Pagan Spirit Gathering was not my first festival, but this was my first time seeing so many pagans in one spot. Before I traveled to this fest in particular, I had been to ones with about 300-500 attendees. This one had nearly 1000 people. It was an awesome experience to be surrounded by that many pagans. So I a writing this review based on my experiences at previous festivals and I hope to do my best to describe the feelings I felt while in attendance.
What I Liked
I liked the sense of community that all of us shared together. It felt nice to be able to be free and not have to hide anything about my primal pagan side. Most of the people were open too, I only felt that closed off energy from 1 or 2 people I came across. I also liked the set up of the day. Workshops were held after lunch time, leaving time for people to sleep in, get up and get moving and still not have to miss a workshop. I also liked that so many people lit torches at night around their tents.. it was almost impossible to see otherwise and I do not like tripping over tent stakes.
What I loved
I loved many things about this festival. I loved the quality of the workshops, which as I discussed with Selena Fox, I have had bad experiences with in the past. I actually went to a local meet up with workshops that had a girl just reading us her tarot book instead of actually teaching the workshop. Here at PSG, the people actually knew what they were talking about and made me feel like I could learn something. When you have been involved with paganism as long as I have, that is hard to find.
I also loved the Rituals. I have never been one for public rituals. A combination of being empathic and me not feeling comfortable with the way other people do rituals has always turned me off to them. The way they were done at PSG, they were very open to many paths. During the Croning ritual, Selena instructed us to connect to the universe or deity of our choice in the tradition that we connected to most. And that made me feel comfortable enough to actually enjoy the ritual at hand.
The shopping was incredible. The items that people had were mostly hand made. It was so nice to be able to browse and find things that were one of a kind pieces of art. And to be able to see them up close and personal and feel the energy first hand that was put into their creation. Wonderful. If you plan to go to PSG in the future I suggest taking money, and cash, since the ATM kept crashing from all the use of the WiFi at the site. Don't be surprised if you are wanting to spend 100$ or more.
What I would have changed
All of my major beefs with the festival were all related to the actual site. I would have had more flush toilets, and cleaned them more often. And more showers. I would suggest some outdoor showers or more just because of the lines we had to wait on to get there. And be warned, your feet will not be clean till at least 2 showers are taken once you are home.
If you plan to go
Bring socks to sleep in, it got chilly at night and this was the best way to keep my nasty dirty feet from making a mess and to stay warm. Do not plan to go online. I still cant figure out why people would want to be online at a place like this, but the network was constantly crashing from overuse. Bring cash, make a budget and bring that amount of cash for the whole trip. Bring extra clothes, it got very muddy, and chilly at night. Bring flip flops for the shower, they are gross and hard on the feet. Prepare to take the quickest shower of your life. Just go for the entire week unless you literally can not take the time off work. Bring pre-made cards with your contact info on them to exchange with others whom you wish to stay in contact with.
The Bottom Line
I will be going again, next time for a full week. The only thing that could keep me from going would be that I couldn't afford it or I was medically unable.