Votives for Artemis

Votives for Artemis – a Practitioner’s View

For several years now, a group of women from different spiritual backgrounds in the South of England has been engaged in the honouring of Artemis; as a group in a sacred grove in Kent, and as individuals in their own homes. Part of the ritual tradition has been the offering of votives, and this post…

Donna Ruff's 'Paper Offerings'

Donna Ruff’s Book Art as ‘Votive IN Offering’

Urmila Mohan is a postdoctoral fellow at Amnh-Bgc, currently researching the aesthetics, materiality and history of textiles collected by Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson in the 1930s in Bali. According to Jewish tradition there are three kinds of peace offerings. The votive offering (as distinct from the thank and free-will offering) is defined as something…

sanctuary

Ex votos in Pompeii – an interview with Monsignor Pietro Caggiano

This week I interviewed Monsignor Pietro Caggiano of the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary in Pompeii – home to a significant collection of ex votos which has accumulated since the Sanctuary’s foundation at the end of the nineteenth century. Monsignor Caggiano has written about the theology of ex votos, and he is currently curating an exhibition of ancient…

Banner carried by fujenti

The Festival of the Madonna dell’Arco

Earlier this week I visited the Catholic sanctuary of the Madonna dell’Arco in Campania on the day of its annual festival, which takes place every Easter Monday (or ‘Lunedi in Albis’). The festival centres around the battenti or fujenti – guilds of devoted pilgrims who walk or run to the church from towns and villages across…

Ceramic medallion with image of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow.

Of Things Taken and Left Behind: A Visit to a Russian Cemetery in France

Urmila Mohan earned her doctorate in anthropology from University College London. She is the editor of the Material Religions blog. She recently published “Dressing God: Clothing as Material of Religious Subjectivity in a Hindu Group”, in the edited volume “The Social Life of Materials: Studies in Materials and Society.” In November 2015, I visited the Russian cemetery (le…