Tag Archives: James Frazer

May Day, Beltane, Easter, and their Fires

This year in Russia and other Orthodox Christian countries, both Easter and May Day fall on this Sunday, May 1st. This coincidence calls us to consider the similarities in mythological, religious, and psychological meanings behind these spring seasonal holidays. Easter … Continue reading

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Are “Dying and Rising Gods” Dead?

Recently I’ve been researching the mythology behind Easter (see my April 3 post) and thus also that behind Christ’s resurrection. When reading the literature on the subject, one inevitably comes across claims that Christ was just another “dying and rising … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Myth and Ritual School: J.G. Frazer and the Cambridge Ritualists, by Robert Ackerman (Routledge, 1991/2002)

As my readers can tell from the nature of my latest posts, much of my recent research pertains to the mythology underlying our holidays and festivals and, starting in ancient times. Holiday celebrations first and foremost feature rituals. Hence, in … Continue reading

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Summer Solstice Mythology: Midsummer Night

We all have heard of the ancient summer solstice observances held at holy places like Stonehenge and Chichen Itza, and we have read or watched a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but few of us know the meanings … Continue reading

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The Mythology of May Day III: Maypoles and their Rituals

This final post about the mythology of May Day focuses on the idea behind Maypoles, and the various rituals involving them (collectively known as “Maying”). The festivities as we know them today come to us largely from the 19th-century revival … Continue reading

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