Dark Arts Workshop October 2020

It was a cold wet morning on Saturday, although the afternoon brought drier and brighter weather as we arrived at the Village Hall to prepare for the workshop. Cassandra and I do not usually host workshops this late in the year but we had postponed them due to Covid 19 restrictions.

We had five attendees, two couples and a lady, so we spaced the chairs accordingly and laid out the practical items.

There are guidelines for use of the hall, keeping it ventilated with open windows, so the group wore coats for extra warmth during the afternoon. Our attendees were on different spiritual paths which sparked some interesting conversations between them.

Cassandra discussed certain aspects of the Dark Arts which led to many questions and gave a deeper insight into the group’s thoughts and opinions on this subject.

We discussed the use of Spirit Houses which prepared our group for the practical part of the workshop.

They were given a macramé framework and  receptacle that fits inside it where they can place their chosen charms, crystals, pebbles or shells. Shiny beads and sequins strung together and strands of glitter thread can also be ties upon the framework of the structure. The group began to construct their spirit house and then took it home for completion in their own time. It is interesting to observe couples working on their creation together discussing ideas and preferences. It is also intriguing to see the work in progress and the varied interpretations of each one.

At the end of a productive afternoon, Cassandra and I returned to the cottage for dinner while the rest of the group visited the St Buryan Inn.

There had been a change of plan concerning the site we usually visit for this particular workshop, as space is limited for social distancing. On this occasion we visited Boscawen un stone circle and it did not disappoint, as the site was alive with spiritual presences.

We sat in a circle near the centre King Stone and I guided the group in a short meditation to connect with the ancestors of the site. I saw figures in the darkness observing us and even though it was a crisp, cold evening, many in the group felt warm energy as though they had positioned themselves beside a warm hearth. We spent time observing the clouds in the sky, that gently parted forming a triangular shape before they withdrew further to reveal a clear sky with myriads of stars. The large red planet of Mars could also be clearly seen as it shone down upon us.

The night was still and felt warmer than it had during the afternoon. We all felt quite comfortable within this peaceful energy and could have stayed longer, however it is wise not to outstay one’s welcome with the site’s spirit guardians!

We returned to the village hall for libations of Cornish mead and saffron cake. The infra-red heater provided an interesting glow to the room along with candlelight while we discussed the workshop, answered questions and compared experiences of our visit to the site. It seemed the group were reluctant to leave, particularly at this time as we are all limiting our social activities, as it felt good to have the opportunity to interact with others.

A pleasurable workshop with a wonderful group.

Feedback:

‘Darlene and I want to say a very big thank you. Everything you both said made sense and resonated with me, expanding my mind to new possibilities. Cassandra and Laetitia’s teaching method is down to earth and easy to understand. They are lovely warm people who know their Craft! Can’t wait for the next one. Shane’.

‘It was a pleasure to meet Laetitia and Cassandra. The knowledge and understanding they have on the subject is clearly vast and varied. It is clear that they both have a lot of experience between them.  I found the workshop interesting and, enjoyable.  I particularly enjoyed the visit to the stone circle, and it is a place that I would love to visit again.  We covered Curses and spoke about methods of protection and discussed deities/crossroad magic and decorated our spirit houses. Thank you both for a lovely day’. N.A.

Hi Laetitia and Cassandra

I really enjoyed the dark arts workshop. I found your teaching down to earth and It was good that you encouraged us all to talk about our own experience and answered our many questions. I especially enjoyed walking to the sacred site with you at night, the beauty of the landscape and feeling the ancestors near was heart warming. We had a lot of laughs too, it was good to sit with a drink afterwards. I’d definitely like to join you both again. JM

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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