Pagan and Shinto News: People Across Japan Visit New Years Shrines

The best stories of the week (and last week) on paganism and Shintoism:

  • People across Japan visit shrines on New Year’s Day
  • Witches curse U.S. lawmakers for voting against Joe Biden’s spending bill
  • UK: Self-proclaimed ‘Arch Druid’ of Cornwall who built a stone circle in his garden has died

Read more below…

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New Year’s pilgrims at Atago Shrine in Atagoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo. Indiana jo, CC BY-SA 4.0

Pagan News

Witches curse U.S. lawmakers for voting against Joe Biden’s spending bill
A witch clan in the United States cursed a senator for opposing one of President Joe Biden’s spending bills …

UK: Self-proclaimed ‘Arch Druid’ of Cornwall who built a stone circle in his garden has died
Cornwall live
Edward Prynn’s family, who set up a giant stone circle in their garden at their home in St Merryn near Padstow, paid tribute to an eccentric but witty man who had nothing but love and pride for her family…

Trisha Paytas elicits backlash after announcing she is going pagan / Wiccan
The infamous YouTuber Trisha Paytas has announced that she is joining the Wiccan or Pagan community …

United Kingdom: Stonehenge’s winter solstice hits the mark

Wiltshire weather
Hundreds of people gathered at Stonehenge this morning to witness the first sunrise of the lighter days to come….

UK: Chester returns to Roman rule in festive Saturnalia parade
Chester Standard
The last festive Chester parade of the season saw soldiers of the Roman Legion take to the streets on Thursday, December 16 with flaming torches…

UK woman who has identified herself as a witch since age 15 shares how she celebrates Christmas
The sun
Witchcraft enthusiast and practitioner Jessica Streek admitted that she still loves Christmas, even though she doesn’t believe in Christianity. There are, however, big differences in its celebrations …

United Kingdom: a different kind of holiday celebration
Local Ipswich News
A group of 14 women remembered the ancient traditions from which modern Christmas stems …

‘Smash and grab’ Instagram imposters peddle false psychic and tarot readings

Information service on religion
Practitioners of metaphysics are increasingly frustrated with social media as imitators thrive on their accounts …

Healing myself the pagan way: how witchcraft cast a spell on me
The Guardian
Witchcraft and its deep connection with nature restored my sanity …

Why do women become witches?
A herd
Humans have always turned to magic when they feel helpless …

How Ohio’s Native Sacred Sites Became a Religious Flashpoint
The Washington Post *
Southern Ohio is home to more than 70 earthworks built by the indigenous Adena and Hopewell cultures …

What is esoteric astrology and how is it different from reading my horoscope?
Yahoo / PureWow

Esoteric astrology is astrology centered on the soul …

13 spell books for each type of witch
If you are looking to get started in witchcraft, or just want to dig deeper into your budding practice, then let this list of spell books be your guide …

Shinto news

People across Japan visit shrines on New Year’s Day
NHK World
All over Japan, people paid homage to shrines and temples to usher in the New Year …

Emperor of Japan prays for pandemic dead in New Years message
Toronto Star
Emperor of Japan Naruhito offered prayers for those who died during the pandemic, taking video for the second year in a row for his New Year’s greetings on Saturday, after canceling public palace gatherings to fight coronavirus infections …

New Years Calligraphy Event at Kyoto Shrine
NHK World
Residents of the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto participate in an annual calligraphy event at a Shinto shrine that has over a thousand years of history …

United States: Nu’uanu Shinto Temple Offers New Year’s Blessings
Each year, many people and dozens of pets receive a traditional blessing from the priest or priestess …

What to expect in the year of the tiger
The Japan Times
Astrologers say the tiger denotes strength, vitality and growth – qualities that will hopefully be of great use to us as we seek to overcome the uncertainty that COVID-19 has caused …

How these Japanese prayer plaques became symbols of hope
National geography
Hanging in temples and shrines across the country, the small inscribed boards lighten souls weighed down by worry …

700 kg rice cake offered at the shrine before the New Year
NHK World
A giant rice cake weighing 700 kilograms was offered to a shrine in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, to welcome the New Year …

Strange procession of deities stuns crowds at Beppu spa festival
The Mainichi
A group of residents and dancers dressed as eerie deities paraded from a shrine to a hot spring district to perform a Shinto ritual as part of a contemporary art festival that kicked off in the town of Beppu, the southwest of Japan, December 18 …

Kadomatsu in Sendai: an old-fashioned Japanese New Year
Invisible japan
You may have heard of kadomatsu, the traditional New Year’s decoration in Japan. But did you know this old-fashioned variation from the Edo era? …

Searching for Seven Lucky Gods in Shitaya
Japan today
Japan has many New Year’s traditions designed to secure good fortune for the coming year …

Kyushu relies on anime and manga-related sites to boost tourism
The Asahi Shimbun
Tamachi Sugawara Tenmangu Shrine in Hitoyoshi, Kumamoto Prefecture serves as the location for the “Book of Friends of Natsume”.…

Tokyo’s ‘taiko’ drums still beat in the heart of Japan

The Mainichi
The shrines and temples of Japan each have their own drums used not only in ceremonial rituals but during festivals, where the drums create music with flutes to enhance and uplift the lively atmosphere…

Other news

An altar for the Greek goddess Demeter found in the Blaundus in Turkey
Daily sabah
An altar site for the ancient Greek goddess Demeter was unearthed during ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Blaundus, located within the borders of the western Anatolian city of Usak…

Greece: Marble statue of a woman discovered at Epidaurus; maybe the goddess Hygeia
Greek journalist
A marble statue of a woman who could represent Hygia, the wife or daughter of the ancient Greek god Asclepius, the god of medicine, has just been found at the site of ancient Epidaurus, a center of healing in Antiquity …

Celebrating the story of the Christmas witch

Reading eagle
It arrives on January 6 and rewards children in a good mood with small rewards of fruits and cookies …

How did the ancient Egyptians celebrate the New Year?
Egypt today
Ancient Egyptian culture was closely linked to the Nile. Their new year seems to correspond to its annual flood, according to the Roman writer Censorinus …

Brazilian worshipers celebrate sea goddess Yemanja
Brazilian devotees celebrated the goddess of the sea, Yemanja, in Niteroi on Wednesday, offering flowers and gifts in the ocean in exchange for blessings for the coming year …

Hunt the Wren: ancient Manx tradition is gaining popularity
An ancient tradition celebrated by the people of the Isle of Man on St. Stephen’s Day “grows stronger”, organizers said …

“Witch hunt” past and present

United Kingdom: Christmas slaughter of Kristy Bamu – Torture, exorcisms and delusions of “witchcraft”
Kristy Bamu, 15, was visiting his sister Magalie in east London from France on Christmas 2010 – but after being the subject of his sister’s ‘witchcraft’ allegations, he never returned home …

UK historian calls for ‘witches’ executed in Devon to be pardoned
Devon Live
A local historian asks that Devon women and men executed for witchcraft be pardoned – especially as Exeter is considered to have perhaps been the epicenter of witchcraft in England …

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