Heading Message

A Pagan Gathering for Australia and the world

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Summer!


Happy Summer Solstice!


(Image courtesy of www.owlsdaughter.com)

Well, its been a busy, productive and eventful time since Beltane 2012 on the 24th November we all met over dinner, good company (and some exceptional locally produced cider) and recapped on all that we've achieved this year and where we are headed. The MFPG Inc has taken off and been so wonderfully supported by so many individuals and organisations that we wanted to shout out a big thank you to all of you that continue to help shape and evolve the Gathering into what it is.
A space for like minded people to come together and celebrate the Beltane Sabbat and this land. Meet old friends and greet new ones.
We are so pleased that 2013's ritual will be hosted by the lovely Seline Cardamon-Cairns and her group of fine folk. Thankyou to you for offering, we are so looking forward to that and we can't wait!

A number of things on the agenda are moving this blog to a web page which will be easier to navigate and install certain features on. The design element is still ongoing and we hope that in the first half of 2013 we will have a new web 'home'.

The MFAPG Inc is now a part of the local market and if you support local growers, bakers and makers then the monthly Harcourt Market is for you!
You can find more details here:
http://www.harcourtmarket.blogspot.com.au/
The next scheduled market for Harcourt is Sunday the 16th December 2012-we hope to see you there!!
Last month was its very first and it was fantastic! May we also recommend a gorgeous potter by the name of Truly who makes the most stunning pottery-you can find out more about Truly, her pottery and where she sells here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Made-by-Truly/128869757172264
Here is one of her beautiful mugs! (We couldn't control ourselves and each purchased an owl and skull insignia mug)

(Image courtesy of 'Made by Truly')

Some of our activities planned for 2013 also include not only supporting the protection of flora and fauna unique to Mount Franklin, but also that of Central Victoria. As a both individuals, coven members and Inc members we are committed to sustainability and care of our ecology . We hope to build new networks and partnerships which support and enrich our goals of self sustainability, environmental protection, supporting and buying local and fresh.

Please remember that we know how many of you are exceptionally talented folk and we are always happy to support and promote what you do and what you create! If you would like a spot on the blog please send in a blurb about you and your art and some photos and we will showcase it for you!

We are all peering at Hawthorn at this point :P! <Checking inbox-empty!> For those of you who don't know Hawthorn, makes beautiful ritual and decorative pieces from wood and if we can be cheeky here is his FB email hawthornmagicktree@facebook.com.
Hopefully he will forgive us :)

After a beautiful moon last month we all feel light, refreshed and ready to begin anew. The dross and the drains which can attach themselves have been cast aside and we look towards the Solstice and 2013 with renewed vigour. The garden flourishes, our trees bear fruit, the bees are dancing and all is well and happy in our hearth and homes. We hope likewise that they are the same for you, in your places and spaces. Go out and smell the roses, put your feet and hands upon the earth and listen to the wind whisper in your ear while the sunlight streams as it ascends to its zenith.
We leave you with one of our favourite artist and theorist quotes that has resonated with all of us of late and served as a timely reminder for many things....

“Everything that is dead quivers. Not only the things of poetry, stars, moon, wood, flowers, but even a white trouser button glittering out of a puddle in the street... Everything has a secret soul, which is silent more often than it speaks.”

Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944


Happy Summer to you all!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Items for Sale and General Info

A reminder that we have a limited amount of T-Shirts left for sale. These are $30 each and we no longer have any small sized ones left, just M, L, XL, XXL. If you haven't seen them previously they are as pictured:


If you would like one please contact us via FB or at the snail mail address on the left. Please request size, quantity and include $6.00 postage.

We also have The Wheel of the Year posters for sale by Tania Poole. 


These fantastic posters give a pictorial journey of the Sabbat Wheel. It is in full colour and measures approximately 60cm (H) x 40 cm (W). Each poster costs $12.00 plus $5.00 postage.

We would also like to support the Township of Harcourt in commencing its first ever Farmers Market which supports local produce: "Makers, Bakers & Growers". Harcourt's premier market begins Sunday 18th November 2012.


For those of you who are not aware, Harcourt is a small Central Highlands town located approximately 9 km northeast of Castlemaine and is roughly about an 1.5 hours from Melbourne. Set in a lush valley at the foot of Mount Alexander, Harcourt was once the premier apple growing region in Australia (a title yielded to Tasmania some time ago). Still the apple centre of Victoria, the local area is fast getting a name for wine and cider production, including apple and pear varieties. Around the area are many small holding producers of dairy, fruit and vegetables, bakers, berry growers, organic produce (including meat), eggs and goats milk cheese/milk products. The Central Highlands are also blessed with a plethora of artists-painters, sculptors, potters and craftsmen and women. Please support eating local, fresh and seasonal.  Support those talented people who create and make and support those people who get up and get things like this fantastic project moving!!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A new article from Des

Head over to Des' new blog to read an article entitled "Selling Spirituality". It's sort of a follow-up to his earlier article about Men in Wicca, only easier to find: http://deryckrj.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/selling-spirituality/

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Usual suspects 2012

Here is a group photo of what we call the 'usual suspects' involved in running the Gathering every year. Sometimes it changes, most times it stays the same core group of people. Sometimes we have stand ins for those missing/awol/overseas!!!/or simply unable to make it. However it is grouped and whomever is involved, we can't do it without you and we cannot make it the Gathering it is each year without the extraordinary support of everyone, from the organisers to the community that celebrate each year with us. 

