Josephine Winter is a Pagan author and podcaster from provincial Victoria, Australia. She is one of the founding members of the Pagan Collective of Victoria, an organizer of the Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering. She is also the author of a forthcoming book for Llewellyn Worldwide. Josie shares a little blue house in the bush with her family.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA – The Pagan Alliance of South Australia recently ceased to operate as an incorporated association, citing a significant drop in membership and financial difficulties as reasons for the decision. With the Tasmanian branch of the Pagan Alliance facing similar issues, an end to this organisation – once a nationwide cornerstone of the Australian Pagan community — is becoming increasingly likely after almost 30 years. History
The Pagan Alliance was founded in 1991 by Wiccan Julia Philips at the height of the “Satanic Panic,” partly as a response to the widespread fearmongering and misinformation about Paganism during that period. According to a 2006 article, Phillips was staying with Wiccan friends in Canberra early in 1991 when the first seeds were planted. “One of these manipulative people appeared on TV, spreading the usual unsubstantiated claims that pagans and witches were conducting black masses, child sacrifice, and so on,” she remembers.
AUSTRALIA – For many, it has long been thought that there was little or no practice of witchcraft and folk magic during Australia’s colonial period. But a number of researchers across the country are uncovering more and more evidence that convicts and free settlers from Europe brought a number of their superstitions – particularly apotropaic symbols and customs – with them. The Tasmanian Magic Research Project
Launched in January 2018, the Tasmanian Magic Research Project was established to investigate and document physical evidence of “the material state of magic” throughout the state of Tasmania during the 19th century. The project is led by author, publisher, and historian Dr. Ian Evans, who has written numerous books on the history and conservation of old Australian houses. Evans is credited with contributing to the growth of the heritage movement that spread throughout Australia in the 1980s and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2005 for service to the preservation of the country’s architectural heritage.
NEW SOUTH WALES — Australian author and ritualist Jane Meredith launched her sixth book Aspecting the Goddess: Drawing down the divine feminine last month. Sharing the similar format – combined workbook, memoir and anthology- as some of Meredith’s earlier works, Aspecting the Goddess explores twelve different goddess myths including Freyja, Eve, Persephone and Blodeuwedd. “Aspecting the Goddess is a book I have been wanting to write for a long time,” Meredith tells TWH.“I basically waited until I thought I could get a publisher to agree to publish exactly the book I wanted to write, the way I wanted to write it. All of my books explore one of my passions – and this one, working with the Goddess, is very close to my heart.”
Born in the 1960s and now based in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains area, Meredith possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in secondary education with majors in sociology and politics. She has worked a wide variety of jobs including teaching, market research and tarot reading.
In the past they burned us,
because they thought we were witches. Just because we knew what to do with herbs outside of the kitchen. Because we knew how to dance, seduce, pray. Because we moved with the cycles of the moon. That’s the beginning of poet Fleassy Malay’s Witches, which has been shared and appreciated widely within Pagan circles.
SYDNEY — Australian eclectic Druid group Druids Down Under is set to host its first national event in the Pennant Hills this weekend. The gathering will include workshops, musical performances, meditation, creative spaces and nature walks, with organisers expecting around 60 participants from a range of established traditions such as Ár nDraíocht Féin, the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and the British Druid Order, as well as eclectic and solitary practitioners. Organiser and eclectic Druid Julie Brett hopes the gathering will be significant and uniquely Australian. “It focuses on what it means to follow the path of Druidry in the Australian landscape specifically,” Brett says. “This is the first time that we have met in large numbers from around the country in person.