Dark Gathering 2019 Part 3

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Sadly our time to leave has come, and believe me when I say, we ae heartbroken. This place, this time, this event really touched us. It was perfect.

To end the trip properly, we gathered ourselves ready to walk the Rocky Valley.

This is what the website says about it.

Take in majestic views of the bay near Bossiney

The stream starts life high up on Venn Down, 820ft (250m) above sea level. From there it meanders through fields before tumbling dramatically, first at the waterfalls at St Nectan’s Glen, then through rocky bluffs and deep clefts all the way to the open ocean in the bay near Bossiney. Grade of walk: Trainer (all rounder); type of walk: ‘Waterside Walks’, ‘Hidden Places’.

It was not EASY, and I struggled if I’m honest. But the sights were worth the pain, and stiffness.

We found the ancient labyrinth carvings, the old mill and raging waters.

Bridge wasn’t confidence inspiring! Least it warned us.

The walk itself isn’t long, but it is grand and energies felt around the water and stones, and earth. Brilliant place to end our spiritual journey on.

Dark Gathering 2019 Part 2

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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

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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.

Glastonbury #Faeryfair 2019 Part Three

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The last 2 days have gone in a blur, and the hand is coping well, I’ve even started thinking the steroid has worked in the left hand. And hip is coping too.

Camping is more enjoyable now my hip is replaced, but I learnt the hard way about leaning forward in the camp chair. Do NOT do that ever ever ever!! Ouchies.

Like this, never do it with a hip replacement, I have no restrictions from surgeon, but I think my body has set its own!!

So it’s up and at them again, off to the event. We heard from others that the vendors had complained about Jasmines queue, so we had to queue until doors opened, walk through then queue out the other side, so we didn’t block any stalls.

Thanks to Ian and Kelly for getting a photo of me and Hubby and Ian. The queues were less busy than Saturday,and we got some gorgeous postcards and even Disney ones too.

This time we had some noodles to eat, so we cooked them in the back of the car, with coffee to drink we were sorted, and getting ready to explore Glastonbury.

With that done it was time to head back for our last night in the tent, how has it gone so fast?? We’ve had times we’ve been chilly, but wrapped up and with our heater we’ve been lucky.

So many many things to see and explore in Glastonbury, there is never enough time it seems.

Glastonbury #FaeryFair 2019 Part Two

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Saturday is event day, so up early to see what the day holds. Have to be at the event by 10.30am so we got there at 10am.

Getting there to queue as we are wanting the exclusive Sparkling pink rose fairy pin made by Jasmine Becket Griffith

Shy as ever I didn’t really get any photos, I kick myself for it now of course. Met some twitchlings (other Jasmine fans that also watch Jasmine paint on twitch) which was lovely.

We bought a Day of the Dead bag, I love the detail in her dress. And bought a calendar, as it’s a perfect way to have 12 pictures. Of course we got the calendar signed in December for Richards birthday.

We ate fish and chips in the car, to shield ourselves from the chilly wind, and had a drink or two. Awaiting the zombie releases!! Spooky szn has started.

Everyone was in good spirits, and it was nice to see so many out to support the children’s charity.

We left with full bellies and sore cheeks from laughing so much. What an epic day.

Glastonbury #FaeryFair October 2019 Part One

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It is my favourite event to go to, a #KarenKay event. A Faery Fair set in Glastonbury, and this time it’s a 2 day event, with my favourite artist #JasmineBecketGriffith showcasing her artwork once again.It is also celebrating 10yrs since it’s started, so I think all the vendors that make this event what it is, are going to feel pretty special about it too.Setting off on the Friday at the crack of dawn, it should be a giggle. Camping at a nearby (25 minutes drive out) campsite that has electric hook up and even an indoor pool. We went there last year, so it’s not new to us.Cappuccino made, pumpkin spice added, I’m feeling all autumnal and halloweeny. Side note (ewww my pumpkin spice syrup was awful, even know same make as usual)

Stopped off at Avebury, to walk the stones, feel the energies and have a picnic too.Gentle strolls to break up the day, before we continue off to the campsite in Glastonbury.Recreated some old photos of the first time we came to Avebury, back when we had 4 small daughters in tow.

