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White Oak Grove CUUPS

Exploring Pagan Traditions in Rockford, IL

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Witch Hats Pin Board

Carve a pumpkin for Samhain – Or a Turnip!

How to Easily Carve a Turnip Jack-o-Lantern - Lovely Greens

To distract wandering spirits from settling into their homes and farms, Celts once carved faces into turnips and set candles inside; this was a rudimentary form of today’s pumpkin carvings. Turnip lanterns lined roadways to light the way and also caution passing spirits.

Celts believed placing lit turnips outside would guide family spirits home; simultaneously, scary carvings repelled evil spirits.

There is also evidence that turnips were used to carve what was called a “Hoberdy’s Lantern” in Worcestershire, England, at the end of the 18th century. The folklorist Jabez Allies outlines other derivations of the name, “Hobany’s”, which is most likely derived from “Hob and his”, with other variations including “Hob-o’-Lantern”, “Hobbedy’s Lantern” and “Hobbady-lantern”.

A jack-o’-lantern (or jack o’lantern) is a carved pumpkin, turnip, or other root vegetable lantern, commonly associated with the Halloween holiday. Its name comes from the reported phenomenon of strange lights flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisps or jack-o’-lanterns. The name is also tied to the Irish legend of Stingy Jack, a drunkard who bargains with Satan and is doomed to roam the Earth with only a hollowed turnip to light his way.

Jack-o’-lanterns carved from pumpkins are a yearly Halloween tradition that came to the United States with Irish immigrants.

In a jack-o’-lantern, the top of the pumpkin or turnip is cut off to form a lid, the inside flesh is scooped out, and an image—usually a scary or funny face—is carved out of the rind to expose the hollow interior. To create the lantern effect, a light source, traditionally a flame such as a candle or tealight, is placed within before the lid is closed. However, artificial jack-o’-lanterns with electric lights are also marketed. It is common to see jack-o’-lanterns used as external and internal decorations prior to and on Halloween.

https://www.rareirishstuff.com/blog/an-original-jack-olantern-c1850.6078.html

Raise your voice!

Are you interested in helping to shape the policies and events of White Oak Grove CUUPs? The best way to do this is to become a voting member! And we have a special deal for you – no dues through Samhain 2022! Becoming a voting member is easy – just fill out the form and either mail it to the Church address on the form or scan it in and email it to whiteoakgrovecuups at gmail.com.

White Oak Grove CUUPS Membership Application

I would like to become/remain an active member of White Oak Grove CUUPS, Inc. I understand that as an active member of CUUPS, Inc., I will be able to vote on matters of policy in our group and run for Board positions. Through October 31, 2022, all local chapter dues are waived.

This is:

  • A New Membership                               
  • A Membership Renewal

Membership Type

Please select one:

GENERAL MEMBER / Youth Under Age 16 – anyone who expresses an interest in gathering with and or communicating with the members of the White Oak Grove CUUPS chapter.

VOTING MEMBER – for White Oak Grove CUUPS and are members of CUUPS National and/or a member of a UU congregation.

VOTING YOUTH MEMBER – Youth ages of 16-18, If they should wish to have to have a vote, must maintain membership in White Oak Grove and have a parent/ guardian who is also a voting member.

In place of dues for 2021/2022, donations will be happily accepted.

Total: $ ___________________

Confidentiality Information: At no time does CUUPS, Inc. sell or promote the use of the Members List for commercial purposes. This list is used for membership purposes only and CUUPS, Inc. business only. To ensure this, we are offering three levels of confidentiality.

Please select one:

  • Level 1

Your name, address, e-mail address and telephone will only be available to the current voting members of the White Oak Grove CUUPs, UU Rockford Board of Trustees and their Agents.

  • Level 2

Your name, address, e-mail address and telephone will be available on request to other CUUPS members for networking and other CUUPS related business.

  • Level 3

Your name, address, email address and telephone are available to anyone inquiring about UU Paganism and local contacts.

