Monday 22 May 2023

Pictures from the Magical Sussex Faerie Festival 2023

Here are some photos I took at the Sussex Faerie Festival 2023. It's always a lovely event and is nestled in a beautiful valley in the South Downs in Sussex. 

You reach the venue along a winding country lane from a lovely village, there are wooded slopes on two sides and a wildflower-covered hill rising at the far end. The Faerie Festival website explains more about why the site is so perfect: 

"The words 'alf' and 'risten' in old Saxon literally translates as 'elf settlement'. So it's no surprise that the picturesque village Alfriston, which is nestled in the Sussex downs makes such a wonderful location for Faerie Festival!"

Every year the festival lasts over a long weekend and this year it was from Friday 19 - Sunday 21 May. The weather was perfect - warm and sunny and perfect for a camping event with entertainment, a market and workshops. I've been several times over the years and the weather is usually kind, but even when it's less gorgeous than this I've always had a brilliant time. The festival website continues, explaining why the event is so lovely: 

"Each year visitors travel far and wide to celebrate the world of faeries with mystical entertainment and uplifting workshops. Community is at the heart of what we do and visitors always comment that the weekend is like a big faerie family gathering."

This year I ran a workshop on Magic for May on the Saturday, where people made pictures of green people and creatures using floraged foliage, then went on a guided visualisation to meet the green person of the forest. I also had on show a few of the very first copies of my book Pagan Portals - Rounding the Wheel of the Year, which is officially not coming out for another couple of months.

The photo at the top of this post shows one of the stalls in the market - the hugs were free, not the rugs, although the rugs were very nice and I saw several people sitting on similar things while watching the entertainment. In the next photo down you can see people watching enthusiastic local Sussex drummers. Then there's a moment captured when a Scottish dancer and a Lithuanian singer combined their talents for a multi-cultural performance. At the bottom is a photo I took of the inside of the Goddess Temple tent, which was new to the festival this year and was a place for quiet contemplation as well as group meditations.

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