October 11, 2009
Since I've got interest in Wicca and wish to become a Wiccan myself, I was wondering: even if Tudor England was highly catholic and pious, was there remains of \”pagan\” beliefs? I mean they celebrated Mayday, a surviving of Celtics celebration. Sometimes priests tolerated little \” pagan\” rituals, such as the one maidens used to guess who their husbands would be. Was there other like this in the Tudor era?
December 8, 2009
By the 16th century, Britain had been Christianised for a thousand years (wasn`t it the mission of Augustine in 597AD that first brought Christianity to Britain?). So it had pretty much died out by then, As for celebrating Mayday and the like, most Christian celebrations are bastardised versions of Pagan festivals, and had been hijacked by the early christians and `re-worked` to fit in with their beliefs and practices. Just look at the Easter festival, the Christian and Pagan celebrations are almost identical. The single biggest change seemed to be the number of Gods and Godesses (in the case of the Pagans), so basically Britain went from being a Polytheist faith to Monotheist faith. Another thing to consider is that anything even remotely `Wiccan` was punishable by death (burning), so the price was high for this ancient faith that`d all but died out.
Good luck with the Wiccan faith, its` very interesting, even to a staunch Atheist like me!
Be daly prove you shalle me fynde,nTo be to you bothe lovyng and kynde,
June 24, 2009
Yes, it is true that the church absorbed many of the pagan festivals. But they still lived on, and were allowed to take place still – especially during Elizabethan times. The astronomer, antiquarian and alchemist John Dee used to organise a Mayday celebration every year on Richmond Hill, with a great maypole erected – not far from his home at Mortlake on the Thames (West of London). This was during the 1570’s and early 1580’s I think. And pagan beliefs lived on in areas such as astrology and medicine – and all the lore of the natural world, agriculture, herbs, animals and what was termed ‘the great chain of being’ in which all things had their place in order and precedence according to ancient believes. The powerful figure of the Green Man was also widely celebrated – all without too much disapproval from the authorities. Things got a bit more difficult with the rise in Puritanism in the 1580’s and beyond – though rural people, away from the courts and cities resisted most of it.
All the colourful traditions and celebrations associated with Morris Dancing continued, too, with sometimes outlandish costumes and masks – like the ‘Obby Oss’ in Padstow, for example, in Cornwall, which goes on still to this day, celebrating the Celtic festival of Beltane.
(thanks to Rob for much of this information)
June 24, 2009
October 11, 2009
Thanks to both of you, and especially to you for the video Rochie! Yes, Hannah, \”pagan\” risked the stake, but just have a look to religious persecutions through history: no matter the risk, deep belief remains. When Britain was christianised, rural people (\”pagan come from the Latin word \”paganus\”, meaning peasant) had to praise a stranger god, whose desertic countries born religion had nothing to do with their everybody lives. As you notice, Rochie, rural areas prayed to both altars, even in small things. And saints took pagan god\’s places, like Briga who became St Bridget. Do you see other \”ritues\” coming from consciou or inconscious pagan beliefs?
May 5, 2010
Lexy said:Thanks to both of you, and especially to you for the video Rochie! Yes, Hannah, “pagan” risked the stake, but just have a look to religious persecutions through history: no matter the risk, deep belief remains. When Britain was christianised, rural people (“pagan come from the Latin word “paganus”, meaning peasant) had to praise a stranger god, whose desertic countries born religion had nothing to do with their everybody lives. As you notice, Rochie, rural areas prayed to both altars, even in small things. And saints took pagan god's places, like Briga who became St Bridget. Do you see other “ritues” coming from consciou or inconscious pagan beliefs?
“whose desertic countries born religion had nothing to do with their everybody lives.”
That's a really interesting statement to me. Can you elaborate Lexy?
VINCERE VEL MORI
October 11, 2009
Oops, your quote made me realise my mistake, Allison! It's “their everyday's life”, not “everybody's” of course! Shame, shame on me…
What I meant is that in Europ christianism, like the cults of Isis or Mithra, were imported religions. People heard the stories happening in Israel/Palestine area, and wondered what it had to do with them in a way: kings of Babylon for exemple didn't really spoke to them. Their religions provided them with rituals for the fertility of their fields and wives, they knew who to pray at every moment of their lives. that's why the cult of saintswas developped, many saints filling the emptied places of old gods.
And I've read that you are interested in what witches believed-and believe-in. In fact, the first witches were women still worshipping the old gods. You have to know that many old religionsgave an important place to women, especially celtic religions. Notions like sin or female impurity didn't existed, the Mother Goddess was the centre of everything. Add to this the fact that they had notion of obstetric and provided women with contraceptives and ways to sooth labor's pain. That made them archennemy of the clergy and lead them to the stake.
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