Cassandra and I decided to host a Folk Magic workshop at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magicafter Simon Costin invited us to host one there. Cassandra’s book Village Witch is stocked within the Museum retail outlet, therefore a workshop provided readers with more information on the subject where they can interact and ask questions in person.
It was a glorious warm sunny day when we arrived. Simon had other commitments that day, however Fergus was around if we needed assistance. It was also good to catch up with Judith Noble who was overseeing the Artists Residency event that day.
We had 18 attendees, each on their own individual spiritual path or not actively practicing but curious about the Folk/Cunning Craft.
Cassandra has years of experience in her Craft well and good rapport with her audience. She works from an outline of subjects to discuss which makes the talk more spontaneous and more interesting for her listeners.
Cassandra is ‘down to earth’ with amusing moments, keeping the audience entertained and lifting the atmosphere when discussing serious aspects of the Craft.
After two hours of discussion, we had a lunch break, enjoying the warm sunshine and sea air.
The group returned to the Museum after lunch and Cassandra then guided them on a hedgerow walk near Minster Woods to harvest wild greenery to use in their witch bottles. I remained in the library updating our business accounts and searching for a video Cassandra wished to show the group during the afternoon session.
On their return, the subject of spell casting and energy raising was discussed. The following video was an example of how working women used chants, while engaging in repetitive work. This helped with the accurate timing of movements and also creates a bond between all workers. One member of our group made an interesting comment about the singing, stating that it would become apparent if a worker grew weary, meaning they could take a break or change the tempo.
The group then moved their chairs to form a large circle and we placed all ingredients for the witch bottles into the centre of the space, so they could help themselves to what they needed. Before they began, I suggested they held their jar or bottle for a few minutes to connect with the spirits and ancestors before their work began.
There were many conversations occurring and also sharing of greenery as they filled their receptacles. We explained that it would not be completed at the workshop as they would need to take it home, add a personal bodily fluid of their choice and seal the jar or bottle by placing a real wax candle on the lid so that the wax drips down over the seal. It can also be done by binding with twine, or a modern method of adhesive tape (although we do not recommend the use of plastic.)
A few members also visited the Museum retail outlet and purchased Cassandra’s book Village Witch while they were there and requested she signed them.
When the workshop was complete and everything was returned to its place, I took another opportunity to sit upon the fabulous Gothic chair in the library that once belonged to ‘Old Horny’ the goat God who now stands tall within the Museum.
We would like to thank the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic for inviting us to host this workshop and all who attended for being such a wonderful supportive group. I’m sure we will be seeing you again.
“Had an absolute fantastic time at Cassandra and Laetitia Latham Jones’ Workshop at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic today. Learned so much, had a lot of laughs and discussions – it was total ‘amazeballs’! They truly are amazing and inspirational. Thank you both for such an awesome day of magick! Blessed be. xx” E.G.
“It was a fun, interesting and informative day. Cassandra is as entertaining as she is knowledgeable. Thank you both” C.M.
Wonderfully informative with humour and what a fabulous turn out! Cant wait to attend another one” M.E.
“We attended this first workshop and it was amazing, great people and great vibes, thank you everyone see you again!” M.H.
“Wonderful inspiring day with you all. Thank you Cassandra and Laetitia.” K.H.
“What a Wonderful day with beautiful people. Can’t wait to go back to bosscastle to go walking in minster woods. Thank you Cass, Tia for a day of knowledge and learning. Xx” P.O.
“We had a wonderful day lovely people and a great feel here yesterday x”
“I really loved it and look forward to the next one. Xxx💜xxX” G.W.
“I loved every moment of and loved the walk to collect wild flowers.” S.H.
“Can’t wait for the next one! Thank you Cassandra and Laetitia. Many new things heard and learnt. It felt very special. I’m only beginning to feel my way around ” spirit” but excited for the journey. Hope to see you all again soon.” C.D.
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 she passed her ‘snapper’ to me along with the position of main Teazer.
At this event I guided Penkevyll and stood alongside her while the Wassail ceremonies took place. The meeting on the bridge is a little more energetic as Penkevyll accompanies the Maris to meet the approaching English from the opposite side at the centre of the bridge.
St Pirans festival in March invites Penkevyll and Boekkato take part in their procession at Redruth. The procession is uphill and extra energy is required here while Teazing and interacting with the crowd along with keeping an eye on Penkevyll’s antics.
The All Hallows Dark Gathering in Boscastle is now a popular event. During the afternoon I build energy by moving to the tribal music played for the Morris dancers (I find Beltane’s music extremely powerful) and connect with spirits of place on land and sea at the wondrous harbour of Boscastle.
This year I also rode my Sea ‘Oss Morvargh during the afternoon accompanied by John and Sue Exton with their new Mari Seren. Dancing with Morvargh is also an ideal warm up for the Teazing of Penkevyll. Mole, the Squire of Wreckers Morris invited Morvargh to dance alongside his Morris band while they performed a dance about the sea. We worked well together and the audience enjoyed it immensely.
It was then time to return Morvargh to her stable and change into my Teazer kit. I prepared Penkevyll with the assistance of Cassandra and our rider. The procession led by the Maris made its way through Boscastle and the wonderful sound of throbbing drums signalled the appearance of Penkevyll.
Our space was rather restricted this year as Mr Fox had their fire display equipment in the space. Penkevyll danced and interacted with the crowd until we observed the flaming torches of the procession.
We welcomed the Maris before guiding Penkevyll into the Museum for the Pwmco ceremony.
During this performance I was observed by my new apprentice Teazer. Gem is in her 30s and has a good connection with Penkevyll. She also understands the Cornish energies and has an enquiring mind with welcome experience in the 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 this affected my singing as my throat was rather dry. Susan and I thought the Pwmco went better than expected, particularly as she had little notice of this with 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 taller ‘Osses to negotiate. After the refreshments of beer and cake, I guided Penkevyll outside to watch the fabulous performance of Mr Fox. There is a deep primitive energy about them which suited our 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.