european religion

sometimes i feel there’s a tendency to forget that Christianity is a religion that was born in the Middle East…not a religion founded by Europe. Many people in the MENA were Christian when Europe was still worshipping its pagan gods and polytheistic pantheons. yes, it is important to wrestle with how Europeans, after they converted to Christianity due to Roman imperialism, used it themselves as a tool for their own imperialism. but conflating the history of Christianity with whiteness comes off to me as actually a reproduction of white supremacy itself. like we’re attributing things to Europeans/whiteness again, and forgetting its Middle-Eastern roots. Eurocentric history, no?

this is actively harmful when it leads to the notion that Christians everywhere = privileged. they are not- MENA Christians are facing genocidal violence at the hands of ISIS right now, for instance. these people are not white or Westerners who can escape from this via Western privilege. If we go further back in time, the Ottoman Empire’s genocide was targeted at Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, who were Christian minorities in what’s now modern Turkey. 

“In the recorded cosmic or Midgard concepts of the Indo-Europeans, man has his proper place in the great scheme of ordered life, but he is not enchained to it as are the oriental religions, with their star worship and priestly prophesies of the future — the study of entrails and the flight of birds, practised by the Babylonians, Etruscans and others. He appears in a trusting relationship with his God, whose nature itself is connected with the world order, and he joins with this God on a national scale in the struggle against all powers hostile to man and God, against chaos, against Utgard. The Indo-European recognises Midgard, the earth-space, as the field in which he may fulfil his destiny, cherishing life as a cultivator or farmer, where plants, animals and men are each called to grow and ripen into powerful forces asserting themselves within the timeless order. Guilt in man — not sin — arises wherever an individual defies or threatens this order and attempts through short-sighted obstinacy to oppose the divine universal order in life. For such a crime an individual incurs guilt. By such a crime, his people are threatened with the danger of decline and degeneration, and the world order with confusion and distortion.“

~   Hans F. K. Guenther,  The Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans

Trier (Luxembourgish: Tréier; Italian: Treviri, French: Trèves) in Rheinland-Pfalz, Southwestern Germany lies on the river Mosel in a valley between vine-covered hills, near the border with Luxembourg in an important wine-growing region. Founded by the Romans in the 1st century BC as Augusta Treverorum, it may be the oldest city in Germany. It’s also the oldest seat of a bishop north of the Alps. In the Middle Ages, the Archbishop of Trier was important as he controlled land from the French border to the Rhein. He also had great significance as 1 of the 7 electors of the Holy Roman Empire. With a population of 105,000, Trier is now the 4th-largest city in its state after Mainz, Ludwigshafen, and Koblenz. The nearest major cities are Luxembourg (50 km), Saarbrücken (80 km), and Koblenz (100 km). Trier is home to the University of Trier, founded in 1473, closed in 1796 and restarted in 1970. The city also has the Trier University of Applied Sciences. Apart from the local wines and beers (local Löwenbräu, or Gaffel Kölsch & Bitburger), one should definitely try Viez or Viez/Limo. It’s an apple wine, often served with a splash of lemonade.

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The oldest depiction of the universe

This is one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th Century and the oldest depiction of the universe so far. Called the Nebra sky disc, named for the town where it was found in 1999, the artifact has been dated back to 1600 BC. It was buried about 3,600 years ago but could be much older. It has been associated with the European Bronze Age Unetice culture.

When it was first crafted, it would have been golden brown because the disc itself is made from bronze. Over time, the it corroded to green. Fortunately, the symbols are made of gold and thanks to them we know it was possibly an astronomical instrument.
There’s Sun, a central to northern European Bronze Age religion and the crescent moon (in ancient times, the moon was used to represent time). The clump between the sun and moon are thought to be the Pleiades constellation, which was an imporant constellation for Bronze Age farmers because it appeared and disappeared in important farming times. So the Nebra disc could have told people the right time to plant and harvest.

