Pagan & Shinto News: Japan Welcomes New Era With Shinto Rites

Pagan & Shinto News: Japan Welcomes New Era With Shinto Rites May 5, 2019

Top stories in Paganism and Shinto this week:

  • Japan welcomes new era with Shinto rites
  • Controversy rekindled over Shinto-linked imperial succession rite
  • May Queen at Scottish Beltane festival highlights green issues

Read more below…

Left: Emperor Naruhito, – Michel Temer [CC BY 2.0] Centre: The Japanese Imperial crest Right: Participant at Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival 2012, Stefan Schäfer, Lich [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Japan’s Imperial Succession Coverage

With Shinto rites, Japanese usher in new era
Gulf News
With refreshing slurps of sake and solemn Shinto rites, Japanese rang in a new imperial era in festive mood Wednesday as Naruhito became their 126th emperor…

Rites of Abdication and Succession
Two days ago, the Jōkō abdicated (sorry, “was deposed”), and yesterday the Tennō ascended to the Imperial dignity. There were, as you might expect, ceremonies involved…

Start of Japanese new era celebrated at shrines, shops, tourist spots
The Mainichi
Many Japanese celebrated the start of the Reiwa Era on Wednesday with their family, friends and loved ones, some with newborn babies, as Shinto shrines and famous spots across the country were crowded with visitors trying to take in the festive atmosphere…

Japan rings in new Reiwa era with plum blossoms and festivals

Nikkei Asian Review
Huge crowds thronged areas associated with the Imperial household Wednesday to celebrate Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne and welcome the dawn of the Reiwa era…

Controversy rekindled over Shinto-linked imperial succession rite
Japan Today
As Emperor Naruhito ascended the throne on Wednesday, a key imperial succession ritual related to Shinto rekindled controversy over the separation of state and religion stipulated in the Constitution…

The imperial succession highlights Shinto’s muddled status in Japan
The Economist
It is not an official state religion, but it’s hard to escape from it…

Christian groups in Japan criticize emperor’s ascension ceremony as violation of constitution
Spokesmen say this week’s ceremony, and another scheduled for October, violate the principal of separation of church and state…

Professing Faith: Emperor’s role in Japan both religious and political
The Press Enterprise
In a remarkable move in both religion and politics, Japan has a new emperor…

Portable shrines paraded through Kyoto Imperial Palace grounds for 1st time in 150 yrs
The Mainichi
Mikoshi portable shrines associated with the Imperial Family were paraded through the Kyoto Imperial Palace grounds for the first time in about 150 years on May 1…

Emperor Akihito abdicates after audience with sun goddess
The Times
Japan’s Emperor Akihito has reported his abdication to a Shinto sun goddess in a ritual at the Imperial Palace, starting a day of ceremonies to end a three-decade reign in which he tried to bring the monarchy closer to its people…

The abdication of Emperor Akihito is making Japanese people rethink their whole lives – this is why

The Independent
It’s an ancient tradition but, even in observing it, the start of Reiwa already feels like a very modern era…

Imperial succession ceremonies should conform to Constitution, common sense
The Mainichi
Even as the traditions of the Imperial Family are to be respected, these ceremonies must not deviate from the constitutional separation of religion and state, and indeed from common sense…

Thank you Heisei. Welcome Reiwa
Living With Kami
The past 31 years of Heisei have been said to be very disastrous; but despite this I think it has also shown the great strength of people as a whole – not only in Japan, but the whole world over…

How do you say “Happy New Era” in Japanese?
With the imperial Heisei era over and the Reiwa period just beginning, this is the phrase to use…

Beltane Coverage

Beltane’s May Queen rages about planet damage

BBC News
The annual pagan-inspired Beltane Fire festival in Edinburgh has been overhauled this year to highlight climate change…

Woman dies after being injured at Cornish May Day festival
The Guardian
A woman who was injured during a traditional May Day celebration in Cornwall has died…

Fire festival and May Day dip in Scotland – in pictures
The Guardian
The Beltane Fire Society and students of St Andrews University have welcomed the advent of summer with a festival and a sea swim…

Ireland’s ancient Celtic festival of Bealtaine begins May 1
Irish Central
The Uisneach Fire Festival draws on ancient traditions to celebrate May 1 and the Celtic holiday of Bealtaine…

May Celebrations
The Wild Hunt
Traditionally, the month of May invites a celebration of fertility created through fun, fortitude, flexibility, and foundation…

Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance celebrates annual spring ritual
Daily Egyptian
The Southern Illinois Pagan Alliance held its annual spring ritual, “Beltane,” at Giant City State Park on Sunday…

Morris Men dance on massive penis for May Day
This troupe of Morris dancers got up very early this morning to perform over a rather big penis…

Dozens gather at Belgrade farm for Maypole dance and sheep shearing
The farm held its eighth maypole dance, a centuries-old tradition that welcomes in crop fertility, on Sunday…

