Spring Equinox 2020 marks the tenth anniversary since Cassandra Latham Jones handed her business of Village Wisewoman to me.
I had previously worked as a qualified holistic therapist and was therefore accustomed to dealing with clients, however with this alternative way of working, clients would be dealt with in a different way. The consultations providing guidance can be similar to counselling (in which I now possess a Diploma) as clients contact us concerning various dilemmas in their lives and we discuss appropriate methods or courses of action that may help them.
Cassandra has a unique way of working and has built a good reputation which means that she is a hard act to follow. I had been a Cornwall resident for only ten months when I began and local residents did not know me well, however I had adequate experience to provide the services required. Over the years I have settled into the village community by frequenting our local Inn, some of the church services and village events, as well as performing at local festivals in West Penwith.
In a short period of time I developed an organized correspondence system when dealing with clients. I have a selection of email folders for inquiries, readings, distant readings, spells, charms, handfastings, rites of passage, feedback, property cleansings, wart charming, wisewomen walks and workshops. Notifying a client concerning the list of items we require when working with them now comes naturally to me and I converse with the confidence that comes with experience. Cassandra taught me to do my own accounts, which is quite an easy task with a small business. I admire her for managing this considering she has ‘discalculia’, however it was less of a problem for me as I am good with numbers and nowadays modern technology lessens the burden of book-keeping.
I understand why the ‘code of ethics’ is necessary and it is wise not to cast spells for clients who desire to influence others against their will. These spells can have huge repercussions and there have been occasions when I witnessed the consequences when others have cast spells for selfish desires without forethought.
Learning the process of creating charms has been enjoyable and is reminiscent of past occasions when I used cross-stitch and crochet during my childhood and adolescence. I have the skills required for intricate needlework and the corresponding ingredients for each charm still holds a fascination as each one is unique to the client. For example, when I construct two fertility charms neither would be identical in appearance or their contents.
Another aspect where needlework skills come to the fore is in creating clothes for hearth dolls which inspired me to create more clothing for other dolls with an uncanny likeness and purposes. After observing this activity, Cassandra commented that my work with dolls is one of my outstanding talents.
I have witnessed many Tarot readings and I now know Cassandra’s Tarot cards well, therefore I have the ability to provide readings from them myself if she were unable to do so. The psychic impressions and messages I receive during a consultation compliment her readings and never fail to add to the advice given. Our distant readings for clients unable to visit have proven to be extremely accurate and given guidance and help to many all over the world.
The Handfastings we provide are fabulous occasions, we have taken on the role of Celebrants at wondrous sacred sites and other unusual venues. My past ceremonial training comes to the fore when setting up a sacred space although the words I now use have changed, with a deeper connection to the ancient land around us. We prefer that they couple are in a relationship at least a year before taking this important step, some have been legally married a considerable length of time and others have their spiritual ceremony with us and attend a registry office before or after our ceremony if they require the legal contract.
I would love to experience more of these ceremonies on the beach or by the sea which in my opinion adds to the romance of the occasion.
Our property cleansings are quite an adventure, from modern houses to period properties, cottages, hotels and public houses. The history and varied lives that people once led can leave residual energies that seep into the foundations of buildings and affect them in startling ways. The spirits of deceased owners can form an attachment with their former properties which they have difficulty in releasing. Some spirits are harmless and the present occupiers are quite comfortable with their presence, however there are others that can cause problems and require guidance and persuasion to move on.
I have experienced on many occasions the remarkable difference of energy and atmosphere within a property after the cleansing, during our return visits.
Spell casting is an exciting aspect of our work, particularly when a specific time is set for a client to work along with the practitioner. There have been occasions when the required result has occurred within 24 hours and also instances where a period of time has passed before reaching a successful outcome. Throughout this past year I have worked with one particular client casting many spells for an ongoing legal case and each spell produced a successful outcome for each stage of the process.
Our workshops have been successful as many are intrigued by the work we do and enjoy spending time with us to experience this.
We have met some wonderful individuals and had many fascinating discussions. It is also heartening to hear feedback on how the experience has changed their lives in a positive way.
