Pagan & Shinto News: Top Russian security official takes aim at Paganism

Pagan & Shinto News: Top Russian security official takes aim at Paganism October 30, 2022

Top stories of the week in Paganism and Shinto:

  • Top Russian security official takes aim at Paganism
  • UK: Forfar holds memorial for witches to ‘avoid history repeating’
  • 2,100-year-old burial of Aphrodite ‘priestess’ discovered in Russia

Read more below…

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Attributes of the national faith of Ukrainians, Білецький В.С., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Samhain coverage

US: Sebastian resident upset with city’s “witchcraft occult” Hocus Pocus movie
Sebastian Daily
Ruth Kuvlesky, who says she’s with the Indian River Freedom Coalition, touting 1,300 members, condemned the Sebastian Police Department’s decision on their choice of the film for families…

US: A modern witch celebrates the cycle of life and death at the confluence of cultures
Religion News Service
This time of year, a bruja, or witch, practices central Mexican Indigenous rituals and modern pagan ones, both honoring the Earth and “us as individuals as part of nature.” But the holidays of the Day of the Dead and Samhain are not the same…

UK: Professional witch celebrates Halloween with spells and ‘feast of the dead’
The Mirror
A professional witch has opened up about how she’ll be celebrating Halloween this year, from holding a ‘feast of the dead’ with deceased loved ones to casting ‘fire banishing spells’…

UK: Meet the Pagans … inside the secretive world of Scotland’s real-life witches at Halloween
The Herald*
It’s the season of the witch, so what better time to find out about modern-day Pagans…

US: What’s Samhain? Halloween precursor celebrated by NJ’s growing ranks of witches and Wiccans
NorthJersey.com
Since the COVID pandemic began, Melanie Wilbur of Mount Holly has celebrated the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain with small, muted ceremonies…

Yes, witches celebrate Halloween, but not how you think. Learn more about how covens observe the day.
Yahoo!
Halloween may conjure up images of witches in black robes dancing around a bonfire. But, while some witches do observe Halloween deep in the woods with their coven, that’s not what all witches do to observe the holiday…

Real New Zealand witches say this is not the true Halloween

Stuff
It may be the holiday of ghosts, goblins and all things spooky, but to New Zealand’s real life witches, Halloween in October means “very little”…

Are Australians celebrating Halloween at the wrong time of year?
SBS News
The Irish festival that has inspired Halloween marked the end of harvest and a time that people believed the veil between the spirit world and the living was the thinnest…

How Samhain inspired the festival and where the main traditions come from
iNews
Here’s everything you need to know about how Halloween grew from the Celtic festival of Samhain, and how the modern traditions developed…

What is Samhain? All about the Pagan holiday that inspired Halloween
New York Post
Samhain or Samhuinn, pronounced sow-wen is the pagan precursor to Halloween, a festival honoring the end of the harvest, the onset of winter and the beginning of the “dark half” of the Celtic calendar year…

Halloween’s celebration of mingling with the dead has roots in ancient Celtic celebrations of Samhain
The Conversation
In contemporary Irish Gaelic, Halloween is still known as Oíche Shamhna, or Eve of Samhain…

Day of the Dead’s La Catrina has an ancestor in Mexico’s ancient mythologies
Mexico News Daily
Traces of Day of the Dead’s skeletal female icon can be found in ancient Mexico’s indigenous beliefs…

Pagan News

Top Russian security official takes aim at Paganism
Bitter Winter
He confuses Neo-Paganism and Satanism, attributes a disproportionate importance to the tiny Ukrainian Neo-Pagan movement (ignoring that there is a Neo-Pagan movement in Russia as well), and claims that Neo-Paganism in Ukraine was fueled and promoted by the United States—and Canada, since there are Neo-Pagans among the Ukrainian diaspora in that country…

UK: Cinemas to enchant audiences this winter with the revival of Welsh witchcraft on screen
Wales 247
With the support of Film Hub Wales (FHW), cinemas across Wales will explore the timeless magic of Wales on screen this winter, bringing spells, spirits and folklore to Welsh audiences, through a season of films and events about Welsh witchcraft…

America’s ‘first official witch school’ is in Illinois
WKFR
A witch school in Illinois claims nearly 200,000 people have registered for classes…

US: ‘Different people’ celebrate Abilene Goddess Festival
Abilene Reporter News
The Abilene Goddess Festival at Rose Park featured crafts, belly dancing, drumming and was something different for the Key City…

US: New Hillsboro store seeks to educate about all things witchcraft

Hillsboro News Times
Through the Veil opened on Oct. 1, just in time for spooky season. But it’s no Halloween store; it’s a Wicca store…

A guide to witchcraft in the blockchain era
Hyperallergic
Spell Bound helps readers curious about the craft to both see and understand the wide array of expressions that magic can assume, including in the context of new technologies…

US: What does it mean to be a witch today?
Smithsonian
A new exhibition at the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS), “The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming,” transports viewers to that bleak New England winter—and invites us to consider how we might have reacted to such events…

US: Interest in witchcraft is growing across the country, with Minnesota ahead of the spellbinding curve
Star Tribune
Witchcraft is being embraced as a form of healing and spirituality…

The business of Tampa Bay’s psychics, mediums and the metaphysical
Tampa Bay Times
Local spiritual guides say they’ve seen more demand and more acceptance in the field over the years. But still, misconceptions remain…

Canada: ‘WitchTok’ conjures magic business boom
Terrace Standard
Social media platforms such as TikTok are conjuring a boom in demand for magical wares, services and education, Canadian witches say…

