Photos: Yule Museum Outing 2018

For Yule this year, we teamed up with the good folks of the Melbourne Heathen Moot for an excursion to the Vikings exhibition at the Melbourne Museum. This was followed by a lovely dinner at a local pub and a brief sumbel to mark the occassion.

Many thanks to PCV committee member Dean for organising this wonderful event!

 

 

Meeting Minutes: June 2018

Thanks again to our secretary Mark for putting these minutes together!

20180602 minutes

 

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.

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.

Feature Article: The June Solstice Down Under

The June Solstice Down Under

By Dean

This article by PCV committee member Dean is from the 2017 Summer edition of Oak Leaves, the quarterly international publication of ADF.

The June Solstice is the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. South of the Equator the seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. For ADF members in Australia then the short answer is to simply flip the Wheel of the Year so that we celebrate the High Days in accordance with the seasons here. Australia is a country, an island and a continent. It ranges from tropical rainforests near the Equator to vast wetlands and deserts, spinifex plains, saltbush scrub, mallee, dry open eucalypt woodlands, mountains ranges, cool ferny forested gullies and Mountain Ash forest – the largest flowering trees on Earth, all the way to the icy sub-Antarctic islands. Most parts of Australia have anywhere from 2-10 seasons reflected in Aboriginal knowledge and modern ecological understandings of the cycles at work within various ecosystems.

So what’s an ADF member to do for their personal or Grove High Day observances? We have to think about what the High Days mean to us as individuals and Groves. We have to think about the ADF Core Order of Ritual, the traditions of our Indo-European Hearth Cultures and balance that with what is going on in the local environment in which we live, work and come together for ritual. The Solstices and Equinoxes are astrological fixed points that do affect the amount of daylight, heat and behaviours of flora and fauna and the Cross-quarter days still hold traditional significance even if they have little agricultural basis in Australia. A sense of tradition, personal and/or ancestral connection to Indo-European Hearth Cultures is often a substantial factor in what draws people to Neo-Paganism and to ADF in particular here. Attunement with what is happening in nature, through ADF practices and simply spending time regularly in the local environment provides ample opportunities for observation of what is happening at different times near you, whether it is the oak shedding its leaves or the blue gum shedding its bark, or the flowering of daffodils or banksia trees.

Silver Birch Grove is my local Grove in Melbourne. It is Celtic in Hearth Culture, while my own Hearth Culture is Norse. Yule (in June) is my ritual new year, and my favourite High Day! When I lead a ritual for our Grove’s Yule celebration I try to incorporate traditions from the Norse into our High Day. There’s no snow, but morning frosts and the chance of cold rain…which always seems to stay clear while we hold our rituals. The creek is flowing higher with rain water, the damp earth of the nemeton has sprouted winter grass, while the eucalyptus and wattle surrounding our grove are lush and green. It is actually safe for us to have a ritual fire in our portable fire pit (fire is banned over most of Summer) for our Yule log. People bring holly, sprigs of pine and pinecones as well as native foliage from their gardens to add to the altar. The local blue-tongued lizards have gone into torpor. The calls of Australian magpies, little ravens and cockatoos as well as Winter visitors from the hills like currawongs and yellow robins rise through the air.

Last year at Yule we had Thor as our deity of the occasion. We usually tell a story of the deity of the occasion and last year I told the story of Thor and his goats visiting a family at Yule. The poor family had no food to offer their guest hospitality so Thor revealed himself and killed his goats to feed them and provide a feast with ample leftovers for the coldest nights. In the morning, he resurrected the goats from their bones with his hammer Mjolnir and continued on his way. We had a special imported beer with a goat on it as a perfect offering in addition to our usual offerings. When it came to the waters of life, I work in a sumbel, for Yule is traditionally a good time for one. As I bring my drinking horn filled with more mead than usual, participants are invited to make a boast, a toast or an oath. Yule being an especially auspicious time for oaths. We do three rounds for people to reflect on the past year, the present and the future. The ritual went well, Thor seemed pleased and the folk seemed jolly as we finished the ritual and had our own picnic feast.

For those of us in Australia the challenge is to find relevant meanings in our High Day celebrations that bring together aspects of traditional Hearth Cultures within very different environments. It’s still something that is unfolding and perhaps with more ADF members in time we will see a diversity of new expressions of old Hearth Cultures honouring the Kindreds Down Under.

 

 

PCV Public Yule Ritual Hosted by Silver Birch Grove ADF

We will be celebrating another turn of the wheel of the year, Sunday 18th June at 1pm.

Find us at our usual spot at Rushall Recreation Reserve, by car, parking at the end of Holden St, Brunswick, walking under the railway bridge and just past the stone spiral or a short walk from Rushall Station.
Silver Birch events are family friendly, inclusive and reasonably accessible.

We are a Melbourne based congregation of Neopagan Druids serving the greater Melbourne Area. We are proud to be affiliated with the international organization Ar n Draiocht Fein (www.ADF.org).

Any questions? Feel free to either post your question on our page or send a PM if you would prefer.

We look forward to seeing everyone.

See the Facebook event page for more details.

Meeting Minutes: April 8th, 2017

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

 

Presidents Report

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.

Treasurer

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:

Expenses:
Eventbrite fees: $76.88
Spiral Dance costs: $1436.62
Kc Guy costs: $240.52
Sound Engineer: $150.00
Total Expenses: $1904.02
Income:
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

Secretary

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.

Meetups

Hills

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.

CBD

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.

Central

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.

WWC Cards

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.

Samhain

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

Redbubble Account

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.

Morris

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.

Yule Dinner

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.

Social Media

It is proposed we trial having a rotating roster of people running the social media (weekly round-ups, blog article announcements, etc.).

Blog

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.

AGM

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.

Other Business

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

Pagan Events in Victoria – June 2015

Whats On June 2015

What’s happening in Victoria this month?

The public holiday tomorrow will see not only the Mind Body Spirit Festival Australia hit Melbourne, but also our friends over at Muses Of Mystery host their crafty workshop, Stitching Witches: https://www.facebook.com/events/1623697191200512/

Then on the 10th, Geelong Pagans are hosting their monthly Pagans for Lunch – https://www.facebook.com/events/573946169414467/

This Saturday the 13th is our inaugural Pagan Community Yule Dinner (tickets have sold out!) – https://www.facebook.com/events/470736253080986/

The following day is the June edition of our Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets, held as always in the cozy, comfortable atmosphere of The Magpie Cafe Upwey: https://www.facebook.com/events/933035286756887/

The 15th of June sees the Muses of Mystery host their Realms of the Gods and Goddesses workshop: https://www.facebook.com/events/883483035030971/

On the 20th the Melbourne Heathen Moot is happening in Clifton Hill, for folks who identify with Heathen/Asatru paths.

The Geelong Pagans’ Solstice Gathering is taking place on the 22nd: https://www.facebook.com/events/1608148372760303/

Then the 28th is our inaugural CBD Pagan Pub Moot! https://www.facebook.com/events/1474014806223068/

***Did you know our calendar page now has a pricing guide, to help you better plan your events? Check it out here: https://pagancollective.org/whats-on/

To see your event on our calendar, you can get it touch with us at pagancollectivevic@gmail.com