The Pagan Phoenix Southwest Spring Conference is an event where Pagans can celebrate, learn, and enjoy together. We aim to bring you the very best Pagan and magical speakers, artists and musicians.
It is held annually at the beginning of March on a Saturday. The programme varies each year but is composed of a range of talks relevant to Paganism and magic, stalls selling local crafts during the day and an evening of music with a pagan theme. A charity raffle is run at the conference but, in addition to this, any surplus funds will be donated to charity and if you attend the conference, you will be invited to vote as to which charities we should support. We will announce each year’s selected charity with the conference programme.
There is a concessionary ticket rate and we will continue to offer two-for-one tickets for people with disabilities who require a carer in order to attend (see below). Conference attendees are very welcome to make suggestions for speakers, and performers. Accommodation is organized through our good friends at Penstowe, although alternative accommodation is available locally.
For those of you who travel down early, we also hold a ‘Fiendish Pagan Quiz’ on the Friday night before the conference, usually followed by music by a local performer.
We have been fortunate to be supported by a number of eminent and wise speakers over the years; such as Prof. Ronald Hutton, Rae Beth, Marion Green, Vivienne Crowley, Philip Carr-Gomm, Penny Billington, Julian Vayne and many more. We will continue to invite a range of speakers on every aspect of Paganism and relevant subjects such as Folklore and Archaeology. However, we also wish to hear about new and up-coming speakers to add to the diversity of the conference.
Disability access and support at our Penstowe conferences
All Pagans, Witches, Druids, Heathens, Magicians and like-minded folk are equally welcome at our conferences, irrespective of ability, medical conditions etc. We aim to do everything we can to make your visit a happy one. Some members of our team are themselves disabled and others are carers so we hope that we have a reasonable level of disability awareness.
In addition to a programme of speakers, we have a number of stalls selling Pagan-related goods throughout the day. Our priority is to provide stalls that sell hand-made or similar goods made by Pagan ‘crafts people’, with an emphasis on those from the South West, as we like to support our local community. We welcome applications from ‘crafts people’ of all kinds and we love the skill, artistry, and ingenuity that characterize the ‘crafts people’ and artists we are able to support.
There is, however, one exception
The Story of the Fifth Elephant stall
In a Pagan ritual long ago someone accidentally said “elephants” instead of “elements”, causing much hilarity and total chaos.
Soon afterwards, it was decided to boost our charity fundraising efforts at the Penstowe conference by having a sort of bring-and-buy stall at which people could donate their unwanted Pagan and magical possessions and other people could buy them, with all the proceeds going to charity.
“What, you mean like a white elephant stall?” someone asked. Someone else pointed out that this made us sound a bit like a church fete. Then someone else remembered the “elephants” incident (it may well have been the person who had said “elephants” in the first place; you know who you are…) and that wonderful movie, The Fifth Element, and the Fifth Elephant Stall was born. It has become a long-running and much-loved feature of the conference; it makes us giggle, and we hope you will cherish it as much as we do and want to participate.
We would like to invite you to bring along any Pagan or magical themed possessions that you no longer want in your life (eg books, artefacts, artworks, jewellery, music etc.) for sale on the stall. They should be saleable (ie not too broken/ over-loved) and Pagan/ magic-related (not just general stuff which you can take to the charity shop ) and please no food/ drink/ comestibles as we are not allowed to sell those. If ridding yourselves of these items leaves a horrible hole in your life, you can always buy someone else’s stuff from the stall.
Items for the Fifth Elephant Stall can be given to the organising team on Friday evening or when you arrive on Saturday.
All money raised from the sale of goods on the Fifth Elephant Stall will be donated to our chosen good causes: Surfers Against Sewage and the Africa project. Any left overs will be given to charity shops.
Make the Fifth Elephant smile…
The on-site restaurant and bar are run by Penstowe (NOT by Pagan Phoenix SW). Vegetarian and vegan food are available. If you have other specific dietary requirements or allergies, please let Penstowe know so that they can make sure cater for you. Tables can be booked in advance with the staff at Penstowe.
Pagan Phoenix SW has signed up to the Code of Practice for behaviour at Pagan and Heathen events (see the full code). This means that our conference is a safe space where Pagans and like-minded folk can celebrate, enjoy and learn together. We will not tolerate abusive, threatening, discriminatory or insulting behaviour towards any of our guests, including people with disabilities. In the unlikely event of such behaviour occurring, the perpetrators will be removed immediately.