I don't make it to many festivals, even over the summer months. It's largely to do with the fact that I work weekends on 48 weeks of the year (people tend to be a bit upset if the Vicar doesn't turn up to church on Sundays!). But last weekend, on a day of annual leave, I went along to Pagan Pride (PP) in my home town of Nottingham.
I've been to PP once before, in 2014, so knew something of what to expect. The festival is a wonderful mixture of talks, workshops, dancing, bands and the chance to meet old friends and to make some new ones. There is also an eclectic mix of stalls selling clothes, books, jewellery and hand-crafted items ranging from musical instruments to wands.
The atmosphere at PP is very relaxed and friendly - there are folk from all sorts of spiritual paths but nobody is trying to prove a point about their own path or to convince anyone else that they should abandon theirs. Indeed, one of the talks I attended was given by Matt Arnold. Matt is a Christian minister who spoke about his journey from 'grey to deep green' and the way in which Pagan folk had both welcomed and enlightened him. The comments he received from the audience were ones of genuine interest and support. It was a wonderful thing to be part of.
Throughout the day, I was struck most strongly by the individuality of the festival-goers. It may be the clothes they wear, or the piercings and tattoos on display (lots of these!) or simply their willingness to turn up at the festival to declare their allegiance, but at Pagan Pride people seem to be free to express something of who they are. I came away from the festival feeling inspired to continue my own journey into the green, and to have a little more courage in expressing my individuality, too.
Goddess bless Pagan Pride. I'll definitely be there next year!