Wisewoman Walk After Lockdown June 2020

A client booked a Wisewoman Walk with Cassandra and I. It is one aspect of our work where we were able to see someone in person but still maintain a social distance. This current situation with Covid 19, the lockdown and social distancing has changed all of our lives, particularly within our work.

We made some alterations, as we usually invite clients to Cassandra’s cottage and discuss their preferences for sites in the area. If not, we surprise them with our choices. As the cottage is so small, it is impossible to maintain the correct distance, so we met our client at the car park of the Merry Maidens stone circle. We were blessed with sunny weather that turned out to be warmer than the forecast predicted.

Our first visit was Tregiffian Burial Chamber

These monuments are fascinating, particularly when they have an entrance leading deep into the ground. There is  also a strong feeling of being observed from the darkness beneath…

We observed two buzzards hunting for prey and these were visible from each site that we visited.

We passed the Merry Maidens stone circle to visit The Pipers standing stones.  In order to avoid the hazardous bend in the road while walking, Cassandra led us through the fields.

We emerged from the fields further down the road where Cassandra brought our attention to hawthorn and blackthorn bushes side by side in the hedgerow. The differences between the two are more obvious when adjacent to one another.

We were unable to open a gate leading to the field where the Piper’s stones stood but this did not deter Cassandra who proved that even now, at 70 years old, she can still climb it.

The standing stones have a regal presence about them, standing tall and proud upon the landscape.

The second stone leans to one side and we discussed how deep the base of it would need to be within the earth to stop it from toppling. Cassandra stated there would need to be at least a third of its length there in order to keep it secure.

After this, we returned over the stile to make our way back to the Merry Maidens.

The Merry Maidens stone circle is a wondrous creation, surrounded by our local landscape and easy to find being situated close to the road.

Each stone within the circle has a unique energy (in my experience of working with them). The grass surrounding the area was rather parched due to the hot weather and lack of rainfall.

On our way back to St Buryan, we stopped at Boskenna Stone Cross. It is one of our larger stone crosses that stands proudly at the edge of a three-way crossroads near the village.

We visited Alsia Well from here, walking through a field of vibrant yellow buttercups. So many flowers this year had noticeably vivid colours and the following photograph does not do them justice!

The vegetation is seriously overgrown at Alsia Holy Well. , what with the lockdown and the area leading to the well being so small, social distancing is quite difficult. It was obvious there had been no visitors to the site for some time and we took it in turns to spend a little time visiting the well. Our client stated it was the most calm, peaceful energy she had experienced at a site.

From there we returned to our wonderful village of St Buryan. Cassandra explained the history of the Market Stone Cross that stands outside the gates of the village church.

We then escorted our client around the grounds of St Buryan Church

There are some impressive stone monuments within the graveyard, we spent some time studying those as moody black clouds crept  across the blue sky, but fortunately it did not rain.

This is where our first ‘social distance’ Wisewoman Walk came to a close, as we could not return to the cottage for a beverage and a chat as we usually would. It was a wonderful experience to venture out on the land again and work with a client in person after nearly 3 months of lockdown. It is a different way of working now but still as enjoyable! Stay healthy and safe wherever you are and we will see you soon!

Feedback: “A fabulous wise women walk on a humid day in June. Cassandra and Laetitia are very knowledgeable and work very well together in what they do. A wise women walk incorporates visits to local historic sites and knowledge of the hedgerows. Highly recommended.” N.G.

Walk with Wise Women to Zennor August 2018

Sunday was a day of fierce winds and rain, but fortunately the August Bank Holiday Monday brought calmer and drier weather for our Wisewoman walk.

Two energetic and enthusiastic young men, Jason and Arkie had journeyed from Chicago U.S. to spend a week in Cornwall and visited Glastonbury before continuing their journey here. They spent some time in Boscastle and Tintagel, fascinated by the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic and St Nectan’s Waterfall at Rocky Valley Tintagel.

Jason had previously purchased Cassandra’s book and expressed he was ‘beyond excited’ to meet her and experience one of our walks.

We invite our clients to Cassandra’s cottage and discuss the locations they wish to visit. Jason had a particular interest in the Logan Stone, so Cassandra decided Zennor Hill would be the site to visit. It requires a copious amount of energy to reach the top, however Jason and Arkie were in their 20s, full of energy and prepared for a challenge.

As we walked towards the hill Cassandra asked them if they would like to visit Zennor Quoit before climbing the hill. The vegetation on the moor had grown considerably and in some areas it was chest height for the vertically challenged. We had given Jason and Arkie prior warning about the possibility of being ‘Piskie led’ and the path to the Quoit was particularly complicated on this occasion with an abundance of gorse, therefore it was no surprise that it occurred. Jason and Arkie were delighted to have experienced this.

