We got together on New Year’s Day and looked back at all our Pagan shenanigans in 2018. We also looked at our current practice, and shared what we are looking forward to in 2019. Some of us almost fell asleep. Everybody drank a lot of tea.
Music this episode was Little Red One by William Elm, from the album Between The Dawn and the Day.
Hosts this episode: Josephine Winter, Mark Hills from Dancing Hare Grove, Ryan McLeod from Queer Pagan Men Australia and Witches of Oz, and Sarah Morgan and Seumas from The Pagan Collective of Victoria’s Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets.
We discussed these Pagan gatherings, groups and initiatives this episode:
- Combined Covens (Western Australia)
- Dancing Hare Grove (Victoria)
- Hot for Joe Morris (South Australia)
- Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering (Victoria)
- Oak, Smash and Thorn Pagan Morris (Victoria)
- Silver Birch Grove ADF (Victoria)
- Sovereigns of the Golden Path (Victoria)
- Spiral Dance (South Australia)
- The Australian Wiccan Conference (we will be hosting this in Victoria in 2019!)
- The English Ale (South Australia)
- The Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets (Victoria)
- The Pagan Collective of Victoria (Victoria)
…and here is a list of the books we talked about:
- The Bast novels by Rosemary Edghill
- Traditional Wicca: A Seeker’s Guide by Thorn Mooney
- The Path of Paganism: An Experience-Based Guide to Pagan Practice by John Beckett
- The Chronicles of the One trilogy by Nora Roberts
- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
- Take Three Girls by Simmone Howell, Cath Crowley and Fiona Wood
- Blood Song and the Raven’s Shadow series by Anthony Ryan
- The Kingkiller Chronicle and The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
(Click on the episode cover image to listen!)
Psst! Support the Pagan Collective of Victoria on Patreon and get early access to episodes along with bonus Pagan Pyjama Party content…
We are finally picking ourselves up out of a heap after another great Beltane at the Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering.
Sarah and the crew from our Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets hosted this year’s ritual, delivering a fantastic rite that we felt privileged to be a part of. PCV committee member Alex was also a huge help all weekend, most notably running our children’s maypole event on the Sunday.
This year’s maypole was kindly donated by S, who crafted it from scratch! This will be outlined in another post, coming soon. 🙂
Many thanks to the Hillsfolk, the Organisers, and to everyone else who made this year such a huge success! ❤
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
These meets continue on with some growing interest, Dorian is happy to keep hosting these events quarterly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thank-you all and welcome to the new committee!
Meeting End: 1.45 PM
Pagan Collective of Victoria
Meeting Minutes – 08/04/2017
Location: Irish Murphy’s, Ballarat Start Time: 12.25
Attending: Ryan, Sarah, Josie, Alex and Mark
Apologies: Dean, Dorian, Luca, Ange, Shaz, Nikole
March was such an amazing crazily fun month, full of great events. The roll out of Pagan Pride Day, Community Safety Month and the great concert by Spiral Dance and KC Guy, were all great initiatives that couldn’t have happened without a lot of hard work from a lot of people.
We recently had the Spiral Dance and KC Guy concert with ran really well, there was a good turnout and the feedback was positive. It did however run at a small loss. The breakdown is as follows:
Eventbrite fees: $76.88
Spiral Dance costs: $1436.62
Kc Guy costs: $240.52
Sound Engineer: $150.00
Total Expenses: $1904.02
Eventbrite tickets: $870.00
Ticket sales on door: $630.00
Donation tins: $67.20
Total Income: $1567.20
Total Loss: $336.82
The loss has been covered by donation from Ryan McLeod
We’ve had 18 new memberships since the last meeting, which have all been approved and over 30 new FB likes. So the memberships continue to grow steadily.
The meetups continue to be a massive success with an average of 14 people every month, consisting of a group of regulars as well as new faces appearing too. The possibility of having a weekday meet to discuss personal practice and other topics has been raised. The community here are quite fantastic and have built something really positive.
These meets are now on average getting 20 people every month. The meet-up had a quest speaker recently, a move which was well received and had a lot of positive feedback. People responded to having Dr David Waldron come and talk, and to have a chance to engage in discussion with him.
The central meet-ups are changing venue to the Farmers Arms, still located in Creswick, just down the road from the old venue, it is still a friendly atmosphere suitable for all types.
