Posts Tagged ‘Folklore’

News & Submissions 4/26/2011

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011


Pagan Freedom Day 2011
An ancient pagan Greek historian and author Thucydides (460-404BCE) once wrote “The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” It takes courage to publicly announce ‘I am Pagan’ in South Africa, but that’s exactly what Pagans do every year on Freedom Day.

In January 2004, this initiative was formally chartered as the Pagan Freedom Day Movement (PFDM). Since 2004 Pagans of every religious persuasion, including Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Asatruars and many others, have mingled and shared with other South Africans in celebration of their constitutionally guaranteed freedom to practice their own personal religions, and to gather openly with others of like mind, without fear of persecution or prejudice. Read full story from


Archaeologists recover massive statue of one of ancient Egypt’s most powerful pharaohs
CAIRO — Archaeologists unearthed one of the largest statues found to date of a powerful ancient Egyptian pharaoh at his mortuary temple in the southern city of Luxor, the country’s antiquities authority announced Tuesday.

The 13 meter (42 foot) tall statue of Amenhotep III was one of a pair that flanked the northern entrance to the grand funerary temple on the west bank of the Nile that is currently the focus of a major excavation. Read full story from

Lost City Revealed Under Centuries of Jungle Growth
Hidden for centuries, the ancient Maya city of Holtun, or Head of Stone, is finally coming into focus.

Three-dimensional mapping has “erased” centuries of jungle growth, revealing the rough contours of nearly a hundred buildings, according to research presented earlier this month.

Though it’s long been known to locals that something—something big—is buried in this patch of Guatemalan rain forest, it’s only now that archaeologists are able to begin teasing out what exactly Head of Stone was.

Using GPS and electronic distance-measurement technology last year, the researchers plotted the locations and elevations of a seven-story-tall pyramid, an astronomical observatory, a ritual ball court, several stone residences, and other structures. Read full story from

Arts & Entertainment:

Spout About: Will “Thor” Inspire Neopaganism? Death to Body Swap Movies! Death of a “2001” Influence
Above is a cropped section of a “Thor” bus stop ad posted to BuzzFeed. You can see that someone has taped a religious flyer to it. Intentional? Is there a minor protest going on against the polytheistic themes of the upcoming comic book movie? Does “Thor” have a soundtrack consisting of Varg Vikernes and other infamous neopagan black metal bands? Is there any other reason for people to worry it preaches anti-Christian messages? I sincerely hope this is just a chance occurrence.

Still, apparently some people are seeing too much in a flashy, potentially campy summer blockbuster. Star Foster at the pagan blog Pantheon looks into why “Thor” matters. Remember how people were turned onto Wicca after seeing “The Craft”? Wait, did that really happen? I knew some Wiccans back in high school, but I can’t recall the movie being a huge influence. Anyway, Foster sees a similar thing occurring with “Thor” and neopaganism: Read full story from


Rebuilding Japan’s disaster-hit towns may take a decade
TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) – The reconstruction of Japanese towns and cities devastated by a deadly earthquake and tsunami last month could take a decade, an advisory panel to the government tasked with coming up with a blueprint for rebuilding said on Tuesday.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which left a large swathe of Japan’s northeast in ruins, killed at least 13,000 people, forced about 130,000 into shelters and is estimated to have caused $300 billion worth of damage.

“The first three years would be needed for tasks like rebuilding roads and constructing temporary housing,” said Jun Iio of Japan’s Reconstruction Design Council, formed after the quake to advise the government’s rebuilding efforts. Read full story from


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – A monster plaguing the town of Steytlerville struck again over the Easter!

There were  two sightings of a terrifying shape-shifting monster reported over Easter in the province of Karoo in South Africa.

“Two men were walking near a tavern when they saw another man wearing a black jacket. One of the men, identified only as Nozipho, went up to the stranger and asked him, “What is your problem?” said Nelani.

When the stranger did not respond, Nozipho went closer and saw that the man had no head. The man then turned into a dog that was “very angry” and “as big as a cow”, Nelani said. Read full story from

‘Haunted Watauga County’ delves in N.C. withcraft folklore
“Haunted Watauga County” by Tim Bullard will be published by The History Press of Charleston in September.

Bullard, 55, is a Laurinburg, N.C., native with magazine and newspaper clips at his website He is formerly a reporter, photographer and columnist at the North Myrtle Beach Times, as well as a former Morning News reporter.

