Pagan Student Association holds spring Faerie Festival


The Appalachian Online

Kelsey Hamm

The Pagan Student Association will hold its fourth annual Faerie Festival on April 16 on Sanford Mall to celebrate Beltane, the Pagan celebration of spring, said junior psychology major and PSA historian Elizabeth Robinson.

The fourth annual event will include field day events, face painting, a craft table, tarot readings, a story tent and a blow-up jousting arena.

“It originally started in conjunction with the old masquerade ball we used to do, but this is a nice way to welcome to spring and have visibility on campus,” Robinson said.

PSA President Michael Barry, a senior sustainable development major, will hold a Pagan ritual demonstration at the event.

“We want to demonstrate who stands where, what kinds of prayers, and what kind of offerings are usually given,” Robinson said.

The event will help students de-stress in the wake of exams, said Shane Donat, junior industrial design major and PSA vice president.

“In the past we did this event directly before exams,” Donat said, “but this gives everyone a chance to breathe and be out in nature. It also brings an understanding that we’re pretty normal people and want to have fun with everyone, and that the Pagan Student Association is an inclusive and safe place.”

The word Pagan is an umbrella term used to describe many different religions, and Robinson said that the club is for everyone.

The club has a wide variety of students, including Hellenistic, Asatru, which is Norse, Kemetic, which is Egyptian and people who generally worship the earth which is more along the lines of the druid.

Erika Branch, a sophomore social work major, is attending the festival specifically for the tarot card reading.

“Many of my friends are Pagan and although I go back and forth in my own practice, this festival is incredibly important,” Branch said. “As far as representation goes on campus, we’re very outnumbered- having a day like this is really uplifting.”

The PSA holds a wide variety of events and presentation throughout the year, including a Halloween Ball.

“This year we’ve done presentations on an indigenous people, feminist views, wand making, charm bags and kitchen witchery – which is giving intention to your cooking. We also did an apocalypse series, about how each religion has a way that the world will end.”

Thursday’s festival will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be free and open to the public.

Story: Kelsey Hamm, Intern A&E Reporter