May Day – in pictures: from Morris dancers in Oxford and the Beltane fire society to a sunrise skinny dip in St Andrews
1 May, or May Day to most Brits, is the time of the year where people celebrate the fact the sun may soon grace us with its presence…

May Day: A symbol of health and fertility
Communities Digital News
May Day, which originated in the Northern Hemisphere during pre-Christian times, began as a celebration of spring and fertility…

The Meaning Of Beltane Celebrates The Magic Of Fertility & The Energy Of The Fire Element
Elite Daily
May is sweet, and the vivid colors of its seasonal blooms never cease to brighten the mood…

Beltane’s Past in Print
The Wild Hunt
Many of us remember maypoles as part of celebrations in local communities especially rural ones…

Are you ready for Walpurgisnacht, Germany’s night of witches?
While it would make a tremendous name for a snaggle-toothed crone, ‘Walpurgis’ actually refers to a medieval saint – Walpurga – with a reputation for putting an end to pagan sorcery, in her career as a butt-kicking 8th century head of an abbey of nuns…

Celebrate Witches’ Night At Comic-Con Museum
SDSU professor looks at witches in literature, history and pop culture…

Pagan News

ADF Election Results
The Wild Hunt
One of the largest Druid organizations, Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF) recently elected its officers…

Marriage registrar performs pagan love ceremonies at Glastonbury Festival
Eastbourne Herald
Independent Celebrant and ex Hastings registrar Glenda Procter has ripped up the rule book to become the Queen of Hand-Fasting…

The Buckland Witchcraft and Magick Museum finds a home in Cleveland, but why here?
Cleveland 19
The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick has found a home in Cleveland after a lifetime elsewhere…

The weird history of supernatural sports pros, from KGB psychics to Uri Geller at Wembley
The Telegraph
Martin Chilton reviews The Men on Magic Carpets: Searching for the Superhuman Sports Star by Ed Hawkins…

Metaphysical and holistic store to open in downtown Potsdam
Watertown Daily Times
A metaphysical and holistic store is having its grand opening May 15 at 2 Elm St…

Romania’s witches harness the powers of the web
Daily Times
The power of the Internet has allowed Romania’s busy witch community to gradually migrate their ancient practices onto the Web…

How To Deal With People Who Want To Pray For Your Witchy Soul
Patheos Pagan: Courtney Weber
I belong to a faith system and spiritual path that encourages kindness and respect for others and the planet. I might be a jerk sometimes, but my religion is not evil…

13 Steps to Opening your Own Witchcraft Shop
Patheos Pagan: Heron Michelle
So, you think you want to open your very own retail shop of witchy wonders, pagan romance and magickal whimsy? Good idea!…

Shinto News

Heroine of Kyoto festival ‘purifies’ herself prior to the procession
The Asahi Shimbun
A young woman who will play the heroine of Kyoto’s centuries-old Aoi Festival performed a purification ceremony at a shrine on May 4, ahead of the festival later this month…

‘Shinto’ Brings Rare Japanese Works to Cleveland Museum of Art
Idea Stream
The current exhibit at The Cleveland Museum of Art – “Shinto: Discovery of The Divine in Japanese Art” – has been a long time coming…

Other News

German priest demands pardon for 25,000 executed ‘witches’

The Times
A retired German pastor is campaigning for cities to pardon tens of thousands of people who were executed as witches between the 15th and 18th centuries in a wave of persecution that claimed some 60,000 innocent lives across Europe…

Stolen idol of Hindu goddess recovered after 100 years
Money Control
A 700-year-old idol of Dhroupathi Amman aka Draupadi was stolen from a temple situated in Melur, Madurai more than a 100 years ago in 1915…

Pair on trial accused of killing Annalise Johnstone, 22, at witch monument
The Courier
A young woman bled to death in minutes after she was knifed in the neck at a notorious witch’s monument in rural Perthshire, a jury has heard…

Mature women’s dance group aims to ditch the stigma of witches
The Crows Feet Dance Collective will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year by hosting a production called The Witch Project, an interpretive look at the fascination with the depiction of witches, especially with powerful women…

How a 15th Century Book on Witchcraft Helps Make Sense of Trump’s Bizarre Baby Execution Story
When Trump claims that women and their doctors are wrapping, rocking and then cruelly executing babies, he is engaging in a complex narrative rhetoric designed to both titillate and mobilize those in power against those whom they hate…

Will Japan’s far right spoil the new Emperor’s party?
The Spectator
When the new Japanese Emperor Naruhito makes his first public appearance, greeting well-wishers at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo today, there is a fear that the official images of the cheering crowds will need to be carefully framed, if not cropped…

Kenya: Belief in witchcraft hinders treatment of epilepsy
The Star
The widespread belief that epilepsy is caused by witchcraft has made many people in Kitui live with the treatable condition for a lifetime, a county medical official has said…

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