We eventually discovered the correct path to Zennor Quoit, Jason and Arkie were intrigued by the formation of the stones and how one can climb inside the Quoit and sit within the heart of it for meditation and ritual purposes.

Here is information about the site:

The remains of this hillside Neolithic chambered portal tomb are quite difficult to find, but can be reached via a footpath from the B3306. The capstone which is over 5 metres long and weighs over 10 tons has collapsed and all traces of the mound which would have covered the tomb has disappeared although much surrounding cairn material was recorded by William Borlase the vicar of Zennor in 1769. It is Borlase we have to thank for the continuing existence of Zennor Quoit as he once paid off a local farmer the sum of 5 shillings to stop him dismantling the tomb to build a cow shed. It is unclear whether it was the farmers attempt at remodeling or the ‘excavation’ of the tomb with explosives in the 19th century that caused the capstone to fall. At various times cremated bones, a whetstone, flints and Neolithic pottery have been found within the chamber, while the 5 small upright stones just beyond the tomb are thought to be part of the aborted cowshed.

The site may look to be in a sad state of disrepair, especially on a wet, windy day, but this could be said to add to its beauty and melancholy, and it is still well worth a visit. Like many other sites legend says it was built by a giant, hence its other name of Giants Quoit and also that the stones are unmovable, or if they are moved they will return to the hillside on their own. Nearby, the church at Zennor contains a 15th century bench-end carved into the shape of a mermaid that is claimed to have visited the village and fallen in love with the churchwarden’s son. The two of them are then said to have returned to the sea, where the unfortunate lad can still be heard singing beneath the waves. stone-circles.org

Cassandra and I sat with Jason and Arkie by the stones and she related the history of the site. We discussed the variety of Fae folk and their roles within Cornish folklore and they were well prepared with notepads to write down all the information.

After a while, we continued our walk to Zennor Hill. Jason and Arkie were fascinated by the house nearby where some say Alastair Crowley had performed rites. Zennor HiIl is a powerful site, therefore it would indeed be an ideal place to work in that way.

At the top of Zennor Hill we reached the Logan Stone. Cassandra instructed Jason where to place his feet and the correct way to move the stone.

Here is information on the site:

This extraordinary set of stone outcrops holds many unusual features, from rock basins to zoomorphic forms – deep fissures, runnels, voids, chamber-like enclosures and holed stones, that it would be difficult not to believe that it would have held an important place in pre-historic cosmologies. Some rock formations are uncannily like the quoits that occupy the flat land between zennor hill, carn zennor and sperris croft.

Tilley observes in an archaeology of supernatural places. ‘slabs that have toppled from the top of the rock stacks… rest horizontally or vertically against their sides, creating slanting roofed chambers large enough to enter and walk through.’ the proximity of Zennor and Sperris quoits raises the possibility that these dramatic rock formations were deliberately mimicked by the builders of these early monuments.

Tllley again ‘The tors were not only their source of inspiration, but they were constructed in the form of tors. In elevating large stones, these people were emulating the work of a super-ancestral past. Furthermore, the stones from which they were built were taken from the tors. The dolmens, in effect, were the tors dismantled and put back together again to resemble their original form. Once constructed, they could themselves be tors, something emphasized by the landscape setting of some of them on hills that lacked tors.’  Megalithic Sites

After their exploration of the site, we visited Zennor village so that they could see the church and explained the legend of the Zennor Mermaid.

The following information is about the church:

The church of St Senara in the small Cornish village of Zennor is one of the historic delights of the St Ives area. The present church dates to the 12th century, but it is thought to stand on the site of a cell founded by the 6th century saint, Senara, whose name has been altered over the centuries to become ‘Zennor’.  

St Senara

Senara may have been a Breton princess named Asenora, a devout Christian, who was married to a king named Goello. When Senara became pregnant the king’s mother falsely accused here of infidelity, and the king cast into the sea. According to the tale, she was put in a barrel, which was then nailed shut and allowed to drift on the waves. The barrel drifted to Ireland, and she was rescued by an angel. after her son, Budoc, had grown, they both set out to convert the natives to Christianity. 

Alternative versions of the story say that she was washed up at Zennor, where she founded a church, before continuing on to Ireland, or that she came ashore in Ireland, and only later visited Cornwall and founded a church here. In either event, her husband heard of her good work and invited her to return to Brittany as his queen, and named her son as his heir.
Alternatively, the church may have been founded by Irish or Breton missionaries and simply dedicated to Senara. The churchyard follows the oval outline of an Iron Age enclosure, which itself is built atop earlier Stone Age and Bronze Age field boundaries. Britain Express

Read more about: The Mermaid of Zennor

We also visited the Tinners Arms for a well deserved beverage.

