March Pagan Festivals & Conferences

Fire pit at Raven's Knoll (courtesy photo)

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MIAMI (TWH) –  The Spring Equinox has many meanings. In the Northern Hemisphere, spring begins. In the Southern Hemisphere, Fall begins. The Sun moves into the sign of Aries. It also marks the start of the Pagan Festival Season.

Paganism & Its Discontents 

Cherry Hill Seminary

Cherry Hill Seminary presents this conference and intensive March 15 thru March 17, 2019. The conference examines the differences found within Pagan communities that revolve around inclusiveness.

Some of the topics to be discussed: Pagan ideas and symbols and how hate groups have tried to co-opt them, racism that can present as reconstructionism, the prevalence of Irredentist ideas in various mythologies, and the re-emergence of ethno-nationalism and how it is impacting events.

The keynote speaker is Michael F. Strmiska, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of World History in the Global Studies Department at SUNY-Orange in New York State.

Diana Paxton representing The Throth is the guest speaker.

The entire schedule is available online and registration is still open.

Cherry Hill Seminary is the host and sponsor of this event.

Sacred Space Conference 2019

This conference will take place from March 21 to March 24 in Hunt Valley, Md, which is close to Baltimore. The program for this conference describes it as “geared toward serious and more advanced practitioners” in the mid-Atlantic region. It has a goal to “build infrastructure for advanced practitioners.”

Altars at Sacred Space.

Altars at Sacred Space [courtesy]

Featured presenters include Andras Corban-Arthen, H. Byron Ballad, and Patheos columnist, John Beckett. Sometimes a conference focused on advanced practitioners will have a very narrow range. The conference, however, has a very eclectic mix of presenters. Presenters come from the following traditions among others: ADF, Assembly of the Wheel, British witchcraft, ceremonial magic, CUUPs, Distelfink Sippschaft, eclectic Paganism, Order of the Elemental Mysteries, Radical Faeries, shamanism,Silver Branch priesthood, Stone Circle Wicca, Temple of the Spiral Path, the Minoan Brotherhood, the Troth, Theophania Temple, Universal Temple of Spirits, Wicca, and witchcraft,

In 2020 The Sacred Space and Between the Worlds Conferences will hold a joint conference.

Sacred Space Foundation produces this conference.

Phoenix Phyre 2019

This festival occurs from March 20, 2019 to March 24, 2019 in Lakeland, Florida. The “shiny, happy people drum tribe” provides the beat for the drum circle. Spiral Rhythm provides the “official” entertainment.

Drummer’s Altar at Phoenix Phyre [Photo Credit: Lisa Perez Darmana

This festival will have workshops on Reiki, sweat lodges, and trance dancing. One workshop will explore archery and magic. Featured guests include Rae Moonwind, Niki Kissel, Grey Ghosthawk, Grandmother Elspeth, and Ginger Ackley. Ghosthawk is the High Priest of Four Winds Lodge. That lodge is part of the Aquarian Tabernacle Temple (ATC). Grandmother Elspeth is also from the ATC.

The Phoenix Festivals, Inc. produces this event.

Paganicon 2019

Paganicon 2019 will occur from March 22 to March 24 in Plymouth, Minn., 12 miles (19.3 km) outside of Minneapolis. Paganicon’s website describes its audience as “Pagans, Wiccans, Heathens, Druids and people of other folk, craft, indigenous, or magickal traditions.”

Paganicon has named two people as its Guests of Honor: Dr. Beverly Smith and Kristoffer Hughes. The Paganicon website describes Dr. Beverley Smith as a “two-headed Conjure Doctor, a bone reader, and Rootworker who teaches divination and herbal magic in the Hoodoo/Conjure tradition.”

Kristoffer Hughes, heads the Anglesey Druid Order. Hughes has written three books: “From the Cauldron Born: Exploring the Magic of Welsh Legend & Lore,” “The Book of Celtic Magic,” and “The Journey into Spirit: A Pagan’s Perspective on Death, Dying and Bereavement.” Hughes speaks Welsh like a native, because he grew up speaking it.

Featured guests include Reverend Jean ‘Drum’ Pagano, Gogo Nyadze Ndara, and Cerri Lee. Pagano has been Archdruid of ADF since 2016. Ndara, a healer, has trained in the aNcient Zulu tradition of Sangoma. Cerri Lee, has been a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids since 1997. More recently, she has joined the Anglesey Druid Order.

This year Paganicon has as its special guests “Healing Roots.” This group focusses on ”the social construction of whiteness – its history, how it produces structural racism, and what European Americans have lost because of it.”

Paganicon offers over 100 workshops and, at least, four rituals. Sometimes, the thin line between rituals and workshops blurs.

A quick survey of the workshops showed representation for the following Pagan traditions and interests: African Traditional Religion, Druidry, Feminist Spirituality, Heathenry, Eclectic Paganism, Kemetic Paganism, Sumerian Paganism, Welsh (Cymru) Paganism, and Wicca, among others.

Tuatha Dea and Damh the Bard will be performing and leading workshops. Twin Cities Pagan Pride produces this event.

Brigid and the Fae: PaganFaire 2019

“Brigid and the Fae” will occur on March 24, in Portland Oregon. While produced by a women’s circle, SisterSpirit, this festival is open to men. SisterSpirit is not only trans inclusive, but they also named their emergency fund in honor of a deceased transwomen, Michelle.

This festival will feature Morris dancers and Courtney Weber, author of “Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magic of the Celtic goddess.”

SisterSpirit is a women’s circle celebrating the Goddess and Nature through female imagery in many traditions. It produces this event.

*Ghosti-Con

*Ghosti-Con will occur in Albany from March 28 to March 31. “*Ghosti,” one of the nine virtues of ADF, refers to “the reciprocal relationships of hospitality.” Hospitality and reciprocity are the themes of this festival.

According to ADF, “the * at the beginning of the word just means that it’s a word reconstructed by linguists and not attested in literature or archeology.” Linguists theorized that this word would exist in their reconstruction of a proto-Indo-European language from which all other Indo-European languages evolved.

Non-ADF members are welcome. Unlike most Pagan festivals, the *Ghosti-con festival will occur in a hotel.

This festival will have three rituals including an Oracular Seidhr ritual. In this Norse ritual, a seer goes into a deep trance to answer questions.

Workshops include the following: “Outsiders in the Ancient Indo-European World,” “Pocket Magic – Crafting Medicine Bags,” “Protection Magic: Why, When, How,” and “Ritual Inclusion for Persons with Special Needs.”

Some more “fun” workshops include a craft hour, “The Drunken Botanist,” and “Truffle Making.”

The Tear of the Cloud Grove, ADF produces this event.

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Not everyone has the time, money, or ability to go Pagan Festivals. These events do, however, represent living products of Pagan communities. Almost all have websites. It’s a good way to learn about current trends among Pagans.

Editorial Note: The Wild Hunt correspondents attend a variety of events throughout the calendar year. The events that are covered in person by a correspondent is entirely dependent on locality, access, and resources.