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 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
We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the 35th annual Australian Wiccan Conference right here in Victoria!
This year’s conference will take place from the 13th to the 15th of September, 2019. Our theme is by magic of old, be it done.
Keep up to date with all our AWC announcements on the AWC 2019 Facebook Page.
See you there!
– Your PCV Committee
It recently came to our attention that, ever since joining the PCV and the wider public Pagan community approximately twelve months ago, an individual has made their racist, transphobic, sexist, homophobic and otherwise bigoted views quite clear. This individual has also thoroughly harrassed two respected female elders and gone out of their way to cause unrest throughout a number of groups.
At our committee meeting on the 2nd of June 2018, the committee voted unanimously to expel this member and cease promotion of their group and its events, effective immediately.
The Pagan Collective of Victoria remains unapologetic in its stance against intolerance, harassment and threatening behaviour. As a Collective, we owe it to our members to continue to provide queer and trans-friendly spaces, and spaces that are welcoming and nurturing to all paths and levels of experience, people of all genders and sexualities, of all races, skin colours, cultural identities, and of all abilities.
Comments on this post have been disabled. Anyone wishing to know more is welcome to contact us directly or to read the minutes of our June committee meeting.
Your PCV Committee
Multi-award winning Pagan band Spiral Dance is returning to Melbourne in July 2018, thanks to the Pagan Collective of Victoria.
Late 2017 saw the arrival of a new member of Spiral Dance! Alice, a virtuoso violinist and talented flautist and pianist, adds depth to the melodies as well as considerable experience with musical arrangements.
Back the PCV on Patreon before May 1 and save 50% off your ticket! www.patreon.com/pagancollective
Spiral Dance’s new album, Land and Legend, on sale now!
Help support us for as little as $1 (US) per month and get rewards such as patron-only content, priority sale to ticketed events and free entry to our workshops.
Membership to 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 therein 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!
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.
Join us for a night of myth, music and magic, proudly hosted by the Pagan Collective of Victoria.
Icons of Australian Pagan music, Spiral Dance and KC Guy will be playing their only Melbourne show on the 18th of March. Be sure to get in quick – tickets are selling fast.
Date: Saturday, March 18th
Tickets: $25 Full and $20 Concession – Tickets Available Here
Location: Bar 303, High St, Northcote
Doors open at 8pm
Content Warning: Mention of Sex Offender
On the 8th of February 2017, the Herald Sun reported that sex offender and “witch” Robin Angus Fletcher is likely to soon be released from a supervised facility and into the community.
To this day, Robin Fletcher – who has also been known as Timothy Ryan, The Red Druid and Balin – claims that his belief in witchcraft justifies his many heinous crimes. It simply does not.
Fletcher’s monstrous acts, which include child sex abuse, rape, forced prostitution, torture and abduction, have shattered the lives of his victims and their families. Our thoughts remain with all of those who have been affected so horrendously by his actions. These actions have also left shockwaves throughout the wider Pagan community, which are still felt decades later.
Paganism as an umbrella term covers hundreds of separate religions and belief systems, including but not limited to Wicca, Witchcraft, Druidry, Heathenry, Neopaganism and Pantheism. The vast majority of these focus on nature worship and/or reverence of ancestors. Child sex abuse, non-consensual sex acts, substance abuse and violence play no part in modern witchcraft or Paganism.
As such, the Pagan Collective of Victoria and the undersigned groups, individuals, organisations, groves, hearths and covens would like to emphasise that we have no affiliation whatsoever with Robin Fletcher. We find both the man and his acts utterly reprehensible, and will continue to actively condemn illegal and degenerate behaviour committed in the name of spiritual or religious beliefs.
The Pagan Collective of Victoria
Alexandrian Tradition – Australia
Ashley A. Kallady
Caroline (Cara) Denigan
Central Vic Heathens
Central Victorian Pagans
Circle of the Sacred Grove
Delphic Sisters of Olde
Daylesford Tarot Readers
Druids of Victoria
Frankston/Cranbourne Pagan Coffee Meets
Galloway and Friends blog
Gliding Seal Events
Golden Wattle Seed Group (OBOD)
House of Hexenn
Ly De Angeles
Lyceum of Heka (Fellowship of Isis)
Melbourne CBD Pagan Pub Moot
Melbourne Heathen Moot
Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets
Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering, inc
Muses of Mystery
Mystical Dragon, Seaford
Oak, Smash & Thorn Pagan Morris
Ordo Templi Crux Ansata (Australian Praeceptory)
Pagan Awareness Network Inc.
Pagans in the Pub Melbourne (Philippe Duquesnoy and Kathy Norman)
Phoenixfire (Glen Smeaton)
Queer Pagan Men Australia
Sandra of Macadamia Grove (OBOD)
Seline Ines (Into Me I See, Serpent Circle)
Southern Hemisphere Pagan
Silver Birch Grove (ADF)
South Bay Pagan Kids (San Jose, CA, USA)
Tara Tucker and family
Tasmanian Pagan Alliance, inc
Temple of the Morning Star
The Assembly of Light Bearers
The Hedgewitches’ Grove
The Melbourne Grove (OBOD)
The Serenity Oracle
Victorian Reclaiming Community
Viking Mystic Rune Readings
Witches and Pagans Victoria
Witches of Oz
Witches of Victoria
Young Pagans of Adelaide
Australian Pagan Groups and Organisations, please contact us if you would like to be added to this list of undersigned.
For anyone experiencing distress as a result of the contents of this post please know that assistance is available. See http://www.sacl.com.au/ or make a free call to the Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1800 806 292 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.