It was indeed a pleasure to spend the afternoon with Jason and Arkie, their energy, enthusiasm and hunger for knowledge of the Old Ways is heartening to see in younger folk. We are delighted they enjoyed their time in Cornwall and are sure that it wont be the last we see of them.

Feedback: “Thank you so much! We had a blast!”

Ten Years in Cornwall

The 12th June 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of my move to Cornwall. The life I visualised here is completely different to the one I now have.

Living near the sea, you discover the elements of rain, wind and storms intensify. Cornwall may not be as cold as other parts of the UK (although our last winter was a harsh one) and frosts occur less here. The cost of living is rising everywhere, but in tourist areas, prices also rise during the holiday seasons and tourists pay the higher prices for the short time they are here, however residents are required to pay these high prices throughout the season. Work opportunities increase during the summer, but lessen in the winter when the cold weather means an increase in utility bills.

Taking a vacation in Cornwall is easier than living here. During a vacation you have free time to visit beaches and places of interest, but when one is trying to earn a living and survive, pleasure visits to beaches or sites rarely occur.

On a positive note I have enjoyed my work as Wisewoman throughout the last 9 years and learnt so much from Cassandra Latham Jones throughout this fascinating and testing journey. Working with the land and sea with their powerful unpredictable energies has been challenging as tests from the ‘powers that be’ are severe with obstacles constantly placed in one’s path. It takes strength of character and determination to overcome these and continue………as the spirits are saying ……..”how much do you want this???” Cassandra admits she has been tough with me throughout this time and admires my tenacity.  She also revealed there were others who in the past 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 for conducting Rites of Passage. Cassandra is happy to leave what she refers to as ‘arm waving’ to me for setting up a sacred space for ceremonies.

The consultations we provide together work well, the moment just before a reading while Cassandra connects with a client’s energies, I tune in to connect with spirit presences around them. While Cassandra shuffles the Tarot cards I provide the client with a description and any messages a spirit may wish to pass on. Cassandra then lays out the Tarot spread and on many occasions the same message has appeared within the cards giving the client double confirmation. I have witnessed many readings by Cassandra over the years becoming familiar with her cards and own an identical Tarot deck with the ability to also 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 absorbed within the foundations of these buildings and can have a profound effect on any future residents. In hotels and public houses/inns the energies can intensify and 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 about this problem and Cassandra has a unique and powerful method for dealing with these that she has taught me.

Wart charming is a service that at first I was rather sceptical of, it was difficult to understand how it could possibly work. Even now I cannot explain it but have witnessed the success of this process with clients.

I have constructed many charms over the years and had a high success rate with fertility charms in particular. It delights me to think I have assisted in creating new life and brought happiness to others.

I continue to provide Holistic Services and have taught Reiki courses  which benefit clients greatly, particularly as this practice is more about spiritual and emotional development of the person rather than a complementary therapy.  I have assisted a wide range of clients including the terminally ill and also pet owners who work with stressed animals.

My Crisis and Trauma counselling services have also come to the fore as often clients are affected by religious cults and childhood abuse. They do not realize how past trauma can affect their everyday lives as adults, even though it happened long ago.

Walks with Wisewomen is an enjoyable aspect of our work as it enables us to visit and enjoy the sites with our clients. I have, over time learnt the folklore associated with them by listening to Cassandra repeating the information on each visit. We also find out more about our clients as we converse with them while walking to and from the sites.

Our: ‘Old Ways’ workshops have been successful during the last few years. I suggested hosting them and Cassandra was at first a little reticent, but as we had many inquiries about them, she agreed to try. The workshops have gone from strength to strength covering five subjects. We have met some fabulous people who experienced some extraordinary occurrences while they were with us. The preparation and workshops themselves are hard work but also energizing and satisfying on a deeper level.

I have learnt so much since being here and my main lesson is that life is indeed unpredictable. One can plan for the future to a certain extent but unforeseen circumstances can create sudden changes that can have incredible impact on one’s life bringing positive or negative outcomes.

I have also learnt that being successful in work and within a community brings rivalries, competitiveness and jealousy 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. There are however, genuine good-hearted people in a community who 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  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 as Cassandra and I, along with my son Rhys formed our: Guise team Boekka which features Penkevyll the Lands End ‘Oss. Our team has performed for 8 years and we have introduced: Morvargh my Sea ‘Oss as a recent addition. To top it all, my idea of Cassandra, myself and Penkevyll the ‘Oss, meeting Phil and Vivien Larcher and their Mari Lwyd at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic on Samhain 2014, has evolved into a fantastic event entitled:  The Dark Gathering!

Now that I have lived in Cornwall 10 years, I am no longer a ‘newbie’. The local community has witnessed how difficult it has been for me and the obstacles I have overcome. I am sure certain 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…….

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