Meeting Minutes: August 2017

Pagan Collective of Victoria

 

Meeting Minutes 20/8/2017

 

Present: Josie, Ryan, Carrie, Nickole, Geoff, Elkie, Dean, Alex, Fran, Mark, Dorian, Lucas, Sarah, Seamus

 

Apologies: Shaz, Ang

 

Meeting Location: The Last Jar, Melbourne

Meeting Open: 1.05 PM

 

 

  1. President’s Report –

It’s been another great year, the meetups have really flourished and grown, the calendar is our most visited page on the website and the feedback has been really positive overall. We are now moving into our fourth year as a successful not-for-profit and it is exciting to see it continue to grow and flourish.

 

  1. Vice-Presidents Report

It has been an exciting year full of challenges. We have faced them head on, made hard decisions and come out stronger and better off for having dealt with these challenges head on. Very happy to see the PCV continuing on to new and better things.

 

  1. Secretary’s Report –

Memberships have continued to climb in a fairly even fashion over the year, we now have over 340 registered members out there and over a thousand Facebook likes. Pretty exciting, some of the members are even from other states and countries.

 

  1. Presentation of Accounts (Treasurer) –

Apart from the Spiral Dance/Kc Guy concert there was not really any financial activity, at least on the income front. We still have the usual costs of website, annual fees to consumer affairs etc. which are covered by donation from committee members (Josie and Ryan). Currently we have $142.70 in the bank.

 

  1. Meet-up Reports

It is worth noting that the PCV has done around 100 free events (just PCV and affiliates alone) in the last 12 months. In addition to this we advertise even more events on our calendar (paid and free) from non-affiliates.
We have had a lot of interest in how we do things in The Pagan Collective of Victoria from across the globe, apparently we run a model that other people think works really well.

Hills

The Hills as usual continues to grow, amaze and flourish. It has a really warm open atmosphere that encourages people of all walks to attend. It is currently a victim of it’s own success. For the colder months advertising of the event has had to stop because more attendee’s than the venue can handle are turning up. In the warmer months they will be able to expand out into the front garden and comfortably accommodate the numbers they have been getting.
The possibility of having a new Hills event that takes place mid-week has been raised and will be explored further if there is sufficient interest to attend/run it.

CBD
There are a lot of people attending every month, the venue is dealing well with the numbers (on average 14 – 20). This meet continues to follow the same model it has of general chatter, then once all anticipated attendees are there a discussion topic is presented and everyone has a chance to have their say. This continues to run for 11 months of the year.

Creswick
Continuing to have attendees that haven’t come before attend them, it seems to be growing quietly, still on a quarterly basis. It has been heartening to meet so many different pagans from around Central Victoria.

Frankston
These meets continue on with some growing interest, Dorian is happy to keep hosting these events quarterly.

6. Redbubble

Redbubble has been discussed previously as a potential place to sell merchandise for the PCV and it’s meet-ups.
Sarah has kindly offered to design merchandise and is in the process of adapting the logo etc. for use on the Redbubble account once it is set up.
For the new members – the reason the Redbubble was suggested over another form of merch was that there is little to no outlay that would have to come out of donations from the committee and people are able to just order what they want from our store.
Dorian is also offering up some of his artwork for use on items in the Redbubble.
The aim is for January next year to the time that we go live with the Redbubble store, allowing time to set everything up correctly so it runs smoothly.

7. Mount Franklin

It would be great to have a display this year at the Gathering with flyers etc. advertising the groups, probably similar to the one from Pagan Pride Day. Also to have the PAN community safety flyers.

The PCV has been asked to run the children’s May Pole this year, our intrepid committee member Alex has offered his services for this job.

A core group from the Hills are running the ritual this year and may need some assistance at some points prior to the Gathering which we will happily provide.

8. Midsummer

This event is going to be a family friendly event held at Fairy Park in Anakie, attendees will need to buy a ticket from Fairy Park to get in, however apart from that it is running as a free event.
The event is on FaceBook already with details on there for people interested.
According to the staff at Fairy Park the venue is accessible for people with mobility issues but they may need some assistance.
The event will be BYO own food and drinks (non-alchoholic only!)
The date is the 25th of November

9. Witches of Oz Movie Night

The proposed venue at present is the Tin Shed in Belgrave, however this event still needs more research which Fran has kindly offered to do. The proposed movie is Practical Magic.

