Moonlight Phoenix has risen

music, feminism, spirituality, words and more

30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 18: It’s Witchfest Tomorrow!

on November 14, 2014

I found out about Witchfest just last year and managed to get to it. I had an amazing time buying pretty goodies, and going to a great variety of talks and workshops. I enjoyed it so much I am going again this year! This year there seems to be even more great talks including ones on Faery Witchcraft and Shamanism. There are even dancing, laughter yoga and a make your own wand workshop. I’m hoping to have enough energy to catch some of the music this year too! here’s my blog from last year about it:

Yesterday I attended my very first Witchfest, an event that’s organised by the Children of Artemis, an organisation who not only spread a positive and truthful message about witchcraft and wicca, but also help witches and pagans by providing information and social outlets such as an online forum and events. They also have a magazine. For some reason Witchfest had passed me by but this year I found out about it and knew I had to go.

It’s at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, so from Southend it was something of a trek, meaning I had to get up at a stupidly early time, but a mix of excitement and being engaged with a book about a girl searching for faeries around the world including meeting Brian and Wendy Froud, I somehow managed to stay awake for the journey. When I finally arrived in Croydon, I wasn’t sure where to go but that didn’t last long when I noticed the gothicly dressed people, I followed them and I was soon queueing outside the venue where there was entertainment in the form of morris dancing from The Wild Hunt Bedlam Morris

Shortly after I could go in, and the place was full of all sorts of people, some more goths, some with witches hats, some with tall wands and yes even some dressed perfectly casually! That’s one of the great things I noticed about Witchfest, it’s a great opportunity to dress up in all your witchy finery (I decided upon a black dress) or you can go as you are- it doesn’t matter. There was even a few children there too. I went into the main hall for the introduction for the day in which we were told a little bit about witchfest and the children of artemis. Just after there was an opening blessing performed by Tyullan Penry which I found really positive and moving. There was a part where she said blessings to all the various people at the event and the audience chanted “Blessed Be” after each line, with a clap for the “Be” and there was a part where we breathed into our selves what we wanted from the event.

I then made my way to my first workshop of the day which was in a little room up the top of the building- it was a wand workshop, as I didn’t have a wand I thought it would be a great opportunity! We could choose between two types of wand, the one I picked was a Willow branch as I have always felt an affinity with the willow tree. We were shown how to charge the wand which we did there. As I did mine, I saw faeries, unicorns and lots of colour. I felt I could use the wand for healing as well as for general ritual use. We then had the option to decorate the wands as we chose, with a variety of materials available. I didn’t feel the need to sand mine down too much, I wanted it to be as natural as possible. I only used green and yellow paint on mine, I did try to do symbols on mine, but to be honest with you it does look quite messy and childlike! But I have decided not to change it, as I think it was the faeries wanting me to let my inner child out, and gives the wand playful qualities and joy.

After this I attended another talk by Tyullan Penry called ‘Sacred Shadows- Discovering Inner Shadows’ which was all about discovering our ancestors, and how we are all connected, and she spoke a bit about the work she has done researching the ice age for her book of the same name.

I had a bit of a break to look around and have lunch before going to a talk by Vivienne and Chris Crowley ‘The Mysteries of Samhain’. They had a slideshow and took it in turns to talk about the wheel of the year, how our ancestors used to live with the dead by having things like the ancient burial sites we’re aware of today and even some faerie folklore! I loved that they were both funny and almost child like. I really warmed to them and enjoyed what they had to say.

I took another break to look around the stalls before I went to The Writers workshop which was by Tyullan Penry again! I was expecting we would be doing some writing of some kind but it was more of a discussion, she gave some very good advice on topics such as self publishing, and about the industry in general. she was very open and honest, and answered lots of questions. I found her talk very motivating and inspiring.

The last workshop I did was a very brief meditation ‘Enchantment and Empowerment Journey’ by a dream mystic called Shodie. It involved going to the underworld to ‘enchant’ something into your life using chanting (but not out loud in this reality, just moving lips and saying it in the journey) feeling the idea coming to life, and then receiving an animal that then imbues the spirit of that wish and enters you. I won’t say what mine was about but the animal I got was an owl, who is also a recent new power animal for me.

I did attend the closing ritual but I was very tired so it went a bit over me, there was still a few workshops and music after but I decided to have a last look around and then make a move for the long journey back. In the end I got a rose quartz crystal pendulum, a faery necklace, some nag champa incense and some crystals (snakeskin jasper for Miguel, goldstone, howlite and malachite).

My overall summary of the day

The not so good- lack of vegan options for food, long journey, not much of a gap between workshops

The good- workshops and talks all free to get in, a lot of reasonably priced stalls, variety of people, good workshops and talks

overall a great day and I’d recommend it to anyone who is a witch or even is just curious.

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