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To all the readers, the time has come to archive the archives… from the front page. SLPS has decided to shelve internally its content. It has retained some of the more important community stories on the rolling blog and archives sidebar, but all other posts have been internally archived on the WordPress server (don’t worry, we wouldn’t delete our digital history!). This was to clean up the blog itself and to allow for easier reading. We look forward now to years of practice, rituals, events, readings, community service, and fun to come. You can still find old posts using the search box, searching subject tags such as “Pride, Moab, rituals, community service, Ostara, Plazafest” and etc. We also have archived our blog over the years in the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive.

We plan to do an annual archive of stories to keep the new year fresh. All our pictures are still available on our Facebook page. If you are conducting research and history, and can’t find a post, please contact us and we can assist you.

SLPS read for a third year in a row at the 2018 SLC International Tattoo Convention Saturday and Sunday March 24-25 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. $10 readings for the tattoo goes and artists. We were placed next to another piercer/reader by the competition area, but all was well, with a total of 30 readings being done.

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SLC International Tattoo Con, SLPS booth, Sunday, March 25, 2018, Salt Lake City, UT.

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The light has returned, and the members are happy to see the dark times over Sunday, February 4, 2018. Much introspection and meditation. The traditional beginning of Spring, the members honored the goddess Brigid and gave offerings in thanks of her continued support of the society.

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Imbolc 2018, altar, Sunday, February 4, 2018, Salt Lake City, UT

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Imbolc 2018, Brigid, Sunday, February 4, 2018, Salt Lake City, UT

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Imbolc 2018, altar close up, Sunday, February 4, 2018, Salt Lake City, UT

The Satanic Temple’s Utah Chapter has closed for business. According the chapter president, Chalice Blithe, the chapter dissolved in April. While it had good steam, the lack of events failed to move membership and Chalice thought it best to close it for now. Possibly in the future the chapter may return, but for the year it was around, it did some cool things! SLPS ensured some of the history was captured, with their blog being archived in the Wayback Machine  at the Internet Archive and some of their documents and a painting archived at the Utah State Division of Archives at the Rio Grande building downtown Salt Lake City.

We are very sad we lost a pine tree in the storm yesterday. Winds knocked it into the neighbors yard and patio, thankfully away from all houses. We had be nurturing, watering, and trimming the tree for years to strengthen it but it just went. We’ll have the cut the one next to it down as well as it’s just as vulnerable. Sad to loose two pines. We will have one left in the temple, but we can make fire wood with the down trees. The area will be reused for native trees and plants. It’s still a shock though to loose a friend. It gave us many beautiful experiences as it watched over our temple area as seen from our Midsummer 2014 photo.

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Fallen Pine tree, Sunday, March 5, 2017, Salt Lake City, UT

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Midsummer 2014 temple area showing Pine tree in all its glory.

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.

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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

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

President Cureton discovered while going through the Utah Pride Center private archives a photo of the “Salt Lake Pagan Community” from the the 1995 Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade. “I didn’t know that the Pagans had been marching in the parade back then. I had thought perhaps that SLPS was the first to march in the parade, but I knew others could have, just there was no evidence. This year is the 26th year of the parade, so now we know they have marched before. SLPS began marching in the parade in 2011 with the Utah Pride Interfaith Coalition.”

The LGBT community has had a long crossover into the Pagan community, as many of the members identify with both. It’s common that LGBT people find the Pagan community more accepting because of how personal the spirituality of Paganism is and how many various paths people walk. Paganism allows individuals to explore facets of deity, the inside self, and the universe they hadn’t previously without putting them into a box or creating a cookie cutter mentality. Often Paganism is more fulfilling than larger organized religion.

The Utah Pride Center has photographs from various events that will be transferred to the Marriott Library Special Collections Archives at the University of Utah this year under the leadership of President Cureton, who works as the library director at the center. The picture below will soon be available for everyone to access in the Multimedia Division. If anyone can identify the individuals, please send SLPS an email or leave a comment.

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The Salt Lake Pagan Society has recently parted ways with Gwendoline M. Allen Newhart (married to Chris Newhart) of Pensacola, Florida living in Salt Lake City. Some of her aliases known are Gwen Allen, Rev. Lady Draikaina HPS (witchvox), Emprezz Rude or Selectrixxx Rude. She owns currently a shop, Wiggin’ and Weaving in West Jordan; a music business Gorrilla Mafia Entertainment; a cleaning business Crossroads Cleaning; a tour group Tour Utah Activities; and a school of New Age spirituality called “S.T.O.N.E.-Spiritual Teachings on Natural Eclecticism”.

She conned more than $30,000 from society members and itself in the name of “Voodoo and Santeria” for protection in her Voodoo house Ille Ori Ille Iku, for cleansings of evil and negativity, and for her version of cult spirituality. The excitement of a new tradition and the exploration of Afro-Cuban diaspora coupled with Ms. Allen’s charismatic excitement and Florida East Coast attitude slowly reeled in the members. The truth was revealed over the last few months and the pieces put together, and the exit from it all made over Thanksgiving.

For the benefit of the Society and the members, SLPS advises those who come in contact with her to use caution and take her fast talking business selling proposal Florida tactics with a grain of salt and to seek out other psychics and advice.

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Gwendoline M. Allen Newhart