Pagan Community Notes: Parthenon reconstruction, Lost Viking Army, and More!

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[Photo Credit: Neokortex &: Kallistos via Wikimedia

ATHENS, Greece – The Greek Central Archaeological Council (KAS) announced last Wednesday that it plans to reconstruct the long northern wall of the cella or naos (chamber), an inner structure of the Parthenon.

The reconstruction of the cella will help bring the current three-decade long restoration process closer to completion and achieving their goal of recreating how the Parthenon appeared in the 18th century.

The work of the late architect Charalambos Bouras has been a key part of the restoration of the Acropolis, and this most recent addition to project is based on his study that proposed rebuilding a section of the fallen wall by reinstalling 360 ancient stones alongside 90 new ones.  The new stones are made from marble quarried from Dionysos, a city north of Athens, and whose marble closely resembles the Parthenon’s original Pentelic stone. When the project is completed, the wall will be restored to how it appeared to Francesco Morosini after being bombed in 1687 during the Morean War but prior to the removal of over 500 stones for their lead joints during the siege of the Acropolis and the  Ottoman occupancy as well as prior to the later removal of the Elgin Marbles.

There is also a project slated for the southern wall based on the same study and will begin once the northern wall is completed. The combined projects are estimated to take at least 15 years. Culture Ministry’s Directorate for the Restoration of Ancient Monuments, called the study a “very important event in the Parthenon’s modern history.” Once both projects are completed, KAS feels that it will better display the original style and geometry of Parthenon.

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lorenz frohlich frolich thor jormundgand jormungandr world serpent meaning symbolism norse myth myths mythology the wild hunt karl e h seigfriedFOREMARK, England – New research and excavations in Foremark, near Derby, may help unravel the conflicting history and previous finds connected to a massacre at a nearby village in Repton. Historical records in England describe a “Great Heathen Army” of Vikings that descended upon and then wintered over in Repton, (873-874 CE). Excavations done some 40 years ago in that area turned up the bodies of 250 Anglo-Saxon men, women, and children bearing battle wounds that seemed to support historical records. The problem with this theory is that the earthworks at Repton were not nearly large enough to accommodate the number of Vikings—thousands–that were recorded to have been present.

Metal detectorists have been combing the site for over a decade and have found a number of interesting items, including lead gaming pieces that are a trademark of Viking encampments all over Europe. One detectorist, Rob Davis, reached out to share some of the items he had found at Foremark in late 2017 with Cat Jarman, whose PhD project centered on Repton and the “Great Viking Army.”

“In a way, these are the most important artifacts,” Jarman says. “They’re only associated with the Great Army. They’re not pretty or valuable, but they’re specific.”

Jarman leads the team of researchers from the University of Bristol that is currently in Foremark and the surrounding area. They have yet to gain access to what they believe was the main camp, as it is privately owned. They have made some interesting finds in the surrounding area—like a large iron plowshare that dates to the ninth century. Whether the plowshare was brought by Scandinavians, or belonged to the Anglo-Saxons who lived there before their arrival is unclear.

Jarman is exploring the idea that some of the Vikings who invaded the area may have possibly returned at a later date and ended up settling there. Foremark had easy access to the Trent river and was surrounded by arable land suitable for farming. Other factors could potentially support this theory. Less than a mile away is Heath Wood, a very large Viking cremation cemetery—larger than what would’ve created just for a winter camp.  The names of nearby villages Ingleby and Bretby have similarities found in the old Norse language.

Nova on PBS airs Lost Viking Army later this month that digs into Repton, Foremark, and the surrounding area and theories.

In other news:

  • Cherry Hill Seminary is conducting a short online survey and is requesting participants take and share the survey to help them in planning curriculum.
  • Circle Sanctuary announced its Pagan Leadership Institute 2019 programming that will take place during Pagan Spirit Gathering. They will be offering a variety of workshops taught by ritualists, trained ministers, and elders.
  • Actress Rachel True, who played the role of Rochelle in The Craft in 1996, is set to release a tarot deck and book titled, True Heart Intuitive Tarot. In an interview with Dazed Digital, True says she has used tarot since her teens, and had always had an interest in the occult. When asked if The Craft had influenced her spirituality, she said, “Honestly, it didn’t at all. I was into these concepts way before The Craft. I’ve got notebooks of spreads and card interpretations from before the film…in some ways I think the tarot work I was doing in my downtime when not acting was what made the script find me.”
  • Journalist and broadcaster, Lesley Riddoch, will chair the public, day-long event, “Remembering Scotland’s Witches” on Sunday, May 19 at the Glen Pavilion in Dunfermline, Scotland. The event will examine and discuss why so many more people were accused and persecuted for crimes of “witchcraft” in 17th century Scotland than in England or Europe. The event is being sponsored by Fife Witches Remembered, with the assistance of Fife Cultural Trust.
  • Ariel Boiteux, 31, from Argentina was sentenced last week in San Diego to two years in federal prison after being convicted of running an international “witchcraft” extortion scheme. Boiteux’s company, Amarres Inmediatos, advertised magic spells to help attract love on a variety of social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram. People who responded to the ads were instructed by Boiteux, and others who worked at the company to record videos of themselves reciting sexually explicit incantations and performing sexual acts and then send the company the videos. Boiteux would then use the videos to extort money from them. Boiteux victimized at least 200 people across the globe that included the countries of Spain, Switzerland, the United States, and Mexico.
  • Fiona Horne, singer, and author of the new book, The Art of Witch is set to begin a tour of Australia in June. She will participate in a limited number of musical performances with her band mates from Def FX, as well as a number of spoken word appearances to promote not only her new book due out in June, but also a forthcoming oracle deck titled, Magick of You that is scheduled for release in July.
  • A couple in Auckland, NZ made an odd discovery during the process of replacing their carpet. Etched into the floor beneath carpet in one bedroom was what appeared to be a pentagram inside a pentagon shape. Another bedroom had a large circle engraved in it. Even odder, this is not the first time the carpet has been replaced—it had been done twice before in the 30 years they have owned in the house. Neither of them had been home and in attendance when the carpet had been replaced in the past, but the installers never made mention of the symbols. They intend to search local records to see if they can find out more about the house and why the symbols would have been placed.
  • A Ghanaian pastor, Victor Eghan, in a post on Instagram declared that Game of Thrones (GOT) fans are potentially Hellbound for watching the show because it preaches “immorality”. Considering GOT’s popularity, we surmise that Hell will probably have to consider expanding.

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck: Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot (based on the original Rider-Waite deck) illustrated by Virginijus Poshkus based on the original artwork by Pamela Colman Smith; published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Card: Wheel of Fortune – Major arcana X (10)

This week may offer opportunities for success and good fortune, or further us along the path of destiny. However, be mindful that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone