Hi all! I was recently lucky enough to attend Artemis Gathering 2019 – an gathering in the UK where people of different spiritual pagan paths and interests meet for a weekend of workshops and rituals. As mentioned before, I follow a Wiccan path but this event is pretty open for anyone interested in different areas of spirituality.
The 2019 Gathering
Unlike previous years, this year we had a new campsite location for Artemis, over at Kibblestone Scout Campsite in Staffordshire. There was quite an improvement on the facilities and a lot more space to camp which I appreciated. The new site had a proper shop and kitchen whilst still having lots of open green space to feel your escaped from your day job. We set up our tent area on the friday evening and spent the weekend exploring, sporting our best pagan attire.
There was a whole host of activities on over the weekend; from spell workshops, shamanic rituals, fairy magic talks and traditional dying and weaving. There was also a Wickerman Burning and a Fire Walking workshop which i’ll explain more about later. I had a seizure at the end of the shamanic ritual which caused some alternative opinions about my seizures to be offered. If nothing else, it’s always interesting to hear a new perspective!
The event also had live music and a great selection of pagan stalls. The chosen bands were great but they definitely suffered some technical difficulties in the hall they performed in. The hall was also quite small and what with being a bit out the way didn’t get the same vibe the outdoor tent had at the previous Gathering, and I hope they move the music back to being outside again!
On the stall front, one of my favourite jewelers, Blackbird Oak were there with a huge range of ethically sourced crystal pieces and my friends and I left with a lot of new purchases! There was also a nice range of hippie clothing and some gorgeous artwork.
Fire Walk Ceremony
A real highlight of this years Gathering for me was the Fire Walk. Last year having gotten quite soggy, we left on the sunday evening and didn’t partake in the fire walk. To be honest, i’d previously thought it was just a ceremonial procession so wasn’t super fussed!
Each fire walk is different depending on who’s running the workshop or what the intention is. This workshop had a focus on letting go and self evolution. Lighting the pyre with candles containing our emotions and later walking across those same hot coals visualising the version of yourself you wanted to become… It was an incredible experience (though the third time I did it I quite badly burnt my foot) and I would absolutely do it again!
As you can probably tell, I loved Artemis and am on the lookout for more pagan type festivals in the UK next year. If you know of any great ones, let me know! A big thank you as always, to my friends who helped me out when my disability issues flared up.
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