10. Patreon

It has been suggested that the PCV run a Patreon as a way to cover some of the costs that it incurs annually, without having to become a organisation that charges its members fees every year.
To this end the proposal at this point is that we consider starting a Patreon that only has a $1 reward (this doesn’t stop people from donating more). It is of course completely voluntary for our members to support us or not as they chose.
Some reward needs to be offered for supporters, after all everything we do now is free anyway, to this end it is suggested that some backer content be made, proposed ideas are a free workshop for backers and some live video etc. content only available to backers.

Action – Josie will put together and present a proposed Patreon, and appropriate rewards etc. at the next committee meeting and this can be voted on then.

11. Trivia Night

This could be a really fun way to get a variety of members and non-members together for an evening of fun and games. It could be a great night.

Action – Nickole to come up with a plan, possible date, venue and other details to be presented at the next meeting.

12. Ostara

Will be held on Sunday the 24th of September under the Silver Birch Grove banner. It is going to have a Heathen tone and will be organised via FB.

13. 2018 Planning

Next meeting will be the meeting to set a great deal of the dates for next year so please bring your dates, diaries etc. so we can get the plans rolling.

14. Blog/Social Media

People are welcome to help with both of these things. Read that as please help committee!

15. Other Business

Swinburn Uni Student Pagans Group – contact has been made with Swinburn by Alex and discussion is ongoing with the possibility that they will get some club funding/space to run their gatherings etc in.

A history of Druidry project is underway, Elkie has been sending out questionnaires etc. to people and is compiling a history of Druidry in Australia with some assistance. We may be able to help in some small way as and when is needed.
Closing Remarks

Thank-you all and welcome to the new committee!

 

Meeting End: 1.45 PM

 

Throughout and About: The PCV in June 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in June 2017

Happy Solstice from the PCV! June featured a beautiful Solstice Ritual alongside the usual meetups and mayhem.

PCV Yule Ritual

By Dean

On Sunday the 18th of June, the Druids of Silver Birch Grove ADF (Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship) hosted a public and inclusive Winter Solstice ritual in collaboration with the PCV. I thought it might be a good idea to write a little bit about the ritual for posterity…and this blog. After all, I just so happened to be the one who led that ritual.

Druidry tends to draw together those with a more Celtic inclination and emphasis on nature. ADF encourages it’s members to explore one or more of the related Indo-European hearth cultures. As a practioner of both Ásatrú and ADF Druidry it was only natural that I would write a ritual for Yule bringing together Norse traditions in the context of an ADF ritual. Yule is a favorite High Day for me and is one of the most jolly and sacred times of year: the Norse New Year.

The weather was cool but a clear day. We were fortunate to have 20 attendees, from a diversity of paths, backgrounds and walks of life. We formed a procession into the circle of stones, surrounded by the sacred grove, with the rhythm of Geoff and Mel’s drums. We gathered around the cairn of stones, with a guided meditation as the creek flowed over the rocks nearby. We followed the ADF core order of ritual, hidden in plain sight within a pocket of urban bushland. Heimdall warded the ways as the gate keeper, Bragi was implored for inspiration. By a good fire, a silvered well and a sacred tree we welcomed, honoured and gave gifts to Jord (the earth mother), the ancestors, the land wights and the Gods. Our deity of the occasion was Skadi, fierce goddess of winter, the mountains, the wild, archery and skiing. I told an ancient myth of her time with Njord by the sea. I had carefully crafted an arrow from fragrant mountain cedar wood and knapped an arrowhead from some bluestone I found on a trail in the Hills. I carried the arrow around the circle and past the altar as the drums intenaified and cast it into the fire as a sacrifice. Others than made their own offerings, inclueding Mark’s carefully made Yule goat. Sad to see such pieces invested with such time and care turn to flame and smoke, but that was part of the point after all.

The spirits were thanked and merrily the ritual drew to a close. The drums sounded once more as the procession left the circle. Afterwards there was a festive picnic feast as people enjoyed and afternoon of conversation and laughter.

Dean has written more about this rite in this week’s feature article.