Contact Information:

Name:

______________________________________________________________________

Address

______________________________________________________________________

City ________________________ State/ Province _______________

ZIP Code ______________

Email Address __________________________________________

Telephone    ( _________ ) ________________________

UU Congregation you attend: __________________________________________

as _______Member _______Friend

CUUPS National Membership Number ___________________________

Donation/ Payment Options (U.S. funds only, please.) (You may email inquiries about this form to whiteoakgrovecuups@gmail.com) Make your check out to The Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, and reference White Oak Grove CUUPs in the memo line. PayPal options are also available through the UU Rockford website.

Complete and print this form and mail to:

White Oak Grove CUUPs, c/o Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford,

4848 Turner Street Rockford, IL 61107

whiteoakgrovecuups@gmail.com

https://whiteoakgrovecuups.com/

www.facebook.com/groups/whiteoakgrovecuups

For White Oak Grove CUUPs use only –

Application received _________________________

Renewal notice sent _________________________

Renewal date ______________________________

Revised September 2021

Apples and Samhain

Fall is a wonderful time! The trees are changing color – and apples abound! But did you know that apples are also a symbol of Samhain? They have been used for centuries in divination.

There are many apple games played at Samhain which grew out of the belief in the Apple as a sacred and magical fruit. The Apple is a symbol of life and immortality. In Celtic tradition, apples were buried at Samhain as food for those souls who are waiting to be reborn. The Apple, cut crosswise, reveals the five pointed star, or pentacle at its core, a symbol of the Goddess.

Cut an apple crossways, creating top and bottom halves. Your cut should reveal the rough shape of a pentagram laid out by the seeds.
Count the total number of visible seeds on the surfaces of the halves. This is the number you have divined. Use your favorite system of number magick/numerology to analyze the meaning of your divination. For example, the number two often represents partnerships, five is often understood to mean balance and protection, nine can be seen as abundance, and ten may mean completion and closure.
When finished, you may offer the apple to your deity of choice or consume it as you feel appropriate.

Apples have always been popular tools for foretelling the future. There are a number of traditional methods in folklore for seeing who one’s lover might be.

  • Peel the apple, keeping the peel in one long piece. When the peel comes off, drop it on the floor. The letter it forms is the first initial of your true love’s name.
  • Wait until midnight and cut an apple into nine pieces. Take the pieces into a dark room with a mirror (either hanging on the wall or a hand-held one will do). At midnight, begin eating the pieces of apple while looking into the mirror. When you get to the ninth piece, throw it over your shoulder. The face of your lover should appear in the mirror.
  • If a girl has more than one potential lover, peel an apple and pull out the seeds. Place a wet seed on your cheek for each boyfriend. The last one left stuck to the skin represents the suitor who is the true love.
  • (Wigington, Patti. “The Magical Energy of Apples.” Learn Religions, Feb. 8, 2021, learnreligions.com/the-magical-energy-of-apples-2562299.)

Family Friendly Samhain Party!!!

October 23 from 12:30 to 3pm

Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, 4848 Turner Street

All the things we love about the Samhain parties in the past – now with more masking! Potluck, raffle, games! Wear a costume – or not! For all ages! Masks are required for all attendees.

Family Friendly Samhain Ritual

An afternoon with our Beloved Dead…

Sunday October 3, 2021 from 12:30 to 3pm

Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, 4848 Turner Street

We will, in a brief, family centered ritual, celebrate those we have loved and lost. Bring mementos or photos of your beloved dead for the altar. Please note – Masks are required for all attendees!

Featured post

Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources

The 7 Principles

(Adopted in 1960, the Principles, Purposes and Sources are incorporated in the Bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Association)

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

The inherent worth and dignity of every person

Justice, equity and compassion in human relations

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

Six Sources

Unitarian Universalists emphasize the responsibility of the individual as well as the community for achieving spiritual growth and development. The complete statement of the Unitarian Universalist covenant describes the Six Sources upon which current practice is based:[49]

Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;

Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.

