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Beltane Fire Festival Celebrations.

The Pagan Wheel of the Year: What Elaborate Rituals and Events Mark this Sacred Cycle?

As more and more people describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ rather than religious, experts expect eco-friendly pagan movements will continue to grow. Already there are perhaps a million pagans in the...
'A May Day celebration’ by William Powell Frith.

May Day’s Weird and Wonderful Pagan Roots

May 1st is an ancient Northern Hemisphere festival, now known as ‘May Day’, which traditionally marked the return of summer. It is believed that the celebrations originated in agricultural rituals...
Beltane. Source: chrisdonia/CC BY NC SA 2.0

Beltane: Celtic Fire Festival Beckons with the Warmth of Summer

Celtic tribes celebrated Beltane to welcome the return of summer. Since at least the Iron Age, celebrations have included fire ceremonies, feasting, and fertility rites. Historically, the festival...
Head and torso of god Xipe Totec found at Ndachjian–Tehuacán archaeological site

Gruesome Sacrificial Temple of the Macabre Fertility God Xipe Totec Discovered in Mexico

Delighted archaeologists in Mexico have found the first temple dedicated to the ‘Flayed Lord’ or Xipe Tótec, one of the most important Pre-Columbian deities. The find, which included a stone...
Painting of Priapus found at Pompeii.

Priapus Fresco Tips the Scales in Pompeii

An archaeological dig at a prestigious residence on the slopes of Regio V, overlooking Via del Vesuvio in Pompeii, has unearthed “in elegantly decorated rooms” a fresco of Priapus, a god of Graeco-...
A Huastec Tlazolteotl statue, the British Museum. (The Trustees of the British Museum/CC BY NC SA 4.0) Background: Aztec iconography. (CC0)

Tlazolteotl: An Ancient Patroness and Purifier for all things Filthy

Tlazolteotl was an earth goddess in the pantheon of the Aztecs, although her area of influence is a little wider and more unusual than some goddesses of the earth and fertility. Filth was her domain...
Detail of ‘Xipe Totec.’ (Michael Jaecks/Deviant Art) Background: Aztec calendar

Xipe Totec: This Gory God Shows the Unique Way Aztecs Viewed Fertility and Renewal

‘Our Lord the Flayed One’ – following this god’s choice of attire, human skin - Xipe Totec would have been a terrifying sight. But this was an extremely important deity in the Mesoamerican pantheon,...
A Frog underwater with a crown.

An Ambiguous Amphibian: The Everchanging Frog Symbol in World Myth

Frogs and toads played a wide variety of roles in ancient cultures. Although there are some differences, they generally represented female creation energy. Frogs appear in ancient stories, myths,...
Rice goddesses are found across cultures

Rice Goddesses - Earth Mothers who Influenced Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld

For centuries, rice has been a staple diet and plays an important role in Asian culture. Although rice farmers have found their lives becoming more difficult due to climate change, Bloomberg states...
A Sheela na gig carving on a church in Kilpeck, England

Why Are There Carvings of Women Flashing Their Genitals on Churches Across Europe?

The last place one would expect to see an image of a woman flashing her genitals is a church wall, but across Europe, most notably Ireland and Britain, there are dozens of them. Most are old women...
eft: Old Moon Goddess Destructive, Chak Chel. Dresden Codex, Forstemann version, with permission of FAMSI. Right: Old Moon Goddess, Beneficent Chak Chel. Dresden Codex, Forstemann version, with permission of FAMSI

Mayan Women and the Coiled Snake Headdress

The coiled snake headdress is a significant artifact connected with Mayan women, both ancient and modern. Images of ancient Mayan women wearing this distinctive headdress have been found carved on...
Witch of Eye was burned at the stake. Fire and witch

Witch of Eye Burned Alive at the Stake: Did She Use Black Magic to Bewitch a King in a Game of Thrones-Style Plot?

For over 900 years, people have been telling stories of wicked witches who have used Black Magic to overthrow kings. Morgan Le Fay in Arthurian legends of the early 12th century is thought to have...
Is this ‘Temple of Fertility’ in Peru Really a Giant Collection of Stone Penises, or is it a Phallic Fallacy

Is this ‘Temple of Fertility’ in Peru Really a Giant Collection of Stone Penises, or is it a Phallic Fallacy?

The megalithic Fertility Temple also known as “Chucuito” on the edge of Lake Titicaca in Peru is special and at the same time controversial basically for a single reason: its “sexuality”. Whether the...
The Katskhi Pillar in Georgia.

Monk Lives Life of Solitude on This 131-Foot-Tall Rock with a 2,000 Year History

The Katskhi Pillar is the name given to a natural limestone column located in Georgia. On the top of this monolith is a monastery, which was built during the 1990s. Today, a solitary monk by the name...
The Monolith of Tlaloc.

The Monolith of Tlaloc: Did Moving This Massive Stone Statue Incite the Fury of the Aztec Rain God?

The Monolith of Tlaloc is a giant stone carving of the Aztec god of rain, water, lightning, and agriculture, Tlaloc. This monolith was once located near the town of Coatlinchan (which translates as ‘...
Egyptian Fellah woman with her child, Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann, 1872

Did Eternity Obsessed Ancient Egyptians Know How to Prevent Pregnancy?

It is hard to believe that the Ancient Egyptians, a culture completely infatuated with the preservation of life after death, would be concerned with the prevention of pregnancy. But they were one of...

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