Well, it’s nearly the end of the first quarter of the calendar year. Where did the time go? The weather is finally shifting toward feeling more Autumnal in the Western suburbs of Sydney. This is excellent! Evenings are cooling down and whilst the days are still bright and sparkling, mornings are fresh and cool.
We’ve been hosting our coffee meet ups for just over 12mths now and have hosted 3 this year already. They’ve been a really beautiful space in which to connect with others in a casual, relaxed environment. I’d suggest they’re our most successful series of events we’ve run over the last 3yrs.
As for pub meet ups, we’ve held two in Springwood in February at The Royal Hotel, and we’re yet to host any in Seven Hills as the bistro was closed for an extended period over the Dec/Jan holidays whilst new owners took over, introducing a new menu. Keep an eye on the FB page for info about pub meets when we set them up.
We are returning to the Autumn and Spring picnic ideas this year with our dates already locked in for March (Richmond/Hawkesbury River NSW) and September (near the Nepean River, Penrith NSW)
Is there anything else you’d like to see us offering? Let us know and come along to get involved 🙂
Hi there! Our Facebook page is the best way to stay in touch with what we’re doing and for all event invites. The majority of these events are public, however from time to time we may host private or invite only events as well. These will be published on our group (linked to our page)
Hope to see you at one of our events in 2018.
In 2017, we ran the following events:
- 9 coffee meet ups in Glenbrook NSW in the lower Blue Mountains – a good in between spot for Western Sydney witches and Mountains folk to meet.
- 9 pub pagan social catch ups at a bistro in Seven Hills NSW. We aimed to host regular and entertaining discussion topics.
- 1 meet up at the Blacktown Medieval Fayre – a fun day out for the whole family.
Since we started way back in 2015 – we’ve hosted nearly 40 separate events and we’re keen to keep running and hosting regular catch ups in 2018.
Looking further afield, one of our dear hosts is moving a little further West to Lithgow and will also be looking to connect with others out there too. Stayed tuned for details of her events.
2018 Calendar of Events is coming soon. More pub socials, more coffee meet ups and more. Stay in touch on our Facebook page. All our events are managed from there.
I play this every year at Samhain. Wendy Rule is an Australian artist who was most popular in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I’m not sure if she’s still performing much these days, but this is a classic.
As I sit here and reflect on Samhain, the sky is a brilliant azure blue, the sun shines high and clear, and the evenings have just started to cool enough to put a heavier blanket on the bed. The weather on The Pagan Fringe of Western Sydney at the end of April doesn’t exactly scream WINTER to me just yet.
With that in mind, how will you celebrate or mark Samhain? Remember, the veil is thinnest at Samhain and Beltane, so take advantage of that if you’re looking to do some magick.
Here are some other suggestions:
Feast of the Dead: Prepare a Samhain feast with fresh local seasonal produce – look out for kumera/sweet potato, it was a good price last week (18/04) Perhaps make a pot of roasted sweet potato soup? Set at an extra place at your table and provide a portion of your food aside (that you don’t eat) to honour your ancestors. Invite them to dine with you. After the meal, leave the food outdoors and if necessary, thoughtfully dispose of in the morning.
Visit a cemetery: Visit the graves or places of remembrance of your loved ones. Leave flowers or an offering. If you don’t have any relatives close by, visiting a cemetery close to Samhain is still a beautiful and peaceful thing to do. This is probably most relevant for me now. I’m at a stage in my life, where sadly, I have lost more of my family than I have left. But as I was reminded during a memorial service for a friend last week, they’re not gone. They’ve just moved on and are still mostly able to be contacted. That’s what we mean when we refer to the veils being ‘thin’. Reach out now if you need to.
Moon watch: Observe the new moon setting in the west. The dark moon was yesterday, quite fitting on ANZAC Day, so look to the Western sky over the next few days approaching sunset and look for the sliver of the moon as it sets. Watch it from now until Sunday and each day reflect on what Samhain means to you.
This looks like an excellent recipe for roasted sweet potato soup. Enjoy!
We had our second Pub Pagan Social meet up last night at Seven Hills. The topic for discussion was ‘Samhain’ however we quickly dealt with that and moved on to discuss next fortnight’s topic of ‘Community’ and what that might mean to those attending. Don’t worry, we’ll continue the conversation next fortnight too!
