This month, TWH’s Australian correspondent Josephine Winter brings us the latest news snippets from the Australian Pagan Community.
Western Australia: Combined Covens Participates in PrideFest WA
Last month, Perth-based non-profit Pagan social group Combined Covens participated in PrideFest, Perth’s LGBTQI+ arts, culture and community festival for the second year running. Members of Combined Covens dressed as gods and goddesses for the parade through Northbridge, which marked the conclusion of the festival.PrideFest is organised and facilitated by Pride WA. Originally incorporated in 1993 as Lesbian & Gay Pride (WA) Incorporated, Pride WA began in its earliest form during the 1989 march on Parliament, during the contentious debate about the Law Reform (Decriminalisation of Sodomy) Act 1989 which decriminalised private sexual acts between two people of the same sex. Since then, Pride WA has grown to host some of the largest LGBT events in Perth and played an important role in campaigning for gay and lesbian law reform in the state.
Combined Covens was formed in 1996 as a unification of a number of larger covens and groups in Western Australia. The group is an incorporated non-profit group and is geared towards providing networking and fellowship to Pagans across the state.
Queensland: Author Sandra Greenhalgh Announces Druid Wisdom Oracle Cards
Both ancient and modern Druid practices are the inspiration for this new deck of oracle cards, set for release in February 2019.
“The deck also features images based on Pictish rock carvings as well as Celtic mythology,” says author and artist Sandra Greenhalgh. Greenhalgh began working on the deck in April 2018, after experiencing “an unexpected and sudden flow of Awen”. This led to her learning digital art techniques (though no photographic images are included in the deck), and how to independently self-publish the finished cards.Teaser images on the cards’ Facebook page so far include Stonehenge, a pomegranate, several trees, oak, mistletoe and an image of a bradán feasa (salmon of knowledge) alongside an Australian platypus.
Sandra is a long term member of the international Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and lives in Queensland, Australia.
For more information about the Druid Wisdom Oracle follow their Facebook page or the hashtag #druidwisdomoracle on Instagram.
Victoria: Australia’s Newest Magical Tradition Prepares for Midsummer
“During the solstice the sun is at its peak in the sky, large and strong on the longest day of the year,” says Dorian Manticore, the founder of the Sovereigns of the Golden Path (SGP). “For the SGP it’s symbolic of the culmination of the prior year, of accomplishment and survival. A time to reflect on what we’re proud of and excited about for the future – the equivalent of New Year’s Eve celebrations. Being an astronomical event it can also be celebrated by people with a more secular mindset.”
According to the SGP website, the tradition is “an anarchistic, non-binary, two-handed, animistic, DIY, intersectional tradition rooted in chaos magic and existentialism.”
The tradition is open to anyone who identifies as queer, regardless of their level of experience. Its practices include “ritual, sacred storytelling, divination, spirit-work, healing, and growth… [the SGP] encourages the joy of scientific learning, play and genuine, authentic connection with the world around us.”The group held their first public ritual in December 2017, and have hosted a number of events in and around Melbourne throughout 2018.
The SGP’s summer solstice ritual will take place on a Melbourne beach on the weekend of the 22nd of December. The weekend is set to be a busy one for Melbourne’s Pagan community, with public events also being hosted by a range of traditions, such as Silver Birch Grove ADF, OBOD’s Melbourne Grove and the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets.
“I started the SGP because I felt a need in community for a tradition that is both queer-centred and as a haven for people who wish to re-engage with their spirituality,” Manticore said. “Especially those who may feel alienated elsewhere. A space to focus on personal growth, sacred self-ownership and authenticity, a haven for the othered.”