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Four go Camping by Ness Armstrong

This last weekend, the Kitchen Witch team of Rachel, Heather, Sue and I took ourselves to Nuneaton for our 2nd visit to the Pagan Tribal Gathering hosted by Pia and her fabulous crew. The Pagan Tribal Gathering is a long weekend set in a camping field called Upton Barns and is host to workshops, music, stalls selling all manner of goodies, rituals, firewalking and talks. There is also an onsite catering crew selling cooked breakfasts and other food throughout the day and there was also the most wonderful food outlet by the name of Fresh Rootz which provided us with the most delicious pakoras.

Prior to the day of travelling, much messaging was going back and forth working on the ritual, workshop and talk that we would be doing while we were there. There was also the conundrum of what to wear/pack etc. It's not uncommon here in the UK to pack an umbrella, a raincoat as well as a summer dress and sandals. “Do we have everything we need” we asked ourselves many times.

Thursday morning arrived and Sue and Rachel came to my house as they were travelling with me. Heather lives an hour and a half from me, so it was easier for her to make her own way to Nuneaton - a good shout as fitting 3 suitcases, several bags and 3 drums into my small boot was no mean feat and a game similar to Tetris ensued. Utisilising the spare space in the back seat, we were all packed and we headed off. The day was warm and sunny with just a smattering of cloud.

We arrived mid afternoon, collected our wristbands and found Heather who had arrived a little before us. Cases were taken to our lovely room and then we headed into the camping field to some familiar and lots of other smiling faces. People were putting up tents and shelters for their trades and there was lots of laughter and waving hands. The one thing that stood out to us from last year was how friendly the event and everyone in the camp was.

The lighting of the camp fire was at 6pm, with an opening ceremony and drumming. Large spots of rain began to come down but it didn’t last long as the sun reappeared from behind the clouds as Pia welcomed in the Phoenix. Looking around the field, there were lots of flags flying, everything was so colourful and it was an added bonus to see a huge number of dogs at the camp of many shapes and sizes. (we are all dog mummies)

Friday, we headed down to breakfast – al fresco – to a very warm morning. We were holding a Coventina Healing ritual in the Goddess Tent at 11am, so we grabbed what we needed and headed there. It was very welcome to be in the shade of the tent as it was getting very warm by then. Our ritual was well attended and it felt good to be doing an in-person ritual again. Our online ones are fabulous as it allows us to connect with people from all over the world, but it's good to shake it up a little. Lunch beckoned so we headed off to a lovely trailer called Fresh Rootz which was vegan/vegetarian and sold the most amazing pakoras. They were at the last camp and we said then that the food they produced was absolutely delicious!

An early night was had after a long day wandering the fields looking at the retail stalls, chatting to people that we knew and making new friends too.

Saturday was even hotter than Friday and we had another busy day ahead. Rachel had a talk at 11am on her book ‘The Triple Goddess’ which always prompts many questions and feedback, which is very welcome. We feel that we learn things from the audience and we go away with plenty of food for thought. We managed to fit in a workshop by our friend Suzi Edwards-Goose on making a blessings bag before Rachel’s book signing at 1pm, which left Sue, Heather and I to host our first Kitchen Witch workshop without Rachel. I thought I would be nervous on the day, but actually, we all felt very relaxed and looking forward to it. Both events went very well and we spent the rest of the afternoon having a final wander before packing up our stuff for the impending journey home. The Pagan Tribal Gathering is a a thoroughly enjoyable gathering of like-minded people, friendly and well run, where you can make new friends and catch up with old ones, shop, relax and just enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Let's see what 2024 brings...

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