Yesterday, I entered a magical adventure into Fairyland, at the New Forest Fairy Festival in Burley, the home of the New Forest Fairies.
The New Forest Fairy Festival takes place every year in the heart of one of the most enchanted places in the UK that so happens to be on my doorstep.
Burley is a truly charming village situated in the heart of the stunning New Forest with pretty thatched cottages and darling New Forest ponies roaming around.
Each village in the New Forest has something enchanting and unique about it, but in particular, Burley, hidden away deep in the majestic New Forest, is one known for its natural beauty, quaint streets and even a little bit of magic.
Witchcraft and magic has played a fascinating role within the village history. During the late 1950s, a famous resident named Sybil Leek, a white witch, lived in the village and was often seen walking around in her long black cloak with her pet jackdaw sitting on her shoulder. With the locals upset by her presence, Sybil sadly then moved to America where she continued studying and writing about the occult and astrology, but her influence remains.
However, to this day, Burley has become well-known for its connections to witchcraft. One of the shops in Burley called ‘A Coven of Witches’ was not only named by Sybil, but you can also find a portrait of Sybil hanging above the Jacobean fireplace.
So having the New Forest Fairy Festival held in such a special, mystical spot is very special indeed and the event combines so much magic past and present to make it a highly enchanting and enlightening weekend for all.
Sadly this year, due to the strong winds, the Saturday date was cancelled. But nevertheless, tickets for the New Forest Fairy Festival are just £10 for an adult and £5 for children (under 5s go free).
Once inside, it was truly a feast for the eyes, with so many adorned in their best sparkle and fairy wings. And even the darling dogs and pet who attended dressed up in wings for the magical occasion!
It was also so lovely to see the variety of attendees, from Fairies, Steampunk Fairies, Greenman, Elves, Wizards, Witches, Fae Folk and Dragons, had all come out to play for the most magical day of the year. From face painting to sparkle braids, the glitter only seemed to intensify in its sparkle in the summer sunshine, and people came together to browse the activities or bring their picnics and set up camp in the peaceful surroundings.
With over 80 workshops, demos and activities, the New Forest Fairy Festival is a deeply mystical, whimsical and uplifting weekend for everyone.
There are handmade Arts and Crafts stalls, from jewellery to clothing to dreamcatchers, to a plethora of vegan food, to discover the magic of nature. Hopefully just some of the above will give you an idea to all the magic the day holds. As always, come prepared with cash if you can, however, some stall-holders will take cards.
Outside of the stalls, your mind and soul are then treated to live music, from enchanting musicians to belly dancers, to whimsical workshops and harmonious healing areas that will heighten your senses with love, empowerment and joy. I particularly enjoyed a truly fascinating talk on Tarot from Rudi.
The History of Fairies
Whether it is because of my deep Celtic roots, or something else sparked in childhood, I have always been fascinated by the history of fairies. But are you aware of the history of fairies?
In folklore, a faerie is one of a class of supernatural beings, generally conceived as having a tiny human form and possessing magical powers with which they intervene in human affairs.
There are over a thousand variety of faeries throughout legend and lore around the world. Almost every culture has some form of faerie being who interacts with humans. Some cause havoc others to protect or help!
The spiritualists of the west tend to focus on faeries of Europe, but they do exist all over the world and can even be found in Japan, China, India and in many shamanistic cultures of Native American Indians, African tribes and Australian Aborigines!
Generally, faeries are highly connected to nature and take care of the natural world or what some might call the ‘elemental world’. They bring the spring and help the nature kingdom wake up from its long winter slumber. They work through the summer to help nature grow and into the fall to direct nature through its transition into winter. And in winter they bring the snows and watch over the natural world while it sleeps. Other legends have the faeries watching over the vortex elements of nature. These elements being earth, air, fire and water. They use these elements to support the natural courses of nature as it moves around the Divine circle of change; birth, life, death and spirit.
There is just so much history about faeries that is fascinating, and if you want to read more into this, I highly recommend you do! Fairy lore is particularly prevalent in Ireland, Cornwall, Wales, and Scotland and through Scandinavia, all a huge part of my identity.
I also love to read about fairies in literature from the Middle Ages and in art. They appear in the writings of the Italians Matteo Boiardo and Ludovico Ariosto. Also the English poet Edmund Spenser, the Frenchman Charles Perrault, and the Dane Hans Christian Andersen, among others.
I truly hope this post has swept you up in an enchanting world of magic, wanderlust and whimsicality. How many of have been to the New Forest Fairy Festival? Or how many also adore faeries like me?