“Haunted Watauga County” delves into the witchcraft that has been reported through folklore in the N.C. mountains. Read full story from


Coffee Shop Religion: Interfaith of the Everyday
I never learned much about religion until I started hanging out at Muddy Waters Coffee Shop on the corner of Lyndale and 24th in Uptown, Minneapolis.

I was raised to be a priestess (of Hinduism), grew up surrounded by world scripture and philosophy, and was taught by learned scholars and mystics. But my religious education didn’t really begin until I started talking — and listening — to other people from other ways of life. I had a great foundation but it had to evolve beyond what I could experience as an individual. Understanding is a journey, and it’s nice to have company if you can get it. Read full story from

KCET lot sold to Scientology
The Church of Scientology is has just bought a bigger pulpit.

The church has cut a deal to acquire the historic Los Feliz studio lot that has been home to pubcaster KCET-TV Los Angeles for the past 40 years. In a lengthy statement, the church said the deal allows it to “establish one of the most advanced centers used by religious broadcasters with the ability to harness 21st century broadcast technology and production power to deliver its message to the the largest international audience possible.” Read full story from

Sathya Sai Controversies and the Art of Guru Bashing
It is not uncommon now that for many Gurus, Rishis or Seers who have emerged from India, there has always been an unprecedented number of vicious attacks launched on them. These have come in the guise of slander, misquotes, false allegations and myriad smear campaigns.

Moreover it is interesting to note that most of these attackers often turn out to be either individuals who have been suffering from dysfunctional complexes or personality disorders, or pseudo spiritualists, fundamentalists and Christian missionaries working at religions conversion of Hindus, or self-appointed- rationalist experts with highly opinionated, insular theories or dishonest television reporters and interviewers sensationalizing and tarnishing the image of Hinduism and Hindu Gurus, keeping with the trend of unprofessional, ignorant reporting and the highly biased- ‘paid news syndrome’. Read full story from


Bill O’Reilly: Is There a Hell? (Source: YouTube – AtheistMediaBlog)


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Thanks for stopping by! Well wishes to you all and have a great day!


News & Submissions 3/9/2011

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

“Black Death” a treat for medieval history buffs
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – You can’t quarrel with that title, “Black Death.” The film is black all right, pitch black, and death is everywhere.

The story is set in 1348, after all, when the plague began to sweep through Europe, decimating its populace by as much as half and spreading panic to every corner. Yet what a strange land for a horror filmmaker to pitch camp in since he has little to add when horror is a fact of everyday life.

Sure enough, Christopher Smith (“Creep,” “Severance”) plays with the notion of necromancers and demons lurking within the pestilence, but winds up retreating into a kind of historical morality tale told with documentary flourishes and a grim attraction to violence and cruelty.

All of which leaves “Black Death” without a reliable audience. Horror film buffs like to giggle as much as scream but there’re no giggles here. To its credit, the film doesn’t indulge in visual-effects devilry as a very similar plague film, “Season of the Witch,” did just two months ago. So it’s up to medieval history buffs to fill the theaters when it opens on Friday. Lots of luck.

The coincidence of storylines between “Season of the Witch” and “Black Death” is rather striking and in every instance Black Death is the superior film. In both films, the church, seeing its grip on the population severely loosened by this inexplicable plague, sends Christian knights into a remote region to determine if witches, demons or non-believers are the source of this frightening scourge. Read full story from

Bulgarian Mayor: ‘Dog Spinning’ Ritual Harmless Folklore, Not Barbarian!
The “dog spinning” ritual practiced in a southeastern Bulgarian village is misinterpreted by the society and the international community, according to Tsarevo Municipality Mayor Petko Arnaudov.

In dog spinning, which is practiced in Brodilovo, a southeastern Bulgarian village, at the beginning of March, a dog is suspended above water on a rope.

The dog is turned repeatedly in a given direction to wind the rope, then released so that it spins rapidly in the opposite direction as the rope unwinds, until the dog falls into the water. The locals claim that the dog is not supposed to be physically hurt.

This ancient ritual of pagan origin is performed in order to prevent rabies and is a part of the traditional Kukeri rituals. Read full story from

Blair launches new faith films contest for youth
Last year, Tony Blair ran a film contest for young people, inviting them to make films about faith.

His Faith Foundation was overwhelmed by the response: hundreds of entries, from Jews and Christians, Muslims and Hindus, Sikhs and humanists, on five continents around the world.

Buoyed by the success of the first “Faith Shorts” film contest, Blair is now doing it again.

