Posts Tagged ‘USUPA’

The beloved Pagan and Magick shop of Utah County has decided to close its door. Gypsy Wagon, run by mother and daughter team Penny and Misty Mcinelly will be moving in the direction of festival vending, private psychic readings, and online shopping.

The shop has had a history of ups and downs over the last six years since it opened in Spring of 2009 in the basement of a house in Lindon, UT. President Muad’Dib fondly remembers shopping there when he first became a Pagan. “I was thrilled they were so close, as I was a student in Provo at BYU. I don’t remember how I found them. Most likely their website, as I was new to Paganism and new to Utah as well, so I had to do Google searches and looking at Witchvox.com. I met Misty when I went to the house, which I had to enter through the back through a door. It was very secretive, being in a highly Mormon neighborhood in Lindon, which is basically Orem. Misty and I got along great, and formed a friendship I still maintain till this day. She even participated in some of the early functions of the U of U Pagan Society and traveled with me to visit Utah State University Pagan Alliance (USUPA) in Logan over Beltane 2010.

I made my first purchase, a large one, of magick supplies from her in June of 2009. I also had my first psychic readings from her, which turned me on to divination. I paid for a few readings. We did a playing card reading, threw some herbs in some water in a scrying bowl, and the biggest one which provided the most detail was the coffee ground reading. She provided information about people I would later meet when I started helping out at LGBT pride, and at the LGBT Resource Center at the University of Utah in spring of 2010. She warned me about some, showing me the frowns and horns on some faces next to letters that had come up in the cup. I then purchased The Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson, which was my first tarot. Meeting her and having those discussions about my path and the changes I was contemplating at the time (transferring schools to the University of Utah) set me on the path I am on today. Gypsy Wagon was an influential and important part of my history since the very beginning of my journey in Paganism and in Utah.”

The shop moved in 2010 to Pleasant Grove where in the fall they hosted a psychic fair on the front lawn of the house they were using, the same weekend, June 19, 2010, as the City of Fun Carnival which was held at the park a block away. President Muad’Dib read at the fair, doing coral readings along with a few ladies who did tarot and angel cards. Troubles plagued them there, with marginalization from the community and the occasional window breaking from hooligans.  In 2011 the shop moved to a new location in American Fork, in a strip mall on 52 S. Main St where it stayed to date.

The store at one point was closing, but a secret partner stepped up in the spring of 2013 just as the doors were about to shut. So it continued for a while, until September 2014 when the shop made an announcement on its Facebook page that they are changing the structure and closing its door to focus more online, with private sales and festivals in the mix. SLPS wishes them all the blessings of the Goddess on this new journey, may they continue to be the lifeblood of the community in Utah County!

gypsy wagon

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After about a six month break, USUPA has found new leadership and resumed operations at USU this fall, 2013. After the graduation of the first president and founder, Kassie Cressall, USUPA underwent a time of uncertainty. The activities became fewer until there none, communications and other advertising slowed to a dull roar and the leadership all but vanished.  Over late spring and summer of 2013 USUPA found a new leader. A current student at USU, Anya Hawke has stepped forward to take on the reigns of the organization.

From a Facebook message to SLPS president Muad’Dib dated August 10, 2013, Ms. Hawke commented on her new position and upcoming events for USUPA “Well, we don’t have many plans set in stone at this point. We’re meeting next week to work those out. But our tentative plans are to have a booth out on quad for Club Day during the first of classes to help spread the word that we’re back. Then we will have monthly full moon rituals, movie nights probably about as often, and classes as often as we can get volunteers to teach them. Witches’ Tea, our Saturday meet up to chat and chill will happen every week. Our traditional location the Citrus and Sage, might change since they might be closing down. We will be holding a Samhain ritual that will be open to the public like we used to, as well. The goal is to become a self sustaining club. One that will continue after I step down as president. The current leadership includes me as President, Brie as Vice President, and Alina as our Publicist/Public Relations Officer. We want to keep this club a safe and open place for people that follow a less conventional path.”

Since USUPA will be back up and running, LUPA-Logan Utah Pagan Alliance, the temporary community organization run by Ms. Cressall will close it’s door and give the space back to USUPA. SLPS wishes them luck and success as they get back on their feet!

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Every couple of months UUPS has the esteemed opportunity to visit its sister group the Utah State University Pagan Alliance.

This trip came around one of the most favored of all holidays for most pagans: Samhain! A time to honor the dead and set goals for the Pagan New Year.

Each year, USUPA puts on a big ritual at the local Unitarian Universalist Church in Logan Utah. Complete with food, fun, wine and ritual, this is the best Samhain North of Salt Lake City!