What’s more, astronomer Wolfhard Schlosser, at the University of Hamburg, found that if you draw a line from the center of the disc to the top and bottom end of the right arc, the angle between the two ends measures exactly 82 degrees. And it’s the same value for the left golden arc. This number is very important for only a small group of people who live at the same latitude as the current German town of Nebra since it’s the angle between where the sun sets on the horizon in mid-winter and mid-summer.

The bronze disc combines an extraordinary comprehension of astronomical phenomena enabling to peak into the early knowledge of the heavens. It’s   shocking it was almost lost to the black market.

Describing the Signs in AP European References

Aries: You’re as fierce than the Byzantine Empire as it swept it’s way through the Mediterranean and conquered land

Taurus: You’re as stubborn than the first estate in France in the 1800′s refusing that they were in debt from all the wars they fought and lost

Gemini: You’re as happy as Great Britain was during the Victorian Era, where science and industrial breakthrough’s took place

Cancer: You’re as caring as the servants were to the Renaissance children, and tried to keep them alive past the age of 20

Leo: You’re as bold as the Rebellions of 1848, where several European countries rebelled against their monarchial government in favor of more liberal ideals. 

Virgo: You’re as rebellious as Galileo was, promoting the sciences against Church wishes

Libra: You’re like Queen Isabella of Castlie and King Ferdinand of Aragon, trying to promote peace by uniting their Spanish nation under one Catholic religion, but ending up really problematic because they put in place the Spanish Inquisition converting or killing anyone who wasn’t Catholic

Scorpio: You’re as underrated as the Golden of Age of the Dutch, as their citizens lived in peace, established the first national bank, and unanimously promoted Protestantism

Sagittarius: You’re as go getter as the European States were during the Age of Imperialism, conquering land but refusing to deal with the consequences

Capricorn: You were broken, but now fixed like the Italian States in 1830 when Garibaldi unified North and South Italy 

Aquarius: You’re as innovative as Otto Von Bismark of Prussia as he ruled with an Iron First and helped gain territory and unite with Germany

Pisces: You’re as sensitive as the Catholics and Protestants were to each other, igniting the thirty years war

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:Yore: : The Abyss of Darkness: 

1. Hearing I ask | from the holy races,
From Heimdall’s sons, | both high and low;
Thou wilt, Valfather, | that well I relate
Old tales I remember | of men long ago.

2. I remember yet | the giants of yore,
Who gave me bread | in the days gone by;
Nine worlds I knew, | the nine in the tree
With mighty roots | beneath the mold.

3. Of old was the age | when Ymir lived;
Sea nor cool waves | nor sand there were;
Earth had not been, | nor heaven above,
But a yawning gap, | and grass nowhere.

4. Then Bur’s sons lifted | the level land,
Mithgarth the mighty | there they made;
The sun from the south | warmed the stones of earth,
And green was the ground | with growing leeks.

5. The sun, the sister | of the moon, from the south
Her right hand cast | over heaven’s rim;
No knowledge she had | where her home should be,
The moon knew not | what might was his,
The stars knew not | where their stations were


-Ulvrh

Der Kulturkampf (‘culture struggle’) is a German term referring to a set of policies enacted from 1871 to 1878 by the Prime Minister of Prussia, Otto von Bismarck, in relation to secularity and the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Prussia. In contemporary discussion, the term, along with ‘culture war’ is often used to describe any conflict between secular and religious authorities or deeply opposing values, and beliefs between large factions within a nation, community, or other group.

In 1871, the Catholic Church ruled 36.5% of the population of the German Empire. This included Germans in western Prussia and millions of Poles. Bismarck sought to appeal to liberal Protestants, who comprised 62% of the German Empire, by reducing the political and social influence of the Catholic Church. By the height of anti-Catholic legislation, half of the Catholic bishops were in prison or in exile, a quarter of the parishes had no priest, half the monks and nuns had left Prussia, a third of the monasteries and convents were closed, 1800 parish priests were imprisoned or exiled, and 1000s of laypeople were imprisoned for helping priests.

