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. ❤