UCA’s Ignite: Pagans United club celebrated its first Spring Equinox on campus March 20 in front of Main Hall.
Ignite: Pagans United provided an opportunity for attendees to plant traditional herbs, which club members donated.
Music from popular Pagan artists and Arkansas native SJ Tucker accompanied the celebration.
Junior Ernest Goldwood, Pagans United member and event organizer, provided the opening speech and discussed the medicinal and cooking benefits of the herbs being planted.
“The purpose of the Spring Equinox was to bring awareness of the significance of the Equinox that signals when people can start planting again,” Goldwood said. “A part of that really – the whole feeling of spring is usually a stressful time, so positive minded stories, especially ones about rebirth, are really helpful during this time.”
After Goldwood’s speech, students recited creation and renewal stories.
UCA Pagans United Club President Sheldon Slinkard, graduate student, said the event had a great turn out.
“We came together to celebrate the Spring Equinox, which is also known as Ostara within some Pagan sects,” he said. “Many people who were curious came by and listened to music and planted some traditional herbs. We had “experts” from the group tell some Pagan stories like the story of the phoenix from Egyptian beliefs and the story of the frog from Viking beliefs.”
Freshman Kathryn Chouinard said celebrating the Spring Equinox is a big deal.
“I hope to see a better turnout next year,” she said.
Pagans United is a new unofficial student organization awaiting its official Recognized Student Organization status.
Sheldon Slinkard said the club offers a place for people to discuss religious beliefs.
“It is [for]pagans but if someone wants to come and talk about different belief they can come and just discuss it and teach us about it and we teach them about some other things also,” he said.
The club meets at 7 p.m. every Thursday in Harrin Hall 127. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Slinkard said Pagans United is about sharing the experience and being spiritual.
In spite of its unofficial status, club members already have future plans.
Ignite: Pagans United will host a movie night on campus and organize a Pagan Pride Day on April 24 for UCA with booths, songs and ballet dancers.
For more information, email Slinkard at [email protected]