Pagan Collective of Victoria
Meeting Minutes 14/01/2018
Present: Josie, Ryan, Elkie, Alex, Mark, Sarah, Elkie, Shaz, Ang, Fran, Seumas
Apologies: Nickole, Dean, Dorian
Meeting Location: Earthly Pleasures, Belgrave
Meeting Open: 11.07 AM
- President’s Report –
It was a really great year. The PCV ran 57 events last year which is unbelievably good, especially considering we have come from a small hard to locate community to a well networked community where it is very easy for people to find other like minded pagans, whether it is at a PCV event or one of the other events run by other individuals and groups who advertise on our community calendar.
- Secretary’s Report –
The memberships have been slow recently, not surprising given the time of year it is, however the social media has continued to have a lot of interaction and messages which means that people are still engaging with us. The database overhaul is a slow process due to lack of time but will continue to be worked on in 2018.
- Presentation of Accounts (Treasurer) –
We’ve not spent or earned any money in the time since we last met, largely this is because we don’t charge for events and we try to keep the overheads low. We’ll be linking the Patreon to our bank account soon so will have more to report from now on.
- Meet-up Reports
The Hills are amazing and vibrant, the meetup for today had 54 people RSVP’d and the events are frequently larger than can be contained by the venue. The event will evolve to suit this as we progress. The Hills weeknight dinners will resume again soon too, they’ve been popular in their own way and a great event. The writers are still meeting too ostensibly under the Hills banner and seem to be having a good time, how this event will evolve we don’t know but it will continue on into 2018.
The CBD meet-ups continue to be one of our larger regular meet-ups and are going to continue on into 2018 under the custodianship of Ryan. The first one for 2018 will be Sat 20th of Jan.
The Central Vic meet-ups have continued to have fresh faces turn up (two to three new people most meets), they’ve been small and enjoyable. Ballarat meet-ups will continue on in 2018, possibly under a new direction.
Unfortunately Dorian isn’t here to discuss the Frankston meet-ups but from what people have heard they seem to be doing well.
Swinburne now have a Pagan group thanks to the efforts of Alex and are having their first meet-ups this year.
Druid coffee is looking to improve its attendance this year and are getting some advice on running social media to help to this end. We will continue to advertise for them of course and help in any other way that we can.
On the topic of meet-ups this year can we please make sure that the name of every PCV run event has PCV in the name and preferably the month too. This will do two important things, first it will help people tell the difference between the events we run and those we advertise for people. Second it will make it a lot easier for the event wrap-up writer to find all the events each month and make sure that they are covered in the wrap-up.
5. Morris Report
Oak, Smash & Thorn are continuing into 2018 as a side and are planning to travel to South Australia again, in May this time. They’ve been learning to do dark Morris and are going to be learning new dances and sticking this year too.
Patreon will be launching in a few weeks, the campaign having been previously outlined before. It will be linked to the PCV bank account and the campaign clearly outlines what the money can/will be used for. We are currently looking at how to effectively capture audio of workshops for Patreon.
The PCV is going to be running six workshops in 2018, they will cost little ($5 – $10) for the public and will be free to patreon backers. To stop there being pagan burnout for organizers they will be tacked onto meet-up days, running before the meet-up and so that people can leave when it is over or stay for a meal and socialize with others as they choose.
The dates for the workshops will be worked out in the committee group.
The volunteers to run a workshop are – The Hills (topic to be decided)
– Silver Birch Grove (Ogham)
– Linda (Charms)
– Ryan (Divination/Incense)
– Josie (topic to be decided)
It was thought Dorian was interested in running a workshop but we will need to confirm with him before proceeding down that line any further.
- Social Media/Blog
Moving forward into 2018 we are adding the following people to our FB admin team: Alex. We are also adding the following to our Blog/Webpage admin team: Alex and Sarah.
For the monthly meet-up wrap-ups we are looking at moving to a photo based wrap-up with minimal text for ease of publication.
Committee reads may be going to a bi-monthly format with a change to being committee reviews and using themes. Sarah is going to let us know what direction she wants to go when she has had a chance to look at it.
We are adding a new piece to the blog probably titled ‘Walking the Walk.’ which will be focusing on what people are doing to connect more with nature, their path, etc. Mark and Josie will be contributing their Gold Fields Walks to this and when the Hills get their 2018 sorted will be contributing some articles too.
We are still waiting on some WWC checks for some people. We will be discussing some other WWC stuff when we get to community safety.
Need to check in with Seline to see if she is still happy to run Samhain 2018 or whether her other contributions are going to make this too hard.