Hermes The Multi-faceted

Born in a cave of Mount Cyllene, Arcadia to Zeus and Maia, the daughter of Atlas, Hermes is an old God whose existence is recorded as early as Linear B tablets of the Mycenaean civilization from the 15th to 13th century BCE.  The second youngest of the 12 Olympians. So cunning was the child that just shortly after his birth, he escaped from his cradle, went to Pieiria, and stole the oxen of Apollo. 

The multi-faceted Hermes is known as the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travelers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, language and writing, athletic contests and gymnasiums, astronomy and astrology. He was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus, King of the Gods, and also the guide of the dead who led souls down into the underworld.

Aesop featured him in several of his fables, as ruler of the gate of prophetic dreams, as the god of athletes, of edible roots, and of hospitality. He also said that Hermes had assigned each person his share of intelligence.

PERSONALITY

Hermes’ character is believed to be disarmingly charming, and friendly towards all. In working with this God your unique personal gnosis may show him in many different ages throughout his life.  While one person may view him as the energetic and mischievous child, another may experience him in later years as a wisened traveler.  Hermes can be a trickster, with a penchant for fraud, perjury, and the inclination to steal.  It has often been said that he is friend to everyone, which can make him difficult to work with in unexpected ways.  The idea of his being the herald and messenger of the gods, of his travelling from place to place and concluding treaties, necessarily implied the notion that he was the promoter of social intercourse and of commerce among men.

ASSOCIATIONS

  • Herma – Piles of stones to mark roadsides.
  • Hare
  • Cattle Herds
  • Dove Killer Hawk
  • Tortise
  • The Number Four
  • Crocus
  • Strawberry Tree
  • Palm Trees
  • Golden Short Sword
  • Shepard’s Pipe – Invented by Hermes and traded to Apollon
  • Ram – As the God seen most to care for and increase flocks
  • Winged Boots – Gave him swift flight through the air.
  • Winged Hats & Travelers Hat – His wide-brimmed felt cap was the hat of Aidoneus was said to render its wearer invisible.
  • Heralds Rod – which could lull mortals to sleep, or cause them to wake.
  • Hermes is said to have invented the alphabet, numbers, astronomy, music, the art of fighting, gymnastics, the cultivation of the olive tree, measures, weights, and many other things.
  • Sacrifices offered to him consisted of incense, honey, cakes, pigs, and especially lambs and young goats.

DAY OF HERMES

Hermes is associated with the number four as he was born on the fourth day of the month.  The fourth day of the week (Wednesday) was named after him.  The Greeks called it Hermes’ day, in Latin Mercurius’ day, and in Germanic it was Woden’s day–the Norse god Woden-Odin being identified with Hermes-Mercurius. 

Ancient Hymns To Hermes


“To Hermes, Fumigation from Frankincense.

Hermes, draw near, and to my prayer incline,

messenger of Zeus, and Maia’s son divine;

prefect of contests, ruler of mankind,

with heart almighty, and a prudent mind.

Celestial messenger of various skill,

whose powerful arts could watchful Argos kill.

With winged feet ’tis thine through air to course,

O friend of man, and prophet of discourse;

great life-supporter, to rejoice is thine in arts gymnastic, and in fraud divine.

With power endued all language to explain,

of care the loosener, and the source of gain.

Whose hand contains of blameless peace the rod,

Korykion (Corycion), blessed, profitable God.

 Of various speech, whose aid in works we find,

and in necessities to mortal kind.

Dire weapon of the tongue, which men revere,

be present, Hermes, and thy suppliant hear;

assist my works, conclude my life with peace,

give graceful speech, and memory’s increase.”

Orphic Hymn 28 to Hermes (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :

Altar Inspiration Pin Board

The leaves are budding across the land

on the ash and oak and hawthorn trees.

