Throughout and About: The PCV in August 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in August 2017

August was still a chilly affair, but warmer days are on the way!

CBD Pub Moot

By Dean

Back to back with the PCV AGM, those already at the Last Jar Irish Pub were joined by those just arrived. Our Pagan friendly venue was kind enough to open up their upstairs dining room for our diverse crowd of Druids, Heathens, Pagans and Witches. We filled the long table by the fireplace as people chatted and the introduction circle ensued. Our discussion topic this time was about online covens. While opinions were nuanced, the general consensus was that online was great for information and networking, but that online materials couldn’t replace the shared experience, ambience, trust and closeness of being a part of a coven, grove or kindred. The same topic has been posted online in the Witches of Oz Facebook group, so we’ll see if online opinions arrive at different conclusions.

 

 

Morris Camp

By Josie

The PCV’s Morris side, Oak, Smash & Thorn recently visited South Australia to attend a workshop with our Morris heroes, Hot For Joe. We had an amazing time, and while we still have a lot to learn, we felt so welcomed and supported. As well as the workshop we danced out in Hahndorf on a busy Sunday morning, and got to explore some of the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Thanks so much for having us, H4J! We’ll definitely be back next year for the English Ale! 🙂

 

 

 

Throughout and About: The PCV in July 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in July 2017

July was chilly, but with plenty of cozy catch-ups with good Pagan folk made it much warmer.

CBD Pub Moot

By Dean

In July, Pagans from all walks of life and various paths braved the cold to gather at The Last Jar Irish Pub. In warm and welcoming surrounds with hot food and cold drinks we chatted away. After an introduction circle we discussed what spiritual or religious background, if any, had people come from before they began practicing Paganism. A variety of heartfelt and sometimes humorous stories ensued, and it was striking both how diverse and yet how similar many of our experiences had been. A sense of “coming home”, of discovering a new yet familiar home in Paganism turned out to be a common theme.

 

Frankston/Cranbourne Meet

By Dorian

Another pleasant but windy afternoon at the Coffee Club with some new faces and old friends. Serenaded by that irrepressible spirit of Frankston, the seagull.

 

Central Vic Meetup

By Mark

In the warm inviting indoors of a cafe in Creswick, the Central Vic Heathens and Pagans gathered for a relaxed discussion, drinks, and food. Two new local faces joined us this meeting, after scoping out the cafe to figure out who the pagans were (we blended too well). It was a nice afternoon of company away from the blustery winter weather outside discussing nature, spirits, books and Morris Dancing.

 

What’s Next for the PCV?

Dates for your diary…

Saturday, 5th August: PCV Public Imbolc Ritual hosted by the Melbourne Reclaiming Community
Sunday, 20th August: PCV Annual General Meeting
Sunday, 20th August: CBD Pagan Pub Moot

 

Featured photo by Kylie Moroney Photography.

Throughout and About: The PCV in June 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in June 2017

Happy Solstice from the PCV! June featured a beautiful Solstice Ritual alongside the usual meetups and mayhem.

PCV Yule Ritual

By Dean

On Sunday the 18th of June, the Druids of Silver Birch Grove ADF (Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship) hosted a public and inclusive Winter Solstice ritual in collaboration with the PCV. I thought it might be a good idea to write a little bit about the ritual for posterity…and this blog. After all, I just so happened to be the one who led that ritual.

Druidry tends to draw together those with a more Celtic inclination and emphasis on nature. ADF encourages it’s members to explore one or more of the related Indo-European hearth cultures. As a practioner of both Ásatrú and ADF Druidry it was only natural that I would write a ritual for Yule bringing together Norse traditions in the context of an ADF ritual. Yule is a favorite High Day for me and is one of the most jolly and sacred times of year: the Norse New Year.

