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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in temple

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagans, Pagans Everywhere

And this year's award for Most Beautiful Working Pagan Temple goes to...the pagan community of...(drum-roll, please)....Armenia!

The Temple of Garni, shown here, was likely built during the 1st century CE as a temple to Mihr (= Mithras). Toppled by an earthquake in 1679, it was reconstructed between 1969 and 1975, and has since become the national shrine of the New Pagans of Armenia. They hold rituals there regularly and, in fact, are in the process of planting a sacred grove of almond trees around it.

Now that's style.

Yes, there are pagans in Armenia. There are pagans everywhere. Check out the Wikipedia page on the Armenian community and follow the links at the bottom. You'll be amazed at where they take you.

Ossetia. Daghestan. Kirghizistan. Mongolia. Across Central Europe and Central Asia, New Pagan movements have sprung up since independence like mushrooms after rain, as people ponder their post-colonial identity and direction. Tengrism—the traditional shamanic worship of Tengri, Blue Father Sky—has undergone a massive resurgence across the steppes of Asia. In some countries, pagans actually constitute a substantial percentage of the population.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Every Shrine Needs a Keeper

Every shrine needs a keeper.

Shrines are busy places. Someone needs to sweep away the ash, compost the wilted flowers, remove the food offerings before they go bad.

In a timely manner, mind you, but not too soon. Part of the joy of shrines—part of the encounter that takes place there—is the evidence of the worship of others.

Another part of the keeper's job is to decide. Not all offerings are, shall we say, worthy.

The plastic, the cutesy, the distracting: they've served their purpose. (The worth of the offering is in the making.) Off with them to the favissa. (The Romans had a name for everything.)

After all, they've been given: they belong to a god now. Worthy or not, they still need to be treated with respect.

That's why there's a special pit for sacred garbage.

You can be a shrine-keeper, too.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sealed with a ... seal

When I was a kid my mom used to write my name in permanent marker on the tag inside my jacket so everyone would know it was mine. We monogram pillowcases and purses; we register the serial numbers of electronics with the manufacturer. We sign deeds to homes and titles to cars. There are many, many ways to identify things as 'ours' these days, but have you noticed that they all involve writing?

In ancient Crete, most people couldn't write. Sure, they had a writing system, the famous-but-still-undeciphered Linear A (and a hieroglyphic script to go along with it, also still undeciphered). But as was common in the ancient world, only the scribes and perhaps a few wealthy people knew how to write. Writing simply wasn't necessary for most people in their daily lives. But it was necessary for the big temple complexes - they had to keep track of all the donations people made, how much each plot of farmland and orchard produced every year, and so on. So they wrote things down on clay tablets and probably also on papyrus as well, though none of the perishable papyrus has survived as far as we know (I'm still hoping for a secret cache in a sealed jar somewhere). But the Minoans also did the ancient version of writing your name on your jacket tag: They used seals.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Temple Complexes: Very Complex

When Sir Arthur Evans uncovered the large building at the center of the ancient Minoan city of Knossos, he dubbed it a palace. After all, the multi-story construction with its intricate stairways, beautiful artwork, and advanced plumbing looked to him like the sort of place a king would live, and he failed to notice the lack of monuments to any ruler, living or dead. In the century or so since Evans dug up the ruins of Knossos, we’ve learned that the big buildings from ancient Crete were actually multi-use complexes similar to the large temples in the Near East at the same time – Sumer and Babylon. (Check out this blog post for details about what was going on nearby and around the world while the Minoans were doing their thing.) These days, archaeologists usually refer to the big Minoan buildings as temple complexes.

Each temple complex centered on the buildings Evans called palaces, but there was more to them than just that. Each one included a set of surrounding buildings and processional ways within the temple grounds. And each temple also owned a great deal of land for crops, orchards, and livestock.

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  • Wendilyn Emrys
    Wendilyn Emrys says #
    We can only say each region was separately ruled if we take the Mycenaean Model as being the same way the Minoans functioned befor
PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday August 1

It's Faithful Friday and we've gathered stories on spirituality and religion from around the world. A tribute to Margot Adler, how do we pass along Paganism to the next generation, Lammas, modern atheism and much more. Happy Lammas and enjoy the weekend!

Peg Aloi suggests a fitting memorial for Margot Adler in Central Park, New York City.

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