Pagan & Shinto News: British Museum confirms ‘constructive discussions’ with Greece on Elgin Marbles

Pagan & Shinto News: British Museum confirms ‘constructive discussions’ with Greece on Elgin Marbles January 7, 2023

Top stories of the week in Paganism and Shinto:

  • British Museum confirms ‘constructive discussions’ with Greece on Elgin Marbles
  • Ancient Egyptian ‘Green Coffin’ returned to Cairo by US
  • Japan: Cashless ‘saisen’ religious offerings spread amid COVID pandemic

Read more below…

Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 3 December 2005. CC2.0

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New Year Festivals Coverage

Kyoto shrine holds first New Year ‘karuta’ event in 3 years
The Asahi Shimbun
A New Year’s ceremonial event highlighted by a card-snatching game was held for the first time in three years at Yasakajinja shrine here on Jan. 3…

For farmers’ and fishermen’s sake: New Year festival at Fukuoka shrine returns
The Mainichi
The New Year was marked by the return of an ancient festival at a major Shinto shrine in this southwestern Japanese city on Jan. 3…

New Year’s calligraphy event takes place at Kyoto shrine
NHK World
People are taking part in an annual New Year’s calligraphy event at a shrine in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto…

Japan celebrates New Year with unique traditions
During “O-shogatsu,” Japanese pray for health and good fortune at shrines, enjoy delicious New Year’s meals and listen to the emperor’s annual message…

On New Year’s Day, Buddhist god Hotei brings gifts and good fortune in Japan
The Conversation
In Japan, the roly-poly god Hotei, who is often identified with Santa Claus, ushers in the new year along with six other gods of good fortune…

Pagan witches and Mussolini: Why Italy’s Epiphany holiday has a curious history
Italy celebrates Befana on Friday January 6th, a holiday that rivals Christmas for many Italians. But how did this staunchly Catholic nation come to worship a pagan witch?…

Wolf Moon 2023: How the full moon signals time of transformation and impacts the zodiacs
Lifestyle Asia
The first full moon of the year occurs in January and is known as the Wolf Moon…

Pagan News

UK: Shamanism: what you need to know about the fastest-growing ‘religion’ in England and Wales
The Conversation
According to the latest census, an unlikely “religion” is growing in popularity across England and Wales: shamanism…

‘If you say you’re a witch, you’re a witch’: Why modern-day witchcraft is on the rise
As spell kits and crystals become high-street buys, WitchTok explodes in popularity and publishing pumps out witch books, three women who practise witchcraft explain where their belief comes from (and why it’s suddenly mainstream)…

Witchcraft isn’t scary on stereotype-busting ‘Comfy Cozy Witch Podcast’
Religion News Service
Jennie Blonde says her message of comfort and coziness appears to be resonating not just with other witches, but with all people ‘who want to find a little bit more magick in their everyday.’…

Shinto News

Cashless ‘saisen’ religious offerings spread amid COVID pandemic
The Japan Times*
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of cashless payment methods for saisen money offerings to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples is spreading in Japan, while there are various opinions about the new trend…

60-year-old man arrested for stealing ¥1,000 from shrine donation box
Japan Today
Police in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, have arrested a 60-year-old unemployed man of no fixed address on suspicion of stealing money from a donation box at a shrine on Sunday…

Officials tried to hide shrine visits by infected Miyazaki chief
The Asahi Shimbun
Miyazaki Governor Shunji Kono on Jan. 5 apologized for the actions of prefectural government officials who tried to hide the fact that he made New Year’s visits to shrines while infected with COVID-19…

Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters hold ceremony for completion of new stadium
NHK World
A Japanese professional baseball team, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, has held a ceremony to mark the completion of its new stadium…

Munakata Taisha: A birthplace of Japan’s ritual practices
Traces of religious rituals carried out by the Yamato court to pray for peace and serenity can still be found today on the sacred island of Okinoshima in the Genkai Sea…

Donald Keene’s Japan: Witnessing society change every 20 yrs at Ise shrine ritual
The Mainichi
While he was studying at Kyoto University, Donald Keene also made time to travel to other parts of Japan. In October 1953, he headed to Ise in Mie Prefecture to attend a ceremony commemorating the ritual renewal of the structures of Ise Jingu shrine…

Other News

British Museum confirms ‘constructive discussions’ with Greece on Elgin Marbles
Evening Standard*
The sculptures have been the subject of controversy over where they should be displayed…

Ancient Egyptian ‘Green Coffin’ returned to Cairo by US
A looted ancient Egyptian sarcophagus that was on display at a US museum has been returned to Egypt…

UK: Amateur archaeologist uncovers ice age ‘writing’ system
The Guardian
‘Lunar calendar’ found in caves may predate equivalent record-keeping systems by at least 10,000 years…

Priests from Cuba’s Santeria religion see hard year ahead
Priests from Cuba’s Afro-Cuban Santeria religion on Monday warned of a difficult year ahead and called on followers to guard against calamities and mounting social ills after a tough year in 2022 in which a record number of Cubans left the Communist-run island…

Sacred groves: How the spiritual connection helps protect nature
Yale Environment 360
From Ethiopia’s highlands to Siberia to the Australian rainforest, there are thousands of sacred forests that have survived thanks to traditional religious and spiritual beliefs. Experts say these places, many now under threat, have ecological importance and must be saved…

‘Witch Hunts’ Past & Present

How we fell under the spell of witcherature
The Guardian
From the Netflix Addams Family spin-off to countless new novels and wellness books, witches are having a cultural moment. Why now, and what does that say about our modern age?…

Advocacy for Alleged Witches condemns banishment of Nigerian man from community over alleged ‘witchcraft’
A statement issued by the advocacy group on Friday, which was signed by its Director Dr Leo Igwe, expressed concerns over the growing wave of allegations of diseases and deaths caused by ‘witchcraft and magic’…


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