It was a cold wet morning on Saturday, although the afternoon brought drier and brighter weather as we arrived at the Village Hall to prepare for the workshop. Cassandra and I do not usually host workshops this late in the year but we had postponed them due to Covid 19 restrictions.
We had five attendees, two couples and a lady, so we spaced the chairs accordingly and laid out the practical items.
There are guidelines for use of the hall, keeping it ventilated with open windows, so the group wore coats for extra warmth during the afternoon. Our attendees were on different spiritual paths which sparked some interesting conversations between them.
Cassandra discussed certain aspects of the Dark Arts which led to many questions and gave a deeper insight into the group’s thoughts and opinions on this subject.
We discussed the use of Spirit Houses which prepared our group for the practical part of the workshop.
They were given a macramé framework and receptacle that fits inside it where they can place their chosen charms, crystals, pebbles or shells. Shiny beads and sequins strung together and strands of glitter thread can also be ties upon the framework of the structure. The group began to construct their spirit house and then took it home for completion in their own time. It is interesting to observe couples working on their creation together discussing ideas and preferences. It is also intriguing to see the work in progress and the varied interpretations of each one.
At the end of a productive afternoon, Cassandra and I returned to the cottage for dinner while the rest of the group visited the St Buryan Inn.
There had been a change of plan concerning the site we usually visit for this particular workshop, as space is limited for social distancing. On this occasion we visited Boscawen un stone circle and it did not disappoint, as the site was alive with spiritual presences.
We sat in a circle near the centre King Stone and I guided the group in a short meditation to connect with the ancestors of the site. I saw figures in the darkness observing us and even though it was a crisp, cold evening, many in the group felt warm energy as though they had positioned themselves beside a warm hearth. We spent time observing the clouds in the sky, that gently parted forming a triangular shape before they withdrew further to reveal a clear sky with myriads of stars. The large red planet of Mars could also be clearly seen as it shone down upon us.
The night was still and felt warmer than it had during the afternoon. We all felt quite comfortable within this peaceful energy and could have stayed longer, however it is wise not to outstay one’s welcome with the site’s spirit guardians!
We returned to the village hall for libations of Cornish mead and saffron cake. The infa-red heater provided an interesting glow to the room along with candlelight while we discussed the workshop, answered questions and compared experiences of our visit to the site. It seemed the group were reluctant to leave, particularly at this time as we are all limiting our social activities, as it felt good to have the opportunity to interact with others.
A pleasurable workshop with a wonderful group.
‘Darlene and I want to say a very big thank you. Everything you both said made sense and resonated with me, expanding my mind to new possibilities. Cassandra and Laetitia’s teaching method is down to earth and easy to understand. They are lovely warm people who know their Craft! Can’t wait for the next one. Shane’.
‘It was a pleasure to meet Laetitia and Cassandra. The knowledge and understanding they have on the subject is clearly vast and varied. It is clear that they both have a lot of experience between them. I found the workshop interesting and, enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed the visit to the stone circle, and it is a place that I would love to visit again. We covered Curses and spoke about methods of protection and discussed deities/crossroad magic and decorated our spirit houses. Thank you both for a lovely day’. N.A.
Hi Laetitia and Cassandra
I really enjoyed the dark arts workshop. I found your teaching down to earth and It was good that you encouraged us all to talk about our own experience and answered our many questions. I especially enjoyed walking to the sacred site with you at night, the beauty of the landscape and feeling the ancestors near was heart warming. We had a lot of laughs too, it was good to sit with a drink afterwards. I’d definitely like to join you both again. JM
Cassandra and I decided to host a Folk Magic workshop at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magicafter Simon Costin invited us to host one there. Cassandra’s book Village Witch is stocked within the Museum retail outlet, therefore a workshop provided readers with more information on the subject where they can interact and ask questions in person.
It was a glorious warm sunny day when we arrived. Simon had other commitments that day, however Fergus was around if we needed assistance. It was also good to catch up with Judith Noble who was overseeing the Artists Residency event that day.
We had 18 attendees, each on their own individual spiritual path or not actively practicing but curious about the Folk/Cunning Craft.
Cassandra has years of experience in her Craft well and good rapport with her audience. She works from an outline of subjects to discuss which makes the talk more spontaneous and more interesting for her listeners.
Cassandra is ‘down to earth’ with amusing moments, keeping the audience entertained and lifting the atmosphere when discussing serious aspects of the Craft.
After two hours of discussion, we had a lunch break, enjoying the warm sunshine and sea air.
