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.
TWH – The NRA Institute for Legislative Action published an article in reaction to a documentary film titled the Binding that depicts modern Witches performing a binding spell inspired by Michael Hughes’ work. First reported on by The Wild Hunt, the film, which was produced and directed by Patrick Foust, features members of the Firefly House and includes author and activist David Salisbury. Foust told TWH that the inspiration for The Binding came when [he] saw news footage of Witches conducting a binding ritual on President Trump in February 2017. The NRA ILA reaction to the film was published June 15, and has since triggered a number of other media articles, including one in Fortune magazine and another at Raw Story. After the NRA writer discusses the film’s content, he or she reports that the organization “has not experienced any uptick in paranormal activity or supernatural suppression of [their] affairs.”
TWH — The goddess Brigid is not a jealous goddess – at least the Irish/Celtic goddess of poetry, healing and smith craft is not such a deity on Land and Legend, the latest album by the Australian band Spiral Dance. “I know Brigid’s walking with me when the wild flowers have come,” the Australian-born Adrienne Piggott sings on “Goddess of the Southern Land.” The lyrics continue with “and the wattle flowers into life the color of the sun. In misty mountain bush land the smell of eucalyptus after rain and bark fall signal that it’s time to celebrate Beltane.”
As the croaking drone of a didgeridoo and gentle djembe and guitar open the song which opens the CD, Piggott unveils a confession: despite remaining rooted to her ancestors in the British Isles and to Brigid, she is on a vision quest to discover and connect to a new goddess: the “rainbow serpent mother protector of the land” where Piggott lives in the Mount Lofty Ranges near Adelaide Hills in South Australia. The tone of Spiral Dance’s aptly-titled, mesmerizing ninth album is set from the start: connecting, or staying connected, to land and legend in the midst of an increasingly mobile global culture, in an age when a modern-day shaman’s dance is a mundane reality for so many humans who literally walk — or jet — between two worlds. It’s a topic of deep import for Pagans, polytheists and members of earth-based religions, especially those in the United States.
Queer Paganism in Australia today is multifaceted and vibrant with a large number of publicly active traditions, groups, and meetups that are queer oriented or queer inclusive. The most notable of these is Queer Pagan Men Australia. But what many contemporary Australian Pagans don’t know is that the country’s history of Paganism within the LGBT community goes back more than three decades and includes a home-grown queer magical tradition. Queer Pagan Men Australia
Queer Pagan Men Australia (QPMA) was founded by Ryan McLeod and Buck Agrios in 2012 with the mission of providing a safe space for men who love men to explore their spiritual beliefs, sacred sexuality, roles in community, and practice in the craft as queer men. In Alexandrian witchcraft, McLeod finds that his position is primarily a fertility focused one, However he also sees the importance of LGBT people having opportunities to connect with one another in Australia, and to share their unique experience and perspectives of Paganism.
AUSTRALIA — Druidry is on the rise. The 2011 census recorded an all-time high of 1048 followers of Druidry or Druidism in the country. That number is expected to be larger in the latest census data, which will be released in the coming year. In recent decades, OBOD and ADF groves have been springing up, along with individuals practicing more eclectic, non-denominational forms of the religion. Anecdotally, many of the statewide Pagan not-for-profit groups have also seen the interest in Druidry increase.