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.

Throughout and About: The PCV in February 2017

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.

hillsmeets-feb17-sarah

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.

 

Throughout and About: The PCV in January 2017

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.

The Hills Coffee Meet, Jan 2017

 

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.

dorian-frankcran-jan17

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.

 

Meeting Minutes, November 2016

Thankyou to our intrepid secretary Mark for putting these together!

PCV Committee Meeting 26th November 2016

Meeting Start: 1.32

Attending: Ryan, Nickole, Josie, Seamus, Dean, Alex, Mark, Shaz, Ang, Lucas and Fran Apologies: River, Fi, Dorian
Absent:

President’s Report
The PCV has put on over 30 events this year, which is a lot, 25 – 26 of these were coffee and pub meetups. In addition to this we had some public rituals as well as pagans in the park. There is a heap of stuff cooking up for next year which is really exciting.

Secretary’s Report
Memberships keep rolling in, up to about 209 membership now as well as over 900 likes on Facebook.

Treasurer’s Report
Nothing new to report, money in the bank is the same as the last few meetings, the PCV has not been running events that make money.

Meet-Ups
CBD Moot
This moot is getting really busy, with 2-3 new people pretty much every time that have not been met before, it is exciting to see lots of new faces. The moot is changing venues to the Last Jar for next year to accommodate the fact that we need more seats for the events. Should be slightly more disability friendly with a bathroom on the same floor, however there are still the steps at the front and a narrow door. For 2017 the moots will be running monthly but taking a break for September.

Central Vic
The Central Victoria Pagans in the Café had four meets this year, with an average of 4 – 8 attendees at them. For 2017 the Pagans in the Café and the Central Vic Heathens will be combining the coffee meets and aiming for quarterly coffee meets.

Central Vic Heathens
The Central Vic Heathens in addition to combining with the Pagans in the Café are looking at trying to run some different events next year beyond coffee meets. More to be announced as they come.

Hills Meets
These meets are going from strength to strength, running in a lovely new venue (Earthly Pleasures), getting about 10+ attendees at each meet, people attending are happy with the format, these meets will be running monthly for 2017.
Two other meet ups in the works – Hamilton, which is trying to get up and running with some support from us and will hopefully start running next year. Also Frankston which Dorian has kindly volunteered to get going next year, at this stage it will probably be bi-monthly in the Frankston area. More will be confirmed as it is organised. 
ACTION: Need to get a start date sorted with Dorian for 2017
ACTION: Need to make sure that the meets that are near each other don’t conflict with each other, PCV or otherwise so as to not make it too hard for attendees to choose what to go to.

Memberships
Seven new memberships have been received since last meeting, no objections to the members were raised, so all new people were approved.

Dates for 2017

Committee Meetings CBD Meet-Ups Hills Meet-Ups Sabbats Other
  15th January 8th January    
26th Feb (attach to Druid Coffee, Northcote) 19th February 5th February 5th February Lughnassa (Silver Birch)  
  19th March 5th March 25th March Mabon (Wiccans) Pagan Pride Day 18th March Pagan Concert 18th March
8th April (Central Victoria) 16th April (needs to be changed) 2nd April    
  21st May 7th May Samhain (May date TBC)  
4th June (attach to Hills Meetup, Belgrave) 18th June 4th June Yule Dinner 24th June  
  16th July 2nd July    
20th August AGM (attach to CBD meet-up) 20th August 6th Aug    
  17th September (needs to be changed) 3rd Sept 24th September Ostara (Silver Birch/Heathens)  
14th October (Central Victoria) 15th October 1st October    
  19th November 5th November    
3rd December (attach to Hills Meet-Up, Belgrave)   3rd December    
PCV Hiatus 24th Dec – 7th Jan        

Imbolc – *stare at Reclaiming and Lucas*

Pagans in the Park/Pagan Pride Day
18th of March is the proposed date for the event. Some of the concepts discussed were – having stalls, a festival feel and less picnic feel, showcase for traditions (someone gets up and talks about each tradition and talks about what they do and who is good to talk to if you want to go further) Need to get the ideas, for location, format etc. then scale back.

ACTION: Shaz will talk to her contacts/arch-druid to get some ideas for running it and what resources are available, possibly Fitzroy/Treasury gardens for the location, if so we need to make sure to follow all the protocols with paperwork etc. for running in such a public location
ACTION: The working group need to have a meeting for this, a date will be set.

Yule Dinner
Going to run as the same format as the 2014 one, it was ritzy, nice and well catered, Ryan is hoping to get the prices down to about $35 – 40
ACTION: Ryan is going to look for a venue and nut out a menu in the next few weeks. Going to see about getting Casey over for it again to do the entertainment.

PCV Businesses/Relationships
Is it possible to get us thinking about our kind of relationships with the businesses, loyalty programs, advertising, think of a way to have a financial exchange, perhaps have a charge for being listed on the website?, or the donation of raffle prizes for things like Yule dinner in exchange for a write-up for them in the newsletter, listings for actual health practitioners for pagan friendly businesses (mental health, physical health etc.), hire a pagan (pagan friendly employers) [Get Witch Quick]
ACTION: receipt book

Newsletter
Due to a number of issues the newsletter has become untenable; a lot of work, hard to get content in and on time from contributors and the amount of time needed to format all the content.
As part of the overhaul we would like to move to a more online format, have it set with schedule of posts hosted on a blog, still have articles and stuff that come on, keep it accessible, drive traffic up more, part of making our resources even more accessible and easy to find.
Action: Josie – make a schedule of posts etc. to try and get the format roughly laid out. Volunteers for articles and content will be organised by the committee.

Calendar
Josie has made a master document for the calendar, if you give Jo an e-mail to sign up, you can then go in and add your events and change them as need be to help with keeping our calendar as current and accurate as possible.

Julie Brett’s Book Tour
Action – Start a conversation on the PCV committee page for locations etc. for the book tour, Sooki Lounge – Hills, Norcote – Druid Coffee, Central Vic/Ballarat as well as seeing if people would be willing to play host to her while she is over to assist in making it a successful venture for her.

Samhain 2017
Seline has asked if she can run it again in 2017 – don’t have a date yet, hopefully not actual Samhain, more will be released as it is known.

PCV Concert
Spiral Dance and Kacey Guy concert at bar 303 on the evening of Pagan Pride day $25 normal entry or $20 concession. Ryan is setting up an Eventbrite, and we are thinking of running a tin around at events prior to get donations to help get this to happen (it will cover essentials for the performers such as fuel/flights, accommodation, etc.) Adrienne is making poster designs, the posters should hopefully be available for January

PCV Morris Side
We now have a Morris Side, who are planning to do their first thing at Mt Franklin, dancing the sun up at Mt Franklin on the Sunday. Any committee members wanting to join let Josie, Sarah or Mark know so they can be added to the planning group.
ACTION: Alex has now joined the Morris Side

New Committee Members
ACTION: Alex, Dean and Lucas are now committee members for the current period.

Working with Children Checks
Action – Can committee members please send copies of your WWC to us so we can make sure that we have a database of proof for legal reasons. They can be e-mailed to the official Collective Gmail account, all details will be kept confidential. Other Business Fundraising – sell the tickets prior to spiral dance and then do the draw and give out at the concert, advertise it well and it will help raise funds for the PCV, potential idea is a pagan hamper with items donated (shirt from Silver Birch and Mt Franklin) items made by committee members etc.

Grants – are there grants that we can get access to as the PCV? Fran is going to look into the grants situation as a friend of the PCV (non-committee member)

Meeting Closed: 3.02