Pagan & Shinto News: Summer Solstice celebrated worldwide

Pagan & Shinto News: Summer Solstice celebrated worldwide June 24, 2023

Top stories of the week in Paganism and Shinto:

  • Summer Solstice celebrated worldwide
  • 4,500-year-old ‘Stonehenge’ sanctuary discovered in the Netherlands
  • Iraq: Relics of history’s first known goddess emerge in Assyrian city razed by ISIS

And more – see below…

Meoto-iwa and Mount Fuji seen from Futami Okitama Shrine in Ise, Mie prefecture, Japan before sunrise. Alpsdake, CC BY-SA 4.0

Summer Solstice coverage

Worshippers mark summer solstice in Ise, Japan
The Japan News
Worshippers perform a purification ritual in the sea during Futami Okitama Shrine’s summer solstice festival in Ise, Mie Prefecture, on Wednesday…

UK: Thousands welcome summer solstice at Stonehenge
Druids and pagans joined a colourful mix of visitors to mark the longest day of the year at the ancient site near Salisbury, Wiltshire…

UK: Welcoming the summer solstice from Stonehenge
As the sun rose on the longest day, Charlie Hills was at the Wiltshire monument to capture the spectacle…

UK: Sanitised solstice shows we’re all hippies now
The Times*
I’ll head to Stonehenge this year knowing I won’t be bashed with a truncheon because the counterculture is mainstream…

Celebrating with our summer sol-mates: Meet those gathering at Scotland’s Stonehenge for the solstice
The Sunday Post
The summer solstice – or the longest day – will see the sun at its yearly highest point in the sky, and for centuries this moment has been celebrated by cultures around the world…

UK: Summer Solstice celebrated in Bolton with spectacular sunset
The Bolton News
Stunning pictures captured the start and the end of the Summer Solstice in Bolton…

‘The Wicker Man,’ the classic horror film and pagan must-see, gets new life at 50
Religion News Service
In anticipation of its 50th anniversary, the landmark film’s ‘director’s cut’ was released Wednesday in time for the solstice, a major pagan holiday…

Bonfire jumping and ocean bathing: How Europe celebrates the summer solstice
Put on your flower crown for these midsummer solstice celebrations in Europe…

Why the Danes burn witches on Skt Hans Aften
CPH Post
University researcher explains how black magic hysteria often used to peak in the holidays in days gone by…

US: Boston Pagans find ‘magic’ and celebrate renewal during summer solstice
June 21 is the summer solstice, when the sun reaches its highest in the northern hemisphere’s sky due to the maximum tilt of the Earth. But this time of year also carries a sense of renewal and abundance for Pagan individuals and communities, many of whom find New England to be distinctly hallowed…

Why does the latest sunset of the year not fall on the summer solstice?
IFL Science
This peculiarity has to do with the way the Earth moves about in space…

How the ancient Greeks celebrated the summer solstice
Greek Reporter
The summer solstice, or the longest day of the year, was celebrated by ancient cultures across the world, including the Ancient Greeks…

Pagan News

US: Witch to marry herself in Samhain rite
An American witch who is “sexually and romantically attracted” to herself is preparing for a self-marriage ceremony involving sacrifices and vows on Halloween 2023 to “formally and spiritually recognise” her “unique relationship.”…

UK: Yorkshire witches congregate in York for the city’s first witch coven
The Yorkshire Post
Witches congregated in Yorkshire for a spectacular gathering of people from energy healers to spiritualists and also those who normally work in the corporate world but have a connection with witchcraft…

Could you become a midlife witch?
The Times*
A movement that celebrates the older, wiser woman? No wonder midlifers are turning towards magic and witchcraft…

UK: the witch of Hackney Wick
Evening Standard
ES Magazine meets the local enchantress spreading cosmic energy this summer solstice…

Australia: Incredible story driving 130kg Norse Pagan on Tszyu undercard
Fox Sports
Dubbed ‘Haze The Huntsman’, and boasting 56,000 Tiktok followers, the 130kg Queenslander will be unmissable today given his body is covered in ink representing both his Maori ancestry and Norse Pagan religion…

