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Alternative Faiths

Magic fascinated and troubled early Christians as much as it does some people today. Photo courtesy Marvel Studios

Is magic immoral? It played a role in the development of early Christianity

By Shaily Shashikant Patel — April 14, 2021

(The Conversation) — Early Christians worked to distinguish the miracles of Jesus from the magic of local sorcerers.

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Photo by Arno Smit/Unsplash/Creative Commons

End-of-pandemic hopes rise, just in time for pagan holiday Ostara

By Antonio Pagliarulo — March 19, 2021

(RNS) — Buzz on social media is forecasting a more robust celebration this year for Ostara, the pagan holiday adapted as Easter by Christians.

People participate in a virtual full moon circle, hosted by Circle Sanctuary, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Names redacted. Video screengrab

Natural by nature, pagans expect some digital rituals to survive the pandemic

By Heather Greene — March 16, 2021

(RNS) — ‘Having used online resources for the past year has allowed us to think of community in new ways,’ said one ritual leader.

Alicia Jo Rabins, second from right, in a scene from “A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff.” Photo courtesy A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff

‘A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff’: Jewish artist Alicia Jo Rabins turns financial crisis into spiritual film

By Emily McFarlan Miller — March 12, 2021

(RNS) — The one-women show turned film has been described as a ‘mystical meta-musical about the biggest financial fraud in history.’

The World Heritage Site of Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England, in 2013. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Convictions upheld for British pagans who trespassed at Stonehenge

By Emily McFarlan Miller — March 11, 2021

(RNS) — Lawyers for Lisa Mead, Maryam Halcrow and Angel Grace argued the trio had a ‘reasonable excuse’ to enter a restricted area at the prehistoric monument, based on their religious beliefs.

Photo by Pexels/Creative Commons

Intention can turn any lockdown walk into pilgrimage, urges British Pilgrimage Trust

By Emily McFarlan Miller — March 9, 2021

(RNS) — Pilgrimage is about traveling, about being a stranger in a strange land, according to the director. The pandemic flips that on its head.

Rosaleen Norton is played by actress Kate Elizabeth Laxton in “The Witch of Kings Cross.” (Photo by Edward Gill ©Black Jelly Films)

‘The Witch of Kings Cross’ finds the woman behind the scandal

By Antonio Pagliarulo — March 4, 2021

(RNS) — Norton is a figure who may offer a few lessons for society today, when radical personalities and movements abound.

This file photo taken June 15, 2015, shows the Resolution Copper Mining area Shaft #9, right, and Shaft #10, left, that await the expansion go ahead in Superior, Ariz. The U.S. Forest Service released an environmental review Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, that paves the way for the creation of one of the largest copper mines in the United States, against the wishes of a group of Apaches who have been trying for years to stop the project. The mountainous land near Superior is known as Oak Flat or Chi’chil Biłdagoteel. It's where Apaches have harvested medicinal plants, held coming-of-age ceremonies and gathered acorns for generations. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

US Forest Service temporarily halts transfer of Native American sacred site Oak Flat

By Emily McFarlan Miller — March 1, 2021

(RNS) — The move at least temporarily halts the transfer of Chi’chil Biłdagoteel, known widely as Oak Flat, to Australian mining company Resolution Copper.

A group of insurrectionists pray inside the U.S. Senate chamber after breaching the Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Video screengrab via Luke Mogelson/The New Yorker

The insurrectionists’ Senate floor prayer highlights a curious Trumpian ecumenism

By Jack Jenkins — February 25, 2021

Exploring the unusual spiritual ties unifying the Capitol insurrectionists.

In this July 22, 2015, file photo, tribal councilman Wendsler Nosie Sr., right, speaks with Apache activists in a rally to save Oak Flat, land near Superior, Arizona, sacred to Western Apache tribes, in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. A group of Apaches who have tried for years to reverse a land swap in Arizona that will make way for one of the largest and deepest copper mines in the U.S. sued the federal government Jan. 12, 2021. Apache Stronghold argues in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona that the U.S. Forest Service cannot legally transfer land to international mining company Rio Tinto in exchange for eight parcels the company owns around Arizona. (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

Native American group files motion to stop mining at sacred Oak Flat site

By Emily McFarlan Miller — February 24, 2021

(RNS) — ‘Some have compared it to Mount Sinai for the Jews,’ attorney Luke W. Goodrich told Religion News Service.

Photo by Mayur Gala/Unsplash/Creative Commons

This Valentine’s Day, some pass up chocolates and flowers for love spells

By Antonio Pagliarulo — February 12, 2021

(RNS) — Though magic is a cornerstone of modern-day witchcraft, many who practice spells are not witches but seekers looking to make positive change in their lives.

Lights across the United States at night in 2012. Photo by NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC/Creative Commons

National unity isn’t just possible, it’s worth working for

By Heather Greene — February 2, 2021

(RNS) — The question is not really whether we can achieve national unity. It is whether we are willing to do the work.

Photo by Tracy Lundgren/Pixabay/Creative Commons

Imbolc’s celebration of hearth and home resonates with Pagans in a pandemic year

By Emily McFarlan Miller — February 1, 2021

(RNS) — Many Imbolc traditions revolve around the Celtic goddess Brigid, who shares the sabbat’s associations with transformation, inspiration, wisdom, fertility and the hearth fire, among other things.

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