While 16th century Christian Germans are usually credited with first hauling evergreenery indoors and decorating or celebrating it for spiritual purposes, the practice goes back many thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians, the Vikings of Scandinavia, the Early Romans and the Druids of Northern Europe and Britain all celebrated solstice-related events by honoring a living symbol of eternal life, the tree that stays green when everything else dies.More...
When I started writing "Outside of the Box" for CATALYST a few years ago, I had a particular goal in mind: The world seemed like it was wearing a fright-mask, and I wanted to get a look behind it to see what was really going on. We have an awful lot of media trying to keep us scared and angry. What are the actual facts of the matter? Is the human race really as badly off as all that? Are we really going to hell in a handbasket—or even a stolen Walmart shopping cart?More...
By some counts, Utah air quality hit a new low in 2013, with months of inversion-trapped air fouling our lungs, major expansions in the works for Holly Refinery and Kennecott's Bingham Mine, and a legislature that convened with only a single clean air proposal in its docket. But despite the apparent gloom, things are actually humming away in an auspicious manner.More...
When I was young, Thanksgiving meant sparkling apple cider. It was the only time of year that I got to sit side by side with my parents and raise a toast with all the other adults, holding up a bubbling golden glass of sweet juice. It was so exciting. I had my very own special beverage, one that only came out during that time of year.More...
As winter begins its icy approach, we human residents of Salt Lake start layering our clothes and fiddling with the thermostat. But what about the valley’s avian population? Like many animals, birds are forced to exert extra energy to survive during the cold months. Here are some tips from experts at the Tracy Aviary and Backyard Birds on how you can help.More...
The cookbook Kenvin: An Artist's Kitchen is as much an instruction manual on how to cook, say, a boned leg of lamb with basil-infused peanut sauce, as it is a guide on how to live the good life—one filled with the simple pleasures of gathering with friends to eat a platter of cooked vegetables picked from your backyard, then joining in song or storytelling, and washing it down with wine that you may or may not have made yourself.More...
The ski film industry, in the last few years, has been reinventing itself. Gone are the days of 60-minute videos filled with nothing more than gnarly descents, boring bro bra interviews and standard, unimaginative camera work. Valhalla, the latest Sweetgrass production by director Nick Waggoner, with its narrative arc, perfectly framed shots and experimental cinematography, certainly does not stand alone in this age of big, better, prettier ski movies. It does, however, expand expectations of what a ski film can be.More...
"Fasten your seatbelts" just isn't a strong enough warning for the volatility of the next several weeks—"Strap in" might be a better choice. But even if you batten down the hatches, it's not certain the hatches will hold. I don't want to scare you, but 'tis not the season to be jolly, and holding on to a festive attitude will take a mighty effort, especially when it comes to kindness toward your fellow travelers. The planets align in a series of difficult patterns, and those alignments set a strident tone for the end of this year as well as the start of 2014.
Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving, and as I reflected on what to write for the week, I remembered a previous column that said best what still seems relevant about this holiday. A day set aside for gratitude is not unique to the United States of America. A festival or ritual designed to give thanks for the harvest of the year is universal, a fundamental element of the human experience. Despite our political and religious differences, the United Peoples of Planet Earth share the same concerns, hopes, and dreams.
It's an industrial strength astral week, and as a strong "get it done" planetary signature energizes the atmosphere, you're likely to feel an equally strong desire to move mountains. Have at it—there's enough of whatever it is that's needed—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stamina—to work as hard as necessary to actualize ambitions, whether they are career goals or celebration preparations. For those not inclined toward external enterprise, the same powerful potential can be put to good use reflecting on what's felt like an extremely long year.
The planets align in positive patterns this week, and as they do, a thousand threads of intention, motivation, and consequence have a chance to find beneficial expression. I can feel that smile from here, because, yes, this is good news, so good, you probably won't even notice the emotional tumult that also ripples across personal and political interactions. Daily routines seem regular for the first time in a while, and that mundane, yet much-welcomed stability, has the potential to boost an optimistic outlook. Of course there are still areas of desperate struggle, individual and collective, that require conscious effort to remedy.
A tarot reading for CATALYST readers.
—by Suzanne Wagner
Let go of thinking love or friendship should look a certain way, and you will feel gratitude for what is actually here in this moment.
—by Charlotte Bell
A long, storied tradition.
—by Clare Boerigter
And other discoveries about dancing.
—by Amy Brunvand
Sugar house streetcar grand opening; Mormons and environmental stewardship; Becker joins national climate task force; SLC sustainability board; BLM plans need a do over; Not-so-swell leases withdrawn; refinery expansion=bad air.
—by Amy Brunvand
The secret scrolls of non-Mormonia.
—by Dennis Hinkamp
DIY Beer Tote for the Holidays.
—by Pax Rasmussen
On the cover this month: Brad Overton
What's new around town.
—by Katherine Pioli and Clare Boerigter
The Swallow Affair.
—by John deJong
What Batman, Feldenkrais and Planned Parenthood have in common.
—by Barry Scholl
Nepalese homestyle cooking in the mountains of Utah.
—by Jane Laird