The group returned to the Museum after lunch and Cassandra then guided them on a hedgerow walk near Minster Woods to harvest wild greenery to use in their witch bottles. I remained in the library updating our business accounts and searching for a video Cassandra wished to show the group during the afternoon session.
On their return, the subject of spell casting and energy raising was discussed. The following video was an example of how working women used chants, while engaging in repetitive work. This helped with the accurate timing of movements and also creates a bond between all workers. One member of our group made an interesting comment about the singing, stating that it would become apparent if a worker grew weary, meaning they could take a break or change the tempo.
The group then moved their chairs to form a large circle and we placed all ingredients for the witch bottles into the centre of the space, so they could help themselves to what they needed. Before they began, I suggested they held their jar or bottle for a few minutes to connect with the spirits and ancestors before their work began.
There were many conversations occurring and also sharing of greenery as they filled their receptacles. We explained that it would not be completed at the workshop as they would need to take it home, add a personal bodily fluid of their choice and seal the jar or bottle by placing a real wax candle on the lid so that the wax drips down over the seal. It can also be done by binding with twine, or a modern method of adhesive tape (although we do not recommend the use of plastic.)
A few members also visited the Museum retail outlet and purchased Cassandra’s book Village Witch while they were there and requested she signed them.
When the workshop was complete and everything was returned to its place, I took another opportunity to sit upon the fabulous Gothic chair in the library that once belonged to ‘Old Horny’ the goat God who now stands tall within the Museum.
We would like to thank the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic for inviting us to host this workshop and all who attended for being such a wonderful supportive group. I’m sure we will be seeing you again.
“Had an absolute fantastic time at Cassandra and Laetitia Latham Jones’ Workshop at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic today. Learned so much, had a lot of laughs and discussions – it was total ‘amazeballs’! They truly are amazing and inspirational. Thank you both for such an awesome day of magick! Blessed be. xx” E.G.
“It was a fun, interesting and informative day. Cassandra is as entertaining as she is knowledgeable. Thank you both” C.M.
Wonderfully informative with humour and what a fabulous turn out! Cant wait to attend another one” M.E.
“We attended this first workshop and it was amazing, great people and great vibes, thank you everyone see you again!” M.H.
“Wonderful inspiring day with you all. Thank you Cassandra and Laetitia.” K.H.
“What a Wonderful day with beautiful people. Can’t wait to go back to bosscastle to go walking in minster woods. Thank you Cass, Tia for a day of knowledge and learning. Xx” P.O.
“We had a wonderful day lovely people and a great feel here yesterday x”
“I really loved it and look forward to the next one. Xxx💜xxX” G.W.
“I loved every moment of and loved the walk to collect wild flowers.” S.H.
“Can’t wait for the next one! Thank you Cassandra and Laetitia. Many new things heard and learnt. It felt very special. I’m only beginning to feel my way around ” spirit” but excited for the journey. Hope to see you all again soon.” C.D.
Cornwall has had some lovely warm summer days of late and two wonderful lively young men from Chicago had planned to visit and asked Cassandra and I if we would consider hosting an extra workshop for them. We were previously acquainted with them when they accompanied us on a Wise Woman Walk to Zennor Hill in 2018.
We advertised an extra workshop and received bookings from two ladies who also joined us that day.
Jason and Arkie are eager students, they love the world of herbs and potions and they have also opened their own retail outlet selling occult items in Chicago. They were staying in Boscastle and enthusiastically related their visit to the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, particularly the artifacts there that caught their attention and sparked their interest.
Both ladies are residents in Cornwall and the group connected and worked well with one another.
All of the group members love the Cornish landscape and Cassandra’s discussion on the spirit elementals of the land fascinated them. After receiving knowledge on the subject and having their questions answered, it was time to take the group out to a local woodland to meet and connect with the elemental spirits.
They were given a meditation exercise to heighten their awareness before they were instructed to explore their surroundings.
Each member of the group relates an experience different from the others as each person is unique and has their own interpretation of the things they have observed.
When we met in the evening, I guided the group through a process of creating a protective space before we began trying different methods of communication. I explained psychometry, hauntings, spirit mediumship and we all related spiritual experiences we have had during and after loved ones had passed away.
The group members received excellent results with their psychometry, they surprised themselves with the accuracy of their impressions on certain items totally unknown to them.
The group also attempted scrying with a black mirror and spent some time experimenting with a Ouija communication board. Not everyone is comfortable about using these boards which is not surprising when they have a bad reputation from certain horror occult movies. On this particular evening all group members tried this method.
Each person finds a method of communication they feel particularly connected to or what works for them.
