Pagan festivals and gatherings are wondrous, life altering events! After bouncing around #witchblr and a few other pagan social media accounts for a few months, I was amazed that there are so many people who desire a pagan community, but have never been to a pagan festival. I decided to put together a list of all of the reasons why you should go to one, even if you’re a solitary.
1. You’ll Make Awesome New Friends
In my experience, 99% of the people who go to pagan events are extremely kind and interesting. You can be yourself, out of the broom closet and any other closets! Diversity is welcomed and celebrated. I’ve met so many people at pagan events who accepted me unconditionally. They’re usually very easy to talk with, whether it’s your tent neighbor or someone you just met at a workshop.
These friendships can last beyond the campsite or the shared drinks by the bonfire. With the magic of social media, these people can populate your feed with spiritual stuff instead of the mundane, and that’s uplifting. And if you go back to the same festival next year, there’s a good chance you’ll see them again.
2. Community Vibe
When a lot of spiritual people come together, a community is formed. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live in a city with only pagans / Wiccans / Druids, etc., you should definitely go to a pagan festival. Just walking down the main road is liberating. People seem way happier there. It feels like home in a lot of ways. My pagan friends feel like family to me, both at the festival and beyond.
3. Rituals are Lit
I’ve felt chills at opening rituals. I experienced ecstatic revelations after a Dionysian ritual. I felt rebirthed and empowered after a women’s ritual. I was moved to tears at an effigy burning ritual. When the community comes together and raises energy, you might feel your spirit flutter, too. Big group rituals give you a chance to tap into those higher, mystical energies.
4. Workshops are Woke
One of my favorite things to do is to go through the list of workshops with a highlighter. Sometimes, it’s hard to decide between two or three particularly stimulating workshops.
Do I want to go to the sonic meditation workshop, or the Artemis ritual, or the fire dancer skill share?
Almost all of the workshops I’ve attended have been well-researched and thoughtfully put together. The people who lead them have usually been creating them for months, and they have wealths of knowledge. I’ve taken information from workshops and used it to my advantage. You can also learn a lot about pagan activism and get involved to make the world a better place.
5. Meet the Brightest Pagan Minds of Our Time
Some people like to talk about the history / herstory of our craft, but we’re making history in our current age, too. The special guests are usually pagan authors or leaders in one way or another. These people are immersed in their studies or practice, and have a lot to share. Their workshops and rituals are some of the best that the gatherings have to offer.
What’s even cooler is that these people usually aren’t pompous a$$hats. They’re open to conversation and questions, barring they don’t have to be somewhere. And who knows, maybe their autographed book will be worth a lot of money one day.
6. Ah, the Shops!All of the pagan events I’ve attended have had amazing shops. I love to peruse the pagan and occult books, the jewelry, the crystals and rocks, the clothing, and the homemade goods. It feels great to support pagan authors and businesses, and to get a memento of the festival (or two, or three). Some festival vendors even offer massages, readings, or something as unique as a caricature! Prices usually aren’t extraordinary, either.
Looking at my smoky quartz pendant I bought at midsummer, I can still feel the energy of those good times. Which leads me to #7 . . .
7. The Energy
By the second day, I start feeling so good. The energy at pagan festivals lights people up. All that unconditional acceptance and celebration lets our spirits expand and soar. We’re not only out of the broom closet, but we’re supported and buoyed by the community. It’s not just a trick of vacation-brain, either. The kinds of revelation and insights I experience are much deeper and brighter than any vacation I’ve ever taken. I think it has to do with all the freedom and celebration.
8. Celebrate the Sabbat with Style
A lot of gatherings honor a sabbat, or they might have a full moon, or a new moon during the festival. Experiencing this special time with like-minded people is exhilarating, especially if you’re a solitary.
9. Pagan Musicians are Magical
A lot of pagan events feature musicians. Listening to skilled pagans playing instruments and singing has been one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had at pagan events. I’ve never seen a musician at a pagan event I didn’t like.
If you aren’t familiar with their music, it can open a whole new world. Listening to their music in my car always brings me back to those festival days and that beautiful energy. I’ve even used the music in rituals with excellent results.
If you’re really lucky, your event will have drummers and people dancing around a bonfire. I’ve spent many nights twirling to timeless rhythms while a fire crackled and threw sparks to the starry heavens. . . Those are some of my favorite musicians of all, and I appreciate them so much.
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It’s time to look at the calendar and google what pagan events are near you. Maybe you can even use that tax return to attend a pagan festival. I hope to see you out and about this year! If it’s your first time, you’ll want to plan ahead for all the things you’ll need to bring, maybe join the event’s social media page, and do your best to follow good festival etiquette.
If you liked this article and are an introvert, check out this article: Enjoying Pagan Events as an Introvert. It’s full of tips and tricks to get through the festival and maintain a level of social interaction that’s right for you.
Happy festival season!