Celebrities who’ve practiced witchcraft
Nicki Swift
A growing number of celebrities have become open books when it comes to their interest in spell books, candle magic, astrology, hexes, holistic medicine, and other practices associated with witchcraft…

Shinto News

Japan’s summer festivals are finally back
Matsuri are an important distraction from the summer’s sweltering heat, but are also crucial for community-building by bringing people together…

Girls’ Mikoshi parade returns: participants wanted
Japan Forward
Participants of the Girls’ Mikoshi parade at the Tenjin Festival get to showcase their energy and even have a shot at becoming Ms Tenjinbashi…

Kammui welcomes international adventurers to its Japan based nature-experience platform
Travel and Tour World
Originally launched in Japan only, the platform is now open to all international adventure enthusiasts, with Japan offering an incredibly rich and diverse set of nature-based activities that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime…

The top 11 Japanese summer festivals, according to travellers
In Japan, local festivals are held throughout the year, but it’s in summer when they really shine, as summer holidays mean people can enjoy some much-needed time off from work, university or school, giving them more time to travel and experience some of the best festivals in the country, often with fireworks and yukata summer kimono in the mix as well…

How Sacramento dancers collaborated for sensory-friendly ballet based on Japanese legend
The Sacramento Bee
Sensory Friendly Dance, a Sacramento program which holds specially-designed performances for neurodivergent children, has created an all-original ballet based on the legend of the Japanese Star Festival, Tanabata…

Other News

Iraq: Relics of history’s first known goddess emerge in Assyrian city razed by ISIS
In the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, a large stone monument depicting the goddess Ishtar has been unearthed…

4,500-year-old ‘Stonehenge’ sanctuary discovered in the Netherlands
Live Science
Archaeologists have discovered a 4,500-year-old sanctuary in the Netherlands that marks the solstices and equinoxes, and was also used as a burial ground…

Italy: Ancient Roman temple complex, with ruins of building where Caesar was stabbed, opens to tourists
ABC News
Four temples from ancient Rome, dating back as far as the 3rd century B.C. stand smack in the middle of one of the modern city’s busiest crossroads…

Italy: Found in ancient spa, stunningly preserved bronze statues go on view in Rome
Smithsonian Magazine
The trove of 2,300-year-old bronzes was discovered last year in a thermal spring in Tuscany…

‘Ebbing and flowing’: women artists celebrate the Earth goddess, and promote ocean conservation, in Faces of Gaia exhibition in Hong Kong
South China Morning Post
‘Faces of Gaia’, inspired by nature, the ocean and the Earth goddess Gaia, is co-presented by 10 Chancery Lane Gallery and non-profit Oceanic Global…

UK: Ancient Britons built Stonehenge – then vanished. Is science closing in on their killers?
The Guardian
New clues from an ancient plague are pushing us to rethink where Britons were ‘really’ from – and the answer is complicated…

How a Mexican spiritual leader preserves the sacred knowledge of the volcano known as El Popo
Moisés Vega has a distinctive job: The 64-year-old Mexican says he can speak the sacred language of volcanoes to ask for good weather and a good crop…

‘Witch Hunts’ Past & Present

Ghana: MPs call for the abolishment of ‘witch’ camps
Business Ghana
Members of Parliament have called on the government to work towards abolishing witch camps, saying it was an abomination to operate or to even allow these camps in the country…

Nigeria: Man arrested for setting suspected ‘witch’ on fire
Daily Post
A 30-year-old man was arrested on Sunday by the police in Bauchi State after he poured kerosene on a girl and set her ablaze on the allegation that she is a ‘witch’…

India: Nephew kills man on ‘witchcraft’ suspicion
The Times of India
A youth has been arrested by Mahulpada police in Sundargarh for killing his 70-year-old uncle suspecting him to be practising ‘witchcraft’…

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