This has taken us a while to write; how do you wrap words around what is happening around Australia at the moment? The land we love, that we are connected to, is burning. Thousands of people have lost their homes, some in our community. At last estimate over one and a quarter billion animals have died, many thousands more are injured, and the survivors face homelessness and starvation in a blackened land.
For so many of us as Pagans, our connection to nature is a huge part of our life and our practice. So many of us have lost sacred spaces as well as homes and livelihoods. The grief for the land is ever present now, and it will be with us for a long time.
Our hearts go out to those affected; both within the Pagan community and without, for we are a country united by the horror of this now. Our hearts go out to the First Nations people who have lost so much, and whose connection to Country runs many thousands of years deep, for whom this land is home to culture, history, spirits and family and language. Especially now, we acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands that have burned and are burning. They managed this land using fire guided by ancestral knowledge for millennia, and now watch it in agony.
Our hearts go out to the animals and birds, reptiles, insects, plants, fish, fungi, and all of the non-human creatures who share the varied and beautiful environments of this country, who have died or been injured, or who survive to face new challenges in a land without food, shelter, or water.
Our hearts go out to the spirits of the land.
It is easy to feel helpless in the face of a catastrophe so enormous. Perhaps we all do, to some extent. The numbers we hear are almost hard to comprehend; millions of hectares destroyed, hundreds of homes burned, over a billion animals dead. It’s a tidal wave of information, and it is overwhelming, especially when you feel the loss so deeply.
So what can we do? Below is a list of reputable charities to which we can donate. Even a dollar here and there, the price of a cup of coffee, a little small change, adds up. It all helps. There are some well-known charities we have left off this list because of their attitudes to the LGBTQ+ community, with whom the PCV always stands in support. Try to give to the organisations that view us all as equally human and equally worthy of help.
While the PCV does not usually get involved in secular politics, believing as we do in the separation of church and state, we now urge you to step up for the sake of the land. Lobby for better environmental policies, lobby to cease native animal culls in the aftermath of the fires, be the voice of the land, for all of those who cannot speak, but whose presence we have been enriched by, and whose country we share. Be a strong voice, a loving and compassionate voice, an angry voice if you must. Speak up for the land. Give help as you are able.
And at this time, when it is easy to feel shattered, overwhelmed, grieving and helpless, remember your community is here. You’re not alone, and the company of fellow Pagans is a good place to share your feelings about what’s going on, to work out how to help, to find support and care; practical and emotional and spiritual. Get in touch, come to a meet, come to a ritual, and connect. There is beauty and comfort to be found among like minds.
We hope, and pray for an end to the fires, for rain where it is needed, and for regrowth and rebirth from all these ashes. We stand with those who have lost what is precious, and those who are grieving, and those who are fighting to save what is left. There is not enough gratitude and admiration in the world for our incredible firefighters (professional and volunteer, and those who have come from overseas to help), and the first responders, animal rescuers, and all involved in saving lives and keeping survivors safe.
From all of us at the Pagan Collective of Victoria, may you and your loved ones stay safe, may we all work to heal the land and those who live on it. Blessed be.
Animals Australia is helping distribute funding to rescue organisations around Australia as needed and funding vets to travel to fire affected areas.
The Rescue Collective is a group of rescue organisations, banding together to work wonders with bushfire survivors in Qld and NSW. They’ve done incredible work so far!
Wildlife Victoria is helping animal victims of the Victorian bushfires.
WIRES is helping animal victims of the NSW bushfires.
SAVEM is a group of SA vets working to save the animal populations of devastated Kangaroo Island. They do not have external funding and are relying on donations to help save these threatened populations.
To help people affected by the fires across Australia:
GIVIT facilitates the donations of items to people who need them, for those who wish to donate goods instead of cash:
Recorded during and just after our time at this year’s English Ale in South Australia, this episode features interviews with PAN President David Garland, UK Author and Druid Krisoffer Hughes, and UK Bard and Musician Dave Smith.
(Click on the episode cover image to listen.)
Show notes: Episode 1.09
- English Ale Facebook Page
- Damh the Bard
- Kristoffer Hughes
- Spiral Dance
- Hot for Joe Morris
- Hedgemonkey Morris
- The Pagan Awareness Network
This episode’s cover photo is by Kylie Moroney photography.
The AGM for the Pagan Collective of Victoria will be taking place on the 20th of July 2019, 12pm at Vapiano, Flinders Lane in Melbourne. This will be followed by a general committee meeting and the CBD Pagan Pub Moot.
Nominations are now open for President, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President and Community Liaison Officer. We are also seeking nominations for general committee members. To nominate yourself or someone else for any of these roles, please email your nomination to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Before you send it, make sure your nominee is aware that they are being nominated, and that they agree to it! 🙂 Nominees should also make themselves familiar with the Model Rules of Association, and the PCV Committee Roles, both available on our website.
NOMINATIONS CLOSE AT MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY, JULY 14th 2019.
