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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - A is for Australia

We have a different experience of Paganism here Down Under. Not only are our natural flora and fauna noticeably different from the rest of the world but our seasons for the most part do not fit within the traditional European Pagan Wheel of the Year, though we do recognise these four seasons in the Southern Hemisphere as they were brought along with the Europeans who colonised Australia. Here they 'begin' (according to our calendars) on the first day of the month:

Summer - December - February.
Autumn - March - May.
Winter - June - August.
Spring - September - November.

Even within these stated seasons our experience of the weather patterns can be vastly different. During the Summer months the southern states of Australia experience intense heat and high levels of humidity. The Sun is bright, beaches and parks are full of people reveling in Summer delights. Fire danger levels can rapidly rise into the gauge of catastrophic while the northern states experience torrential rains and are under threat from cyclones, all the while blasting their air conditioners against the heavy humidity they are experiencing. Winter in Australia can go from the snow capped peaks of southern New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, to the dry, calm season of the tropics. All of this while Central Australia is in a seemingly perpetual drought.

Many native Aboriginal people had their own seasonal calendars. In the Northern Territory the Jawoyn people recognised six seasons. There is a small pocket of Australia in the region of southern Queensland, Eastern New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, and Victoria where the seasons do stay within the European paradigm.

The majority of Australians are descendants of immigrants (as I am) or have immigrated here themselves. I don't know how other Australian Pagans feel about their placement in this country but I sometimes feel as though I am stepping where I ought not be and at other times I feel such a connection to this land that is as strong as a mothers love for her child. I don't know if this comes from knowing that in the history of our world that we are still very new people to this land and she is not yet accustomed to us upon her. The Aboriginal people have walked upon her for 40,000 years and our footprints are still barely visible.

I've been trying to transform my spirituality to have a strong basis in the land that I live and that I love. This is the main aspect that drew me to my previous path of Gaianism, which I still base my beliefs upon. But I still also look to my ancestry for guidance as well. My relationship with Cernunnos has morphed unconventionally into my offerings to him being of gumnuts, eucalyptus leaves, and organic bush honey.To me this seems like a perfectly natural direction, though others may disagree. Regardless he seems to enjoy them. If I leave offerings outside for any reason I make sure that they are left under a native tree. I have beloved wand of eucalyptus that I crafted myself. The energy of using tools crafted from native materials has greatly enhanced the rituals I have performed when I commune with the Earth. While I believe that all the continents of the Earth, the Seas and the Sky are intrinsically connected there is something special about creating a connection with the red land beneath my feet.


9 comments:

  1. Your post was most enjoyable to read! I love how you incorporate what's found in your natural/environmental surroundings into your practice and offerings to Cernunnos. As long as it feels right to you, who cares what anyone else says. Gaianism...I've not heard of this path before but will be researching it as I am a Gaia lover ;) I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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    1. http://gaianism.com/

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaianism

      http://www.jameslovelock.org/

      http://pagaian.org/

      PaGaian Cosmology is a book that is offered free online http://pagaian.org/book

      That should get you started lol

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  2. Love this - as a pagan in Australia, I to find gum nuts and eucalyptus leaves adorning my altar as offerings. I was not born here, but I knew the very first time I put foot here, I was home. I struggled with a turning wheel that never seemed to change while in WA... yet this ancient land has touched my soul. I am amazed to find 'power pockets' in crops of gum trees or sandy deserts. Blessed am I to be part of this ancient land.

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    1. I adore the energy of Gum trees. I never felt the connection with oak or birch trees that I hear commonly. I love cleansing my home with Eucalyptus oils, the scent just inspires my spiritual side. I'm happy that you feel as blessed as I do to be here! It isn't birth that makes one Australian. It's a love for the Country!

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  3. Fantastic post! I too liked hearing about your relationship with Cernunnos. As an Australian I experience a 'good' relationship with the land, it feels like home like no other place does compared to all the spaces I travel too. As a West Australian, even travelling to the Eastern States is a markedly different experience as the vegetation and fauna varies so much!

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  4. I would love to read about what it is like to live in western Australia. So far I have only lived in the four eastern states (Army Wife) I have a friend in Darwin at the moment and I'm always interested in hearing about the weather up there.

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    1. I hear that Darwin is beautiful- the Australian Wiccan Conference in 2013 is going to be held up there and myself and some witchy friends are determined to make the pilgrimage :)

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  5. Love to hear about all my fellow Aussie pagans on here (although I am currently overseas) I still feel connected to my homeland, I have some crystals etc from home and wish I had a bit more, but those pesky customs people don't like flora in any form really arriving through the mail :)

    The way you connect to Cernunnos sounds perfect, it reflects the deity well and works with your own intuition, I think people get caught up so often in believing that we have to operate in a certain way because that's what has supposedly been traditionally done.

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  6. I worked with Cernunnos a lot while I was a Wiccan years ago and I think the main reason we stopped our contact was because I felt strange connecting with a Deity whose associations were concentrated on the other side of the world. I still recognise where he originates from but he appeared to me this time around as a God of the wild - all the wild places - surrounded by our bushland, so I went with it lol.

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