SLPS had a wonderful time participating in the Annual Interfaith Season as part of the Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable. SLPS hosted an educational New Moon Ritual to Artemis, around the January new moon, at Dancing Cranes Imports Friday, January 16, 2015 from 5-7pm. 25 people showed to learn more about Wicca, Paganism and the Goddess Artemis. The ceremony included a drum circle and fire meditation. President Daniel Cureton and April Love explained the items on the altar and answered questions about differences between Paganism and non Pagan traditions. One question that came up right away was “What’s the difference between Wicca an Paganism?” President Cureton commented “They’re the same thing. Paganism is the umbrella term for anything non Abrahamic.” President Cureton also discussed queerness in Paganism, “We had a small discussion about why so many folks who are queer seem to be attracted to it. I stated that because it’s usually very accepting and how personal Pagan paths are is the big appeal. People want to do their own spirituality.”
The origins of Western Occultism were introduced by April Love, “The foundation of a lot of the symbology of Neopaganism is in the Jewish mysteries of the Qabalah, the Tree of Life. It underlines much of the meanings for things like why the number 3 is a sacred number, the four quarters and their elemental associations, and the practice of ritualized, structured magic.”
After the questions, the drumming and guided meditation took place. The smokeless fire was used as a focus point while the beat of the drum and shaking of percussion instruments help people transcend. Everyone shared cookies and apple juice after offerings were given to the Goddess. Artemis blessed everyone present.