Pagan & Shinto News: Stonehenge is not a calendar, it’s something more mysterious, say scientists

Pagan & Shinto News: Stonehenge is not a calendar, it’s something more mysterious, say scientists April 1, 2023

After a little break, here are the top stories of the past two weeks week in Paganism and Shinto:

  • Scientists: Stonehenge is not a calendar, it’s something more mysterious
  • Egypt’s first complete Zodiac uncovered in Luxor’s Temple of Esna
  • Japan Penis Festival shrine distances itself from penis mascot

Spring Equinox coverage

UK: Hundreds rise early to celebrate Spring Equinox at Stonehenge
Hundreds of people from all over the world have gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate the spring equinox…

UK: Members of the Druid Order perform ancient ritual outside the Tower of London to mark the Spring Equinox
Mail Online
Dressed in their traditional white robes, the procession of druids formed a large circle to perform the ancient ceremony…

Greece: The Eleusinian Mysteries
The Wild Hunt
Cathartic songs from ancient Greece heralded the Spring Equinox this past weekend in Eleusis, Greece, at the ancient site of Eleusis…

Spring equinox 2023: Ancient traditions of renewal echo into the modern world
This official first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere is a sign of rebirth, a time of tradition and a harmonious balance between day and night…


Pagan News

US: Colorado Springs teacher allegedly connected to Asatru Folk Assembly now placed on leave
The Colorado Springs District 11 middle school teacher allegedly connected to a white supremacist group has been placed on administrative leave…

Paganism is on the rise—here’s where to discover its traditions
National Geographic
TikTok—specifically #witchtok—is fueling interest in this spiritual movement. Here’s how to immerse yourself in full moon rituals, spellcasting, and more…

Costa Rica: Supermodel Gisele Bündchen says she’s a witch
New York Post
The 42-year-old supermodel is making a new name for herself as the “Witch of Love,” Bündchen said in a Vanity Fair profile…

The ancient Scottish pagan worship site ‘haunted by fairies’ you can visit this spring

Daily Record
Near to a small village and parish in the East Neuk of Fife is a mysterious woodland den that is believed to have been used as a pagan worship site in ancient times…

Mystic Meg: fortunetellers have always been popular, despite a long history of efforts to silence them
The Conversation
From Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, to Elizabeth I’s astrologer John Dee (1527-1608), predicting the future has long been a path to fame and fortune. But unlike the many fortunetellers who came before her, Meg was able to practice her art without fear of persecution…

US: Sirona helps people on their journey to self-exploration
Fremont News Messenger
Downtown Clyde store offers holistic health options, metaphysical items…

Shinto News

Japan Penis Festival shrine distances itself from penis mascot

Japan Today
Every spring, thousands of tourists from Japan and overseas descend on a shrine in Tokyo’s neighboring prefecture of Kanagawa to celebrate one thing — the penis…

¥24 million raised by crowdfunding to repair cultural properties at Kotohira-gu Shrine in Kagawa Pref.
The Japan News
A crowdfunding campaign by Kotohira-gu shrine in Kotohira, Kagawa Prefecture, had raised about ¥15 million in two weeks, and finally collected more than ¥24 million by Friday…

Women sumo wrestlers ‘breaking prejudice’ in Brazil
In its birthplace, the highly ritualized sport has been linked for more than 1,500 years to the Shinto religion, whose believers have traditionally seen women as impure or bad luck for sumo…

5 must-see charming spring festivals in Japan
Japan Today
Spring is undoubtedly one of the best times of the year to travel in Japan. With warm temperatures at last, the flowers are in bloom, and it feels like the whole country has come out to celebrate…

The Tokyo cherry blossoms in full bloom, matching second-earliest record
Japan Times
Cherry blossoms were in full bloom on Wednesday in central Tokyo, matching 2013, 2020 and 2021 as the second-earliest day of the year for them to have reached that stage since records began, the Japan Meteorological Agency said…

10 unlikely cherry blossom destinations in the U.S.
Travel & Leisure
Over the last century, hanami (flower viewing) has taken root stateside due to the tens of thousands of sakura (flowering cherry trees) gifted to various American cities from Japan as a sign of peace and good fortune…

Shrine in Japan issues “beautiful woman certificates,” so we went to get one
A visit to Honjo Ikutsushimajinja in the “land of beautiful women.”…

Fire Rites Festival offers spiritual solace and inspiration

The Japan Times
The Agon Shu Buddhist Association held its first annual Fire Rites Festival in 1970…

