Program

The in-person AWC will take place from 16th-18th September. The program will include workshops, talks, and the Spring Ritual. As presenters are confirmed, more details will be released here on our website and via our social media channels.

A program of virtual presentations by international speakers will also be scheduled for 7th – 13th September. Times will be advised when the program is finalised but will begin after 6pm each evening. This will include webinars by highly regarded international specialists and a panel discussion.

In-Person Presentations A-Z

Best Boot Forward: Stepping into the Cunning Traditions – Gordon White

Putting northwest European cunning traditions into cross-cultural analysis and exchange with healing and sorcerous traditions around the world.

About the presenter: Gordon White is a chaos magician, shamanic practitioner, podcaster, author and permaculture designer, with a background in data and analytics gained at some of the world’s largest media companies. He is the author of four books on magic, animism and star lore: Star Ships: A Prehistory of the Spirits, The Chaos Protocols, Pieces of Eight and AniMystic: Encounters With A Living Cosmos. He is the host of the weekly podcast, ‘Rune Soup.’

Body of a Goddess – Kristie Stamford

For centuries our bodies have been commodified and told how to exist in order to be valued. Negative messages pervade our patriarchal, capitalist, colonised society resulting in people living in a perpetual struggle with their bodies and creating a negative relationship with our bodies that affects every aspect of our lives including our relationship with the Divine and Higher Self.

This workshop will look at physical representations of deity and introduce Body Positivity as an antidote to foster a positive/neutral relationship with our body and how this can be an act of devotion to honour the divine and enhance our magickal practice. We will enter a ceremony of celebration of our bodies using magical processes to connect with our innate divinity. Exploring the inseparable nature of our physical being, our spirit and the divine to recognise we all have the body of a Goddess.

Note: This workshop is open to people of all gender identities.

About the presenter: Kristie Stamford was born and lives on Dharawal land. A devotee of Aphrodite and Persephone she is also a member of the Wiccan-based group Applegrove and has been a practising pagan for over 20 years. Being introduced to the concepts of Fat Acceptance and Body Positivity was instrumental in her recovery from long term chronic depression, reclaiming her body, rediscovering joy, and deepening her connection with the Divine.

Enchanting the Magical Voice – Gabrielle Cleary

This workshop will explore theories and practices for using our magical voices in ritual.  Examples, tips and tricks for how and when to use drones, intoning, chants, and songs with an energetic and thematic focus. Incorporate breath, stance, and gestures into both solitary and group rituals. The workshop will include lots of ritual pieces for celebrating the Spring Equinox.

About the presenter: Gabrielle Cleary is a Gardnerian High Priestess who practises and teaches Wicca, and eclectic wiccan-based witchcraft. She has been a solitary witch, as well as a member of groves and covens and has been running small and large pagan rituals and gatherings in private and public settings for more than 25 years. These have usually had an emphasis on group practice combining music, storytelling, trance, dance, meditation, silence, gestures, movement and sometimes an excess of decorative elements.

Fairies – Julie

This talk will examine our stories about fairies and other land spirits and how they change over time from traditionally European to more Australian and reflecting on how this could impact our practice as witches.

About the presenter: Julie is a Gardnerian and Alexandrian High Priestess who runs a coven in central Victoria with her partner.  She often gets dragged into giving talks at AWCs even when she has sworn that she just wants to enjoy the conference for once, and sometimes also gets talked into publishing articles for Wiccan magazines. She enjoys writing ritual and working with her coven and thinks there is no such thing as too many books, only not enough bookshelves.

Guising and Folk Customs: How British and European Customs have Evolved – Tania Woodliffe

I wish to talk about British Folk customs, how they have evolved and changed over the years and whether or not they are more popular than ever or are they disappearing. With the influence of social media and access to world cultures, people are more aware of cultural festivals and their traditions, but will that change. I want to interview people involved in folk customs of Britain and the Commonwealth countries to find what inspired them to take up such hobbies.

About the presenter: Tania Woodliffe is a practising Gardnerian High Priestess with a deep love for writing, art, craft, design, history, myth, folklore and the occult, using much influence from her British background. Tania has written several articles, published short stories, been a contributing author, spoken at literary conferences, attended and been involved in various pagan gatherings in Australia and UK since the late 1990s. She is a guiser, morris dancer, historical re-enactor and a fan of hygge and aesthetics.

