The 12 Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks believed in 12 gods and goddesses who were understood to reside upon Mount Olympus. These deities included Zeus (pronounced “zoose”) the king of the gods, Hera (pronounced “hare-ah”) the wife of Zeus and goddess of marriage and childbirth, Apollo (pronounced “ah-pol-oh”) the son of Zeus, sun god, and god of music and healing, Artemis (pronounced “art-em-is”) the daughter of Zeus, twin sister of Apollo, and the goddess of the moon and hunting, Aphrodite (pronounced “af-row-dye-tee”) the daughter of Zeus and goddess of love and sexual desire, Ares (pronounced “air-eez”) the son of Zeus, god of war and battle, and lover of Aphrodite, Poseidon (pronounced “po-sai-den”) the brother of Zeus and god of the sea, storms, and earthquakes, Demeter (pronounced “de-me-tur”) a lover of Zeus and the goddess of agriculture and fertility, Athena (pronounced “ah-tee-nah”) the daughter of Zeus and goddess of wisdom and war, Hephaestus (pronounced “heh-fai-sch-tus”) the son of Zeus and god of fire and art, Hermes (pronounced “hur-meez”) the son of Zeus, god of commerce and travel, as well as being a personal messenger for his father, and finally Hestia (pronounced “hess-tee-yah”) the sister of Zeus and goddess of the home and family

The Reason the Summer Solstice and Winter Equinox Were Important Within the Ancient World

The sun rises and sets at different points of the horizon throughout the year, which is what causes days to become longer or shorter. This process slows down during mid-summer and mid-winter, and for a few short days, the sun appears to rise and set at the same points of the horizon, causing most people during antiquity to believe that the laws of nature had been suspended for a short period of time. It was commonly believed that during this short window, human beings and the supernatural could interact with one another

The 4 Types of Demonic Activity Recognized by the Catholic Church for Exorcism

The Catholic Church recognizes 4 distinct types of demonic activity which include Demonic Infestation (e.g. the presence of evil within an object or at a specific location), Demonic Vexation (e.g. person who experiences physical attacks from a demon), Demonic Obsession (e.g. person who experiences mental attacks from by a demon), and Demonic Possession (e.g. person who has had their body hijacked by a demon with the demon utilizing the victim’s body as though it was their own). Cases of formal exorcism in which a person believes they are possessed by a demon are rare with high ranking Catholic clergy typically seeing 1 – 2 dozen during their career, however cases of Demonic Infestation, Demonic Vexation, and Demonic Obsession are quite common with high ranking clergy typically observing thousands of these cases during that same time span. Although exorcisms are portrayed in media as relatively short exercises, it is not uncommon for those who believe they are possessed to have the exorcism ritual last for days, and for the possession believed to be present to last months or years in duration

The Japanese Shinto Faith

The Japanese Shinto religion translates to mean “way of the gods” in Japanese and primarily focuses upon ancestors and nature, with practitioners believing that every aspect of the universe has a deity (e.g. rivers have a god, mountains have a god, soil has a god etc.) with ancestors believed to have created the world for the current generation living within it. Japanese architecture is an excellent example of Shintoism as Shinto shrines are left in a minimalist state of color and simplicity, unlike contemporary Chinese architecture which is highly colorful and decorative. Shinto shrines never depict imagery of deities as the wood of the architecture itself is representative of nature, and from that simplicity and minimalism. This is also because it is believed that so many gods exist within nature that it would be foolish to only highlight a few in particular. Practitioners of Shinto observe festivals and holidays but no particular day of prayer, unlike monotheistic religions (e.g. Sunday for Christianity, Friday for Islam and Judaism etc.). There is no mainstay scripture of morality or ethical system attached to Shintoism. In Shintoism, old shrines are dismantled and moved for new shrines to be erected every 20 years. The 3 main elements of Shintoism are the mirror, precious stones, and wood

The Scandinavian Concept of Ragnarök

In Scandinavian mythology, Ragnarök is composed of a series of events and catastrophes which after having occurred, will ultimately lead to the end of civilization and the world. Ragnarök culminates as a final battle between the gods, demons, and giants, ending in the death of virtually all gods therefore ending in the end of the worlds existence. From this outcome, a new pantheon of deities is created and from this, a new world order. The term “Ragnarök” often stands to represent “the last great battle”

The Mythology of Japan Having a Closed Society Throughout History

It is a myth that Japan was completely cut off from the rest of the world throughout history, developing in a vacuum, as the official policy of the state was to close its doors, but the unofficial policy of the people was to remain open to the influence and ideas of other civilizations. The shoguns made a single exception to this rule pertaining to outsiders which was the advent of Deshima Island, a trading port that was the only place in Japan which Europeans were allowed to live and trade. Only Dutch traders were permitted access to this site due to the fact that the Dutch understood how to curry favor with influential members of Japanese society by showing tribute and swearing allegiance to the shogun, therefore becoming part of Japan’s internal feudal system. The narrow bridge between Deshima Island, Japan and Nagasaki, Japan upon the mainland was the only connection Japan had with the outside world for centuries