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A Pagan Gathering for Australia and the world

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!


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!


Courtesy K Moroney

2011 God

2011 Maiden


Tan's Idea :P


Mel & Des


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


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:

*Sections of old sheeting or cotton based materials about 2 inches wide.
*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.

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 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.


Sunday, October 7, 2012


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.

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.


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

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!!