Beltane, Maypoles, and Spring into Summer

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Beltane might be the most joyous holiday on the Pagan Wheel of the Year, but how much of what we do actually harkens back to ancient paganisms? Is the Maypole a timeless phallic symbol or simply a place to celebrate the state of summer? Like all holidays, Beltane is a mix of the pagan and the secular, but taken as a whole the way many of us celebrate it feels timeless. [Read more...]

Eostre, Easter, Ostara, Eggs, and Bunnies

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I kind of celebrate Easter. If you grew up with Easter egg hunts, baskets full of jelly beans, and huge ham dinners it’s hard to leave all of that behind. Much like Christmas, the trappings of the Easter Holiday aren’t Biblical, they are a hodgepodge of Christian, pagan, culture, and circumstance. [Read more...]

The Confusion of Imbolc

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(This post originally appeared on Agora back in February of 2012; it was my first post on Patheos. I always liked this particular piece and felt as if I had abandoned it by not moving it over to RtH. It’s not exactly the same post, I did some editing and added a few things, but [Read More...]

The New Testament and the Nativity

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The Bible says very little about the birth of Jesus, and what it does say is often contradictory. What’s actually in there and is it literally true? Many people think they know the story of Jesus’ birth, yet what they know is an amalgamation of story and tradition and is quite different from what the New Testament tells its readers. [Read more...]

Christmas Is Not Yours or Mine: The True Origins of the Holiday Season

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Every year I hear the same refrain “Put Christ back in Christmas,” and every year I shake my head. No one faith owns Christmas, it’s a combination of various elements, some pagan, some Christian, some Jewish, and some cultural. Christmas is not yours or mine, it simply is, and it belongs to anyone who cherishes it. [Read more...]


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