Uncovering the Past: Cave Rings, Phoenician DNA, Egyptian Spellcraft and more!

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 that 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. Cave rings in Southern France Hint at Neanderthal religious rites

Archaeologists have reported on an “extraordinary discovery” in France after finding several man-made circular structures, or rings, that date back 170,000 years to the time Neanderthals lived in the area. The rings were constructed out of stalagmites from the Bruniquel Cave in France’s southern region, and excavators believe that they might have been used for some sort of ritual at the time of their creation.

Crowley and the Portugal Poet

There is controversy brewing in Portugal over the heirs of famous poet Fernando Pessoa auctioning off his “Crowley Papers”, a collection of correspondence between Pessoa and British occultist (and fellow poet) Aleister Crowley.Aleister Crowley and Fernando Pessoa playing chess.”When the poet died in obscurity in 1935, he left a trunk full of documents that included extensive correspondence with the eccentric English astrologist and magician Aleister Crowley, a practitioner of the occult said to have inspired satanism in Britain. Portugal’s National Library fiercely opposes the private sale of documents considered vital to the nation’s literary heritage, and warns it will take all legal measures to stop the sale and dispersal of the archive, the Lisbon daily Publico reports.”Scholars are worried about how this will affect academic study of the poet, while collectors are salivating over the prospect of getting their hands of the papers, which includes a never-completed novel about Crowley’s faked suicide attempt.”The dossier includes voluminous correspondence with Crowley, and hundreds of pages of an unfinished novel about Crowley’s faked suicide. The work is called Boca do Inferno, (Hell’s Mouth) after a rocky inlet near the Portuguese resort of Cascais. Pessoa, intrigued by Crowley’s mysticism, struck up a correspondence with the Englishman. The flamboyant Crowley visited Lisbon in 1930, and the friends played chess together.