Review: The Legend of Hercules

The Legend of Hercules

Even if you’re not familiar with classical mythology, you may have heard of Heracles, or Hercules, the Roman name by which he is more popularly known. The son of the mighty god Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene, the strength and adventures of the divine hero are, well, the stuff legends are made of. Too bad director Renny Harlin didn’t go with any of those legends in his disappointing action fantasy film The Legend of Hercules.

Classical mythology is incredible. That it has provided subject matter for all forms of art as well as pop culture and even scientific naming is a testament to its enduring power. Hercules has not been given much cinematic regard, which is a shame, because his story is remarkable, and any one of his Twelve Labours could make for one terrific film. So, we have the material, and the bar for cinematic approaches has been raised by the likes of Gladiator and Rome. We know Hollywood can do better than the typical sword and sandals flicks of the 1950s and 1960s. Someone should have told Harlin.

The Legend of Hercules begins in ancient Greece, in a land ruled by King Amphitryon. Tired of her husband’s warmongering and thirst for power, Queen Alcmene prays to the goddess Hera, who tells her that she will bear a son by Zeus, and he will be the saviour of her people. The boy is named Alcides by the King, who rejects him as the son of another, and is secretly called Hercules by his mother. Twenty years later, rivalry erupts between Alcides and his despising and jealous older brother Iphicles over the affections of Princess Hebe, who loves Alcides, but must marry Iphicles for political reasons. To get him out of the way, Alcides is sent to join a campaign of soldiers in Egypt. Soon, he finds himself captured and sold into slavery. He must make his way back to Greece, to his kingdom and to his love.

You couldn’t give Hercules a more generic treatment if you tried. It actually gets worse, but I don’t want to completely spoil it for you.

The movie was filmed in Bulgaria and looks and feels like Eastern Europe. I was never convinced I was looking at ancient Greece or Egypt. The actors don’t look or sound right. The clothes are wrong. It delivers a lot of muscular guys in skimpy armour fighting and roaring in digitally-enhanced battle sequences, but that’s not quite enough to save this clichéd and boring clunker.

The Legend of Hercules is rated PG-13.

Just People

Getty Images / DrAfter123 / Vetta

Getty Images / DrAfter123 / Vetta

There are situations in life that push people into not quite a spotlight, but more like an X-ray machine, and a deeper part of them is revealed, a little something of their insides. The last few days, the period over which it was revealed that Gavin and Yvonne Frost would and would not appear at Florida Pagan Gathering (FPG), has been one of those situations. I learned a few lessons and was reminded of one very important one: Pagans are just people.

It was not a great Pagan people week. As if the arrest of Kenny Klein for possession of child pornography wasn’t bad enough, people began coming forward to claim that they had experienced inappropriate sexual behaviour from Klein at festivals, and nothing was done about it. When it hit the Pagan webosphere that the Frosts would present at FPG, similar stories emerged not about the Frosts, but about FPG, and how the Temple of Earth Gathering (TEG) Board of Directors did not act rightfully on complaints of sexual misconduct, allegations that have been confirmed by FPG staff members themselves.

The Frosts will not present at FPG. They will not be in attendance at all. This is not because the Board listened to the concerns of its community. It is not because the Board decided that, in light of the current discomfort and conversations going on in Pagan communities about predatory behaviours and ethics, it was simply not appropriate to host a couple of Witches whose how-to book on Wicca advocates and contains explicit instructions for the sexual ritual initiation of children. According to a statement made on FPG’s Facebook Page, the Frosts won’t be at Beltane because the camp owners learned of the controversy.

It was brought to our attention this afternoon that certain fringe members of the movement to prevent the Frosts from attending FPG left disparaging and callous remarks on the camps social media pages. This in turn caused panic for the parents of the children who attend the camp during the summer months to believe that their beloved campsite was home to a group of Pagans who supported pedophilia. It wasn’t just FPG or its board who was painted with that brush, it was all of us.

Our hearts goes out to the children and the families who were inadvertently affected by our community’s issue. They did not deserve that, nor did the owners and governing body of the camp which graciously allows us to call their land our home. For that we are truly, truly sorry.

Originally, we had a resolution where instead of hosting workshops there was going to be an open discussion with the Frosts where the stance they have held for 40 years regarding the contents of their book would be addressed. Its purpose was to allow the community to address them in person, face to face and promote communication with between all parties concerned.

