Cassandra and I do not usually provide workshops in the winter, but due to Covid restrictions, we postponed them until later this year.
We were in the village hall during the afternoon, to maintain social distancing, however it resulted in a ‘chilly experience’ for all concerned. The village hall committee will not heat the venue at the moment, as they are concerned that any warmth will breed bacteria.
Cassandra spoke about methods of divination and the use of magical squares and sigils.
I explained the history of sea witchery,Cornish legends of mermaids, working with the moon, the tides and utilising various objects from the shore for magical work.
After speaking about the origin and uses of Mermaids Purses, I guided the group through a process of drawing their spell sigils, that can be done in various ways.
When writing out spells, the letters can be stacked one on top of the other which creates an interesting formation, alternatively one can draw symbols with full focus and intent to achieve their desire.
As the afternoon had been rather cold, we were a little concerned about the group and our evening at the beach as the temperature would drop further.
We found a sheltered area between the rocks on Sennen beach and Cassandra created a glowing fire.
After blessing their spells with the elements, I took our three students to the sea. At low tide, we walked a fair distance and as we approached, the sea roared and one wave hurtled towards us surrounding our feet. We sang an evocative chant to call the spirits that had real potency.
It was extremely dark, so much so that Karyl, one of our students, had unknowingly stepped into an area of sand that had the consistency of muddy ‘quicksand’ which caused her to lose her balance. Fortunately she wore waterproof trousers and the sea spirits were eager to take the spell and other items she offered from her hand as she fell.
Paul, her attentive husband helped her up and we were relieved to discover she had not injured herself. We were about to bury the two other spells within the sand, when a wave rushed towards us again and filled the hole we had made, so we moved further back to create another. The sea spirits were extremely playful on this occasion!
When the work was done, we returned to the fire that Cassandra had tended and we shared libations of Cornish mead and saffron buns.
We were alone on the beach except for one light from a night fisherman in the distance. Cassandra and I were pleasantly surprised that the night air was still and we felt much warmer on the beach that evening than we had during the afternoon!
While Cassandra, Karyl, Paul and Phil were conversing I returned to the sea to give to offer a special libation to the spirits.
We were pleased that the Sea Enchantment and Divination winter workshop was a success as well as being lively and eventful!
You are welcome to join us and discover how the spirits will connect and interact with you too! It would be a memorable experience!
“This workshop was superb. Learning about the spirits of the sea and how to work with them. Being shown by Laetitia her sea shells and their abilities. Being guided with doing a sea spell with a mermaid sea purse. Then in the evening going to a beach and building a fire and being guided with your sea spell. Found the whole experience really interesting. Can’t wait to go to a beach and start looking for sea shells seaweed etc. And start doing more work with the sea. Learnt so much. Cassandra and Laetitia are excellent in what they do with their workshops. Awesome day.” P.O.
“We had a wonderful workshop with these two women yesterday. Cassandra and Laetitia are Village Wisewomen by profession, healers, and “followers of the old ways. Thank you, Laetitia and Cassandra, for a wonderful Sea Magic workshop. No matter how long we study and follow the natural path of spirituality, you have the amazing ability to give us our next step. We are filled with respect for the sea and her magical creatures and we are filled with appreciation for you.” K.H.S. P.S.
Legend has it that many, many years ago a richly dressed and beautiful lady occasionally attended the church at Zennor. Nobody knew who she was or where she came from, but her unusual beauty and lovely voice made her the subject of much discussion.
With such beauty, the lady had no shortage of want-to-be suitors in the village. One of these local men was Mathew Trewella, a handsome young fellow with the best singing voice in the village. He took it upon himself to discover who this beautiful stranger was.
After a service one Sunday, the lady had smiled at Mathew Trewella so he had decided to follow her as she made her way off and towards the cliffs.
He never returned to Zennor.
Years passed and Mathew Trewella’s unexplained disappearance faded into the past. Then one Sunday morning a ship cast anchor off Pendower Cove near Zennor. The vessel’s captain was sitting on deck when he heard a beautiful voice hailing him from the sea. Looking over the side of the ship he saw a beautiful mermaid, with her long, blonde hair flowing all around her.
She asked him if he would be so kind as to raise his anchor as it was resting upon the doorway of her house. She explained was anxious to get back to her husband, Mathew, and her children. For it turns out that the beautiful stranger from the church was in fact one of the daughters of Llyr, king of the ocean, a mermaid by the name of Morveren.
Warey of stories of Mermaids the captain weighed anchor and headed for deeper water fearing the mermaid would bring the ship bad luck. He did, however, return later to tell the townsfolk of the fate of Mathew. It was to commemorate the strange events and as a warning to other young men of the dangers of merry maids that the mermaid was carved into the church pew.
In years gone by Padstow was an important port as it was a natural safe haven on an otherwise rocky coast. However, over the years the river mouth has become so choked up with drifting sand as to be more or less useless to anything but small craft. In the past it had been deep enough for even the largest of vessels under the care of a ‘merry maid’ (mermaid).
Hundreds of years ago, there lived somewhere near the Lizard Point a man called Lutey or Luty, who farmed a few acres of ground near the seashore, and followed fishing and smuggling as well, when it suited the time. One summer’s evening, seeing from the cliff, where he had just finished his day’s work of cutting turf, that the tide was far out, he sauntered down over the sands, near his dwelling, in search of any wreck which might have been cast ashore by the flood; at the same time he was cursing the bad luck, and murmuring because a god-send worth securing hadn’t been sent to the Lizard cliffs for a long while.
Finding nothing on the sands worth picking up, Lutey turned to go home, when he heard a plaintive sound, like the wailing of a woman or the crying of a child, which seemed to come from seaward; going in the direction of the cry, he came near some rocks which were covered by the sea at high water, but now, about half ebb and being spring tides, the waves were a furlong or more distant from them. Passing round to the seaward side of these rocks, he saw what appeared to him a fairer woman than he had ever beheld before. As yet, he perceived little more than her head and shoulders, because all the lower part of her figure was hidden by the ore-weed (sea-weed; query, is ore a corruption of mor, sea?) which grew out from the rocks, and spread around the fair one in the pullan (pool) of sea-water that yet remained in a hollow at the foot of the rocks. Her golden-coloured hair, falling over her shoulders and floating on the water, shone like the sunbeams on the sea. The little he saw of her skin showed that it was smooth and clear as a polished shell. As the comely creature, still making a mournful wail, looked intently on the distant and ebbing sea, Lutey remained some minutes, admiring her unperceived. He longed to assuage her grief, but, not knowing how to comfort her, and afraid of frightening her into fits by coming too suddenly on her, he coughed and ahem’d to call her attention before he approached any nearer.
There are several stories of mermaids from around the Cornish coast including Seaton, between Downderry and Looe Here, where now only exists a sandy beach, was once a thriving fishing town. One day a local man insulted the mermaid and she cursed the town to be swallowed by the sands.
Mermaids Rock, near Lamorna in the west of Cornwall is home to a mermaid who sits upon a rock and appears as a warning of storms. Her singing is also heard before a shipwreck. They do say that she sat upon the rock combing her hair and singing in order to lure local fishermen to their deaths.
“To you will I give as much of gold
As for more than your life will endure;
And of pearls and precious stones handfuls;
And all shall be so pure.”
Duke Magnus, Duke Magnus, plight thee to me,
I pray you still so freely;
Say me not may, but yes, yes!
“I am a King’s son so good
How can I let you gain me?
You dwell not on land, but in the flood,
Which would not with me agree.”—Duke Magnus and the Mermaid.
There are legends and mermaid sightings in places other than Cornwall, read more here