Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Magic in Philadelphia, Worshiping Game Characters, and a Holy Mountain in Scotland

• If you live in or near Philadelphia, visit the U. of Pennsylvania museum for “Magic in the Anciet World,” an exhibit that “explores some of the magical objects, words, and rituals used in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome.” • When a Chinese grandmother left an offering at a statue of a video-game character, […]

Odds and Ends: Runic Duct Tape, Ebola, Etsy

• Real Heathens fix stuff with runic duct tape. Or “sticky tape,” direct from Orkney to you. To save you checking your Futhark, it says “Orkney Orkney Orkney.” I have the matching mug. • Was the famous plague of 432 BCE in Athens an early outbreak of Ebola? The Athenian disease began south of Egypt […]

Burning Alex Salmond

The neighborhood celebration of Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night happened last night, three nights past the canonical date, but we are southern Coloradans, not necessarily up to date. The hostess is emphatically Scottish. Although she has lived here more than twenty years, raised two kids, and stayed employed, she retains her British citizenship—and when the 18th of […]

BBC: Our Ancestors Were Stupid

Here is the Beeb with a story about an ancient monument in Scotland: “Excavations of a field at Crathes Castle found a series of 12 pits which appear to mimic the phases of the moon and track lunar months.” Then they trot out that stale old idea that ancient people needed to build giant monuments […]

Slightly Tipsy Religion Scholars Having Fun

Direct from Edinburgh, “Christmas Special — Only 60 Seconds!” May I challenge the speaker if Rudolf Otto never actually used the term “the sacred”? Is speaking German a “deviation”? “Far too many  -isms going on here.”

Puppy Mills for the Gods

When I read an article like “Millions of Mummy Puppies Revealed at Egyptian Catacombs,” I realize how little we know about what was really going on with popular religion there centuries ago. It’s one thing to study the tombs of high-ranking individuals. We still put high-ranking individuals in fancy tombs, and we make pilgrimages to […]

Pictish Writing Discovered?

Some researchers now think that decorative carvings on Pictish memorial stones in Scotland may actually represent a form of writing. The highly stylized rock engravings, found on what are known as the Pictish Stones, had once been thought to be rock art or tied to heraldry. The new study, published in the Proceedings of the […]

My ‘Third Law’ in Action

Over at The Juggler, Sara Adrian links to a video clip of a bunch of Scots demonstrating Clifton’s Third Law of Religion: It’s not a real religion unless it has torchlight processions.” And remember, ritual precedes myth, not the other way around.

Roman Britain on the Big Screen

During a recent conversation over margaritas in the old provincial capital, Peculiar mentioned two new forthcoming movies set in Roman Britain. There is an added resonance to Americans flocking to films set during the rise and fall of ancient empires as they contemplate their own long-dominant place in the world amid economic upheavals at home […]

Picts, Scots, Vikings, King Arthur–the Past is Still Much With Us

An interesting round-up of Scottish and Pictish-themed movies at Codex Celtica, as well as discussion of new pop-historical writing on King Arthur.