Pagan Pride Day
This event was the culmination of a lot of hard-work by a number of people as well as the amazing support and response from the community, not to mention the guest speakers from traditions and groups. There is a need to decide on a date for another one so that planning can commence. The possibility of having some panel discussions by guest talkers was suggested as a possibility for next year. The theme of community safety was a great message going in and should be considered in the preparations for the next one.
Spiral Dance/KC Guy
An amazingly good evening was had by those that attended, there was an amazingly positive response to the concert. This would not have been possible without Spiral Dance and KC Guy’s co-operation, support and willingness. It would also not have been possible without the hard work put in by people, particularly Ryan. This would be something fantastic to have happen again, provided of course that the musical talents are willing.
Community Safety Month
Community safety month seems to have been received well and should definitely be an annual thing, as there are always new people finding their way to the community and existing members that may not be aware of what resources and help is available.
There has been a lot of positive discussion coming out of this month, and some positive outcomes too. A new values statement was written after several discussions that occurred in March as part of Community Safety Month.
The PCV is putting its foot down on this issue, the policy to make it a mandatory requirement to hold a Working With Children Check passed unanimously in a previous meeting and this will be enforced at the AGM. You need to have one to run for committee, an aspect that will be made clear when the calls for committee involvement start so that no potential new committee members are caught unawares.
The public PCV Samhain ritual is being hosted by Seline and the event is now live, Ryan is going to check in with Seline to make sure she is getting what help and support she needs and to make sure we are doing whatever we can to help
The Hills would love to have mugs and shirts and to that end think it would be great if there was a Redbubble account. However it would be ace if the PCV itself had the Redbubble account and that way there could be PCV merch too.
Ryan needs to send Sarah all the master copy files of the logo etc. so that she can toy around with designs for approval for merch.
The Morris team is going amazing, they recently had a fabulous and highly productive workshop with Adrienne and Paul who gave very generously of their time to help the side with the dance they are working on as well as providing heaps of helpful information.
The side is on track with their goal of dancing at Mount Franklin this year.
The team is in the process of being insured by the Morris Ring but it hasn’t gone through yet.
We have access to the same venue that we used for the previous Yule Dinner and the same space.
Currently have menu options and pricing being prepared for our consideration, which is meant to include a Gluten Free/Vegan option.
The event should not conflict with Monselvat.
The ticket sales will be on Eventbrite, it worked will previously.
Josie is going to tart up the event on Facebook to give more information and appeal to the community.
Ryan is going to see if KC can perform again since he was a real hit at the last one.
PCV at Mount Franklin
Alex has kindly offered to help run the kids maypole at Mount Franklin.
Josie is going to print up more of the PPD flyers to have at the mountain for us to hand out because it has all the groups information and contact details on.
It is proposed we trial having a rotating roster of people running the social media (weekly round-ups, blog article announcements, etc.).
We need to add more topics for the blog, one possibility is changing from recipe of week instead having other topics that can fit in that slot such as book or music of the week.
The AGM is going to be on the 20th of August at the Last Jar in Melbourne. More announcements and round-ups for nominations etc to come later.
Ryan has proposed that we have a BBQ/picnic day at Fairy Park, the potential date for this being 25th Nov, more details to be confirmed later.
Witches of Oz Movie Night 2017 – coming out of a discussion on Witches of Oz a movie night in conjunction with the PCV is proposed. Details to be worked out.
Alex presented an idea for a PCV student pagans run uni group, to provide a social and networking opportunity for uni students and potentially a support network. More details to be presented at a later date.
Meeting End: 1.32
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.
By Shaz Lizzy
The Pagan Collective of Victoria’s public Lughnassadh ritual will be hosted by Silver Birch Grove ADF on the fifth of February, 2017, and is open to all Pagan and likeminded folk. Below is a re-post of a very informative article about the Grove, which is just one of the many active and friendly Pagan groups open to the public here in Victoria. 🙂
Silver Birch Grove is a member Grove of ADF. The full name of our organization is Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid fellowship, Inc. The first part, pronounced arn REEokht fane, is modern Irish for “Our Own Druidism” (or “Druidry” or “Magic”) and that’s what we are — an independent tradition (denomination) of Neopagan Druidism. Since many people have trouble pronouncing and spelling our Irish name, we usually just say “ADF.”