This year we cannot thank enough the ongoing support from the following:
Parks Victoria (http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/)
Fi & Tex from Big Tree Enterprises (5473 4098) in Guildford-who created our eco friendly T-Shirts this year
SHARE -Sustainable Hepburn Association (http://share.asn.au/) and 
Jon & Jenny at Appletown Party Hire in Castlemaine who are so awesome every year with helping us with the Marquee (137 Mostyn Street Castlemaine VIC 3450‎ (03) 5472 2836).

To the the original indigenous people to whom the Mount meant so much to and who knew it as Lalgambook, we thank the descendants of the Gunangara balug clan and the Jajowurrong People.

To the steadfast community that come together in the spirit of friendship we bid you hand to hand, heart to heart, merry we've met and merry we've part!

Lastly, but by no means least we thank our kith and kin departed and present, felt and unseen at this time of the year as the cold winds die and herald in the promise of warmth, heat and renewed vigour throughout the land.

To our Northern Hemisphere friends and family we wish you a blessed Samhain and here in the Southern Hemisphere we wish you a joyous Beltane.



31st Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering Beltane 2012 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Beltane!

Just a quick post to wish everyone who made it to the crater and to those who couldn't make it a very happy Beltane. The 31st annual Gathering was highly enjoyable, with such a relaxed atmosphere!

There are just a few thanks I would like to make:

  • To my fellow organisers, for the organising that this year included the process of incorporation, amongst other things. There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, even while the event is running, and it's that, along with the cooperation of the community who attend, which makes for a successful gathering.
  • To Linda and Michel for providing the maypole, the bonfire pit, fire drums, spare bedding, a delicious stew and for continuing to be so tirelessly dedicated to making this event run smoothly and well for such a long time now. 
  • To Josie and Chris, for acting as the Maiden and her consort, to Cat and Scarlett for being the raven and horse, and to Mick and Alex for being Punch and the 'obby 'oss. EDIT! Also a big thankyou to Danny for offering his rhythmic services to the ritual - a job well done!
  • To Appletown Party Hire, for the marquee that we've used now for the past several years as MFAPG headquarters. In particular to Jenny and Jon for being so helpful, we really appreciate the service they provide and we cannot recommend them highly enough. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Appletown-Party-Hire/144926867505 
  • I think we should acknowledge the hard work done behind the scenes by some wonderful creative  people, notably Tania's body paint artistry on the consort, a certain talented tailor (if that's the correct term) for creating the maiden's outfit (whose anonymity shall be preserved), and in particular Mel, who created the maiden's garland but also wrote the ritual and worked some amazing magic.
  • On a personal note (if you'll allow me this indulgence), I would like to thank primarily Mel, for taking up the slack left behind by my incapacity, which involved a lot of extra work she wouldn't otherwise have had to do. And also to the many other people who offered their help, support and good wishes to me this year, while I'm recovering from surgery. I feel immensely privileged, and I thank you all very much.
A couple of other matters. The question has been asked by several people now about the T-Shirts that were made for this year's gathering. The answer to the question is yes, we can indeed sell you a shirt at any time, all you have to do is send us an email (at mountfranklinpagans@gmail.com) with your request and size, and we will send you an email back with instructions on how to pay, and so on. 

So finally, thanks to all those that attended, the fire procession looked fantastic, and the energy raised during the ritual was exhilarating and a most wonderful thing to experience. See you next year!

Des.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2011 Memories

As we look back and towards this coming weekend we thought we'd pull out some of our favourite images from last years Gathering. It fills us with such happiness to see the smiles, hear the laughter, see the colour and flavour that brings us together with commonality and diversity. How lucky we are! Be happy and ye shall be wise!

Punch








Courtesy K Moroney

2011 God

2011 Maiden

Obby!

Tan's Idea :P

Maypole

Mel & Des

Scarlett

Michel
Courtesy of K. Moroney 2011 Balefire


Yes? May I help you?


We can't wait to see you all this Friday to Merry Meet  Again Beltane 2012!!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reminders!

