Each week we meet the Londoners who make this city so special. This week, we chatted to Cathbodva Clarity, organiser of witch-based conferences.
That’s a nice dress.
‘Thank you. Witches only wear medieval gear like this on special occasions. But I wore this dress at my wedding. I’m wearing a cloak too, as it’s very normal in a Wiccan ritual.’
What significance does it have?
‘It keeps you warm. A lot of rituals are outside. It’s important to practise our beliefs, but we don’t want to be chilly.’
You should try holding events inside.
‘We do. I’m organising this year’s Witchfest. Usually 3,000 to 5,000 people come. There are traders meeting all your witchy needs – for example, wand salesmen – and there’s a party with rock DJs until 2am. All held in Croydon.’
Sorry, did you say Croydon?
‘Yeah, Croydon is a very witchy place. The Wiccan organisation I work for – Children of Artemis – has been there for 20 years, so a lot of witches move here. Croydon has more witches per square mile than anywhere I can think of other than Glastonbury.’
Next you’ll be saying that witches don’t use eye of newt…
‘We don’t. We get a lot of non-Pagans at Witchfest, and I think that’s why: to check we’re not sacrificing chickens or dancing with a devil. In fact, most pagans don’t even believe in the devil.’
Witchfest is at Croydon Fairfield Halls on Saturday November 9. For more info check out witchfest.net.