Solstice at Stonehenge is a magical experience. The Guardian has photos of this year's celebration.
Fascinating article from Smithsonian -
Before his death in 2016, Father Gabriele Amorth claimed to have performed over 100,000 exorcisms. Working as the official exorcist of the Vatican, he performed a service that many have never seen outside of horror films. Now, his story is the basis of such a film: The Pope’s Exorcist, starring Russell Crowe, which came out last week.
Born in Modena, Italy, in 1925, Amorth joined the Italian resistance during World War II. He earned a law degree and worked as a journalist before becoming a priest in 1951.
In 1986, Amorth was appointed as an assistant to Cardinal Ugo Poletti, the chief exorcist of the diocese of Rome, whom he later succeeded. He remained in the position until his death. In 1990, he wrote the book An Exorcist Tells His Story, which was translated into 30 different languages and became a bestseller. Around the same time, Amorth founded the International Association of Exorcists. The association, which still exists today, is not impressed with the new film.
“This way of narrating Don Amorth’s experience as an exorcist, in addition to being contrary to historical reality, distorts and falsifies what is truly lived and experienced during the exorcism of truly possessed people,” says the association in a statement, per the Catholic News Agency’s Kevin J. Jones.
Exorcism has a long history in Christianity. The practice appears in the New Testament, which depicts Jesus casting out evil spirits in the Gospel of Mark. “Jesus’ exorcisms were evidence of his authority over the devil,” Rob Haskell, a theologian specializing in the New Testament, told History.com’s Elizabeth Yuko last year. “They showed that he had spiritual power.”
While Protestants performed exorcisms, the practice fell out of vogue around the 1600s. Today, exorcism is associated primarily with Catholicism. As recently as 2017, Pope Francis told a group of priests that they “should not hesitate” to call in exorcists when necessary.
Exorcisms have long been a subject of fascination for Hollywood and horror fans. The Pope’s Exorcist is the latest in a long line of films pitting priests against demonic forces, the most famous of which being The Exorcist (1973). Amorth was a fan of the film: When he met with its director, William Friedkin, decades later, he explained that he was not afraid of the devil, and that, in fact, the devil feared him.
“Do you know why the Devil is afraid of me? Because I’m uglier than he is,” Amorth told Friedkin in a 2016 Vanity Fair interview. While he was known to have a surprising sense of humor, considering his line of work, Amorth believed that the work he was doing was essential. Throughout his life, he claimed to have performed tens of thousands of exorcism rituals. According to Deepa Bharath of the Associated Press (AP), Amorth has said that 98 percent of those who seek him out need a psychiatrist, not an exorcist. His focus, however, is on the 2 percent.
While some in the Catholic community are critical of The Pope’s Exorcist, one of the film’s executive producers, Edward Siebert, who is also a Jesuit priest, has maintained that his goal is to cast men like Amorth in a positive light. “It’s good to see a priest talking about prayer, forgiveness, God’s love and, on top of all that, vanquishing demons,” Siebert tells the AP. “It feels good to finally see a priest as a hero.”
Now this is something I would want to see, thanks to Atlas Obscura. It is the Occult Museum .
This museum is located in Monroe, Connecticut and the creators of the museum, Ed and Lorraine Warren, are buried nearby. The Warrens were some of the prolific paranormal investigators in American history. Their real escapades inspired one of the highest grossing fictional horror franchises, The Conjuring Universe. The pair of devout Catholics also ran the Occult Museum for many years.
Ed claimed to be a demonologist, while his wife Lorraine was a self-professed medium a clairvoyant. Together, they traveled the country, investigating infamous cases such as the Enfield poltergeist, an alleged instance of possession that formed the basis for The Conjuring 2, and Amityville Horror, a prominent 1975 case in which a couple claimed that a demonic presence haunted their home, and a 1968 case of a haunted Raggedy Ann that inspired the cinematic murder doll, Annabelle.
Learn the essential dos and don'ts of psychic reading preparation to maximize your chances of having a fruitful conversation that yields useful insights.
The Do's and Don'ts of How to Prepare for a Psychic Reading
By Emily Hicks, Guest Columnist
Preparation for a psychic reading can be a thrilling and enlightening adventure in and of itself. Your psychic reading will be more fruitful if you go into it with the right state of mind, the right expectations, and an idea of psychic etiquette.And it is even more important when going for an online psychic reading session.
