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Religions

Ancient Origins articles related to Religions, we investigate the creation beliefs of the major world religions and then address the controversies surrounding the account.

Flower of Life.

What Ancient Secrets Lie Within the Flower of Life?

The Flower of Life is a name for a geometrical figure composed of seven or more evenly-spaced, overlapping circles. This figure, used as a decorative motif since ancient times, forms a flower-like...
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...
Akhenaten, relief of the pylons of the house of Panehsy, Chief Servitor of the Aten. It depicts Akhenaten making offerings to the Aten.

Pharaoh Akhenaten: An Alternative View of the Heretic King

Amenhotep IV, also known as the Pharaoh Akhenaten, was destined to be remembered for his attempt at a religious conversion of ancient Egypt; one that saw the old gods put aside and replaced by a...
Sumerian warriors

The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon

The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of...
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...
Concubine

The Secret Life of an Ancient Concubine

In many ancient cultures and religious traditions, rulers and elite members of society not only had wives, they also had concubines. Concubines normally served a dual purpose – to increase a man’s...
Osiris, Egyptian God of the Underworld

The Outstanding Story of Osiris: His Myth, Symbols, and Significance in Ancient Egypt

Osiris, the green-skinned god of the underworld, lord of the afterlife and judge of the dead, is one of the best-known gods from ancient Egypt. His story provided his followers with reassurance for...
Sacrifices of Cain and Abel. Fresco from Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Palatio ad Sancta Sanctorum, Rome.

Dwelling in the Land of Nod – Was it a Real City?

The Land of Nod is not just a place we go to catch a few winks but was mentioned in Genesis as the place where Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, was cast away after murdering his brother Abel...
‘Indian Barbers Saharanpore’ by Edwin Lord Weeks. Scientists have recently found just how diverse both Indian and Jewish genes really are.

Unity in Diversity: Studies Reveal Surprising Stories for the Genes of Ancient Hindus and Jews

New research using ancient DNA is rewriting the genetic history of two ancient peoples; the Hindus and the Jews - and it shows that their two religious civilizations are the result of multiple...
 A journey from London to Persepolis; including wanderings in Daghestan, Georgia, Armenia., by USSHER, John. Source:  (British Library / Public Domain)

Who Are the Yazidis and Why Have They Been Continually Persecuted?

The Yazidis (also spelled as Yezidis) are a religious minority found primarily in northern Iraq. In recent years, the Yazidis have received the attention of the international media as a result of...
Three different Jewish people giving Selichot prayers at the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

Can Jewish People be a Nation, and a Religion, and a Race?

Although Jewish people usually, but not always, share a common gene pool, they are not a race because any non-Jew who converts to Judaism will be recognized as being Jewish by all those rabbis who...

Romulus and Remus, Osiris and Moses: Are the Storytelling Similarities a Mere Coincidence?

The stories of Romulus and Remus, Osiris and Moses all share a common element. Why is it that the overarching theme surrounding ancient people and the start of their legacy is a male floating down...
Shinto painting from manuscript of Todaiji, Nara, Japan

Purification as the Core of the Ancient Shinto Faith

A ritual based religion, Shintoism is defined as "the way of the gods" in Japan, from the Chinese Shendao. It is the indigenous religion of the country, and survives today as the state religion,...
Asherah - Veiled Mother of the World

Asherah: God’s Forgotten Wife

Those raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition may be surprised to learn that the god we were told was singularly sacred once had a wife. How do we know? Asherah figures prominently as the wife of El—...
ESO's Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) has captured this unusual view of the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a planetary nebula located 700 light-years away. The Helix Nebula is sometimes called the “Eye of God.”

It Need Not Be Religion VS Science: Extra-Terrestrial Life and Religious Beliefs Combine

During Medieval times almost all Christian theologians accepted the Ptolemaic earth centered Greek view of the universe as an absolute universal truth of both nature and religion. The Catholic...
 Illustration of Dante’s Paradise by Giovanni de Paulo.

What is Heaven?

Joanne M. Pierce / The Conversation When a family member or a friend passes away, we often find ourselves reflecting on the question “Where are they now?” As mortal beings, it is a question of...

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