In Japan, Greek-influenced Olympics meet another kind of pagan heritage


(RNS) — The lighting of an eternal flame, the spiritual aura of heroism and triumph, the parades at once boisterous and solemn: The Olympic rituals that stir our hearts each time the Games roll around all take their inspiration from pagan Greek religious life, as interpreted by the classics-besotted Europeans who revived the event in … Read more

Paganism, gods and goddesses aside, is the most LGBTQ-affirming faith in the US


(RNS) — When the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing the Obergefell v. Hodges case that eventually made marriage equality a reality across the nation, pagans held rituals on the high court’s steps in Washington. Led by Firefly House, a local witchcraft community, these public rites called forth the “spirit of justice and revolution” and attracted … Read more

Actor Allison Mack faces sentencing in NXIVM sex-slave case


NEW YORK (AP) — TV actor Allison Mack, who played a key role in a scandal-ridden, cult-like upstate New York group, is facing sentencing Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for the group’s spiritual leader. Mack — best known for her role as a young Superman’s close friend … Read more

‘Snapping out’ of a cult and sharing her healing with others


(RNS) — Gerette Buglion did not know she was getting involved with a cult. Perhaps no one ever does. But after nearly two decades following one man’s teachings — a man she calls “Doug” in her new book, “An Everyday Cult” — Buglion realized that somewhere along the way she had become disconnected from her … Read more

Pagan god (and Disney star) Loki wrapped up in trademark battles


(RNS) — Can the name of a deity be trademarked? The easy answer is ‘no.’ The question came up this week after Redbubble, an Australian online marketplace, removed a user’s artwork due to a potential trademark violation. The artist, known on Twitter as @YourBoswell but referred to as John, uploaded a T-shirt design that closely … Read more

‘An excuse for the feast’: Witches celebrate the summer solstice with cakes, mead — and salsa


(RNS) — To Lidia Pradas, the summer solstice “always recharges my energy and makes me want to start new projects,” she shared on her popular Instagram account, Wiccan Tips. Usually, Pradas celebrates by watching bonfires burn and people jump the fires where she lives in Zaragoza, Spain, she told Religion News Service in an email. … Read more

‘Am I the worst thing a person can be?’: Witches fight media bias


(RNS) — In May, after Florida authorities charged an Alabama man, Shannon Ryan, with second-degree murder in the case of a missing woman, Leila Cavett, the headlines led not with the sudden development in a year-old investigation, but with a random detail about the suspect’s life. “He calls himself a ‘witch.’ Feds are calling him … Read more