Remember, things may look a bit tricky for online psychic readings because the setting is not always that comfortable. However, it is not always true for every online psychic website, especially like https://asknebula.com/, where you can use different modes of communication and even try free psychic chat to get a feel for the whole process.
Nevertheless, it makes great sense to learn a bit about some dos and don'ts of psychic reading before going for your appointment.
Do's of Psychic Reading Online
Before you go for your session, whether it involves tarot psychic reading or psychic mediums, here is what you should do.
Do Give Some Thought to Your Goals
Take your time and carefully consider your goals for making the appointment before proceeding. Consider the questions you have and the areas of your life where you feel most confused. Knowing what you hope to gain from your reading will help you and your psychic connect more successfully.
Do Find a Reliable Psychic
Choose the free psychics who focuses on your questions, whether they have to do with love, work, enlightenment, or the afterlife. Do your homework on the many types of psychic readings available so you can select one that fits your personal preferences and needs.
Do Create a Comfortable Space
Setting up a distraction-free space is essential, as it directly affects how receptive you are during your psychic reading. If you are taking part in a remote reading, you should ensure your internet connection is stable and eliminate any distractions like phone alerts or ambient noise.
Do Come with an Open Mind
Be prepared to have your previous thoughts and desires challenged throughout your psychic reading; so, it is important to keep an open mind. Remember that psychics communicate with the spiritual world, thus their responses may not always make sense. Have faith in the procedure and consider the advice you may receive.
Do Ask Targeted Questions
Knowing the questions to ask a psychic matters a lot. Be sure to ask direct, open-ended questions that encourage precise responses to get the most out of your reading.
Try rephrasing your query as "What can I do to attract a loving relationship?" as an alternative to "Will I find love soon?" Asking your psychic these types of questions can help them provide you with useful advice.
Don'ts of Psychic Reading Online
Just like knowing what you should do, it is equally important to learn what to avoid before and during your psychic reading session.
Do Not Expect Instant Responses or Resolutions
It is important to keep in mind that psychic readings are meant to be a guide, not a magic bullet. It is unrealistic to expect the psychic to solve your problems the minute you sit down for a session.
Instead, take a growth-oriented stance. It means you should welcome new information and use it as a springboard for further development. In order to have a more fruitful psychic encounter, it is important to listen carefully to the advice given rather than looking for quick fixes.
Do not Be Closed Minded and Dismissive
You will not get anything from your reading unless you go into it with an open mind. Your ability to communicate with the psychic will be hindered if you have a dismissive or closed attitude.
It is vital that if the information you get contradicts your prior views, you accept it with an open mind and do your research.
Don't Be Shy to Ask for Clarification
If you do not understand anything in a psychic's reading or need further explanation, do not be afraid to ask questions.
It is completely fine if something does not make sense or seems to be missing. Do not end your session feeling more confused. A genuine psychic will go into greater depth with you to make sure you thoroughly understand their readings. So, ask for clarification whenever you want.
Do Not Focus on Timeframes Only
While it is natural to want to know more about a given time period, doing so obsessively can cause you to miss out on the bigger picture.
You should keep in mind that psychics may not always be able to provide you with accurate dates and times because in the spiritual realm, time is a more complex concept. Put your attention where it needs to be: on the psychic's actual messages, insights, and recommendations.
The truth is, deciding what you want out of a psychic reading will not magically make all your problems disappear. More crucial is understanding what you should and should not do before and throughout your reading. Knowing what to do and avoid can go a long way to making your session as productive and enjoyable as possible.
If you will be in NYC on July 15, join this interesting tour on the Bialystoker Synagogue which contains some wonderful paintings of the zodiac signs on its ceiling.
Join us for an evening tour of the magnificent Bialystoker Synagogue, which was built in 1826 as a Methodist Church, and believed to be a stop on the Underground Railroad. In 2016, Bialystoker was awarded 1 of 10 of America's Most Beautiful, Inspiring, and Unique Synagogues by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Marvel at this synagogue, resplendent in colorful murals showcasing Tiffany inspired stained glass windows. See it's ceiling covered with rare, hand-painted and treasured mazaales - representations of the signs of the zodiac. This is one of the few surviving examples left of what once were countless Eastern European synagogues boasting these depictions. Those synagogues (and their mazaales) were destroyed by Nazi forces.
The Conservancy is the only touring organization with access to
this site and a portion of the proceeds are returned to the synagogue.
This sanctuary is large and holds 1,100 people, so there is plenty of room to spread out.
Tickets are $16 in advance, with an additional $3PP when bought at the door.