Greetings all,
Preparations for the Gathering are all coming along very nicely but we thought it was a good time to remind those of you coming along this year of a few important items:

  • You must bring  your own firewood to the crater! You are not permitted to cut wood for fires at Mount Franklin either, so please leave chainsaws, handsaws, bush-saws and light-sabres at home. You can purchase firewood from a property at the foot of Mt. Franklin, just on the Castlemaine side. There is a large sign advertising firewood for sale and if you cannot bring your own that would be the first place to look.
  • You must also bring your own toilet paper! Parks Victoria keep the toilet blocks supplied but that is not sufficient for our Gathering's needs so please, bring your own! Don't expect to rely on there being paper provided, so bring your own to avoid being caught short.
  • Finally, the "Mount Franklin" brand of spring water you can buy at the shop does not, in fact, come from Mount Franklin. It is owned by Coca-Cola Amatil and they say the water comes from a variety of natural Australian water sources. The water you will find at the campsite is untreated and therefore unsuitable for drinking. It's very important that you plan ahead and bring plenty of drinking water with you to the campsite.
That's all for now, we'll be sure to keep you posted of any further developments should they arise, but otherwise we're looking forward to seeing you at the Mount this Friday!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pathway to the Gathering....



We have proposed a slightly more structured Gathering this year and would like to announce the following:

26th October Friday Evening:

We will have an informal circle to meet everyone and open the Gathering. This is a time where we will discuss housekeeping details, etiquette, registration completion, introductions and some historical notes regarding the indigenous and pagan history of Mount Franklin.
We will have a blackboard located outside the Marquee which will have updates on times when the following proposals will be underway.

27th October Saturday Afternoon:
A workshop regarding some aspects regarding the ritual.
Please note YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE some items as follows:

TORCH MAKING
*Sections of old sheeting or cotton based materials about 2 inches wide.
*Kerosene
*An old paint bucket or milo tin-NO PLASTIC!! These are to hold and soak torches in.You will be shown how to make and use these at the workshop safely. You will **each** need one excluding children under 12 who will not be permitted to carry one.
*Safe solar lanterns-please bring any and all solar lanterns that are in safe working order.

SPIRAL DANCE
Many people are unaware of both the significance and intricacies associated with the Spiral Dance. You will be introduced to this and have this explained to you as well as a demonstration. We advise that the Spiral Dance can become quite boisterous and rapid, therefore those of us with creaky/dodgy knees, hips, backs etc, pregnant women, babes-in-arms and children may not be suited to this aspect. But as you are adults we leave this to your own discretion and choice.

RITUAL ETIQUETTE
Ritual is a both a joyful and serious expression of worship of the Old Religion. In this section of the workshop we will explain circle etiquette and certain expectations.

The ritual will be held later in the evening with shared celebrations around the bonfire.

28th October Sunday:
Somewhere between late morning and early afternoon we enjoy the Maypole Dance and a the traditional Moot and close of the Gathering.

Shortly a PDF version of our flyer will be uploaded to both this site and the FB site for you to read and explore. Please remember to re-read the housekeeping and tips on camping at Mount Franklin.

We are very excited to see our beloved gathering come round again once again and are looking forward as always to seeing old and (meeting) new friends.

B*B







Sunday, October 7, 2012

REGISTRATION & ASSORTED ITEMS

Registration and other News.....

There are two ways in which you may register for the 2012 Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering:

1. You can email us at at the addresses given at the left hand side of this blog.
2. You may register on the day you arrive.

However!
Our permit from Parks Victoria clearly stipulates that they will allow a maximum of 80 people under our umbrella. So once we reach 80 people that is all we can cover under our insurance and permit. This does not mean that you cannot turn up and camp at Mount Franklin-**BUT IF YOU WISH TO JOIN IN THE GATHERING AND HAVE NOT REGISTERED YOUR LEGAL NAME WITH US WE CANNOT COVER YOU UNDER OUR INSURANCE IN THE EVENT OF ANY INCIDENT OR DAMAGE TO YOU NOR PROPERTY**
If you choose not to register,  you implicitly understand you are wholly and solely responsible for your person and property and that MFAPG Inc will take no responsibility whatsoever, nor will be held liable in any way for any loss of property, injury or insult.

OTHER NEWS!!!!!

This year we will have T-Shirts available for sale- it will consist of a picture of the Mount with "Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering" encircling it. The T-shirts are printed on free trade/pre shrunk organic fibre and will be done in a neutral colour for this year. The photo will be central to the T-shirt and the writing will be in black eco friendly ink. Pre-orders are available now. Shirts cost $30.00 regardless of size and are a generous fit. Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL.
If pre-ordering  please post money order/cheque to PO Box  54 Castlemaine 3450 these orders MUST NOT reach us later than the 19th October 2012.
We will have some available for sale at the Gathering as well. If you have any children that you'd like to have one please let us know ASAP as we will not print on children's sized shirts normally.