During the final part of the evening we shared libations of Cornish mead and Saffron cake while discussing the weekend. It was indeed a pleasure to spend time with such a wonderful group of people. I’m sure our paths will cross again!
“Hi Laetitia and Cassandra!
What a whirlwind the last few days have been! Such a pleasure to see you both again. Thank you so much for the time, effort, and energy you put into the Spirit Connections workshop. Arkie and I learned so much from it. We’ve already started talking about locations in Chicago we can go to practice our stone meditation and we plan on working more on our psychometry skills this week! We’ve made it a personal goal to attend each of your workshops so we can’t wait to see what else you have in store!” J.F.
“Firstly i would like to thank Laetitia and Cassandra for creating this wonderful workshop which allowed us to gain an insight and deeper understanding of what it is to work with the spirit world. Within the welcoming atmosphere of the wise woman’s cottage, it was great to discuss and learn from each other our different spiritual paths and our own experiences of the spirit world. We all gained a lot of knowledge from Cassandra and Laetitia about types of energies and how there are many ways to connect with them. Our walk to a special site with Cassandra allowed a peaceful time in which we were taught how to focus deeply within asetting in order to be more aware of our connection to the things around us. During the evening we were given opportunities to try out ways in which to connect to the spirits. My favorite practice we used was Psychometry, even though it was my first time doing this i found it particularly fascinating. Thank you Laetitia and Cassandra for a fantastic experience i will definitely be joining you again for another workshop.” C.N
“It was so good to meet you all last weekend, I think we were lucky to get such a nice group, even though we are all pretty different! I enjoyed the whole experience and particularly how important it is to have that space where we can speak openly about our beliefs, experiences and personal practice, Its so rare to be able to do this for someone who is not involved in the ‘community’. I loved that we could ask you both anything and get a sensible answer! I loved the ‘down-to-earth’ energy of it all, but that’s a big part of why i chose to come to you in the first place I suppose.
To give some more precise feedback, I would say that the visit to the grove was good – particularly as there was helpful (practical) advice from Cassandra on best practice for working in this realm. The evening work with the Psychometry was also good and lovely that there was no feeling of judgement or competition – its quite nerve wracking to try this sort of exercise for the first time so the last thing you need is added performance anxiety! I (like many others I’m sure) have a lot ofresistance to the idea of Ouija board work – just from the all the years of bad stories etc etc, made this exercise too difficult to get in to. Overall it was really helpful to get a taste of the different practices along with the wisdom that actually these are things that also require work and practice – like any other skill. When I think back over my years with horses and the times I’ve had the strongest connections and done the best work – its always been those times when i was really immersed, working at it every day and seeking and experimenting and being truly dedicated, I’ve no doubt that the work of witchery is the same…. I would love to be able to attend another of your courses (particularly charm/amulet -making, i think you do one?) It’s so hard to find teachers you can feel like you can trust in this sort of stuff, people with both deep and long experience who are at the same time warm, approachable and fun- i feel lucky to have had the chance to meet you both! With warmest wishes and gratitude. H.B.”
Cassandra and I conducted a workshop for a lovely couple Karyl and Paul. They are already known to us as we Handfasted them nearly two years ago when they were still living in the U.S. On this occasion, they traveled from Devon (as they have now relocated to the to U.K.), to spend the weekend with us.
Karyl wanted to know how magic could be utilised to help with the dire political situation which is cause of great concern to the population.
After spending most of the afternoon engaged in intense discussion on the darker side of the Craft, it was time to lighten the mood with some creative magical work.
They were delighted with their Spirit House that they created together.
In the evening we visited a powerful ancient place well known for its legends and spirit presences as the sun set and darkness approached.
We have been ‘piskie led’ on this route before so Cassandra put down markers to ensure we took the correct pathways in the darkness. These photographs are not clear, however you may be able to make out the rocks and figures, but they convey how dark it was by the time we arrived.
On the way back we paused at the crossroads for necessary magical work. We then returned to the cottage to partake of warming and scrumptious libations by the hearth. A wonderful weekend.
“Dear Laetitia and Cassandra,
I cannot fully express how valuable the workshop was for Paul and I. We keep remembering pieces and remarking to each other about how wonderful our experience was. Thank you so, so much. We look forward to more….including Sept 7.
Cassandra and Laetitia are masters in their Craft. The Dark Arts Workshop was riveting and valuable. Their teaching styles compliment each other and one gets the feeling that there is a deep well of wisdom and experience for each pearl that is expressed. My husband and I will be their students again, definitely.” Karyl and Paul.
