A fantastic Samhain weekend is over and a Celtic new year begins. It is also 20 years since I started out on my personal spiritual path. This path was entirely different to the religion I was raised to believe. The excitement of my first awakening to a new spirituality will always be a prominent memory as I put aside the indoctrination of the past and summoned the courage to explore.
I received a warning from a renowned Pagan man in London to watch out for “space cadets” and take my time finding the right path. It was an exciting period of my life, eager to acquire as much knowledge as possible and experience everything!
During the early days I worked alone. The rituals I performed were beautiful and very familiar to me. After a year of personal study I took the step of self initiation. This was the most important step in my development, a private dedication between myself and the powers that be.
After experiencing the energy one person could raise within a magical circle, I contemplated working with a group. I replied to an advertisement from the Pagan Dawn wishing to recruit new members for an Egyptian group. It was a different way of working and the energies raised were considerably strong. I met other members of this group who became long term friends and we are still in regular contact.
Between attending groups I also taught friends magical rituals.
Venturing into the Morris dancing world with a Kent side introduced me to members of Wicca. I became a member of a Gardnarian group and the rituals were happy joyful occasions. The group would meet at my place of residence and there I learnt to set up a group altar and prepare a larger space.
After leaving this group I was initiated into an Alexandrian group that honoured Egyptian deities. The training and rituals were well structured and it was during this training I discovered the Wiccan path began in the 1950s. This was disappointing as I had been searching for ancient ways rather than a modern belief system.
I replied to an advertisement for new members to join a Traditional Cornish group before moving to Cornwall. I applied with a view to becoming a member of the group after a few years of correspondence and visits. It was not until I moved to Cornwall during my 13th year of development and met Cassandra Latham Jones in 2009, that I found what I had searched for. It is easier to connect with spiritual energies of land and sea here than within the surrounding areas of London. There are however some beautiful sites in Kent such as the Coldrum Stones that were just a few miles away from my previous home.
Moving into a new community is not as easy as one thinks. Genuine people are few, but when you do find them, they are of great value. Others can be suspicious and territorial. If they decide that they dislike you, nothing you can do or say will change their minds. I have learnt that it is not always important to a community how talented one is if they do not mix with the “right group” or were born in the “right place”. Some allude to a birth connection with Cornwall to feel more accepted, but I am proud to be a Kentish Maid.
When one is talented at their craft, they can meet interesting and genuine like-minded people who show support. Alternatively talent and success can bring groups of jealous detractors. Their aim is to project their own negative traits onto a mutually agreed person in order to make life unpleasant and drive them away. If one finds themselves in this situation, it is vital to remember that if a person was not special they would have no detractors.
Cornwall has a variety of people. Some are genuine good- hearted souls who want to live a peaceful life and do what they can to help others without an ulterior motive. Some create a “fairy-tale image” and place more importance on the glamour but have a lack of any real substance or power. Some can use others under the guise of friendship for their own personal gain only to cast them aside when they are no longer useful. Some seek fame and fortune and will attempt to discredit others whom they view as a threat. I now believe the “demonic forces” some religions speak of are actually within the personalities of some who can use and abuse beliefs to feed their own egos and power over others. It is sad a spirit being is often scapegoated to provide a distraction from a person’s responsibility of their own thoughts and actions.
When one focusses upon the positive aspects of life, the Cornish landscape and the ocean are wonderful. They are good for the soul and to see them daily is truly a blessing.
I am now accustomed to the seasons and changes of the atmosphere. As I walked to the village church one evening I was greeted by a beautiful crescent waxing moon and the star of Venus adjacent to it, bright and beautiful. Nothing tastes of the sea more than a raw oyster and fresh seaweed from the shore. To awake in the morning and see a murder of crows feeding from the field behind the cottage is wonderful. To sit on the beaches and cliffs listening to the music of the sea is divine.
Here in Cornwall, the beaches, coves, woodland, stone circles, holy wells, quoits and ancient buildings are all nearby. Focussing on these aspects of life reminds me of how blessed I am.
My spiritual path 20 years ago led me here and I have worked hard during this journey. I am finally here and this is where I will stay!