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Pagans at the American Academy of Religion

By M. Macha NightMare

The American Academy of Religion (AAR) celebrated 100 years at its Annual Meeting in Montreal in November. For four days scholars and theologians gathered to present papers, serve on panels and attend plenary addresses, films, concerts, walking tours, and concerts.

People who study Pagans and Paganism, as well as some who . . . → Read More: Pagans at the American Academy of Religion

Brighid’s Fires Burn High

by Miriam Harline

Imbolc is a white time, a time of ice and fire. In many places, snow still sheets the ground. The fire is traditional: Europe observes this day, February 2, the Christian Candlemas, with candlelight processions, parades that go back to ancient torchlight ceremonies for purifying and reviving the fields at early sowing, . . . → Read More: Brighid’s Fires Burn High

Somerset prepares for Wassail

Wassailing is an ancient pagan tradition held on Old Twelfth Night which falls on 17 January. Although many are held on this date, others observe the Gregorian calendar where Twelfth Night falls on 6 January.

The Wassail is held to scare off worms and maggots that are regarded as ‘evil’ spirits and to attract . . . → Read More: Somerset prepares for Wassail

The tradition of Wassailing

by Mike Litherland

I HOPE you all had a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. How did you celebrate, did you go out Wassailing? What’s that, I hear you say? Well the exact origins of Wassail and the tradition goes back to Saxon times and maybe even before that. It was meant to . . . → Read More: The tradition of Wassailing

Hogmanay

Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. It is, however, normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year’s Day (1 January) or, in some . . . → Read More: Hogmanay

Festivus

Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23rd. It was created by writer Dan O’Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a screenwriter for the TV show Seinfeld as part of a comical storyline on the show. The holiday’s celebration, as shown on Seinfeld, includes an aluminum “Festivus pole”, practices such . . . → Read More: Festivus

Winter solstice at Avebury

PEOPLE braved freezing temperatures to mark a yearly milestone. Yesterday a group gathered at the stone circle at Avebury to celebrate the winter solstice. It marks the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

This is due to earth’s tilt, which ensures that the shortest day of every year falls around December . . . → Read More: Winter solstice at Avebury

Winter solstice attracts more than just druids to Stonehenge

by Steven Morris

Of course, the usual characters were there: Taloch in an antler head-dress, the archdruid Rollo Maughfling splendid in his trademark white robes and a flat cap and Arthur Pendragon, who claims to be the current incarnation of the once, and future, king.

But through the icy mist and the smoke of . . . → Read More: Winter solstice attracts more than just druids to Stonehenge

Druids, pagans mark shortest day of year

Celebrants engage in druidic rituals outside the Stone Circle at Stonehenge, southern England as Druids and revelers celebrate the Winter Solstice, Tuesday Dec. 22, 2009. Pagans and druids, many dressed in weird and wonderful costumes, celebrated the shortest day of the year at the mysterious monument with traditional ceremonies. The shortest day of the year . . . → Read More: Druids, pagans mark shortest day of year

The bleak midwinter has been breached

by EILEEN BATTERSBY

AFTER THE longest night of the year, this morning’s sunrise at the famous Neolithic monument at Newgrange, Co Meath, is, as always, welcome and rich in symbolism. The ancient ritual of greeting the rising sun, now acknowledged by modern man, marks the beginning of the end of winter; daylight will now . . . → Read More: The bleak midwinter has been breached