Our final workshop for 2018 was the Dark Arts. This one was introduced this year and proved to be popular as both of these workshops were fully booked. In all our workshops the women usually outnumber the men, but on this occasion it was quite the opposite.
Our Friday introduction evening was unique, in the past we had one or two group members who did not partake of alcohol for their own personal reasons. On this occasion the group were all staying at local accommodation so all of the group partook of alcoholic beverages. This lead to an extremely interesting evening of discussions and debate on the subject of the Dark Arts, Christian beliefs and ethics. I was impressed how each individual point of view was listened to by others even though they were not necessarily in agreement.
During Saturday afternoon, Cassandra spoke about the subjects of Curse Breaking, Curses, Spirit Possession, Image Magic, Dark Deities, Haunting, Psychic Vampirism and Psychic/Magical Protection. Cassandra knows her Craft well particularly when it comes to Curse Breaking and Curses. She is indeed an adept and gifted person to learn from.
It is important that people receive the correct information on these subjects particularly if they have reason to utilise these methods. Movies, books and some Occult Practitioners can be trapped in the world of fantasy which can mislead many and provide incorrect information. At least there are practitioners like Cassandra that one can approach who deals with reality and provides insight to others on their level of understanding. There are a multitude of aspects to this subject and it would be easy to spend a whole weekend if not longer discussing them as the hours passed quickly.
We then spoke of mischievous spirits and the need for ‘spirit house’ constructions. Spirits have a fascination for intricate objects which can be a distraction from ‘mischief making’.
At our last Dark Arts workshop group members attempted to construct a framework for their spirit house by using wire, but trying to use wire cutters and dealing with the sharp edges could be hazardous. On this occasion we provided them with a small ready-made framework and various threads,ribbons, beads, stones etc so that they could begin constructing a small spirit house.
I guided the group through their personal constructions, offering suggestions if they had difficulties and checking they had everything required.
Due to the intricacy of the spirit houses group members could only begin their designs in the time available, so they would need to continue their work on them at home.
During the evening we prepared a group spell for crossroads magic. We then visited a haunted location: Carn Kenidjack. You can read the folklore legend of it here.
On our previous visit to the site during our June Dark Arts workshop, it was dusk and we could still see the various paths to it despite the thick mist that appeared on our arrival. This time it was extremely dark and cloudy, plus we were in the dark of the moon phase, as you can see by the following photograph.
It was a cool breezy evening, we stood for a while looking out over the moor and the distant lights upon the horizon over the sea. Each member of the group sensed various spirit presences that accompanied us.
On leaving the Carn, we were seriously ‘Piskie led’ and taken along various paths within the darkness by Cassandra only for them to lead us further away from our destination. We then followed the tracks made by vehicles until we reached a farmhouse gate and discovered we were on the opposite road to where we needed to be and then walked at least 2 miles to return to the North Road. Our group members were in good spirits, joking about the situation as we walked.
The crossroads were also extremely dark (above photo), the group were still eager and full of the energy to complete the spell we prepared earlier. Conjuring a spell at a crossroads especially when the road is busy with traffic, adds to the intensity of the work.
We returned to the cottage for libations while discussing the group’s impressions and thoughts on the Carn and spell work.
It was a most enjoyable workshop with deep minded experienced group members that I hope we will meet again in the future.
“Going on the dark arts course was very interesting. Laetitia and Cassandra have great knowledge. We made a spirit house and learnt how spirits enjoy puzzles. The walk in the evening was amazing and my favourite activity as I love nature. I felt really connected. Overall a fantastic weekend of good people and I left with a better understanding.” P.O.
“I really enjoyed our couple of days and got a lot out of it. It was great to spend time with you and Cassandra and also to meet others and hear their different perspectives on the craft. In particular, I loved our night-time walk and crossroads spell, working on our spirit houses and learning about the different levels of psychic protection – several of which I have used before. I’ll also keep an eye out for the next series of workshops which I’d like to attend. Look forward to seeing you again soon” A.C.
“This was a great workshop I met some awesome people. Cassandra and Laetitia were amazing hosts. I learnt a lot from the discussion during the first half of the afternoon. Later I learnt how to make a spirit house and how they work. The evening was awesome, we were taken to a breath taking location. On the way back we were ‘piskie led’ and thought it funny. Thanks again ladies you are amazing!” N.W.
“Perhaps it is an understatement to say how wonderful it was to be in the company of Cassandra and Laetitia again on the Friday evening of the workshop; getting to know them again, getting to know new travellers on the path and rekindling acquaintances with some old faces. In the relaxed yet haunted atmosphere of their cottage, we heard each other’s story and began to build the group egregore that would carry us through a weekend of intensive learning and experience.
