Sabbats and Seasonal Festivals

The Dark Season of Samhain – Celtic New year

Ancient Origins of Samhain

Mythology and Folklore
Heathen Harvest
Celebrations
Cassandra and I attend our community celebrations, we travel to North Cornwall to organize the All Hallows Gathering in Boscastle. The event is occurs outside the wonderful Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (and this is the ONLY SEASONAL EVENT we are associated with In Boscastle) on the weekend leading up to or on Samhain.
Early in the evening at Samhain we begin our personal celebration in the village of St Buryan when local residents escort their children around the village for ‘Trick or Treating’ and they visit a real Wise Woman’s cottage. We also visit the St Buryan Inn for a celebratory drink before the preparations for our private group celebration at midnight. It is indeed an active time in the spiritual and physical worlds as the Celtic year ends but it is extremely rewarding.
I will conclude this post by wishing you all a joyous Samhain and a prosperous and successful new Celtic year.

The Sublime and Sinister Sides of Yuletide Customs

Although the traditions and rituals of Christmas have evolved through the centuries, many of them have remarkably ancient origins linked to the midwinter festivals of Yule and Saturnalia and the hope of renewed life as the days lengthen with the promise of spring.
Folklore Thursday

The Fearsome Legend of Krampus

Ancient Origins
Symbolism of Yuletide

Folklore Customs of Twelfth Night and the Epiphany

The one thing guaranteed to elicit the strongest opinions this first week of January is the debate over which day to take down your Christmas tree and decorations. Is it Saturday 5 January, or Sunday 6 January? And what happens if you leave them up for longer? Are you really struck down with bad luck for the rest of the year as the superstition goes?
One thing’s for sure – everyone does it differently, and everyone has their own ideas.
The following link will tell you more about this
Telegraph
Folklore of the Twelfth Night
Hypnogoria
The Old Winter Witches of Epiphany

The Ancient Art of Wassails

Tales of the Cocktail 

The Origin of Mumming

Why Christmas
Read more about the Chepstow Wassail tradition and enjoy your Wassails wherever you are!

Candlemas and Imbolc

The mistletoe hung at Yuletide has now lost its fresh green leaves and berries, but the brown dried remnants still hold the energy of the wonderful season of Yule. It is still working, bringing good fortune to the home until the season returns again. We have now approached the time of Imbolc and Candlemas.

About Candlemas

Build Faith

Spiritual Meaning and Celebration of Imbolc

Guide to Spiritual Living

Origins of Valentines Day

The following links will explain the historical origins of Valentines Day and the Pagan festival.
History.com 
Witchology

Spring Equinox

Springtime arrives and with it the season of fertility represented by eggs, rabbits and flowers in bloom. The better weather encourages people to spring clean their homes, clearing out things that are no longer needed as we bid farewell to the long winter. New life, hopes and projects await us and the sun has returned.

Spiritual Symbolism of Spring Equinox
Spiritual Sun.com
Celebration of Spring Equinox and Easter
No Beliefs.com
How Pagans celebrate the Spring Sabbat
Beliefnet.com

Autumn Equinox

This season and the falling autumn leaves reminds us of the wonderful release when letting go of things that no longer serve us, thoughts, negative relationships etc.

Belief.net

Autumn Equinox Celebration

Thoughtco

 

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28. Final Preparations

The renowned artist we were acquainted with since the Cornwall Conferences entered into a relationship with a young woman. She befriended him after his wife left and brought him out of his depression. 

View from Tintagel Cliiffs. Image - Telegraph

View from Tintagel Cliiffs. Image – Telegraph

His Tintagel Manor House is situated on the cliffs and I loved to look out over the sea from the lounge window. Although living in such a location can seem glamorous, the winter months are harsh with no shelter from the elements. The younger woman was also an artist but spoke often of her honours degrees and academic qualifications. She had letters after her name and used them on all her correspondences. My husband wondered why someone with a high level of qualifications would settle for the occupation of a poorly paid artist when she had the ability to pursue a lucrative career. Her artwork began to appear in the artist’s shop and my husband thought she used his popularity to publicize her own work. The artist was a kind relaxed man and the atmosphere was comfortable whenever we visited him. His partner however thought many of his friends ‘outstayed their welcome’ and began to change their social activity.

A female neighbour near Pendle cottage was a local councillor.  She suggested hosting a barbecue to introduce us to the neighbours, but I preferred to meet them in my own time. She spoke negatively of the area and the crime rate particularly burglaries that she assumed were committed by white Europeans. My husband assured her the crime rate in Cornwall was only a fraction compared to London. The young local boys were surprised that my son lived in Pendle cottage as it had a reputation for being haunted. They were nervous during their visits.

In September 2007 our friend from the Egyptian group visited us in Kent. He announced that he was moving to France with the rock band/commune and had entered into a relationship with a young female member of the group. His partner was understandably upset and I hoped we would all remain in contact. His return surprised me after his previous experience with them. Fortunately the relationship did not last as the commune leader controlled all his ‘wives’, and our friend returned to his partner.

I invited our landlord to one of our psychic development circles in Kent. He was aware of the unusual occurrences in the house as we had informed him that the burglar alarm activated during the night. I discovered the date of this incident was the second anniversary of his mother’s death. The landlord was curious to know if his mother had any messages for him. 

Image - Huffington Post

Image – Huffington Post

During meditation within the circle I sensed his mother’s arms around him. He later told me that he felt her hugging him without knowing I had sensed this. Group members provided messages and a description of his mother’s appearance and where she preferred to sit in the lounge. My Reiki student sensed her legs were weak and she used a walking stick. His mother approved of him renting her home to pay for her husband’s care. All the information given was accurate and the landlord left us feeling happy.

