Researchers document evidence of folk magic in colonial Australia

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.

Australian author Jane Meredith releases sixth book, ‘Aspecting the Goddess’

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.

Poet Fleassy Malay’s ‘Witches’ poem inspires women

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.

Druids Down Under organize a national gathering for 2018

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.

Column: Paganism in the Top End

Australia’s Northern Territory (sometimes just called “the NT” or “the top end”) is the country’s third-largest federal division, covering over 520,902 square miles (1,349,129 square kilometres). This vast space is made up of rugged coastline, a national park spanning around 12,000 square miles (20,000 square kilometres) and larger settlements in the north; the south has smaller settlements, sacred rock formations and mountain ranges dotted across the immense, red desert. For more than 40,000 years this land has been comprised of a dozen different indigenous language groups, Pitjantjatjara being the largest and best-kept language. The NT’s great spaces are sparsely populated: the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ most recent demographic data have the region’s population sitting at below 250,000, with just under half of that number residing in the capital city of Darwin. What does all this mean for Pagans living in the Northern Territory?