The Saturday afternoon began with a conversation that centred on the nine levels of psychic self-defence with practical examples provided both from history and from the current practice of the cunning folk. Such material is learned in the hope that one never has to put such knowledge into practice. And yet, as a practitioner, I am glad to have such techniques as part of my “tool kit” of the trade.
This was followed by a demonstration on how to build a spirit house. Like most folk, house spirits get bored, and when they get bored they can get up to mischief. A spirit house provides them with a safe space where they can work out their mischief in a controlled environment. In return they provide safety and protection for the house’s other occupants (human and non-human). Metal frames and other materials were provided and despite my complete lack of crafting ability I was able to come up with the rudiments of a spirit house – a work in progress that will continue to evolve for some time yet!
Dusk gradually made its presence felt. And it was in the gloaming that we began preparations for a crossroads banishing ritual. We gathered our intent and poured it into the materials of the spell in the sacred hearth space before heading out into the night.
We walked into the night, deep into the Penwith moors and began climbing a hill to a dark rocky outcrop of granite boulders. “What can you feel”? “What can you see”? were the questions that ran through the experience? In the darkness of the black moon, I stretched forth my senses and saw flashing lights, here and there; so brief that one could almost doubt their willow-the-wisp existence. I saw moving shapes and running forms; some humanoid in appearance, some not so distinct. And when I touched the granite of the Carn, I felt a power, ancient, wild and free; and I knew that this was his land.
The walk down the hill was less determinative, more meandering, more uncertain; a delicious “being lost” and “abandonment” as we lost our way, being (mis)lead by the mischief of the Piskie Man and ending up miles from the cross roads where we were to complete our rite.
Yet find it we did, and in that most in between of places we raised our energy and called our power and shattered the vessel of our desire; its energies racing forth into the dark night to do our will.
And back by the sacred hearth we learned of the local lore of Carn Kenidjack; of the Man-in-Black who chases the night wanderer until he or she reaches a certain stile, of the Piskie Man who misleads and of the witch who guards a well that is sometimes present and sometimes absent. And it is in this ‘between the worlds’ of space and time; this experience of “the hedge”, the crossroads, that magic is alive and powerful.
And then it was time to say farewell to our two friends and guides. A farewell – yes- but a farewell with a promise to return to this most magical of hearths and its two wise guardians who will always have a place in my journey. T.N”
This weekend we hosted Workshop 3 – Connecting with Spirits.
Two of our group had attended previous workshops and the other two were attending for the first time.
Friday’s Introductory evening raised some intriguing topics of conversation, particularly as one person had recently experienced a Shamanic overnight grave burial. It was fascinating to listen to the explanation of digging their own grave before lying within it while the soil was placed over them. It was intriguing to hear their thoughts and feelings during the experience. Another group member had a close connection with the fae spirits during childhood, while another member was born within a different culture. It was interesting to hear how different life was for this person and how it differed from our own culture and all the aspects we take for granted.
We have had a beautiful summer in Cornwall this year, but the weekend forecast was heavy rain, thus our group’s outdoor experience was a rather damp one.
Cassandra began the Saturday afternoon activities by discussing the various elemental spirits, their appearance, personalities and interaction with the land and its inhabitants.
The group participated in a hedgerow walk on the way to the woodland.
We were about to climb the stile of the last field when we observed two young black muscular bullocks on the other side watching us curiously.
As their behaviour could be unpredictable Cassandra decided to take a detour into the next field and enter the woodland through the fence close to the entrance.
She then explained the exercises that were required which would expand their senses and awareness.
We then left them alone and observed from a distance. A huge amount of discipline would be required as there were many things in the woodland that could distract their focus, the weather, insects and also surrounding sounds of the land. They also had time to explore the area alone to see what impressions they received from the energies there.
We then returned to the cottage to dry out and drink a warm beverage while listening to the group’s experiences and feedback on the afternoons events.
On Saturday evening, I discussed connecting and communicating with spirits of people who have passed over. This also included the subjects of psychic development, mediumship, psychometry, scrying, dowsing rods, pendulums and the use of Ouija boards. These have a bad reputation due to disturbing tales from the media and their portrayal in movies which has caused some to avoid using this method.
After setting up a protected space the group tried some of these methods for themselves. They doubted that they would be successful at sensing anything particularly with the psychometry exercise, but surprised themselves with the amount of correct information they related to us.
It was a pleasure to spend the weekend with friendly warm-hearted people who had worked well together. They happily took away with them new ideas and methods that may benefit and help them during their journey through life.