UUPS got the ritual outline, food for the potluck, robes and staffs and heads north (carpooling of course) to just south of Potato country.

This time, UUPS arrived in mass carrying its share of pagans and food…always a good combination.

Tickets were $5.00 before and $10.00 at the door. The ritual started promptly at 8:00pm. A beautiful circle of leaves, with a portable fire pit and altar in the west was set up outside behind the UU church under a clear night with the moon shining brightly down upon everyone through the leaves of the autumn trees.

Each participant was led to the west gate were they were cleansed and consecrated with sage and water before entering the circle. Making a circle clockwise, the participants lined up in a circle with nearly seventy people squeezing in.

Four helpers stood in the quarters invoking, blessing and dismissing with the elementals. Kassie lead the ritual with a poem reading, raising and dismissing the collective energy in the circle with great efficiency and her big sword, shouting to the Gods, Goddesses and ancestors before falling to the earth. The fire was dimmed and everyone was given a few moments to reflect on life, their dead, and goals to be set for the New Year. At this point, all were given slivers of wood to be thrown into the Samhain fire, signifying a renewal of goals or the setting thereof. Each person said aloud what they desired to do, change or work in their life in the coming year from having a cat to obeying what the Gods and Goddesses tell them.

Many tears flowed as hearts became soft and the participants reflected on their lives.

Afterwards, all were treated to a wonderful feast of stew and other sides that were brought such as swamp muck (guacamole), shriveled heads (backed pears) and love potion no 9. (grape juice with cinnamon and spices). All in all, UUPS can’t wait to go again! Thanks USUPA!

USUPA Samhain 2011, Woman Between the Wolves (l) and Muad’Dib, Sunday, October 30, 2011, Logan, UT

USUPA Samhain 2011, Ancestral Altar with candles, Sunday October 30, 2011, Logan, UT

USUPA Samhain 2011, Ancestral Altar, Sunday, October 30, 2011, Logan, UT

Utah State University Pagan Alliance (USUPA) Samhain 2011 Circle, Sunday, October 30, 2011, Unitarian Universalist Church, Logan, UT

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On August 6, 2011, UUPS drove up to Logan to attend a wonderful ritual set back 2 miles in Green canyon with USUPA. A small altar, decorated with flowers, fruit, chalices and more was set in the south of a circle lined with rose petals.

Our very own Muad’Dib played the part of Lugh. The participants entered through the west gate. Each attendant was cleansed with water and purified with air. The circle was closed when everyone was inside and Kassie began the elegant and short ritual to the God and Goddess.

Bread and honey were offered in thanks. All the participants took a piece of bread as the symbol of their harvest and were asked to think about what they were grateful for, what blessings they had received, what service had been given to them and what all of this meant in the larger cycle of their life.  After a moment, each person was allowed to speak allowed their feelings, thoughts and emotions and to throw the bread in the fire as the final act of thanks to the God(s)

With the closing of the ritual brought a feast and fire with the God and Goddess. The food included items such as mead, red beans and rice, pie and dutch oven enchiladas!

As the sun set, the fire added a much appreciated light! Even the fire Gods were seen walking around this night!

UUPS Thanks USUPA for hosting another wonderful ritual. We can’t wait to see you all again!

Lughnasadh 2011, Muad’Dib as Celtic Sun God Lugh, USUPA Saturday, August 6, 2011, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Lughnasadh 2011, main altar, USUPA Saturday, August 6, 2011, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Lughnasadh 2011, center fire with Kassie Cressal, USUPA Saturday, August 6, 2011, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Lughnasadh 2011, l to r Muad’Dib, Megan Sjoberg, and Kassie Cressal USUPA Saturday, August 6, 2011, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Lughnasadh 2011, Camp site, USUPA, Saturday, August 6, 2011, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Lughnasadh 2011, l to r: Woman Between the Wolves, Megan Sjoberg, Muad’Dib, Shy Fox, Astral Eventide, Kate Black, Isaac Furniss, Unknown and Unknown Child, Dano Harvey, Saturday, August 6, 2011, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Lughnasadh 2011, l to r: Dano Harvey, Kassie Cressal, and Kate Black USUPA Saturday, August 6, 2011, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

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UUPS has the wonderful opportunity again to visit and participate with our fellow Pagans at Utah State University. The ritual is set for a nearby canyon in Logan on Saturday, August 6, 2011. We need all of you to post your comments so we can get organized and know who’s going, who can carpool, who would like to volunteer their car for use. UUPS can offer a small reimbursement for gas if necessary. We also ask everyone to chip in on the gas cost because simply… the prices are out of this world (as everyone knows).

