The kittens were mischievous and demanded a lot of attention. Their constant suckling concerned me as it bruised the abdomen of the black and white kitten. The veterinary surgeon assured me it did not cause harm and the habit eventually ceased when they began to explore the outside world.
I frequently travelled to Tintagel visiting the artist and his fiancée. We received an invitation to their Handfasting at Samhain. The event began with a personal ceremony attended by a few close friends and family at St Nectan’s waterfall. A second ceremony for all to attend was held at King Arthur’s Halls during the afternoon.
King Arthurs Halls Tintagel. Image – Cornwalls
This is a fabulous building and cool in temperature, so many guests wore coats during the ceremony. Guests from the faerie festivals wore pointed ears and fantasy costumes. The bride’s family were conservative in their attire and I wondered what impressions they received regarding the other wedding guests. I had befriended one of the ‘fairie’ women previously who introduced me to the world of the ‘fey folk’ by inviting me to a faerie ball during the summer at The Acorn Theatre in Penzance.
As we climbed the narrow winding staircase inside the hall faerie’s wings became tangled as they passed one another and required assistance to free them.
After the hand-fasting ceremonies were over, the wedding party assembled at Tintagel social hall for refreshments.
Image – Wikipedia
It was a small building with little room for all the wedding guests to assemble, however it was a dry sunny day and many stood outside admiring the landscape.
Image – Geograph
The evening celebrations were held at Boscastle village hall which was a larger venue. A renowned band performed and the groom who was a rock guitarist brought along his instrument to join them, My son met his first serious girlfriend at this event who lived in Norfolk. It was a fabulous day and there were many friends who contributed their talents towards the wedding in some way.
The day after the Handfasting I was to perform another seasonal closing ritual at St Nectan’s waterfall. My friend with the ‘Merlin’ image had volunteered to assist me and we arranged to meet at Camelot Castle hotel. When we arrived he informed me the ‘powerful’ witches who attended the Handfasting refused to attend the closing ritual as the circle was apparently not closed down correctly after the Handfasting ceremony. They believed this oversight had allowed negative energies to enter the space. Hearing this from people who were allegedly strong and powerful witches surprised me. My Merlin friend was reticent about assisting me, but I refused to allow their opinions to change our plans.
Image – Tripadvisor
As we set up the space at the waterfall I sensed his anxiety so I performed a cleansing to settle the space which put him at ease. About 40 visitors attended and I had prepared a written ritual. I lit the candles so that we could read the words and they were in deep glass containers but were constantly distinguished by the breeze. I then decided not to use the written ritual and we worked instinctually. Each visitor lit a candle of remembrance and called out the names of loved ones who had passed into the spirit world. We meditated on the meaning of the season and connecting with our ancestors. The ritual was successful and again the owner received positive feedback. My Merlin friend was pleased he participated and I was blessed to have those opportunities to work in such a beautiful place.
Living in St Columb could be lonely at times. An elderly man who lived nearby noticed my magical charms in the porch and windows of the cottage. He stood on the opposite pavement laughing for a while before he continued his walk each morning. I could not understand why nothing seemed to be happening after our efforts to get to Cornwall. I consulted the powers that be about my bewilderment but I nowrealize that in Cornwall the word “dreckly” is significant…..as everything moves at a slower pace. However in November of 2008 there was a shift……..
Wellington Hotel Boscastle. Image – Haunted Rooms
I attended my first Friends of the Witchcraft Museum A.G.M in November 2008. I yearned to attend these for years and living locally made this possible. The venue was the Wellington Hotel in Boscastle in the upstairs function room. My son and I arrived a little late and sat upon a large settee at the back of the room. Professor Hutton provided a talk on the cause of witch hunts and past executions. The majority of these were due to petty arguments, scapegoating and jealousies within a community. It highlighted how frequently members of communities could turn against others. My son enjoyed the talk as it contained some humour and lightheartedness that was necessary for a particularly sombre subject.
During the lunch break my son and I visited the Museum. The entrance was locked and we stood outside looking through the windows. The owner arrived and invited us in to look around. He left us alone in the Museum as he had work to do and requested that we check the door was closed on leaving. It was wonderful to be trusted in that way and surreal spending time alone in the Museum as the energy there was quite different.
In late November I received an unexpected telephone call from the partner of the traditional witch. She asked if it would interest me to train as a Teazer for their Penzance ‘Obby ‘Oss. I knew of the ‘Oss as I observed the stages of its creation during my visits to their cottage. Apparently the original Teazer had performed for seventeen years and as she was close to retirement age an eventual replacement would be required. The traditional witch’s partner thought me ideal for the role as I was Pagan, had been a Morris dancer with a reputable team and had a high level of fitness. I would be required to dance with the ‘Oss in the streets of their local town and as I had missed Morris dancing, it sounded a similar pursuit. When I agreed to try she explained that she would let the wise woman and she would contact me. I paused and thought about what I had heard, then asked her if it was THE wise woman who would train me. When she confirmed it was, I thought she may not wish to train me as I may have upset her on the dance floor at the Conference the previous year. The traditional witch’s partner assured me the wise woman was not upset but I was unconvinced.
After the phone call I sat quietly digesting the conversation. I had hoped to get to know the wise woman for some time and attempted contact by emails but did not receive an answer. I assumed it would be difficult to find her and she also seemed the type of person who could be unapproachable. Maybe the powers that be had brought her to me instead. The next challenge would be how to handle her phone call…………