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A Pagan Gathering for Australia and the world

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Market Notice

Hi all,

Just a notice that Parks Victoria have notified us that due to recently changed by-laws (grrr!!) there can be no commercial venture that takes place on the Mount. Therefore we will be unable to endorse a market unfortunately. Sorry to all those that planned to sell sell sell, but there's nought to be done about it alas.

It will still be an amazing weekend  however!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spit Spot Housekeeping

Hello everyone,

Here's a timely reminder for those planning to attend this years MFAPG. Just a spot of housekeeping and some essential details to jog the cogs and get you into planning mode!!

The weekend commences on the last weekend in October regardless if that falls into the first day or so of November. A lot of folk arrive on the Friday to set up camp and relax, mingle meet people chat and settle in. Saturday holds the main ritual at sunset. Most people tend to cruise on the Saturday, relaxing and chatting or heading off to Daylesford (some very nice groovy shops and eateries/galleries here) and the glorious baths at Hepburn Springs. Sunday is traditionally market morning and Maypole-and of course if you cannot stay you are welcome to attend that day or any day. There is no cost. The market tends to wax and wane in terms of stalls and marketers. Some years its a large varied affair and other years sparse with only a few stallholders.
If you are planning on camping-be prepared for all weather eventualities-really! We absolutely cannot emphasise this enough!!
Be prepared for sensationally freezing nights (I'm a hot water bottle lover at Franklin every year!!) Ground sheets under your camp mattress is a good idea and being prepared for wet weather-though a little weather witch tells me "dry this year"-I guess we will find out, though she did correctly predict almost monsoon like rain last year hmmmm!!
Please remember that there is no potable water on the Mount-that is you cannot consume the water from the taps as the water has a fire retardant added to it.
Any unattended fires will be extinguished and must be in a fire drum (available in limited supply from the Celtic Heritage Society Marquee).
You are free to come and go as you please and explore but please do not climb the fire tower.
Bring food, water, firewood-you may not head up the crater and lop down the trees-loo paper!!! (nothing like a spot of self sufficiency) :))
The CHS has a safety plan which attendees must adhere to and will be given on arrival. We have a qualified registered nurse, and several qualified Level 2 first aiders. We also have a member who co-ordinates SES responses and a member of who is a detective within Vic Police and also a qualified first aider. The nurse, Level 2's, ses and officer are included in this safety plan-and will act as guides and marshalls in the event of any incident.
Serious business of housekeeping is done!!

Its our 30th birthday this year and who would have thought that the event would grow and foster into a celebration loved and held dear by so many? For many people MFAPG was their first introduction to paganism, for others a space to be with like minded folk,  to see old friends and to greet new ones :) It could never happen without the tireless input of the CHS and all the magnificent contributors, friends and loved ones every year.
So bring your open hearts, goodwill and respect for the Old Gods and lets all enjoy a memorable, magical and inspirational 30th Mount Franklin Beltane.
We look forward to meeting you and hope you enjoy Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering 2011 29th-31st October 2011 :))

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Amazing stuff

Whilst not connected to Mount Franklin per se, some of you may have seen this across some of the e-lists recently, but I thought the article was so great I have re-posted the link here for those that might have missed it :))


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A magical year in Stonewylde

For those of you pagans who love reading, the books mentioned below will be your next favourite books.

The Stonewylde series, written by Kit Berry, are a wonderful new series of pagan books -

'Stonewylde is an alternative community, hidden away in the heart of Dorset and ruled by the charismatic Magus. It's a place of standing stones and earth energy – a place where the old ways are remembered. Within a great stone circle the eight pagan festivals are celebrated and ancient rites performed. The thirteen full moons are honoured and the people live natural and uncomplicated lives, as their ancestors have done for hundreds of years.'

Kit Berry's magical Stonewylde puts me in mind of Summerisle - from 'The Wicker Man,' and Cornwall Coombe from 'Harvest Home' - an idyllic community where earth magick is recognised, festivals are frequent, and a traditional way of bringing in the harvest is as old as the hills. Mystery, but also murder, is conducted in Stonewylde, as the battle between good and evil is fought to rescue Stonewylde from a power hungry patriarch.

There was a trilogy to start with - Magus of Stonewylde, Moondance of Stonewylde, and Solstice at Stonewylde - but such was the success of Kit's books, she was asked to write two more - as of August 2011, the fourth book Shadows at Stonewylde was released and eager pagans everywhere bought the book to find they could not put it down till it was finished.


