Dark Gathering 2019 Part 2

Archive, Challenges, Randoms, Miscellaneous, Family Adventures, Witch, Pagan, Druid, Faery, Spiritual

The reflection of remembering ancestors still hanging in the air, we decided to lighten the mood for the morning and visit Port Isaac, home of Doc Martin I believe.

What a gorgeous picturesque village,the skies are blue (shock after weeks of grey and rain) the sea is twinkling and it’s pretty warm for October.

We meandered down to the harbour then the doctors surgery for photos. Lots of breaks though as it’s hard on hips here. And we had a mini picnic with flask of coffee, and coffee cake.

Just before heading off to Boscastle, we went to visit the harbour and walk to a cave. Big mistake, we went in for a photo, and the path we used had been submerged in 2 minutes!!

My photo just before it rushed in on us.

How fast was that, so cue us taking shoes off to wade back onto shore. It was up to our knees in less than 2 minutes. I would never have known the sea came in that fast.

After that excitement/ horror we clambered back to the car, to giggle over the adventure that was forced upon us.

And onto the next leg of our journey and that’s the Minster of Boscastle, to connect and honour a famous witch buried there, well just outside there. She had resided in the Witchcraft Museum for decades, but it was decided she deserves peace at last.

Joan Wytte” was born in 1775 in Bodmin, Cornwall. She was sometimes called the “Fighting Fairy Woman” or the “Wytte (White) Witch”.
Joan was famed as a clairvoyant, and people would seek her services as a seer, diviner and healer. Her healing practices included the use of “clooties” (or “clouties”), strips of cloth taken from a sick person and tied to a tree or a holy well as a form of sympathetic magic, such that when the cloth rots, the disease was believed to dissipate.
Later in life, she became very ill-tempered as a result of a tooth abscess, and would shout and rail at people. She often became involved in fights where she exhibited remarkable strength and people came to believe she was possessed by the devil. She was eventually incarcerated in Bodmin Jail, not for witchcraft but for public brawling, and due to poor conditions in the jail, Joan died of bronchial pneumonia at the age of 38.
Her bones were disinterred and used for séances and various pranks, then later displayed at the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle, Cornwall. It is said that, while her skeleton was on display in the museum, they started to experience disruptive poltergeists, and a witch was bought in to advise them, who said that Wytte’s spirit wished to be laid in a proper burial. She was finally laid to rest in a peaceful wooded area in Boscastle, and her gravestone reads: “Joan Wytte. Born 1775. Died 1813 in Bodmin Jail. Buried 1998. No longer abused”.

I have had the most awful tooth issues this weekend, was that a coincidence? And upon leaving we spotted the most beautiful cat, so graceful yet timid. I’m sure it was Joan saying thank you for visiting, and honouring her.

Dark Gathering 2019 Part 1

Archive, Challenges, Randoms, Miscellaneous, Family Adventures, Witch, Pagan, Druid, Faery, Spiritual

When it’s the 26th October and a Saturday before Samhain (Halloween) so that can mean only one thing! It’s #DarkGathering time at Boscastle.

The All Hallows Gathering, or Dark Gathering as it is most commonly known, is celebrated on the Saturday before Halloween each year. This conveniently falls upon the half-term holiday so it enables families and children to attend which adds to the all important theme of ancestors at this time of year.

It is basically a seasonal festival with dynamic performances from Morris dancers, musicians and the all important meeting of the Welsh Mari Lwyds with our Cornish Oss, Penkevyll marking the end of Summer and the beginning of Winter. The main venue of these performances is outside the famous Museum of Witchcraft & Magic in the pretty village of Boscastle, Cornwall.

And we are going!! All booked into a cottage, so we headed down on the Friday 25th to get all the travelling done, before the event day. Staying at Bodmin in a cottage called the Nest.And what a cosy romantic nest this is. A perfect getaway for us newly empty nesters. We are definitely finding our feet with being a couple with no responsibilities anymore.Friday is arrival day and first up is King Arthur’s Hall. It’s raining and we look bedraggled but loving life.Rain was terrible,but we walked anyways to kill time before check in. Looking for the remains of a rectangle ruin, claimed to be King Arthur’s hall. It was boggy underfoot, not signposted at all. And much further than I thought, but we found it, after walking through the gatekeeper cows, that admittedly terrified me.Thankfully hoseseasons let us check in hours early though. As after this walk we were drenched.Saturday arrived, I adorned as many clothes as possible, as rain was horrendously bad. Packed spare clothes too, armed with a lantern for later, we headed to Boscastle.The festivities start at 12pm with storytelling, so while that was on we did some walking around valenicy valley which sadly was flooded, so off to the coastal route to stroll before the dancing begins.At 3pm the crews gather to watch the groups of Morris dancers.Braving the cold and wind while they dance away.Once the dancing is over, there’s a quick opportunity for us to grab some snacks and drinks, I also change my clothes and grab gloves.When we return, it’s dark now, lanterns lit and the procession begins, the mood is more sombre the beat slower.

The real reason we are here has begun. Remembering lost loved ones, being grateful and blessed for all we have, while honouring those that have passed.It’s a deeply emotive time, a beautiful ritual, calling on ancestors to be with us. I was greatly moved and highly emotional , what a reflective thought provoking event.

And honestly I couldn’t video or photograph it, as it felt disrespectful to do so.When it finished and we drove home, the tone of the procession and ancestors honouring stayed with us for hours afterwards. I believe this will be our new tradition to do each year. Already planning next year’s.

