Many thanks to Alex, Sarah and Ryan for these great photos of our January adventures!
Many thanks to our secretary Mark for putting these minutes together. 🙂
Pagan Collective of Victoria
Meeting Minutes 18/02/2018
Present: Josie, Nickole, Dorian, Elkie, Alex, Sarah, Mark, Ryan
Apologies: Seamus, Ang, Shaz, Dean
Meeting Location: The Last Jar, Melbourne
Meeting Open: 12.38
- President’s Report –
We are now back into things again after the Christmas break. The committee dinner was a great opportunity to get to know each other better and we will try and do these a few times a year to help strengthen our bond as a team. Patreon is up and posting more to come later in the meeting.
- Secretary’s Report –
There isn’t a lot of new news on this front at present, we are overhauling the membership sign-up process and database to make things more efficient.
- Treasurer’s Report –
We currently have about $17 in the account, the first of the Patreon payments won’t come through until the start of the next month.
- Meet-up Reports
The Hills ritual went really well and they are hoping to be able to do something like this again in the future. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
The numbers continue to go well for the city meetup, with a good regular attendance, there is going to be a slight change to the discussion format as it moves forward this year. They are contemplating doing a Facebook live at a future event.
Ballarat meet-ups are still in discussion with the possibility of running four a year on the table at present.
These meet-ups are still continuing on and are going well with some regular faces as well as new faces turning up each meeting.
The first Swinburn pagan event will be coming up soon, it is very exciting.
5. Morris Report
The side is still continuing on in 2018, working on getting the skills up ready to be performance ready. They are attending English Ale in May. They have begun learning a second dance (Dilwyn) and are practicing processionals.
Patreon is now live and posting. Thank-you to everyone that has supported, contributed to and worked on getting it live. Also a big thank-you to everyone that has become a backer, or been helping share it around.
The overhaul is well underway and now blog posts immediately post to the Facebook as well. The site is getting anywhere from 50 – 200 hits a day. That is frankly amazing.
The stats are up really well, so please continue to share and interact with it to help keep this up.
We are updating the form so that when a member signs up it sends it straight to our database (which is being overhauled) We will be contacting members to confirm their details and to ensure they know their membership number.
- Community Safety Month
Have a lot of articles lined up ready to go throughout March so that our social media will be posting something every day designed to provide the community with access to information that will educate and inform in a variety of aspects of safe community.
- Spiral Dance
Yes they are still coming to Melbourne, no we don’t have the date yet but will be posting more about it when we do. This will be branded as a PCV presents event.
12. Pagan Pride Day
The date has been selected as April 7th.
Sarah will be drawing up a list of speakers and presenters for the various traditions and paths in Victoria as well as the various groups currently running events open to the public.
It has been proposed that we have a Druids v Witches Kubb game on the day, it will be a light-hearted thing, designed to be entertaining.
13. Seasonal Celebrations
Yule – this was to be organised by Dean? We will need to clarify
Autumn Equinox – we currently don’t have someone running the equinox now that Pagan Pride Day is in April.
We now have an Instagram that is being run by Dorian at present. It can be found by looking for pagancollectivevic.
It would be great if we can start announcing some of the dates for workshops, so could the committee members who have volunteered to run workshops please start trying to work out the dates for their workshop. These will probably be 1 – 2 hours in length and $10 – $15 for non-Patreon backers.
16. Chat Bots
Ryan is investigating chat bots with involves direct engagement content with users. He is currently learning about how to use them and will run it when this gets off the ground.
- Inclusive Language
It was raised that we should consider changing some of the language on our website and social media to make it more inclusive. It can sometimes come across as slightly Wicca or eclectic witchcraft centric and it would be a shame if that made people from other paths feel left out.
Meeting End: 1.50 PM
2017 is well and truly over, and as we recover from the silly season and bask in the long, hot summer days, we can’t help but start looking forward to what we have planned for the coming year.