- Social Media/Blog
The blog is continuing to be a great asset to the PCV along with the calendar and as mentioned the duties have been divvied up so that it can continue to run smoothly and not over-whelm anyone.12. Midsumma
We will be looking at whether or not we can/will run a stall at 2019 Midsumma with the Queer Pagan Men Australia group and what will be needed etc. for that.
- WoZ Movie Night
It was decided that with everything already on the table that this might not be something we continue to pursue at this point.
- Spiral Dance
Coming again in 2018 sponsored by the PCV, no dates have been set in stone yet but it will probably be April-ish at this stage. It won’t be run the same day as Pagan Pride Day this year because it was deemed overall too much for people.
Still planning to get this running in 2018 now that the crazy December January period is coming to an end and the annual PCV hiatus for the committee is over.16. OBOD Summer Solstice 2018
The Melbourne Grove are excited and nervous to run this ritual, it is going to be a first for them. The date for it will be Sunday the 23rd of December and they will let us know if they need any kind of assistance from us.
The Sunday Druid Coffee clashes with this date so Silver Birch are going to cancel so that there is no conflict with them.
- Pagan Pride Day 2018
The date previously discussed was not working out well clashing with other events. The date therefore is being moved to April the 7th. Due to how far from the equinox that puts it we won’t be hosting an equinox ritual as part of the day but instead will be hosting a welcoming ritual designed to appeal to people of all paths.
- Pagan Census/Survey
It has been a few years since we last did a survey to try and get a clear picture of the Victorian community and their needs so we will be conducting another one in 2018, with people’s identities being anonymous again, so we can hopefully get an honest response. Once again we will publish final results for people to view. We ended up with some great data last time. This will also provide people a chance to provide feedback.
The questions will be vetted in the committee group before it goes up. Josie, Ryan and Mark will be conducting this.
- Mental Health Support Group Advertisement
We’ve been contacted by a person wanting to advertise a pagan mental health support group that they have set up. We are going to discuss what questions we have in the private committee group and send them to them as soon as possible. They will cover topics like ‘emergency response plans’, format etc.
If we are happy to go ahead and advertise this we are going to need a well written disclaimer since they are a third party that we don’t have representation on there to make sure it is all running ok.
Fran is also going to get us the details for a legally/professionally sanctioned peer support group to let people know about as well.
While we are on the topic of this it is probably worth considering putting together some resources in a easy to digest format such as lifeline etc, for people to access if they are in distress.
It is also worth considering having a list of pagan friendly professionals available too, lawyers, psychologists, etc.
In 2018 we will be requiring all events we advertise that claim a family friendly status to prove that they have Working with Children checks (current) for all people running the event, workshop, etc. If they refuse to provide this proof or can’t then their events will not be shared by the PCV and will be deleted from any groups we moderate because there is no way to make sure that they are ok otherwise.
We are going to start sharing and reminding people of our community safety policies (and others) since it is a new year, we will be doing this a little at a time so people aren’t getting overwhelmed.
In March we are planning to share a resource a day around community safety and be gearing our discussion topics to focus on this as well.
We would like to have a chance for the community to have their say too as part of this initiative and will be working on that in the near future.
Changes to Committee
As we move forward into 2018 we are saying goodbye to one of our committee members Carrie. We would like to thank her for her time and effort on the committee and hope to continue to see her at pagan events.
It has been suggested that currently the PCV could be perceived as being a shadowy organisation due to our emphasis on community and events and not highlighting who the committee are and where they are from (so to speak).
We will be updating the webpage with bio’s, something short is fine, just so that people have an idea of who we are.
It was suggested everyone check out the Tasmanian Pagan Alliance website for their committee bios and personal bios for inspiration because they are apparently well done.
Young People – Safe Spaces
It was raised that we really need to find better ways to communicate with younger pagans to ensure that they are finding their ways into safe places in the community and aren’t being groomed by shady or dodgy people.
Ryan is going to be running four Ballarat meet-ups in 2018, dates to be discussed in the private committee group.
Pagan Alliance of South Australia
By now everyone has probably seen the announcements by the Pagan Alliance of South Australia.
What can we do to help? Financially if everyone signed up for their newsletter (It is $10 a year) that would help and we can encourage other Victorians to do so too.
Contact has also been made asking them if anything else can be done by PCV to help them, so far nothing has been suggested in this regard but we will help them however we can because it would be a shame to see our South Australian friends lose such an important resource.