I have learnt more information during our ‘Walks with Wisewomen’ as Cassandra repeats the folklore and stories of various sites on each occasion. She is delighted with the way our work has become ‘second nature’ to me. It is not an easy path and I have been severely tested throughout the years. Cassandra is also pleased with the way I advertise and network to reach more people who need assistance and that the business has grown considerably compared to the period of time when she worked alone.
So there you have it…..ten years of organizing and working within the business of Village Wisewoman. It is so important to have an occupation one enjoys that does not lose its fascination or become mundane!
I thank Cassandra for her patience and tuition over the last eleven years. Her methods are often unorthodox and there were times I did not understand them, or how it would benefit me, until I put this tuition into action. This scene from the movie Karate Kid is a good example of what I am referring to:
I look forward to the next ten years of becoming older and wiser as I continue assisting our community!
Cassandra and I have undertaken many Property Cleansings and I thought now was an auspicious time to write about the subject.
Years ago I lived in a row of terraced houses and in one particular property adjoining these the couple divorced after a few years. I noticed that couples who moved into the property also divorced and at the time I wondered if the energies from these occurrences affected new tenants.
It is vital to understand these negative influences that are usually categorized into two types: thought energies (or if they have a shape – thought forms) and negative spirit influence. Now, you may instantly think about dead people, however we are all “spirits”. Some of us are living within the physical realm and some aren’t. We do not become a spirit when we physically die as we are one housed within a physical body.One may also say, “But I cannot see/hear spirits, this is proof they don’t exist”. Well, we cannot see radio, or television waves in a room. You cannot hear a dog whistle, but dogs can! It would be rather foolish to conclude such a whistle made no noise simply on the grounds that you didn’t hear it.
Negative thought energies are created by someone (dead or alive) thinking in this way, e.g. anger, hatred, fear etc. If the person is thinking these thoughts about us they are automatically projected in our direction. As negative spirits are attracted to negative energy these will often accompany it,particularly if this is done formally, e.g. casting a spell.
Fortunately there is defense against these things. Positive energies will dissolve negative and we can invoke positive spirits to protect us against negative ones. There is nothing particularly profound about it.
The negative thought content of a spell, or any other form of psychic attack, can be canceled out by directing a positive thought form of the same, or greater strength at it. When they meet, the negative thought form will dissolve. This can be achieved by prayer, visualization, etc.
We inhabit certain energies wherever we live. Our homes are a space of unity where many energies meet – our feelings, thoughts and emotions emit a certain type of energy, but also attract other energies. Family members, neighbours or visitors in our homes can also bring in negative energies which may affect our mood and well-being.
Once they enter your home, negative energies impact your whole life. They can cause your budget to fluctuate, break the relationships between family members and disrupt the harmony in your home. As a result, you will feel anxious, restless and broken, with no will to live. However, the symptoms may not be noticeable earlier, which is why it’s important to know how to detect the negative energy in your home.
When moving into a new house, flat, unit or workplace, you will need to cleanse the new property or workplace because buildings absorb the energies of previous occupants. The curtains and carpets also need to be cleaned as they hold the stagnant/negative energies from previous tenants. These stagnant/negative energies can be absorbed by the people living or working within this space, causing arguments, physical and mental illnesses, and relationship problems.
Many people do not realize that when they move into a new place there are energies that might be lingering there from past residents or past incidents. While these energies are usually not going to greatly affect you, there is still a chance that it could affect you or someone in your family if the energy is strong enough. These energies can be particularly powerful in a home where negative energy has built up over a long period of time. For example, a home where a bitter divorce took place, a home where a suicide or murder took place, or a home where a person may have gone through major depression (or other disorders that would affect a person’s spirituality and/or mentality). These are all spaces that could be rife with leftover negative energy.
So while you focus on cleaning your new house physically, it is wise to remember to clean your new house spiritually as well. This also applies to a home that has never been cleansed spiritually to your knowledge. If you’re looking to lighten up the air and promote a positive energy flow in your home, cleansing the energy of your house is imperative.
