[Wiccans] Being an intern at City Weekly affords me with many glorious opportunities to expand my horizons and meet amazing people. Case in point: meeting members of the Utah Wiccan Alliance. The group held a celebration in collaboration with the summer solstice this past Saturday and invited me along.
I was informed they would be in Liberty Park. (I wasn’t sure what to look for, it's a pretty huge park, but there was a big group standing in a circle holding hands and so I took a lucky guess.)
This motley crew of men and women, all circled together, joining hands to celebrate the Goddess was probably quite the sight for unknowing spectators. The smoke of a fire in the mid-day heat was also probably an oddity that was noticed as well. I asked around and met up with Dennis Hobson, co-chair of the UWA and subject of last week's 5 Spot. He invited me to join in on the rituals taking place.
Along with my friend Katey, who came along to calm my hesitancies of religion and magic in general, I held hands with members of the Wiccan Alliance and quietly contemplated my surroundings. The circle permeated incense and a large sword was swept around the perimeter of the circle in a slow moving fashion. The Wiccans were closing their eyes, in a prayer-like state, and in reverence for the Goddess and energy of the circle. One by one we exited the circle, passing through the two officiators in the center, and then through a break in the circle.
I am unsure of what this ritual was, or why it is significant in the Wiccan system of belief. However, I don’t really feel the need to understand it. I was much more impressed by the calm collectiveness of the people in the circle, of the trust and camaraderie that they gave to me, a perfect stranger, to share in such an intimate and most likely, very spiritual event to them. I don't think many groups would be as welcoming considering the circumstances, and for that, I am very happy to have met the Wiccans. Their group members were so full of hope and life that I was also inspired to be thus.
After the ceremony, I was introduced to the group and was thanked by many members of the UWA individually for writing the piece on Dennis, however small it may have been. But I feel as though I should be thanking them for having me at their celebration. (Jennie Nicholls)