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A little summer kitchen magic! Jam Making… that’s what the members of SLPS did for their July full moon, known as the Buck moon when young buck’s antlers grow and come in, on Saturday, July 17, 2016.

The apricots and Oregon grapes used for the jam mix had come from the Society’s own back yard. The apricots and grapes were processed and heated with lemon juice and pectin. Sugar was added and a roiling boil achieved. The jars and lids were heated in a water bath to prevent bursting from the heat differential. The jars were filled and set upside to seal the lids while they cooled. After 5 hours, the society output 23 mason jars of apricot Oregon grape jam! The taste is sweet yet wild. Delicious!

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July 2016 Full Buck Moon Ritual, jam making-Stesha Bowden (l) and Ashton Longhurst cutting apricots, Saturday, July 17, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 Full Buk Moon Ritual, jam making-Oregon grapes, Saturday, July 17, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 Full Buck Moon Ritual, jam making-apricots and Oregon grapes processed, Saturday, July 17, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 Full Buck Moon Ritual, jam making-cooking apricot and Oregon grape jam mix and bathing jars, Saturday, July 17, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 Full Buck Moon Ritual, jam making-Daniel Cureton stirring jam mix, Saturday, July 17, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 Full Buck Moon Ritual, jam making-set up, Saturday, July 17, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 Full Buck Moon Ritual, jam making-filling jam jar, Saturday, July 17, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 Full Buck Moon Ritual, jam making-jam jars sealing and cooling, Saturday, July 17, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

A new meeting took place Sunday, July 10, 2016 for the druid community. President Cureton formed a Facebook group after noticing there wasn’t a group in Utah for the druids. One of the members took action and planned a simply picnic with ritual. Those who attended had a fabulous time in the early July morning, finding joy in community and meeting other druids. “Druids in Utah tend to be alone in the woods (pun intended). So few meet ups, rituals, or other activities. It all tends to be centered around witches, wiccans, and trad craft. There was a group that folded a few years ago, Nine Silver Hazels, and one or two Celtic reconstruction groups here, but they are secret. In total I only know about 10 druids in the state and about half of them are ADF (Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship)”, said president Cureton.

SLPS looks forward to the new growth and outreach to come. President Cureton also started a local home circle called Awen, Oak, and Sage (also Facebook) from AODA (Ancient Order of Druids in America) for those interested in revivalist Welsh druidry.

utah druid community

Utah Druid Community meetup l to r: Seth and Kay Mildenhall, Josh Williams, Christina Neville, Sunday, July 10, 2016, Warm Springs Park, Salt Lake City, UT

SLPS has 20 fruit and nuts trees, with lots of variety. Apple, plum, peach, pears, nectarine, apple, almond, and apricot! Blueberry bushes, Oregon grape, and concord grape as well as strawberries abound.  The apricots and Oregon grape came in and have been pick off one tree, ready to be made into homemade jam. SLPS has a long tradition of jamming it’s fruits, but sometimes so many come in that the trees have to be propped for support!

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Fruit gathering for homemade jam making,apricot tree supported with boards due to so much fruit, Sunday, July 10, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Fruit gathering for homemade jam making, Daniel Cureton getting apricots, Sunday, July 10, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Fruit gathering for homemade jam making, gathering Oregon grapes, Sunday, July 10, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

A planning meeting took place for the SLC Pagan Pride Day committee and board on Friday, July 8, 2016. The organization has decided to growth the festival, which means  creation of news offices such as a PR person, tech, and policy writer, adopting an ethical standard of business practice, and beefing up the digital heritage and infrastructure with a controlled domain. The goal of the new phase of Pagan Pride is to reach out to the state of Utah to provide education, culture, and foster unity in the community while growing the festival, which will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City

SLPS met on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 9pm to honor the goddess of America, Columbia. The altar was decorated with Independence Day decorations (for July 4th). Pomegranate wine and apricots off one of the society trees were offered. Stars and Stripes Forever, one of the most patriotic American marches by John Philip Sousa was played as members danced around the altar with flags and pinwheels. We asked the Goddess to watch over the USA, guide the political leaders to be favorable for civil liberties, and offered thanks to the Native Americans who continue to grant the white people favorable passage on their lands (i.e, the USA).

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July 2016 New Moon, ritual to Columbiana, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 New Moon, altar, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 New Moon, offerings from the aprioct tree, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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July 2016 New Moon, the apricot tree (with supports), Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

The society garden is growing strong! A month and a half of growing and many of the plants have bushed, vined, and stalked. Only a couple were lost, one cucumber, one corn, one pepper plant, and some onions. All in all, not so bad! The loss mainly may be due to the gophers or bad starters.

Peppers are coming in, vines on the watermelons and pumpkins have taken off, lettuce is growing high, squash is bushing, corn stalks are about 2 feet high and already show tassels, and onions are getting thick. The society is blessed with many plants and few pests!

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Society Garden 2016, artichoke, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, peppers, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, peppers, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, anaheim pepper, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, serrano chilis, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, celery, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, okra, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, watermelon, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, pumpkins, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, pumpkin patch, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, corn, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, yellow squash, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, leeks, cabbage (top) and lettuce (right), Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, baqueiu lettuce, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, cabbage, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, view looking down garden with corn (back), squash (back middle), lettuce (middle), leeks (right), and cabbage (front) with April Love, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, square garden area with tomatoes (back), cucumber (back middle), tomatillos (back middle right), shallots (front middle) and onions (right), Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, herbs Parsley (back), dill (cage), cilantro (front left) and oregano (right), Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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Society Garden 2016, view of garden along fence, Saturday, July 2, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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 Daniel Cureton 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.

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

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

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

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

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Midsummer 2016, l to r: Ashton Longhurst, Stesha Bowden, Camille Harris, April Love, Saturday, June 18, 2016, Salt Lake City, UT

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

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

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