Unfortunately with the attack on the camp, and its owners, we cannot, in good conscience, allow the Frosts to come, even as private guests.

So, while the goal of not having the Frosts at FPG was met, it was a hollow victory. The only apology the Board made was to the non-Pagan families who use the camp and apparently to the camp owners who are unlikely to read the statement. There doesn’t seem to be any acknowledgement at all that having the Frosts present at FPG is inappropriate and that they need a better process for handling feedback about presenters as well as for allegations of sexual misconduct.

As for the Frosts, they don’t need FPG to address concerns over the material published in their 1972 book. To show as much, they presented their own side of the situation at their blog. It is full of justifications and bizarre explanation, no apologies, no withdrawals.

In the midst of all this, I was disturbed and saddened to discover that so many Pagans support the Frosts and that one major reason that the Community Statement on Religious Sexual Abuse was never completed was over the issue of sexual initiation. Brendan Myers, who helped write the statement in 2009, explains:

There were a lot of angry voices who continued to demand the right to perform sexual acts as part of initiation ceremonies, even when the inductee would not be warned in advance about the nature of the ceremony, and even when the inductee was legally a minor. The most common argument in favour of that position was an appeal to tradition; which is normally a fallacy of logic. Some said that initiatory surprise was an important part of the drama and the power of the ritual, and that therefore initiatory surprise had to be preserved, even when it involved a sexual act. Some also justified it by saying that if they were disallowed from performing such a ritual, that would be an unjust limitation upon their personal freedom. Some people even went so far as to claim that the utterance of any moral statement, or even ordinary moral indicator-words like “should”, constitutes oppression on someone, somewhere, somehow. Even when the “should” was a condemnation of sexual abuse. Some voices really were that absolute with their rejection of all ethical propositions.

Even as all this was going on, enough to make you shake your head and walk away from the Pagan community forever, I saw a lot of good, decent people doing the right thing. Hundreds of people supported the Joint Resolution to FPG Board. FPG staff members resigned. Festival-goers, presenters, and vendors began to pull out and request refunds. Beyond this, great Pagans continued doing great work. My friends Andras Corban-Arthen was rubbing elbows with the son of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and representing Paganism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions; Selena Fox and her crew were taking care of the land at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve; and Crystal Blanton was walking her social justice talk at the National Association of Social Workers 2014 Annual Legislative Lobby. Many more Pagans worshipped and celebrated and continued talking about ethics and how to improve our communities.

And so, Pagans are just people.

Some will avert their eyes and pretend nothing is happening. Some are lazy and will back down at the slightest amount of work or conflict; signing a virtual petition or clicking a Facebook Like is as far as they will go. Some will attempt to deflect from the issues by attacking concepts of political correctness, activism, and equity. Some will hurt people, even children, and some will think that’s okay. Some are fundamentalists, overconfident, and arrogant, fancying themselves more enlightened simply because they are Pagan. Some are angry and bitter and have questionable mental health; all the tools in their Witch’s toolboxes and all the great wisdom found in pagan literatures and bodies of mythology are not enough to bring balance, stability, and joy to their lives.

But for all the predators, unethical people, and other dubious characters out there, we have brilliant, creative, strong, courageous, charitable, honourable, generous, compassionate Pagans; people who believe in justice and moral excellence; people who will do the right thing, protect, and defend, when it’s hard, even when it’s dangerous. Those are the ones I choose to surround myself with and create both friendships and working relationships with.

A Frosty Florida Pagan Gathering

In 1972, Gavin and Yvonne Frost published a book titled The Witch’s Bible. I read it in early 2007. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. At the time, Pagan author-turned-Catholic A.J. Drew was spearheading a campaign to have Gavin and Yvonne Frost ostracized from the Pagan community. Drew’s websites have since closed, but the Wild Hunt blog still has the story in its archives here, here, here, and here (and here is a 2009 article worth reading as well). Drew’s hostility towards the Frosts was over content in The Witch’s Bible.

The Witch’s Bible, or the Good Witch’s Bible, as it was reissued in 1976, is a difficult and problematic book. Very little in it resembles modern Wicca or even older material on Wicca and British Traditional Witchcraft. The most controversial parts of the book involve children and initiation. According to the Frosts, children may become full members of the coven when they reach puberty and initiation involves ritual intercourse with a phallic object by adult sponsors.

