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Agni, a deity which appears in the Atharva Veda. (Public Domain) Background: Detail of Codex Cashmiriensis folio 187a from Atharva-Veda Saṁhitā second half, by William Dwight Whitney and Charles Rockwell Lanman.

The Atharva Veda: Popular Religion, Charms, and Ancient Hindu Spells

Thou who art neither alive nor dead, the immortal child of the gods art thou, O Sleep! Varunânî is thy mother, Yama (death) thy father, Araru is thy name. We know, O Sleep, thy birth, thou art the...
A seida (worshiped stone) Tromsø, Norway.

Sami Spirituality and the Cult of the Sacred Stones

The Cult of the Sacred Stones belong to the Sami people of northern Europe. The Sami (occasionally spelled Saami) live in Lapland, a part of northern Europe near Norway, Sweden and Finland, and...
Elf Fantasy Fair 2010 hurdy gurdy.

The Hurdy Gurdy Was Essential Medieval Entertainment Enjoyed by Merrymakers Across Europe

The hurdy gurdy is a musical instrument, or more precisely, a string instrument, that traces its origin to the Middle Ages of Europe. The hurdy gurdy was initially used to play sacred music, before...
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 modern depiction of the hellhound Cerberus.

Gate to Hell Guardians Were Used to Ward People Off Deadly Cave

The Gate to Hell, also known as Pluto’s Gate, was the Greco-Roman entrance to the Underworld. When archaeologists found an example of this sacred site in Turkey they also discovered two guardians who...
Reconstitution of a prehistoric burial. Representative image.

Bones of the Child, Tools of the Shaman: Ritual and Cosmology at the Hopewell Tunacunnhee Mounds

Near Trenton in Dade County, Georgia, is a place called Tunacunnhee , supposedly named after a Native American word meaning “Lookout Creek”. Located just a few hundred yards east of Lookout Creek is...
Oceanides, Gustave Dore (1860-1869).

The Secret of Long Life? It’s All in the Water: Sacred Springs & Holy Wells

The belief in sacred springs and holy waters goes far back into the earliest religious myths of humankind, and is ubiquitous across every continent. An ancient primordial connection between water and...
A Buddhist monk creating a mandala

Intricacy and Reflection: Transforming Mandalas from Sacred Designs to Art Therapy

Although the word ‘Mandala’ simply means “circle” or “discoid object” in Sanskrit, the significance is far more complex. Traditionally, mandalas represented the intricacy of the universe and served...
‘An alchemist being tempted by Luxuria.’ Oil painting after Marten de Vos.

Spiritual Alchemy – Casting Light on a Secret Science

Spiritual alchemy is closely linked to secret knowledge and many who have attained this level of wisdom later decided to withdraw from it as they found they were not ready to receive it. The purpose...
About 200 stone statues from the Middle Ages discovered in the Himalayas

200 Unique Medieval Horsemen Sculptures Found in the Himalayas

A combined Russian-Indian expedition that has been searching the Himalaya Mountain’s area bordering India and Pakistan for the past three years, has discovered 200 “Medieval Stone Horsemen” dating...
A Puma in the night

Ghost Talkers and Puma Men: Adena Totemism and the Shamans of the Early Woodland Period

The people of the Adena Culture are widely regarded as the first builders of mounds and earthworks in the Ohio Valley. By conventional dating the culture spans the period of 1000 BC to around 300 AD...
An aerial view of the aqueduct.

An Enigma Wrapped in a Mystery: The Living, Growing Aqueduct of Alicún de las Torres, Granada

Not far from the Moorish splendors of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and close to the troglodyte cave-dwellings of the residents of Guadix, is the spectacular, living, El Toril Aqueduct. It is...
Sticker showing baby Krishna stealing milk from a cow.

Modern Hindus Forbidden From Eating Beef But Ancient Hindus Ate the Sacred Cow

Wendy Doniger / The Conversation Just this past June, at a national meeting of various Hindu organizations in India, a popular preacher, Sadhvi Saraswati, suggested that those who consumed beef...
The Ark Passes Over the Jordan, James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836 - 1902)

Could the Ark Described at Edessa Be the Biblical Ark of the Covenant?

The year was 165 AD, and the location was the Edessan necropolis at Sogmatar, in what was then northern Syria. In this year King Wa'el of Edessa had an inscription carved upon the sacred hill of...
Borgund Stave Church (Eduardo/CC BY-SA 2.0), pentagram, Vitruvian man, and serpent

The Viking Serpent: Serpent Worship, Sacred Geometry, and Secrets of the Celtic Church in Norway

Dan Brown wrote The Da Vinci Code, inspired by Henry Lincoln and his two co-authors’ The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail . The Norwegian researcher Harald Boehlke was inspired by the same book. Lincoln...
Detail of one of the pits found in Sunnsvära, Sweden.

Over 80 Strange Bronze Age Holes Discovered in Sweden. Why Did People Gather there 3000 Years Ago?

If preliminary analyses of the excavations are right, it appears food preparation and large gatherings have gone hand in hand in Sweden for millennia. 82 holes of varying sizes and a more modern...

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