Category: modern paganism

A great variety of religious cults were to be found. In addition to numerous Celtic deities of local or wider significance, the gods of the classical pantheon were introduced and were often identified with their Celtic counterparts. In official circles the worship… Nature and significance The Romans, according to the orator and politician Cicero , excelled all other peoples in the unique wisdom that made them realize that everything is subordinate to the rule and direction of the gods. Yet Roman religion was based not on divine grace but instead on mutual trust fides between god and man. The Romans believed that this divine help would make it possible for them to master the unknown forces around them that inspired awe and anxiety religio , and thus they would be able to live successfully. These precepts for many centuries contained scarcely any moral element; they consisted of directions for the correct performance of ritual.

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Scots Gaelic samhainn, Old Irish samain “summer’s end”, from sam “summer” and fuin “end” is a festival on the end of the harvest season in Gaelic and Brythonic cultures, with aspects of a festival of the dead. Many scholars believe that it was the beginning of the Celtic year. The term derives from the name of a month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of this month, with the festival marking the end of the summer season and the end of the harvest.

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Paganus was almost exclusively a derogatory term. From its earliest beginnings, Christianity spread much more quickly in major urban areas like Antioch , Alexandria , Corinth , Rome than in the countryside in fact, the early church was almost entirely urban , and soon the word for “country dweller” became synonymous with someone who was “not a Christian ,” giving rise to the modern meaning of “pagan.

However, it may have also resulted from early Christian missionaries focusing their efforts within major population centers e. Paul , rather than throughout an expansive, yet sparsely populated, countryside hence, the Latin term suggesting “uneducated country folk”. Later, through metaphorical use, paganus came to mean ‘rural district, village’ and ‘country dweller’ and, as the Roman Empire declined into military autocracy and anarchy, in the 4th and 5th centuries it came to mean “civilian”, in a sense parallel to the English usage “the locals”.

It was only after the Late Imperial introduction of serfdom, in which agricultural workers were legally bound to the land see Serf , that it began to have negative connotations, and imply the simple ancient religion of country people, which Virgil had mentioned respectfully in Georgics. Like its approximate synonym heathen see below , it was adopted by Middle English -speaking Christians as a slur to refer to those too rustic to embrace Christianity.

Additionally, a lot of rural parts of Europe were the most resistant to forced Christian conversions, militarily resisted Christian Europe and held to their natural religions, reamplifying the medieval use of the term. As mentioned previously, the post-Christian usage of “pagan” came to mean rural folk holding to pre-Christian polytheistic beliefs in the face of the new, and predominantly urban, Christianized Roman society. Conversely, it is now the rural peoples of Western culture who are more typically aligned with Christian beliefs e.

The History

Additional Information In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Short Notices Lieu, Samuel N. C , and Dominic Montserrat, ed. Pagan and Byzantine Views: Collections of source material are most useful both for teachin research when they draw together short passages from a wide range of sources, like Prentice-Hall’s series Sources and Documents in the History of Art, or when, as here, they group together short, relatively inaccessible works on a c o m m o n theme and publish them in their entirety.

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The word originally denoted a person of a religion other than one’s own, specifically a Christian to a Muslim, a Muslim to a Christian, or a gentile to a Jew. Usage[ edit ] Christians historically used the term infidel to refer to people who actively opposed Christianity. This term became well-established in English by sometime in the early sixteenth century, when Jews or Mohammedans Muslims; formerly called saracens , were described contemptuously as active opponents to Christianity.

In Catholic dogma , an infidel is one who does not believe in the doctrine at all and is thus distinct from a heretic , who has fallen away from true doctrine, i. Similarly, the ecclesiastical term was also used by the Methodist Church , [11] [12] in reference to those “without faith”. The term is found in two places: And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? When Frederick the II unilaterally arrogated papal authority, he took on the mantle to “destroy convert, and subjugate all barbarian nations.

Hostiensis, a student of Innocent, in accord with Alanus, also asserted ” After the Crusades in the Levant , they moved to crusading activities in the infidel Baltics.

The Christmas Tree

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Christmas Cards were introduced in (the same year A CHRISTMAS CAROL was first published) by Sir Henry Cole, an English businessman and patron of card was designed by John Calcott Horsley, and helped popularize the expression “Merry Christmas”.Cole printed a thousand cards and sold them as a means to simplify the sending of Christmas greetings.

Bringing with them their individual styles of dances and music. There are vague references to the early history of Irish dancing but evidence shows that its first participants were the Druids. They danced in religious rituals honoring their pagan gods. The circle dances of today began after the Anglo-Norman conquest in the twelfth century. The Carol was a popular Norman dance where the leader sang and a circle of dancers replied with the same song. Three Irish dances are often referenced from the sixteenth century: One of the first mentions to dance was in a letter written to Queen Elizabeth I in in which the dancers were described as being very beautiful and magnificently dressed first class dancers.