Meetups: Last year we hosted more than 50 meetups across the state, giving Pagans of a wide variety of locations, traditions and walks of life the opportunity to come together and socialise over a cuppa (or beer!). This year, our meetups will continue apace, with Melbourne Pagans in the Pub in the CBD, the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets in Belgrave, the Frankston Pagan Meets and the Central Vic Pagan Meets in Creswick and Castlemaine. This year, in conjunction with Druids of Victoria, we will be co-hosting Wandering Druid Coffee Meets in many different locations around the state. If you are a Druid or interested in Druidic practice, take a look.
As always, all our Meets are held according to the Standards laid out in our Mission Statement. Our community is diverse, supportive, and nurturing, and we love it that way.
At present, all our Meets are adults-only. Please do not bring children. If you are a parent wanting to run family-friendly Pagan events, get in touch with us and we’ll help you get started.
Public Rituals: Once again we will be co-hosting free public sabbat rituals with a range of groups and individuals from across our diverse Pagan community. Coming up next weekend is our public Lughnasadh ritual, which will be co-hosted by the Hills Pagans in Belgrave.
Future public rituals include an Imbolc ritual co-hosted by Silver Birch Grove ADF, an Ostara ritual co-hosted by the Sovereigns of the Golden Path and a Midsummer ritual co-hosted by the Melbourne Grove of OBOD.
Patreon: In the very near future we will be launching a Patreon page, where anybody interested can support the PCV with a small monthly donation.
Membership 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 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.
Our Patreon backers will receive exclusive backer-only updates, free entry to our workshops, and discounts for a range of our other initiatives.
Redbubble: Also coming soonish is our Redbubble store, where our friends and supporters can buy groovy PCV merch. We’re currently working on organising a discount for our Patreon backers – watch this space.
Community Safety Month: March will once again be Community Safety Month for the PCV. We will be sharing valuable resources across our online and social media platforms, and discussion topics at our March meetups will be geared towards keeping the Pagan community safe, inclusive and nurturing for all.
Pagan Pride Day: After the huge success of last year’s inaugural Pagan Pride Day, we will be doing it all again in April this year. Pack a picnic and come along for an afternoon of connecting, sharing and celebrating with your community. We will have guest speakers from Victoria’s active Pagan traditions, a ritual and more. There are even rumours of a witches vs druids kubb game being planned.
Community Calendar: We are putting the finishing touches on our 2018 Community Calendar. This calendar contains information about all Pagan events in Victoria and is a valuable resource.
This year, we have made important changes to our calendar policy: “In accordance with Victorian law, groups and individuals running ‘family friendly’ events will need to supply copies of Working With Children Cards for all organisers and volunteers in order to see their event included on the Community Calendar”.
Workshops: We have a number of workshops planned which will be offered free to our Patreon backers. Watch our Facebook Page for updates.
Phew! 2018 is already looking jam-packed with fantastic offerings for the Victorian Pagan community. And with such a wide variety of events and locations, there is sure to be something to suit everyone.
See you there! ❤
See the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets page for more information – Free
See the PCV Facebook Events Page for more details.
Pagans in the Pub Melbourne, hosted by Philippe and Kathy, Fairfield – free
Meet for a friendly chat with other pagans from the Ballarat area. We also have a book swap/mini library with emphasis on paganism, magic and herbs. All welcome.
Hosted by the Ballarat District Pagan Group. See the Facebook event page for more details.
Hosted by Queer Pagan Men Australia. See the Facebook event page for more details.
Melbourne meet up for the Queer Pagan Men Australia group.
This is a discussion and social gathering to share, learn and explore how we approach our spiritual beliefs and practices as queer pagan men, sacred sexuality and our role in community.
This is an informal get together over a few drinks and good food where there will be a round table introduction to get to know everyone and generally a topic discussion is lead by the host representative followed by lots of networking and socialising.
We welcome men of varied experiences and pagan paths. We foster an environment of respect and learning.
Look forward to seeing you there.
Hosted by Queer Pagan Men Australia. See the Facebook event page for more details.
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.