For years, witches and pagans have been shunned by mainstream society. But with more exposure, festivals that celebrate their practices are increasingly common.
Mystic Fest is one of the largest metaphysical gatherings in the midwest that lets vendors book a table to provide their services and products to participants. According to founder Charlie Odorizzi, the acceptance of mystical spirituality has changed a lot since he started the event in 1996.
“I think it [mystical spirituality] is a lot more accepting than when I started this back in 1996. People have learned that there is a lot more than we can actually grasp in this world,” Odorizzi said.
According to a henna tattoo artist at Mystic Fest, Samantha McCulloch, mystical spirituality has become more popular due to exposure.
“People are starting to realize that we have different words for the same concepts, and we’re actually looking for similar things,” McCulloch said.
Odorizzi said other mystical fests at the time inspired him to start the festival because he thought they were charging vendors too much for a booth at the time.
“I thought to myself, ‘I can definitely do this, I think I can do it better, and I know I can do it cheaper for the vendors,’” Odorizzi said.
This year, Mystic Fest was held on Oct. 2 and 3 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The festival was free to attend had around 100 metaphysical vendors selling crystals, tarot readings, aura photography and more.
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