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.
Pagan Collective of Victoria
Meeting Minutes – 26/02/2017
Location: Peacock Inn Hotel, Northcote Start Time: 11.42AM
Attending: Luca, Sarah, Shaz, Josie, Ryan, Nikole, Ange, Mark, Alex, Dorian
The PCV has gotten off to a bumper year with a busy start, there have been a lot of new faces appearing at events, it seems that there is success in creating a safer community. We have already had a fantastic public Lughnasadh ritual. With Pagan Pride Day coming up there is a lot to be excited about at the moment as we continue on into the year.
We have such an exciting month coming up in March with Community Safety Month being rolled out and Pagan Pride Day as well as the concert. The community continues to grow and come together and it is an exciting time for the Collective as well as to be a member of the community.
The accounts are currently sitting at $25.60 in the bank account and a further $18 in the PayPal account.
Ryan recently paid for our Annual Statement to Consumer Affairs, part of our ongoing obligations as a Not-For-Profit, which was about $55 and the cost is a donation from him.
We have about $300 odd in ticket sales in the Eventbrite at present from ticket sales for the Spiral Dance/Kacey Guy concert, tickets are selling very well at the moment and will continue to do so.
There isn’t a lot new to report on this front, memberships continue to grow; we now have over 340 signed up members and over a thousand FaceBook followers.
The meets keep getting bigger, newbies every time and there have been about 15 or so people at each one, always really positive attitudes and discussions. Everyone is happy with them and the café loves having them there.
These meets are now on average getting 20 – 30 people every month. The venue likes us, as they are quiet on Sundays so they are getting better business on the Sundays that we are there. There are some really good discussions going on, had a great community safety discussion at the last meeting with lots of input from the community which is fantastic and people are really positive in general.
Due to having to cancel the first one there hasn’t been a meet-up in Central yet, the first one is happening in April. As a result there isn’t much to report here yet.
We had the first one at Groove Train and there was at least one person Dorian didn’t know, the turnout was reasonably good and went well, looking forward to the next one and it looks like it will be quite a success.
Due to circumstances beyond control, the location for the meet-ups have had to change a number of times in recent months and this seems to have caused some disruption to the meet-up. It looks like it will be able to stay at the Peacock Inn, which will help to have a stable venue again. They would appreciate some assistance in advertising to help spread the word of the event to help get it back on stable footing. Mark has offered to ask Julie if it is ok to share the event in Druids Down Under and other such groups, in addition to the PCV sharing the event.
The Morris Side is now at the stage with the dance they are learning that they can start learning a second dance. They are looking forward to getting to the stage where they can dance with other groups, as well as being able to accept and train new members. They are also looking forward to their upcoming workshop with members of established Morris side, Hot For Joe. They are feeling more confident and are in the process of joining the Morris Ring and will get their first year free, which gives them insurance for things like injuries of the dancers or others such as audience. They have had semi-permanent loan of Morris Bells and Sticks to help them with getting off the ground. The source of the loan has also offered to give a workshop on Morris and loan a Obby ‘Oss. The Side has got a growing following within the community which seems to be somewhat interested in the antics of the Morris Dancers.
Pagan Pride Day
Edinburgh Gardens confirmed as the venue, with the list of participants and the ritual confirmed, and a timeline pencilled in. Speakers to be contacted to provide details for the flyer, and traditions who have not confirmed speakers to be followed up in the next couple of days for confirmation.
Confirmed that the PCV’s Mabon ritual will be run at this event, and that it will be a Wiccan-style ritual
Spiral Dance/KC Guy
Transport and accommodation costs for the musicians have already been covered; at this point in time the event will break even, but further promotion would definitely help. Posters have been delayed due to printing issues, but internet promotion is going well. Josie, Alex, and Nickole volunteered to assist with door staffing; Mark will be official event photographer.
Recent Public Statement
The PCV statement in response to the impending release of sex offender Robin Fletcher was released on the 10th of February and received a flood of positive responses from the wider Pagan community, with 80 groups and prominent individuals co-signing the statement, and many more expressing support and appreciation for it and the PCV’s condemnation of child abuse, non-consensual sex, and violence.