#JasmineBecketGriffith at #whitbygothweekend

Archive, Family Adventures, Witch, Pagan, Druid, Faery, Spiritual

This last week, we did #whitbygothicweekend which I barely took photos of sadly, due to the intense wind and cold. I tried to take photos but the wind buffered my hands so much.

We came following a specific artist, who is of course my favourite one #JasmineBecketGriffith better known as Strangeling.com she does a free exclusive pin for those attending the event, and a limited amount, so we hit the road at 5.30am.

Headed to the stalls to buy our goodies and get our pins too. I’d had my eye on an #AliceOracleDeck for a while.

Jasmine also signs your gifts if you like, and will also take photos with you if you ask. This time I didn’t ask for photos, as I wasn’t feeling at my best after such a long journey,and it was soooooo cold. We’d walked a fair bit before getting to the bizarre bazarre, so I felt too disheveled for photos.

The town was brilliant and many places were brilliantly decorated for Halloween which I loved.

We hunted for Dracula’s grave in the churchyard near the abbey. The steps killed me, I took a few, stopped, a few then stopped (this hip has gotten so bad so fast it’s scary!!) I was overtook by pensioners.

This is how cold it was!! So off we headed to #Scarborough to rest my hip, and warm up our bones (I swear the cold got right in me)

Gorgeous view, epic weather, stormy seas, I can see how Bram Stoker’s book came about!!

Tea at the local wetherspoons in Scarborough, and we were back in the B+B and asleep by 10pm (so rock and roll)

Horrific nights sleep, as rain lashed against the window, the wind howled all night, but somehow I still loved it. Weirdly refreshed, must be from the comfy bed. I was up and ready to tackle Whitby again and be more prepared. Ie wrap up warmly until the day before. Perhaps that’s why the cold got in the bones more?

Saw Jasmine for the second time and picking up a belle print for our youngest daughter.

We headed into the town for much needed breakfast and though it was packed!! It was the best god damn breakfast I’ve ever had!!

So delicious, I will visit them again no doubt next year.

The cold was a huge issue with this event for me, it stopped us doing a coastal stroll,exploring the abbey, and more of the town old and new. But we had also done enough to make the hip scream so much (that I’m thankful this surgery is booked!!) Next year I’m hoping it will be different, pain wise and mobility wise. I can’t wait!!

So not my usual update on hip, but while I’m on a countdown I’m trying to do ‘normie’ things, though admittedly each time I do, hip shows me I’m not normal and it’s the right decision (for that I’m grateful)

Yule Celebrations, what’s it all about? #Blogmas Part 1

Archive, Blogmas 2017

images

Yule: Winter Solstice – Dec 21st/22nd

What is the origin of the word Yule? It has been suggested that it has origins from the Old English word, geõla, or the  Old Norse word jõl, a pagan festival celebrated at the winter solstice, or even the Anglo-Saxon word for the festival of the Winter Solstice, ‘Iul’ meaning ‘wheel’. In old almanacs Yule was represented by the symbol of a wheel, conveying the idea of the year turns like a wheel, The Great Wheel of the Zodiac, The Wheel of Life. The spokes of the wheel, are the old festivals of the year, the solstices and equinoxes.

The winter solstice, is  the rebirth of the Sun, is an important turning point, as it marks the shortest day, when the hours of daylight are at their least. It also the start of the increase in the hours of daylight, until the Summer Solstice, when darkness becomes ascendant once more. Finally the light is returning, you can feast, party knowing that the darkest days are over.

Cycle of the Year

Yule is deeply rooted in the cycle of the year, it is the seed time of year, the longest night and the shortest day, where the Goddess once again becomes the Great Mother and gives birth to the new Sun King. The oak king rejoices once again. On this the longest night of the winter, ‘the dark night of our souls’, that there springs the new spark of hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World. New life is set to return.

Fire festivals, celebrating the rebirth of the Sun, held on the Winter’s Solstice can be found throughout the ancient world. The Roman festival of Saturnalia was held on the winter solstice, boughs of evergreen trees and bushes would decorate the house, gifts where exchanged and normal business was suspended. The Persian Mithraists held December 25th as sacred to the birth of their Sun God, Mithras, and celebrated it as a victory of light over darkness. In Sweden, December 13th was sacred to the Goddess Lucina, Shining One, and was a celebration of the return of the light. On Yule itself, around the 21st, bonfires were lit to honour Odin and Thor.

The festival was already closely associated with the birth of older Pagan gods like Oedipus, Theseus, Hercules, Perseus, Jason, Dionysus, Apollo, Mithra, Horus and even Arthur with a cycle of birth, death and resurrection that is also very close to that of Jesus. It can hardly be a coincidence that the Christians, also used this time of year for the birth of Christ, mystically linking him with the Sun.

That Yule is another fire festival, should come as no surprise, however unlike the more public outdoor festival of the summer solstice, Yule lends itself to a more private and domestic celebration. It is definitely more private for us, firstl its too cold and so close to Christmas, so its easier to celebrate at home quietly. Yet like its midsummer counterpart, is strongly associated with fertility and the continuation of life. Here the Goddess is in her dark aspect, as ‘She Who Cuts The Thread’ or ‘Our Lady in Darkness’, calling back the Sun God. Yet, at the same time, she is in the process of giving birth to Son-Lover who will re-fertilise her and the earth, bringing back light and warmth to the world.

BlessedYule12