CUUPs stands for Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. If you don’t consider yourself Christian you technically are pagan but most people think of pagan as a more mystical shamanic religion associated with the word, shaman, seer, magician, the wise woman herbalist of old or witch. Anthropologically, witches practice a shamanic tradition. “Magic” is a form of prayer. In psycho-social terms it is cognitive reframing with the use of metaphor and ritual that helps focus the mind and heart to create change and goodwill.
As you can imagine UU pagans are a diverse group unto themselves. I myself am more a Buddho Feminist Wiccan blend, Karen is an initiated Druid and belongs to a grove that is actually having some of their services here this year. Galen and Janeira have pursued their spiritual path more eclectically. And just in case, this is a group of women and men. We have referred to our group in the past as Earth Based and the more current term is ”Earth Identified”.
We traditionally observe 8 Sabbats. These are the 4 quarters and mid-points marking the progression of the Sun and the seasons, starting with Halloween (a midpoint), then Winter Solstice, Imbolc (Ground Hogs Day), Eostara (Easter, Spring Equinox), Beltaine (May Day), Summer Solstice, Lammas (Aug. 2), Mabon (Autumnal Equinox). The end of the year is after the final harvests for the Northern Hemisphere. (In Australia, they celebrate in the opposite, being in the Southern Hemishere. ) We call our spiritual calendar, the Wheel of the Year, based on following the eternal cycle of death and rebirth as observed in the changing seasons. We come together to remember the sacred mysteries of death and rebirth and the opportunities this provides us for letting go and growth. We come together to remember who we are as social beings, made up of the basic elements of water, earth, air, fire, and spirit. We are no better than any other creature on this Earth . The Earth is our Mother and the Source of all Life. We are a part of the interconnected web of life.
When you attend one of our services or circles, our hope for you is to experience a different sense of the larger spirit body that is our church and also Our Mother. This will be encouraged through connecting with Nature through story, repetitive singing and chanting, guided meditation, and symbolic processes of letting go to make room for love, acceptance, and / or change. May you find what you need. Blessed Be. -Mayda Taney