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Rituals & Celebrations

Latest Popular

Architecture & Landscape Art Cultures & Languages Dance & Theatre Design & Fashion Digital Culture Film & Television Food & Drink Music Rituals & Celebrations Sports & Games Stories & Literature Subcultures The Home Travel
Cognition & Intelligence
One more time

Why do we listen to our favourite music over and over again? Because repeated sounds work magic in our brains

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis

Philosophy of Religion
Inside the mind of God

Punitive Big Brother; cosmic petty-thief-catcher; vigilant landlord. Why is God so interested in bad behaviour?

Benjamin Grant Purzycki

Everything and Moore

The legendary comics author Alan Moore has written a million-word novel, tribute to every eternal speck in his universe

Tim Martin

Consciousness & Altered States
A good trip

Researchers are giving psychedelics to cancer patients to help alleviate their despair — and it’s working

Linda Marsa

Health Policy & Economics
Do some harm

Traditional Chinese medicine is an odd, dangerous mix of sense and nonsense. Can it survive in modern China?

James Palmer

Mental Health
Learning to fall apart

My OCD had been creating vivid, painful rituals for years. So could Buddhist ritual give me a means to fight back?

Matt Bieber

Like a prayer

Even secular people need time out to meditate, reflect, and give thanks. Is prayer the answer?

Heather Havrilesky

Is there a war instinct?

Many evolutionists believe that humans have a drive for waging war. But they are wrong and the idea is dangerous

David P Barash

Stories & Literature
The truth about tarot

Whether divining ancient wisdoms or elevating the art of cold reading, tarot is a form of therapy, much like psychoanalysis

James McConnachie

Trial by fire

From fire-walking to the ice-bucket challenge, ritual pain and suffering forge intense social bonds

Dimitris Xygalatas

Rituals & Celebrations
The love of stuff

The problem with our society is not that it values material things too much but that it doesn’t value them enough

Nick Thorpe

Rituals & Celebrations
All his materials

In a rare interview, Philip Pullman tells us his own origin story, and why the great questions are still religious ones

Peter Jukes

Cultures & Languages
Is nothing sacred?

Every culture looks for creative inspiration to other cultures, but is there a point when this is just outright theft?

Nabeelah Jaffer

Rituals & Celebrations
Mrs Myself

Self-marriage promises love and fulfilment – but is it a radical act or a depressing concession to self-absorption?

Polina Aronson

Human rites

Rituals bind us, in modern societies and prehistoric tribes alike. But can our loyalties stretch to all of humankind?

Harvey Whitehouse

Consciousness & Altered States
The uncertainty machine

Forget prophecy and wisdom. Using the I Ching is a weirdly useful way to open your mind to life’s unexpected twists

Will Buckingham

Food & Drink

Wine is an elixir, a miracle-worker and shapeshifter – no wonder even the most secular of us hold it sacred still

Ross Andersen

Head to head

Michelangelo and Raphael; Leibniz and Newton; Constable and Turner. Does every creative genius need a bitter rival?

Jacob Burak

Love & Friendship
The modern wedding

A white gown, a grand reception, a multi-tiered cake – the stuff of a traditional wedding or something else entirely?

Beth Montemurro

The wanderer stilled

Leaving Europe as a young woman, Martine Batchelor was transformed by an encounter with Buddhist meditation

Martine Batchelor

Rituals & Celebrations
Who first buried the dead?

Evidence of burial rites by the primitive, small-brained Homo naledi suggests that symbolic behaviour is very ancient indeed

Paige Madison

A fake of art

Museums display perfect reproductions of fragile works and visitors can’t tell the difference. Is nothing in art sacred?

Noah Charney

Consciousness & Altered States
Stealth stoner

Prohibition lingers on, but with pocket-sized vaporizers, marijuana users can get high wherever they please

Jeff Winkler

Going to the chapel

Paul Simon’s album ‘Graceland’ is a joyous political statement. Does it strike the same chord in the sombre Rothko Chapel?

Nathan Dunne