Image - Pinterest

Image – Pinterest

I heard via a social media site that the owners of St Nectan’s waterfall had put it on the property market. They hoped it would be purchased by someone who would not change it in any way.

Our next visit to Cornwall in October 2007 was during the school half term holiday. I volunteered to host the end of season Samhain ritual at St Nectans waterfall. My Reiki student and friend were eager to assist. I prepared invocations for them for setting up the space and they were also responsible for libations and distribution of small onyx crystals as gifts to each person attending. A friend of the artist had also offered to assist. His image was like the character of Merlin and I found him easy to converse with as he showed genuine concern about his friend’s problems even though he had some serious health problems of his own. 

It was a challenge transporting the ritual tools down the steep slate steps to the waterfall, but there were plenty of willing volunteers. When all was ready, we were joined by approximately sixty visitors. A couple who taught Karate in a residence near our cottage attended the ritual. I had contacted them as my son and I wished to continue our martial art training in Cornwall. The couple seemed spiritual as the man claimed to have North American Indian ancestors and their advertisement also gave that impression. My Reiki student and friend assisted setting up the space and as I was about to begin, both of them decided they were unable to invoke the quarters. They may have been nervous about the visitors, so I set up the circle in their place. During the ritual I asked all who were present to drop their ‘papers of regrets’ into the large cauldron  containing burning charcoals.

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The cauldron began to smoke and enveloped all who stood in the circle. I asked my husband to remove it and he carried it towards the waterfall where its contents suddenly burst into flames. The Karate master approached me after the ceremony as he saw eight cloaked figures observing us. His wife thought that her husband’s arm was around her during the ceremony and later realised his arms remained by his side. Many people sensed strong energies within the circle that night. The owner of the waterfall received positive feedback from all visitors. I did not ask for payment and was surprised that the owner did not thank us for providing it, but the happiness I felt working there and the spiritual occurences far outweighed all else.  Before departing, I thanked the Gods for their assistance and requested a suitable purchaser to appear.

During November 2007, I contemplated ending my psychic development circle. My husband was unhappy about the female members visiting weekly and made derogatory comments about them. I arranged for the circle to meet less frequently and my husband intimated that after our move it would be advisable to leave behind associations in Kent as they were no longer needed.

Living in Kent was not easy when I thought of our home in Cornwall.  I reunited with an old school friend. We both treated as different at school due to my parents’ religion and my friend had a disability. We formed a friendship at school and even created a dance to perform during the interval of a school pantomime and I was curious to find out how she had fared in life.  She was loud and excitable the first time she visited us and I discovered she had a family. I admired her for her accomplishments as she had not let her disability stop her from living a full life.  She was disappointed to discover I was moving to Cornwall but my husband was relieved about this as he was nervous around her.

My husband had another 18 months to work within the police force before retirement and he planned to commute from London to Cornwall for five days alternately during that period. We were rarely  apart during our 20 year marriage and this would be a test for both of us. 

 

New Years Eve Newquay. Image - Youtube

New Years Eve Newquay. Image – Youtube

We celebrated New Year’s Eve 2007 in Newquay. The locals wore fancy dress costumes and visited the town’s pubs and clubs. People of all ages gathered outside the Central public house at midnight. Some shared Prosecco in plastic cups with us which brought everyone together. 

At the beginning of 2008 our move was not far away and we had visited Cornwall 15 times during 2007. My college friend moved to Australia and as she had not been in contact with me, she still had my statue of Sekhmet in her possession. I was unsure if I would see her again as it was a long distance for a return visit.  My move to Cornwall was 300 miles away from Kent and not the other side of the world which put the distance I would travel in perspective. 

 

Image - Daily Mail

Image – Daily Mail

 My son studied for his GCSE exams and I taught Reiki courses and hosted psychic circles up until the day of the move. My son’s mock exam results were high and we were optimistic about his success. My mother in law assumed his intellect would not amount to much and I advised him to ignore her opinion and achieve his goals for himself rather than anyone else. I told both of my children that all that mattered was they worked to the best of their ability and would be loved no matter what the outcome.

We did not attend the 2008 Devon and Cornwall Conference as we had to prepare for our move. Our former Morris team performed on that occasion and we would also miss that. I often thought of the Conference during that weekend and when Saturday evening arrived I wondered if the wise woman noticed my absence, but assumed she would be far too busy.   

The urgency to move away from the negative energies in Kent made the first half of 2008 pass slowly. We spent the Easter holiday in Cornwall and attended the Pagan moot in Bodmin. There was an open ritual, but the priestess who offered to transport me to the site was unable to attend due to exhaustion from an initiation on Good Friday’s full Moon so I celebrated alone at Pendle cottage.

My psychic circle in Kent ceased as the members were unable to commit regularly and were also aware I would soon be moving away. One of the members offered to continue the circle at her place of residence but this did not last. 

My mother in law announced to the family she had a male companion. She had known him for about 3 years, but thought it appropriate to wait a while longer after the death of her husband before announcing it.  We invited them to dinner and I hoped my mother in law would behave better in the company of her new companion. No sooner had they entered the house she spoke of my husband working in London before his retirement. She stated that I would contact him every ten minutes as I would not know his whereabouts!  I rose above the comments directed my way. I missed the relationship with my first mother in law and was pleased to move away from my this one. My son was horrified that someone his Grandmother’s age had a boyfriend as most youngsters are. I discovered my first mother in law passed away as a friend had noticed the obituary in a local newspaper. I would have sent flowers for her but my husband advised against it as he thought my former husband and his third wife would not view it as a heartfelt gesture. 

Our moving date to Cornwall was on the twelfth of June 2008. It would fall on the 57th anniversary of the witchcraft repeal and the 7th anniversary of our Hand-fasting. The date was already a memorable one and we would soon be travelling to Cornwall to stay.