Meeting End: 12.07 PM
Hills Pagan Weeknight Dinners
The PCV’s Hills Pagan Monthly Coffee Meets have become so popular that it was decided a second Hills Meet was needed! To give our lovely host café a bit of space and offer those who find their weekends eclipsed by other commitments a chance to attend, a weeknight dinner event was established. In October we met for the first Hills Pagan Monthly Weeknight Dinner in the eclectic and charming ambiance of the Micawber Park Tavern in Belgrave. The tavern sits nestled among lush treeferns and surrounded by towering mountain ash forest. Beside the tavern a stream dances among the rocks, and if you are quiet and lucky, you may see a platypus before it disappears leaving only ripples behind. Inside traditional protective amulets – horse brasses lay on the cottage-like exposed beams, while an assortment of steins, tankards, lead lights lamps, old oak barrels and images of knights dot the interior landscape.
We had a fine old wooden table in an open room to ourselves. Naturally a lot of discussion began with plans and excitement for the Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering. It moved in turn to swapping travel experiences about Iceland, Scandinavia, Scotland and even Antarctica. The new meet also saw initial Spring plans hatched for a Hills Pagan Writers Bootcamp. We chatted about gardening, elf stones and whether three or more Pagan events on the same day is too much. A fine tavern dinner, in a splendid setting filled with bright and bubbly Pagan banter was enjoyed by all. We’re already looking forward to the next one!
Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets
To say that October has been a massive month for the Hillsmeets is a little like saying the ocean is a bit damp; it’s November now, so it’s technically impossible to cram any more into October, but the last four weeks for the Hillsfolk have included:
*our regular Sunday meet at Earthly Pleasures – and the first one for the Spring that has been warm enough for us to gather outside in EP’s beautiful gardens;
*the second of our ongoing monthly weeknight dinner meets at Micawber Tavern, which was well-attended and is going to continue being a lovely, relaxed get-together in extremely pretty surroundings;
*the first of our ongoing Writers’ Workshops, hosted by published author (and witch) Helen Patrice, who offers prompts, inspiration, and guidance in writing around pagan themes;
*and last but not least, the culmination of weeks of hard work, as the Hillsmeets hosted the Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering’s Beltane Ritual. The MFPG is in its 36th year, and it was an honour to be part of such a long and beautiful tradition. With an attendance of nearly a hundred people, the Beltane ritual was somewhat of a baptism of fire (if you’ll excuse the metaphor which is simultaneously very appropriate and also not at all) for the Hills group, who had not previously done any ritual or magical work together (unless you count sitting around having coffee every single month for nearly three years and still really enjoying it an act of magic), let alone any public work, and had no opportunity to get together for even one rehearsal before the big night. But we are nothing if not intrepid, and our faith in ourselves, each other, and the divine was rewarded, and the ritual went beautifully; the weather was perfect, the fire roared into blazing life, the May Queen and her King were crowned, and a very tangible sacred space was shared by everyone.
The Hillsmeets group would like to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to the MFPG organisers and all who attended, and I would like to express my love and thanks to the ritual group who were absolutely magnificent, not to mention unfailingly positive, supportive, helpful, and brave. Alex, Dean, Fran, Seumas, and Veronica (in alphabetical order because I can’t type you all in simultaneously; it would be the sort of typographical nightmare that summons demons or looks like a black metal band logo) – you are amazing, with a special mention to Ro, whose humour, support, and the fact she’d thought of absolutely everything that could possibly be needed, kept us all going. You’re all amazing.
Our beautiful little community keeps growing and getting lovelier, and long may it flower.
And may November be comparatively peaceful, and filled with cake.
Silver Birch Grove Druid Coffee
Silver Birch Grove ADF held it’s Druid Coffee on Sunday 22nd of October. We had a good crowd for a cold Sunday and we were happy that we had a table in the front room again. As always the service and food at The Peacock Inn hotel was wonderful and I enjoyed a great lunch with copious amounts of coffee.
We were able to begin organising ourselves for the upcoming Mt Franklin Pagan Festival, making sure we all had the camping equipment we would need and worked on a little bit of a meal plan. For those that know me that meant I had to work out how much bacon we would need.
There were many varied conversations over lunch. We had a chat about modern Heathenry, some interesting reading suggestions and a fascinating conversation regarding the current Marriage Equality survey with other interested attendees. We found that we had all sent our surveys in already and are hoping the outcome is a positive one.
I got to talk to one of our regulars about his upcoming trip to Las Vegas. While we will be camping, he will be jetting off to the US. He thought it was a shame he would be missing Mt Franklin this year but I’m pretty sure he was just being polite.