History and Fortune-Telling with the Lenormand Cards – Luke Woolston

A brief historical introduction to late 17th – early 18th century cartomancy in France, and the birth of the Lenormand cards that followed. After this, a crash course on reading with the Lenormand cards themselves. Participants will be guided through the process of creating their own simple deck and the various techniques needed to become fluent in the divination process.

About the presenter: Luke Woolston is an initiate of British Traditional Wicca and a student of the Anderson Feri tradition. A professional cartomancer with over a decade of public reading experience, Luke’s personal interests are the history of cartomancy itself, and the human predilection for divination.

Norse by Norsevest – Josephine Winter

Who can worship and work with Norse deities? Does doing lots of crossfit make you a Viking? Whether you’re an old hand or don’t know your Aesir from your elbow, deepening your practice on the Heathen path shouldn’t have to be a saga. Join author and long-time heathen Josephine Winter for an exploration of all things Norse Paganism: history, deity, modern practice, language and more.

About the presenter: Josephine Winter is a practising heathen and an Alexandrian High Priestess and coven leader from Victoria. Her first book Fire Magic was published by Llewellyn Worldwide in 2021, with two more titles due for release in 2023. Josephine is an active Pagan community builder and leader: she founded and led the non-profit organisation Pagan Collective of Victoria for almost a decade in the 2010s, and currently volunteers her time to help organise the Australian Wiccan Conference and Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering.

Rituals in stone circles, ancient forests, and temples hidden in plain sight – Fiona White

Britain is the land that nurtured the magical ideas of Dion Fortune, Doreen Valiente, Pamela Coleman-Smith, Ross Nichols, Gardener, Crowley, Sanders and so many more. In this workshop, I’ll take you on a storytelling journey of the places I’ve experienced on my magical quest. And then on an inner journey to explore that land of moonlit meadows and woods enchanted, to meet the ancient spirits who walk there still.

About the presenter: 13 Years ago I went dancing off to the UK (picture the Fool from the Tarot!) on a magical quest to find stone circles, oak forests and ‘people like me’. I found all these and loads more in that land of heritage and tradition. I’m now an Aussie/British, Gardnerian/Alexandrian Wiccan, but I’ve always been a Green Witch with Druidy tendencies. And I’ll always love a good ‘magical quest’ story.

Spirits and Community: an Exploration of Lukumi – Cosette Paneque

Since its emergence in colonial-era Cuba, Lukumi has been cloaked in secrecy, demonised by Western society, and remains misunderstood. Yet the popularity of the orishas continues to grow, and practitioners can be found all over the world. This talk looks at the history, beliefs, and practices of this growing religion.

About the presenter: Cosette Paneque has been a practising Witch for over 25 years. She is a High Priestess in the Georgian Tradition of Wicca and a Lukumi aboricha. Ancestral practices, Wicca, and Goddess spirituality are the essential building blocks of her spirituality. Other interests include tarot, shamanic techniques, and smashing the patriarchy. Cosette was born in Cuba, raised in Miami, and has resided in Melbourne for ten years.

Stepping into Faery: the Use of Guided Visualisation in the Craft – Andrew

A brief run down on various possible historical examples of ecstatic trance-like experiences in relation to witchcraft, and a look at some of the more modern practices of pathworking and guided visualisation within occult circles, some basic principles and techniques, culminating in a guided visualisation relevant to the season.  

About the presenter: Andrew (Wolf MacDonald) is a dual lineaged Gardnerian and Alexandrian HP who helps run a Gardnerian Coven in the Macedon Ranges with his partner and HPS.  An avid reader, slave to various cats, armchair Craft historian, indifferent poet and author of a number of articles in Wiccan publications he hopes to find time to actually indulge his many interests, while continuing to learn and grow as a person and priest.

The Earth Gorsedd – Julie Brett

A Gorsedd is a form of ritual that centres the inspired Bardic performance of story, poetry, music and song. An Earth Gorsedd is one focused on our connection to the environment, not only in reference to seasonal changes, but also to our experiences of occurrences such as bushfires, floods, drought and other extremes. It is a practice that helps us to acknowledge what is happening in the world around us, how it affects each of us and through the creative arts, helps us to find healing and hope for the future.

