In 1986 I was 20 years old. Me and my then boyfriend – the person who introduced me to magick – David Mattichak, had been together for two years. Living in inner city Melbourne, we had somehow come across copies of the alternative farming publication, Grass Roots magazine, and we liked what we saw. We subsequently made a pact to move to the country no matter what, and later that year lugged most of our gear to Central Victoria where we knew people: Linda and Mischael Marold.
Linda and Mischael were (and still are) experts in all things alternative, from farming, to gardening, to crafts, and to alternative lifestyle festivals. Speaking of which, October eventually came around and it was time for the 1986 Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering. David and I had never been there before and so did not really know what to expect. It had been quite a hot day, back at home in Guildford, and I did not see any reason to bring warm clothes – or even shoes – with me up to the mountain. I can’t remember what I did bring, but it seemed to have involved at least a tent.
It was much colder at Mount Franklin than it had been down on the plain. So cold that I had to borrow a blanket from a guy to wear during the day (you can see me wearing it in this photo). Unfortunately he wanted it back that night, when it was even colder! So I had no warm clothes and no shoes... Then it started raining. Our tent had no side ropes holding the roof part away from the tent walls, so every time we lent on the tent material from the inside, it became wet and the water seeped through.
I’m not sure whether we had any blankets, pillows or other types of comfort, but I do recall being freezing and having hardly any sleep because of it. Nor can I remember whether this Mount Franklin went for one or two nights but at some stage, at night, there was a large group ritual. I recall that this ritual crystallised for David and I our identities as Thelemic ritual magicians, rather than Wiccans or Pagans – an identification that I, at least, have modified somewhat over the subsequent years – as we realised how stylistically different this sort of ritual was to what we had been doing.
I did not know anyone except the Marolds at the 1986 Mount Franklin, although I’m sure people who I would later become good friends with – and who were famous long-time attendees – were there. I do recall that Simon Goodman took the photo of David and I, but that’s about it. I’m sure we had fun though, despite my foggy memory, because I subsequently went to eleven more Mount Franklins, and because this blog is making me nostalgic, am considering returning there again.
By Caroline Tully.