have huge repercussions and I have witnessed the consequences for others who cast spells for selfish desires without forethought.

Learning the process of creating charms has been enjoyable and is reminiscent of past activities when I have used cross-stitch and crochet skills during childhood and adolescence. I have skills for intricate needlework and the corresponding ingredients for each charm still holds a fascination for me as each one is unique to the client. For example,  when I construct two fertility charms neither is identical in appearance or their contents.

Another aspect where needlework skills come to the fore is in creating clothes for hearth dolls which inspired me to create more clothing for other dolls with uncanny likenesses and purposes. After observing this activity, Cassandra commented that my work with dolls is one of my outstanding talents.

I have witnessed many Tarot readings and I know Cassandra’s Tarot cards so well, I am able to provide readings from them myself if she were unable to do so. The psychic impressions and messages I receive during a consultation compliment her readings and never fail to add to the advice given. Our distant readings for clients who are unable to see us in person have proven to be extremely accurate and given guidance and help to many all over the world.

The Handfastings we provide are wonderful occasions. We have taken on the role of Celebrants at wondrous sacred sites and more unusual venues. My past ceremonial training comes to the fore when setting up a sacred space although the words I use have changed, providing a deeper connection to the ancient land around us.

We prefer a couple to be in a relationship at least a year before taking this important step, some had been legally married a considerable length of time. Others had their spiritual ceremony with us, but attend a registry office before or after the ceremony if they require a legal contract.

I would love to experience more of these ceremonies on beaches or by the sea which in my opinion, adds to the romance of the occasion.

Our property cleansings are quite an adventure, from modern houses to period properties, cottages, hotels and public houses. The history and varied lives people once led can leave residual energies that seep into the foundations of buildings which can affect them in startling ways. The spirits of deceased owners can form an attachment with their former properties that they have difficulty in releasing. Some spirits are harmless and the present occupiers are quite comfortable with their presence, however there are others that can cause problems and require guidance to move them on.

I have experienced on many occasions the remarkable difference of energy and atmosphere within a property after cleansing, during our return visits.

Spell casting is an exciting aspect of our work, particularly when a specific time is set for a client to work along with the practitioner. There have been occasions when the required result has occurred within 24 hours and also instances where a period of time has passed before reaching a successful outcome. Throughout this past year I have worked with one particular client casting many spells for an ongoing legal case and each spell produced a successful outcome for each stage of the process.

Our workshops have been successful as many are intrigued by the work we do and enjoy spending time with us to experience this.

We have met some wonderful individuals and had many fascinating discussions. It is also heartening to hear feedback on how the experience has changed their lives in a positive way.

I have learnt more information during our ‘Walks with Wisewomen’ as Cassandra repeats the folklore and stories of various sites on each occasion. She is delighted with the way our work has become ‘second nature’ to me. It is not an easy path and I have been severely tested throughout the years. Cassandra is also pleased with the way I advertise and network to reach more people who need assistance and that the business has grown considerably compared to the period of time when she worked alone.

So there you have it…..ten years of organisation and work within the business of Village Wisewoman. It is so important to have an occupation one enjoys that does not lose its fascination or become mundane!

I thank Cassandra for her patience and tuition over the last eleven years. Her methods are often unorthodox and there were times I did not understand them, or how it would benefit me, until I put this tuition into action. This scene from the movie Karate Kid is a good example of what I am referring to:

I look forward to the next ten years of becoming older and wiser as I continue assisting our community!

Celebrants for Handfasting March 2019

Cassandra and I were Celebrants for a Handfasting three days after the Spring Equinox. This occasion was particularly unusual, as the couple had discussed having a ceremony for some time and then the bride decided to arrange the ceremony as a surprise for the groom. This meant the preparations were not as straightforward as the ceremonies we were accustomed to.

The venue chosen was the ATV Centre in Blackwater near Truro. There is an area of woodland next to the race track where we were able to perform the ceremony. We arrived to set up the space during early evening while there was light and soon after that darkness fell.

To conduct a Handfasting ceremony in woodland on a dark evening can be quite a challenge, although lights were hung within the trees and one of the guests offered to turn on his car headlights.

The ceremony however went well and our excellent professional photographer John Isaac managed to capture some wonderful images in somewhat challenging circumstances.

We wish the lovely couple every happiness for the future.

Feedback:

“Hi guys it was amazing and a huge huge thank you for a wonderful evening and for recommending john he is such a great guy. All of my friends commented on what an amazing ceremony it was. Thank you so much for being so understanding and being so professional and carrying on with the ceremony despite the difficulties. As for the honey moon drink……

Thank you so much for an amazing event. ” D.E.

Handfasting Celebrants November 2018

Cassandra and I have been busy of late with various events and work. Today we were asked to conduct a Handfasting at Boscawen-un stone circle. The couple decided to take this step to mark the 20th anniversary of their marriage. We met them at the All Hallows Dark Gathering in Boscastle and discovered that in some aspects of our lives there was a deeper connection.

The weather was dry and cloudy with a slight chill in the air of the imminent winter weather. It was All Souls Day and the presence of the ancestors could be felt within the stillness of the air.

As Cassandra spoke of the ancestors and spirit loved ones who witness the Handfasting rite, a murmuration of starlings flew over the circle.

A special thank you to our lovely neighbours Jackie and Lottie for assisting us and capturing some wonderful images of Kim and Tony’s special day. We joined the couple for a celebratory drink and a meal in our local St Buryan Inn.