Bismarck’s program backfired, as it energized the Catholics to become a political force in the Catholic Centre party and revitalized Polish resistance. The Kulturkampf ended about 1880 with a new pope willing to negotiate with Bismarck and with the departure of the anti-Catholic liberals from his coalition. By retreating, Bismarck won over the Catholic Centre party support on most of his conservative policy positions, especially his attacks against Socialism. The term Kulturkampf first appeared c. 1840 in a review of a publication by Swiss-German liberal Ludwig Snell on “The Importance of the Struggle of liberal Catholic Switzerland with the Roman Curia”, but only gained wider currency after liberal member of the Prussian parliament, Rudolph Virchow, used it in 1873.

Some Thoughts on Imbolc

If you have been reading up on Wicca for a while, online and perhaps in books, you have probably read a bit about the eight sabbats. It’s important to note that these sabbats were included in Wicca by Gerald Gardner, and they are borrowed from several different places, from several different traditions. There is not one ancient European religion that celebrated all eight sabbats. 

In this post I want to talk about Imbolc on a slightly deeper level, from a different point of view than you might have come across in basic books on Wicca. 

To begin with this was the sabbat that I had the most trouble connecting with, but what I am going to share in this post has made it easier for me to feel a connection to this sabbat. Nowadays I am always looking forward to Imbolc and I feel a very strong connection to this beautiful celebration. 

Originally posted by mirandathekinglet


Basics About Imbolc

Date: 1st/2nd February (some places say 2nd but I like to celebrate on the Eve of the 1st)
Other names: Imbolg, Brigid, Candlemas

For me the biggest issue with Imbolc started when I found Wicca while still living in Sweden. In English books, this sabbat is described as the first spring sabbat. You are to celebrate that the nature is re-awakening, new life is growing. In the Goddess and God mythological cycle, the Goddess is entering Her phase as a young maiden, while the God is a child. There are snowdrops and other flowers too - the books tell you.

Originally posted by pagewoman

Swedish Imbolc

And this is probably true in some other places in the northern hemisphere as well (and in the southern hemisphere, this goes completely out the window!)

Right, so it says that now you can see the first signs of spring. 

And as a Swedish person you look out through the window at all the snow and wonder where exactly these signs of spring are hiding.

I know I was even thinking that the date for this sabbat should be changed, because it so obviously does ring true with the Swedish climate. Of course you can see Imbolc as a chance to help spring move along, but I never thought this was enough. It was always very frustrating to me, because I felt like I completely missed out on this part of the Wheel of the Year. 

It wasn’t until I moved to England, to Devon, that I actually felt I could get a connection to Sweden’s Imbolc. This is a bit ironic, since Devon is known as England’s Riviera. Here crocuses have already started to appear. Though this winter has been cold: the temperature has dropped below zero at least a couple of days. Sometimes we have had to have the heating on in the house all day. One day there was even sleet for an hour or two.

When Imbolc appears there are snowdrops, crocus and often daffodils. There are buds on the trees and I can really see how Imbolc is the first spring sabbat. 

Originally posted by pragmaculture


But Imbolc is so much more than that, and that is what I have gained a connection to that will also work in Sweden and other colder countries in the Northern Hemisphere. 

Because Imbolc is also called Brigid (pronounced ‘Breed), and Brigid is the Goddess of poetry, the forge, fire and creativity. She is also the Goddess of healing and midwifery. This is connected to the Goddess having given birth to the God, but it is also about re-awakening and give life to one’s own creativity and creative force after the winter darkness.

Even in Sweden the light is returning, and people know that they are headed toward spring and they have more energy. So this is a perfect time to honour the fire within ourselves, and its creative flames. That is what has allowed me to make a connection to Imbolc.

For me this is now a celebration of fire, a time to start forming what I want to achieve during the coming year. This is a chance for me to find myself and stand in my own power, just like the Goddess is doing. This is the sabbat when She has the least connection to the God; She is out there celebrating Herself and Her desires, and we have the chance to do the same!

