Pagan and Shinto News: Beltane Celebrations Return Worldwide

Top stories of the week on paganism and Shintoism:

  • Beltane celebrations return worldwide after pandemic
  • Temple of Zeus discovered in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula
  • Japanese company develops AI system to catch shrine donation thieves

Read more below…

2012 Beltane Fire Festival procession on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland. Stefan Schäfer, Lich, CC BY-SA 3.0

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Beltane Blanket

The return of Beltane Bashes to the UK
The Wild Hunt
The world of British paganism is now picking up the pace of its seasonal festivals after the COVID-19 pandemic…

Czechia: return of the Night of the Witches in Prague
Expats.cz
For the first time in three years, great public festivities will take place for Witches’ Night, traditionally on April 30. The party with pagan roots sees children dress up as witches and roast sausages while adults enjoy music and entertainment around the fire…

United Kingdom: Welcoming the return of summer with fire, flair and theater
Scottish Herald*
The Beltane Fire Festival has grown and mutated over the years, but its main rituals and traditions remain intact…

What is May 1st? When the 2022 holiday falls and the meaning and tradition behind the date

iNews*
The most famous May Day celebrations, seen in both Europe and North America, include the maypole dance and the crowning of the May Queen…

New Zealand: Celebrating the New Year of the Witches at Kaipara
RNZ
In the Southern Hemisphere, April 30 marks the pagan holiday of Samhain, sometimes known as the Witches’ New Year’s Eve. In Wicca, a modern pagan religion followed by witches, it is the night when the veil between the living and the dead is said to be thinnest…

Pagan News

“No place for our religion” – Russian pagans denounce the invasion of Ukraine
The Wild Hunt
TWH spoke to Russian Pagans to learn about their experience of the conflict and the situation of Pagans and other minority groups in Russia…

US: Tiger King’s Joe Exotic engaged to witchcraft practitioner he met in prison

PopCrush
Exotic describes her fiancé as an old soul. “John speaks as if it were 400 years ago,” he wrote. Moreover, he would be a practitioner of witchcraft…

USA: Pantheistic Yale Divinity School student leads pagan Earth Day celebration
college correction
A self-proclaimed pantheist student at Yale Divinity School organized and led an Earth Celebration on Friday, in honor of Earth Day…

Mother Earth and Fairy Queens: The Pagan Goddesses Christianity Failed to Eradicate
The telegraph*
As Britain stands on the brink of a pagan revival, read Ronald Hutton’s new book, Queens of the Wild, to find out what it’s all about…

Pagans in the market of religions
Patheos Pagan (John Beckett)
We pagans are part of this market, whether we like it or not…

Canada: Critics Slam Cultural Appropriation of Indigenous Medicinal Plants and Smudging

Current Capital
Interest in new-age spirituality has skyrocketed in recent years – particularly interest in indigenous practices such as spiritual cleansing through smudging…

Wicca and Modern Witchcraft: A History
Additional story
Wicca is a specific religious belief system that has its roots firmly in 1940s England. Claire Slack reveals how a new magical movement flourished in the 20th century…

Shinto News

Japanese company develops AI system to catch shrine donation thieves
The Japan Times *
A Japanese security company has developed a system using artificial intelligence to detect thefts of cash contributions from shrine donation boxes and notify parishioners of incidents in real time…

Sacerdotal structures
mimusubi
Since the end of the war, when the jinja ceased to be run by the government, they have been religious corporations…

Other news

Temple of Zeus discovered in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula
Neos Cosmos
The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced this week the archaeological discovery of a temple inspired by Zeus at the archaeological site of Tell el-Farma, in the northwestern part of the Sinai Peninsula…

Gaza farmer discovers 4,500-year-old statue of Canaanite goddess
BBC
A stone statue of an ancient goddess of beauty, love and war has been discovered in the Gaza Strip…

Phoenician ‘port’ in Sicily revealed to be religious site aligned with stars
The Guardian
The research confirms the theory that the pool in the ancient city of Motya was used by the military and highlights the Phoenician connection to astronomy…

UK: Stonehenge ‘built on land inhabited by deer and wild boar’
BBC
Deer, elk and wild boar are thought to have roamed the Stonehenge area 4,000 years before the stones were built, according to new research…

UK: Gnomus, the giant puppet, entertains visitors at Stonehenge
BBC
Visitors to Stonehenge are treated to a glimpse of the ancient site thanks to a giant puppet, called Gnomus, which tells of when it was built…

Ireland: Ancient Celtic rock art inspires modern exhibition
Irish news
Rock art – man-made marks dating back to a prehistoric age, which remain preserved in parts of Ireland – is the inspiration behind a new exhibition by Co Antrim artist Seanna O Boyle-Irvine…

‘Witch Hunts’ of Yesterday and Today

United Kingdom: Launch of a petition in Glasgow to erect a memorial to the “witches of Pollok”
Glasgow Live
The petition called on the council to erect a memorial to the five women and one man from Pollokshaws and Polloktoun who were sentenced to death for “witchcraft” in 1677…

South Africa: 20 years in prison for a KZN woman for the murder of a neighbor suspected of “witchcraft”

The witness
A 23-year-old woman was jailed for 20 years on Tuesday for contributing to the brutal murder of a neighbor accused of being responsible for the death of her father, allegedly by “witchcraft”…

8 misconceptions about the history of witchcraft in Europe
Additional story
Most of people’s knowledge of “witches” comes from popular horror tropes involving warty-faced women stirring cauldrons or innocent maidens drowning in ponds. But how much of that is based on pure mythology?…

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