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.
There’s a lot out there on the internet about how to find a coven. Most of it seems to be quite US centric with the occasional UK resource thrown in. Here’s an Australian version and perhaps one that might be more suited to seekers on The Pagan Fringe of Sydney. I’ve also used the word coven here, although it’s typically used to refer to a group of witches practising together. The group you’re looking for might not involve witches or witchcraft at all, however it might be anything from ceremonially focussed group doing magick, a general earth centred pagan group marking the seasons, or maybe a discussion group or a study group focussing on a particular topic or genre of research/writing. Not everyone needs a coven, however these are some good tips to start with if you’re considering group work of some kind.
- Do some research
- Have a rough idea of what you’re looking for, and your reasons why. At the very least have an idea of the style of paganism that you’d like to explore further. Then you can start to ask the right questions of who you’d like to meet. Asking everyone you meet that you want to meet ‘some witches’ is far too vague.
- Get out to face to face events
- You may find a contact point for a coven or group online, however it’ll be in person where you’ll find valuable connections that you can deepen further if it feels right. Attend whatever local groups and meet ups that you can, even if they’re social meet ups. Especially if they are social meetings, you might score yourself an invite to something else if you get to know a few people.
- Have a look here for more info on what to do if you’ve never attended a pagan event before. Here are some suggested events and ways to find them:
- The Pagan Fringe – we tend to attract people who don’t attend larger or more public events. We’ve met coven leaders, members, occultists, and seekers in the short time we’ve been hosting events since 2015.
- Regular public full moon rituals in Seven Hills. There are regular announcements at these circles about other events coming up.
- Join a Facebook page like Sydney Pagans – it’s a well networked group, particularly in Western Sydney and you might find something relevant to you.
- Use your manners and think about your motives
- Think of it like you’re applying for a job and there is a screening process before you even get to the interview stage. Be polite, demonstrate that you’ve thought about what kind of group you’d like to meet, and have a think about what value you can add. Be upfront and honest.
- Understand the time commitment
- Have a think about how much time you can realistically commit to group or coven work and how that best fits in with the rest of your life. Being a member of a coven is starting a new relationship, with not one, but an entire group of people all at once. It will typically last years and will require regular attendance and contribution. Are you ready for it? Is there space in your life for this? Conversely, taking on a new student is no small task for a coven or a teacher. It’s a massive time and energy investment, so it needs to appear worthwhile for everyone.
- I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people say ‘when I’m ready, my teacher will appear’ No, no they won’t. Teachers do not go out of their way looking for new students. See my comment above about time and energy commitment. There may be a study group that will advertise their courses and you can join them, however that’s not a coven environment. A teacher (worth learning with) will not *ask* a student to become their student.
As always, keep an open mind and learn to recognise what’s a good and healthy environment or people to get involved with. The following resource is a helpful one when considering working with a new bunch of people.
Best of luck on your journey!
Here are some ideas of what you can do to celebrate the season:
- Go fruit picking with your family or coven
- Check out this list here of places to go within a short drive from Richmond NSW. Most places are free entry and they then charge you per kg for the fruit that you’ve picked. Try apples and chestnuts and bake them up when you get home into delicious Autumn dishes.
- Create an altar
- You can use your usual altar or create a makeshift altar space anywhere in your home. Choose somewhere that won’t be disturbed by animals or children, and set out images of Autumn and the Harvest. If you don’t want to do anything too complex, you could simply light candles and give thanks for blessings of abundance in your life.
- Listen to Mabon themed music
- There are some interesting suggestions here with over 93 songs on their playlist. Something is bound to catch your interest
- Look to the skies
- The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular this time of year. Check out the brilliant blog posts on the March night sky here. The following excerpt is from their post:
Highlights for March 2017
First quarter Moon is on Sunday the 5th at 10:32pm
The Moon will be full on Monday the13th at 1:54am
Last quarter is Tuesday 21st at 2:58am, and
The New Moon is on Tuesday the 28th at 1:57pm
The autumn equinox is Monday 20th at 9:29pm.
One of the nicest vistas will be on March the 1st looking west shortly after sunset. The constellation of Pisces will host Venus which is very bright but it sets at 8:28pm less than an hour after the Sun, Mars which is not bright and the young crescent Moon (~9%). By the 2nd the Moon will have moved from below and to the left of Mars to above and the right.
- Spend some time meditating amongst the trees and take in the cool Autumn air. Not quite Western Sydney, but a short drive to Leura in the Blue Mountains. Everglades is truly spectacular in Autumn and is easy to access with kids and prams. Focus on balance and internal contemplation as we move deeper into darker half of the year.
Later in the season you could check out a community festival. Towards the end of May there is the Autumn Harvest Festival at Rouse Hill – it always looks like fun!
And lastly, come and join us for a coffee on either 26th March or 23rd April at The Church Specialty Brew Bar in Glenbrook (Ross St, Glenbrook NSW) from 1-3pm.
We’ve been thinking about how we can structure our events in the new year to make it easier to connect. So, we’re introducing a new monthly catch up over a simple coffee. And it’ll be the last Sunday of every month. Keep it free in your calendar and if you can’t make it one month, won’t be too long until the next scheduled meet up 🙂
The first one is set for Sunday 29th Jan 1-3pm. Please join us!
This dark moon/new moon this weekend combined with some wild winds over the last few days in addition to the secular alteration of the clocks in New South Wales, has lead to a rather beautiful time to consider some spring cleaning/new beginning sort of magic making.
Sometimes magic isn’t all about the arcane or astrological timings and influences. Sometimes it’s using the pragmatic, the mundane and the everyday markers in time and space to carve out something otherworldly.
This has been a perfect approach for me this Spring season. How is it working out for you?
Here are 5 awesome things about practicing witchcraft on The Pagan Fringe of Sydney.
- A small, but active group of other pagans, witches and occultists to connect with at various events like full moons, meet ups, sabbats and other regular catch ups. And a great diversity of people practicing all different kinds of magick in different ways; from Wiccans to kitchen witches and ceremonial magicians; those meeting in small covens or solitary folks and a real mix of experience too, from people new to their path to those with 25yrs+ experience. You’re bound to meet someone interesting along the way!
- Plenty of space to explore the natural world surrounding Sydney – waterfalls, swimming holes, natural bushland and plenty of bush walking tracks to enjoy. There are also heaps of open space parks that are well maintained to picnic in with friends and family. I’ve also found it easier to find great outdoor spaces for ritual, without disturbing other people whilst escaping artificial light and sound of a modern city. And if it’s still too urban for you, it’s quicker and easier to make your escape to the West, North or South of Sydney to explore further afield.
- Connections to the land via the food you can eat – it’s easier to visit your local farmers market, or head to the edges of Sydney to pick your own fruit in Autumn. I also enjoy local honey from my area too
- Some places are dark enough to see alot more stars at night, especially during the cooler months in the Nepean region. If you head further West over the Blue Mountains you can see even more of the Milky Way during the best viewing season (Feb-Oct to see the galactic core from the Southern Hemisphere). Hint: pick a dark moon night, which is typically one of the three nights leading up to the New Moon.
- Plenty of sympathetic events running in the Western Sydney area which attract other pagans or like minded people – medieval fairs, indigenous art festivals, sustainable living and gardening workshops – these kinds of events can also provide a great opportunity for you and your coven to meet up and do things together outside of your usual time together.
I hope you’ve found the following list useful and inspiring!