Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas

The optimal situation within a family, is when both parents share the same religion. This avoids conflict, confusion, misunderstandings, and all manner of problems. Finding a suitable partner is difficult for anyone. How do can that challenge be overcomed? You could attend regional or national festivals. Have a co-religionist set you up on a blind date.

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No: the basic facts of the annual ritual just seem to defy logic and meaning. What do brightly lit trees and mistletoe have to do with the birth of a prophet in Bethlehem thousands of years ago? What does a jolly, portly man in red and white garb have to do with Christianity? And just what kind of a name is Noddy Holder anyway?

The latter question probably defies all historical analysis. Many people have a general inkling about the way old pagan traditions and celebrations fed into Christmas as we know it today.

Archaeologists now report that a mass grave in England may contain nearly remains from the Great Viking Army, also known the Great Heathen Army. But there was one problem—radiocarbon dating of the site revealed.

British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Heathenry is a term used to describe the religious practices of two main groups of people, one historical and one modern. The original Heathens were the pre-Christian North European peoples who lived a thousand and more years ago in the lands around what is now called the North Sea. Modern Heathen groups around the world are reviving these old practices and call their religion by various names including Asatru, The Northern Tradition, Odinism, Forn Sed, Germanic Pagan Reconstructionism or, simply, Heathenry.

In Iceland, which did not convert to Christianity until the 11th Century, Heathenry has once again become an official nationally recognised religion. Heathens work to build healthy relationships with gods and goddesses, ancestors, spirits of the land, and others in their communities, both through holy rites and through their day to day actions.

There are literary sources that tell us how Heathenry was practised before the advent of Christianity. Although most of these were written in Christian times, they record the religious beliefs and practices of a culture that existed before Christianity came to Northern Europe. Archaeological evidence continues to be discovered which supports this picture of Heathen religion obtained from such classical and medieval literature.

Alongside these historical sources, modern Heathens experience their own, personal, understanding of their religion as lived today, and their own relationship with their gods. Heathenry, like all ancient European pagan religions, is polytheistic and recognises a large number of gods and other spiritual entities.

Mass Grave in England May Hold a ‘Lost’ Viking Army

It marked the transition among Vikings from raiding cities to conquering them, and is considered an important historical event in the creation of England. Yet for decades, no one could find any archaeological evidence to back this up. Now, a group of researchers at the University of Bristol in England think they might have found that evidence—i. The bones come from a mass grave of at least skeletons at St. Historical records tell us the Viking army spent the winter in Repton in A.

Other clues support the theory that these are remnants of the Viking army.

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When you gather around the Christmas tree or stuff goodies into a stocking, you’re taking part in traditions that stretch back thousands of years — long before Christianity entered the mix. Pagan, or non-Christian, traditions show up in this beloved winter holiday, a consequence of early church leaders melding Jesus’ nativity celebration with pre-existing midwinter festivals. Since then, Christmas traditions have warped over time, arriving at their current state a little more than a century ago.

Read on for some of the surprising origins of Christmas cheer, and find out why Christmas was once banned in New England. It’s a mistake to say that our modern Christmas traditions come directly from pre-Christian paganism, said Ronald Hutton, a historian at Bristol University in the United Kingdom. However, he said, you’d be equally wrong to believe that Christmas is a modern phenomenon.

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All rights reserved. A photo taken at a excavation of the gravesite shows remains from what may belong to the Great Viking Army. For years, archaeologists were stumped. What happened to the Great Viking Army, a massive force that seized great swaths of England in the 9 th century but left barely a trace? Archaeologists first uncovered the burial site in the s, in Derbyshire, England, and thought it might contain remains from the Great Viking Army, also known the Great Heathen Army.

But there was one problem—radiocarbon dating of the site revealed that the remains were too old to be Viking invaders.

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Religious leaders to this day use the term to call out people of any faith whose greed or worldly lust cause them to stray from the flock. For droves of practicing pagans around the world — numbers of which are difficult to measure — these connotations present a public relations nightmare, making it difficult to share the reality of their faith when confronted with de facto bias. Nonetheless, many pagans are excited to talk about their spirituality and answer questions from curious friends and acquaintances.

But insulting them with jokes about witches on broomsticks isn’t going to help facilitate dialogue. Here’s a helpful guide on what not to do, say or ask — and some respectful alternatives. First of all, not all pagans identify as witches. Second, that would be like asking someone if they are a good Christian or a bad Christian. If you’re wondering about what kind of magic they practice — if they practice magic at all — then try asking them about their beliefs and what kind of rituals they partake in.

