UConn students display Pagan pride on Fairfield Way
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 00:09
The first Pagan Pride Day took place on Fairfield Way Saturday afternoon in order to educate students about the Pagan beliefs and make the community aware of their presence on campus.
Sponsored by the Pagan Organization of Diverse Spirituality (PODS) they manage to attract a few people in and out of the event who were curious enough to learn more about the different religions that were represented. Each stand had their own unique religion that branches off from the Pagan religion. The beliefs ranged from Troth to Witchcraft and Wiccan and each stand handed out information on them.
“This event is about promoting understanding in the community and getting a voice out there that hasn’t been heard in a longtime,” said Allison Ziebka, a 7th semester English and psychology double major and event coordinator of the PODS. “Paganism has been in the closet for some time and we want to promote education and try to build a community on this campus.”
“It’s very important to educate the community and to honor people’s different ways and religions,” said Karl Krueger of North Hampton, Mass. and a member of the Troth and steward for the Connecticut and Massachusetts branches. “The main focus is education.”
Krueger’s stand provided pamphlets with information on the Troth religion and was selling shirts that contained their crest of a ring with ravens perched all over it. Krueger explained that the Troth religion is dedicated to pre-Christian beliefs from northern Europe also known as Heathenry. They have a serious of Gods that they worship that even includes Thor the god of thunder, their main god, and the son of Asatru
He also explained that Connecticut’s Pagan Pride day was the previous weekend on September 8th, which typically celebrates the harvest and the end of the summer solstice. Another vendor from Manchester, Ms. Faith, gave a quick presentation about witchcraft and how modern witches cast spells. Her store, ‘Enchantments,’ sells various items for people who are practicing Wicca, witchcraft and other related religions. Items from her store include crystals, besoms (old term for broomsticks), wands, runes, cauldrons, and books about various supernatural curiosities.
“You can teach people how to use magic but it’s up to them whether they want to embrace it or not,” said Faith. She also teaches an introduction course to witches, Wiccans, and Pagans at Manchester Community College.
Aromatic oils were also being provided by the health education office. According to PODS members incorporating herbs and oil smells are a part of the Pagan beliefs.
“This is our first time doing an event like this and we hope to do another one in the future,” said Sam Martin, a grad student in costume design.