If you’ve ever wondered what the Pagans in your community get up to when they host a celebration, this event is for you.
Pagans from all over Vancouver Island will gather on Saturday, Aug. 17 to celebrate and Share the Harvest for the 15th annual Vancouver Island Pagan Pride Day.
The simplest way to explain who pagans are is by comparing them to Christians, said Candy McKivett of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Canada. “Christianity includes a variety of religious groups with different practices, like Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and Baptists,” McKivett explained in a media release. “Pagan is an umbrella term that encompasses a diverse group of spiritual beliefs and practices. Some people are Wiccans or Druids, some follow Heathen, Nordic or Celtic traditions. Most Pagan beliefs are based on a reverence for the earth and others also include a goddess or god in their tradition.”
Pagan Pride Day is part of the Global Pagan Pride Project, which aims to foster pride in Pagan identity through education, activism, charity and community, with those four inspirations aligning with the four elements of air, fire, water and earth. “If you’ve never participated in a pagan or Wiccan ritual, this is a great opportunity to find out more,” McKivett added.
“We embrace charity by collecting cash and non-perishable food donations for our Share the Harvest cauldron, our way of giving back to our local communities,” she noted. The Goldstream Food Bank and Life Cycles Community Projects will be assisted through Share the Harvest this year. Participants are encouraged to make a donation
The free family event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fernwood Community Centre will feature entertainment by local musicians and performers interspersed with rituals that those in attendance are encouraged to participate in. Members of pagan groups will host tables and workshops to answer questions, and there will be a wide range of astrologers, psychics, and tarot and oracle card readers at the museum, as well as reiki practitioners, crystal therapists and spiritual healers. A wide range of vendors will also be on site, featuring unique clothing, jewelry, artwork, pottery, organic soaps and skincare products along with a comprehensive collection of Pagan items and supplies.
People attending are encouraged to demonstrate their reverence for Mother Earth by using public transit, cycling or walking to the festival. The Fernwood Community Centre is at 1240 Gladstone Ave. Organizers advise that the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Centre and the Fernwood Community Centre are not involved in or responsible for the content of the festival.