We are very lucky to be supported this year by Fi & Tex at Big Tree T-Shirts and Promotions who can be found at:
Fi & Tex
Big Tree T-Shirts
Screen Printing & Promotions
P.O. Box 885
GUILDFORD    VIC   3451
texandfi@bigtreetshirts.com.au

And we send them a MASSIVE thankyou!!!

Times are 'a changing:

How we all wish we could sometimes go back to the grass root beginnings of the Gathering, and hold forever intact the innocence and organic feel it always has been known for. But times as we all know change and so too,  must we to adapt and evolve to keep alive the Southern Hemisphere's most beloved and longest running Gathering. As you all know we have become an incorporated body and have been delighted to become involved with SHARE-Sustainable Hepburn Association -Cultivating Community Resilience. From SHARE's website "Sustainable Hepburn Association – Renewing the Earth (SHARE) is a not-for-profit, non-political community association run by volunteers. SHARE has around 500 members and is focused on the Shire of Hepburn, Victoria, Australia". http://share.asn.au/
This has allowed us to obtain not only our required insurance but also look towards the future in terms of a working partnership and involvement with projects related to the Hepburn Shire and Central Victoria. We would like to thank SHARE and all its participants for their fantastic work in and around the community and we look forward to a long and prosperous collaboration.

It also brings up a number of other items we have recently discussed at a recent meeting and are looking at membership ideas for the MFAPG. This will allow us to remain a not for profit Gathering and cover costs annually related to the gathering such as insurance, Marquee hire, permit costs. Next year, Parks Victoria are proposing a fee to use the Mount for the Gathering and/or Camping but we are unsure of details at this time as talks are still underway. Currently, we propose an annual fee of $30.00 which entitles members to a guaranteed place at the gathering, members price on all merchandise and advertising space on both blog and FB. Our discussions around Merchandise has not yet been finalised, but is likely to include bumper stickers, artwork, cards, t-shirts, Franklin Seasonal Calendar and Mel and Linda's coming book Food for The Sabbats.

We welcome feedback on merchandise, perhaps on what you would like to see or have as a keepsake. We will also be holding a stall for the first time in December 2012 at Guildford Victoria. More news on that as time draws closer.

Please remember that we are looking for musicians, artists and artisans to contribute to this years gathering and look forward to hearing from you.

Shortly we will be posting instructions for an item each ritual participant is to have made for this years procession. Watch this space! Not long to go now!!





Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Map!!

Hi all,

We've had some inquiries regarding directions etc. So I've hyperlinked a map for you if you are not sure of where the Gathering is located as follows:

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&sugexp=les%3B&cp=37&gs_id=44&xhr=t&q=map+mount+franklin+victoria+australia&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&biw=1920&bih=989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ei=8HBgUNyPOMmOiAe144HgDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg

Just a reminder PLEASE let us know if you intend to join in under the Gathering's umbrella. You can email us on the address found on the left hand side of the blog. Real names please for the attendees list -we can't list pseudonyms.
Rest assured that ONLY the organisational members are privy to names of attendees and are kept as confidential documents at all times and not released under any circumstances to any third party.
Names logged on the FB site cannot be registered as we need email confirmation and the FB site is not always monitored.

Volunteers needed!
If you are able to spare some muscle power this year it would be hugely appreciated as some of you know one of our dear ones has has major neck surgery and is unable to lift or drive for some time.
If you are able to help with transportation (to and from Castlemaine) and erection and taking down of the Marquee and any other grunt work please email us here at MFAPG and let us know. We might even have a small treat for you as our profound thanks.

Special news!
Watch this space for some exciting news and instructions for this years gathering as well as two brilliant articles written by one of our men.

Reminders!!!
If you are arty, crafty, musical and inspired, creative and expressive please consider exhibiting your works (private sales only-no marked prices). We have only two takers thus far...two??? I think we can do so much better than that with all the amazingly creative people we know and are yet to know. If you are interested in running sessions of interest to do with any type of paganism over the weekend please let us know also. Final submissions are required by Monday 17th October 2012.

Remember this is a free event. There are no charges or costs associated with the Gathering. If you would like to make a donation to the ongoing care of the Mount and its magnificent arboretum and flora and fauna, please do so directly to Parks Victoria or directly to the Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering Inc. who will forward this onto Parks on behalf of the pagan community.

Not long now!! We hope you all enjoyed a magnificent Spring Equinox!

MFAPG Inc.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Artists and Artisans!

We have our first exhibit for the gathering this year. We've all had a peek and have all fallen in love with her work. So make sure you come and see the lovely, delectable and beautiful work of Kate McCredie @ Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering this year!!

Here are some links to her work.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kate-McCredie-Artist-Illustrator/103202026451087
http://www.zazzle.com/katemccredie

Please consider joining in and showing off what creative and amazing people you folk are-drop us a line!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gathering Dates


Mount Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering Dates 2012

Friday  26th-Sunday 28th October






Gathering and Camping is free. There is no fee to attend.