Lest we toss this up to the swinging lifestyle of the 70s, in his 2007 Amazon.com review, Archdruid Emeritus of the ADF and Pagan writer Ian Corrigan, said that the book wasn’t well received then.

When this book came out in the early 70s, it was considered abject nonsense by the few folks who had any actual knowledge of Wicca in those days. The Frosts came out of nowhere, appropriating the term ‘Wicca’ for their own version of what religious witchcraft might be. Their synthesis bore almost no resemblance to the traditions of Wicca, either in ritual or theology, and certainly not in the grotesque suggestions about the sexual upbringing of children. It was a different age in those days, as ‘swinging’ emerged as a lifestyle and many folks hoped for a real revolution in sexual mores – too bad the Frosts chose to add their wacky ideas to something that they chose to call ‘Wicca’. This book was an embarrassment in 1972, and it’s an embarrassment now. It should be ignored by anyone interested in learning witchcraft or wicca.

The Witch’s Bible is thankfully out of print. To say it’s an embarrassment to the Pagan community is an understatement. With its statements about the sexual initiation of children, it’s morally reprehensible and advocates an illegal and abusive practice that has no place in Wicca. No publisher would print this book if it were penned today.

As far as I know, the Frosts have never recanted these statements. If anyone has any information to the contrary, please do share in the comments below or contact me privately. It is worth nothing that, again, as far as I know, there have never been any charges of misconduct brought against the Frosts. Again, if you have any information to the contrary, please do let me know. I have spoken with some Pagans who know them personally and others who have attended workshops with the Frosts. They have all said that although the Frosts are a bit kooky, they are delightful. They are “old school,” some say.

But that’s not good enough.

We need to hold our spiritual teachers to a higher standard than this. If the Frosts are not willing to issue a public statement that they no longer hold this belief regarding children and initiation and apologize for any hurt they might have caused, they should not be welcomed as teachers or respected Elders at any Pagan event.

A spiritual teacher must not create harm through sexuality even if that is only through speech and not actual sex. A spiritual teacher should speak what is true and useful. A spiritual teacher fosters goodness. A spiritual leader empowers and inspires. They do not exploit. They do not abuse their positions. Our High Priests and High Priestesses may be representatives of the gods, but as human beings, they need to admit when they are wrong, apologize, and make amends.

Florida Pagan Gathering (FPG) is one my favourite Pagan festivals. I ignore most of the workshops and have never attended any of its main rituals, but the time I have spent there sitting around the fire sharing mead and laughter with my friends from all over Florida and beyond - well, that’s the only reason I went to FPG at all. I am deeply disappointed that Gavin and Yvonne Frost will be presenters at FPG at Beltane.

It’s not the first time the Frosts appear at FPG and they’ve met controversy before, but in light of Kenny Klein’s recent arrest over child pornography, the Pagan community is currently far more on edge. During this time of anger, confusion, and community self-reflection, having the Frosts present at your festival is, to say the least, not a very wise decision.

Pagans are voicing their concerns. They have emailed Temple of Earth Gathering Board of Directors asking it to reconsider. They are beginning to request refunds for the event. Staff members have resigned. But the Frosts will go on. A statement issued on FPG’s Facebook Page says:

We want to assure everyone that FPG and TEG never has, and never will condone assault of any nature, be it verbal, physical or sexual. When our guests and staff are at FPG we work with our Guardians and fellow staff members to keep everyone as safe as possible and we respond to threats immediately. We will never allow anyone to be harmed, or continue to be harmed while at our festivals. We have not now, nor have we ever had threats of violence made against our event and we do not expect that there will be.

It’s hypocritical and repugnant, TEG, to say you don’t condone assault and then host, as privileged and influential presenters, two Witches whose beliefs remain unaddressed. Again, until the Frosts come forward and state that they no longer hold this belief regarding children and sexual initiation and apologize for any hurt they might have caused, they should not be welcomed as teachers or respected Elders at FPG.

Safety in the Community

Getty Images / Scott MacBride

Getty Images / Scott MacBride

There are many newcomers and solitary Pagans out there looking for a priest/ess, a teacher, a mentor, someone – anyone – to guide them. I know what it’s like to be hungry for community, but it’s important  to be cautious. Sadly, our community is not exempt of dangerous people.