Feedback:

“We simply cannot thank Laetitia and Cassandra enough for The Handfasting Ceremony they performed for us. We can honestly say that it was the most romantic, magical and memorable moment in our lives. Anyone who is considering “Tying The Knot”, look no further than Laetitia and Cassandra. From advice to reassurance, nothing is too much trouble. Thank you so much for everything that you have done for us. Wonderful, warm knowledgeable  Wise Women xxx” Kim and Tony

A Winter Handfasting 2018

We first met Karyl when she travelled here from the U.S. with a group of friends and arranged to join us for a Walk with Wisewomen two years ago.

On this occasion, she returned with her new partner Paul and requested a Handfasting. January has had frequent stormy weather, gale force winds and heavy hail showers accompanied by icy temperatures, so Karyl requested we conduct the ceremony within Cassandra’s cottage.

This is the 2nd occasion when a Handfasting has occurred within the cottage, the first happened many years ago when a couple from Denmark unexpectedly called upon Cassandra requesting an immediate ceremony, giving her about an hour to prepare.

Karyl had booked in advance, so our wonderful friend and photographer John Isaac captured fabulous images of the occasion. Karyl and Paul were accompanied by two good friends to witness the ceremony and offer support. It was a small and intimate ceremony before the larger legal wedding they had planned for May Day.

Images by John Isaac

Handfasting Celebrant Memories

Cassandra and I have been celebrants for many Handfastings since 2009.

We do our utmost to provide couples with the ceremony they desire and work closely with them leading up to the event.

A few years ago, we conducted a Handfasting ceremony for a young couple at St Loy woods. It was important to the bride that bluebells were in bloom for the occasion as they were also present when they first met.

st-loy2016a

st-loy2016b

Ceremonies can vary in size and location, some have many guests, while others prefer a more intimate occasion with a few close friends.  When they are held in public locations, it understandably attracts ‘on-lookers’ whether it be creatures of the wild, ancient spirits of  land and sea or the human variety. My ceremonial training within the Alexandrian tradition comes to the fore at these times for setting up a sacred space to perform these rites.

chloes-handfasting-2

The image above is from one of our first Handfasting ceremonies at the Merry Maidens stone circle.  Only the couple and a handful of family members and friends were present, as they requested the ceremony at short notice. Chinese tourists passed the site on an open top bus and eagerly captured images of the occasion.

mill-handfasting-04102010-030

mill-handfasting-04102010-032

Cassandra and I performed this Handfasting ceremony ( image above) in the grounds of a Mill house that was our place of residence in 2010. It was a wonderful warm October day with perfect ambiance amongst the trees and beside a small stream.

martin-louise-tintagel-2jpg

martin-louise-tintagel

This ceremony (see image above) had a medieval theme and was held at King Arthur’s castle in Tintagel. There were a few rain showers, however this did not dampen the wonderful celebrations at this ancient site. We were invited to a hog roast buffet in the King Arthur’s Arms and had a wonderful time.

Image - Mandy Raywood

steve-abby-handfast-019

ourwork7

This ceremony (see images above) was held at Prussia Cove, the location where this lovely couple first met.  We were blessed with warm sunshine that day and working so close to the sea was an extra special experience.  A friendship developed between us and the couple after their ceremony and we visit them often. They now have two adorable children.

bosca1

bosca3

Boscawen-un stone circle is a popular site for Handfasting ceremonies. This particular one was memorable as our ‘Obby ‘Oss Penkevyll made an appearance and performed with her Teazers from Boekka.

handfastingtanner7

Madron Baptistry was the venue for this Handfasting (see images above). A couple travelled from France accompanied by their family. They stayed at Godolphin House where we later joined them for a sumptuous medieval wedding feast with copious amounts of champagne and a hog roast in the fabulous dining room.

hndfstsanwell12

hndfstsanwell1

hndfstsanwell17

A couple from overseas had their ceremony at Sancreed Holy Well. They requested we purchase and decorate their broomstick in order to infuse it with fertile energy. Six weeks later, they revealed that they had conceived and they now have a beautiful daughter!

Image - Lee Searle

Image - Lee Searle

This ceremony ( see images above) was performed at the Sennen Coastguard look-out on a cold, wild and windy day! We attempted to place the altar accoutrements upon the table but they would not stay upright, so we kept them in a box and took them out when required. The bride’s veil attached to her hat was vertical most of the time and their guests were huddled behind the building to shelter from the force of the wind.  We were determined to continue and the wedding party kept their sense of humour. We were appreciative of the warm open fire in the First and Last public house after the ceremony.

handfastoct14-005

handfastoct14-003

cornish

This Hand-fasting ceremony was held in the stunning Carn Glaze Caverns. It was for a couple who had invited a small family group.  The acoustics in the Caverns were wonderful as Cassandra’s bull roarer resonated over the rock faces. The echoes of the marriage vows could be heard all around the space beside a fabulous blue lake.

We conducted another Hand-fasting at this venue for a jolly couple. Their laughter is so infectious to all who know them. They requested a performance by our ‘Obby ‘Oss Penkevyll and Boekka during their feast in the caves, along with a fire display team. (See video footage below)

karenkev2016-001

We were delighted to receive a visit from them recently and were pleased to hear they are both well and happy together.

These are just a few of the Handfastings we have taken on the role of Celebrants for and each occasion is special and unique in its own way.

To enquire about our Handfasting ceremonies, please visit the Contact page.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