A New Year Begins…

The: All Hallows Dark Gathering 2017 event in Boscastle was significant for me. I have trained and performed as a Teazer alongside Cassandra Latham Jones since 2009 and it was at Chepstow in January this year she passed her ‘snapper’ to me along with the position of main Teazer.

At this event I guided Penkevyll and stood alongside her while the Wassail ceremonies took place.  The meeting on the bridge is a little more energetic as Penkevyll accompanies the Maris to meet the approaching English from the opposite side at the centre of the bridge.

St Pirans festival in March invites Penkevyll and: Boekka to take part in their procession at Redruth.  The procession is uphill and extra energy is required here while Teazing and interacting with the crowd along with keeping an eye on Penkevyll’s antics.

The All Hallows Dark Gathering in Boscastle is now a popular event. During the afternoon I build energy by moving to the tribal music played for the Morris dancers (I find Beltane’s music extremely powerful) and connect with spirits of place on land and sea at the wondrous harbour of Boscastle.

This year I also rode my Sea ‘Oss Morvargh during the afternoon accompanied by John and Sue Exton with their new Mari Seren. Dancing with Morvargh is also an ideal warm up for the Teazing of Penkevyll. Mole, the Squire of Wreckers Morris invited Morvargh to dance alongside his Morris band while they performed a dance about the sea. We worked well together and the audience enjoyed it immensely.

It was then time to return Morvargh to her stable and change into my Teazer kit. I prepared Penkevyll with the assistance of Cassandra and our rider. The procession led by the Maris made its way through Boscastle and the wonderful sound of throbbing drums signalled the appearance of Penkevyll.

Our space was rather restricted this year as Mr Fox had their fire display equipment in the space. Penkevyll danced and interacted with the crowd until we observed the flaming torches of the procession.

We welcomed the Maris before guiding Penkevyll into the Museum for the Pwmco ceremony.

During this performance I was observed by my new apprentice Teazer. Gem is in her 30s and has a good connection with Penkevyll. She also understands the Cornish energies and has an enquiring mind with welcome experience in the performing arts. I look forward to her progression.

This year I sang the Cornish Pwmco alone while Susan Exton sang the Welsh version. I had no time to drink water after the energetic Teazing and this affected my singing as my throat was rather dry.  Susan and I thought the Pwmco went better than expected, particularly as she had little notice of this with Vivien’s sudden illness.

The Mari’s stayed within the entrance hall of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic while blessing the property, as the corridors and stairs are difficult for taller ‘Osses to negotiate. After the refreshments of beer and cake, I guided Penkevyll outside to watch the fabulous performance of Mr Fox. There is a deep primitive energy about them which suited our event.

After Sarah Emery’s beautiful song, it was time for Cassandra, Michelle and I to invoke the spirits of place with our bullroarers. Will Fox from Beltane Morris delivered a wonderful speech about the meaning of Samhain followed by a blessing.

All participants worked hard, the cooperation and friendship of all concerned imbued positive energies into the All Hallows event of 2017. A fabulous start to the new Celtic year.

Samhain Approaching

There has been a considerable amount of rain this October accompanied by winds of Ophelia and Brian stirring up the seas in West Cornwall and creating spectacular scenes. The winds assist the trees in disrobing their dead leaves reminding us that we too, need to shed all that no longer benefits us.

The darker time of year beckons and the presence of our ancestors can be felt. We are nearing the end of the Celtic year and our thoughts turn inwards to the spiritual and physical changes within ourselves and how they will affect our destiny. We can plan our future to a certain extent, but life is unpredictable and the ‘topsy turvy’ energies, particularly in Cornwall, can turn our well-made plans on their heads and life takes us in a completely different direction.

It was a wet and misty day today when Cassandra and I visited Lamorna late in the afternoon, to purchase our pumpkins. A local resident grows, nurtures and  sells them on the boundary of his property. The following image is one that I captured the previous year during drier weather.

Our journey to Lamorna valley is a wonderful experience as we pass the Merry Maidens stone circle that today was shrouded in mist. There were ‘walkers’ enjoying the atmospheric weather and silhouetted figures around the stones that added to the mystique!

Lamorna woodland is particularly glorious at this time of year, with its autumnal colours, crisp fallen leaves and the mist swirling around the trees.

The sublime scenery adds to the pleasure of each journey and deepens our connection as the seasons change.

As we prepare for our forthcoming Samhain celebrations, I send you all good wishes and hope the new Celtic Year will reflect back to you all the energy and intent you have sent out to others.

October Harvesting


October is a significant time of year as Samhain approaches and the year comes to a close.

Our seasonal pumpkins are chosen with careful contemplation. The energies of these beautiful vegetables are extremely important, therefore locally grown produce is a must.

It was a yearly tradition to purchase our pumpkins at the Harvest Home auction hosted by the local public house. In the last few years the pumpkins have been few or at times been absent from these auctions.

We now have an alternative adventure. We travel along the winding lanes deep into the valley of Lamorna where a local resident sells his pumpkins at the threshold of his home.

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A wonderful part of residing in a village community is that produce of other items are displayed outside one’s home along with a jar for payment. This shows trust and faith in people’s good nature and many would not consider abusing this provision. This creates positive energies for the season.

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It is now time to prepare the vegetables, dust off the seasonal decorations and gather ritual items as we await the closing of a productive year.

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