Onward!

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! ❤

Throughout and About: The PCV in September 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in September 2017

Spring is here! Here in Victoria we have celebrated the equinox surrounded by beautiful blooms.

PCV Ostara Ritual

By Ang

Today Silver Birch Grove Hosted Ostara/ Spring Equinox for the Pagan Collective of Victoria. Dean and Mark led a Norse Rite Honouring Freya and Frey and of course the goddess of Springtime, Eostre. The sky was looking ominous as we arrived, but the weather prevailed with no rain eventuating for the ritual. Following the core order of ritual with Heimdall as our gate keeper, we honoured the Earth Mother, the Land Wights, Gods and Goddesses of the Aesir and Vanir and the Ancestors. Many chose to make their own offerings to bring abundance into their own lives and as we gathered to celebrate in joy the signs of spring and lift our voices in song the fertility of the land around us was very apparent. Dean took the omen using the runes which were past-Berhana, birch, growth new life, the grove. Present- Dagaz, day and night in balance, future- Wunjo joy, blessings, happiness. We shared the waters of life and as we departed from our worship with inspiration in our hearts and minds to enjoy the bounty of our picnic lunch and wonderful company.
Thanks to Dean and Mark for the ritual Shaz, Ang Callum, Alex and Geoff for their parts in our wonderful rite.

 

CBD Pagan Pub Moot

By Dean

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.

Monthly Hills Coffee Meetups

By Sarah

We’ve been a little quiet on the Hillsmeet updates front, though the Hills gatherings have continued as they do, with their regular mix of sorcery and caffeinated shenanigans. I’m not sure if anyone has missed my waffling updates about how jolly lovely it all is, but we haven’t been idle during the radio silence. Nope, like some sort of Jim’s Witchcraft, we have franchised, and now have night-time meets during the week as well, and other exciting plans for more goings-on once the weather becomes less like the Northern third of Westeros.
The October meet on Sunday 1st saw 17 people or thereabouts, and one gangling and gorgeous wolfhound puppy and the world’s softest pug, talking about herbalism and sacred woods (the humans, not the wolfhound and pug), and Druidry, and old family traditions, and rune-reading, and everything else under the sun, and as usual, at least three people complained that their faces hurt from too much happying, and also as usual, our incredibly-patient café hosts finally asked us politely to leave half an hour after closing time so they could go home, and we stood around talking in the carpark for ages. We love our Hillsmeets; they’re community at its warmest and loveliest, from our lovely venue, to our regulars and the new visitors who become regulars.
As usual, I totally forgot to take photos, which is a pain because there was some sterling sparkly-owl action going on, two incredibly nice dogs, and a cupcake with superhuman powers, and any of those things would have made for excellent photos, so just imagine them and it’ll be like you were there. Maybe one day, you will be.

Hillsmeet Oct 2017

At the October 2017 Hills Pagan Coffee Meet (Happy Birthday, Alex!). Photo by Josephine Winter.

 

Coming Soon: Hills Pagan Weeknight Dinners

A New Choose Your Own Adventure from the folks who brought you A Lot Of Pagans In A Café.

Imagine, if you will, an old-world tavern on the edge of an ancient forest. Tall trees loom above it, the smell of dark, damp fern-fed rainforest earth and wildflowers hangs in the air, and a creek sings as it winds its way around the building lit golden from within. A lyrebird sings a short way off; a dozen different bird-calls tumbling from that plain brown throat, well-hidden amongst the trees. Inside, surrounded by images of medieval knights, and polished horse brasses gleaming on the walls, and wine barrel tables, followers of the Old Ways gather around a table by the window. It’s covered in glasses of ale and plates all but licked clean.

The followers of the Old Ways are pissing themselves laughing. One of them just quipped about slow omens foretelling stuff that had just happened, and that got riffed on and then somehow Moon Moon the wolf meme got dragged in and now a bunch of very silly pagans are giggling helplessly and nearly choking on their beer. It had all started out as a discussion about how different paths interpret and enact the Wheel of the Year, and which deities accorded with the festivals, and what auguries one might take at the various times…but what’s deep and profound spirituality without a few laughs, hey? And after composure had been regained, the discussion flowed on, like the creek just outside.This was the trial run for a new, ongoing Hills event, to be held monthly in Belgrave. The Hillsmeets at Earthly Pleasures were proving so popular and addictive that there had been some talk about doing them more frequently – but we couldn’t impose on our lovely hosts more than we already have been. They’ve been absolutely amazing about an increasingly-large bunch of assorted Paganfolk stealing all of their tables, constructing a shanty-town out of them, and digging in for five hours, but it’s a lot to ask. Then Hills-regular Veronica had the marvellous idea of trying an evening moot during the week. And here it is! The first one was a joy, and the second will be held at the Micawber Tavern on Wednesday, the 11th of October, from 6.30pm. Find the event page on the PCV calendar for more details. Turn up early and take a saunter through the forest that really is right next to the tavern. If you tread softly, the lyrebirds will sing.

 

What’s Next for the PCV?

Dates for your diary…


Wednesday, October 11th: Hills Pagan Weeknight Dinners – October
Sunday, October 15th: October Committee Meeting
Sunday, October 15th: CBD Pagan Pub Moot – October
Sunday, November 5th: Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets – November
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

Featured photo by Ang.

Yule 2017

Yule 2017

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 practitioner 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 intensified and cast it into the fire as a sacrifice. Others than made their own offerings, including 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.

Our ash tree Yule log burned on the fire. The altar decked in Yule decorations of pine, holly, white winter flowers and the last of autumnal oak leaves, held a statue of Skadi, the grove treasurers and the sun chariot. I gathered my runes to take the omen. Just as I started to turn toward the altar 3 ravens swooped through the middle of the grove and our ritual participants! Surely a sign that our ritual and offerings were well received?

The runes answered with Inguz, Fehu and Teiwaz. A sign that we had been building things up in the last year, that we had been generous with what we shared or gave back and that with sacrifices , we would be successful in the times ahead. A good Yule omen after having gifted some offerings, indeed.

I then led a sumbel rite where guests were invited to make any of the following: a toast in thanks or to ask the Gods, land wights or ancestors, a boast or an oath over the mead horn. Yule is an especially auspicious time for this. There were many fine toasts, boasts and a couple of renewed oaths. Not to mention, a lot of spiced mead!

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.

At the time I was busy. My concern was for everyone else, the ritual and sacred space. Later I took it all in and reflected on the spiritual experience of it all. I was glad to hear everyone had felt welcome and enjoyed their time experiencing the sacred through the practices of two traditions. It is a humbling but beautiful experience to share your spiritual traditions and sacred practices for others from our Victorian Pagan community.