5 Spot | Dennis Paul Hobson Jr., founder and co-chair of the Utah Wiccan Alliance 

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Dennis Paul Hobson Jr., founder and co-chair of the Utah Wiccan Alliance (UWA) will join other Wiccans to celebrate summer solstice on June 21 at Liberty Park at noon. Organized in November 2007, the UWA is sitting pretty with over 700 members.

Why are Wiccans so big on summer solstice?
Wiccans recognize eight seasonal days of celebration. Four are minor sabbats and occur at the two solstices and the two equinoxes. The other are major sabbats which happen approximately halfway between an equinox and solstice. The summer solstice sabbat is often called Midsummer or Litha. Wiccans may celebrate the sabbat on the evening before, at sunrise on the morning of the solstice, or at the exact time of the astronomical event.

Do you perform any bizarre rituals?
It is a time for divination and healing rituals. Divining rods and wands are traditionally cut at this time.

Who’s invited?
That’s the great thing about our celebrations; they can be fun for anyone with an open mind.

What does your organization do?
We are trying to provide a group to Wiccans so we can support each other just like any other faith. We are also focused on fund-raising for a number of charities

Do you feel Wiccans are misunderstood?
OK, this is an easy one. The most common misconception about Wicca is that we are Satan worshipers. This is impossible due to the fact that in order to worship Satan you would have to recognize Christ and the Christian god. We do not.

Living in Utah, is it difficult to be open about your beliefs?
I didn’t grow up in Utah, so, personally, no. But I am aware that the majority of the UWA has had difficulty, again the reason for the UWA is to provide support to all Wiccans.

What fundamental beliefs are shared by all Wiccans?
Our one law which is: And It Harm None Do What Thou Will

You were raised Wiccan. What was that like?
Well, it was pretty much just like growing up any other way with the exception that we didn’t play with guns or anything like that. The only other difference would be studying our faith and not celebrating the normal holidays.

Do many families practice Wicca?
The number is growing. Obviously, as Wiccans get older and have families they introduce their children to the faith so the number of families that practice Wicca grows every year.

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