Originally posted by fornootherreasondave


What You Can Focus On

The Goddess is in her forge. She is strong, she surely has soot smeared on her face, her skin is blank with sweat while she is lifting the hammer against the anvil, to form what she is working on. She is forming her own life. She works with what she wants. She decides which one of her ideas she wants to make reality, and then she makes it happen. There is nothing that can stop her. 

She is the mistress of her own life. 

So take this moment to have a ritual where you are honouring the Goddess’ immense power of creation. It is this very power that will soon melt even the snow. It is this power that makes nature crackle with new life. And this power is present within each and everyone of us. 

How can you use this power within a ritual? Here are some of my suggestions =)

  • Use this creative life force to think about what you want to make in your forge. What do you want to achieve the coming year?
  • Focus on your own inner creative fire. How does it look? Is it lit? Or do you need to kindle it? What fuel does it need? Think about how the fire used to be the very heart - the hearth - of the home, and how we need this to survive. If yours has gone out it is time to feed the flames!
  • Do you feel your are stuck in some project and you’re not sure how to move it forward? This is the perfect ritual to find new inspiration.
  • Do you need healing? Let Brigid’s healing hands help you to heal.
  • Do you want to get rid of bad habits? Let Brigid’s fire burn them away, and let yourself be born again from the flames.

Ideas For Magic

Originally posted by heartsnmagic

This is the perfect sabbat to work with healing magic both for yourself and for others. 

Candle and fire magic are also great to work with here, to re-connect to the power of the fire. 

It’s also a really good time to plant seeds representing that which you want to achieve the coming year. Plant a seed for something you want to grow and charge it with your energy and inention. See how it grows as your project is growing, and take some time each day to connect to your seed (and in time plant!) to deepen your own connection to it and that which you want to achieve. 

I hope this have given you some new thoughts about this glittering celebration!

How do you celebrate Imbolc? 

Germany - Basic Facts

Location: Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, plus the following countries: Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and maritime borders with Sweden (Baltic Sea) and the UK (North Sea)

Area: 357,022 sq km - Country comparison to the world: #63 

Coastline: 2,389 km

Terrain: Northern lowlands, uplands in the center and Bavarian Alps in south

Lowest point: Neuendorf-Sachsenbande - 3.54 m
Highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m

Natural resources: Coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber and arable land

Ethnic groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.5%, others 6%, made up largely of other Europeans such as Greeks, Italians, Poles, Russians, Serbo-Croatians, and Spaniards.

Religions: Protestant ~34%, Roman Catholic ~34%, Muslim ~4%, unaffiliated or other ~28%

Population: 81,305,856 (2012) - Country comparison to the world: #16

Age structure:
0-14 years: 13.3%
15-64 years: 66.1%
65 years and over: 20.6%

Major cities - population: Berlin (capital) 3.438 million, Cologne 1.001 million, Hamburg 1.786 million, Munich 1.349 million.

Health expenditures: 8.1% of GDP - Country comparison to the world: #55

Doctors’ density: 3.531 doctors/1,000 population - Country comparison to the world: #28

Hospital bed density: 8.17 beds/1,000 population - Country comparison to the world: #7

Education expenditures: 4.5% of GDP - Country comparison to the world: #82

Just out: Jehovah’s Witnesses have just been banned in russia as an extremeist group in violation of the basic human rights agreement and their cinsitution article 28 and even in violation of what they describe as extremist since their law states that they cannot discrimminate a group as extremist soley based on their religious beliefs.

Why is this a big deal? Why should it be all over tumblr and everywhere else?

Not only are There court transcripts available to prove they have ZERO PROOF of their allegations agaunst Jehovah’s Witnesses, but this decision ultimately affects every other religious member of any religion in Russia. They need to know the whole world is watching. If a peaceful religion that promotes abiding by the law and being respinsible citizens with zero history of extremism is banned, how much easier will it be to ban say protestants? Catholics? Muslims? Islamists? Hinduists? Or any other religious group? How many other national leaders will follow suit because of Russia’s ruling? They are one of the lead groups in the UN, are they not?

Let us hope the european court of human rights over turns their ruling!
Please, more people need to know what is going on!