Could witchcraft make you a better parent? Real witches say yes
Scary Mommy
For a growing number of people — including many mothers — witchcraft doesn’t begin or end with Halloween…

UK: Meet east London’s ‘eclectic witch’ who uses crystals, herbs and candles to create spells

London World
But for one east London resident, October 31 is the date of Samhain – a historically pagan or Wiccan festival marking the start of the dark half of the year – which became All Hallows Eve…

UK: Meet a real Yorkshire witch, who says ‘I’m not what you think’
The Yorkshire Post
There’s a rising number of people practising witchcraft in Yorkshire – but witches still face a lot of stigma…

US: Dover shop Groovy Witch offers fashion, metaphysical services, Witches’ Market and Ball
Fosters Daily Democrat
The Groovy Witch sells a variety of products ranging from unique dresses to “witchy” metaphysical supplies like tarot cards, runes, crystals, spell candles, incense, sage sticks and conjuring oils…

Canada: In dialogue with witches
The Strand
This Halloween season, many are binge-watching their favourite spooky movies, like Halloweentown or Hocus Pocus, hundreds of children are getting ready to wear their witch costumes out trick-or-treating, and some might even try their hand at magickal rituals for the first time…

US: What’s up witches? 
BendSource
A Q&A with a modern-day witch and the founder of the Witches of Central Oregon group…

From Mexico to Denmark, witches and their rituals
Conde Nast Traveler
Host Lale Arikoglu chats with Mexico City-based author Brenda Lozano about her new novel ‘Witches.’…

The witch is a post-#MeToo icon of defiance, solidarity and creativity
Big Issue
Across movies, telly, books, music, podcasts, art, fashion, social media – anywhere you find cultural expression, witches are having a moment…

Shinto News

Northern Mariana Islands: Saipan Katori Shrine marks 37th year
Saipan Tribune
The Saipan Katori Shrine at the Sugar King Park celebrated its 37th anniversary last Saturday, coinciding with the annual Japanese Autumn Festival, highlighting the deep ties between the Marianas and Japan…

Okayama: Armed procession of portable shrine resumes
The Japan News
People along a street in the center of Niimi, Okayama Prefecture, went down on their knees as a portable shrine was carried past with an armed escort…

Japan’s ‘waste not, want not’ philosophy has deep religious and cultural roots, from monsters and meditation to Marie Kondo’s tidying up
The Conversation
Japan is not always known for being environmentally conscious, but its anti-waste values are deeply held. These traditions have been shaped by centuries-old Buddhist and Shinto teachings about inanimate objects’ interconnectedness with humans that continue to influence culture today…

Circles of stone: Stonehenge and prehistoric Japan
The Past
A new exhibition at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre explores striking similarities between the stone monuments built by two unconnected but contemporary cultures, 6,000 miles apart. Carly Hilts went to find out more…

Other News

2,100-year-old burial of Aphrodite ‘priestess’ discovered in Russia
Live Science
Archaeologists have unearthed a silver medallion depicting the Greek goddess Aphrodite in a 2,100-year-old grave on the northeastern coast of the Black Sea…

Mummification in Egypt 1,000 years older than thought
Greek Reporter
The science behind mummification in Egypt is around a thousand years older than previously thought according to new evidence…

UK: Extraordinary ‘new link’ between Dartmoor and Stonehenge
Devon Live
New research suggests there may well be a previously unknown link between Devon and the ancient ritual landscape of Stonehenge, the world’s best known prehistoric monument…

UK: ‘Baby Stonehenge’ puts Anglesey seaside village on the map

North Wales Live
Looking like baby Stonehenge, the arrival of a small but arresting artwork on Anglesey has been turning the heads of passing motorists…

US: Tampa man with autism gets creative spark from eclectic witch collection
Fox13
The faces of fanciful witches in colorful costumes are everywhere at Kevin Lewers’ home in West Tampa. He hand-selected and named each one…

US: Milo-Grogan mural of nude Aztec goddess created for festival granted reprieve
The Columbus Dispatch
A recently completed building mural depicting a nude Aztec goddess, commissioned as part of an annual art festival held last month in Columbus’ Milo-Grogan neighborhood, has become a flashpoint among members of the local arts community after the building’s landlord allegedly threatened to have it painted over because it was too explicit in its depiction of the female body…

The eerie rise of witches at the movies

Den of Geek
For more than a century, witches and their works have haunted our cinematic dreams, but in the decades between The Wizard of Oz and Marvel’s The Scarlet Witch, have we learned to accept witchcraft as a virtue?…

The mythical creatures of Europe – The Green Man
Euronews
Many pagan traditions looked to the importance of nature, so it’s no surprise that a figure like the Green Man shows up around forests and woodlands…

14 new and upcoming books featuring witches
CrimeReads
Channel your feminist rage, decolonize your magick, and heal your community with these bewitching reads…

‘Witch hunts’ past and present

UK: Forfar holds memorial for ‘witches’ to ‘avoid history repeating’
The National*
A memorial service marking a witch-hunting frenzy which impacted families for generations took place in Forfar, with historians hoping to open more people’s eyes to the town’s dark past…

UK: New memorial remembers 27 people executed in Peebles for ‘witchcraft’
Border Telegraph
A year-long campaign to secure a memorial in Peebles for people accused of and executed for ‘witchcraft’ has finally come to fruition…

US: For this CSU professor, America’s connection to witches is less ‘Hocus Pocus,’ more historical
Colorado State University
Audit host Stacy Nick recently spoke with Colorado State University Professor Ann Little, an expert on early North American history, specializing in the history of women, gender, and sexuality, about our fascination with the witch trials from that time and what a modern-day witch hunt could look like…

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