Title of your craft?
I follow the traditional Cornish path, and incorporate elements of nocturnal witchcraft in to my practice. I despise putting labels on to things though. Witchcraft is such a wide practice now, with so many different branches, or ‘sub-grenres’, that it’s impossible to class myself in simple terms. I do what I do and that is that!
Cornish witchcraft is a specific craft originating from Cornwall, England where I live. It is a very traditional, folklore based practise. A lot of it is charm work and spells with herbs & brews- from love, protection, healing to cursing, or “winking” as the Cornish witches call it ;)
How did you arrive at your path?
I first got in to witchcraft when I was very young, after being inspired by things like Practical Magic, The Craft etc (how cliché!). My mum actually encouraged me and used to buy me witchy stuff and halloween goodies all the time. I spent a lot of time outside when I was little, and my parents would take me to ancient sites to explore. I was fascinated by fairies, elves and would immerse myself in books by Enid Blyton and spend hours outside fairy and pisky hunting and making potions. I was never frightened of the ‘wicked witch’ in fairytales or movies, more intrigued and that captured my interest, I’ve always been drawn to magic though and divination. I bought my first books on Wicca when I was 11. I considered myself Wiccan and practiced simple spells. I told a few friends about it at school and was picked on because of it, and the same thing happened again in secondary school then lots of life things happened and witchcraft was pushed to the back of my mind.
It wasn’t until about two years ago I started researching in to it again though, this time completely abandoning Wicca and instead researching traditional witchcraft (ie pre-wicca) and then I discovered ‘nocturnal’ witchcraft and the darker side to the craft and I was hooked. I finally felt at home and everything fell in to place.
What other paths have you walked down?
I’ve looked in to Wicca before, but discovered this was not for me as I don’t agree with all of the rede, or organised religions in general.
What distinguishes your path from others?
Nocturnal witchcraft is often misunderstood. It is magick mainly practised at night, but is primarily about finding the light/dark balance within yourself and rather than deterring this negativity, using it to your advantage, through banishing, protection etc. whereas in other paths, such as Wicca you are taught to dispell this negative energy completely. Unfortunately the world isn’t always a happy, bright wonderful place, there is darkness and we all have our own inner demons, the fact nocturnal witches acknowledge and embrace this is what sets us apart. I have learnt more about myself on this path than any other. In my Cornish witchcraft, I use my strong connections to my local area and often visit places of magical significance.
Can you give an example of your week, involving your craft?
Every week I tidy my altar and set out fresh flowers and candles. My altar has no religious significance, it is merely a place where I do my work, lay out my tarot spreads and a place I can meditate and ground myself. It is purely ritualistic. I spend as much time amongst nature as I can, I love wondering through the woods and being close to the sea. I live in West Penwith, so there is lots of ancient sites, monuments, quoits and rugged, celtic landscape to explore. At the moment, most of my time is spent studying for college, but when I have spare time I am reading as much I can get my hands on, constantly learning new things about my craft. I like to make herbal blends-teas, parcels, smoking blends and I’m looking in to buying some herbs for my kitchen. I love cooking and experimenting with fresh, local produce. You could say I’m a bit of a kitchen witch.
Every week I do a tarot reading for myself, something I am still learning and hope to master completely in the future.
Do you have any moral codes you follow?
I just try to be a kind, positive person and am a strong believer in karma. Things have a funny way of working themselves out, I never interfere in a person’s will.
Do you follow deities, and if so who?
Not as such. I don’t believe in them as actual beings or higher beings, but I appreciate them in the form of nature. The moon, the sun, the trees, the sea, the seasons, all of this energy. We all come from the stars. It’s amazing!
I don’t call upon a particular God or Goddess in my work, I call on energy and work with the seasons, the planets, night and day. In Cornish witchcraft we ‘worship’ Bucca. At the moment I feel like I am in a spiritual rut. I am hoping when the earth wakes from it’s winter slumber I will feel more in tune again.
I think that deities are symbols of the elements, our feelings and emotions and are a way to relate to the collective energy that flows through all and is all. Through that we learn balance.
I tend to not discuss my beliefs on here anymore due to so many conflicting views and people trying to tell you what is right and wrong. There is no right and wrong in witchcraft. You have to remember that all religions are man-made, based on similar ideologies but constructed to suit a particular culture.
Do you practice divination, and if so what?
I practise tarot but I’m not very good at it yet, I still have to consult my handbook and memorising all the cards is so hard! I admire people who can. I have a set of runes I made from pebbles, and I enjoy scrying with a dark mirror. I made it myself from an empty picture frame- I removed the glass and painted the inside of it matte black then replaced it in the frame.
I often dream about the outcomes of things, arguments with people, illnesses and they usually come true.
What advice would you give those interested in following your path?
“Rather than find a path, why not run around aimlessly through the forest to see what’s there?” - Marcus Hughes
What books can you suggest to further study ; your craft?
Anything by Konstantinos, Out of the Shadows: an exploration of dark paganism by John J Coughlin, Withcraft Theory & Practise by Ly DeAngeles, Traditional Witchcaft- a book of cornish ways by Gemma Gary
Any other information you might want to share?
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength.”
The last answer really touched me. I should listen and think on it, a little.