Tent up, all snuggled up and now for first night tea, a grand fry up, just what is needed after a long long day of travelling and setting up.

Check out all the space, we use to use this for all of us, from 6 people to 2. It was nice to have space to spread things out too.

Some beers and giggles and connect four finished off our first night. Tomorrow up early to go to the #FaeryFair

Summer Solstice 2019

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Well its already that time again, the time we all long for all bleak winter. When the gardens are blooming and bursting with life, and summer is in full swing.

But here are some correspondences for the Sabbat, I tend to use all my green adventurine,moss agate and citrine around this Sabbat.

Time to crack open the barbeque, turn on the sprinklers, and enjoy the celebrations of Midsummer! Also it’s nearly time for schools out!! Exams are over, less stress and more thoughts leaning towards enjoying the sun!

Also known as Litha, this summer solstice Sabbat honours the longest day of the year. So take advantage of the extra hours of daylight and spend as much time as you can outdoors, well weather permitting of course.


Depending on your individual beliefs amd spiritual path, there are many different ways you can celebrate Litha, the summer solstice.

However the focus is nearly always on celebrating the power of the sun. So get out there and watch a sunrise, or watch the sun setting. It’s the time of year when the crops are growing heartily and the earth has warmed up.( We hope, here in UK!!)

The dream we have is that we can spend long sunny afternoons enjoying the outdoors, listen to the birds, sunbathe and get back to nature under the long daylight hours.

Traditionally there would be balefires burning for people to leap to drive out evil energies, a tradition still going strong in some European countries, we saw it in Ibiza. Or farmers would drive their cattle through to cleanse them. Nowadays it’s done more symbolically. We’ve leapt a candle in the garden, making our wishes.

I don’t have an altar set up, nor do I do things ceremonially. I prefer to gather my family for get togethers have good food, share stories and enjoy some beers. And hopefully enjoy the sunshine and nature too. It’s very low-key as I’ve learnt over the years, faith and spirituality doesn’t need flare and pomp it just needs you and your intentions.

#Blogmas 2018 Yule tide Blessings

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You know the year has gone fast when the Solstice is here, seems barely five minutes since the Summer Solstice 21st June.

Some believe that the Winter Solstice is a day celebration, but in reality they had no clocks or calenders, so Yule lasted over a period of days. Yule 2018 will begin on Friday

21

th December and ends on

Tuesday

1st January 2019.
And is a time of great symbolism and power. It marks the return of the sun, when the days finally begin to get a little longer. It’s also a time to celebrate with family and friends, and share the spirit of giving during the holidays.

You can as a pagan hold rituals, both with a circle or as a solitary. But as we are a family, we choose to do this in a far more understated way. Instead I rather have a good meal, where we save some as an offering to the spirits, light candles to honour the ancestors. And have a Yule log, we’ve had both a chocolate log very nice, but also one to light our candles on too.

Everything we do as a Christmas celebration is really a Yule celebration, from the feast to the tree, wreaths and gift giving. So they are already hand in hand. But on this day especially it is nice to take a reflection over the year that has passed, and of time yet to happen. Because the returning Sun is the promise of things to come.

Like at Samhain, you can burn wishes wrote down, if you choose to have a bonfire outside. But weather being awful this month, and myself not doing well health-wise, it’s not likely for us this year. But not all is lost, you can make those wishes as you blow out the candles after your feast?! Like a birthday wish. Or burn them in your real fire or log burner if you have one.

So eat up and drink and be merry, it’s time to give thanks for all that you have. Feel blessed, it’s been an eventful year.

Our plan is a full on Roast, and Christmas movies galore, probably Arthur Christmas, and Home Alone.

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

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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