While newcomers to Pagans may be at a higher risk and many of the safety resources are aimed at them, anyone can fall victim to a predator or con artist, and I think we can all benefit from the good advice in the resources that follow.

The Pagan Awareness Network has a number of excellent information pamphlets on its website including one titled Safety in the Circle (pdf) aimed at educating people on basic personal safety and their rights within the Pagan community. Another excellent resource is The Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (Version 2.7) Copyright © 1979, 2008 c.e.,  by the late Isaac Bonewits.

Here are some points to remember:

  • Predators come in all shapes, sizes, and sexes/genders. There are sexual predators, financial predators, and psychological/emotional predators.
  • Research your potential teacher. Use the internet and inquire within your personal networks to see if people have heard of him/her. If s/he belongs to an established tradition, you should be able to contact someone else within the tradition and verify his/her claims. The first time you meet, do so in a public place.
  • Nevertheless, just because a person is well known within his/her community does not mean s/he is safe. A predator’s activities may go unnoticed or unreported for a long time.
  • You should know what you’re getting into. A potential teacher should be able to answer your questions about to expect – what are his/her general beliefs and practices? Are there financial charges and, if so, how are these handled, and what do they cover? What kind of training is available? Is initiation required and what does that look like? Is ritual performed clothed or skyclad (in the nude)? Does the teacher boast unverifiable credentials or claim to have access to exclusive knowledge that nobody else may possess? If the teacher is unable to answer questions due to protecting his/her tradition’s oath-bound material, s/he should be able to explain that as well.
  • Evaluate the person’s mental and moral qualities. Does s/he have a healthy sense of his/her own identity? Does the person’s “mundane” life appear to be healthy, happy, and balanced? Beware of people who are constantly embroiled in feuds with others, who often react with anger or hostility, are paranoid, and whose bulk of their ritual and magickal work involves the banishing and cursing of others.
  • Beware of a person who seeks to exert control over you. Is s/he dogmatic? Does s/he disapprove of you interacting with other individuals and groups? Does s/he require that you seek his/her approval for anything? Are you censored in any way?
  • While sexual rites may be practiced in some traditions and groups, they should always be between consenting adults and not involve beginners or new students. Run away from a teacher that demands your sexual participation.
  • If it’s a group, observe how the teacher interacts with other members of the group. Does the group have a high drop-out rate? If so, what causes people to leave? How is group conflict handled? Do other group members feel empowered?

Let’s say you find yourself in a situation you’re not comfortable in.  What do you do next? There’s no black and white answer to this. It depends on you, the circumstance, and your level of comfort and safety. Just remember that:

  • Nobody has a right to touch you without your consent.
  • Nobody has the right to endanger you.
  • You have the right to leave.

Depending on the situation, you might address your concerns with the teacher in question. In any case, seek support. Whatever is going on, you don’t have to go through it alone. Talk to someone you trust. If you’re a victim of sexual assault, there are national and state-based agencies that can assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In many cases, you can call a helpline and remain anonymous.

What if nothing is happening directly to you, but you witness abuse or something illegal? Predators rely on the unwillingness of people to get involved and this is how they are often able to continue engaging in unethical and illegal behavior. It can be incredibly frightening to intervene, but a culture of silence only enables a predator further and leaves us all feeling unsafe.

Intervene if it safe for you to do so. Your involvement doesn’t have to be physical or aggressive. Simply asking, “What are you doing?” or “Is everything alright?” in a neutral tone with concerned manner may be enough. It will also show you’re paying attention, that you’re willing to help, and may inspire others to speak up as well. Document everything and be as detailed as you can; note the date, time, location, who was present, what happened, etc. Offer your support to someone you think may have experienced abuse. Read this fact sheet from White Ribbon Australia for more information on offering support and taking action (pdf).

While there may be predators and con artists out there, it’s important to keep in mind that most Pagans, like most people, are decent. We need to keep our wits about us without letting ourselves fall victims to outlandish what-if scenarios and approach everyone with suspicion. And we need the courage to stand up for what’s right, for ourselves, and for others. We all need to be the community we want to build.

A Predator in the Community

Robin Fletcher. Source: Herald Sun.

