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.

cropped-beltaine-2.jpg

Happy Beltane!

group-photo-2016-kylie

Our thirty-fifth Beltane weekend on the Mount has come to a close. Thank you to everybody who braved the cold and wet weather to come and celebrate with us. It was just excellent to see so many new faces in amongst our old friends.

We will have a detailed run-down of the weekend in the coming week or so, but for now we wanted to thank all those lovely people and organisations who made this event possible. Thank you so much for all of your support, enthusiasm and generosity throughout the weekend:

  • To the Sustainable Hepburn Association (SHARE), for their ongoing support of the Gathering, and for the huge amount of work they put in behind-the-scenes in the lead up to the event each year.
  • To Nickole, River, Fiona, Lisa and everyone else from the Melbourne Reclaiming Community, for hosting the beautiful Beltane rite on Saturday evening. Thank you for making everyone feel so welcome and included in what was many people’s first Reclaiming ritual.
  • To KC Guy, who travelled all the way from South Australia to play his beautiful music at the Mount.
  • To Shaz, Callum, Ang, Dean, Rick and all the other good folk of Silver Birch Grove ADF, for the thousand and one things you did to help throughout the weekend, and also for helping us cover the cost of the portaloos this year! We are just blown away by your kindness and generosity.
  • To all our brilliant and incredibly generous 2016 raffle donors. Thank you so much for your donations! Because of you, this year was our biggest raffle yet, helping cover costs and keep the Gathering free, as it should be!
  • To our wonderful workshop facilitators: Daniel, Anne, Ryan and Peter; for providing entertaining and engaging workshops on such a wide variety of topics!
  • To Kylie, Mark, Sarah, Seumas, Alvin, Lee, Alex, Curtis, Will, Peter, Julie, Conner and David for helping out with the dozens of big and little tasks at the Organisers’ camp all weekend, from selling raffle tickets to rigging our beautiful maypole.
  • To Kylie Moroney Photography, for once again taking beautiful photos of the Gathering (the first one is at the top of this post – more to come!).
  • To the Australian Stage Company, for your Saturday night mummers’ play.
  • To Peter, who saved our bacon (well, sausages?) when we experienced multiple technical difficulties with our barbeque.
  • To Sally, for her delicious satay sauce that is now a Beltane tradition for many of us!
  • To Erika Turnbull, for the lovely green man logo we continue to use on our MFPG tshirts.
  • And finally, to anyone and everyone who braved the elements (it turns out none of us were actually soluble in water!) to celebrate Beltane with us on the Mountain. We saw lots of new faces, and even a few faces from interstate. We felt honored to share this festival with all of you, and humbled at the beautiful little community at the Mountain this year. Bring on 2017!

– Linda, Michel, Josie and Ryan
Mount Franklin Organisers

 

 

An important update on the 2016 Gathering date…

Greetings! Important news regarding the date of this year’s event!

We were unsuccessful in securing a permit for the weekend of the 28th-30th of October.
At this stage we are awaiting final approval for the weekend of the 21st-23rd October. We are confident that this will go through but must stress at this stage we do not yet have a permit.

The organisers apologise for the inconvenience this process can cause and assure you that as soon as we know the final details, we’ll make them public.

In the meantime, please contact us at mountfranklinpagans@gmail.com if you are able to donate items for our raffle or volunteer your time for a workshop or performance.

Thankyou for your continued love and support of the MFPG – the oldest free neopagan gathering in the world!

– Linda, Michel, Mel, Des, Josie and Ryan
MFPG Organisers

 

Alvin 2015 KM

Getting comfy, 2015. Photo courtesy of Kylie Moroney.

Thankyou, and Happy Beltane!

The 34th annual Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering was a weekend of perfect weather and of friends old and new. In coming weeks we will do a proper run-down of the weekend, and in the meantime watch our gallery as we have already started to add photos from the weekend!

We just wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge, heartfelt thankyou to the many businesses, groups and individuals who supported the Gathering this year. Your generosity and enthusiasm have been truly inspiring, and was what made the Gathering possible!

Thankyou to the Sustainable Hepburn Association (SHARE) for your continued support with our insurance and other administrative particulars. You really went above and beyond this year to help us get the Gathering organised.Thanks also to Parks Victoria and to the Dja Dja Wurrung clans for supporting the Gathering and caring for the land on which we meet.

To Shaz, Drum, Ang and everybody at Silver Birch Grove: thank you so much for such a beautiful ritual and the gorgeous feast afterwards. You really did bring us all together for an inspiring experience! We wish Drum safe travels back to the US, and thank him for traveling all this way!

We’d also like to thank our many, MANY generous raffle prize donators: Stephen at Moore Designs, The Daylesford Cider Company, Silver Birch Grove, The Daylesford Chocolate Mill, The Daylesford Day Spa, Stacey at The Country Witch’s Cottage, Willow at Wytchway Designs, White Witch Wares, Erika T, Alannah Coughlan, Janna at the Candied Peacock, Truly at Made by Truly, Forrest, Sharon, BJ Gilson, Lee K, Joanne M and Karen K.
*** If you came over and donated prizes over the weekend, please let us know! We have missed a few names here!***

Huge love to Kylie M for once again being our official photographer. The photos have come out beautifully!

Gratitude also to the Australian Stage Play for your Mummers’ Play. It made a great start to the Friday evening festivities.

Thanks to Erika T for the wonderful logo she designed for our tshirts, and to Tex and Fi at Big Tree T-Shirts for printing them!

Big hugs and Beltane love to Drum, Linda, Seline and Ryan for your interesting and insightful workshops, and to Fiona of the Pagan Collective of Victoria for running the Children’s Maypole.Thanks to Mei for all the running around you did for raffle prizes in the lead-up to the event, and to Mark, Mark, Kylie, Mei, Alvin, Mandy, Tom, Dale, Kelly, Sue and Mick for all your help with those hundred little (and not so little) jobs throughout the weekend.

Finally, thanks to EVERYONE who attended the Gathering, took part in the ritual, bought raffle tickets/tshirts/pancakes/sausages, talked, laughed, worshipped or shared throughout the weekend. Because of you, the 34th MFPG was nothing short of brilliant, and we can’t wait for the 35th! 🙂

With love,
Linda, Michel, Mel, Des, Josie and Ryan
MFPG Organisers

Attendees of the 2015 Gathering. Photo courtesy of Kylie Moroney.

Attendees of the 2015 Gathering. Photo courtesy of Kylie Moroney.

2015 Workshops and Raffle

We are now taking expressions of interest from anyone wanting to run workshops at the 2015 Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering, which will be taking place from the 23rd to the 25th of October. 2015.

As they have been in previous years, workshops must be free for attendees and must not provide a hazard or risk to participants.

We are also seeking donations for this year’s raffle. Donations of local or handmade products or services would be extremely welcome! Mount Franklin is free for attendees, so we rely on the raffle to help us cover some of the unavoidable costs associated with running a gathering such as this. Individuals and businesses who donate to the MFPG are mentioned on our website, social media and on information pamphlets at the Gathering.

If you are able to help out with workshops or raffle prize donations, please contact us at mountfranklinpagans@gmail.com 🙂

With thanks,

MFPG Organisers

Hawthorn kindly donating his time to run a workshop at the 2014 Gathering. Photo courtesy of Kylie Moroney.

Hawthorn kindly donating his time to run a workshop at the 2014 Gathering. Photo courtesy of Kylie Moroney.