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Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

SLPS celebrated Midsummer Saturday, June 18, 2016. The members gathered on freshly cut grass, and under the grove of the pines at the temple. The sun was low in the sky, allowing for a cool evening. President Muad’Dib led the ritual in the New American tradition. The Oak and Holly Kings were present, as well as Hern and Perun. SLPS honors the transitioning of the year from the Oak King to the Holly King at Midsummer, as the sun’s zenith is reached and starts to descend to the longest night at Yule.

A dialogue about Midsummer, the path of the sun, and why it’s important to do solar rites took place. Some hand holding and dancing around the altar to the song “Litha” on the album Circle of the Seaons by Lisa Thiel allowed the members to raise energy. Some Midsummer poetry, Sign of the Daisy by Helen Hunt Jackson was read.

Perun, the patriarch of the Slavic pantheon, descended and spoke to everyone present. Perun rules over lightning, thunder, fire, oak, eagle and the ax or hammer. He gave a message of love, acceptance and inclusion, speaking about the forgotten myth, messages, and the simple ways of living like a Slav (bear meat, mushrooms, cabbage, the woods). He said how lonely he gets, with no one to talk with, no one patroning the pantheon like they once did. He encouraged everyone to love each person, work by the sun and moon, to embrace the messages of the ancient kindred, and to live simply as the Slavs did. He blessed them and accepted everyone into his family.  This message was a first, as SLPS welcomed him to the temple as a new God just arrived from the Czech Republic.

Midsummer 2016, Shy Fox (l) and Camille Harriss making tri tip steak kababs, Saturday, June 18, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Midsummer 2016, altar, Saturday, June 18, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Midsummer 2016, altar center, Saturday, June 18, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Midsummer 2016, Perun, Saturday, June 18, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Midsummer 2016, l to r- Shy Fox, Stesha Bowden, Camille Harris, Woman Between the Wolves, Saturday, June 18, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Midsummer 2016, Sunset, Saturday, June 18, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Midsummer 2016, feast l to r- steak kababs, deviled eggs, rice salad, baked purple cauliflower with Stesha Bowden (l) and Shy Fox, Saturday, June 18, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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The 15th Annual Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service kicked off 2016 Utah Pride Festival. Held Thursday, June 2, 2016 the service is a great way to open the festivities: with prayer and worship. SLPS has been participating with the interfaith since 2011.

This year’s service was held again at First Baptist Church. This is primarily due to the reorganization that took place earlier in the year. The service included the Salt Lake Men’s Choice, a speaker, a ritual of remembrance, and a chant by the Buddhists. The main speach was given by Cindy Solomon-Kelbba from Wasatch Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). The Pride Pipers recessed at the closing, leading the faith leaders out of the chapel, which included over 15 faith organizations and about 20 leaders from Unitarian, Pagan, Buddhist (Zen and Tibetan), Catholic (one priest traveled from Evantson, WY), Christian, and Mormon’s Building Bridges. A reception with refreshments was held afterwards for the faith leaders to mingle with the audience.

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Woman Between the Wolves (wizard hat), Anna Zumwalt (Back middle painting), Curtis Price (right lavender shirt), clergy before service, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Maureen Duffey-Boose (left), Woman Between the Wolves (Wizard hat), Curtis Price (right), clergy before service, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Thursday, June 3, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Cindy Solomon-Klebba (middle), Matthew Cockrum (right) clergy before service, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Anna Zumwalt (left), Cindy Solomon-Klebba (middle brown), Woman Between The Wolves (right blue), clergy before service, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Salt Lake Men’s Choir, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Buddhist Chant, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Cindy Solomon-Klebba of Wasatch Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Anna Zumwalt of Zen Buddhist (left) and Mathew Cockrum of First Unitarian, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Maureen Duffy-Boose performing ritual of remembrance, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, ritual of remembrance with candles lit, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Pride Pipers after service, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Pride Festival 2016, Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Interfaith Service, Anna Zumwalt (left black), Curtis Price (right black), clergy after service, First Baptist Church, Thursday, June 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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SLPS was curious to find out what the Satanic Temple-Utah Chapter would be discussing at their open meeting. “I wanted to know more about them, what they are going to be up to, and to educate myself. I’m not a Satanist, don’t have a desire to be one, or really believe in the figure, but better to be smart than ignorant, especially considering I’m always trying to educate people about Paganism, I don’t want to make that mistake about Satanism” said President Muad’Dib.

The meeting was originally scheduled for Watchtower coffee across from the SLCC campus on state and 1500 S. The meeting had so many RSVPS that it was moved to conference room 4 at the Salt Lake Public Library for 2pm on Saturday, May 21, 2016. The meeting was very professional, with chairs, a table for the council, a slide show, brochures, and refreshments afterwards. Chapter president Chalice Blyth, who received the chapter charter in February 2016,  gave the presentation, with occasional comments from the other core council members: Aaron Shea (DJ at Club Metro), Paul Black, and Autumn Rogers (bass guitarist for the goth rock band IMPXVIII).