Donations are welcome to be forwarded to Parks Victoria.

BYO all weather gear, food, water and supplies (inc firewood, loo paper) etc.

Please take note of our No Weapons Policy and courteous conduct expectation of all attendees.

Anyone deemed intoxicated will not be permitted to partake of the Gathering ritual for Beltane. No exceptions.

Designate a driver if you plan on staying off the Mount.

Drink responsibly.

MFAPG Inc. Takes no responsibility or liability for those that cause problems or concerns across the Gathering weekend. Any troublemakers will immediately be pointed out to the local constabulary. We also take this opportunity to point out that attendees are expected to exercise a degree of magical hygiene and self responsibility.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Alexandrian Tradition

We thought we would re-post here an article collectively compiled by initiates of the Alexandrian Tradition from across the globe and from a few of us here in Victoria and (at that time) in Queensland. It is a snapshot, if you will of the Alexandrian Tradition which we hope you find it interesting.
It was first posted to Witchvox in 2004 after many conversations and email flurries!


The Alexandrian Tradition - From the Witches' Voice Website
Author: Elders of the Alexandrian Tradition Posted: June 29th. 2008 Times Viewed: 3,035 

What is Wicca?

Alexandrians define Wicca as a Pagan Mystery faith that is initiatory, oath bound and experiential in nature, with ancient roots originating in the British Isles. However, the term Wicca has been co-opted by the popular Pagan/Neo-Wiccan movement that has grown significantly in the past twenty or so years. To differentiate the original Wiccan traditions from the newer non-initiatory groups, in the United States we now refer to ourselves as British Traditional Wicca (BTW), and in Europe we are usually known as Traditional Wicca (TW). To simplify things, in this article when we refer to Wicca, we are referring only to BTW/TW unless otherwise indicated.1

History of the Alexandrian Tradition of the Wicca:

It's important to remember that "traditions" as we now know them did not exist at the beginnings of the "The Alexandrian Tradition." Our Tradition has its roots in what is now called Gardnerian Wicca, which at that time was simply called "The Wica, " or "The Old Religion."

The name "Alexandrian" is generally viewed by the Initiates of the Tradition as a reference to the "founder, " Alex Sanders himself, as well as a reference to the Great Library of Alexandria, which was the center of Occult knowledge in the ancient world.

Alex Sanders was initiated into Wicca in the early 60's. He was later well known as a Ceremonial Magician, as well as for his media antics and the title "King of the Witches" which was given to him by the leaders of some of his Covens in the late 60's. 

According to the accounts by his ex-wife Maxine Sanders, he was a member of at least two Covens before marrying Maxine and founding the Alexandrian "London Coven" from which many modern Alexandrians descend.

Alex was flamboyant and, among other things, a born showman. He played the press at every opportunity, much to the dismay of more conservative Wiccan Elders of the time. Alex also was known for being a healer, diviner, and a powerful Witch and magician. His forays into the media led to the publication of the romanticized biography King of the Witches, by June Johns, and later the publication of the classic Wiccan "coven biography, " What Witches Do, by Stewart Farrar. The Sanders became household names in the UK during the 60's and 70's, and are responsible to a great degree for bringing the Craft into the public eye for the first time. An excerpt from the profile of Maxine Sanders puts it well:

"Despite the extreme interest of the paparazzi, the many sincere Initiations performed in Maxine and Alex's Covensteads during and since that period, saw the inception and fashioned a lineage of Witchcraft that has since spread throughout the world."

And indeed it has.

In part as a result of Sanders' media antics, as well as conflicts between himself and two other well-known Wiccan High Priestesses at the time, a rift formed in the Wiccan community. It grew into a schism, which resulted in the gradual birth of what would later be known as the Alexandrian Tradition of the Wicca. 

Thus was born the first of the modern Wiccan "traditions."

The term "Alexandrian" was said by Maxine Sanders to have been coined by Stewart Farrar during the writing of the book What Witches Do in 1970. However, an interview with Sanders by Stewart Farrar in 1969 sheds new light on the topic. Alex is quoted as saying "those [witches] that don't want publicity tend to refer to my witches as 'Alexandrians.'" So there we have it. Either the term was a creation of Alex himself or the result of a grassroots moniker much in the way the term "Gardnerian" developed. 

The early initiates of the Sanders' referred to themselves simply as "the Wicca, " or Witches. The name of the Sanders' particular lineage was later codified in the early 70's. Our Tradition has been both fortunate and unfortunate enough to be one of the most, if not the most documented Wiccan Tradition to date. Naturally many misconceptions have arisen about our Tradition, which we will be happy to set straight in this essay. 

