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A Pagan Gathering for Australia and the world

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beltane 2010

The Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering was held to celebrate Beltane on the weekend of the 29th-31st October 2010, making this the 29th consecutive year of the festival.

Friday morning Central Victoria was bathed in warm sunshine as the Pagan folk assembled at the mountain and set up their campsite in the north-west corner of the park, making a neat little village for the weekend’s social activities.

After weeks of fretting over the Eclectic Witches coming up and repeating the bad behavior of past years, in the end only a small, quiet group of them actually came to the mountain this year and, after a bit of quarrelling amongst themselves and meeting the Daylesford constabulary late on Friday night, they proved to b less than an annoyance and the Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering camp reveled happily into the night in spite of the inclement weather that had blown in on Friday evening.

Saturday rained all day, which kept the numbers of visitors to Beltane down, but by late afternoon sixty or so hardy Pagans had gathered to celebrate Beltane and in fine Mt. Franklin tradition the heavens cleared as the crowd was called by the sound of a drum for the ceremony.

To begin the ceremony we all were faced outwards in the circle, joined hands and did the Spiral Dance which ended in us all facing inwards. The High Priest circumambulated and then the High Priestess called the Elements, the Wind, Fire, Waves and Stone, to attend the rite.

Next, the High Priest faced the south and invoked the Horned God who entered our circle dancing, accompanied by his attendants, and carrying a torch that he used to light the Bonfire. As the flames took hold the congregation chanted to “Fire” before the High Priestess called to the Triple Goddess who entered the circle from the west as a flock of birds, come to consummate the yearly union with her consort and to beget the bounty and fertility of the summer season.

Following this, the wine was blessed by the High Priest and Priestess in the north, who then passed the brimful horn of wine around the circle for us each to take a sip and receive and then give the blessing as we passed it on, all the while singing the songs of Beltane. Finally, when the congregation had all partaken the High Priestess refilled the horn and made with it the offering of wine to the Mother Earth before announcing that we had successfully celebrated the Sabbat of Beltane and giving us all the charge to depart in peace.

With the ceremony done, the good Pagan folk gathered around the Bonfire and began the Beltane revelry in earnest with wine and a song for Bacchus, and later with a lamb on a spit as the centre of a fine Pagan feast along with the enjoyment of the good company, ensuring that the celebration went on for the remainder of the night. As in years past, the Pagans of Mt. Franklin didn’t allow the weather to dampen their spirits and Beltane 2010 was a genuine celebration of the new summer season once again.

David G Mattichak jr


  1. After reading this story and the comments made by others I found this record of Beltane 1996 in my Magick Journal and thought that it would be good to share with the other followers of this site:

    Beltane 1996 Sol 03°12’ Scorpio - Luna 00°08’ Taurus : Dusk on Beltane under the Full Moon

    This evening MΔ and I participated in the seventeenth annual Mt. Franklin Beltane ceremony conducted by High Priestess of Wicca, LΔMΔ.

    The circle was made at the centre of the mountain’s deep crater with the altar in the north flanked by the idols of the Goddess and the Green Man. At the centre of the circle the bellfire was built and at the quarters were placed the markers of the Elements.

    We were called to the circle by the music of the flute and led hand in hand widdershins in the Spiral Dance around the circle which then reversed into a deosil procession, ending with all of the participants at the circumference of the circle facing inwards.

    The High Priestess then called on the Old Gods to witness this rite and charged the officers to take their places in the quarters. Next the High Priestess charged each of the officers in turn (East: Air, South: Fire, West: Water, North: Earth) to summon the Watchtowers of the Elements by the power of the Pentagram.

    The High Priestess then stated that before all of us gathered at the ceremony and before the Old Gods already invoked that she would summon the Spring, the birth of the new Summer, by the power of the Green Man.

    Next the High Priestess called the officers of the East, South and West to come and light their torches from the torch in the North that had already been lit and then conjured each Element in turn as the officers of the Elements moved to the centre of the circle and invoked Spirit, whereupon the Bellfire was lit by all four Elemental officers simultaneously before they resumed their stations in the quarters.

    Following this the High Priestess blessed a large bowl of wine and passed it widdershins around the circle with a kiss and the words “Blessed Be” followed by a sharing of the crescent shaped cakes of light.

    When the libation had passed around the circle the High Priestess again led us deosil in the Spiral Dance that brought each of us past the blazing central Bellfire momentarily before returning us to the circumference at the point opposite to where we had started.

    Finally, the High Priestess again called upon the officers of the Elements as before, except this time to banish the Watchtowers and to thank them for overseeing our rites before she dismissed the circle, telling us all to depart in peace.


  2. I would just like to thank everyone for their efforts in making a wonderful event. I enjoyed myself and it was nice to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. The drive to and from Canberra was well worth it, I will be there next too.

    Thankfully the trolls were kept in their box, only the occasional whimper was heard.