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:
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: email@example.com
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.
Pagan Collective of Victoria
Annual General Meeting Minutes 19/8/2018
Present: Josie, Ryan, Sarah, Keegan, Seamus, Dorian, Fran, Mark
Apologies: Shaz, Ang, Elkie, Dean, Alex
Meeting Location: The Standard, Fitzroy
Meeting Open: 12.40PM
- Presentation of Annual Report (Chair) –
It has been an interesting year, although we have had committee members come and go we have gone from strength to strength. It has been a really productive twelve months as we continue to work on our mission of creating an inclusive and safe community.
- Secretary’s Report –
Memberships continue to climb slowly, our FB like numbers go up every week and our reach seems to be quite good. We are working on a better membership database and form to streamline the process.
- Presentation of Accounts (Treasurer) –
Financial statement to come.
- Election of Management Committee/Office Bearers –
The committee positions this year ran un-contested, only receiving nominations for the current incumbents.
President – Josie H
Vice President – Shaz C
Treasurer – Ryan M
Secretary – Mark H
General Committee Members:
Sarah, Seamus, Fran, Keegan, Elkie, Dorian, Ange, and Dean
Thank-you all and welcome to the new committee!
We’d also like to thank the committee members who are not continuing on this year and have left along the way over the last twelve months for their participation, contribution, and effort.
Meeting End: 12.47 PM
We just met our first funding goal on Patreon!
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us in this way. Your support means we can keep our memberships free and still cover essential running costs.
You can support us on Patreon for as little as $1 a month to help us bring future projects to life, such as:
– Website hosting/maintenance fees.
– Guest speakers for our meetups.
– PCV Merchandise.
– A podcast showcasing viewpoints and issues in contemporary Australian Paganism
– Concerts with Pagan acts (*cough* Spiral Dance Melbourne Concert *cough*)
– An annual Pagan art exhibition.
– Venue hire for events such as rituals, community dinners/potlucks, film nights, workshop days, markets, etc.
Thanks again to our secretary Mark for putting these minutes together!
Thankyou to Mark for putting together the minutes of Sunday’s Special General Meeting, which was held to elect a new Vice President following the resignation of Nickole, who has taken on increased teaching and leadership duties within Reclaiming. The committee would like to once again thank Nickole for her many contributions to Pagan community building in this state, and wish her all the best with her new duties. 🙂
Pagan Collective of Victoria
Special General Meeting
Meeting Minutes 18/02/2018
Present: Josie, Dorian, Alex, Sarah, Mark, Ryan, Shaz, Seamus, Ang, Dean
Apologies: Elkie and Fran
Meeting Location: Bimbo’s, Fitzroy
Meeting Open: 3.39
We are legally required to hold a special general meeting and elect an interim Vice-President who will hold this position until the next AGM. This meeting is specifically to elect a new Vice, any other business will have to wait until the next meeting. Thank you and best wishes to outgoing Vice President Nickole, who has taken on increased teaching and leadership duties within the Reclaiming community.
We had two nominations for the position – Shaz and Alex, both of whom were seconded readily.
A show of hands was used to vote with the two nominees having left the room temporarily. Shaz was the winning candidate and is to be announced as the new Vice-President.
It has been mentioned several times before that it would be a great idea to train up other people in how to do the various jobs done by the committee and at the next meeting we will discuss how to implement this and if Alex is willing he can be amongst the first to benefit from this.
Thank-you everyone for being willing candidates and committee members to work through this quickly and efficiently.
Meeting Close: 3.44
Many thanks to our secretary Mark for putting these minutes together. 🙂
Pagan Collective of Victoria
Meeting Minutes 18/02/2018
Present: Josie, Nickole, Dorian, Elkie, Alex, Sarah, Mark, Ryan
Apologies: Seamus, Ang, Shaz, Dean
Meeting Location: The Last Jar, Melbourne
Meeting Open: 12.38
- President’s Report –
We are now back into things again after the Christmas break. The committee dinner was a great opportunity to get to know each other better and we will try and do these a few times a year to help strengthen our bond as a team. Patreon is up and posting more to come later in the meeting.
- Secretary’s Report –
There isn’t a lot of new news on this front at present, we are overhauling the membership sign-up process and database to make things more efficient.
- Treasurer’s Report –
We currently have about $17 in the account, the first of the Patreon payments won’t come through until the start of the next month.
- Meet-up Reports
The Hills ritual went really well and they are hoping to be able to do something like this again in the future. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
The numbers continue to go well for the city meetup, with a good regular attendance, there is going to be a slight change to the discussion format as it moves forward this year. They are contemplating doing a Facebook live at a future event.
Ballarat meet-ups are still in discussion with the possibility of running four a year on the table at present.
These meet-ups are still continuing on and are going well with some regular faces as well as new faces turning up each meeting.
The first Swinburn pagan event will be coming up soon, it is very exciting.
5. Morris Report
The side is still continuing on in 2018, working on getting the skills up ready to be performance ready. They are attending English Ale in May. They have begun learning a second dance (Dilwyn) and are practicing processionals.
Patreon is now live and posting. Thank-you to everyone that has supported, contributed to and worked on getting it live. Also a big thank-you to everyone that has become a backer, or been helping share it around.
The overhaul is well underway and now blog posts immediately post to the Facebook as well. The site is getting anywhere from 50 – 200 hits a day. That is frankly amazing.
The stats are up really well, so please continue to share and interact with it to help keep this up.
We are updating the form so that when a member signs up it sends it straight to our database (which is being overhauled) We will be contacting members to confirm their details and to ensure they know their membership number.
