News of the Past

May 2015
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Folk Religions Worldwide Are Thriving Thanks To Women’s Leadership

By Cathy Lynn Grossman

In her Georgia home, Tammy Bloome says her rosary to Santa Muerte, a skull-faced version of the Grim Reaper in woman’s garb.

In Maryland, Sonia Doi gathers with her fellow spiritists — mostly women — to discuss the philosophical vision of reincarnation.

Folk religions such as Santa Muerte and spiritism . . . → Read More: Folk Religions Worldwide Are Thriving Thanks To Women’s Leadership

​N. Ireland Officially Recognizes Pagan Religion, Order of the Golden River

By Kieran Doherty

Northern Ireland has for the first time recognized a pagan priest and his church by granting full religious status to the Order of the Golden River.

Responding to the move by the Northern Ireland General Registry Office, pagan priest Patrick Carberry said he was “absolutely over the moon.”

Recognition means, among . . . → Read More: ​N. Ireland Officially Recognizes Pagan Religion, Order of the Golden River

Israeli Finds Support Theory that God Had a Wife

By Rob Waugh

Female figurines and inscribed prayers to a “divine couple” found in temples in Israel suggest that the “one God” of the Bible may not have been entirely alone.

A recent excavation in Tel Motza, not far from Jerusalem, found what archaeologists believe to have been a ritual building – with clay . . . → Read More: Israeli Finds Support Theory that God Had a Wife

Afro-Brazilian Religions Struggle against Evangelical Hostility

By Dom Phillips

[Snip] This is Candomblé, a Brazilian religion that developed from animist beliefs imported by African slaves. During four hours of singing, drumming and dancing, devotees screamed, grimaced or froze as they were incorporated by these deities, called Orixás. Associated with forces of nature, many are synchronized also with Catholic saints, so slaves . . . → Read More: Afro-Brazilian Religions Struggle against Evangelical Hostility

Construction of Pagan Temple to Begin in Reykjavík

Iceland Magazine

Plans to begin construction of a pagan temple in Öskjuhlíð hill, Reykjavík, have been set in motion. This will be the first pagan temple to be built in the Nordic countries in nearly a thousand years, said the alsherjargoði Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, head priest of the Icelandic Ásatrúarfélag, in an interview with RÚV. . . . → Read More: Construction of Pagan Temple to Begin in Reykjavík

The Witchy Tale of the Rollright Stones

By BadWitch

[Snip] Once upon a time, a king was out riding with his men when he met a witch who said this to him:

“Seven long strides thou shalt take, And if Long Compton thou canst see, King of England thou shalt be!”

So, the king and his men dismounted and gathered in a . . . → Read More: The Witchy Tale of the Rollright Stones

Last Residents Leave “The Wicker Man” Islands

By Jenny Kane

The Scottish islands that inspired cult pagan film The Wicker Man have lost their last permanent residents.

Tanera Mor in the Summer Isles was the last inhabited island in the group until the owners recent move to the mainland.

The group of 17 islands, set amid the breathtaking, rugged beauty of Scotland’s . . . → Read More: Last Residents Leave “The Wicker Man” Islands

Ancient Irish Trees Brought Back to Life

By Darragh Murphy

Down towards Gougán Barra, where the remote wilds of west Cork meet the gentle slopes of the Lee valley, Ted Cook’s home seems like a relic from a forgotten era.

A pheasant keeps sentry out front, unperturbed by visitors. Behind the gate, the grassy driveway looks like it hasn’t seen a car . . . → Read More: Ancient Irish Trees Brought Back to Life

Ancient Slab May Be Sundial-Moondial

By Stephanie Pappas

A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds.

The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, . . . → Read More: Ancient Slab May Be Sundial-Moondial

Ancient Cult Complex Discovered in Israel

By Owen Jarus

A massive cult complex, dating back about 3,300 years, has been discovered at the site of Tel Burna in Israel.

While archaeologists have not fully excavated the cult complex, they can tell it was quite large, as the courtyard alone was 52 by 52 feet (16 by 16 meters). Inside the complex, . . . → Read More: Ancient Cult Complex Discovered in Israel