In short, what we discovered is that for many of us, our idea of what the pagan community’s need (and yes, there are multiple because it’s not just one community anymore), is dated. Many of us have been in private practice or well out of public circulation for many years so we figured what we need to do now is listen. We need to listen to what *you* want.
So, what *do* you want in a pagan event in Western Sydney? What will inspire you to attend something in the flesh? What’s important to you? And why?
A few factors which might inspire your response:
- Location – close to home or easy to get to? Need public transport?
- Cost – free or low cost?
- Child or family friendly – do you want to bring your kids? Or ensure that there won’t be any children attending?
- Specific approach or path? Witchcraft, Egyptian, Heathen, Occultist, Ceremonial Magick, Wiccan, Eclectic Pagan?
- Accessibility – for many reasons, is the venue accessible?
- Public or Private location – maybe you’d feel more comfortable in a public location? Or private?
- Lack of familiarity – new to the scene, don’t know anyone…
- Opportunity to learn something unusual or something that just cannot be taught from a book
- Celebratory – I want to celebrate the Sabbats with someone!
- Etc etc etc – what will inspire your response?
How do I make my voice heard?
- Contribute to the Facebook discussion over here
- Email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leave a comment here on the blog
- Phone us! Yes, we mean it. Maybe pop us through and email and we can arrange to give you a call and we can chat.
- Come and see us face to face at one of our events. The Coffee Collective or the Pub Pagan Social would be best for these kinds of discussions, but really, anytime, anywhere is good. Just reach out and make contact. We want to hear from you!
Come along and join us at the next Pub Pagan Social 4th May 6:30pm-8:30pm Hotel Seven Hills.
It’s funny, the ‘dark half’ of the year in Australia isn’t that dark. Sure, the weather cools (a little), however in Sydney at least, it’s not the harshness of a Northern hemisphere Winter. For me, it’s a time of renewal and rest. Sleep is easier to come by, and cooking doesn’t feel like it’s a chore on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Here are a few things I’m looking forward to:
- marking Samhain this year – last year was raw with another recent death and upheaval in our household. This year will be easier and more fitting to honour my family who have passed.
- celebrating Yule with my family and friends with a feast.
- meeting new people at a few of the events we’ve got coming up around the Western Sydney region. There’s a lot happening, and we’re really feeling a renewed sense of energy and interest in what we’re doing. It’s a good feeling and is helping to build a solid little community.
What are you looking forward to this year? What inspires you at this time?
Even if you’re not looking to cook a massive pot of something delicious in the oven, this stove top chai recipe is incredibly satisfying, very tasty and will fill your kitchen with the most delicious scent. Enjoy 🙂
- 2 Teaspoons English breakfast loose tea or x1 teabag
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 3 Cardamom pods
- 2cm knob of fresh ginger – sliced
- 2 Cloves
- 2 Black peppercorns (whole)
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon of sugar (or more to taste)
- 400mls whole fat milk (dairy milk works best as the sugar will help the recipe to reduce down) You can use almond, soy or other non dairy milk, however the recipe will not reduce to a thick consistency. If using non dairy milk, steep the tea and spices separately for 30-45mins and then add the non dairy milk of choice.
Put English tea into a small saucepan.
Break up the cinnamon stick, bruise the 3 cardamom pods and add to the saucepan along with the 2 cloves, ginger, sugar, pepper and bay leaf. Add the milk.
Boil and reduce down to thick syrup, reducing the liquid by half (being careful not to let the milk catch on the bottom of the saucepan). Strain. If using non dairy milk, you should end up with thick aromatic syrup a similar consistency to condensed milk.
Adapted from this recipe
We had a wonderful evening at our first pagan pub social in Seven Hills tonight. Four of us met for dinner, and we brainstormed what sort of topics we’d like to debate or discuss in future.
Look out for topics like:
- ANZAC Day & Samhain
- Building Community – how, and what do we need?
- Should Paganism be taught in public schools?
- Age diversity and pagan practise
- …..and more, but we don’t want to ruin any surprises 🙂
I suspect there will be a strong theme of social justice given the interests of those who attended tonight, and I’m really curious to see how that will develop. So, come along and have a meal with us. We’d love to meet you and have a good chat.