During the mid-sixteenth century, dancers performed in the great halls of newly built castles, and some of the dances were brought to the court of Queen Elizabeth. The Trenchmore was an adaptation of an old Irish peasant dance, and the Hey was a predecessor of the present day reel.

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DuBois said Old Norse religion and other pre-Christian belief systems in Northern Europe must be viewed as “not as isolated, mutually exclusive language-bound entities, but as broad concepts shared across cultural and linguistic lines, conditioned by similar ecological factors and protracted economic and cultural ties”. Many skaldic verses are preserved in sagas. Of the originally heathen works, we cannot know what changes took place either during oral transmission or as a result of their being recorded by Christians; [38] [39] the sagas of Icelanders , in particular, are now regarded by most scholars as more or less historical fiction rather than as detailed historical records.

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For a critical Christian response to these claims, see: The ancient polytheistic religions of Egypt, Persia, Babylonia and eventually Rome increasingly consolidated their pantheons of deities under a single primary god, usually a Sun-god. Humans could choose between good light or evil darkness and on judgment day be sent to Heaven or Hell based on their choices. Mithras was identified as the redeemer prophesied by Zoroaster: As an adult, Mithras healed the sick, made the lame walk, gave sight to the blind and raised the dead.

Before returning to heaven at the Spring Equinox Mithras had a last supper with 12 disciples representing the 12 signs of the Zodiac. This militaristic black-and-white morality including a final judgment affecting an afterlife of heaven or hell probably accounted for the popularity of Mithraism among Roman soldiers. Mithraism was like an ancient fraternity: Commodus became the first Roman emperor to be initiated into Mithraism. The attempts by Diocletian to impose the state religion on everyone led to the last and most terrible of all persecutions.

But many people saw the Roman State as a greater enemy than the Christians, who were respected for their willingness to die for their beliefs. Despite the intense persecutions of Christians in the Roman Empire, Christianity continued to win many converts from paganism. Many of the former pagans were unwilling to relinquish their traditional winter solstice celebrations.

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See Article History Alternative Title: Roman mythology Roman religion, also called Roman mythology, beliefs and practices of the inhabitants of the Italian peninsula from ancient times until the ascendancy of Christianity in the 4th century ad. Josef Muench Nature and significance The Romans, according to the orator and politician Cicero , excelled all other peoples in the unique wisdom that made them realize that everything is subordinate to the rule and direction of the gods.

Yet Roman religion was based not on divine grace but instead on mutual trust fides between god and man.

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Share Paganism from Latin paganus, meaning “country dweller”, “rustic” [1] is a blanket term used to refer to various polytheistic , non Judeo-Christian religious traditions. Its exact definition may vary: In a wider sense, extended to contemporary religions, it includes most of the Eastern religions, and the indigenous traditions of the Americas , Central Asia and Africa , as well as non-Abrahamic folk religion in general. More narrow definitions will not include any of the world religions and restrict the term to local or rural currents not organized as civil religions.

Characteristic of pagan traditions is the absence of proselytism and the presence of a living mythology which explains religious practice. For this reason, ethnologists avoid the term “paganism,” with its uncertain and varied meanings, in referring to traditional or historic faiths, preferring more precise categories such as polytheism, shamanism, pantheism , or animism.

Since the later 20th century, “Pagan” or “Paganism” has become widely used as a self-designation by adherents of Neo-paganism. Contents Etymology Pagan The term pagan is from the Latin paganus, an adjective originally meaning “rural”, “rustic” or “of the country. As a noun, paganus was used to mean “country dweller, villager.

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For myself, and I would imagine many of those within the Pagan-based faiths, the concept of Earth Day is welcomed and cherished. We believe that there is a direct connection between ourselves and nature at-large. Our faith ties us with nature, and harming the environment is like harming ourselves. On my look around the web I found a few links to some who would say yes, Earth Day is a means to force Paganism onto well-abiding Christians.

A self-proclaimed environmental activist Gaylord felt that America was destroying its environment through industrialization and current societal practices. Two events in particular led to his decision to move forward:

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Enter your keywords You are here Such a union is hedged in by certain taboos, including in-law avoidance. It is enmeshed in a complex web of kin obligations and responsibilities. It is underwritten by exchanges which both pre-and post-date any individual marriage. Violations or deviance from the marriage contract attract attention from different categories of person or persons.

Appropriate betrothal arrangements should have been made between the two kin groups concerned. An exchange of gifts ratifies the contract.