The weather was cool but a clear day. We were fortunate to have 20 attendees, from a diversity of paths, backgrounds and walks of life. We formed a procession into the circle of stones, surrounded by the sacred grove, with the rhythm of Geoff and Mel’s drums. We gathered around the cairn of stones, with a guided meditation as the creek flowed over the rocks nearby. We followed the ADF core order of ritual, hidden in plain sight within a pocket of urban bushland. Heimdall warded the ways as the gate keeper, Bragi was implored for inspiration. By a good fire, a silvered well and a sacred tree we welcomed, honoured and gave gifts to Jord (the earth mother), the ancestors, the land wights and the Gods. Our deity of the occasion was Skadi, fierce goddess of winter, the mountains, the wild, archery and skiing. I told an ancient myth of her time with Njord by the sea. I had carefully crafted an arrow from fragrant mountain cedar wood and knapped an arrowhead from some bluestone I found on a trail in the Hills. I carried the arrow around the circle and past the altar as the drums intenaified and cast it into the fire as a sacrifice. Others than made their own offerings, inclueding Mark’s carefully made Yule goat. Sad to see such pieces invested with such time and care turn to flame and smoke, but that was part of the point after all.

The spirits were thanked and merrily the ritual drew to a close. The drums sounded once more as the procession left the circle. Afterwards there was a festive picnic feast as people enjoyed and afternoon of conversation and laughter.

Dean has written more about this rite in this week’s feature article.

Monthly Hills Coffee Meetups

By Sarah

The July Hillsmeet was quieter than June’s with only 19 people showing up for the shenanigans, and frankly, we are so happy and proud to be able to say that “only 19 people” came to our monthly gathering (and all of them are lovely, too – what are the odds?) because that’s a lot of pagans, and we’ve been talking about having to open our own cafe, because we end up building a shanty-town of tables in Earthly Pleasures and the staff are so nice about it but honestly we make their cafe look like the aftermath of The Tetris Wars. It’s great that we’re still growing, and that the EP staff have said they actually look forward to seeing us each month, despite the havoc we wreak upon their lovely venue, because we may be the weirdos mister, but it turns out that the weirdos are awfully nice.

This month, we had the added bonus of a gifted tarot reader who kindly offered free readings for those interested and shared some very useful advice with a young student (and some of us not-so-young folk who also have a lot to learn), the usual exchange of gifts, because witches like sharing books, plants, nice jars, stuff we’ve made, and interesting things we found at the op-shop (note: prospective newbies, this isn’t mandatory, it’s just a nice organic thing that’s sprung up as part of the group, and it’s just become inevitable that *someone* will show up with a bag and hand it to someone else with a “oh, I saw this and thought of you”, or “here’s some of that lemon balm I promised you last month”).

It’s always rather nice watching the conversations eddy and flow around the table; there are usually two or three going on at any given time, with vastly different topics that seem to be able to be brought together when someone up one end of the shanty-table arrangement catches a snippet of something down the other end, and you get the whole group being drawn into a conflation of Druidic medicinal plants and protection charms, and weird housemate stories, the history of wooden wheel construction, and that time someone left jam out for a ghost (you all know who you are).

We also saw two of our regulars level up in the writing department, with one now published by The Wild Hunt blog as their Australian correspondent, and another published in the ADF’s international journal, Oak Leaves. Congratulations Josie and Dean! Richly-deserved recognition for your work and your expertise. We are really lucky to have such a diverse and talented group.

Once again I forgot to take photos (I did it last month; you can’t expect me to be organised two months in a row, surely); fortunately Dean took some lovely shots of a magpie who wanted to come and hang out with the cake-eating pagans.

The next gathering is on Sunday, August 6th, from 12pm. Come along. There will be cake.

 

 

What’s Next for the PCV?

Dates for your diary…


Saturday, 15th July: Central Victorian Pagans and Heathens Social Meetup
Sunday, 16th July: CBD Pagan Pub Moot
Sunday, 30th July: Bi-Monthly Frankston/Cranbourne Pagan Meet
Saturday, 5th August: PCV Public Imbolc Ritual hosted by the Melbourne Reclaiming Community
Sunday, 20th August: PCV Annual General Meeting
Sunday, 20th August: CBD Pagan Pub Moot

 

Featured photo by Ang.

Throughout and About: The PCV in May 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in May 2017

The last month of Autumn was full of shortening but sunny days and chilly nights

CBD Pagan Pub Moots

By Dorian

Safely nestled inside The Last Jar, protected from stormy Melbourne weather outside, the May CBD moot was a huge success with several new faces and many regulars in attendance.

Next moot: 18th June 2017

Monthly Hills Coffee Meetups

By Sarah

So we broke a personal record at the last meet – 27 people came along, we ended up co-opting three more tables in addition to our regular long table, there was a lot of fun had, and more good conversation than I could keep up with. Effusive thanks to everyone who helped make the day so utterly marvellous – we’re already excited for the next one! Come along!