ADF is working to combine in-depth scholarship with the inspiration of artistry and spiritual practice to create a powerful modern Paganism. We’re researching and interpreting sound modern scholarship (rather than romantic fantasies) about the ancient Indo-European Pagans — the Celts, Norse, Slavs, Balts, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Vedics, and others. Upon these cultural foundations we are working to build a religion that these ancient people would appreciate and understand yet one which has depth and power for modern people. We’re developing genuine skills in composition and presentation in the musical, dramatic, graphic, textile and other arts. We’re bringing together people trained in ritual, psychic skills and applied mythology to bring the remnants of the old ways to life. We’re creating a non-sexist, non-racist, organic, flexible and publicly available religion to practice as a way of life and to hand on to future generations.
Silver Birch ADF is a Melbourne based congregation of Neopagan Druids serving the greater Melbourne Area. Silver Birch Grove primarily focuses on the Celtic hearth cultures. We are a growing group of friends who enjoy studying the mythology, archaeology, and anthropology of the Indo-European cultures. We also honour our Ancestors and the Deities associated with these cultures by celebrating the high days in public rituals. Our religion is a way of life. As such we believe in following the 9 virtues of Wisdom, Piety, Vision, Courage, Integrity, Perseverance, Hospitality, Moderation, and Fertility. We also meet for study, hiking, arts/crafts, culture, meditations, blessings, and community works.
We are working together to research and revive the practices of the Old Ones in a way that makes sense for the modern world. We are striving to create a spiritual environment for the community where each member can grow spiritually, artistically, and intellectually, where we all achieve greater communion with Mother Earth, the Nature Spirits, our Ancestors, and our Deities. We hope to continue to grow and serve the community both spiritually and materially through rituals, workshops, and public works. Membership is open to all who wish to honour the cycles of Nature, and revere the Ancestors and Deities. Any Druidic ritual has as a primary intention the re-weaving of the links between human-kind, the natural world, and the God/desses and Spirits who support both. For thousands of years human culture lived in more or less intimate communion with the unseen worlds. Over the centuries of European culture these ties have been weakened, until our modern materialism is endangering the very air and water that sustains our life. We work to reconnect with the powers of Land, Sea and Sky, honouring the spirit that is in them as well as their physical realities. As with any religious path we also seek blessings for ourselves, our families and communities. We open our hearts to the flow of divine blessing that comes from our God/desses. We seek also to awaken that same divine spark in our own souls, so that we can bless the world in return.
At Beltaine 2015, the folk of Silver Birch Grove and the Warrior women and friends gathered to celebrate in a public setting. We were excited to be given the opportunity to run our ritual at Mt Franklin. We were also delighted to have our Vice Arch Druid in attendance and all the way from America.
We offered a ritual that follows our core order. The ritual that we offered is similar to what we would have held at our home nemeton in inner Melbourne, just with more people! Our ritual began with a spiral danced led by Linda and then Dale talked about the lands and the people of the land. We Began with the purpose of the ritual by Ang, then Shaz announced our intent to honour gods, goddesses, ancestors and spirits of place. Maree honoured the earth Mother, Callum made our offering to the out dwellers and Andrea honoured our Bardic deities, Julie honoured the nature spirits, Curtis the ancestors, Dean the gods and goddesses and Ang the deity of the occasion, Danu. Shaz then proceeded to the praise offering and Drum took the omen for the blessing using Ogham, which was: ur- Heather/ Mistletoe, healing by looking inside. Phagos- Beech, old knowledge and old writing, oir- spindle, sudden de-light after a long process. So the story tells us that through the old knowledge and writ-ings we will be able to look inside ourselves to gain healing. Shaz then received the blessing of the gods and spirits through the waters of life. Deb and Rowan asperged all in the circle and at the close of the ritual we asked all to join us for a shared meal. What a great weekend. Thanks to all those who participated, organised and came from far away.
So, now with our sights firmly fixed on the summer days to come, the earth is again green as we have been promised. Warmed by the power of the Sun and the Waters’ cool strength, shoot has become bud and the promise of abundance to come is visible all over the land. It is now that the Nature Spirits truly come alive, and as we honour them, we also give thanks to the Kindreds that guide us, and to our Ancestors who walk with us. Now we rejoice in the warmth after the cold winter and welcome the spring.
If you would like to know more about ADF please visit ADF.org
For more information about Silver Birch Grove ADF visit our Facebook group.
(Some material from ADF.org)
This article originally appeared in our old newsletter, Spokes of the Wheel (volume 2 issue 7, Spring 2015). Photo: ADF Archdruid Drum at the 2015 Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering. Supplied by Kylie Moroney Photography.