Pagan Student Association holds 17th annual Faerie Fest


Photo Courtesy of App State Pagan Student Association

The App State Pagan Student Association put on its annual Faerie Fest in Sanford Mall on Saturday.

Landree Person

The 17th annual Faerie Fest took place April 13 on Sanford Mall, where students walking by could see colorful jousting inflatables, a card-reading station and a cotton candy machine. Organized by the App State Pagan Student Association, Faerie Fest is an event meant to educate the App State community about Paganism and ancient Celtics.

Paganism represents a wide variety of traditions that focuses on ritual with a reverence for nature and a revival of ancient polytheistic religious practices. Modern Paganism refers to many pre-Christian religions. Ancient Celts are people referring to those practicing the culture and language in the countries of Scotland, Ireland and other parts of the British Isles.

Senior recreation manager and secretary of The Pagan Student Association Lessie Hall said, “We don’t exclude anyone, and you never have to walk in the door and declare yourself. We accept everybody, and we want to hear how everyone experiences their religion, and we want to learn about how everyone can cooperate together.”

She said this was the biggest misconception about their club and something more people would understand. The reason why it is so important for this student organization to broadcast their ideas and welcoming message across campus aligns with the inclusive and educational goals of Faerie Fest.

The Pagan Student Association incorporates their interests and collaboration of member’s ideas into educating the public on a wide variety of topics including plant magic, hermeticism, and Greek and Norse mythology.

Pagan Student Association vice president and senior biology major Ashlyn Cornelius spoke about the importance of each member of the club teaching different Pagan traditions and practices during each meeting. After club members learn more about each practice, they are able to educate the public at events such as Faerie Fest.

“This is all part of not fearing and more of understanding who we are,” Cornelius said.

“Faerie Fest has been a tradition since the club began, and it’s one of our two major events that we have every year,” president of the Pagan Student Association and senior computer science major Justyn Cook said. “It is to celebrate, Wicca related, one of the most important Sabbats. Beltane signifies spring turning into summer. Historically, it was the time of year when herders release their sheep into the fields.”

Wicca is one of the Pagan religions taught and learned by the members of the groups. Sabbat is one of the celebrations of the Earth’s natural timed rhythms in the journey around the sun or Wheel of the Year. Beltane is the transition point marking the change from spring to summer on the Wheel of the Year.

There was also a Pagan questionee at the festival who was knowledgeable about the club and Paganism. They answered questions attendees had about Faerie Fest and the history of Paganism.

To gain more attention from new students visiting campus, the event was held during spring open house.

The club has 20-30 members and meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Snake Mountain in the Plemmons Student Union.