“This was my second time on the connecting with spirits workshop. The first time was amazing so I decided to do it again. In the afternoon Cassandra explained the types of land spirits their customs and behaviour then Cassandra and Laetitia took us to a special place for meditation, As we walked to the place Cassandra explained the plants and what they are used for. This being my second time I sort of knew what we needed to do. This time the outcome was so much more intense and very spiritual I cannot thank Cassandra and Laetitia enough again”. N.W. xxx
“I just wanted to thank you so much for such an amazing weekend. You were both so warm and welcoming and your cottage so homely! It was so interesting and funny too and I loved all the others on the workshop with me! I think it taught me to stop and listen more closely and to believe that what I am doing is right and effective. I loved your down to earth approach which made it all more ‘real’! I would love to do another workshop if I could be considered again? I know I didn’t contribute as much as the others, but it was quite a step for me to be there on my own anyway. Anyway, if you could let me know dates of next years workshops when you have them it would be much appreciated. Loads of love to you both and thanks again for such an amazing weekend!” C.E xxx
The weather in Cornwall has been fabulous, we have had constant tropical temperatures and sunshine for over a month now.
This weekend we welcomed a group of four people to our workshop. Two have attended workshops before, one had consulted us in the past for a reading and the other we met for the first time.
During out introduction evening, it is intriguing to listen to each person relate their life story and spiritual journey. This leads on to discussions of many spiritual subjects and at times these conversations can divert onto others. When this happens we gently guide it back to the original theme while at the same time we obtain helpful information about our group members.
It was too warm to light a fire in the hearth, so we lit additional candles on the threshold of the fireplace.
On Saturday I prepared the hearth and for this particular workshop I have the pleasurable task of searching through my sea shell collection in two large glass containers for various types of shells, pebbles etc. for discussion.
I was observed by Clutterbuck who reacts to the sound of clattering shells and knows that work is afoot when the hearth is prepared.
Cassandra took the group ‘back to basics’ on this occasion due to discussions from the previous evening and she explained the ‘four powers of the witch’.
The group were also given an exercise for focusing the mind. This exercise provides insight about each member of the group while observing the way they work and their reactions to it.
After this exercise they were each given a Tarot card to study and the opportunity to relate to the group what they see within the card rather than the meanings they may have read in Tarot books. This exercised their powers of observation and once again gave insight as to their development.
The group members were eager for the Sea Sorcery part of the workshop. We discussed the history of sea witchery, how they utilise the elements in their work as well as the hidden and unpredictable powers of sea spirits.
The group were fascinated by the discussion on shore life and the vast variety of sea shells, their uses around the home, worn by people as adornments and in charms and spells. I passed some of the shells around so each person can feel their energy and the ones that may resonate with them.
I introduced the concept of ‘mermaid’s purses’ ( cases for dogfish eggs) and how they are useful containers for ‘sigil’ spells.
We also discussed the vast subject of pearls. their production and their magical uses.
The group members were then inspired to begin their own shell collection.
On Saturday evening when the group returned to us they were shown by Cassandra how to construct Sigils. These were used by the group for their personal sea spells. They were given a choice between using a flat oyster shell or mermaids purses. We blessed their spells at the hearth and as the sun began its descent we visited Sennen Cove to work by the sea on a beautiful summer evening. Cassandra built a small fire and one of the group collected some sea water.
While Cassandra tended the fire I took the group out to the sea to connect with the sea spirits before our spell work.
Although they are hard work, the workshops are a pleasure to do and deeply satisfying. We hope that our group members have taken away useful information that will become a part of their spiritual journey along with some wonderful memories of the weekend.
“One of the best workshops I ever had; thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.” G.B.
“I’ve lived by the sea my whole life and always known it’s power, however this workshop showed me how to connect and give thanks to the spirits of the sea and the meanings of the objects from it to create charms and how these charms were used past & present. Laetitia and Cassandra are incredibly knowledgeable and giving, as were the other group members. It was an amazing workshop, we were blessed with great weather and a new moon. Thank you for an incredible weekend” C.R.
I attended the workshop on Sea Magic and have to say it was amazing. Living inland I never get the chance to do any sea work and have never understood how to use shells, tides. This was all explained by the workshop in the afternoon when Cassandra and Laetitia demonstrated how to make sigils and use them in spells. We were then given insight on the lore of the sea and how to use items found on the beach when spell working. This is my second year attending their workshops and I love them. N.W
The 12th June 2018 was the 10th anniversary since my move to Cornwall. The life I envisaged here and the one I now have are completely different.