The Satanic Temple is a nonprofit founded in 2013 and is set up in a chapter style. A state, city or county may have chapters. The main purpose of the order is to use the pre Judaic/Christian adversary figure. This figure is the one who represents the idea and function of the adversary or rebellion through time and civilization, which in this case is named Satan. The literary figure, such as Satan found in Paradise Lost by John Milton fits more with their beliefs of rebelling than the one found in mythology.

The aim of the Temple is to counter oppressive religion, especially when it comes to intolerance and preference in schools and government.  The organization is primary non-theist, as the members do not generally believe or bow to any deities. They promote benevolence, reason, and rational inquiry disconnected from religious mythology. Since they aren’t religious, they do not perform ceremonies or practice magic like the Church of Satan. There isn’t a plan for a church or space, since they don’t bow to any God/Goddess, and rejected the idea posed by the audience of having a baphomet statue in a shrine or erected in Salt Lake unless the dominate Christian faith, Mormonism or otherwise, tries to enshrine in law, school, or for the public religious rules and statues. Examples of this push back against religious agendas can be seen with the ten commandments monument erected in Oklahoma in 2015 at the state capitol building. The Satanic Temple protested and was in the process of erecting a baphomet statue when suddenly the ten commandments monument was declared illegal and removed under cover of night.

The temple will try to do community service and fun activities, like an upcoming “unbaptism” Sunday, July 24 at Club Metro which will be a performance for those who wish to undo their old baptism ($10 entrance fee and selling your soul to the Devil is required at the door, which is pure irony since they don’t believe in Satan as an ungod, so no actual souls are going to be sold).

Membership is simple, simply submit an online form, no fee required. They are seeking active members to help with events, but encouraged passive members. They also encouraged allies to the Temple, people who can share events or like their page on Facebook/Instagram. They did warn the audience that associating with the Temple comes with a “scarlet letter” due to society’s reaction to Satan.

A question and answer period was after the presentation, with many questions in the audience ranging from “Can a person be a left hand Pagan and join?” to “Since it’s for Utah, anyone want to carpool from outer areas to attend events in SLC?” No protesters or anti Satanist were present. Attendance was about 50 people.

Satanic Temple-Utah open meeting, brochure, Salt Lake City Public Library, Saturday, May 21, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Satanic Temple-Utah open meeting, L to r (table): Aaron Shea, Paul Black, Autumn Rogers, Chalice Blyth, Salt Lake City Public Library, Saturday, May 21, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Satanic Temple-Utah open meeting, Chalice Blyth talking about the seven tenets, Salt Lake City Public Library, Saturday, May 21, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Satanic Temple-Utah open meeting, attendees, Salt Lake City Public Library, Saturday, May 21, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Satanic Temple-Utah open meeting, attendees, Salt Lake City Public Library, Saturday, May 21, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

Satanic Temple-Utah open meeting, Shy Fox and attendees, Salt Lake City Public Library, Saturday, May 21, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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The Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition has a new board of faith leaders who will oversee the function of the annual service. After the 2015 Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition Service Russ Gorringe, who had headed the coalition since 2002, stepped down. A steering committee was formed to reorganize. From the committee meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at First Baptist Church at 6pm, a new structure was formed to go forward into the future with the coalition.

SLPS trustee Woman Between the Wolves attended the meeting, advocating for the board style leadership, which idea was put forward by SLPS President Muad’Dib at the last interfaith service to Russ and through email to the members before the meeting. The UPIC accepted this proposal and will now be run by a 3 member board, which includes a seat for a non Christian faith. There will be a staggered rotation, with a new seat opening every year of those 3 seats. It will be volunteer roles. The board will still continue to invite all faiths to plan and host the services annually.

UPIC email .jpg

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SLPS Yule 2015 flyer.jpg

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Sometimes the good ole church fair is in full swing and you gotta check out the goods. SLPS attended the Annual Carmelite fair, put on by the nuns of the Carmelite Monastery in Holladay, UT on Sunday, September 20, 2015.

The fair was full of goods, food, music, and beer. The monastery and grounds are set back and hidden off of Holladay Blvd. Parking was slim, but a brisk walk along the Blvd provided a good pep for the SLPS members. The grounds were serene and beautiful, with gardens and a large statue of Our Blessed Mother Virgin Mary.

The festival had about 4,000 attendees eating, shopping, and listening to the live music. The entry was free, but “Carmelite Cash” was required to purchase items (converted at a cash booth). SLPS browsed the religious good and textiles and picked up a wall plaque of the Holy Mother Virgin Mary, a Swarovski crystal rosary, and a print of Our Lady Saint Guadalupe, adding to the eclectic temple space.

Carmelite Monastery Fair 2015, sign, Sunday, September 20, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT

Carmelite Monastery Fair 2015, general store, Sunday, September 20, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT

Carmelite Monastery Fair 2015, crowds and Shy Fox (right green) and Piggy (right white) Sunday, September 20, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT

Carmelite Monastery Fair 2015, caremlite cafeteria, Sunday, September 20, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT

Carmelite Monastery Fair 2015, live band with monastery in back right, Sunday, September 20, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT

Carmelite Monastery Fair 2015, Mary garden statue, Sunday, September 20, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT

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