Pagan and Shinto News: Salem’s Last Convicted ‘Witch’ Is Finally Cleared

Top stories of the week on paganism and Shintoism:

  • United States: the last “witch” of Salem sentenced is finally cleared
  • Ghana: Three MPs Sponsor Bill to Criminalize Witchcraft Accusations
  • Japan’s iconic star festival draws large crowds despite new COVID wave

Read more below…

Francis Helminski, CC BY-SA 4.0

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Pagan News

‘Traditional Gardnerian’ statement draws accusations of transphobia
The Wild Hunt
A document released last week and signed on July 18, 2022 by an anonymous group of Gardnerian witches is creating controversy in the Pagan community reflecting the broader debate in America over gender identity…

United States: the very first day of witchcraft takes place in Pawtuxet Park
The Journal of Providence
An estimated 2,000 Rhode Islanders identify as witches, and artist, author, and priestess Laura Tempest Zakroff was among the organizers bringing together observant Pagans and the curious on Sunday for the first-ever Witchcraft Day in Pawtuxet Park…

United States: Mystic South returns after a two-year hiatus
The Wild Hunt
Mystic South Conference rolled in and out of Atlanta just over a week ago like a magical mirage in the record-breaking heat of mid-July. About 350 participants joined the conference this year…

Ireland: Dancing at Lughnasa – Meet the women who use the 3,000-year-old Celtic calendar to navigate modern life
Independent.ie*
Elaine Doyle is on a mission to help people here remember what she says many of us already know: the profound wisdom that can be gained by connecting with nature and the earth…

Lúnasa, the August harvest festival of paganism, becomes a moveable festival
Religious News Service
A loose combination of Irish harvesting customs, Lúnasa has been adapted to fit the calendar around the world…

When I celebrated the summer solstice with the ancient Roman gods and goddesses
Smithsonian
Members of a group in Italy called Association Pietas are reviving the ancient religion of Rome…

US: These 2 women from Connecticut are proud to be witches. They welcome others to learn more about Wicca.

Yahoo!
Karen Silva and Sharon L’Heureux, both from Meriden, are proud to count themselves among the witches of the country…

King Knight review – California witches head to high school reunion in charming comedy
The Guardian
Richard Bates Jr’s indie comedy about Californian Wiccans maintains consistent low-level absurdity, even if it’s inconsequential and underdeveloped…

Shinto News

Japan’s iconic star festival draws large crowds despite new COVID wave
Mainichi
An annual star festival in the city of Sendai in northeastern Japan, known for its hundreds of shiny decorations hanging in shopping areas, began on Saturday with the largest crowd expected since the start of the coronavirus pandemic…

United States: the LA Tanabata festival will take place from August 13 to 22
The Rafu Shimpo
The 12th Los Angeles Tanabata Festival is set to open on Saturday, August 13, and the giant 7-foot kazari (decorations) will remain on display until August 22 at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo…

A special trip to Kifune Shrine recharges the soul
SoraNews24
This summer, Central Japan Railway invites people to visit Kyoto with a special “Souda Kyoto Ikou” (“That’s right, let’s go to Kyoto!”) campaign. A participating shrine is the magnificent Kifune, which remains a top destination for travelers…

In Japan, the ties between politics and religion run deep
The Japan Times *
Following the assassination of Shinzo Abe last month, which the suspect said was motivated by the former prime minister’s connection to the Unification Church, the relationship between Japanese politics and religion has is coming under increasing scrutiny – with experts suggesting it is both widespread and pervasive. …

You Can Expect These 6 Customs at a Traditional Japanese Wedding
Brides
An expert provides insight into the bride’s attire, gifts, etc.

Other news

UK: Eleven appear in court over pedophilia ring, including witchcraft and Ouija boards
AML
Eleven people appeared in court accused of participating in a child sex ring that also allegedly involved witchcraft…

Discovery of an ancient Egyptian temple dedicated to the sun god near Cairo
Live Science
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a 4,500-year-old temple dedicated to the Egyptian sun god Ra at the site of Abu Ghurab, about 20 kilometers south of Cairo…

British Museum proposes new ‘Parthenon partnership’ with Greece in bid to end standoff over Marbles
The arts journal
Officials will only loan the old sculptures if they are sent back to London…

Turkey: Ancient Nike Goddess Artifacts Return to Izmir Museum

Daily Sabah
Artifacts dedicated to the cult of Nike, the goddess of victory in mythology, await their visitors at the Izmir Archaeological Museum…

UK: London Museum returns 72 artifacts to Nigeria
BBC
A London museum claims to have agreed to return to Nigeria objects looted in the 19th century in the Kingdom of Benin…

US: Mining at Sacred Apache Site Heads to Supreme Court in Religious Liberty Case
The Wild Hunt
On June 24, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Oak Flat land swap could proceed. In 2014, the US Congress negotiated this land swap which included Oak Flat…

Egypt: Two giant sphinxes discovered among the ruins of the temple of Pharaoh
IFL Sciences
Two colossal limestone statues said to represent an ancient pharaoh in the form of a sphinx have been discovered thanks to a recent restoration project by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and the German Archaeological Institute…

What the animal kingdom meant to ancient societies
Discover
Ancient Egypt, the Mayan civilization and ancient Rome valued wild animals differently, between hunting, sacrificing and burying with the dead…

30 witch movies that are sure to spellbind you
Cosmopolitan
If you’re looking to kick Halloween off a little early (or just in the mood to put in some effort and trouble), then check out the 30 best witch movies you can stream right now…

The “witch hunt” of yesterday and today

United States: the last “witch” of Salem sentenced is finally cleared
Smithsonian
Elizabeth Johnson Jr. has been officially exonerated thanks to a stubborn gang of college kids…

Ghana: Three MPs Sponsor Bill to Criminalize Witchcraft Accusations

GhanaWeb
Three MPs are sponsoring a private member’s bill to criminalize accusations of witchcraft in the country…

India: Old man beaten to death, suspected of “witchcraft”
Odisha Newsroom
In a shocking incident, an elderly man was allegedly beaten to death on suspicion of practicing ‘witchcraft’ in a village in Odisha’s Rayagada district, police said on Thursday.