I widely recommend these books, for a gripping tale of pagan lifestyles within a place that every pagan has within their hearts - Stonewylde.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Green Man

My Yorkshire-born mother collects the Dalesman magazine, an A5-sized magazine about the Yorkshire Dales - and she has been getting a subscription for many decades. Indeed, I have found many awesome gems in the mags regarding pagan history, myths, English folkloric festivals (maypole and hobby horses) and legends - all from rural Yorkshire. Its a great magazine, I've cited them in articles and blog posts, and enjoy flipping through them when I visit Mum and Dad.

Here is an article about the Green Man that appeared in the latest issue that arrived -

(for those who don't know, Wharram Percy is a deserted medieval village (the most famous one in England and an archaeologists dream) with only a church left, and remains of old allotments of land only visable from the air!)

The Green Man (article from August 2011 Dalesman)

It is a curiosity that the head and face of what many interpret to be an important pagan deity appears with such frequency in Christian churches – and not only throughout Britain, but in Europe and beyond. And in the UK, of course, the so called Green Man appears on many inn and pub signs. The Green Man sign currently handing outside the hostelry and hotel in the Market Square of Malton is a variant on the others because the chap depicted there is someone pretty closely related to the idea of the legendary Robin Hood, Squire of Loxley.

So who was the original Green Man? Well, he appears to have been some sort of spirit or fertility figure, symbolising re-birth. He is both full of vitality and virility. Vines and green leaves and other vegetation adorn his head, sprout from his eyes and ears, and wreath his temples. He sometimes pokes out his tongues, and he often has cat-like ears.

And, let us not forget, early Christians would often “convert” earlier gods to their own cause, and sometimes even made them into saints. Druids worshipped a man of the forests, and particularly the spirits of the oak trees. He goes back into the mists of time (oddly, he’s always a male, never female – despite connections to Mother Earth). One of the most important Roman finds in Britain, the Mildenhall Hoard, has a huge silver salver as one of its major pieces, and there, in the centre, is the raised face of a Green Man.

Jack in the Green (who figures largely in many May Day festivities), John Barleycorn, Puck and Robin Goodfellow all have elements of the Green Man about them, and even cheerful old Santa (as illustrated in early Victorian drawings) is a holly-wreathed bucolic gent with a zest for life.

Since Yorkshire is the largest county in England, it won’t come as any surprise to readers to find that we lead the rest in Green Men dotted about in our churches and monastic ruins. There are carvings of Green Men in Fountains Abbey, in Pickering, Pocklington and on the ruins of the church in the lost village of Wharram Percy.

You can spot them in stone in Ripon and Rudstone, and in Burton Agnes, Bridlington, Bishop Burton and Beverley Minster. Learned researchers have tracked down at least 120 Green Men in the east of the country and in Ryedale alone, and they turn up on pews, columns, chairs, fonts and pulpits. That’s something of a record. Sadly, a particularly fine lectern in the church at Burton Agnes, with no less than four Green Men carved into its ancient surface, was stolen – and hasn’t been seen since. So much for leaving churches unlocked and open for the curious to view with interest and reverence.

Pubs with the Green Man name are, oddly, far more rare. Apart from our chum in Malton, there’s another on Otley Road in Bradford and one (apparently now closed) in Hull, and there, unless readers know otherwise (which you frequently do), we are.

In Malton the Green Man is a late Georgian-looking building, typical of market towns of the day. It is white-washed, and has been altered slightly with fairly recent dormer windows. Malton Ladies’ Luncheon Club used to meet here until their numbers grew to be rather more than the dining room could hold, and now the ladies meet monthly in nearby Pickering.

The sign (at present) is a little tired and careworn, and needs a sympathetic refreshment. Let’s hope that is in the pipeline. And what, since you ask, is the pub at Doncaster’s very own Robin Hood Airport called. Could they have called it the Robin of Loxley, or the Green Man? Erm, no. With a singular lack of imagination, they’ve called it … The Amy Johnson. And what has the late lovely aviatrix got to do with Doncaster? In a word, nowt. But then, that’s the naming of pubs for you..

Monday, September 5, 2011

Write your letters...

Get your letters written, or email the Mount Franklin blog, make sure your tents have all their pegs and poles, tell your boss that you have to have Friday 28th Oct off work, mend your costumes, dresses and cloaks, save your pennies for the market, buy that new cauldron for camp cooking, bring your clothes for warm weather, drums, instruments and bells....

For soon it will be time to go to Mount Franklin, and drive your winding way up to the crater!

It's 54 days until Beltane, where the Lady and Lord dance!