Druidry against shame | Druid Life

Druidry against shame | Druid Life.
 

Druidry against shame

One of the repeated themes for me at Druid camp, was the issue of
facing down that which is shaming. There’s a world of difference
between being ashamed of genuine shortcomings and errors, and quite
another having someone shame you. Shaming is a widespread activity.
When we are made to feel shame for things we have no control over, or
for things that are important to us, when we are shamed by others for
our mistakes and shortcomings, humiliation is inevitable. It is a
painful, self-reducing process and there is no good in it.
At camp we had naked people. We had the red tent exploring menstruation
and other generally unspeakable women’s mysteries. Shaming around
bleeding and the female body is widespread. There were stories of
people shamed, and of shame resisted.
There is a role for ‘name and shame’ tactics. When people undertake to
deliberately do the wrong thing, when there is hypocrisy, when power is
corrupt and abusive, then calling it out is important, and there is a
place for drawing shame down upon the head of the perpetrator. However,
there’s still that difference to hold between recognising an action or
behaviour as shameful, and shaming a person. The point at which we say
‘this bad thing is on the inside of you, and you are therefore a bad
person’ is a troubling one.

Please read the rest here: http://druidlife.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/druidry-against-shame/

Advertisements

Two 6,000-year-old ‘halls of the dead’ unearthed

Two 6,000-year-old ‘halls of the dead’ unearthed.

 

Two 6,000-Year-Old ‘Halls of the Dead’ Unearthed

July 29, 2013 — The remains of two large 6000-year-old halls, each buried within a prehistoric burial mound, have been discovered by archaeologists from The University of Manchester and Herefordshire Council — in a UK first.

The site. (Credit: Image courtesy of Manchester 

The Pharaoh of Thuringia: Archaeologists Puzzle Over Opulent Prehistoric Burial Find – SPIEGEL ONLINE

The Pharaoh of Thuringia: Archaeologists Puzzle Over Opulent Prehistoric Burial Find – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

 

The Pharaoh of Thuringia: Archaeologists Puzzle Over Opulent Prehistoric Burial Find

By Matthias Schulz

When archeologists recently excavated a 3,800-year-old palace near the eastern German city of Weimar, they discovered about 100 valuable weapons buried next to a massive structure. Now they are puzzling over how an ancient chieftain buried nearby became so rich.

Ronald Hutton Elected Fellow of the British Academy | Philip Carr-Gomm’s Weblog

Ronald Hutton Elected Fellow of the British Academy | Philip Carr-Gomm’s Weblog.

 

As posted on the blog of Philip Carr-Gomm

 

Ronald Hutton Elected Fellow of the British Academy

It’s been a very good year for the well-known and much-loved scholar of Pagan, Druid and Wiccan history Professor Ronald Hutton. His wonderful TV series, Professor Hutton’s Curiosities is airing on Yesterday TV, and last week he was elected Fellow of the British Academy. Here is the news from the Bristol University website:

Professor Ronald Hutton of the Department of History has achieved the rare distinction of being elected a Fellow of the British Academy, the national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

The British Academy elected 42 new Fellows at its Annual General Meeting on 18 July 2013.  Each of them is a highly distinguished academic, recognised for his or her outstanding research.  The Fellows represent the full range of the Academy’s subject areas from early literature to law.

Professor Hutton is a leading authority on the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs.  He is also the leading historian of the ritual year in Britain and of modern paganism.

His recent publications include A Brief History of Britain, 1485-1660 and Blood and Mistletoe: The History of the Druids in Britain.

Professor Hutton said: “Having been a historian at Bristol for over thirty years, I am delighted by the honour that the Academy has done to my subject, department, school, faculty and university, and being inherently sociable I look forward to pulling my weight as a member of one of our nation’s most valuable scholarly institutions.”

Paganism, part 2: how does one become a druid? You ask nicely | Liz Williams | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Paganism, part 2: how does one become a druid? You ask nicely | Liz Williams | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk.

 

Revellers Celebrate Summer Solstice At Stonehenge

A druid meditates during summer solstice at Stonehenge. ‘It isn’t necessary to worship any deity in order to be a pagan. It isn’t really a set of theisms per se; rather, a way of interacting with the cosmos.’ Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

What do pagans actually believe in? GK Chesterton’s famous quote is frequently invoked: “When a man stops believing in God, he doesn’t then believe in nothing – he believes anything.” Unfortunately for easy analysis, the issue with pagans is more that they believe in lots of anythings, but what those anythings consist of is open to substantial debate.

I remarked in my previous article that currently pagans are realising that they don’t really have much in common with one another. You’d think this would have been apparent from the get-go, and I’m sure in ancient times it was, but both wicca and, to a lesser extent, modern druidry, were set up in part as a reaction to prevailing Christianity and culture, and thus you have alliances that are somewhat artificial: more of a question of defining something by what it is not, rather than what it is. The demographic is changing these days, but a number of pagans came out of repressive Christian upbringings and fled as far as they could towards one of the principal opposites available to them.

Many pagans do believe in deities, or figures from mythology that are now treated as deities with little or no theological justification. The Welsh magician/trickster Gwydion is a case in point: mentioned in theMabinogion, he’s a dodgy anti-hero figure, now treated as a minor deity, whereas his rapist brother Gilfaethwy (happily) is not, and nor is his uncle the master magician Math. Why choose one and not the other? There’s a randomness to the current Celtic pantheon, which is best explained by reference to cultural and literary factors – WB Yeats, we’re looking at you – than to any theological underpinning.

