Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Large-Group Ritual: Magic, Worship, or “Just What We Do”?

A friend in Poland sent a link to this music video, adding that it looks a lot like the Midsummer celebration in his village but needs the volunteer firefighters, more kielbasa, and more vodka, except, “Our river’s a fair bit wider, too.” He describes the St. Nicholas Orchestra as “Pagan-friendly,”  and into  the “anti-clerical stratum” […]

A Top Nazi’s Library, “Violent” Heathens, and a Middle Eastern “Old Religion”

According to the Daily Mail (dial skepticism appropriately) a collection of occult books1)Hans Thomas Hakl probably has more than Himmer did—but no castle. owned by Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler has been found in the Czech Republic. The bulk of the collection was called the ‘Witches Library’ and concentrated on witches and their persecution in […]

Pagan-Studies Scholars Tell Their Stories

The new double issue of The Pomegranate is something different. It contains two long papers, but the rest is devoted to a special section on scholarly autobiography conceived and edited by Doug Ezzy (U. of Tasmania). Doug visited Hardscrabble Creek in November 2014 and while holed up in the guest cabin, speed-reading my library, thought […]

The War on Halloween

It’s that time of year, time for the Russians to take their turn at complaining that Halloween is an evil Western import. Segei Aksyonov, who has been placed in charge of the Crimean peninsula, which Russia recently snatched from Ukraine, called the holiday “cultural colonisation.” Meanwhile, a spokes-priest for the Russian Orthodox Church suggests that […]

Paganism and/or Patriotism: Russia’s New Slavic Pride

An article in Russia Beyond the Headline talks about the rising interest in Pagan Slavic roots in that county, exemplified by the increasing number of celebrations of Perun’s Day, which was last Monday. As more and more Russians seek solace in patriotism, many are turning to their ancient past and reviving pagan traditions. Apart from […]

Coming Soon to a Pagan Catalog Near You

Along with medieval weapon bits, archaeologists digging in in the old center of Königsburg, now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea, discovered these pendants symbolizing the god Perun, dating from the late Middle Ages. The article ends, “What can we say, time to buy Perun’s Axe pedants!” Next to the news article, […]

Links: Exorcists, Vampires, Shamans, and the New Gothic

So many links, so little time to comment. Pick one, two, or three of these to read. Mix and match. Fill your plate. Come back for more. • Sexy vampires threaten Catholic youth, thus encouraging — you guessed it — “dabbling.” • Witchy craft: I am building these. • Another interesting article on the revival […]

Starting 2015 with Giant Geoglyphs

Making large ceremonial marks on the land is an ancient practice. Here are examples from Peru, Chile, England, Brazil, Russia, the Arabian peninsula, and the United States

Egypt Has the Pyramids; Siberia has the Shigir Idol

Why the comparison between countless tons of quarried stone and “the oldest wooden statue in the world,” estimated at 9,500 years before present? In each case, there are those who believe that the structures (particularly the Great Pyramid) and the sculpture from the Ural Mountains contain secret codes. The tall statue is made from larch […]

Help a Russian Scholar of Paganism Attend the AAR

Most scholars who attend the American Academy of Religion annual meeting have their travel and hotel rooms paid for, at least partly, by their institutions. Some, however, don’t receive such support. Dmitry Galtsin, a researcher in the Rare Books Department of the Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Galtsin has had a paper on […]