- Community Safety Month
Have a lot of articles lined up ready to go throughout March so that our social media will be posting something every day designed to provide the community with access to information that will educate and inform in a variety of aspects of safe community.
- Spiral Dance
Yes they are still coming to Melbourne, no we don’t have the date yet but will be posting more about it when we do. This will be branded as a PCV presents event.
12. Pagan Pride Day
The date has been selected as April 7th.
Sarah will be drawing up a list of speakers and presenters for the various traditions and paths in Victoria as well as the various groups currently running events open to the public.
It has been proposed that we have a Druids v Witches Kubb game on the day, it will be a light-hearted thing, designed to be entertaining.
13. Seasonal Celebrations
Yule – this was to be organised by Dean? We will need to clarify
Autumn Equinox – we currently don’t have someone running the equinox now that Pagan Pride Day is in April.
We now have an Instagram that is being run by Dorian at present. It can be found by looking for pagancollectivevic.
It would be great if we can start announcing some of the dates for workshops, so could the committee members who have volunteered to run workshops please start trying to work out the dates for their workshop. These will probably be 1 – 2 hours in length and $10 – $15 for non-Patreon backers.
16. Chat Bots
Ryan is investigating chat bots with involves direct engagement content with users. He is currently learning about how to use them and will run it when this gets off the ground.
- Inclusive Language
It was raised that we should consider changing some of the language on our website and social media to make it more inclusive. It can sometimes come across as slightly Wicca or eclectic witchcraft centric and it would be a shame if that made people from other paths feel left out.
Meeting End: 1.50 PM
2017 is well and truly over, and as we recover from the silly season and bask in the long, hot summer days, we can’t help but start looking forward to what we have planned for the coming year.
Meetups: Last year we hosted more than 50 meetups across the state, giving Pagans of a wide variety of locations, traditions and walks of life the opportunity to come together and socialise over a cuppa (or beer!). This year, our meetups will continue apace, with Melbourne Pagans in the Pub in the CBD, the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets in Belgrave, the Frankston Pagan Meets and the Central Vic Pagan Meets in Creswick and Castlemaine. This year, in conjunction with Druids of Victoria, we will be co-hosting Wandering Druid Coffee Meets in many different locations around the state. If you are a Druid or interested in Druidic practice, take a look.
As always, all our Meets are held according to the Standards laid out in our Mission Statement. Our community is diverse, supportive, and nurturing, and we love it that way.
At present, all our Meets are adults-only. Please do not bring children. If you are a parent wanting to run family-friendly Pagan events, get in touch with us and we’ll help you get started.
Public Rituals: Once again we will be co-hosting free public sabbat rituals with a range of groups and individuals from across our diverse Pagan community. Coming up next weekend is our public Lughnasadh ritual, which will be co-hosted by the Hills Pagans in Belgrave.
Future public rituals include an Imbolc ritual co-hosted by Silver Birch Grove ADF, an Ostara ritual co-hosted by the Sovereigns of the Golden Path and a Midsummer ritual co-hosted by the Melbourne Grove of OBOD.
Patreon: In the very near future we will be launching a Patreon page, where anybody interested can support the PCV with a small monthly donation.
Membership the PCV is free, and we want to keep it that way. We don’t believe access to one’s local community and the potential support network and friends should be put behind a paywall and limited to those who can afford it.
With that said, as the Collective has grown in popularity so too have our costs. When we first started out, costs were covered by a small group of founding members. Now that we have grown much larger, we’re hoping that our community can help us out with some of these costs via a small monthly contribution, and maybe help to fund some exciting future projects, too.
Our Patreon backers will receive exclusive backer-only updates, free entry to our workshops, and discounts for a range of our other initiatives.
Redbubble: Also coming soonish is our Redbubble store, where our friends and supporters can buy groovy PCV merch. We’re currently working on organising a discount for our Patreon backers – watch this space.
Community Safety Month: March will once again be Community Safety Month for the PCV. We will be sharing valuable resources across our online and social media platforms, and discussion topics at our March meetups will be geared towards keeping the Pagan community safe, inclusive and nurturing for all.
Pagan Pride Day: After the huge success of last year’s inaugural Pagan Pride Day, we will be doing it all again in April this year. Pack a picnic and come along for an afternoon of connecting, sharing and celebrating with your community. We will have guest speakers from Victoria’s active Pagan traditions, a ritual and more. There are even rumours of a witches vs druids kubb game being planned.
Community Calendar: We are putting the finishing touches on our 2018 Community Calendar. This calendar contains information about all Pagan events in Victoria and is a valuable resource.
This year, we have made important changes to our calendar policy: “In accordance with Victorian law, groups and individuals running ‘family friendly’ events will need to supply copies of Working With Children Cards for all organisers and volunteers in order to see their event included on the Community Calendar”.
Workshops: We have a number of workshops planned which will be offered free to our Patreon backers. Watch our Facebook Page for updates.
Phew! 2018 is already looking jam-packed with fantastic offerings for the Victorian Pagan community. And with such a wide variety of events and locations, there is sure to be something to suit everyone.
See you there! ❤
We are finally picking ourselves up out of a heap after another great Beltane at the Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering.
Sarah and the crew from our Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets hosted this year’s ritual, delivering a fantastic rite that we felt privileged to be a part of. PCV committee member Alex was also a huge help all weekend, most notably running our children’s maypole event on the Sunday.
This year’s maypole was kindly donated by S, who crafted it from scratch! This will be outlined in another post, coming soon. 🙂
Many thanks to the Hillsfolk, the Organisers, and to everyone else who made this year such a huge success! ❤