Looking forward, we are collating educational resources as part of further community support; these will be distributed both on and offline, to promote awareness of safety at Pagan events. Statements from local groups are also in the process of being collated, and it was agreed that the convenors of the various meets, moots, and gatherings around Victoria should have a safety policy as part of their basic information. All group hosts present agreed.
As a knock-on effect of the statement, we have had more people coming to PCV events specifically because they have seen that community safety is a priority. This is incredibly heartening, and something we wish to work further towards.
It was suggested that the PCV website and Facebook be updated to reflect the diversity and commitment of the committee, as it is comprised of people from many different traditions, practices, and backgrounds, working towards a common goal of building a supportive, safe, and healthy community.
It was also proposed that with this in mind, a media liaison group for the PCV may be a good idea. This will be discussed further, as will further support structures for a safer community.
Review of Business Promoted
The community calendar has grown so much of late that it is now a herculean task currently maintained by only a couple of people. in order that our committee be able to maintain their jobs and relationships, it was unanimously voted in that we will no longer chase up events, and will rely instead on event organisers providing us with information. This may mean that some events are no longer advertised but on the plus side the committee will be able to spend time with their families.
In the light of our focus on safe spaces, this may also change our advertising policy but at present none of the events we advertise have been flagged as potentially problematic, so we will implement the new calendar policy as previously described.
The public PCV Samhain ritual is being hosted by Seline and it is going to be on the 30th of April. At the moment that is what is known, more will be put in the committee later and can then be spread on the event page and advertising later.
There is a slight clash of dates for committee members, Nikole is going in an official PCV capacity and possibly Luca.
Blog and WordPress Workshop Day
The blog is going on really well, we are scheduling items ahead of time so that we have stuff going up every week, on time, every time. We are getting a lot of hits on the articles, which would indicate that this new format seems to be working
We are happy to show other committee members how to use WordPress so that more people can use it. So if people are interested in this contact Mark and Josie and we will set up a date once we have an idea of numbers of people and can work out a venue.
When we had the last meeting we didn’t have anyone to run Imbolc, but the Reclaiming community has kindly volunteered to run it on the 5th of August in the Darebin Parklands, Nikole will liaise with us and let us know what Reclaiming needs from us and any other details that come up so we can advertise and help in whatever way is needed.
It has been a requirement for some time that all committee members hold current Working With Children Checks, and in light of our focus on community safety, it was agreed that copies of all committee members’ WWC cards be kept on file (which will not be made publicly available as the cards contain personal information), so that the PCV can rest assured that all members of the committee have passed a WWCC.
Working With Children Checks are a pre-requisite for being on the PCV committee, and all committee members’ cards will need to be on file before the next AGM. it was also suggested, with full committee agreement, that anyone running public rituals for the PCV be required to have a current WWCC. This refers to the main ritual organiser, though of course if others involved also have WWCC, that is an advantage.
This is a way of maintaining community safety in relation to minors in the community, and also to improve confidence in public ritual spaces in the eyes of the community.
An idea has been presented that we need a welcoming committee, at events have people that go out of their way to make sure new people feel welcome and safe and to answer any questions to help make sure that the community continues to encourage the open and safe nature of PCV events, it is an idea at present but there is no set way to do it yet. Possibly will include having an event once or twice a year, informal, new people are invited and we present information and have an informal dinner and chat sort of thing.
It was proposed that we could possibly have some dates that happen at meet-ups where we encourage new people to attend and run the event so that it helps them to feel welcome. We shall continue to discuss this on the FB group due to time constraints today.
Possibly we should consider having ‘Newvember’ and have a newbie month or perhaps ‘NeoVember’ where we make sure that we run stuff that is ultra-inclusive as part of this.
It looks like it might be at the Last Jar on the 24th June, probably 2 courses to cut costs and make tickets more affordable.
A subcommittee shall be formed to help organize – Sub-committee – Ryan, Alex, Sarah, Josie, Mark (decorations), Ange (decorations) and shall liaise further to get this rolling.
The community expects more than sausage. They want custard or a Chikko Roll.
Meeting End: 12.49
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.
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.
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.