Pagan Chronicle: 17 May 2013, edition 1
What happens to us, and amongst us, is news and should be shared.
Pagan Freedom Day 2013, Nelspruit
By Morgause Fonteléve
MP PFD is always a small event but it has one certain characteristic. Every year it provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of small city life and a chance to really get in touch with nature, yourself and a community of those who in diversity, walk the same Spiritual Path as you.
This year we held a picnic in the wonderful haven of the Nelspruit Botanical Gardens, in the lush embrace of the Sour Lowveld Bushveld, right on the dramatic edge of the evergreen rainforest, where the divide between winter and summer is hardly visible and where the distant thunder of the waterfalls is heard just beneath the trees’ canopy, “Mkulu Manzi’s” roar, punctuated by bird song and the laughter of children and grownups walking the maze of footpaths.
Our little convoy crossed into “sacred ground” over the Grace Hall Bridge, to meet in the car park of these spectacular gardens which encompass parts of the Nels and Crocodile Rivers.
Next we picked a spot, on edge of the rainforest, close to the entrance and where we could be visible to other visitors and members of the public and put up our Proudly SA Pagan Banner.
We had no stalls, no talks, no handing out of pamphlets, but we embraced the truth of one another, openly feasted, drummed and proudly sang our Pagan songs whilst the kids raced about in the forest returning with colourful spiders on sticks and small tissue paper flowers that looked like little pixie hats.
We know our singsong and loud laughter and feasting raised a few curious eyebrows and Sam Jagger of MPower FM spoke on the radio about Pagan Freedom Day and what it was we were doing at the Botanical Gardens, and a couple of people actually came to look at us from a distance and then dropped me an inbox on FB to say that they had been tempted to join us because we looked like one big happy family intent of sharing food and a day out in the open.
For those who were not able to join us this year, we hope to enjoy your company next year. Our local Pagan Community might be small, but if we lovingly network webs in between our cities, towns and outlying country “dorps”, we will get to know one another better and be able to hold events where the education of the public at large and our open practices become possible and accepted.
We need to be of support to one another and congregate visibly as a people who adhere to different forms of Earth Spirituality, many Traditions rolled into one embrace of diversity, supportive, cohesive, never divisive. Thank you to Robert Trollip for travelling all the way to be with us. It was an honour to meet you.
Pagan Freedom Day 2013, Port Elizabeth
By Christina Engela
Pagan Freedom Day 2013 Port Elizabeth was held in Greenbushes, a picturesque outer part of the metro where the “horsey” people live among the trees and rolling hills.
We had three stalls selling a variety of wares – arts and crafts, candles and incense, and a white elephant stall. At about midday we conducted a general Pagan ritual to mark PFD and to commemorate our hard-won rights to freedom of religion; rights that we still need to keep fighting to keep.
At about 1pm we broke up into our various little groups and went our own ways to socialize further.
A big thank you to everyone who came to the event, to those who helped me organize it, Michelle and Gitta – a special thank you to you!
Although it was a small affair, it was in terms of its attendance twice the size as the last year’s event. There were at one point 21 people in attendance. As such, we viewed this year’s PFD event as a success, and look forward to the next one!
By Bronwyn Katzke
Inaugurated in 2006, the South African Pagan Council was established as a unifying Public Benefit Organisation (section 21 status) for South African Pagans. Formulated on the Arthurian round table principle, the SAPC’s membership is largely representative of solitary Pagans and affiliates with groups who share the same vision.
Over the years the SAPC has achieved much for Pagans in this country, from hosting the Pagan Freedom Day Movement, to being a part of the Moral Regeneration Movement. The SAPC is also a registered Religious Organisation with SA Home Affairs and SA Revenue Services, which allows them to endorse Pagan Marriage officers.
However, as with all things in life, the SAPC has undergone a change. Registered SAPC members recently voted on the disbanding of the SAPC’s PBO status. As SAPC Convenor, Morgause Fonteléve explained, the moneys raised did not warrant the accounting expenses incurred in order to maintain the PBO status. After a week of voting, the results showed that a 2/3 majority had voted in favour of disbandment of the PBO status.
Essentially, the SAPC will go on but without the drawback of maintaining a PBO status. As Morgause says:
“The SAPC will continue to strive to be a unifying body of like-minded Pagans with a vision of co-operative unity, hosting debates on its forums, providing an informative website, focusing on matters of networking, Pagan information, Pagan education, free Pagan literature, RMO’s, interfaith seminars, Pagan Freedom Day, as well as its own Mandate. The SAPC will focus primarily on spiritual interchange and will, where possible, avoid engaging in potentially divisive politics which weaken the sense of Community.”
For more information on the South African Pagan Council, see their website: www.pagancouncil.co.za
Do you have some news to share? Send your reports and stories to the editor via firstname.lastname@example.org