2017: Getting Back to Our Roots

The 36th annual Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering is almost upon us. We have finalised our permit with Parks Victoria and are now putting the finishing touches in place for this year’s event.

If you have come to the Gathering in recent years, you may have noticed that it has become busier and busier, with the schedule getting more jam-packed each year. When the MFPG started in 1981, it was intended as a relaxed, friendly and easygoing weekend during which Pagans and Magicohs of all paths to come together in the spirit of fellowship and worship.

While a lot has changed in the thirty-six years that the Gathering has run, and it may never (as much as some of us wish it could) go back to the small, intimate number of attendees and twelve foot bonfires of the eighties, we don’t believe we should neglect our original values or the vision of our founders. With that in mind, we have made a few changes with the intention of bringing the focus of the weekend back onto providing a relaxed, welcoming space where Pagans from a variety of backgrounds and traditions can connect (or reconnect), catch up and celebrate the sacred festival of Beltane together.

Some key changes this year include:

  • Community old and new is a focus for us. Registered attendees have the opportunity to join our attendee-only Facebook group. In this group we have exclusive news and updates, networking and more. If you registered and have not yet been added to the group, check your email for an invite.
  • Workshops are still taking place but timtabling will be no where near as rigid or as jam-packed. We are still finalising which workshops will run. On arrival at the mountain, visit the Organisers’ marquee, where you will find a blackboard listing the workshops being presented. If you are interested in running a workshop at the gathering, please contact us!
  • The sausage sizzle and book swap will not be running this year. These were not economically or logistically feasible for us. We may revisit these ideas for future gatherings.
  • The market is not something that we can do under the conditions of our permit. There will, however, be a swap and barter morning on Sunday before the maypole festivities commence. Anyone wishing to swap and barter outside of that time is welcome to do so but must do so from their own campsite. Please do not set up stalls and leave them for MFPG Organisers to supervise as it puts unnecessary strain on our finite amount of volunteers.
  • The raffle will go ahead as always. This raffle is one of our only means of paying for our precious portaloos, as well as other essentials like our permit from Parks Victoria. If you can donate a small something as a raffle prize, please get in touch!
  • Some tshirts will be available for sale at the Organisers’ marquee throughout the weekend. Due to the large number of shirts printed last year, we have not ordered any more in 2017. The sizes for sale on the weekend will be the only ones available – first in, best dressed…literally! We are selling these out to make room for our new shirts (featuring a brand new logo) in years to come.
  • The bardic circle is still something we are hoping for, if we can find someone bardly enough to help facilitate it. Any takers? Contact us!
  • The Beltane Rite, maypole, children’s maypole, spiral dance workshop and moot will all take place as per usual. These are the cornerstones of the event!

The Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering is now the oldest Neopagan gathering in the world (we think!), and it wasn’t the bells and whistles that got it to this point but our relaxed atmosphere and spirit of fellowship between different Pagans. So join us with an open heart, with friends or alone, with acoustic instruments, a reverence of your gods, a skill to share or a story to tell. Join us to celebrate Beltane with friends old and new, because this Gathering has always been what you, the vibrant, wonderful, quirky, friendly Pagan community, make it.

– The Organisers. ❤

Need more information about MFPG 2017? See our Conditions of Registration, Camping at the Mount, FAQ and Ritual Etiquette pages.

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Counting down the days! Housekeeping bits and pieces

Not long to go now until our 35th Annual Event!

As the weekend draws nearer, we’ve put together some information that will help you in your preparations. Please also make yourself familiar with our Schedule, Camping at the Mount, Frequently Asked Questions and Ritual Etiquette pages before you set our for the weekend. 🙂

  1. On arrival, please visit the Organisers’ camp (look for the big MFPG banner) first and sign in.
  2. Please park and camp considerately. With registrations full, we should have a large turnout this year. Please be mindful of this and do not spread your camp out further than it needs to. Cars need to be parked as far back as possible. If you’re not sure where to park/camp, ask one of your friendly Organisers!
  3. Weather in Central Victoria. If you have read our Camping at the Mount page (which you really need to do if you haven’t already!), you’ll know that the weather here in Central Victoria can be unpredictable – we often experience four seasons in one afternoon!
    At the time this post goes live, the BOM forecast for the area is predicting a high chance of rain on Friday, slight chance of rain on the Saturday, and no rain on Sunday. Predicted top temperatures are in the low teens – this year’s Gathering will be a chilly one!
    This means that wet/cold weather gear is a must this year – coats, beanies, warm socks, umbrellas, etc. We are still getting the occasional overnight frost here – night time will be very brisk!
  4. Bring some change! The MFPG is free to attend, and we want to keep it that way. With rising running costs such as portaloos, this means we rely on fundraising activities such as our raffle and sausage sizzle to help us get by.
  5. Bring books to swap! We are having our very first book swap this year. Bring along your Pagan-ish books to exchange at our take a book/leave a book Book Swap, which will run on the Friday and Saturday of the event. Any left over books will become raffle prizes on Sunday.
  6. Bring your witchy wares! Our swap and barter market opens at 5pm on Friday.
  7. Bring a string (or three) of solar lights! We use solar lights to help make the crater safe to navigate at night.
  8. Bring your acoustic musical instrument/s! We are having a bardic circle on the Friday evening facilitated by the lovely KC Guy.
  9. Bring boring but useful  things like rubbish bags – we have a policy of leaving the Mount in a better state than it was before the Gathering. There are no bins on site, so all rubbish will need to be taken with you.

Looking forward to seeing you there!
The Organisers