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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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. 🙂
PCV Diary Dates:
- Saturday, 8th April: PCV Committee Meeting (Ballarat)
- Saturday, 8th April: Central Victorian Pagans and Heathens in the Cafe (Ballarat)
- Sunday, 9th April: CBD Pagan Pub Moot (Melbourne)
- Sunday, 30th April: PCV Public Samhain Ritual (location TBC)
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.
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).
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.
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.
The PCV in February 2017
By Josie, Ang, Sarah and Ryan
The long stretches of hot weather certainly didn’t stop us doing what we wanted to in February, with meetups, meetings and a cracker public Lughnassadh ritual.
Public Lughnassadh Ritual
On Sunday the 5th of February we arrived at Rushall Reserve to celebrate our Lughnassadh ritual, hosted by Silver Birch Grove ADF. It was a very steamy day and the water in the creek very low.
Lughnassdh is a day where we Honour Lugh by show our skills or make meaningful offerings. Silver birch grove followed the core order of ritual, our deity of the occasion was Lugh.
Thank you to all those who attended the day and took part in our ritual. We ended our rite with our usual picnic lunch.
Monthly Hills Coffee Meets
It’s hard to keep writing about the Hills meets, really, because I’m pretty sure I’ve used most of the adjectives signifying “super-good and fun”, and am going to have to switch into hyperbolic mode or egregious overuse of exclamation marks to keep reports fresh. On the other hand, there’s the danger of sounding like I’ve joined a cult. Are cult founders supposed to join their own cults? Are they supposed to have this much fun? No idea, but the Hills Meets keep getting bigger as new visitors turn into regulars, and they only seem to get more enjoyable. The cafe staff actually enjoy having us occupying their table space for five hours straight and are astoundingly kind to us, and all in all it’s really rather good.
The next one is on the 5th March. See the PCV Community Calendar, or the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets Facebook page for more upcoming event details.
In the absence of a picture of our grinning faces, here is a photo of our owl mascot (she has been coming along since the very first meet), and a gorgeous handmade goat that one of our lovely first-timers bought at the market next to the cafe, at the February meet.
CBD Pagan Pub Moots
We kicked off Community Safety Month early at the CBD Moot, having a round table discussion about strategies to create and maintain safe spaces for Pagans in Victoria, and how to make the community safe and welcoming for newcomers. Next month we have something rather exciting planned. We will have a special guest Dr David Waldron talking about colonial Australian folk magic; witches Marks, concealed objects, witch bottles and banshees. 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).
We look forward to seeing you all there!
PCV Committee Meeting
Our first committee meeting for the year was held on the 26th of February. To see what was discussed and what we have planned for the year ahead, check out the minutes.
The PCV in January 2017
By Josie, Ryan, Sarah and Dorian
We hit the ground running (and jingling!) this year, with coffee and pub moots happening in the Melbourne CBD, Belgrave and Frankston, as well as the very first rehearsals of our brand spankin’ new Morris side, Oak, Smash and Thorn.
Below is a visual wrap-up of the PCV in January.
Hills Pagan Coffee Meet
We started the year off with our perennial favourite, the monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meet. We had another bumper group attending, with faces old and new coming along for a chat and a cuppa in the beautiful setting of Earthly Delights Cafe, Belgrave.
Oak, Smash and Thorn Pagan Morris
Our newest initiative this year is Oak, Smash and Thorn Pagan Morris. This began as the brainchild of committee members Sarah and Josie. Rehearsals started in January (on a forty degree day, because we are very sensible), with plans already made for a dance out at Beltane this year! It’s all very exciting, and the support from both the Pagan and Morris communities has been overwhelming. The team is still very green, but will be opening rehearsals up once they find their (tinkly, jingly) feet.
CBD Pagan Pub Moot
This was our biggest Moot yet, with organiser Ryan reporting more than thirty attendees taking over the beer garden of our new venue, The Last Jar. We also celebrated Dean’s birthday with cupcakes and a silly hat. Happy Birthday, Dean!
Bi-Monthly Frankston/Cranbourne Coffee Meets
January also marked our inaugural Bi-Monthly Frankston/Cranbourne Coffee Meet, hosted by committee member Dorian.
The first Frankston/Cranbourne area meet was a success with a small but lively group, good food and excellent conversation. The staff at Groove Train were lovely and accommodating. Hopefully word will spread and the next meet in late March will see the meet grow to be even better.
What’s Next for the PCV?
To see more of what’s coming up in the PCV and in the wider Pagan community, visit our Community Calendar.