Living near the sea, the elements of the rain, wind and storms can 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 tourists pay these higher prices for the short time they are here, however residents have to pay these 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 Wisewoman 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 certainly been challenging as tests can be severe and obstacles are constantly placed in one’s path. It takes strength of character and determination to overcome these and continue………as though the spirits are saying ……..”how much do you want this???” Cassandra also admits she has been tough with me throughout this time and admires my tenacity. She also informed me there were others who in the past 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 what she calls ‘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 any spirit presences and messages they may 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 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 energies that she has passed on to me.
Wart charming was a service that at first I was rather sceptical of, it was difficult to understand how it could possibly work. Even now I could not explain it 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 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 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. However there are also 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 introducedMorvargh 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 along 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 community has witnessed how difficult it has been for me and the obstacles placed in my path. I am sure that 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…….
Last weekend Cassandra and I hosted Workshop 4 – The Dark Arts. It was attended by four lovely ladies, three were previous acquaintances and the other had met Cassandra briefly at the All Hallows Gathering.
Our introduction evening around the hearth was most informative. Many subjects raised and questions asked that were connected to the theme of this particular workshop. The group members’ past experiences had shaped their views and practices providing each of them with varied perspectives. We discussed the subjects of Psychic Vampirism, Hauntings, Spirit Possession and listened to group members relating their own intriguing experiences.
Saturday afternoon continued with talks and discussions on dark deities, curse breaking and image magic. Cassandra and I explained our own methods and group members related their experiences. We also discussed ethics and how these vary for each practitioner.
The practical part of the afternoon began with information on Spirit Houses, their uses and how to construct them.
Cassandra has a magnificent example of a spirit house in her cottage that was once displayed at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic . The group studied it for a while before they set about constructing their own. These creations need to be intricately designed, so we did not expect completion at the workshop, only the foundation and the rest to be completed at home.
On Saturday evening we worked at the hearth on a combined dark magical spell. We took it to a haunted location hiding it at a nearby crossroads so that we could return to it after visiting the site. We marvelled at the huge ball of fire as the sun began to descend on our way to the site. We expected a fabulous sunset on arrival.
As we reached the destination, a thick blanket of mist awaited us! On a recent visit to the site Cassandra and I could see it in the distance from the road, but the shroud of mist had hidden it from view. As we walked over the moor towards it, the site remained invisible and our group members had no idea where they were going. As we approached it, the silhouetted shape of granite could be seen, but it could easily have been mistaken for a group of trees.
When I first heard about this site and the legends connected with it, I was excited to visit it.
Myths and Legends of Cornwall
“As recently as 1949, a Cornish woman was observed making a sacrifice as her husband was dying. She took a black cock to the window and wrung its neck. She explained that it was so the cock could accompany her husband’s soul to the gates of heaven. When St Peter saw the cock, it would remind him of his denial of Christ and move him to mercy so that he would allow her husband through the heavenly gates! The waters of the well at Altarnun were believed to cure madness. The lunatic would be dipped into the well and then taken into the church for a mass to be sung over him. When he regained his sanity, prayers of thanks would be offered to St Non. Towards the end of the First World War, strange lights were seen along the Cornish coast. These were said to be flashed by a Cornishman who had been drowned by German submarine action. Like the lamps of the old wreckers, they lured ships to destruction – but not all ships. The lights were only sighted by German ships and submarines. A long time ago, two miners were passing Carn Kenidjack one night when they saw a horseman dressed in black who invited them to watch a wrestling match. The miners accepted but soon found they had joined a crowd of frightful demons, commanded by the horseman who was the Devil in disguise. When one of the wrestling demons was thrown against a rock and injured, the miners whispered a prayer to him. The earth shook and all the demons were sucked into a black crowd, shrieking and cursing.
A teenager walking home across fields from a neighbour’s house, he had noticed an elderly woman in old-fashioned clothes struggling with a pram. When he approached her to offer help, she simply vanished.
Spriggans, the malevolent mythological creatures that are particular to West Penwith, are said to inhabit Woon Gumpus, whilst the Devil himself rides a black horse out to Carn Kenidjack after sunset, chasing anyone still on the moor to a stile, from where they can escape his grasp.
There are also various accounts of meeting Old Moll on a path somewhere on the moors. The witch, who cursed local people when she was alive, is said to continue her evil in the afterlife.
Carn Kenidjack is also known as the ‘Hooting Cairn’ because of the sound the wind makes as it whistles through the granite.”
The unexpected mist swirling around the site created a potent atmosphere to this wondrous place. Some of us explored the site and climbed high upon the granite ledges to enjoy the scenery of the moor and feel its energies.