 In this workshop we will explore the process of the ritual and find tools to work on our own creative expressions of our connections to the world around us.

About the presenter: Julie Brett is the founder of the Druids Down Under and the author of the books, Australian Druidry‚ and Belonging to the Earth‚ in which she explores how Druidry and Pagan practice in general can be adapted to an Australian context.

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram – Frances Billinghurst

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) is the foundational ritual found within ceremonial or high magick traditions.  It forms the basis of a magical system for invoking angelic forces, banishing negative influences, and connecting to the divine.  This ritual has profoundly influenced the entire Western Mystery Tradition, including contemporary witchcraft, due to the invaluable skills contained within.

This workshop will show why the LBRP remains a foundational ritual today by taking you through each component and showing how the skills contained within can also be utilised within your own practices.  Regardless of magical path or influence, there will be some aspect of the LBRP that will enhance your personal magick.

About the presenter: Frances Billinghurst is a witch and magick maker living in South Australia who is interested in folklore, mythology, and ancient cultures.  She is a prolific writer, with her latest offerings being Encountering the Dark Goddess: A Journey into the Shadow Realms and Contemporary Witchcraft: Foundational Practices for a Magical Life both published through Moon Books.  Frances can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, and contacted through the Temple of the Dark Moon (templedarkmoon.com).

The Road Opener – Amy Harvey

Going through a ritual to cleanse your energy, create your intention and open the road that lies ahead of you. The perfect ritual for growth this springtime.

About the presenter: Amy Harvey is a seasonal witch from the woods, owner of Wick and Sage, a magickal dispensary, podcaster with Ritual, YouTuber, Tarot Twirler and all round magick enthusiast.

The Scent of the Gods: Making Kyphi Incense – Ryan Mcleod

This is a hands-on workshop where we will make the ancient Egyptian incense Kyphi. We will also explore its variations, history and magical use. At the end of this workshop, you will have incense to take home and use in your own rituals.

About the presenter: Ryan McLeod is an Alexandrian witch. In 2012 he founded the Queer Pagans Australia. In 2014 Ryan also co-founded the Pagan Collective of Victoria, the state’s only not for profit Pagan community organisation. Ryan is an organiser of Mount Franklin Pagan Gathering, an annual Beltane celebration held in Central Victoria. Ryan has walked the Pagan path for two decades. During this time, he has mastered the art of creating ritual incense, oils, and salves.

The Star Tarot Spread – David Garland

Many years ago, probably before a good few of you were born, I started reading Tarot. I struggled and struggled with the traditional Celtic Cross and it wasn’t for me. A gentleman named Les who was to become a very close friend showed me a quick reading method using the Major arcana and only the 4 aces. I took that and developed it more, and that is what I am going to share with you. Have the Major Arcana of your favourite deck and the four aces and come on a learning journey with me.

About the presenter: David Garland is the founder of the Pagan Awareness Network (PAN Inc). He started the public full moon circles in Sydney’s Seven Hills that have run continuously since 1997. Although raised a Roman Catholic his Italian Grandmother, who read playing cards, first sparked his interest in Tarot and things magickal. David has been practising earth-based magick since 1986, as a healer, Tarot reader, and psychic.

Traditional Witchcraft, Charms and Spells – Julia Phillips and Janeena Woodville

In this discussion group we will look at a range of traditional spells and charms, using practical examples drawn from historical records of folk magic (also called cunning-craft) and our own experiences. Participants will be invited to discuss different techniques used for creating and using spells and charms.

Julia Phillips and Janeena Woodville have both been involved in the study and practice of witchcraft since the 1970s. They have a passion for traditional spells and techniques of magic, and love to share this with future generations.

About the presenter: Julia is the founder of the Pagan Alliance, author of numerous articles, book chapters, and books on witchcraft, magic, and related supernatural practices. She is currently completing a PhD examining witchcraft in Victorian Britain.

About the presenter: Janeena is a solitary practitioner who has focused on animal healing, herb lore and the practice of traditional magic in her personal life. She was a founding member of The Pagan Parents League in Australia and has published articles on raising pagan children and animal healing. She is currently embracing cronehood as a village witch.

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