March is Community Safety Month for the PCV. Throughout this month we will be promoting safe, sane and inclusive Pagan community for all through the sharing of information, discussion topics and more.
This month we’ve shared important advice for new Pagans, along with tips and suggestions for finding and joining a group. We’ve also looked at the need for a consent culture within our community, and how that can be achieved.
Our final topic for Community Safety Month is Pagan Ethics and Etiquette. These articles have been collected and discussed by the PCV committee: some share some common-sense views on ethical issues within our community, while others offer advice on how to mind your manners in the public Pagan scene.
Building Fences – Vouching, Communities and the Internet: In this piece, US author Thorn Mooney discusses the online Pagan community, and how the advent of the internet has changed the vouching process for lineaged/initiatory Pagan traditions.
Should You Pay for Online Spellcasting Services?: There are lots of people out there on the internet offering all kinds of spells, but US Pagan Patti Wigington points out there are better alternatives that won’t leave you hornswoggled.
How to Spot a Terrible Coven: Thorn Mooney shares some important, no-nonsense advice for anyone joining a new coven or group.
Your Responsibilities in Ritual: In this piece, US writer and high priest Jason Mankey discusses the responsibilities of all ritual participants, from the fluffiest bunny to the crustiest elder.
Screw Your Aesthetic: Despite what witches on Instagram might have you think, “real” witchcraft does not have to be blood, skulls and sex. Thorn Mooney explains.
Spiritual Treatment is No Substitute for Mental Health Care: It seems all too common for Pagans to treat their spiritual practice as an alternative to mental health care. US author and Druid John Beckett points out the dangers and fallacies of this.
Five Signs You Shouldn’t Run a Pagan Group: Thinking about starting your own Pagan group? Thorn Mooney has put together a few things about yourself you should consider first.
The Witch’s Guide to Etiquette – Avoiding Witch Wars: For our final Community Safety Month resource for 2018, we chose this gem by author and witch Laura Tempest Zakroff.
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