He was impressed not only by the quality of the films, he said, but what they said about the people who made them.

“I think the fascinating thing about young people and the films that they sent us about faith… is that for them their faith isn’t just about a personal relationship with God, it’s also motivating them to do things, to get active, to have a purpose in life,” he told CNN. Read full story from

Muslim-Christian clashes in Cairo leave 11 dead
Clashes between Muslims and Christians in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, have left 11 people dead and more than 90 wounded.

The clashes broke out on Tuesday night as thousands of Christians protested against the burning of a Cairo church last week. The church was set on fire after tensions escalated over a love affair between a Muslim and a Christian that set off a violent feud between the couple’s families.

Security and hospital officials said six Christians and five Muslims died from gunshot wounds and 94 people – 73 Muslims and 21 Christians – were wounded. Read full story from

“An inoffensive, vanilla Christianity”
Paris, France (CNA) — Addressing a gathering of European church officials on March 4, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver warned that many contemporary Christians have reduced their faith to a convenient “form of paganism,” which cannot compete with the widespread “idolatry” of modern consumer culture.

Archbishop Chaput offered his observations at a conference in Paris honoring the late Cardinal Archbishop Jean-Marie Lustiger, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who was the Archbishop of Paris from 1981 to 2005.

The Denver archbishop described Cardinal Lustiger as “an unsentimental realist” who dared to speak about disturbing trends in the Church and society – including a lack of faith among professed Christians, leaving a vacuum that would be filled by other “gods” such as sex and money. Read full story from

Fort Bragg says atheist concert was treated the same as Christian group
Fort Bragg’s garrison commander said Tuesday he supports an atheist concert on post, but the concert’s organizer said the colonel’s refusal to allow it on the Main Post Parade Field or to provide funding effectively canceled it.

Sgt. Justin Griffith was planning an event called Rock Beyond Belief for April 2 on Fort Bragg. British atheist Richard Dawkins was to be the keynote speaker in a day that included other speakers and bands, Griffith said.

Rock Beyond Belief was, in part, a response to Rock the Fort, a concert sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that was held on the parade field in September.

In a letter dated Sept. 22, Lt. Gen Frank Helmick wrote in response to protests of Rock the Fort that Fort Bragg would be “willing to provide similar support to comparable events sponsored by similar nonfederal entities that address the needs of the soldiers on this installation.”

Col. Stephen Sicinski, the garrison commander, and Griffith disagree over whether Fort Bragg is holding true to that statement.

Sicinski said he has received overwhelmingly negative feedback since the concert’s cancellation, and he believes that in part is because people aren’t aware of the facts.

“It disheartens me a little bit to think that we’re being misrepresented,” Sicinski said.

Sicinski said Fort Bragg’s market analysis determined that Griffith’s event would draw, at best, hundreds of people. Events at the parade field need an expected crowd of 5,000 or more, Sicinski said. On March 1, Sicinski wrote to Griffith that the event could be held at the Main Post Theater or the York Theater. Read full story from fayobserver,cin

Why won’t pagans accept trans women?
At a pagan gathering in February, the Pantheacon in San Jose, California, trans women were excluded from a Dianic ritual in honour of Lilith. Many of the defenders of this position – the veteran witch Z Budapest, for example – argue from an essentialist position (“you have to have sometimes in your life a womb, and ovaries and moon bleed and not die”) but also by an appeal to tradition, which is a bit rich from a religious standpoint invented or at best recreated within the past 50 years.

Most of the really bad things that happen to trans women could happen to all women – rape, murder, unequal pay. Some of them happen to trans women more, proportionately; when there aren’t many of us to begin with, a murder rate worldwide of one every two or three days is something we notice.

So being snubbed or made to feel unwelcome in women’s space really is not all that important. After all, some hostile feminists will say – have always said – there are so few of us, why are we demanding all the time that we have this conversation? As if excluding us were not starting that conversation pretty definitively. Read full story from

Early humans began in southern Africa, study suggests
Modern humans may have originated from southern Africa, an extensive genetic study has suggested.

Data showed that hunter-gatherer populations in the region had the greatest degree of genetic diversity, which is an indicator of longevity.