Tree trunk signed by Ohtani to help restore Nagoya Castle
The Asahi Shimbun
Measuring 80 centimeters wide, the trunk belonged to a pine tree, estimated to be 350 to 400 years old, standing near Gassanjinja, a famed local Shinto shrine…

Other News

Scientists: Stonehenge is not a calendar, it’s something more mysterious
A researcher recently claimed to have solved the mystery of Stonehenge’s purpose, but new work claims to debunk the explanation that it’s a calendar…

Egypt’s first complete Zodiac uncovered in Luxor’s Temple of Esna
Ahram Online
Egypt’s first complete Zodiac was uncovered on the ceiling of the Temple of Esna in Luxor governorate during restoration work carried out by an Egyptian-German expedition…

2,000 mummified rams’ heads were gifted to long-dead ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II
Live Science
Researchers have discovered a vast cranium collection that was likely left as an offering to Ramesses II, a much-loved pharaoh who died around 1,000 years before the skulls were embalmed…

Turkey: In a Roman tomb, ‘dead nails’ reveal an occult practice
The New York Times*
Forty-one bent or twisted iron nails, unearthed from a second-century imperial burial site, were meant to keep the deceased in their place…

Greece welcomes return of ancient artefacts from the Acropolis kept by the Vatican for centuries
Mail Online
The Vatican has handed back artifacts taken from the Parthenon in Athens, increasing pressure on the British Museum to return the Elgin Marbles…

Russia: This wooden sculpture is twice as old as Stonehenge and the pyramids

Smithsonian Magazine
New findings about the 12,500-year-old Shigir Idol have major implications for the study of prehistory…

5 times popular TV shows featured queer witches
With the strong intersections between witchcraft, sexuality and gender, we explore how queer witches are represented nowadays in popular TV shows…

6 ancient Roman methods for predicting the future
Sky History
Divination – the art of obtaining knowledge of the future or guidance through supernatural means – was a key part of Roman life, religion, and history…

Apaches tell court copper mine would harm sacred sites
A Native American group that’s trying to stop an effort to build one of the largest copper mines in the United States told a full federal appeals court panel Tuesday that the project would prevent Apaches from exercising their religion by destroying land they consider sacred…

AI Gods & ChatGPT religions are coming – they will be better than human priests & they could turn evil, warns experts

The Sun
AI robots are coming – and they will have the ability to perform religious ceremonies and could even turn against humans, experts have warned…

UK: What should a well-dressed Morris dancer wear?
‘Making Mischief’ suggests that something of an upswing in folk rituals is underway, with the final rooms showing more than 40 examples of costume from contemporary celebrations across Britain…

Hits and myths: why has Hollywood abandoned ancient Greece?
The Guardian
Tolkien-inspired mythology has taken over our screens while a treasure chest of epic fantasy tales lies unused…

Shamans, curses and superstitions in contemporary South Korea
Asia News Network
Shamanism is the only religion indigenous to the Korean Peninsula, predating any other major belief systems…

Olokun: Why the goddess of the sea is accorded much respect

Nigerian Tribune
The worship of Olokun is peculiar to Yoruba communities that live near the sea, or had lived near the sea before the sea receded to where it currently is, or before the communities migrated from their original lands…

‘Witch Hunts’ Past & Present

India: Elderly couple killed on suspicion of ‘witchcraft’ in Birbhum district
Millennium Post
In an alleged case of ‘witch hunting’, an elderly couple—Pandu Hembram and Parbati Hembram—of Scheduled Tribes VIll was brutally killed in Noapara, Sainthia under Birbhum districts by the villagers…

India: Woman made to walk on burning coal, iron nails to prove she didn’t practise ‘witchcraft’
Outlook India
On the night of March 20, when the woman’s husband was away, her relatives allegedly took her to a tantrik in Kailash Nagar and asked her to prove that she did not indulge in ‘black magic’…

Zimbabwe: Man axes mother to death over ‘witchcraft’
Police in Kametivi have arrested a 34-year-old man for allegedly striking his mother with an axe after accusing her of ‘witchcraft’…

Belief in ‘witchcraft’ costing lives of elderly women in Malawi
All Africa
In 2022, 15 elderly women were killed and 88 harassed for various reasons, largely on accusations of witchcraft–a rise from 13 killed and 58 harassed in 2021…

UK: Witches of Islandmagee plaque unveiled 300 years after trial
A plaque has been unveiled in Islandmagee, Northern Ireland to commemorate the last witch trial on the island of Ireland…

US: Resolution on Connecticut witch trials moves out of judiciary committee
Over the objections of several Republicans, the Judiciary Committee moved forward this week with a resolution to apologize for the convictions and, in some cases, execution of people accused of witchcraft in colonial-era Connecticut…

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