Magic rises around us in the forest

and the hedges are filled with laughter and love.

Dear lady, we offer you a gift,

a gathering of flowers picked by our hands,

woven into the circle of endless life.

The bright colors of nature herself

blend together to honor you,

Queen of spring,

as we give you honor this day.

Spring is here and the land is fertile,

ready to offer up gifts in your name.

we pay you tribute, our lady,

daughter of the Fae,

and ask your blessing this Beltane.

Prayer to Honor the May Queen. ( Source )

Spring has come to the earth.

the land is fertile and ready at Beltane,

seeds will be sown, and

new life will begin once more.

Hail, great gods of the land!

Hail, gods of resurrected life!

Hail, Cernunnos, Osiris, Herne, and Bacchus!

Let the soil open up

and mother earth’s fertile womb

receive the seeds of life

as we welcome the spring.

Prayer to the Gods of the Forest. ( Source )

Beltane Pin Board

Myths & Legends Pin Board

April Crystal of the Month – Hematite

Hematite is a master of grounding via the root chakra, Hematite can help ground the mind and bring focus back to the body when you are feeling scattered. A sponge for your negative thoughts, it always helps you to find the silver lining in things.

Associated with the Greek God Aries, it’s name means “blood-like.” When in a ground powdered form, Hematite is also known as red ochre. Greek warriors would paint their bodies with it before battle, and it was used in the world’s first cave paintings.

Beware of fakes!! Real Hematite is NOT magnetic.

Hail, and welcome!

Green life returns to the earth

blooming and blossoming

once more from the soil.

We welcome you,

goddesses of spring,

Eostre, Persephone, Flora, Cybele,

in the trees,

in the soil,

in the flowers,

in the rains,

and we are grateful

for your presence.

Prayer Honoring the Goddesses of Spring ( Source )

Ostara Pin Board

March Discussion Recap

For our march meeting members of White Oak Grove CUUPS gathered online to discuss our favorite subject, our pets! Well, not quite; from familiars, to guides, to divination, the participation of animals in magic was the subject of our monthly discussion this time around. Those on a pagan or earth based path would be no stranger to the connection between animals and magic. Topics up for discussion was the role of animals as magic familiars, particularly whether they can be pets or not, the role and differences of spirit animals and of animal spirits, animals appearing in divination methods, and the bond that those on a pagan path often have with animals of all shapes and sizes.

Our discussion leader, Juliette, recommended these books and oracle decks for those looking to further their bond with or understanding of animals in magic:

  • Animal Magick by D.J. Conway
  • Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Correspondences by Sandra Kynes
  • Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small by Ted Andrews
  • Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals – Edited by Linda Hogan, Deena Metzger and Brenda Peterson
  • The Druid Animal Oracle – Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
  • The Spirit Animal Oracle – Colette Baron-Reed
  • Oracle of the Shapeshifters – Lucy Cavendish
  • The Secret Language of Animals Oracle – Chip Richards
  • Messages From Your Animal Guides Oracle – Stephen D. Farmer

Matronalia: The Festival of Women Pin Board

Celebrated on March 1st, Matronalia is a Roman festival dedicated to the Goddess Juno Lucina, who watches over married women and women in childbirth. On this day gifts are to be offered both to the goddess and to the important women in one’s life ( such as your mother! ).

Join us on May 2nd 2021 as we present a Mother Goddess class and discussion.
More details can be found on our facebook group.

March Crystal of the Month – Fluorite

A colorful mineral with green, purple and white mottling it is a protective stone that is excellent for grounding. Fluorite was prized in ancient Rome and is a harmonizer that brings with it peace and bliss. Use this stone to clear away brain fog and rid yourself of negative energy. People born under the signs of Pisces and Capricorn are especially in tune with Fluorite.

  • Green Fluorite: Access intuition
  • Purple Fluorite: Focus on expression of spirit.
  • White: Aligns all the chakras.

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