European Paganism

By Ken Dowden

European Paganism offers a entire and obtainable assessment of old pagan religions in the course of the eu continent.
Before there the place Christians, the peoples of Europe have been pagans. have been they bloodthirsty savages striking human choices from bushes? have been they chuffed ecologists, valuing the unpolluted rivers and mountains? In European Paganism Ken Dowden outlines and analyses the varied facets of pagan ritual and tradition from human sacrifice to pilgrimage lunar fairs and tree worship. It includes:
* a 'timelines' chart to assist with chronology
* many quotations from historical and sleek resources translated from the unique language the place valuable, to lead them to accessible
* a accomplished bibliography and advisor to additional reading.

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Forty five Prayers will be made at pagan springs and those are mirrored within the votive drugs that may crowd around a Greek spring, as we all know from an instance at the island of Delos. forty six yet prayer is valueless with out cost and for that reason choices has to be made on the spring: for example, through tossing gadgets into its waters. this custom has a undeniable compulsion and survives to our personal instances within the trivial superstition of wishing wells. A extra robust delivering, despite the fact that, is a sacrifice into the waters of the spring, celebrated in Horace’s recognized ode to his neighborhood spring, composed perhaps at the celebration of the Fontinalia: Spring of Bandusia, extra glowing than glass, deserving candy wine and plant life too, the next day to come you can be given a child… …it shall stain your cold streams with pink blood… you too shall develop into a well-known spring whilst I inform of the oak above the hole stones from which your chattering waters gush. Horace, Odes three. thirteen To us this is able to appear to pollute the spring, yet non secular pollutants isn't a question of environmental health and wellbeing. To pollute a good, you need to dishonour it: you fill it in, or discover a useless cat or puppy to throw into it. forty seven And a spring, like its contrary, a river disgorging into the ocean, is whatever you mustn't urinate in, in response to the old Greek writer Hesiod (Works and days 757 f. , possibly prior to seven-hundred BC). there have been, even if, excesses and ‘the powerful spring at Lerna was once allowed to turn into thoroughly polluted by means of the sacrifices’,48 at the very least in our feel. Wells in England have added human skulls, a few, as Hutton properly places it (1991:230), ‘freshly severed’. however it could be vital that those forty six FOCUS I: SPRING, LAKE, RIVER cases are synthetic wells, becoming right into a broader type of choices laid in foundations and pits. however, it's a identified customized to drink out of a cranium as a medication (e. g. for whooping cough! )49 and a cranium may well hence be a suitable factor for a health-giving good. If wells have energy for strong, they might even have energy for ailing. the main interesting info of folk-practice are mentioned via Jones (1954: 120–2). In 1820 a price of 5 shillings used to be paid to the dad or mum for a curse, yet of fifteen shillings to raise a curse, exhibiting ‘how robust the idea was once within the strength of the good’ (ibid. : 121). The identify of the cursee was once written on slate (a heavy fabric in order that it can sink), or if on parchment then folded in lead. Pins may be dropped within the good and ‘secret phrases of cursing’ uttered. somebody trying to be freed of the curse could stroll thrice round the good (circumambulation, the following as usually in a mystical context)50 and take a corresponding slate or lead package deal away with him. including this went extra normal stuff, resembling effigies with pins in them and formality Bible-reading. All this is able to appear innocuous smooth superstition yet for the dire results it had on those that believed in it and yet for the invention of one hundred thirty Romano-British lead curse capsules (defixiones) within the spring at tub.

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