What: Lughnasadh/ Lammas Ritual

Where: Logan UT with Utah State University Pagan Alliance

When: Saturday, August 6, 2011 7-11pm

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Thanks to everyone for all the hard work accomplished in March! April has been a busy month, but isn’t holding anyone back!

KUTE Radio Interview

On Friday, March 18, 2011, President Muad’Dib was asked to appear on our very own 1620 AM University radio K-UTE.  President Muad’Dib was asked to explain and talk about the U of U Pagan Society, its goals, what it does, ambitions, history, current projects, membership and he was even invited to give a blessing on the campus!

Here is a little what he said, “The U of  U Pagan Society is a group of students who have reached out to include the community. We currently have seventy members and many monthly activities going on such as crafting classes, classes and rituals.” One of the hosts asked him at that point “What is a ritual?” He explained “A ritual can be a number of things.  For me it means a structured and repetitious ceremony that I can do again and again the same way, or feel free to change it.  For me, I incorporate different parts from different religions like Druidry, Shamanism and Wicca. A ritual for me is a way to connect with deity, ancestors, spirits and the universe.  Really it can be seen as a form of prayer or worship.”

When asked about community and student involvement, President Muad’Dib commented, “We are trying to educate and make everyone aware through experience.  We advertise classes and activities from other groups so that people who are living far away and can’t make it, can know that there are activities going on near them.”

Finally President Muad’Dib gave a simple but elegant blessing over the campus “May there be peace in your heart and success on your midterms this spring break, with lots of relaxing time on vacation. So mote it be.”

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This past month brought us the wonderful opportunity again to see our wonderful brothers and sisters from Utah State University Pagan Alliance in Logan, Ut on Saturday, March 19, 2011. They celebrate and honored Liber Pater with the Roman Spring Holiday Liberalia. Masks were hung in trees, wreaths were worn on the heads and togas worn! Callista Midnyte Dreamwalker (fourth from right) related her experience, “Liberlia was a very powerful experience. It was my first ritual I ever  attended and I was nervous. However when we arrived we were invited into the circle among many fellow pagans. We called upon the God and Goddess not just of the Romans but also of others. I enjoyed the company and felt the Gods and Goddesses presence.  I felt their joy in our gathering. This three hour drive was completely worth it!” Saerra Fairbrother said “ I am so glad I went. It was a great time and I even met a woman who will be moving to go to SLCC with us in the fall.”

UUPS is very excited and cannot wait to see and join in the next celebration with USUPA! We are grateful to our wonderful friend and President of USUPA Kassie (second from right).

This month we are focusing on getting sponsored by one of the local businesses and setting up for the PRIDE Festival.  We also have added a new event page to the website so everyone can keep up to date on what is going on with UUPS!

Liberalia with USUPA, Front row r to l-Kassie Cressal, Callista Dreamwalker, Back (2nd from right) Anya Hawke, Saturday, March 19, 2011, Logan, UT


Liberalia 2011, Utah State University Pagan Alliance (USUPA) l to r-Isaac Furniss, Kassies Cressal, and Anya Hawke, U of U Pagan Society combined with USU Pagan Alliance, Saturday, March 19 2011, Logan, UT 

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We love traveling, especially when its to Logan to see our Pagan brothers and sisters at Utah State University.  The Pagan Alliance at USU is a bright and active group we call our sister group. UUPS has been building inter-group mingling with USUPA since April 2010.  UUPS drove up, after getting lost, on Saturday, May 1, 2010 to Logan UT. Most of UUPS members found the location in Logan Canyon and were able to attend a wonderful Celtic Reconstruction Wedding festival put on by USUPA’s own president Kassie Cressall. A large circle of stones, a beautiful altar, music, singing, fires and more were all on the agenda this day.  After wards was a lovely feast and a large May Day Pole!  All of us were able to dance around the poll honoring the God and Goddess on their day of union.

Beltane 2010, Mitch O’Donnell and Kassie Cressal, USUPA, (Utah State University Pagan Alliance), May 1, 2010, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Beltane 2010, altar, USUPA (Utah State University Pagan Alliance), May 1, 2010, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Beltane 2010 Circle USUPA (Utah State University Pagan Alliance) May 1, 2010, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Beltane 2010, Muad’Dib, USUPA (Utah State University Pagan Alliance), May 1, 2010, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Beltane 2010, Bill Robinson, USUPA (Utah State University Pagan Alliance), May 1, 2010, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

Beltane 2010,  Kassie Cressal burying offerings, USUPA, May 1, 2010, Green Canyon, Logan, UT

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