Australian Bushfires: A Public Statement from the Pagan Collective of Victoria

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.

FIRE RELIEF FOR FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/fire-relief-fund-for-first-nations-communities?utm_source=customer&fbclid=IwAR0E7XbANwEvPFHLLIXz4fsfKiNKZ9vHpoPFA5jLnQH6Bm3Mq_MCnCsk-Zs

https://www.facebook.com/SthCoastFIR/?hc_location=ufi

WILDLIFE RESCUE:

Animals Australia is helping distribute funding to rescue organisations around Australia as needed and funding vets to travel to fire affected areas.
https://secure.animalsaustralia.org/donate/bushfire.php?vmd=1&fbclid=IwAR20rH3IkHdLzqVwpDJyIUeSJXvPVhQlwHwM_dvDgmdCgSKpyY7S9KX38Vg

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!
https://mkc.org.au/donations/trcqld

Wildlife Victoria is helping animal victims of the Victorian bushfires.
https://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au/donate/donate-to-wildlife-victoria

WIRES is helping animal victims of the NSW bushfires.
https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund

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.
https://www.savem.org.au/about-savem/donate/

BUSHFIRE RELIEF:

To help people affected by the fires across Australia:
https://www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialorganic&utm_campaign=201913_drr_disaster-relief-and-recovery_don_transient_bushfires_none&fbclid=IwAR1PaLO9z8UKT_GrZlKdTDkvetHepZiquRuW6lyBKALvTKPq49StmGKawJw

GIVIT facilitates the donations of items to people who need them, for those who wish to donate goods instead of cash:
http://www.givit.org.au/disasters

VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS:
CFA Victoria:
https://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/about/supporting-cfa#donate-cfa

RFS NSW:
https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volun…/support-your-local-brigade

Public Statement: Christchurch Attacks

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.

AWC International Guest: Gemma Gary

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

PCV to Host 2019 Australian Wiccan Conference

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

A Public Statement from the Pagan Collective of Victoria

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.

In peace,
Your PCV Committee

Spiral Dance Melbourne Concert: back the PCV on Patreon and get 50% off your ticket!

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.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

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!
www.spiraldance.com.au

The PCV is Now on Patreon!

The PCV is now on Patreon!

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!

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