It says that the region was probably the best location for the origin of modern humans, challenging the view that we came from eastern Africa.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Africa is inferred to be the continent of origin for all modern human populations,” the international team of researchers wrote. Read drull story from

News & Submissions 2/3/2011

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

How to convert witches to Catholicism
Witches can and should be converted to Catholicism, according to a robust new booklet from the Catholic Truth Society that portrays spell-casting as spiritually empty, exhausting and immoral. Instead of “seeking to change God’s mind or violently alter his plans through circle-casting”, it says, Wiccans should be encouraged to surrender this often frightening burden and accept the love of Christ.

In other words, come to Mass, leaving your broomstick at the door.

Actually, I should make it clear that Wicca & Witchcraft: Understanding the dangers by Elizabeth Dodd doesn’t make any silly cracks about broomsticks. But I can’t resist. There’s no eco-bore like a Wiccan eco-bore. I’ve met a few and, believe me, you need to be under a spell to sit through a three-hour whinge about Mother Gaia from a practitioner of white magick. It makes one long for the days when witches restricted themselves to a quick cackle before riding off into the night. (Just kidding, witches and pagans! Seriously, last time I had a go at them they reported me to the Press Complaints Commission, which proved resistant to their magick.) Read full story from

Pagan Spirit Gathering Moves to Illinois
Pagan Spirit Gathering, one of America’s oldest and largest outdoor Pagan festivals, has announced that it has moved its base of operations from Missouri to Illinois. This is the festival’s second move since cutting ties in 2009 with Wisteria (and Ohio-based Pagan-friendly campground). Read full story from

Coffin abandoned in woods sparks mystery
About a month ago, Scott Owens set out to find a prime fishing spot near Slidell.

The 37-year-old outdoors photographer from River Ridge thought he had found one off winding, tree-lined McManus Road. But before he crossed the woods and got to the water, he stumbled across an open and empty casket that might have been unearthed from a nearby graveyard that was flooded during Hurricane Katrina.

Owens, struck by the mystery of whom it belonged to, called a local television news reporter. The reporter notified authorities and aired a story about the discovery during the weekend, launching an effort to find the deceased person’s relatives and properly recover the coffin.

But on Monday, coroner’s office investigators determined that the woman who once rested in the casket is indeed properly buried. Though Hurricane Katrina’s flooding unearthed the coffin years ago, authorities subsequently managed to recover the remains and bury them again; the funeral box, however, was apparently discarded nearby and forgotten. Read full story from

The stuff of folklore
THE Rabbit or Hare is an emblem of longevity and is regarded as a symbol of fertility or innocence (a prey animal). The fourth animal sign in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac, the Rabbit has built a legend that revolves around the Moon.

In Chinese astrology, the year 2011 is said to be the Year of the Rabbit.

According to Chinese folklore, the white Hare with its gleaming fur is a divine creature that has lived 1,000 years. Its coat was blue if it lived only 500 years, according to author Ruth Q. Sun in The Asian Animal Zodiac.

Legend has it that during the Chou Dynasty, white hares once frisked on the streets of Ch’ang-an, the capital city. Thereafter, it became customary that whenever a white hare was found, it would be caught and delivered to the emperor. Read full story from

Vikings considered Stone Age objects ‘to have magical qualities’
Oslo, Feb 3 (ANI): Vikings considered Stone Age objects to have magical qualities, and such ‘antiques’ were more important in Viking culture than previously understood, according to new archaeological findings.

Excavation of around 10 Viking graves in Rogaland, southwest Norway, had uncovered Stone Age items, such as weapons, amulets and tools.

Olle Hemdorff of Archaelogical Museum in Stavanger told Aftenposten newspaper that he believes these items were buried so that ‘they would protect and bring luck to the dead in the after-life’. Read full story from

Chilean miner sheds light on underground religious life
One of the rescued Chilean miners shed new light Thursday on the intense religious and spiritual experiences of many of the miners while trapped underground for 52 days last year, saying that faith was a key part of surviving t he ordeal.

“We realized we had only one alternative and that was God himself,” said Jose Henriquez in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast on in Washington, speaking to a crowd that included President Barack Obama.

