2017 Gathering: Thank you!

The 2017 Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering has drawn to a close. This year’s event was very well attended, and the atmosphere was welcoming and laid-back. We were thrilled to hear so many people remark on the weekend feeling more like “the old days”, with a great feeling of community and fellowship right across the crater.

This year’s event could not have taken place without the support of many, many people, and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support during our thirty-sixth annual event:

To Parks Victoria and S.H.A.R.E. (Sustainable Hepburn Association) for their continued support of our Gathering, which is now among the longest-running Pagan events in the world.

To Sarah and the wonderful folk of the Monthly Hills Pagan Coffee Meets for their beautiful ritual, and the forty-three million other marvelous things you provided for the community this weekend.

To Marilyne Nicholls and the Dja Dja Wurrung people for the welcome to country and smoking ceremony. This ceremony meant a lot to everyone in attendance, and was an integral part of this year’s Gathering.

To all of our generous raffle donors (who we will be listing a separate post soon). With your kind contributions, we were able to raise enough money to cover essentials like our portaloos and permit, and keep the Gathering free for all. Thank you so much!

To Seumas for all his hard work building our fancy new children’s maypole.

To Mark, Alex, Sarah and Seumas for the thousand things you did to help keep things running smoothly.

To Kylie for once again being our official photographer, on top of being official first aider!

To Peter for running a beautiful and welcoming bardic circle on the Friday night, and for his wonderful roast pork.

To Tim and Hayley of the Australian Stage Company for another cracking mummers’ play.

To Shaz, Callum and the druids for their assistance with crucial toilet placement. 😉

To all our workshop presenters Craig, Bret and Linda.

To everyone who contributed to our Welcome to Paganism panel: Linda, Shaz, Dean, Kathy, Philippe, Fran, Alex, Ryan and the folk of Raven Hearth.

To Alex, for running the children’s maypole dance with your usual enthusiasm and kindness.

To anyone who purchased a raffle ticket, bag or tshirt.

To anyone else who offered to help out in any way over the weekend. Your help was so appreciated, and apologies if we seemed too crazy busy to thank you properly at the time.

And finally thanks to everyone who attended over the weekend, whether it was camping or dropping in for a couple of hours.

This event is your event, and the vibrancy, energy, fellowship and community spirit you brought made for the biggest and brightest gathering we’ve had in years. We’ve come away utterly spent but in the best of ways. We’ve never been prouder to be a part of the Australian Pagan community.

Happy Beltane. Goodnight to all and to all a good night!

All our love,
The Organisers.

IMG_0014 2017 KM

Smoking ceremony and welcome to country conducted by Marilyne Nicholls of the Dja Dja Wurrung people at the 2017 Gathering. Photo by Kylie Moroney Photography.

Happy Beltane!


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