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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in death and dying
Death into Life: An Earth-Focused Legacy for Pagans

My attitude toward death is very much founded in my relational beliefs as an animist. My entire theology, cosmology, and theories of magic are founded on the principle that we are in constant relationship with every other being around us, whether that being is a feature of the landscape or the air, a fellow animal, a plant, or a fungus. We exist within holistic biomes; we are not separate from the beings around us, and everything that we do, whether we are conscious of it or not, impacts those around us. We don’t have a choice in the matter. This places on our shoulders a burden of responsibility, but it is also a great gift. We are fed and sustained by the spirits around us; we are supported and tended by the earth, water, and all other beings. We live because they give of themselves to us.


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  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer says #
    I love the idea of green burials! I first heard of Recompose right before it launched. I wish there were more here on the East Coa
At a Crossroads: Looking Backward and Forward Along the Journey

It’s been a little while since I last posted here. I’ve been forging ahead on this death care path I’ve committed myself to, while also planning my wedding, spending time with family, and dealing with post-Covid chronic illness. All that is to say, I’ve been juggling a lot, and sometimes I drop a ball here and there (or several) in order to stay afloat.


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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dreams on Dying

If you are the person who has died in your dream, there are probably some big changes going on within you. Death in dreams can be tied to change and rebirth. Consider if anything big is happening in your life right now if you are quitting old habits or developing new ones, if perhaps you’ve ended an old relationship or struck up a new one. 

This dream could also be a sign that you are afraid of the unknown—death signifies something dark and uncertain in your future that you don’t want to face. Maybe you are about to move to a new town or neighborhood, or there’s a big decision you need to make soon where you can’t know the outcome. Try to remember that the unknown isn’t always a bad thing. It can be full of excitement and thrilling new opportunities for you that are just waiting to be uncovered. The way that you die in your dream can give you a hint at what this dream is trying to tell you, too. If it was a scary, violent death, then the dream is more likely to be related to some anxiety in your waking life. If you die a peaceful death, however, it might mean that you are feeling a sense of peace about the changes coming your way.

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Prayers for the Grieving: A Snapshot of a Psychopomp at Work

A couple of weeks ago, we got a call at work that a woman named Christy* had a malamute dog who had passed away, and she needed us to pick him up and take him to the crematory. So a coworker and I climbed into the Explorer, one of our two work vehicles, and drove down the road out of the city, through the outskirts of town, to her ranch in the country. Christy has an adorable red-sided, sharply peaked farmhouse surrounded by fenced-in plots of land where her horses grazed in the midmorning sunlight. There was a bite in the air, but it wasn't cold. When she saw us driving down her long gravel driveway, she came out of her house and opened the gate for us. Her other malamute, Kallu*, the deceased dog's sister, was gentle and came up to greet us, and then clung protectively to Christy’s side. She was huge, wolf-sized, but not lean like wild animals. She had a rounded, well-fed figure, and her fur was fluffy and clean.


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Scattering Violets: A New Blog About Death Care and Funerary Traditions

For the past several months, I've found myself struggling with fresh ideas for Hob & Broom, my previous blog here on PaganSquare about hearth and home traditions. While my hearth cult is still a deeply important spiritual foundation for me, I felt that I'd exhausted all my resources for it and there was nothing left to write about. But I think it's closer to the truth to say that my interest has shifted, and has been shifting for quite some time.


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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

When one hears the phrase "near death experience" most people think of an awesome spiritual experience in which one sees light or their god or ancestors. That's an experience very few people have. But almost everyone will have to deal with death sometime, their own or their loved ones'. The common way to be near death is to know a loved one is dying and to be trying to handle their affairs and set everything up for them to succeed at being a newly dead person. One succeeds at being a dead person by having one's cremation or burial, funeral and / or wake set up in advance. One of the major goals of a funeral is to provide the rites that help a dead person cross. If the dying person and the person doing the arrangements and the person handling the funeral are all the same religion it makes things a lot easier, but for many pagans and heathens this will not be the case.

There are things the dying person can do in advance, years in advance, to prepare for death. Among those things is to speak to one's patron deity or ancestors about where one is going and how to get there. There are also things one can do for another before the person actually dies. Most of those things will be mundane things in the mundane world, but one can also send blessings, even to someone one can no longer visit in person.

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Letting go and passing on: what Death teaches us about the mysteries of life

Recently my dad died.

It wasn't unexpected or sudden. 

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  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    My dad and I lived in different countries, so we emailed almost daily and called once a week. After he passed, I missed that conne

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