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‘Life-changing’ Festival of Witches & Pagans raises £20,000 for charities

Witches festival

A popular festival for Witches and Pagans held in the Midlands has raised over £20,000 for charitable causes, with attendees praising the event as ‘life-changing’. 

The festival, which returned to Fillongley near Coventry for the third year in a row, was set up to remove the taboo around witches and pagans and has become one of the biggest events of its kind in the UK, attracting people from across the UK. 

Witches festival

Its latest event on May 11th and 12th at the Heart of England Conference Centre attracted around 2,500 people including experienced witches, lifelong pagans, druids, and also people keen to learn more or just enjoy a family-friendly weekend. 

The festival included a range of rituals and workshops as well as events including a Viking Feast, a Witches’ Ball and children’s activities. A peace ritual was live-streamed so people in war-torn areas including Gaza and Ukraine could see support for them from afar, while night-time rituals included ‘rite of necromancy’ helping people reach out to loved ones they have lost.

The event also raised £20,000 for charitable causes, split between 19 organisations across a range of sectors. They include locally-based Zoe’s Place, Nuneaton & Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary and Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, as well as organisations within paganism such as Witchfest, Pagan Aid and the Pagan Seminary, along with national charities Refuge, Wild Justice and the MND Association.

Witches festival

Julie Aspinall, from the Coventry-based Coven of Gaia, who first launched the festival, said: “The festival was the best we’ve ever had, not just because of how many people came or how much we raised for amazing charities, but for the huge difference it has made. The first person who spoke to me at the festival came to thank me, saying last year she had nothing to live for and was on the edge and someone had voted her into the retreat we paid for last year. She said it changed her life.

“The group stayed close so she has a support network, she doesn’t have the dark depression any more and life is all good – she has a reason to live. That’s why I do the festival – to make a difference to people, whether it’s at the festival or thanks to it.”

Witchcraft and paganism has experienced a growth in interest in recent years, reflected in the Festival of Witches and Pagans’ huge popularity, attracting thousands of people from across the UK to its events since it was launched in 2021. 

As well as specific rituals and main events, the festival features workshops including spellcraft, wand making, crystals, flower crowns, pagan sign language and more, and festival-goers also enjoy yoga and meditation sessions and family-focused entertainment and workshops.

Although not a registered charity, the Festival for Pagans and Witches operates as a not for profit organisation, with any money made put back into the running of the next festival and to help others. This year, ticket holders proposed and voted for charitable causes to receive a share of £20,000 from the festival profits, hence the 19 organisations set to receive a donation from the event.

Witches festival

Julie added: “This year we asked our festival-goers to propose charities they would like to see an immediate donation go to. Following a democratic vote we will be distributing funds to those charities, which are a mixture of local organisations, pagan-focused groups and national charities. This festival was always aimed at helping others and this is another way we can do that, along with providing somewhere for people to come and spend time without judgement or taboo.

“Plans are already in the pipeline for next year’s event. We have decided to go from two biannual festivals to one single three-day event, starting in May 2025, with even more on offer than ever before. We can’t wait.”

For more information on the Festival For Pagans and Witches, visit www.afestivalforpagansandwitches.co.uk