Contrary to popular belief, not all Alexandrians work Ceremonial Magic, such as Qabalah, Angelic Magic, and Enochian. Some do and some don't. Alex Sanders was constantly evolving his own magical practices and passed newly found knowledge and techniques to his initiates. This resulted in many different lineages descending from him, each with its own unique particulars but all sharing the same Traditional Wiccan core. 

Some Alexandrians are strongly oriented towards ceremonial magic, while others are more oriented towards folk magic. It depends on one's lineage or origin, as well as individual and coven focus. Training has always been a hallmark of the Alexandrian Tradition, with each new generation adding onto the previous generation's knowledge, making for more informed and well rounded Priest (esses) and Witches.

This diversity gives us a thriving and dynamic tradition, with our feet solidly grounded in Traditional Wicca and our eyes looking to the future.

Other common misconceptions are that the Sanders' and Farrars have published our entire tradition and our Book of Shadows. Any thorough read of either the Sanders' books, and the Farrars' books will prove this to be false, by the authors' very own statements.

Alex Sanders passed beyond the veil on Beltane Eve, April 30, 1988, after suffering from lung cancer. Upon Sanders' death a council of British Elders of the Alexandrian Tradition was convened, which issued the following document:

"Statement of the Council of Elders of the Alexandrian Tradition"

A meeting of the Elders of the Alexandrian Tradition was held on Thursday 12th May 1988.

The Law of the Craft has always been that a King is chosen by the Craft when need arises. After due consideration, a unanimous motion was carried that there is no need for a King of the Witches.

This is fortunate, as there is no one properly prepared for the role.

Alex Sanders led the Hidden Children of the Goddess into the light. It was a task well done and it was his last and most earnest wish that they should continue their work into the light."

Such a council has never again been convened.

Core Beliefs:

Traditionally, we work with and worship the Old Gods of Europe, primarily focusing on Our Lady of the Moon and her Consort, the Horned One. Our Gods are not jealous, and Alexandrian initiates may work with other deities on a personal or group basis as well.


We aim for a personal connection with and an understanding of deity, and ancestors, as well as the rhythms and tides of nature. Hence we have no laity, only Priests and Priestesses.

We believe in the power of magic, and use both traditional and experimental techniques to achieve our goals.

Role of Clergy:

Wicca is very different from other religions in that we have no laity. Every initiate of our tradition is a Priest or Priestess of our Gods in their own right.

Some of our clergy are very active in their local Pagan communities, doing handfastings and other rites of passage, as well as public Sabbat festivals. Others are called to work away from public life and focus inwardly on their covens and personal callings.

Organization of Groups:

The Alexandrian Tradition is organized into covens. Some groups work skyclad while others prefer to work robed. Regardless of personal coven preference, certain rites are performed skyclad by all recognized Alexandrian covens.

To become an Alexandrian initiate one must be initiated by a properly prepared and authorized Alexandrian High Priestess or Priest in a cross-gendered Initiation. Our traditional initiatory rites must be used without subtraction, as passed through each lineage from the original Alexandrian coven. It is not possible to "self-Initiate" into Alexandrian Wicca.

Our Tradition consists of three grades known as degrees. A first-degree initiate is a Priest or Priestess of the tradition, a second degree Initiate is a High Priest or Priestess of the tradition and a coven elder. The third degree is often reserved for coven leaders. The time between each degree can vary greatly from one lineage to another, and depends on each line's and coven's focus and views on the initiatory and training experience. In the Alexandrian Tradition, one progresses through the degrees not through time in grade, but through growth within oneself and the Gods.

A second degree Initiate can hive, form a new coven, and may initiate up to his or her own degree in most lines, with the permission of their elders. Second-degree High Priest (ess) -led covens are under the supervision and authority of the HPS and HP of the Mother Coven until they are deemed ready to take the third degree. The amount of autonomy a second degree Elder has varies from line to line. A third Degree High Priest (ess) is completely autonomous in our tradition, answering only to the Gods and the tradition as a whole. Autonomy does not mean lack of accountability.

In addition, a number of lines have a neophyte or dedicant degree, allowing a Proper Person (see standards of conduct) to participate in certain rituals before making the lifelong commitment to our Gods. This exposes the candidates to the tradition and to the close family bond, which is the heart of a coven. It also allows both the candidate and the Coven Elders to decide if the vocational calling is there as well as the necessary interpersonal dynamics. Our tradition is matrifocal. The High Priestess is considered "first among equals" and holds the final word in all coven matters.

Traditionally the word of the High Priest (ess) is law within the coven, although the authority of coven leaders does not extend beyond Craft matters. It has been called a benevolent dictatorship by some. Traditionally the High Priest co-leads the coven in cooperation with and in support of the High Priestess.

Initiatory lineage is traced cross-gendered (female to male to female etc.) back to the late Alex Sanders and his High Priestesses, such as Maxine. While lineage is not oath bound within our tradition, it is not a matter of public record either, and is often considered "private."