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Part of this reflection reads as follows. For hundreds of years, before jack-o-lanterns and zombies and candy corn, Christians around the world have remembered the dead, the saints, the cloud of witnesses that have gone before us. Halloween comes from the same root word as “hallowed” or “halo”, meaning holy. This weekend liturgical Christians around the world honor “all saints day” by reciting the names of the holy saints of God throughout the centuries. Rather than glorifying death, Halloween is a time we can celebrate life, remembering the lives of our loved ones and the heroes of the faith.

The Witches’ Voice offers the latest (updated daily) in news and networking for the Modern Witch, Wiccan and Pagan Community.

Mohammed, of Leopold Street in Derby, and El-Hassan, of Willesden Lane in north-west London, denied preparing terrorist acts between November and December but a jury found them both guilty. Judge Michael Topolski QC remanded them in custody and warned them they faced jail when they are sentenced next month. You knew he was planning an explosion to kill and maim innocent people in the cause of Isis. Records of their messages show they shared extremist views and videos, while Mohammed was put in touch with a man he believed was an Isis commander via Facebook.

In September , Mohammed complained he had not received his instructions, telling his contact: He also looked at pressure cookers at Ace Discounts, which the prosecution said could be used to contain the explosives, according to several terrorist manuals. Police found hydrogen peroxide in a wardrobe and hydrochloric acid in the freezer of his home during a raid on 12 December but Mohammed claimed they were for domestic purposes. But Mohammed had an arranged marriage in Sudan with a woman he had never met called Fatima, who he was hoping to bring to England on a student visa.

He had arrived in Britain in the back of a lorry and claimed asylum in February , the court heard. El-Hassan, who came to Britain from Sudan at the age of three, told jurors she had sulphuric acid for her drains and got face masks to wear as she dealt with a damp problem in her flat. Ms Hawkins, a shoe machinist, was jailed five times while leading the Suffragette campaign in the city in the early 20th Century.

Fawcett was a leading figure in the suffragist movement and campaigned relentlessly to get the vote for women in this country. The portrait of her is on display at Tate Britain to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave women over 30 the right to vote. Getty A super moon rises behind blocks of flats in north London.

Old Norse religion

Tweet Special Catholic feasts coincide with pagan holy days, and are celebrated in one form or another by most cultures. For example, Lady Day is a Catholic feast celebrated on March This is also the feast held in honor of the goddess of Cybele in ancient times. The 25th of December, which we celebrate as Christmas, was the commemorative day of the birth of the sun god.

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Wiccan views of divinity Altar statues of the Horned God and Mother Goddess crafted by Bel Bucca and owned by the “Mother of Wicca”, Doreen Valiente Theological views within Wicca are diverse, and the religion encompasses theists , atheists , and agnostics , with some viewing the religion’s deities as entities with a literal existence and others viewing them as Jungian archetypes or symbols. Briefly, it may be explained that the personification of a particular type of cosmic power in the form of a God or Goddess, carried out by believers and worshippers over many centuries, builds that God-form or Magical Image into a potent reality on the Inner Planes, and makes it a means by which that type of cosmic power may be contacted.

Gerald Gardner [41] Gardner stated that beyond Wicca’s two deities was the “Supreme Deity” or ” Prime Mover “, an entity that was too complex for humans to understand. Some accept the view espoused by the occultist Dion Fortune that “all gods are one god, and all goddesses are one goddess” — that is that the gods and goddesses of all cultures are, respectively, aspects of one supernal God and Goddess. A more strictly polytheistic approach holds the various goddesses and gods to be separate and distinct entities in their own right.

The Wiccan writers Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone have postulated that Wicca is becoming more polytheistic as it matures, tending to embrace a more traditionally pagan worldview. It was for this reason that she said that “The Goddess and God manifest to us in dream and vision. Many Wiccans agree with the definition of magic offered by ceremonial magicians , [59] such as Aleister Crowley , who declared that magic was “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will”, while another prominent ceremonial magician, MacGregor Mathers stated that it was “the science of the control of the secret forces of nature”.

The point [of magic in Witchcraft] is to make the “bendable” world bend to your will Unless you possess a rock-firm faith in your own powers and in the operability of your spell, you will not achieve the burning intensity of will and imagination which is requisite to make the magic work. Paul Huson [62] During ritual practices, which are often staged in a sacred circle , Wiccans cast spells or “workings” intended to bring about real changes in the physical world.

Common Wiccan spells include those used for healing , for protection, fertility, or to banish negative influences. Sanders also used the similar terminology of ” left hand path ” to describe malevolent magic, and ” right hand path ” to describe magic performed with good intentions; [64] terminology that had originated with the occultist Helena Blavatsky in the 19th century.

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