One of yesterday's most interesting sessions was the forum entitled "Australian Pagans Speak". This had a panel of Aussie Pagans, speaking about their work and their paths. They have been a very active group, having come to speed within the past ten years. I found out that until December, 2000, it was illegal to be a Pagan in the state of Queensland. Of course, it is STILL illegal to be a Pagan in Melbourne. It is, however, not a law that has been enforced in recent memory. It is, however, still on the books.
The first speaker, Glenys Livingston, said she considered herself a student of universal poetry. She used the term "Pagaian Cosmology" - a Pagan and Gaian viewpoint. She views herself as having a Southern Hemisphere viewpoint, a Northern Hemisphere person transplanted, with Indigenous connections.
Gede, a young man, identified himself as a Sencretic, but not Eclectic. He referred to his tradition as the Wildcraft tradition of Witchcraft, blending Irish/Celtic and Balinese Hindu threads.
Fabienne Morgana, a long time Solitary, and now recent Interfaith worker in the Pagan world, said she started as a solitary of necessity - living on a station (ranch) of over 500 square miles. Primary School for her was conducted over two-way radio, and she didn't enter a school until she was 12. She believes firmly in the need for Pagans to be involved thoroughly in the surrounding community, and to that end, she is a practicing Psychologist and a Justice of the Peace.
Linda Ward also does extensive work in Interfaith work. She has been a solitary for 40 years, and became active in Queensland for the last 12. She wanted it made clear that no one individual speaks on behalf of a whole tradition.
The overall consensus of the forum was that very large steps have been taken in a short period of time. I'm quite convinced that this Parliament will greatly energize their activity, and this won't be the last we've heard from them.