Robin Fletcher. Source: Herald Sun.

In my quest to discover the movers and shakers of the Pagan community in Australia, it was bound to happen that I would eventually stumble upon him.

He is a man that everyone talks about  through cautious whispers and shameful glances. Nobody says his name. I didn’t know his name until the internet magically revealed it. He’s the Voldemort of Victoria, but worse because he is real. His name is Robin Fletcher.

Robin Fletcher (aka Tim Ryan) is one of Victoria’s worst sex offenders. He described himself as a witch and a pagan. On his website, Bill Liddell states that Fletcher claimed to have been initiated into Pickingill Craft and Liddell denies any connection between Fletcher and the tradition. Fletcher may have also claimed to have been a druid. I don’t know how he got involved in the Pagan community. What is clear is that, in 1996, he was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for abusing and prostituting two 15-year-old girls.

In this 2011 story, the Courier-Mail reported that “he dressed the girls in dog collars, bound their wrists and flogged them with a whip and a paddle. He believed that sexualising children and sadomasochism were a legitimate part of his kinky religion.”

One of the girls committed suicide.

There was a media hailstorm when Fletcher was due to be released from prison. Fletcher showed no signs of remorse, refused treatment, and not only did he continue defending his actions as being part of his Wiccan religion, but he had continued trying to recruit people while behind bars, according to this 2009 article from the Herald Sun. The Victorian Government was not ready to allow Fletcher to rejoin society. In a Stateline interview with Josephine Cafagna, Police Minister Tim Holding said:

How can we just release him back into the community when he has indicated that he is highly likely to reoffend? He has shown no remorse, refused to undergo the treatment programs, and simply release him back into the community unsupervised, unmonitored.

The media trail online goes cold in 2011 with reports that Fletcher had already spent five years on top of his sentence, but the Department of Justice was preparing for a legal fight to have Fletcher placed on a supervision order until 2026. I don’t know where Fletcher is today.

In his essay “Australian Paganisms,” scholar Douglas Ezzy states that members of the Pagan community were instrumental in Fletcher’s conviction. The Pagan Awareness Network issued at least two media releases stating that “Fletcher is regarded by the entire Pagan and witch community with revulsion” and urging Victoria’s Department of Justice to maintain an extended supervision order against him.

It’s been a while, but Fletcher’s crimes have had a devastating and long-lasting effect on the Pagan community in Victoria, if not all of Australia. It’s a wound to the Pagan community that hasn’t fully healed and Fletcher has become a cautionary tale, a bogeyman that keeps Pagans suspicious of each other.

Discovering the History of Wicca and Witchcraft in Australia

Witches

Rosaleen Norton

This week, the covenette at Bluestone Luth is talking about the history of Wicca.

I’m not a historian; I’m just that Wiccan that reads Hutton and Helseton and The Pickingill Papers. I’m just interested and I can tell you about the history and development of the Craft in England and into the USA, but I know almost nothing about Australia. The abundance of material that exists in England and the USA isn’t present here. That’s not to suggest there isn’t anything at all, but I didn’t even know where to start looking. Thankfully, a few members of the group helped me get the ball rolling.

Below are some resources for further investigating the history and development of Wicca and Witchcraft in Australia. This is an ongoing project.

Douglas Ezzy

Douglas Ezzy is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tasmania. His contribution is mainly academic with a number of studies and essays appearing in other works aside from his own books.

Books


Julia Philips

Julia Philips is an English-born Wiccan high priestess who established covens in London, Sydney, and Melbourne. In 1991, she founded the Australian Pagan Alliance and its magazine Pagan Times. I’m not sure if these are still functioning.

Books & Other Resources

Lynne Hume

Lynne Hume is a University of Queensland anthropologist who published the first and major defining academic study of Australian Paganism. Unfortunately, it is out of print, like so many other of these important works.

Books & Other Resources

Nevill Drury (1 October 1947 – 15 October 2013)

Nevill Drury was an English-born Australian editor, publisher, and author of over 40 books on subjects ranging from shamanism and western magical traditions to art, music, and anthropology. He has many titles worth exploring, but one book of special interest here is Other temples, Other Gods: The Occult in Australia. Please also see the entry below on Rosaleen Norton. Drury also served as co-producer, researcher, and interview on a 1985 documentary titled The Occult Experience.