Now that you understand the importance of energetically cleansing your home, let’s learn about the best and easiest ways to cleanse.
A good ol’ fashioned smudging ritual is a Native American tradition of lighting bundles of herbs and using the smoke in order to spiritually cleanse an area or person from negative energy or spirits. Different herbs are used in order to do a smudging ritual, and so the choice of herb is up to you. Some of the herb bundles that can be used include: white sage, cedar, and sweet grass. If you cannot get your hands on a smudging bundle, you can always make your own. Or you can use herbs that you have in your own kitchen cabinet!
There are many herbs with purification qualities that will work just as well as a white sage bundle will work in cleansing a home. For example, you can use dried rosemary, basil, common sage (the kind that you get from the grocery store), cloves, cumin, garlic, and onion (among many others). Create your own loose incense with one or more of these dried herbs and burn them over a charcoal disk (carefully of course!) Let the smoke fill each room with its purifying and cleansing powers.
Blessing one’s home while moving in is actually quite a common practice among various faiths. That being said, you do not have to be of a particular faith in order to bless your home before or while moving in.
The best things to use are oils or holy water. For the oil, you can use plain ol’ olive oil or whatever kind of oil you have in your cabinet. For the holy water, you can acquire some from a Church or create your own.
Cassandra and I were recently asked to perform a house cleansing for someone moving into our village and on this particular occasion we were given complete access to thoroughly examine the property and were there four hours.
It was indeed pleasure to do this work for our new residents and we warmly welcome them into our community.
On the 12th June 2018 it was the 10th anniversary since my move to Cornwall. The life I envisaged here and the one I now have are extremely different.
Living near the sea, the elements of the rain, wind and storms intensify. Cornwall may not be as cold as other parts of the UK (although the last winter was a harsh one) and frosts occur less here. The cost of living is rising everywhere, but in tourist areas, prices rise during the holiday season and holiday-makers pay these prices for the short time they are here, however residents pay the higher prices throughout the holiday season. Work opportunities increase during the summer, but lessen in the winter and the cold weather also means an increase in utility bills too.
Taking a vacation in Cornwall is easier than surviving here. During a vacation you have free time to visit beaches and places of interest, but when one is trying to survive, pleasure visits to beaches or sites rarely occur even though one lives in close proximity to them.
On a positive note I have enjoyed my work as a Wise Woman throughout the last 9 years. I have learnt so much from Cassandra Latham Jones and it has been a fascinating and testing journey. Working with the land and sea and its powerful unpredictable energies has been a challenge as tests can be severe and obstacles are placed in one’s path. It takes strength of character and determination to overcome these and continue………the spirits constantly present challenges as if to say……..”how much do you want this???” Cassandra admits she has been tough with me throughout this time and admires my tenacity. There are others who desired to learn from her but were unable to withstand the tests and tasks given.
My experience and training in ceremonial magic while in Kent has been useful when conducting Rites of Passage. Cassandra is happy to leave the – as she calls it – ‘arm waving’ to me when setting up the space for ceremonies.
The consultations we provide together work well, the moment just before a reading when Cassandra holds the client’s hands to connect with their energies, I tune in to any spirit presences that may be around them. While Cassandra shuffles the Tarot cards I provide the client with a description of a spirit presence and any messages they wish to pass on. Cassandra then lays out the Tarot spread and there have been many occasions where the same messages have appeared within the cards giving double confirmation for the client. I have witnessed many readings by Cassandra over the years and am now familiar with her cards, so I now own an identical Tarot pack and have the ability to provide readings from them.
Property cleansing needs a huge amount of work, particularly when they are inhabited by a variety of residents over time,(more-so with period properties). The energies from traumatic events are contained within the foundations of these buildings which can have a profound effect on any future residents. In hotels and public houses/inns the energies can intensify and can affect the smooth running of businesses. We have had many successful outcomes from this work.
Curse breaking is another area of intense work. Many clients consult us concerning this matter and Cassandra has a unique and powerful method for dealing with these energies that she has passed on to me.
Wart charming was a service that at first I was skeptical of, it was difficult to understand how this could possibly work. Even now I could not explain exactly how it works but have witnessed the success of this process with our clients.