Lacking much direct reference from the ancient Celts themselves – Roman reference to Celtic gods is patchy and many deities have dropped out of contemporary worship entirely – the history of current Celtic paganism emerges from the Celtic twilight of the late-19th century onwards. In wicca, the “goddess” Aradia stems from Charles Leland’s 1899 novel, The Gospel of the Witches; whether Leland took her practices from old Tuscan folklore, or simply made much of it up, is in some question, but scholarly opinion tends towards the latter. Followers of Egyptian, classical or Norse pantheons are in a slightly more secure position as regards names and natures, but not necessarily where authentic practices of worship are concerned.

But it isn’t necessary to worship any deity in order to be a pagan. It isn’t really a set of theisms per se; rather, a way of interacting with the cosmos via a varied set of practices: following the ritual year, for example. We do count agnostics and atheists among our number, and there are a lot of people who regard deities as Jungian archetypes – facets of an entirely human psychology – rather than as anything real and “out there”. There is debate about this, but it tends not to slide into anything recognisable as fundamentalism: we’re not text-based; don’t have a set dogma; and thus any argument is dependent on factors that are opinion-based and aesthetically or socially dictated.

What you don’t tend to find in paganism are arguments as to whose god is more powerful – or more existent. Ontologically, the movements and organisations beneath this very broad banner are fluid and hyper-eclectic. You might be a follower of Horus, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to declare all-out war on worshippers of Baphomet. Nor do there tend to be the “angels on a pinhead” kind of disputes that arise between members of religions that have a text that is open to multiple interpretations.

This does not mean, of course, that we’re an argument-free zone. Principal disagreements tend either to be much more petty (the precise timing of so-and-so’s wiccan initiatory lineage, for instance); broadly political (no nice pagan likes a Nazi, and there are a handful of Aryan nation types in some traditions); or deriving from the assumption made by pretty much every practitioner of ceremonial magic that no one amongst one’s peers knows what the hell they’re talking about. And since pagan clergy tend to be self-appointed, or sanctioned through a usually short initiatory line, there’s a dearth of authority to which appeal can be made. In many ways this makes the pagan traditions more transparent than other religions: with recent spiritualities, it’s obviously easier to document their emergence and their history, plus the personalities that created them are known to a large number of individuals still living.

A friend of mine once asked a contemporary druid how one might become a druid. “You ask nicely,” he replied, which more or less sums up entry into modern paganism.

Article found here:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2013/jul/22/paganism-druid-pagans-god-repressive-religions

The lost city of Cahokia: Archaeologists uncover Native Americans’ sprawling metropolis | Mail Online

The lost city of Cahokia: Archaeologists uncover Native Americans’ sprawling metropolis | Mail Online.

 

A sprawling Native American metropolis which lay hidden beneath a modern city for a millennium has been uncovered.

Archaeologists digging in preparation for the Mississippi River spanning bridge – which will connect Missouri and Illinois – discovered the lost city of Cahokia beneath modern St Louis.

Their findings pointed to a ‘sophisticated, sprawling metropolis stretching across both sides of the Mississippi’, Andrew Lawler told the journal Science.

 

Sprawling: An artist impression of what the ancient Native American city of Cahokia, which was discovered beneath modern St Louis, would have looked like

Sprawling: An artist impression of what the ancient Native American city of Cahokia, which was discovered beneath modern St Louis, would have looked like

Current: The 100ft Monks Mound is in the centre of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Current: The 100ft Monks Mound is in the centre of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

An aerial view of Monks Mound with tiny cars visible in the background reveals the site's scope

An aerial view of Monks Mound with tiny cars visible in the background reveals the site’s scope

Cahokia, which is near Collinsville in Illinois, was initially believed to be just a ‘seasonal encampment’. But experts now think it was a location of much more significance.

Mr Lawler wrote: ‘A millennium ago, this strategic spot along the Mississippi River was an affluent neighbourhood of Native Americans, set amid the largest concentration of people and monumental architecture north of what is now Mexico.

‘Back then, hundreds of well-thatched rectangular houses, carefully aligned along the cardinal directions, stood here, overshadowed by dozens of enormous earthen mounds flanked by large ceremonial plazas.

‘Cahokia proper was the only pre-Columbian city north of the Rio Grande, and it was large even by European and Mesoamerican standards of the day, drawing immigrants from hundreds of kilometres around to live, work, and participate in mass ceremonies.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2082113/The-lost-city-Cahokia-Archaeologists-uncover-Native-Americans-sprawling-metropolis.html#ixzz2Zxy2MDlQ

BBC News – ‘World’s oldest calendar’ discovered in Scottish field

BBC News – ‘World’s oldest calendar’ discovered in Scottish field.

‘World’s oldest calendar’ discovered in Scottish field

 
Archaeologists believe they have discovered the world’s oldest lunar “calendar” in an Aberdeenshire field.

Excavations of a field at Crathes Castle found a series of 12 pits which appear to mimic the phases of the moon and track lunar months.

A team led by the University of Birmingham suggests the ancient monument was created by hunter-gatherers about 10,000 years ago.

The pit alignment, at Warren Field, was first excavated in 2004.

The experts who analysed the pits said they may have contained a wooden post.

The Mesolithic “calendar” is thousands of years older than previous known formal time-measuring monuments created in Mesopotamia.

Please read the rest here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-23286928