Photos from February 2018

Thankyou to Alex for photographing our antics in February!

Photos from January 2018

Many thanks to Alex, Sarah and Ryan for these great photos of our January adventures!

Throughout and About: The PCV in October 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in October 2017

Hills Pagan Weeknight Dinners

By Dean

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

By Sarah

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

By Shaz

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

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.

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

 

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.

Throughout and About: The PCV in August 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in August 2017

August was still a chilly affair, but warmer days are on the way!

CBD Pub Moot

By Dean

Back to back with the PCV AGM, those already at the Last Jar Irish Pub were joined by those just arrived. Our Pagan friendly venue was kind enough to open up their upstairs dining room for our diverse crowd of Druids, Heathens, Pagans and Witches. We filled the long table by the fireplace as people chatted and the introduction circle ensued. Our discussion topic this time was about online covens. While opinions were nuanced, the general consensus was that online was great for information and networking, but that online materials couldn’t replace the shared experience, ambience, trust and closeness of being a part of a coven, grove or kindred. The same topic has been posted online in the Witches of Oz Facebook group, so we’ll see if online opinions arrive at different conclusions.

 

 

Morris Camp

By Josie

The PCV’s Morris side, Oak, Smash & Thorn recently visited South Australia to attend a workshop with our Morris heroes, Hot For Joe. We had an amazing time, and while we still have a lot to learn, we felt so welcomed and supported. As well as the workshop we danced out in Hahndorf on a busy Sunday morning, and got to explore some of the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Thanks so much for having us, H4J! We’ll definitely be back next year for the English Ale! 🙂

 

 

 

Throughout and About: The PCV in July 2017

Throughout and About: The PCV in July 2017

July was chilly, but with plenty of cozy catch-ups with good Pagan folk made it much warmer.

CBD Pub Moot

By Dean

In July, Pagans from all walks of life and various paths braved the cold to gather at The Last Jar Irish Pub. In warm and welcoming surrounds with hot food and cold drinks we chatted away. After an introduction circle we discussed what spiritual or religious background, if any, had people come from before they began practicing Paganism. A variety of heartfelt and sometimes humorous stories ensued, and it was striking both how diverse and yet how similar many of our experiences had been. A sense of “coming home”, of discovering a new yet familiar home in Paganism turned out to be a common theme.

 

Frankston/Cranbourne Meet

By Dorian

Another pleasant but windy afternoon at the Coffee Club with some new faces and old friends. Serenaded by that irrepressible spirit of Frankston, the seagull.

 

Central Vic Meetup

By Mark

In the warm inviting indoors of a cafe in Creswick, the Central Vic Heathens and Pagans gathered for a relaxed discussion, drinks, and food. Two new local faces joined us this meeting, after scoping out the cafe to figure out who the pagans were (we blended too well). It was a nice afternoon of company away from the blustery winter weather outside discussing nature, spirits, books and Morris Dancing.

 

What’s Next for the PCV?

Dates for your diary…

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 Photography.

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.