 

Next moot: 2nd July 2017

 

Bi-Monthly Frankston-Cranbourne Coffee Meets

By Dorian

Safe and warm inside the Coffee Club sheltered from the stormy weather, the Frankston/Cranbourne meet enjoyed its biggest turn out yet.

Dorian Frankston meet Jun1720170528_155340
Next moot: 30th July 2017

 

What’s Next for the PCV?

Dates for your diary…

Sunday, 18th June: PCV Public Yule Ritual hosted by Silver Birch Grove ADF
Sunday, 18th June: CBD Pagan Pub Moot
Sunday, 2nd July: Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meet
Saturday, 15th July: Central Victorian Pagans and Heathens Social Meetup
Sunday, 16th July: CBD Pagan Pub Moot
Sunday, 30th July: Bi-Monthly Frankston/Cranbourne Pagan Meet
Saturday, 5th August: PCV Public Imbolc Ritual hosted by the Melbourne Reclaiming Community
Sunday, 20th August: PCV Annual General Meeting
Sunday, 20th August: CBD Pagan Pub Moot

 

Featured photo by Kylie Moroney.

Throughout and About: The PCV in April 2017

The PCV in April 2017

April was chilly, but was dotted with lots of PCV goodness, especially catch-ups in cosy corners, and a beautiful Samhain rite.

PCV Public Samhain Ritual

By Alex

On the 30th of April The PCV held our Samhain public ritual. It was held by Seline Ines (of Into Me I See) at her lovely home.
We started by walking up to the ritual space while singing Earth My Body. Once in the ritual space and in a circle the elements were welcomed, Hecate was called upon. We proceeded to do a visualisation of all our loved ones. From there we went to the ancestor tree while singing Bone by Bone. We then walked around the ancestor tree and tied our ribbons to the tree.
Once this was completed we stood in a circle around the tree as Seline tied a large black ribbon to the tree. We then charged a drink as a sacrament which was then poured into each person’s goblet and then drank of. After this we then headed down the path back to the house while singing The River is Flowing.
Once back at the house we shared a meal. A drum circle was set up and people started dancing. There were discussions among the group on various topics. People caught up with old friends new friends  and memories made. We were taught about rue, a herb of cleansing that had been used to cleanse the ritual space.
It was a lovely night and I would love to thank Seline and all involved for participating in such a lovely and powerful event.

CBD Pagan Pub Moots

By Dorian

Safely nestled inside The Last Jar, protected from stormy Melbourne weather outside, the April CBD moot was a huge success with several new faces and many regulars in attendance.
A stimulating discussion was had about the nature of altars; what they are, what purpose they serve, where to place them and of course what people put on them. From rustic immovable stone plinths to piles of books, statues, and the benefits of electric candles, each an expression of self and personal flair. After the formal discussion was done, the moot enjoyed a relaxed conversational setting which lasted well into the evening while still maintaining paganism as the primary focus. A phenomenal time was had by all, sharing perspectives on each’s respective craft, and enjoying wonderful company.

 

Monthly Hills Coffee Meetups

By Sarah

I keep forgetting to take photos of the Hillsmeets. I have the very best of intentions, knowing that I have to report back to the PCV blog with (hopefully) a jolly photo of everyone looking jolly, but what actually happens is that honestly we’re all having too much fun and by the time someone says “Oh, did you need to take a photo for the blog because you got a bit sweary about forgetting to take one last month?” the cafe staff are politely throwing us out because we’re the last people in the venue and they’ve been vacuuming around us while we continue to talk a mile a minute, and the photo would look a bit sad. So I do my now-a-monthly-tradition swear, and make someone promise to remind me to take a photo for the blog *next* month, and no-one does, because we’re all talking too much.
So you don’t get a photo, but it’s a really good thing because it means that the Hillsmeets are a ridiculous amount of fun. This month we talked about our journeys; where we started, where we’re going, how our practices have changed, and continue to evolve. There’s something really special about sitting around a table with a bunch of people who Get It, and understand how these journeys can evolve; who listen and share their own experiences. It feels like home, and it’s lovely. It’s even better with cake, but I don’t have to tell you that, reader.
The Hillsmeets have got so popular and we’re all rather fond of them and so it looks as though we’ll be branching out with the odd weekday dinner, which will be advertised in the usual places. Because a month really is too long between catch-ups sometimes, and a couple of the regulars can’t make the usual weekend ones any more, and honestly, why not. So stay tuned for updates, and if you haven’t come along to one of the Hills gatherings yet, come along! They really are that much fun.