“We were different creeds and churches,” Henriquez said, speaking in Spanish with simultaneous translation. “So I got them in a circle and made sure everyone could pray in a participatory fashion. And as we prayed we began to know the presence and blessing among us of God in the mine. We were strengthened, our spirits were revived.” Read full story from

Download: Cult Of Youth’s Unnerving Goth-Folk Terror “New West”
Lean toward the folksy and brooding? Not afraid of the dark? Chances are you’ll bump into Cult of Youth frontman Sean Ragon in 2011, as his New Year’s resolutions seem to make him the busiest man in the Brooklyn indie underground. After quitting his house-painting job and vowing to go “all in,” Ragon has become a black-clad mogul-in-training. There’s his vintage record store, Heaven Street, located in the back of Greenpoint’s Fox & Fawn: “As far as used vinyl goes, it’s highly edited, so no endless rows of Molly Hatchet records.” There’s his record label, Blind Prophet: “I’m up to the fifth release now — the amazing debut LP from the Argentinean duo Mueran Humanos, out Valentine’s Day.” And of course, there’s his own band, Cult of Youth, which has evolved from a bedroom project into a fleshed-out goth-folk-punk terror. Mixing the unnerving shanties of The Wicker Man with the post-apocalyptic strum of Current 93 or Angels of Light, Cult of Youth is definitely walking in the shadows, even if their jaunty, fiery grooves remind us more of Wall of Voodoo, Adam Ant, and Big Country. The Morricone-core of “New West” is the first track off their self-titled debut (due February 22 on Sacred Bones), a rollicking dust-sucker that teams a Gun Club-style twang-punk screed with soaring strings and post-industrial ‘tude. Read full story from

TRENDING: Obama delivers major speech on personal faith
President Barack Obama gave an unusually personal speech about his religious faith on Thursday, saying that “it is the biblical injunction to serve the least of these that keeps me going and keeps me from being overwhelmed,” in address to a prayer breakfast in Washington.

The speech, delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast, comes on the heels of public opinion surveys that show only a minority of Americans know that Obama is a Christian and that a growing number believe he’s a Muslim. Read full story from

Visitors to Reading shop say Virgin Mary statue is crying
READING, Ohio – Some are calling it a miracle.

There is a statue of the Virgin Mary that appears to be crying tears inside a Reading shop.

In the back of the small shop is a statue of Mother Mary. It looks like she is weeping and there are two teardrops on her face.

The statue of Mother Mary crying inside Our Lady Queen of Reading religious lending library is bringing tears to some visitors’ eyes. Read full story from

News & Submissions 2/4/2010

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Colonel tells cadets ‘lack of respect’ for pagan site will not be tolerated
A top official at the Air Force Academy warned cadets Wednesday that religious discrimination “will not be tolerated” — an admonishment that came nearly three weeks after an airman reported that someone left a large wooden cross at the site of a pagan worship area. Read full story from

Christian Serbia maintains its faith in folklore
While Serbia is a deeply religious nation, it also happens to be steeped in superstition. The BBC’s Mark Lowen finds that folklore and tales of medieval military glory are part of daily life for many Serbians. Read full story from

Spooky Encounters with the Ghost of Catherine’s Hill
Some of you who have driven the Black’s Woods Road in Downeast Maine between Franklin and Cherryfield, may have heard about the legend of Catherine’s Hill. Read full story from

Course explores wicca religion
The Temple of the Green Cauldron is offering Introduction to Wicca, running Wednesdays from Feb. 17 to March 14 at the Harewood Activity Centre, 195 Fourth St. Read full story from

Campaign finance ruling impacts tribes
WASHINGTON – Many tribes already have trouble getting their voices heard in the American political system. A controversial Supreme Court campaign finance ruling may amplify the problem, according to political observers. Read full story from

March of the pagans, from the Bible belt to Hollywood
I had a friend, an ardent Pentecostalist – “shouters”, those hillbillies called themselves – whose trailer featured by way of cultural uplift only the Bible and a big TV set permanently tuned to the Christian Broadcasting Network, on which Pat Robertson used to denounce New Age paganism on an hourly basis. Read full story from

Libya: Stop Blocking Independent Web Sites
(New York) – Libya’s moves in late January, 2010, to block access to at least seven independent and opposition Libyan web sites based abroad and to YouTube is a disturbing step awayfrom press freedom, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should restore web site access immediately, Human Rights Watch said. Read full story from

25 Percent of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Are Leaking Radioactive Chemicals
As far fetched as it sounds, the Associated Press recently reported that at least 27 of 104 nuclear reactors across the United States are leaking potentially dangerous levels of tritium into the groundwater around the plants. Read full story from

1,000 Rabbis Warn Homosexuality in the Military May Cause Further Natural Disasters
We often hear how intolerant and crazy the fundies of Christianity and Islam are… but we don’t talk too much about Jews. However, they have their fundies too, and if you replace a few words here and there, they sound exactly like the others. Read full story from