Monthly Hills Coffee Meetups

By Sarah

The July Hillsmeet was quieter than June’s with only 19 people showing up for the shenanigans, and frankly, we are so happy and proud to be able to say that “only 19 people” came to our monthly gathering (and all of them are lovely, too – what are the odds?) because that’s a lot of pagans, and we’ve been talking about having to open our own cafe, because we end up building a shanty-town of tables in Earthly Pleasures and the staff are so nice about it but honestly we make their cafe look like the aftermath of The Tetris Wars. It’s great that we’re still growing, and that the EP staff have said they actually look forward to seeing us each month, despite the havoc we wreak upon their lovely venue, because we may be the weirdos mister, but it turns out that the weirdos are awfully nice.

This month, we had the added bonus of a gifted tarot reader who kindly offered free readings for those interested and shared some very useful advice with a young student (and some of us not-so-young folk who also have a lot to learn), the usual exchange of gifts, because witches like sharing books, plants, nice jars, stuff we’ve made, and interesting things we found at the op-shop (note: prospective newbies, this isn’t mandatory, it’s just a nice organic thing that’s sprung up as part of the group, and it’s just become inevitable that *someone* will show up with a bag and hand it to someone else with a “oh, I saw this and thought of you”, or “here’s some of that lemon balm I promised you last month”).

It’s always rather nice watching the conversations eddy and flow around the table; there are usually two or three going on at any given time, with vastly different topics that seem to be able to be brought together when someone up one end of the shanty-table arrangement catches a snippet of something down the other end, and you get the whole group being drawn into a conflation of Druidic medicinal plants and protection charms, and weird housemate stories, the history of wooden wheel construction, and that time someone left jam out for a ghost (you all know who you are).

We also saw two of our regulars level up in the writing department, with one now published by The Wild Hunt blog as their Australian correspondent, and another published in the ADF’s international journal, Oak Leaves. Congratulations Josie and Dean! Richly-deserved recognition for your work and your expertise. We are really lucky to have such a diverse and talented group.

Once again I forgot to take photos (I did it last month; you can’t expect me to be organised two months in a row, surely); fortunately Dean took some lovely shots of a magpie who wanted to come and hang out with the cake-eating pagans.

The next gathering is on Sunday, August 6th, from 12pm. Come along. There will be cake.

 

 

What’s Next for the PCV?

Dates for your diary…


Saturday, 15th July: Central Victorian Pagans and Heathens Social Meetup
Sunday, 16th July: CBD Pagan Pub Moot
Sunday, 30th July: Bi-Monthly Frankston/Cranbourne Pagan Meet
Saturday, 5th August: PCV Public Imbolc Ritual hosted by the Melbourne Reclaiming Community
Sunday, 20th August: PCV Annual General Meeting
Sunday, 20th August: CBD Pagan Pub Moot

 

Featured photo by Ang.

Throughout and About: The PCV in May 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in May 2017

The last month of Autumn was full of shortening but sunny days and chilly nights

CBD Pagan Pub Moots

By Dorian

Safely nestled inside The Last Jar, protected from stormy Melbourne weather outside, the May CBD moot was a huge success with several new faces and many regulars in attendance.

Next moot: 18th June 2017

Monthly Hills Coffee Meetups

By Sarah

So we broke a personal record at the last meet – 27 people came along, we ended up co-opting three more tables in addition to our regular long table, there was a lot of fun had, and more good conversation than I could keep up with. Effusive thanks to everyone who helped make the day so utterly marvellous – we’re already excited for the next one! Come along!

 

Next moot: 2nd July 2017

 

Bi-Monthly Frankston-Cranbourne Coffee Meets

By Dorian

Safe and warm inside the Coffee Club sheltered from the stormy weather, the Frankston/Cranbourne meet enjoyed its biggest turn out yet.

Dorian Frankston meet Jun1720170528_155340
Next moot: 30th July 2017

 

What’s Next for the PCV?

Dates for your diary…

Sunday, 18th June: PCV Public Yule Ritual hosted by Silver Birch Grove ADF
Sunday, 18th June: CBD Pagan Pub Moot
Sunday, 2nd July: Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meet
Saturday, 15th July: Central Victorian Pagans and Heathens Social Meetup
Sunday, 16th July: CBD Pagan Pub Moot
Sunday, 30th July: Bi-Monthly Frankston/Cranbourne Pagan Meet
Saturday, 5th August: PCV Public Imbolc Ritual hosted by the Melbourne Reclaiming Community
Sunday, 20th August: PCV Annual General Meeting
Sunday, 20th August: CBD Pagan Pub Moot

 

Featured photo by Kylie Moroney.

