Pagan Community Notes: UK “Witch the Vote,” Egyptian tattooed mummies, Iron Age shield and burial site discovered, and more!

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[Image credit: Nyo -https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4741044]

 

LONDON – A free-lance culture journalist who goes by the Tumblr handle of The Culture Witch is calling for Witches or really anyone inclined to participate to “Witch the Vote.”

Her spell, fully titled: “Witch the Vote: a Corbyn Victory Spell,” is focused on helping Jeremy Bernard Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party, and Leader of the Opposition since 2015 in the United Kingdom win the election scheduled for this Thursday, Dec 12, 2019.

The Culture Witch’s working calls for being performed seven consecutive evenings in a row, culminating on election night this Thursday. She acknowledges that not everyone might be able to commit to all seven nights, but stresses that election night is the most important for people to take part in.

The Culture Witch’s call is part of a growing trend of magickal and occult activism over the past few years. Last month marked three years since Michael M. Hughes began his monthly dark moon, “Bind Trump” rituals. His book, Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change, was released in 2018. Others have also published books that detail activism and resistance to, like David Salisbury’s Witchcraft Activism: A Toolkit for Magical Resistance and Laura Tempest Zakroff’s The New Aradia: A Witch’s Handbook to Magical Resistance.

There are detailed and clear instructions in her post on Tumblr, and the ingredients called for easy to come by for most practitioners. Unlike previous trends that focused on resistance and/or binding, the Culture Witch’s approach is to favor one candidate and garner more support and votes for Corbyn.

 

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John Reinhard Weguelin [Public domain]

CAIRO, Egypt – A recent discovery using infrared imagery has revealed tattoos on seven mummies previously excavated from the site, Deir el-Medina in Egypt. Prior to this recent discovery, only six other mummified remains have been found to have tattoos. The identities of the mummies are unknown, but of the 13 discovered to have tattoos, 12 of them are female. These Deir el-Medina mummies are at least 3,000-years-old.

There is speculation that female mummies found to have tattoos were religiously significant. Previous ideas concerning tattoos on women in ancient Egypt attempted to connect them with issues of sexuality or fertility. However, one of the archaeologists involved with the project, Anne Austin, said that the tattooed female mummies at Deir el-Medina appear to be possibly more representative of the women being priestesses or healers.

One mummy was found to have 30 different tattoos, several appearing to be hieroglyphs like those found in ancient Egyptian writings. The number and variety of tattoos, as well as their placement, has lead Austin to consider they reflect some type of religious practice. The mummy also had a number of cross-shaped patterns that have not been found on any other mummies.

On another female mummy, tattoos found on either side of the neck are of two seated baboons. There was also the image of an eye that was often associated with protection on the mummy’s neck.

With so few mummies having tattoos, Austin said, “I see no discernible pattern in the tattoos we’ve found so far.” As more infrared imaging is done on existing mummies, this may change.

Egyptologist Kerry Muhlestein of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah said, “Everything about the new tattoo discoveries is surprising because so little is known about this ancient Egyptian practice.”

 

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Similar Wandsworth Shield – Image credit: Johnbod – WikiCommons

POCKLINGTON, England – Archaeologists have made a particularly spectacular find in the grave of a man that dates back 2,200 years.

The burial site and the artifacts it contained were discovered in July of 2018, but it was not until the restoration was completed that archaeologists realized exactly how amazing and important one of their finds really was.

The restored artifact is an Iron Age shield that measures 30 inches (75 cm) in diameter, and contains a level of detail and design that are rarely seen in artifacts of this period. The shield has elaborate swirls all around it, and a sphere that appears to partially protrude from the middle.

In addition to the shield, and the man who researchers have determined to have been around 40-years-old, the burial site also contained a chariot and skeletal remains of two ponies which were posed in leaping positions when they were interred. Additionally, two brooches–one made of copper and other of glass, several pork joints, and even pig’s rib with a feasting fork attached to it.

