The Museum building is old and some of the corridors are narrow and we don’t have room for a lift but we do try our best to provide access to people with different needs and to those with disabilities.
For example: we have a large print guide available, we have chairs in the upstairs gallery, we put objects at different heights/levels so people can see them who are in wheelchairs, we have a stairlift, we let carers in for free, we take part in Cornwall’s carer week offering free entry to carers and their charges during that week. In 2016, we organised a “touch tour” for a visibily impaired person and we also did a guided tour with object descriptions for a partially sighted couple. We can also allow people to be dropped off in front of the Museum so they don’t have to walk too far if they aren’t able.
Hannah Fox went to a conference in Cornwall recently on disability access and we were reassured to hear that we were doing almost all that we could within our limitations and resources. If you ever have any suggestions, please do pass them on to us and we will consider their viability (we may not be able to do everything people suggest but we will certainly seriously consider it).
We were recently invited to put the Museum on Euan’s Guide a website that is a hub for disabled people reviews of venues. It describes itself as “Disabled Access Reviews: by disabled people for disabled people”. The website’s stated purpose is: “The aim of Euan’s Guide is to empower disabled people by providing information that will give confidence and choices for getting out and about.” Euan MacDonald, Founder of Euan’s Guide. An aim which we wholeheartedly support.
So here is the link to our page, where you can upload photos of the Museum and review us too if you like.
The Museum held a workshop on Saturday February 18th on Magical Words. It was led by Julian Vayne, Chair of the Friends of the Museum organisation and author of such works as “The Book of Baphomet” and “Magick Works” and about eight other books.
It was a well attended, diverse day of talks, discussions, rituals, practical magic and sigil making made great use of the Museum’s library (what better place to contemplate magical words?) We received this email from one of the participants: “Thanks for a great day with Julian yesterday. A really practical, thought provoking and inspiring day!!”
The day started with each of us introducing ourselves and then Julian introduced us to Thoth and St Catherine, both figures associated with writing and scholarship (amongst many other things).
Julian then took us on a quick tour of the history of writing and the development of spoken and written words. We also discussed runes: their sound, image, meaning and symbolism before considering numerology (briefly) and bibliomancy. Each member of the group found and shared books and excerpts from books that resonated with them and we were encourage to consider the library as having a spirit which was helping us gain wisdom.
We spent quite a bit of time outside (it was a beautiful day) and stood in a circle holding hands with eyes closed saying and singing the word “Awen” next to the babbling stream as it entered the Harbour. Some of the group are photographed below before this took place.
After lunch, we considered sigils and used a monogrammatic technique inspired by the workings of Austin Osman Spare. The example photographed below was created by Julian to illustrate Spare’s working.
We also considered the magic of poetry: Julian shared some of the poems that affect him such as “Hymn to Pan” by Aleister Crowley, the works of Doreen Valiente and “Charge of the Goddess” from Eight Sabbats for Witches by Janet and Stewart Farrar. One member of the group found a poem in Arthur Mee’s Cornwall about Land’s End which particularly appealed to us all, here it is:
“I am the Sea! The earth I sway;
Granite to me is potter’s clay!
The iron cliffs that edge the land I grind to pebbles to sift to sand;
And beach grass bloweth and children play
In what were the rocks of yesterday.
It is but a moment of sport to me, I am the Sea!”
The day ended with each of us finding a special page in the “Silent Book” of the Tarot. We each selected a card and our homework was to go home and consider its meaning to us and the next step in our journey.
This was a wonderful day and we look forward to having another event hosted by Julian at the Museum soon.
The Museum changes its main window display as the seasons change and the Wheel of the Year turns. It feels really springlike in Boscastle at the moment and our new window display certainly suits the mood in the air: birds are singing, the sun is shining, it is warm and the plants are starting to come into life (hooray!) Here are some photos and texts from our current window display:
The Wheel of the Year – The Ancient Festivals
The year can be divided into eight major festivals which mark the passage of the Sun through the year and relate directly to the agricultural cycle. This is significant to many people (including witches) The current festival is:
Vernal Equinox – on or about 20th March
The vernal equinox marks the transition between the dark and light halves of the year. The Sun rises due East and sets due West giving 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. All is balanced.
Spring flowers have started to appear and the trees show signs of new life. The Goddess may be seen in the likeness of a hare, dancing and prancing in the fields.
The festival is dedicated to the Goddess Ostara after whom the Christian festival of Easter is named. Celebrate the Spring!
For the Vernal Equinox, the stag’s antlers have been decorated with painted wooden eggs and we also have a display of 19th and early 20th century Easter cards with egg/hare/rabbit themes.
Also in the window display are some sprigs of hazel and willow and also this driftwood plaque with the following text: