The Massachusetts Supreme Court may be asked to determine what qualifies as a "religion." A Jewish writer discusses the complex relationship between authority and spirituality. And the Buddhist practice of visualizing deities and other spiritual beings is explained. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment about faiths and religious communities from around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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In 1632, Erik Johan Prytz, vicar of Linköping, Sweden, wrote that people would frequently strike deals with nature spirits such as forest nymphs and water spirits in order to learn sorcery, for success in hunting and fishing, and for luck generally (Hall 28).
The evidence, not just from Sweden, but from all over Europe, bears him out.
Swedish sorcerer Matts Larsson was accused in 1685 of having intimate relations with a bergrået, a mountain nymph (Hall 30).
In 1697, the infamous sorcerer Jon of Hallebo confessed that he had received a book of magic from “the man in the stream,” a water spirit known in Swedish as strömkarlen (Hall 32).
The notorious outlaw Tidemann Hemmingsson was also accused of having concluded a pact with a “forest maiden,” a skogsrået, which reportedly granted him good luck in hunting (Hall 35).
Scientists debut a new agricultural technique to boost food yields. Suburbs look to add communal farms to their design. And comedian John Oliver takes down the way the media often deals with science. It's Earthy Thursday, our weekly segment on science and Earth-related news! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Although Tuatara resembles a lizard, He is not one. Tuatara is the last surviving species of the ancient order of Rhynchocephalia (“beak-heads”). Only his family of Sphenodontidae (“wedge-toothed”) is left of this group of reptiles. The rest of the Rhynchocephalia went extinct about 60 million years ago. Because of that, Tuatara is often thought of as a “living fossil.” (However, He has actually evolved to live in modern times.) Because of his link to prehistoric reptiles, scientists can study Tuatara to see how lizards and snakes evolved.
Tuatara has distinctive characteristics that makes Him different from lizards. He has fused jaw teeth, and a beak formed by overhanging upper teeth. (This is what gives Tuatara, a “beak-head.”) Like some dinosaurs, Tuatara has a large opening in his skull behind his eye socket. He also has a third eyelid that passes over his open eyes. Tuatara has gastralia (“abdominal ribs”) which lizards and snakes do not. All these qualities indicate that his lineage is older than theirs....
We think about the unique challenges Pagans with disabilities face. The meaning of the Gaulish word "iexta" is considered. And "occult" strategies of political resistance are advocated at Gods & Radicals. It's Watery Wednesday, our weekly segment on news about the Pagan community! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Imset (Imseti, Imsety) is one of the four sons of Horus the Elder whose heads topped the canopic jars after the 18th Dynasty. From the First Intermediate Period through the 18th Dynasty, the stoppers were shaped in the likeness of the deceased. These jars typically contained various organs of a mummified body. This group of divinities was considered protectors of these organs which were necessary in the afterlife. Imset is another divinity wrongly placed the graveyard of the atheists.