Throughout and About: The PCV in April 2017

The PCV in April 2017

April was chilly, but was dotted with lots of PCV goodness, especially catch-ups in cosy corners, and a beautiful Samhain rite.

PCV Public Samhain Ritual

By Alex

On the 30th of April The PCV held our Samhain public ritual. It was held by Seline Ines (of Into Me I See) at her lovely home.
We started by walking up to the ritual space while singing Earth My Body. Once in the ritual space and in a circle the elements were welcomed, Hecate was called upon. We proceeded to do a visualisation of all our loved ones. From there we went to the ancestor tree while singing Bone by Bone. We then walked around the ancestor tree and tied our ribbons to the tree.
Once this was completed we stood in a circle around the tree as Seline tied a large black ribbon to the tree. We then charged a drink as a sacrament which was then poured into each person’s goblet and then drank of. After this we then headed down the path back to the house while singing The River is Flowing.
Once back at the house we shared a meal. A drum circle was set up and people started dancing. There were discussions among the group on various topics. People caught up with old friends new friends  and memories made. We were taught about rue, a herb of cleansing that had been used to cleanse the ritual space.
It was a lovely night and I would love to thank Seline and all involved for participating in such a lovely and powerful event.

CBD Pagan Pub Moots

By Dorian

Safely nestled inside The Last Jar, protected from stormy Melbourne weather outside, the April CBD moot was a huge success with several new faces and many regulars in attendance.
A stimulating discussion was had about the nature of altars; what they are, what purpose they serve, where to place them and of course what people put on them. From rustic immovable stone plinths to piles of books, statues, and the benefits of electric candles, each an expression of self and personal flair. After the formal discussion was done, the moot enjoyed a relaxed conversational setting which lasted well into the evening while still maintaining paganism as the primary focus. A phenomenal time was had by all, sharing perspectives on each’s respective craft, and enjoying wonderful company.

 

Monthly Hills Coffee Meetups

By Sarah

I keep forgetting to take photos of the Hillsmeets. I have the very best of intentions, knowing that I have to report back to the PCV blog with (hopefully) a jolly photo of everyone looking jolly, but what actually happens is that honestly we’re all having too much fun and by the time someone says “Oh, did you need to take a photo for the blog because you got a bit sweary about forgetting to take one last month?” the cafe staff are politely throwing us out because we’re the last people in the venue and they’ve been vacuuming around us while we continue to talk a mile a minute, and the photo would look a bit sad. So I do my now-a-monthly-tradition swear, and make someone promise to remind me to take a photo for the blog *next* month, and no-one does, because we’re all talking too much.
So you don’t get a photo, but it’s a really good thing because it means that the Hillsmeets are a ridiculous amount of fun. This month we talked about our journeys; where we started, where we’re going, how our practices have changed, and continue to evolve. There’s something really special about sitting around a table with a bunch of people who Get It, and understand how these journeys can evolve; who listen and share their own experiences. It feels like home, and it’s lovely. It’s even better with cake, but I don’t have to tell you that, reader.
The Hillsmeets have got so popular and we’re all rather fond of them and so it looks as though we’ll be branching out with the odd weekday dinner, which will be advertised in the usual places. Because a month really is too long between catch-ups sometimes, and a couple of the regulars can’t make the usual weekend ones any more, and honestly, why not. So stay tuned for updates, and if you haven’t come along to one of the Hills gatherings yet, come along! They really are that much fun.

 

Central Victorian Pagans and Heathens in the Cafe

By Josie

We relocated the Central Vic Meet to Ballarat this month, to coincide with our committee meeting (minutes will be available soon). This meet was well attended, and we enjoyed a delicious Irish lunch while we talked over, under, in and out of all things Pagan.
Our next meet is in July, with the final in November. During these meets we’ll be deciding on meeting dates for next year, as well as whether we keep them quarterly or move to monthly or bi-monthly. If you’d like to have a say, or even if you are a Pagan sort from central Victoria who enjoys a coffee and a chat, come down and say hi!