Shortly after Initiation each initiate begins to copy the Book of Shadows (BOS) out of his or her initiator's handwritten book. It is considered the responsibility of each initiator to pass on the Tradition, both written and oral lore, as it was passed to them with no omissions. In this way the continuity of our heritage is ensured.

The Alexandrian Book of Shadows consists of a common core of contents, with some variation from line to line, since Alex and his initiates were constantly evolving their craft. The core BOS, and Initiations however, are key for legitimate Alexandrians, as they provide a central commonality for us all.

Contrary to popular belief one cannot purchase an Alexandrian Book of Shadows, nor download one from the Internet. While these books exist, they were constructed from published information, and were intended for use as a set of documents similar in style to the BOS by serious students of the tradition. They are, however, different from the BOS used by initiates. The only way to obtain a complete Alexandrian Book of Shadows is to be initiated in the time-honored way.

The nature and exact practice of Alexandrian covens may vary from line to line and coven to coven, with certain limits. Training has always been strongly emphasized in our tradition, second only to service to the Gods. Most Alexandrian covens have a strong family feel, as well as the feeling of being part of a larger, international extended family.

Holidays:

Alexandrian Wicca celebrate the eight Sabbats of the wheel of the year. We also traditionally meet for Esbats on the full moon for workings, training and celebration of our Lady.

Contrary to popular belief we do not work with the cycles of the Oak and Holly Kings as written by the Farrars for their book Eight Sabbats For Witches. While individual covens and Witches may decide to work the rituals, the Oak King/Holly King cycle is NOT a part of the Alexandrian Tradition, or derived from it in any but the most surface way. The Farrars themselves make this very clear in their book, yet this misinformation still persists.

Standards of Conduct:

Initiation and elevation into the Wicca is a privilege, not a right. Initiation is not offered lightly. To be initiated into Wicca as a Priest or Priestess, one must first be a proper person*. The Elders of a coven determine this - with input from those already in the group. A candidate's sincerity, character, maturity, personal spiritual focus, level of commitment, sense of ethics, and personality are all factors that are considered. In addition, the Elders look for more esoteric signs. First and foremost, they must consult with the God/dess and obtain their approval. The Elders must also consider whether the Seeker would bring harm to the Craft, or misuse or abuse the Mysteries with which they will be entrusted upon initiation.

In short, the Elders must rely on their fair and balanced judgment, and their own intuition. There must be good personal chemistry between new initiates and the coven into which they are initiated. A person who is generally suitable for initiation might not be accepted into one group but might mesh well with another. The Priesthood is not for thrill-seekers or glory-hogs, and an initiatory path is not wise for mentally, spiritually, or emotionally unbalanced individuals. (*Note: One must also maintain the status of being a proper person once initiated. Those unwilling or unable to do so may be asked to leave the coven.) 

It is a tenet of Wicca that money is never charged for initiating and/or teaching our religion. In the Alexandrian Tradition, some covens may share the cost for basic coven expenses by paying reasonable dues, or may simply "pass the Witch hat" as expenses arise.

We have an obligation to maintain the privacy of others who are initiates. Therefore, to reveal the name or identity of another Witch without his or her express prior permission is not appropriate at any time.

The ethical guide of the Alexandrian Tradition is the Wiccan Rede: "An it harm none, do what ye will." Contrary to popular belief this only states that all harmless activity is permissible. Harmlessness is a worthy ideal, but it isn't to be taken literally. There is simply no way that any person can go through life without causing something (or someone) else harm. We are, however, fully responsible for our choices in life. One way that the Rede is interpreted is to follow your highest ideal (your Will) - which implies that it is best to try to choose the path of least harm. As we grow in our understanding of the mysteries of the cycles and tides of life, we begin to realize our connectedness to all beings of the earth. The concept of "True Will" then begins to suggest our actively working toward the greater good of all in whatever way we feel is appropriate.2

Ways of Worship:

The Alexandrian Tradition is an oath bound Mystery Tradition; therefore many of the details of how and why we work are secret. This secrecy among initiates of British Traditional Wicca has been a target for detractors, implying that either we have something to hide, or maintain a veneer of secrecy for the purpose of ego-stroking. Simply put, neither of these is true. We hold our tradition and lore to be sacred and private, and in some cases it provides unintentional side-effects if used by those not trained properly in our techniques. Alexandrians maintain that privacy of sanctity through secrecy. We do not claim to have the secrets to the universe. In fact, most of our "secrets" would be of little to no interest or use to those not initiated as Wicca.

Suffice it to say that our teachings focus on the development of a personal relationship with Deity, and a keen awareness and attunement with the cycles of Nature through ritual and in our daily lives.

