Occulture the very first festival of spiritual freedom took place in Brighton in 2000. Its remit to protect the rights and freedoms of those working in the esoteric domain. Festival celebrants were later accused in the press of animal sacrifice while some local evangelists tried to approach venues to ban the events. Such were the times. So began the journey to respect and refuge.
By 2001 the British Government brought in the Human Rights Act to enshrine religious belief while the notorious Witchcraft Act 1735 was finally repealed. Eleanor Bone (The Matriarch of British Witchcraft) aged 91 gave a historical address to the festival from her home in Cumbria, northern England. She recalled when she first initiated into the Craft it was still illegal to be a Witch, she gave blessings that those dark ages were finally over. Her live recording saw some audience members brought to tears- it was then people realised Occulture was a very unique event.
The 2002 festival saw the Mayor of Brighton formally open the event and greet the representative of his Holiness the Dalai Lama – Mrs Takla. Amnesty International understood the purpose of the festival and took part in it.
In a radical shift 2003 was navigated by a stiletto wearing, saxophone playing transvestite Mark Ramsden in honour of the LBGT community who had been stalwart supporters of the festival.
Wiccan High Priest Sir Ralph Harvey who formally opened every single festival was recognised and respected by the Maori, the Hopi and the Bedouin as a man of great insight for he saw that our collective future was on honouring our numinous roots. Sir Ralph was entrusted with safeguarding a sacred artefact of the Maori which he returned to their people once danger had averted. Such trust is built through mutual understanding and solidarity.
International pianist Wim van Dulleman of the Gurdjieff dancers said during Occulture 2003 ‘The History of mankind is about raping, pillaging corn and murder. Here at Occulture people have learnt to respect one another.’
(c) Occulture 2022