 

Central Victorian Pagans and Heathens in the Cafe

By Josie

We relocated the Central Vic Meet to Ballarat this month, to coincide with our committee meeting (minutes will be available soon). This meet was well attended, and we enjoyed a delicious Irish lunch while we talked over, under, in and out of all things Pagan.
Our next meet is in July, with the final in November. During these meets we’ll be deciding on meeting dates for next year, as well as whether we keep them quarterly or move to monthly or bi-monthly. If you’d like to have a say, or even if you are a Pagan sort from central Victoria who enjoys a coffee and a chat, come down and say hi!

 

 

Throughout and About: The PCV in March 2017

The PCV in March 2017

By Josie, Sarah, Dorian and Ryan

We said at the beginning of the year that this March would be Mad March, and we weren’t wrong: Community Safety Month, Pagan Pride Day, the Spiral Dance Concert, Guest Speakers and more on top of our usual meetups made for a very busy month with the very best company.

Community Safety Month

March has become Community Safety Month for the PCV. Creating and maintaining safe and inclusive spaces to gather and worship was the key topic of all our meetups in March, and some excellent and insightful conversations sprang from this. The product of these conversations was our newly-formed Values, which have been added to our Mission Statement page after being collated by our most eloquent committee member, Sarah:

The PCV holds regular gatherings by area all over the state. These meets, moots, and gatherings are hosted by various members of the PCV but all are united in upholding the following standards:

  • We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional caretakers of the land we meet on. The gatherings we enjoy so much are held on land they lived on for thousands of years before white settlement. We pay our respects to their elders – past, present and emerging – and acknowledge the important role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the community.
  • We stand with the LGBTQI+ community; PCV meets are queer and trans-friendly spaces. We are intersectional, inclusive, and we will use whichever pronouns you prefer. Our community is diverse, supportive, and nurturing, and we love it that way.
  • We welcome people of all paths and levels of experience, people of all genders and sexualities, of all races, skin colours, cultural identities, and of all abilities.
  • Accessibility information will be provided for all venues. If you have any questions about venue accessibility or will need assistance, please contact the meet host. *PCV meets do not tolerate sexual, racial, religious, cultural, abled, or gendered discrimination, bigotry, harassment, bullying, or non-consensual sexual behaviour. We reserve the right to ask attendees to leave if they do not behave in a manner conducive to the wellbeing of the group or in contravention of any of the above standards.
  • We are committed to creating safe, welcoming spaces where pagans of all paths can meet and enjoy their community. If you have an issue at the meets, our hosts will listen to you and take your feedback seriously.

Other happenings during Community Safety Month include more undersigned joining our Statement to the Public about notorious paedophile Robin Fletcher (which as of April 2017 has more than eighty undersigned Pagan groups and individuals),  and the snap community information meeting we held when he was released.

 

Pagan Pride Day

On Saturday, the 18th of March the Victorian Pagan community came together to celebrate our first annual Pagan Pride Day and Equinox ritual. The day was a huge success, with Pagans of all walks of life attending, and most of the state’s active traditions represented.
You can read more about Pagan Pride Day in Alex’s article.

Spiral Dance and KC Guy Concert

On the night of Pagan Pride Day, we were treated to an amazing, uplifting and highly danceable concert by Spiral Dance and KC Guy. This was a perfect way to round off an excellent day of Pagan goodness, and really brought everyone together.
More details and photos in Josie’s article.

Frankston Meets

The Frankston/Cranbourne pagan meet convened at Groove Train once more, enjoying the gorgeous Autumn sun out on the promenade.
Looking forward to the next meet at the end of May.

— Dorian

Monthly Hills Coffee Meets

The Hills Meets continue apace. March saw me finally make good on a threat I’ve been holding over everyone’s heads for a few months now: Sparkles, the Disco Owl. A few people have mentioned, over the last couple of years, that our little mascot is subtle and hard to spot across a crowded room. Sparkles is neither of those things. Sparkles is nearly a foot high and covered liberally in white glitter, which he sheds over everything he touches, and came from a local $2 shop, and I’ve been promising to humiliate all of us by bringing him along to a meet for ages now. Sparkles is the Maxwell Demon of the owl world.

