After a few quiet months, yet somehow busy with Ironfest, Yule and other activities, we resumed our Sunday pub lunch meet ups last week.
Feedback from our last meet up at The Alroy suggested we should have a topic to discuss and this month, we talked about public paganism. Is it relevant in 2015? What are our attitudes to being ‘open’ and out of the broom closet in our personal and professional lives.
The group sentiment concluded that it is important to have some level of public paganism so events like the one were at could happen – requiring someone, (a would be organiser), to pop their head above the parapet and signal to other pagans and witches that we’re out there. Otherwise, being ‘public’ about our paganism wasn’t a huge priority in our lives. Some people were more secretive than others, for fear of being ridiculed, or simply fear of being associated with some of the more colourful characters that are drawn to paganism and witchcraft.
Stay tuned for more pub meet up dates in August-October.
It’s worth noting that we’re also in talks about a potential workshop space, however we’re seeing a lot of interest online in attendance at our meet ups, however only 1/3 of those people who RSVP as ‘attending’ actually show up. If you’d like to attend future workshops or rituals in the region, please come along to our pub lunches. It helps us get to know you, so when we do move to an invite only structure, you’ll get yourself on the list.
The Wheel of the Year is turning and we’re moving toward the longer days ahead.
I can hardly believe that we’re getting ready to continue with our meet ups into the second half of the year already. I had ambitious plans back in January when I started putting the call out in the local area to host meet ups. We got a good start and then due to a combination of sickness and weather hampering efforts, a few of our events were canceled or postponed in April and May.
We had a quiet little catch up at the Farmers Market earlier this month and now we’re getting back on track with the next pub meet up scheduled for July. Why not come and join us if you haven’t met some of us already?
Next catch up will be 12th July 12-3pm at The Jamison Hotel, 186 Smith St South Penrith
We had a fantastic meet up yesterday at The Alroy in Plumpton. It’s a quaint little pub, which I suspect was an original farm house in the region, built in the late 1880’s.
After arriving at the designated time, the staff realised that there had been a miscommunication in the booking and they’d taken note that we’d be arriving an hour later than I’d planned. The staff were immediately apologetic and very helpful to pull together some space for us. We ended up with a space inside, which became a room just for us.
After general introductions and a bite to eat, we discussed what we’re looking to do over the course of the year with The Pagan Fringe. I explained my own level of interest and what I’d like to achieve, which is essentially creating a vibrant little community in the western suburbs because, let’s face it, not everyone wants to travel into the city to attend pagan events. Even if it wasn’t an hour’s drive away (which for those of us who drive, that’s not too bad) however it’s often the parking nightmare when we get to the other end that we have to contend with!
We’ve come up with some loose ideas and guiding principles of what we’re going to do:
Local – let’s keep our events locally focused in the West and associated areas where we live.
Celebrations – seasonal wheel of the year rituals – yes! Ritual circles for full moons are well serviced by more established groups, so we’ll stick to seasonal celebrations and other styles of circles if looking for a lunar working, perhaps a dark moon now and then?
Close to the land – farm gate visits and shopping at farmers markets. We have some individuals, (me included) who are passionate about food and cooking and getting closer to our food sources is of interest (either growing food ourselves or buying direct from the producer) We’ll arrange events around this theme.
Family friendly – some of us have kids and it’d be helpful to know if planned events are kid friendly or not. We’ll try to keep a balance of things where kids are welcome venue wise, however whilst we didn’t cover it in the conversation yesterday, we’re not looking to run events specifically *for* children at this stage. Our approach will at times make it more accessible for care givers to join in, without the need for a babysitter at home.
Discussion topics – greater structure around the pub meet ups so there is a theme for discussion – this will be taken on board for future Sunday Lunches.
Social – outings, events and activities – there were some great suggestions around different events we could host – picnics, visits to local history museums and the like in the region.
Teaching – we have some experienced practitioners and teachers amongst us and there is an interest in offering further study opportunities for those just starting out on their magical path. This may be offered on a strictly invite-only basis and will potentially be considered for the 2nd half of the year, depending on level of interest/numbers.
I’m very encouraged to see such a supportive and active little group forming, only after two catch ups face to face. To me, this indicates a healthy interest in events in the region and future success.
Want to find out more? Connect with us on Facebook under The Pagan Fringe.