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Heavens Gates Opening. Source: Alswart / Adobe.

What and Where is Heaven? The Answers Are at the Heart of the Easter Story

My pious Baptist grandmother once shockingly confessed, at the ripe old age of 93, that she didn’t want to go to heaven. “Why,” we asked? “Well, I think it will be rather boring just sitting around...
The tower of Babel

The Legendary Tower of Babel: What Does it Mean?

One of the many fantastic stories in the Book of Genesis is the Tower of Babel, a tall construction made in Babylonia after the Deluge. The gist of the story is: All human beings used to speak the...
Thai style garden. Located in Royal Park Rajapruek, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Heaven on Earth: The Ancient Roots of The Backyard Garden

You don’t have to be an avid gardener or know all the Latin names of plants to appreciate the opportunity for reflection that a stroll in the garden can afford us. The explosion of colors, shapes,...
Angel entering heaven

Stairway to Heaven: Ancient Concepts About Heaven and the Afterlife

We recognize heaven as a place to which we will go after our deaths if we have led a good or virtuous life. It is a paradise accessible by earthly beings depending on their standards of faith or...
Illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy: The Inscription over Hell-Gate

Toxicity at Gateway to Hell Explains ‘Miracle’ in Ancient City of Hierapolis

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here,” said William Shakespeare, and now, new scientific findings tells us how the devils got here! And it was through a “gateway to the underworld” located in...
A depiction of a tree of life or axis mundi.

The Axis Mundi: Sacred Sites Where Heaven Meets Earth

What do Mount Fuji in Japanese culture, the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, Mecca in Islam, and the Black Hills for the Sioux all have in common? They are all examples of a belief in the axis...
How Were They Made? Unlocking the 500-Year-Old Secret to Gothic Miniature Boxwood Carvings

How Were They Made? Unlocking the 500-Year-Old Secret to Gothic Miniature Boxwood Carvings

A mystery that lasted for nearly five centuries was finally solved with the assistance of modern technology. The magnificent 16th century miniature boxwood carvings that had been puzzling viewers and...
‘Jacob’s Dream’ with Jacob’s ladder (1660-1665) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

Hopes, Fears, Progress…and Maybe DNA? Unravelling the Real Meaning of Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is the common term (particularly in the West) used to describe a bridge that connects Heaven and Earth. More broadly speaking, the ladder represents an ancient symbol of unknown...
Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism are one, a painting in the litang style portraying three men laughing by a river stream, 12th century, Song dynasty.

The Evolution of Wisdom: A Study of the Evolution of Perception as Understood by Ancient Religions

Traditionally, the study of evolution observes a slow and unconscious progression of physical adaptations stretched along multiple generations of a species. However, what if a more immediate and...
Deriv; A drowned land.

What Became of Atlantis: The Flood from Heaven

Skeptics and believers alike tend to overlook the fact that the story of Atlantis, as told by the Egyptian priests who related the story to Solon, is a complex narrative involving three civilizations...
A modern religious painting shows the Founding-King in similar motifs.

The Legendary Founder of Korea, Dangun Wanggeom

According to Korean tradition, Dangun Wanggeom (known also as Dangun or Tangun) was the legendary founder of Gojoseon (or ‘Old Joseon’), the first recorded state in Korean history. This state...
The print depicts a samurai fighting snakes, which are conjured by a ghost as the ghosts of Heian court ladies watch. Japan, 1850.

Malevolent Phantoms, Corpse Brides, and Ancestor Spirits: The Ancient Belief in Ghosts – PART II

Many ancient civilizations had beliefs surrounding the hauntings of ghosts and malevolent spirits, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay. Read Part I...
Ancient legends tell of ghost hauntings.

Malevolent Phantoms, Corpse Brides, and Ancestor Spirits: The Ancient Belief in Ghosts – PART I

Ghosts and malevolent spirits haunted the ancients, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay. The concept of a spiritual afterlife connects cultures across...
Dante holding open a copy of the Divine Comedy while gazing towards Mount Purgatory (1530), Agnolo Bronzino

A Pilgrimage of Thought: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The most widely read work of Florentine politician and writer Dante Alighieri, the Divine Comedy dictates a tale of the three realms of the afterlife as believed by the Italians of the Middle Ages...
Ascension Myths

Ascension to the heavens in ancient mythology

The ascension of humans or beings into the heavens is a common theme among many mythologies and religions all over the world. Even though most people recognize the well-known ascension of Jesus, and...