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A Pagan Gathering for Australia and the world

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A New Thread in an Old Tapestry

As this site has so many active followers and has garnered some small amount of interest among Pagans around the world (yes folks, the world has been watching!) I thought that it may be constructive to begin a thread where we can all make a positive contribution. I would love to hear what all of you like most about Beltane, and other celebrations, at Mt. Franklin. What do you think are the essential events of the Beltane gathering? What kind of ceremony should there be? What elements of the ritual are the most vital, exciting, meaningful to you? What direction do you think that the Beltane celebrations should go in from here?

Leave a comment here or e-mail us at mountfranklinpagans@gmail.com and we'll get it posted for you.


  1. I have always liked the ceremonial aspect of Beltane. The opportunity to see a really large circle being cast, invoking the watchtowers. All of the ritual bells and whistles. And I LOVE the Spiral Dance- it makes it Beltane for me every time.

  2. I totally agree with dgmattichakjr, also for me it about catching up with old friends.

    You know, the best thing is that we see people at the mountain that we may not have seen for years or even decades, and its like that whole space of time in between just sqeezes down to nothing and within seconds its like we have never been apart.

    Not to mention they loy of meeting new friends with whom I can have that same experience with next year. Just awesome, it truly is a family.

    I very much enjoy the ritual too. My main dissapointment though, is that being from interstate I usualy miss out on the Sunday festivities, especialy the maypole, since I have to drive home for 8 hours.

  3. I love the whole feel of it...getting everything ready to camp and know that for a whole weekend you get to hang out with really cool people and if you're lucky make a couple of great new friends along the way. I love the ritual preparation and the yearly tradition of dressing the Maypole in beautiful Hawthorn and seasonal flowers. Its always great to see what rituals different people from differing traditions have shared over the years as well. I think this is a particularly great aspect of the Gathering, from Asatru, to Eclectic to Traditional to Scottish its all been a great journey.

  4. Well driving 8 hours is dedication to be sure! For me its a chance to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the Mount and the entirely pleasant surrounds. Rain, Hail or Shine I can't remember a year where I didn't fall asleep to the sounds of people laughing and waking up to kids running around like crazy laughing as well. I'm so looking forward to next year and creating some more special memories. Nice work on the blog guys. Well done. And yes I know some people in the US who are watching the blog fascinated by its long history and success as a gathering, somewhat of a feat as they describe it. I 've never been to the US so I hope maybe one day some US pagans will find their way down under and share Franklin and Beltane one year!!

  5. Ooh I should say any pagans from wherever in the world really!! Now that would be cool!

  6. I also agree. I think over the years one of the most significant elements of the event has been that connectedness we all feel to each other, in spite of the diverse paths along which people have traveled to arrive there. There have been many different groups running the main ritual at different times, and this has produced some truly sensational events!
    I love a good bonfire. It doesn't have to be huge, as for example this year's fire was kept strictly to the 1 x 1 metre size as stipulated in the permit, but still it gives everyone present that thrill of excitement when it is ignited. You can't escape the fact that it is a fire festival, but other elements in the ritual have been so varied and interesting; I am fascinated by the ways in which different people interpret the meaning of Beltane.

    I've met many great people at the Gathering, and look forward to catching up with them each year, sharing a drink, a meal and enjoying good pagan company for a whole weekend is such a life-saver from the work, stress and pressures of working life.

    We're very fortunate to have the Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering here in Victoria, and the Mount Franklin site has such a wonderful, ethereal atmosphere it is ideal! Purpose-built, you might say!

    And Leon, take Monday off, mate! Come hit the market and maypole with us next time :)

  7. For me, I've loved the variety of rituals over the years. I even got to run one which I will write about sometime. I have even got plans to organise another one day - Well, not write the ritual, nor run it, but I have ideas for a rite that could be quite unique to our gathering. It would take a lot of people and help from others, and a lot of preparation.

    I remember hearing about peoples mouths dropping open when we had the Obby Oss in ritual that I made in 2005. I think it was the last thing people expected. I like the element of surprise in ritual - I think it amazes the crowd and makes their weekend.

    Unfortunately, I've been helping out with the rituals for 7 years now and never get the chance to be surprised at it anymore! I am still waiting for someone else to approach the organisers and ask to run a ritual, so we don't have to do it. Some have missed their chance!

  8. I went to Mt Franklin for 12 years running, from 1986 to 1997 inclusive. During that time, as far as I can remember, and I'll admit that my memory is a bit foggy, the ritual was mainly public-Wiccan-style. I don't remember any other styles... but that may have been a result of the mead! I also ran the ritual at one time, I think it was around 1995, or maybe earlier? It was me as Priestess, John (Kira's then boyfriend - that's Kira who is now married to Doug Ezzy) as Priest and Kira as Maiden, with Linda acting as Elder HPS behind the Altar. Why was I being Priestess with John rather than Kira... Mystery of Mysteries.. that's just how it worked out on the night. Anyway... this blog is making me *extremely nostalgic*. I hear Mt Franklin is just huge now, or was, maybe it's been tamed numbers-wise, I don't know... I'm considering coming again sometime to see old friends.