CUUPS is an organization dedicated to networking Pagan-identified Unitarian Universalists (UUs), educating people about Paganism, promoting interfaith dialogue, developing Pagan liturgies and theologies, and supporting Pagan-identified UU religious professionals.
A recent attendee at a meeting of BBUUC’s CUUPS group described his visit:
I stand with my arms to my side and my eyes closed. I feel the wind noticeably press against my face with enough force to send a subtle chill over my entire body. The wind moves down from my face to my chest and outwards towards my arms and then continues to my lower legs. I hear a voice asking me to turn 180 degrees which I do and then the wind continues to press against me back. The voice then instructs me to join the circle. I am about to participate in my first Pagan ritual of inviting the gods that rule over the elements to join us as the group performs a full moon ritual to bring in a balance of energies between the sun being in Aries and the moon in Libra. Words such as love, joy, protection were spoken as well as a blessing that a person may never hunger or thirst.
The ritual I participated in was performed by BBUUC’s own earth-centered group known as CUUPS. The acronym stands for the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist PaganS. As someone who has never learned much about Paganism, I was curious why CUUPS exists. The group’s leaders answered that the main reason was to “provide a community and safe place for those who are Pagan.”
For this year, in between CUUPS solar and lunar celebrations, the group has chosen “The Sevenfold Journey” as a focus for discussion. The book “provides a step-by-step approach to healing and balancing one’s life using contemporary psychotherapeutic techniques, yoga, bioenergetics, journal exercises, meditation, dance, and ritual.”
The night ended with Tarot card readings. After one attendee had a reading done for her by one of the other participants I spoke with her about it. Tarot is less about telling the future than about providing insight and enlightenment. She described it as giving a person a different point of view from which to see their circumstances. She went on further to say that to her it was really about starting a dialogue with the person about that person’s current life situations.
If you are interested in learning more about CUUPS or know someone who is either Pagan or would like to learn more, CUUPS meets every second Wednesday at 7pm. (Check the BBUUC church calendar for the next meeting.) Additionally, the group has a Facebook page called Jacksonville CUUPS. To contact The BBUUC CUUPS co-chairs directly, you can email them at CUUPS@bbuuc.org.