Shortly before leaving the site, the mist cleared. We returned to the crossroads to complete our spell but having to dodge the occasional vehicle passing which added to the intensity of the work involved. Group members who seemed to have no previous knowledge of Carn Kenidjack legends had sensed spirit presences there which connected with the legendary tales.
We returned to the cottage for libations and a discussion about the impressions received from visiting Carn Kenidjack.
Our first Dark Arts workshop was successful with a group of wonderful people. We look forward to the next one later this year.
“I really enjoyed the workshop. It covered a lot of things. .Sadly I was not allowed to reveal what I had done within my old coven to everyone but I now have a greater understanding of the dark arts.” M.M
“Just a quick note to thank you so much for the great workshop and the hospitality of your delightful cottage. I learnt a lot and it gave me plenty of food for thought. I will be looking at your list of other courses and see if something else resonates within me.” J.F.
“This was my third workshop with Laetitia and Cassandra and one thing is for sure with these weekends is…to always expect the unexpected and this one certainly provided lots of that! For me, the workshops are not just an opportunity to learn new things and try new experiences, but a chance to meet like minded people and exchange ideas, information and experiences in a non judgemental and warm environment. It was an absolute pleasure to meet the other 3 ladies and share this experience with them. I have come home with new insight, ideas and memories which have not only given me a greater understanding of the things unknown but also a contentment that you can not put a price upon. Thank you so much ladies for sharing you knowledge, time and wonderful home with us.” SH
“Experiential learning of a unique kind. Whilst Clutterbuck grounds you, Cassandra sparks alive deep wisdoms, and Laetitia brings a balance of nurture and hands on craft. Great mix of workshop lady attendees….all men on my last course. A bright light was brought to the profoundly dark issues discussed. Spell work superb… Wow!” AA
Our first workshop for 2018 was better than anticipated weatherwise, as the forecast predicted rain but it did not amount to much at all. Friday had a few showers but by late afternoon the sun appeared…as if by magic!
2018 began with Workshop 1- Working on the Land
Our students arrived Friday evening excited about the weekend ahead, One had enjoyed last year’s workshops and returned to experience them once again.
We sat by a roaring fire at the hearth with a relaxing drink and the evening consisted of varied fascinating topics of conversation, spiritual journeys, how the Old Ways of the Craft compare to the fashionable ‘movements’ and groups we see nowadays, Pagan literature, authors, Covens, traditions etc.
Saturday afternoon we discussed Charms, their construction and the specific ingredients used according to the reason for their creation. We studied correspondence tables, planetary squares, hours and glyphs.
The diagrams can seem quite daunting on introduction, just as logarithm tables were while at school, but when one has the correct understanding and their method of use, the apprehension disappears.
After receiving the relevant information, it was time for the students to put into practice what they had learnt. Cassandra then handed this part of the teaching to me and I guide them through creation of their personal charm.
There are various methods of construction, some enjoy using needle and thread to create a charm bag and others prefer to use other materials, for example, a decorative object that has the capacity to contain the ingredients within it. Each student has their own interpretation of how their charm should be and it intrigues me to see the result.
The students returned to us Saturday evening and I guided them through a small charm blessing ritual at the hearth. We then engaged in further discussions while awaiting the setting of the sun before venturing outside to magically charge the charms. On this occasion we visited the Merry Maidens stone circle.
It was a beautiful evening with a gentle breeze. Our students took time to visit each stone within the circle and enjoyed the ambiance of this ancient sacred space.
We then returned to the cottage for libations of Cornish Mead and Saffron Cake.
Our students seemed delighted with their weekend experience, which we hope has enriched their lives and given them wonderful memories to look back on throughout their spiritual journey.
“Workshop1 Working On The Land 2018 was a fantastic weekend workshop that focused on learning your basics in witchcraft or wise-craft. The correspondence materials provided were simple and easy to understand and also left one with an interest to research more into certain topics after the workshop had ended. Laetitia and Cassandra were both truly welcoming and understanding ladies, and we all had many laughs with the discussions we had – witchcraft or otherwise! The charm-making session was wonderful – I loved how simple charms can be to make, but their correspondences can be as complex or a simple as you like! I also loved the energy of the stone circle we went to, to charge our charms – the atmosphere was calming yet alive and magical at the same time! I’d like to personally thank Laetitia and Cassandra Latham-Jones for all the wonderful work that they have done for their community and for the pagan community. Thank you also for allowing me to share and experience that knowledge that you have chosen to share with others via workshops, allowing a new generation as well as older ones to enjoy the pleasures and magic of a Village Wisewoman. Brightest Blessings. Thank you. E.S. xxx”