6th century mystery volcano identified

Researchers believe they have identified the volcano that disrupted large parts of the planet with its eruption in 540 C.E. that may have also contributed to hardships after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Unleash the Hounds! (Link Roundup)

There are lots of articles and essays of interest to modern Pagans out there, sometimes more than I can write about in-depth in any given week. So The Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up.

Do you want your hair to done up like a Vestal Virgin? Hairdresser Janet Stephens has been reconstructing ancient Roman hairstyles, including the “sini crenes” of the Vestals, recently unveiled at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Seattle. Quote: “Working alone on a live model with only tools ancient Romans would have had, the process takes about 35 to 40 minutes, Stephens said.

Pagan Christianity

George Barna, head of the conservative Christian polling organization The Barna Group, has co-authored a new book that takes a deeper look at traditional Christian practices. The result, “Pagan Christianity”, seems almost like a fun-house mirror reflection of the rhetoric you can hear from many modern Pagans.”Pagan Christianity makes an unsettling proposal: Most of what present-day Christians do in church each Sunday is rooted not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles. Authors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of our modern Christian church practices.”Barna, a Catholic turned conservative evangelical, and advocate for the “house church” movement, sees paganism everywhere in the modern Christian church structure.”Pagan Christianity? also addresses a myriad of other practices, including tax-exempt status for churches, pews, stained glass windows, altar calls, the pastoral prayer, church bulletins, bishops, clergy attire, choirs, tithing, the collection plate, seminary training, infant baptism, the “sinner’s prayer,” and funeral processions, among others.”Barna’s attitude isn’t all that unique. Many critics of Catholicism and other Christian denominations that cling to “high church” trappings (“smells and bells”) often invoke the spectre of “paganism” to discredit their idealogical opponents and label them “unchristian” (to differing degrees).

Why The Empire Fell

Comic Book Resources features a short excerpt from a longer editorial by writer Alan Moore (writer of Promethea, V for Vendetta, and worshiper of a possible hand-puppet) concerning pornography for the magazine Arthur. In the article Moore details the history of imagery and stories meant to titillate, and their importance to civilization. “In bygone Greece we see a culture plainly unperturbed by its erotic inclinations, largely saturated by both sexual imagery and sexual narratives. We also see a culture where these attitudes would seem to have worked out quite well, both for the ancient Greeks and for humanity at large. They may well have been hollow-eyed and hairy-palmed erotomaniacs, but on the plus side they invented science, literature, philosophy and, well, civilization, as it turns out.”So where did it all go wrong?