Druid Coffee is a great way to meet your local ADF Druids. We hold it on the 4th Sunday of each month at The Peacock Inn Hotel in Northcote. We hope you can catch us at the next one.
CBD Pagan Pub Moot
With Spring having sprung, a small band of Pagans gathered in a cosy nook of The Last Jar Irish Pub. In that shadowy corner our dark purpose was to summon a few pints of Guiness. The previous few CBD Pub Moots had been quite gregarious. This time however, with the AWC and several other competing events on during the same weekend, we had a smaller turn out. This quieter and more relaxed atmosphere turned out to be perfect for some new people to ask some questions of some Pagans who had been practicing for a longer time and all had many experiences to share.
What’s Next for the PCV?
Dates for your diary…
Saturday, November 18th: Central Victorian Pagans and Heathens in the Cafe
Sunday, November 19th: CBD Pagan Pub Moot – November
Saturday, November 25th: PCV Summer Picnic 2017
Sunday, November 26th: Bi-Monthly Frankston/Cranbourne Pagan Meet
Sunday, December 3rd: December Committee Meeting
Sunday, December 3rd: Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets – December
By Alex and Josie
On the 18th of March The PCV hosted our first Pagan Pride Day, in Edinburgh Gardens. It was an amazing day filled with amazing people and a great sense of community. The event started at 12pm. People started arriving and what was initially a small amount of people grew: we ended up with around 50 people attending.
At 2pm the talks about the various paths started. Our first speaker was Shaz. She spoke about ADF Druidry and Silver Birch Grove. Josephine talked about Alexandrian witchcraft, and we then had Dean who spoke about Asatru (Norse paganism), followed by KC guy who spoke about OBOD Druidry. Next, Fio Talked about the Reclaiming path, then Luca Talked about Wildwood, and Dorian Talked about Chaos magic.
After the talks on the different paths we moved on to our ritual for the autumn Equinox which was run by Josie and Ryan in a Alexandrian inspired style. The quarters were called by Fran (Air), Sarah (Fire), Alex (Water) and Mark (Earth). It was a beautiful ritual that included a meeting dance and lovely music.
After the ritual we moved on to our second session of talk which were about the different meetings and gatherings around Victoria we started off with Ryan talking about the CBD pub moots, then Sarah talking about the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets. Next was Mark who talked about the Central Vic meetups, and we then had Dean who talked about the Heathen meetups, which include a ritual. This was followed by Nickole talking about Earthsong Witchcamps. We then had Dorian who talked about the newly started Frankston/Cranbourne Meetups, and Shaz then talked about Druid Coffee. The Queer Pagan Men’s meetups where then talked about by Buck, Michel then talked about the Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering, and finally we finished off with Seline talking about Into Me I See.
It was an absolutely amazing day filled with friendship and community spirit. As a fairly new member of the Pagan community I found it to be a great way to learn more about what is available in Victoria and also to meet more like minded people. I would also love to thank the amazing PCV for running the day especially Sarah for being MC and making sure everything ran smoothly. I would also love to thank all the speakers and those who ran the ritual and finally thankyou to everyone who attended as without you it wouldn’t have happened.
“I just saw a Reclaiming witch, a Druid and an Anarchist eating grapes together. And they were LAUGHING.”
– overheard at the Pagan Pride Day picnic
After a busy and marvelously social day at Pagan Pride Day, we headed on down to Bar 303 in Northcote to see Spiral Dance and KC Guy live in concert, presented by the PCV.
This concert was the perfect way to finish off a day of the Pagan community coming together. KC Guy’s voice is truly enchanting, and just what we needed to chill out and lose ourselves. Spiral Dance has a decades-long track record of bringing Pagans together with their beautiful and very danceable music, and dance we did!
The hot, sticky night didn’t stop any of us from busting out our best daggy Pagan dance moves to tunes like The Quickening, Faerie Tale and our favourite, Black Annis.
By the end of the night our throats were raw, our clothes were heavy with sweat and every last one of us were wearing enormous watermelon-slice grins as we exploded out into the cool night air of High Street.
A million, squillion thankyous to KC Guy and Spiral Dance for travelling from South Australia to perform for us and provide the perfect ending to a perfect day. Thanks also to Bar 303 for having us, to everyone who helped out on the door, and to Mark Hayes for his beautiful photos of the night.
You can download a copy of the Pagan Pride Day Flyer here: PPD 2017
Photo Reuse Policy: You are welcome to use these photos for *personal use* on social media, etc, but please credit/tag the Mark Hayes Photography Facebook Page when you do.