Prayer, Shinto

All About Prayer Part 3: Prayer in Shinto

Prayer, or norito (祝詞) is a central and important part of the Shinto faith. To an outsider, Shinto prayer most likely seems highly ritualised and even a bit 'stiff', but as you'll find out, there is a meaning for every action. This post aims to talk about what Shinto prayer is, what it looks like… Continue reading All About Prayer Part 3: Prayer in Shinto

Matsuri, Shinto

Setsubun – Getting Rid of Your Demons

Today I celebrated Setsubun (節分), a yearly festival in which we celebrate the beginning of Spring. Setsubun literally means 'seasonal division' and is also associated with the Lunar new year, so is often thought of as a 'new year' before Spring! Note: I use the term 'demon' here to translate the Japanese term 'oni'. This… Continue reading Setsubun – Getting Rid of Your Demons

paganism, Shinto

The East Tennessee ‘Shinto Shrine’

Oh boy. So this video has been making the rounds in the Shinto community and it's... something. What it isn't is Shinto. There are so many issues with this 'shrine' and I'm going to talk about some of them here. Firstly I want to make it clear that gatekeeping is not something that really happens… Continue reading The East Tennessee ‘Shinto Shrine’

Cleansing, Matsuri, Sabbats, Seasonal, Shinto

Leaving Behind the Dark

In many faiths and cultures February marks a time of change and renewal. The 1st of February is Imbolc, a Celtic fire festival in which many pagans and agricultural communities celebrate the coming of spring and new life, as well as cleansing ourselves of the physical and mental clutter of a long, dark winter. This… Continue reading Leaving Behind the Dark

Matsuri, Seasonal

What To Do At Oharae-shiki – The Summer Purification Rite

Oharae-shiki is an important Shinto festival held on the last day of June annually and is also known as the Summer Purification Rite. This festival is , according to Fushimi Inari Taisha, 'to purify us of all sins unintentionally committed since New Year’s Day. The impurities are transferred to doll-like figures, which are then released… Continue reading What To Do At Oharae-shiki – The Summer Purification Rite