Rhiannon Ryall

Rhiannon Ryall is the pseudonym of an English-born Australian Wiccan who established a coven-based tradition in Australia. She said she was initiated into a pre-Gardnerian local Wiccan tradition in England, a claim historians and scholars are skeptical of. Her work appears to be a blend of Gardnerian and Alexandrian material. Ryall passed away some years ago. Ryall published a number of books, but her most important and best known work is probably West Country Wicca: A Journal of the Old Religion.

Rosaleen Norton (2 October 1917 – 5 December 1979)

Rosaleen Norton was an Australian artist and occultist and pagan who established a coven in Sydney. A devotee of the god Pan, Doreen Valiente said Norton’s tradition was called The Goat Fold. There are numerous works by and about Rosaleen Norton.

Other Resources:

Simon Goodman (16 September 1951 – 23 September 1991)

Simon Goodman (aka Ian Watts) is described as the main Australian promoter and initiator of Wicca in Australia. He was from Perth and when he moved to a government job in Canberra, he made good use of the photocopier, copying entire books of his network of covens across Australia. When he died, he left his collection of documents to Murdoch University. Peregrin Wildoak of the blog Magic of the Ordinary has cataloged them.

According to the website of Bill Liddell, Goodman claimed that he was initiated into the Conventus Quercus coven, which was run in Perth by Paul Morley. This coven claimed that it originated from a parent group in the Etchingham area of Sussex. Goodman was also associated with an Alexandrian coven run by David Paltrige, which broke up in 1972. Goodman and his partner then ran their own coven until they separated in 1975. Although Goodman was not actually initiated as an Alexandrian, Goodman corresponded with Alex and Maxine Sanders and may have met with them. The Grand Council of Alexandrian Elders gave him a Charter to initiate others. This website also states that Rhiannon Ryall received a “backdoor initiation” from one of Simon Goodman’s initiates.

According to Douglas Ezzy, Alexandrian Wicca is the most numerous initiate tradition in Australia mostly deriving from individuals who trained with Goodman (“Australian Paganisms”, Handbook of Contemporary Paganism edited by Murphy Pizza, James R. Lewis).

The blog website of Mouth Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering has an in memorium to Goodman here. It sounds like he was much beloved and his loss was a tragedy to the Australian community. Goodman was said to have done many media appearances. If you have links to those, please do share them in the comments below.

Hello, Autumn

Autumn

It’s hard to believe that summer is over. March 1 marked the first day of autumn here in Australia.

Back in Miami, autumn was my favorite time of the year. The scorching heat finally breaks giving way to cool breezes. Everything remains green, but people love to decorate in the traditional fall colors – yellows, oranges, and reds – and the aroma of pumpkin spice is everywhere. The excitement of Halloween mixes with the somberness of Samhain. It’s such a wonderful time.

Autumn is a different experience in Melbourne. Halloween is in the spring and we’ll need to be closer to winter before we start seeing the lovely fall foliage, but I think autumn is becoming my favorite season here too. The summer heat breaks, there’s a little more rain; although the leaves will soon begin to turn colors, the plants appear more green and lush right now, and the days are mostly crisp and clear. It’s no wonder there are so many festivals at this time of year here.

The tricky thing about seasons is that there is a popular idea of what a season looks like and what it actually is. Winter, for example, conjures images of snow and roaring fires. That image may be accurate in some parts of the country, but in Miami, for instance, winter is mild, and rather than embracing that, people emulate the appearance of cold weather with fake snow and plastic icicles on their Christmas trees. Learning to let go of popular images and ideas of what seasons are supposed to look and feel like becomes very important when you’re a Pagan in Australia. Melbourne’s unique weather and climate have to be experienced and accepted on their own terms.

I was planning on having a quiet autumn equinox by myself, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the covenette wants to do something together. I am reflecting on what that will look like. So many of the myths I’m familiar with just don’t seem appropriate for the season here. Sure, I could probably adapt them, but adaptation feels like I’m short-changing this beautiful and unique place as well as myself and the group. I don’t think it’s enough to just reverse things as some suggest. I think many Aussie Witches, myself included, I suppose, hunger for something uniquely Australian. It’s an interesting dance, trying to preserve tradition and be innovative at the same time.