Review: Spiral Dance connects to land and legend on latest CD

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.

Column: Queer Paganism in Australia

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.

Column: Druidry in Australia

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.

Column: Celebrating a Bit of the British Isles in Australia

[Today, The Wild Hunt welcomes guest writer and Pagan Josephine Winter. Winter is a teacher and geek from provincial Victoria, Australia. She is one of the founding members of the Pagan Collective of Victoria and an organizer of the Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering. Josie shares a little blue house in the bush with a hairy viking, a dog, three chickens and lots of books.]

In this part of the world, the month of May can be a touch unpredictable. Some years, autumn comes on quickly.

Devotional street art: an interview with Markos Gage

In the heart of Melbourne, Australia, Markos Gage works and lives creating public art inspired by mythology and his own personal spirituality. Gage identifies as an Hellenic polytheist, Dionysian artist, and Bacchic Orphic. He said, “I’m a devotee to Dionysos and claim some kind of initiation into his mysteries. I identify these mysteries as Dionysian Artist.” Gage grew up in Frankston, and was reared by his mother and grandmother.