UR Path is an on-campus forum for Pagan students or those interested in the Pagan tradition. “UR Path was formed to create a community on campus for people whose spiritual paths are either underrepresented or misunderstood by the community at-large,” sophomore and president of UR Path Alfred Vitale said.

Since it was founded in September, the group attended Rochester’s Pagan Pride Festival and held a Samhain or Halloween party, which included food, tarot readings, and information about Pagan and related beliefs as well as food offerings to departed loved ones.

It has also provided a gathering place for those interested in non-traditional religions. “We wanted to make a comfortable place for people in the UR community to learn about such paths as Paganism, Wicca, occultism and magic,” Vitale added.

“You can be a Pagan without ever going to a Pagan ritual. We’re a social group for people with interests in things outside the mainstream, outside the churches, outside the American religious hegemony,” Vitale said.

Sophomore member John Annechino points out that Pagans allow participation in other religions, unlike many more traditional faiths. “It’s what you make of it. If I want to read some Buddhist text, no one’s going to tell me I’m going to hell for it,” he said. “Paganism is not so much a religion, but more a way of thought. It’s an embracing of all aspects of nature,” he added.

The group plans to hold a film series called “Witchcraft in Film” this semester, which will include “Haxan,” “The Craft,” “Warlock” and “The Mist of Avalon.” The films will be shown the same time at their meetings — Monday nights at 7:30 p.m.

They also plan to celebrate Beltane, which occurs on May 1. “We will be organizing an afternoon Beltane festival, known for the time when we dance around the May pole, to celebrate the joy of spring. We’ll have music, food, dancers, jugglers and whatever other festive activities we can have,” Vitale said.

Renata Schloss, a Take-Five scholar was at the group’s meeting last Monday in the Commons Room of the Interfaith Chapel. “I’m going to all the religious groups to see what they stand for. I feel that religion is a big part of culture,” she said.

Yunis can be reached at tyunis@campustimes.org.

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