Sparkles Sarah 2017

You can read more about the Hills Meets in this month’s feature article. For upcoming event details, see the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets Facebook page.

— Sarah

CBD Pagan Pub Moots

The March CBD Pagan Pub moot was joined by a special guest, Dr David Waldron, who was kind enough to be our first guest speaker. Dr Waldron captivated the room with his fascinating talk on Witches’ marks, concealed objects and magical folk practices in colonial Australia.

CBD Moot Mar17 RM1

Dr David Waldron is a lecturer in History and Anthropology at Federation University Australia based in CRCAH (Collaborative Research Centre in Australian History) with a research focus on folklore and community identity. He is the author of “Sign of the Witch: Modernity and the Pagan Revival” (Carolina Academic Press 2008), “Shock! The Black Dog of Bungay – a Case Study in Local Folklore” (Hidden Press 2010) and “Snarls from the Tea-Tree: Victoria’s Big Cat Folklore” (Australian Scholarly Publishing 2013) and editor/contributor of “Goldfields and the Gothic: a Hidden Heritage and Folklore” (Australian Scholarly Publishing 2016).

— Ryan

 

Oak, Smash and Thorn Pagan Morris

Our little Morris side keeps chugging along, even with one less dancer due to Alex’s knee injury. Get well soon, Alex! This month we were treated to a Morris workshop with our friends Adrienne and Paul, of Spiral Dance and Hot for Joe Border Morris fame. This cracker of a workshop and Paul and Adrienne’s invaluable advice helped us polish our very first dance and get that little bit closer to being able to perform!
If this wasn’t memorable enough, the Edinburgh Gardens were the site of the Australian Naked Bike Ride that day, with around four hundred naked cyclists crashing our rehearsal. Our interstate guests took it all in their stride and promised they’d be back soon.


A million thankyous, beers and sweaty Morris hugs to Adrienne and Paul. 🙂

— Josie

PCV Diary Dates:

Coffee and Community in the Hills

The PCV Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets – Belgrave

By Sarah and Alex

The Hills Meets continue apace. March saw me finally make good on a threat I’ve been holding over everyone’s heads for a few months now: Sparkles, the Disco Owl.

A few people have mentioned, over the last couple of years, that our little mascot is subtle and hard to spot across a crowded room. Sparkles is neither of those things. Sparkles is nearly a foot high and covered liberally in white glitter, which he sheds over everything he touches, and came from a local $2 shop, and I’ve been promising to humiliate all of us by bringing him along to a meet for ages now. Sparkles is the Maxwell Demon of the owl world.

March was Sparkles’ Big Day Out; I mean, sure, we looked like a table full of loons congregating around an altar of Mystical Nature-Kitsch, but no-one had difficulty locating our table, and everyone took a little bit of Sparkles home with them, because glitter is a gift that keeps on giving whether people want it to or not.

Sparkles Sarah 2017

This is Sparkles, posing with our regular, barely-discernible mascot, and our patron saint, Caffeine. I’ll now hand over the reins to one of our more recent regulars, who has definitely become part of the family, and who kindly agreed to talk about his experience of the Hills Meets (thanks for making us sound good, Alex; the cheque’s in the mail).

— Sarah

The Hills Meets – A Newbie’s Tale

I have been attending the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets now for about eight months. They are a lovely event, and I have felt like I belong at the event since I first attended. It has been lovely to see the different types of people who come along, with a large amount becoming regulars and others just popping in every now and then to say hi and catch-up.

One of the many aspects that I love about the meet is that conversation flows freely and touches on many subjects, from Paganism to gardening to tarot reading to just general life. It’s always great to hear what people have to say, as everyone has something new and interesting happening in their lives. Often, someone will say something and it will make you think about something in a new light. I love attending these meets and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. I really hope to see more new faces, even if it is only to pop in occasionally and see how everyone’s going.

— Alex

Our Hills Meets occur monthly in Belgrave, and have become one of our most popular events. To find out when the next one is, visit our Community Calendar or the PCV Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets Facebook page.