We use traditional BTW techniques to gain self-mastery and develop our skills as Witches so that we may help others and ourselves. Experimental methods are also often used, for our tradition provides us with a firm foundation upon which to build and improvise.3


Reading and Other References:

Books:

What Witches Do by Stewart Farrar The Alex Sanders Lectures by Alex Sanders King of the Witches by June Johns Maxine The Witch Queen by Maxine Sanders Principles of Wicca by Vivianne Crowley Keepers of the Flame by Morganna Davies and Aradia Lynch A Voice in the Forest by Jimahl di Fiosa

Web Pages:

Maxine Sanders Homepage The New Wiccan Church InternationalTraditional Wicca Does Not Cost Money

E-Lists:Amber and Jet: BTW Seekers List

Caveat: Insofar as all third degree Elders are autonomous in our tradition, none of us may speak for all of us. As initiates and Elders of the Alexandrian Tradition, the foregoing thoughts are our own opinions concerning the nature of the Alexandrian Tradition of the Wicca, which we love and cherish.4

This essay was written, edited, compiled, and approved by the following High Priestesses, High Priests, and Elders of the Alexandrian Tradition:

Cian MacFhiarais, New Zealand
Ariana and Robin, Australia
Aconite and Ambriel, Qld, Australia
Juniper and Gwiddon Vedmi, Ontario, Canada 
Radella, BC, Canada
Morganna, RI. U.S.
Indigo, RI. U.S.
Anastasia, RI, U.S.
Haniel, Central CA, U.S.M. Veritas, TX, U.S.
Julia Phillips, England 
Pandora, England
Storm, CT, U.S.
Auriana and Corbin, CT, U.S
Scypres, FL, U.S.
Icarus, NJ, U.S.
Morgaine, TN, U.S.
Pat Baker, MA, U.S. 
Jimahl di Fiosa, MA. U.S.
Sulis, MA, U.S.
Talia, MA, U.S.
Herne, New Orleans, U.S
Brigit and Orion, MD, U.S.

Footnotes: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Paraphrased, with permission, from the essay "Central Valley Wicca: The Kingstone Tradition" by Kalisha Zahr. 
Authors: Elders of the Alexandrian Tradition  
Originally Posted on Witchvox: November 14th. 2004 
Copyright: Elders of the Alexandrian Tradition

Friday, August 17, 2012

Welcome to.....The Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering Association Inc.

Time flies when you're having fun or so they saying goes. Spring is in the air as we looked out to our orchard and saw the new apple blossoms captured against a background of a whole tonne of work which needs doing prior to our summer beds being planted out. The hens and our lovely rooster Rupert (not so lovely at 3.00am mind you) are looking very snazzy after the customary moulting and we have a once again renewed steady stream of eggs beginning to arrive now that the days are lengthening and the girls are back on the lay. Our garlic crop looks promising and the array of snowdrops and bulbs starting to peak out every morning is lovely.
But what of Mount Franklin? We have been once again busy with the preparations that go on behind the scenes each year which enable the gathering to run smoothly. As you are all aware now we have evolved into an incorporated body. This enables us to more formally handle some of the concerns that arise these days with public gatherings such as insurance etc but it allows us the platform to initiate unprecedented support for the Mount which has such significant historical and cultural importance indigenous people, non-pagan and pagan folk alike from all over. 
In previous articles we have discussed the wonderful arboretum of the Mount which was officially recognised as such in the early part of 2000. 
For those of you unfamiliar this excerpt was taken from the Geomantica Magazine Issue 25 Spring 2004. (http://www.geomantica.com/geom25.htm#3

"Mount Franklin is a prominent and classically shaped scoria cone volcano of great geological interest, some 635m high and about 10km north of Daylesford in central Victoria. From its pine plantation swathed summit no less than ten other scoria cone volcanoes can be seen. The southern end of the cone was breached, possibly by a late lava flow, and this has enabled a road to give easy access into the central crater area.
The park like interior abounds with mighty exotic trees, like the grove of stately Californian redwoods, planted after a severe bush fire denuded it all. It is now a registered arboretum" 

It is the intention of the MFAPG Inc to continue to support the integrity of flora and fauna of the Mount and its surrounding districts under the instruction and direction of Parks Victoria. 
The gathering will remain essentially unchanged and we have made all attempts to keep the organic nature and aspirations of the gathering intact.
The offices of the Inc are now filled and we are gathering momentum as the days begin to hasten and we find that Beltane is once again here. 
This year we would like to focus upon the arts and craftsmanship of those people who feel they have something to show and share. We are so excited at this prospect are are hoping that you crafty folk out there take us up on the offer!  If you are interested in exhibiting art, music, craft (non commercial please!-any sales are by private arrangement only) at this years gathering, please let us know and refer to the previous article regarding arrangements for the same. Don't be shy!! We know how damn good you are-come forth post haste!

We are so looking forward to the next gathering and to seeing you all there then. Don't forget to register with us if you wish to be included please and /or if you wish to exhibit!!

Mel