What Witches Want

Image-1We 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?

  1. Contribute to the Facebook discussion over here
  2. Email us! paganfringe@gmail.com
  3. Leave a comment here on the blog
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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Approaching Winter

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.

pexels-photo-209500

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 🙂

Chai

Ingredients

  • 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.

Method

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

Event review: Samhain 2016

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our first Samhain event! It was in two parts – a drinks and nibbles meet up in the early evening and then the ghost tour following at St Bartholomew’s Church as Prospect.

We started off with dinner in The Piano Room, which incidentally is the most haunted room in the venue! How fitting! When our group got too large for the limited seating in there (there’s only room for 12), we relocated outside to the beautiful beer garden to continue chatting and socialising in the mild Autumn weather.

Following dinner, those who had tickets continued over to meet up at St Bartholomew’s Church at Prospect for the evening’s ghost tour.

It was quite a mixed group with almost 40 participants (including 16 of our own) and the trout as run by a rather eccentric and very passionate volunteer by the name of Hazel. She had many a story to tell (some tall you might say) about the hauntings and apparitions that have been experienced at the location. In addition to the paranormal reportings, Hazel was also full of loads of facts and info about the history of the church and cemetery.

If there’s interest, we may book another private ghost tour later in the year.

Thanks to everyone who came along and made it a great night. We look forward to seeing you at our next event in May!

 

The Pagan Fringe – Taking Shape – Review 29th March

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.

The Alroy

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.

First meet up review

Hi everyone!

I had an excellent time today at the first Pagan Fringe meet and greet. The weather may have kept a few people away with the intermittent rain and the high summer humidity, however it wasn’t too bad sitting out the back undercover in the beer garden.

It was really lovely to see quite a few familiar faces of those I hadn’t seen in years! That certainly made me feel old. We chatted and caught up and also met quite a few new faces as well.

If you didn’t come today, we’re hosting the next one at The Alroy on 29th March at 2pm. Come along and find out how to get involved in the planning of future events in the Penrith/Hawkesbury region. Hope to see you there!