The lead archaeologist, Paula Ware of MAP Archaeological Practice Ltd. said the contents of burial reflected it was likely that the man was “a significant member of his society.” Ware went on to say that modern methods of careful excavation have greatly contributed it to being one of the most important finds to-date.

 

In other news:

  • The Aquarian Tabernacle Church of Wicca is offering a free download of an ode to Hekate with a stylized art design as a free Yule gift, and thank you to the community-at-large.
  • In the northern French city of Amiens, a Gravettian “Venus” has been discovered at the prehistoric site of Renancourt. The Renancourt site is one of the few in northern France that provides evidence of homo sapiens during the Early Upper Palaeolithic period which ranges from 35,000 – 15,000 years ago. The term Gravettian refers to the period of 28,000 – 19,000 years ago in Europe. The Venus statuette is composed of chalk and carbon-dated to around 23,000 years in age. This most recently discovered Venus brings the total number of such Goddess statues found in France to 15. Archaeologists suspect the site of Renacourt-Amiens was possibly were many of similar statues were produced due to the many chalk tailings and scraps found. The Gravettian Venus is similar to the Venuses of Lespugue (Haute-Garonne, France) and Willendorf (Austria), and the bas-relief Venus of Laussel (Dordogne, France), which are all of the same period.
  • The North Carolina Office of State Archaeology issued a new report last month that outlines evidence of prehistoric Native peoples who constructed fish weirs or traps in the many rivers and streams throughout the state. Viewed from the air, the structures made of rocks piled on stream beds are visible as “V” or “W” shapes. The construction of such sites are found all over the southeast and possibly number more than 750, though some of those may be sluiceways or dams. North Carolina has the largest number of sites, 219, which are possible fish weirs. The weirs were designed to force fish through a channel where they would either be forced to swim into the funnel-shaped basket or into an area where they could be easily speared.
  • The first composting burial site is scheduled to open in 2021 in Seattle, Washington. The legislation was passed in Washington state in April that legalized the composting of human bodies. Recompose is the first facility of its type to open anywhere in the world. The facility is 18,500-square-feet and contains a lot of open space and greenery, with 75 hexagonal spaces lining the surrounding walls where bodies can be interred from composting. The patent-pending process Recompose has developed utilizes straw, alfalfa, wood chips, in conjunction with a specific and controlled amount of moisture and heat, which reduces human remains to soil within 30 days. Family members can collect the soil once the process is complete or choose to donate it for use in reforestation in the state.
  • A statue of the Goddess Ceres has been returned to Missouri state capitol. Ceres, a Roman Goddess of Agriculture, was removed last year from the building’s dome and sent to the Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio in Chicago for renovation and preservation. During the process of restoration, the team working on the statue found over 300 places where it had struck by lightning. They also learned that the statue is 97% copper and in amazing shape for having been atop the capitol for 94 years, being installed in 1924. Ceres was on display through this past Sunday evening for those who wanted to see her up close. Her restoration is part of a large project to update and restore the capitol ahead of Missouri’s bi-centennial celebration scheduled for August 2021. Not everyone is happy about Ceres being reinstalled on the state capitol building’s dome. Republican Representative Mike Moon, of Ash Grove, sent Governor Mike Parsons a letter requesting the statue not be returned to the dome. From his letter, “If we chose to erect a statue of Jesus on, or in, some state property, there would likely be an outcry from those who disagree with our choice. Those who would oppose the statue of Jesus are the same who would argue in support of placing a false god on our Capitol’s dome. Should we not stand firm in our beliefs as well by refusing to honor a pagan god? … We serve a mighty God and we have need for no other god(s).” There is no indication that Governor Parsons has any intention of considering not reinstalling the statue

 

Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte

Deck:  The Fountain Tarot created by Jonathan Saiz, written by Jason Gruhl, designed by Andi Todaro, and published by Roost Books

Card: Ten (10) of Pentacles

This week has the potential for prosperity and abundance. Conversely, any risks under consideration should be carefully examined before being undertaken. It is a good time for reflection on past habits, especially those that surround finance, and offering up gratitude for past lessons–be they good, ill, or a mix of the two.

 

Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.