In this week’s Pagan Community Notes: The Druid Network celebrates a milestone, MN sex offender’s group may be experiencing religious discrimination, Native Americans continue to experience challenges from COVID-19, Witchies nominees announced and more.
TWH – In November, the Norse Mythology Blog launched its annual art contest. Now in its seventh year, the competition is an opportunity for artists of all ages to show off their talent and their knowledge of Norse mythology. The 2016 contest theme was Midwinter Spirit. “During the winter solstice on December 21, those of us in the northern hemisphere will experience the shortest day and longest night of the year. This may seem early in the season, but it’s really the middle. […]Throughout Northern Europe, there are local traditions that celebrate midwinter. Some of these practices preserve very old rituals.”
RIO DE JANEIRO – This week the world has turned its attention to famous Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro as it has become the host of the 2016 summer Olympic Games and the first South American city to stage the “biggest show on earth.” The games opened officially in Maracana Stadium Friday with traditional Olympic ceremony, as well as a spectacle showcasing Brazilian history, religion and culture
Since the location was announced and event plans executed, the Rio games have generated controversy, concerns and outrage, which included obstacles created by a downward turn in the Brazilian economy, and reports of political corruption and instability. The infamous Zika virus, which continues to plague the South American continent, caused a number of athletes, most notably the world’s top golfers, to completely pull out of competing in the Rio games. Other issues concern poor infrastructure, inadequate security measures, crime and life-threatening pollution of the local waters. And finally, one of the biggest concerns has cycled around the serious toll that event production has had on the Brazilian people themselves, which has included mass evictions.
As some Pagans attempt to revive ancient or indigenous religions they often rely on the work of historians, primary texts, and archaeologists. For this reason, when something new pops up which challenges long held academic ideas on cultural or religious practice, we pay attention. Here are some of the new(er) finds making waves in archaeological circles. Alexander the Great in a synagogue? While uncovering a 5th century synagogue in Huqoq, Israel, archaeologists found something very unusual: a mosaic appearing to show Alexander the Great meeting with a Jewish high priest.