The answer is no. Just as not all Christians are Methodist, not all pagans are Wiccan. In addition, many Pagans follow an eclectic or non-traditional path, which means that their Paganism may be unique to them. While many people would probably love to imagine that a place like Hogwarts exists, with witches and wizards flying around on hippogriffs, that is sadly not what life is like for real pagans. Pagan “churches” do exist and often have the same rights and protections under the law as other houses of worship.

To a pagan who holds nature at the center of their spirituality, this question might sound glib.

What Not To Say When You Meet Someone Who Is Pagan

A Nevada Army Guard soldier serving in Afghanistan has received a uniform religious exception to sport a beard based upon his Norse pagan beliefs. The Nevada Army Guard said this month Sgt. Norse paganism is a polytheistic religion that is based on ancient beliefs and practices associated with the geographic area of Scandinavia. Hopper, 34, of Madison, Alabama, said he has been practicing his Norse pagan faith for about two decades and he noted his beliefs complement the Army Warrior ethos.

Pagan, or non-Christian, traditions show up in this beloved winter holiday, and Old English at Leicester University in the U.K. The term is related to the Latin word And the date had a pleasing philosophical fit with festivals.

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The year-old IT sales manager from Birmingham is one of up to , pagans practising in Britain. This week it emerged that police are to be allowed to found a pagan association. PC Andy Pardy, of Hertfordshire police, met Home Office officials to discuss the creation of an official support group. Officers will be given special dispensation to take leave to coincide with pagan holidays.

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Flowing from its early, pre-Christian beginnings through its modern worldview, this book explores the deities, history, rituals, magic, and religion of Asatru from the unique perspective of a Gythja Godwoman within that path. The Heathen tradition revealed here describes the structure of Asatru and shows how its ancient themes, ideas, and practices are relevant to modern spiritual seekers. Clear and easy to understand yet thorough and comprehensive, A Practical Heathen’s Guide to Asatru will add depth to the Asatru experience for those who have practised this faith for years, while remaining accessible to beginners.

It reveals Heathen perspectives on the nature of time, creation, spirits, worship, ethics, and hospitality. An in-depth glossary, index, and bibliography help make this the must-read book for everyone interested in Asatru. Read more Read less. The Learning Store. Shop books, stationery, devices and other learning essentials. Click here to access the store.

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It spawned four singles, each of which made the top three in the UK charts: “The Hindu Times”, their sixth number one single in the UK, “Stop Crying Your Heart.

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? At long last! Keeping the same, informal, light-hearted tone of the previous volume and weaving in stories from heathen lore — these recipes inspired by Norse and Anglo-Saxon traditions are sure to delight the taste buds of new and experienced cooks and home brewers.

Each volume takes inspiration from the practical side of Heathenry, applying it to modern living. Read more Read less. Beyond your wildest dreams.

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Colder temperatures and unsettled weather are therefore on the way, as well as conkers, pumpkin spice lattes and falling leaves. The autumn equinox — also often called the September equinox — occurs when the the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator. What this means, is if you were to view the sun from the equator on the date of the equinox, it would rise exactly due east, and set due west.

Before the equinox, the Sun rises and sets more northerly, and afterwards, it rises and sets more southerly.

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There were lots of major announcements at DC FanDome Check out everything you missed in our news roundup. Read more. Ingrid and her siblings are on the run from the Beserkers who have begun invading the villages, taking over, savagely using the residents on a game where they vs a Beserker, and if they win With both A group of gamers are selected to take part in a VR competition where only the fittest will survive.

A Viking Warrioress must step up when a heathen, banished from her village gives up his mortal soul in exchange for the near indestructible form of a demonic Scarecrow. As warriors fall to the vengeful Scarecrow, it’s down to Greta to save her village from annihilation.

Pagan soldier, 34, is first to serve with a beard because his beliefs say it’s sacred and masculine

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The Wheel of the Year is an annual cycle of seasonal festivals , observed by many modern Pagans , consisting of the year ‘s chief solar events solstices and equinoxes and the midpoints between them. While names for each festival vary among diverse pagan traditions, syncretic treatments often refer to the four solar events as “quarter days” and the four midpoint events as “cross-quarter days”, particularly in Wicca. Differing sects of modern Paganism also vary regarding the precise timing of each celebration, based on distinctions such as lunar phase and geographic hemisphere.

Observing the cycle of the seasons has been important to many people, both ancient and modern. Contemporary Pagan festivals that rely on the Wheel are based to varying degrees on folk traditions , regardless of actual historical pagan practices. Historical and archaeological evidence suggests ancient pagan and polytheist peoples varied in their cultural observations; Anglo-Saxons celebrated the solstices and equinoxes, while Celts celebrated the seasonal divisions with various fire festivals.

Frazer claimed that Beltane the beginning of summer and Samhain the beginning of winter were the most important of the four Gaelic festivals mentioned by Cormac.

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