I have constructed many charms over the years and had a high success rate with them, fertility charms in particular. It delights me to think I have assisted in creating new life and brought happiness to others.
I still provide Holistic Services and have taughtReiki courses too which benefit clients greatly, particularly as Reiki practice is more about spiritual and emotional development of the person rather than a complementary therapy. I have helped a wide range of clients from the terminally ill to pet owners who now are able to calm their stressed animals.
My counseling services have also come to the fore as often clients are affected by childhood abuse and do not realize how past trauma affects their everyday lives as adults, even though it happened long ago.
Walks with Wise Women is an enjoyable aspect of our work as it enables us to visit and enjoy the sites with our clients. I have learnt the folklore associated with them by listening to Cassandra repeating the information on each visit. We also discover more about our clients as we converse with them while walking to and from the sites.
Our Working on the Wild Side workshops have been successful during the last few years. I suggested them to Cassandra who was a little reticent, but due to many inquiries about them, she agreed to try. The workshops have gone from strength to strength with a new subject introduced each year. We have met some fabulous people who experienced some extraordinary occurrences while they were with us. The preparation and the workshops themselves are hard work but also energizing and satisfying on a deeper level.
I have learnt so much since being here and the main lesson is that life is indeed unpredictable. One can plan for the future to a certain extent but unforseen circumstances can create sudden changes that can have incredible impact on one’s life bringing positive or negative results.
I have also learnt that being successful in work and within a community brings rivalries, competitiveness and jealousies from some, who will then project dissatisfaction with themselves and their lives onto another. When a person experiences this level of pettiness it is vital to remember that these people, by their treatment of you, are validating that you are exceptionally good at what you do. If you were not successful or talented, negative people would not bother with you.
When a person moves into a new community, they are on ‘foreign territory’ and therefore vulnerable to predators and bullies. Genuine good-hearted people in the community will do what they can to assist especially if they were once in the same position themselves.
Cassandra Latham Jones falls into this category and has assisted me in so many ways.
I have integrated socially by attending festivals and utilising my talents as a musician and dancer. I have also met some kind, thoughtful and talented individuals. The residents of St Buryan village have been particularly welcoming and now consider me part of their community.
My time here has been a catalyst of creativity too as Cassandra and I, along with my son Rhys formed our Guise team Boekka with Penkevyll the Lands End ‘Oss. Our team has now performed for 8 years and we have introducedMorvargh my Sea ‘Oss as a recent addition. To top it all, my idea of Cassandra, myself and Penkevyll the ‘Oss, meeting up with Phil and Vivien Larcher with their Mari Lwyd at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic on Samhain 2014, has now evolved into a fantastic event entitled The All Hallows Gathering!
Now that I have lived in Cornwall 10 years, I am no longer a ‘newbie’. The local and Pagan community has witnessed how difficult it has been for me and the obstacles placed in my path. I am certain some individuals could not have withstood or endured a fraction of what they have directed my way, but that is par for the course. The positives far outweigh the negatives and I am still here…….
On the 8th December we travelled to Newquay. Cassandra was asked to do a book signing for Village Witch at MMW Revolver.
We arrived by late afternoon as we also installed two protection charms in a property that we had cleansed during a previous visit.
We enjoyed a wonderful meal at The Fort Inn with a fabulous view of the sea from their French windows.
We arrived at the venue for 7pm and were welcomed by Michelle with a glass of Prosecco and chocolates.
The customers arrived and Cassandra began her talk at 7.30pm.
There was a 30 minute talk on the reason for writing her book, her work, her views and her life. Cassandra always leaves time for the audience to ask any questions. You can listen to the talk on the following video links.
I admire the way Cassandra has a natural rapport with an audience. She provides entertainment and humour but also the correct emphasis on important subjects. You can see the passion she has for her work and the caring for her community. The room was full and the audience gave her their full attention and asked some interesting questions. Unfortunately I was only able to record two of them. Only two books remained by the end of the evening.
With thanks to our wonderful host Michelle for a fabulous evening.