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‘Yorinda and Yoringel’ by John Duncan (1909)

Once Upon A Time: Concepts of Afterlife and Altered Consciousness Concealed in Faerie Folklore

Once upon a Time, they all lived happily ever-after. In the 1891 publication The Science of Fairy Tales , the folklorist Edwin Sidney Hartland devoted three chapters to ponder over ‘The Supernatural...
Digital model of the neopagan Ásatrúarfélagið temple in Iceland.

Neopagans in Iceland Will Build the First Temple to Thor and Odin in 1000 Years

About 1000 years ago, paganism was practically stamped out in Iceland, while Christianity was ushered in. But Nordic neopaganism, under the name of Ásatrúarfélagið (sometimes called Asatru), has now...
Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Over the past two centuries, Europe has become increasingly secular. Scholars in fact no longer talk of the Christian West when they speak of Modern Europe and North America, but of the Secular West...
1,500-Year-Old Graffiti reveals Gladiator Battles

1,500-Year-Old Graffiti reveals Gladiator Battles

The Italian word graffiti dates only to 1851, online sources say, but the practice of drawing and scribbling on walls and surfaces in public places dates back millennia. In fact, a Professor from...
Representative image. The Eruption of Vesuvius in December 1820 by Johann Christian Dahl

Did a Brutal Volcanic Eruption Lead People to Abandon Their Pagan Gods and Embrace Christianity?

Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island's conversion to Christianity, new research suggests. A team of...
A curse tablet wrapped around a chicken bone.

Ancient Sex Curse Revealed: May Your Penis Hurt When You Make Love!

Curse tablets in the ancient world are like Facebook posts today—they were everywhere, created by almost everyone, and can still be found in the strangest of places. They could be broadly vague or...
Right: Detail of a statue of a reclining Attis. The Shrine of Attis is situated to the east of the Campus of the Magna Mater in Ostia. Statue of Jesus Christ as a shepherd with a lamb.

The Pagan Attis and Christian Jesus: A Spurious Connection?

Recently, it has been popular to suggest in some circles that Christianity was influenced, or even derived from, the ancient Roman mystery religions – religions often known to have orgiastic rituals...
A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century BC. ©Trustees of the British Museum.

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: Did Christians Ban The Ancient Olympics?

Every two years, when the Winter or Summer Olympics comes around, we hear about how the games staged at Olympia in Greece since 776 BC came to a sudden end in the late fourth century AD. The finger...
Zoe Wanamaker in TV series ‘Britannia’.

Britannia, Druids and the Surprisingly Modern Origins of Myths

The new TV series Britannia, which has won plaudits as heralding a new generation of British folk-horror, is clearly not intended to be strictly historical. Instead director Jez Butterworth gives us...
Externsteine, north-eastern face, across Wiembecke pond.

Worship? Meditation? Sacrifice? What Ancient Ritual Activities Were Held at the Externsteine Sacred Stone Formation?

Externsteine is an unusual sandstone rock formation near Ostwestfalen-Lippe in the northwest of Germany. It is unique among other monolithic sites in Europe because it is a natural formation that has...
A dragon-like animal head (pictured), made from antler or horn, was found in the grave of a small child.

Magical new 4,500 year old finds add to 'oldest toy collection in the world'

By: The Siberian Times reporter Archaeologists have made ‘rare’ discoveries of pre-historic toys at the Itkol II burial ground in the Republic of Khakassia, southern Siberia. At 4,500 years old, they...
Artist's rendering of the hof, a pagan temple, in Uppsala, Sweden.

The Heathen Hof: Resurrecting a Germanic Pagan Temple

A heathen hof, also referred to as a Germanic pagan temple, is the name given to a place of worship in the Germanic religion. These were pre-Christian temples found in various parts of Northern...
An upside-down Christmas tree.

A Tradition Revived? Inverted Christmas Trees May Have Pagan Roots

Hanging a Christmas tree from the ceiling makes some sense – it can keep your floor space clear and may protect your pets or young children from harm – but it is not common. The costly trend of...
Santa with pipe and the knowing smile of ancient wisdom.

Santa the Shaman Comes to the New World: The Shapeshifting Magic-Man from the Ancient Past

In 1626, a ship filled with folks from the Netherlands put into what would later be called New York Harbor and went about building a Dutch colony called New Amsterdam. The figurehead on the prow of...
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...
Wassailing revelers at night – CC BY-SA 2.0

From Saxon Sirens to Sacred Orchards: The Modern Traditions and Pagan Origins of Wassailing

Every January, in parts of rural England, people still gather to celebrate Wassailing, a tradition with distinctly Pagan origins intended to bless the coming year’s apple crops and protect orchards...

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