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.
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.
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?
VICTORIA, Aus. – In 1998, Robin Angas Fletcher, also known as Timothy Michael Ryan, The Red Druid, and Balin, was sentenced to ten years imprisonment with a minimum of eight years, for a series of sexual crimes committed against two 15-year old girls. Adding to the sensationalism of this already brutal and shocking case were Fletcher’s claims that he was a Witch or Wiccan, and that his crimes were merely an expression of his Pagan religion. Over the years, newspaper headlines have capitalized on this point, referring to Fletcher as, for example, “an Evil witch,” “ a self-proclaimed black magic sex witch,” and “a notorious pedophilia witch.” In the mid-nineties, Fletcher was based in Melbourne, Australia.
[Around the World is a monthly weekend column. It features different Pagan and Heathen writers from outside the U.S.A. bringing varied perspectives to The Wild Hunt. Today we introduce Cosette Paneque, a blogger and Priestess in the Georgian Wicca Tradition, who lives in Melbourne, Australia.]
Greetings from Down Under! I’m an immigrant twice. The first time, I emigrated from Cuba to Miami in 1980.