All PCV members are eligible to nominate and be nominated. Nominees must attend the AGM in person.
Presentations and interviews recorded live at Melbourne Pagan Pride Day, 2019. Featuring Sarah, Fran, Shaz, Elkie, Ryan, Dorian, Keegan, Dean, Ria, Mark and Josie. Full show notes can be found here.
Music this episode was Child of Stone by Willow Darling.
(Click on the episode cover image to listen.)
Show notes: Episode 1.08
BRITISH TRADITIONAL WICCA
– Traditional Wicca for the Southern Hemisphere: http://tiny.cc/mliu5y
– Alexandrian Wicca, written by Alexandrian elders from around the world: http://tiny.cc/bhgu5y
– Alexandrian Witchcraft: the Magic of Maxine & Alex Sanders: http://tiny.cc/iniu5y
– Gardnerian Wicca Seekers and Initiates: http://tiny.cc/xoiu5y
– Silver Birch Grove ADF: http://tiny.cc/wqiu5y
– Dancing Hare Protogrove, ADF
– Ar nDraiocht Fein: A Druid Fellowship
– ADF website: https://www.adf.org/
– Witches of OZ
This month, Josie and Mark discussed public Paganism, impostor syndrome and Mark’s brand new ADF Protogrove, Dancing Hare Protogrove, ADF. They also ate some cold chips they left in the car.
Music this episode was Earthly By and By by Freya Josephine Hollick.
The Pagan Collective of Victoria join our voices with those of spiritual and religious organisations around the world, in condemning the abhorrent acts of terrorism in Christchurch, and in offering our love and support to the Muslim communities in Christchurch and worldwide, affected not just by this horrific and tragic act of violence, but also by the daily onslaughts of bigotry and prejudice they endure.
We see you. We grieve with you. We are so sorry.
This attack did not occur in a vacuum; vilification of Muslims and people deemed “other” has increasingly become a political staple and a sad and shameful part of our society, and we do not accept it. We stand against hate speech, bigotry, violence, and divisiveness in our community. We may have different paths, and different gods, but we share a common humanity, and we are committed to a community in which compassion and understanding are paramount.
We, and our representatives in the Victorian Heathen community, abjure the use of Heathen imagery by these terrorists in justifying unjustifiable acts. The hijacking of sacred iconography to attempt to validate heinous acts of hatred and cowardly violence is deplorable and in absolute opposition to both our spiritual and social ethos.
You should have been able to pray in peace. You should be able to live in peace. There are people who should be here today, who are not, because of prejudice and hatred.
To the fallen, the injured, and their families, friends, and communities, we offer our deepest condolences and sorrow. We join our prayers, our wishes, and our actions, with those of everyone striving for a better world, who know we can be better than this.
Peace be with you. Peace be with us all.
The Pagan Collective of Victoria is very pleased to announce that our special international guest for the 2019 Australian Wiccan Conference will be UK writer and British “Old Craft” initiate, Gemma Gary.
Gemma Gary is an occultist, writer, artist, traditional ‘guise’ performer and a trustee of ‘Friends of the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft’. Her written work explores witchcraft and folk magical traditions, often with a focus upon these traditions as found in Devonshire and Cornwall. To find out more about Gemma, visit www.gemmagary.co.uk
The 2019 Australian Wiccan Conference will take place in Central Victoria from the 13th – 15th of September. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.awc2019.com
Join us as we discuss the challenges and joys of being a millennial Pagan in Australia. Also ducks, inter-library loans, aesthetic vs authenticity and more!
This month’s music is Spark Archer by Mark with the Sea.
Click on the episode cover image to listen!
Tickets to the 2019 Australian Wiccan Conference are now on sale via the shiny new AWC 2019 website!
The Australian Wiccan Conference (AWC) was started in 1984, with the first gathering being held in South Australia. The Conference is traditionally held on the weekend closest to the Spring Equinox. Every year the conference is hosted in a different state by different British Traditional Wiccan Covens, or community groups supported by their local Wiccan coven. It is attended by Wiccans, Witches and Pagans from all over Australia to meet in fellowship and in celebration of Spring.
The conference takes place over a weekend close to the Spring Equinox and involves dormitory or lodge style accommodation, workshops and lectures throughout the weekend, a Spring Ritual, and evening entertainment.
“By magic of old, be it done”
Our theme for AWC2019 is an exploration of traditional folk magic and witchcraft practices. We will be delving into some traditional folkloric magical practices and showing you how they can be incorporated into your own personal practice.
Special international guest
At this year’s AWC a Special International Guest will join us. We can’t announce who it will be just yet but to give you a hint – they are a highly-respected author on Traditional Witchcraft and Folklore…stay tuned for the formal announcement!
Friday 13th September to Sunday 15th September 2019
We will be hosting the 35th annual Australian Wiccan Conference this September 13th – 15th in Central Victoria, about an hour’s drive from Melbourne.
Follow the AWC 2019 Facebook page for updates.