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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in death
The Old Gods are with us always: Mictcacícatl, Santisima Muerte, and Day of the Dead

One November 2, the Day of the Dead, I went to the Taos Inn to hear a talk by local Taos artist, writer, and all around remarkable woman, Anita Rodriguez. It was fascinating and I asked whether I could reproduce it here at Witches and Pagans, She graciously agreed, and asked whether I could also share her website, where people can see and perhaps purchase her work. (I love her work- she did two paintings for me a while ago.)

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Day of the Dead, Samhain, and Halloween: cultural appropriation or something wonderful?

 

Taos, where I recently moved, is famous for its celebration of Day of the Dead.  Not surprisingly Day of the Dead themes have been integrated in to Halloween celebrations here.  Day of the Dead also shares many points of overlap with Samhain.   For the previous two years I worked with Mexican friends to organize a joint celebration of Samhain and Day of the Dead in Sebastopol, California. We had side by side altars and people were encouraged to light votives honoring their deceased loved one, and to place them on the altars of their choice.  My Wiccan altar had marigolds on it, and the skull was a colorful one in keeping with Day of the Dead symbolism. Otherwise it was very traditional.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Farewell to Jane

On July 7th, at around 3:30pm, a dear friend passed the veil.  After over a year of alternative therapies, the cancer in her would not relent.  She chose death with dignity.

Jane and I met when my best friend brought me to Jane's home for a shamanic study group.  She practiced shamanism, read tarot, and had converted to Judaism as an adult. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Dying Matters

I am not just a Pagan author and Druid, my life has a extraordinary tripartite pattern to it, yes, I am an author, and I am a Druid, but I also work as a member of a Mortuary and Bereavement Services team. In a manner I am an ordinary person who has an extraordinary job. When I say Mortuary, to those in the USA, what I am referring to is a Morgue or a Medical Examiners facility as opposed to a Funeral Home, which you would commonly refer to as a Mortuary. 

This week it is Dying Matters Awareness Week, a 7 day nationwide event facilitated by the National Council for Palliative and End of Life Care and the Dying Matters Coalition. The movement is dedicated to raising awareness about and discussing our wishes and preferences around care and treatment at the end of life. Hospitals, Mortuaries, hospices, community centers and all manners of other venues are hosting events all week to talk about death and dying. 

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  • Malinda Sutherland
    Malinda Sutherland says #
    I am no longer scared of dying as I was in the past. My soul will move onto Summerland. I have decided that my body is to be crema

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Music of the Longest Night

To many, winter is a time when the grief of loss strikes hardest.  The symbolic death of spring and summer combined with the cold have us turning inward, some seeking a spiritual hibernation.

For me, this grief has been compounded by my mother's December birthday.  This year she would be turning sixty.  One of my friends grieves both her parents today, while another sits in a hospital waiting for her mother's unconscious body to relinquish its hold after a stroke.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Death Never Sleeps

La Muerte no duerme.

If the tales be true, some stormy night Old Hornie will ride up to the Old Warlocks' Home on a black horse (who knows, these days he may drive up in a black Porsche), sling me over his shoulder, and carry me off screaming into the night.

And they'll say: Well, that's the end of him.

Well, maybe. Otherwise, barring the unforeseen or the mob with torches and pitchforks (these things do happen), I'll have my heart attack and be dead before I hit the ground. That's generally how men in my family die. My lifelong vegetarianism may buy me a few extra years and better health at the end, but the final prognosis is nohow in doubt.

With luck, I'm looking at another 30 years ahead; with lots of luck, maybe another 40. I've always admired the title of Margaret Murray's autobiography: My First Hundred Years. She died at 101.

In every language that I've ever studied, death is a noun, but, of course, death is not a noun, a thing. What we call death is a cessation, a stoppage: when the parts stop working together. That it's so intangible somehow makes it that much more undefinable.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lessons of Life and Death

We don't shy away from talk of death in my house.  With five cats, some of them sneaks who get out the front door before we can catch them, we see enough death on a regular basis in the form of rodent and bird carcasses laid out for us.

Some parents would tell their little ones the dead mouse is sleeping, but I believe in being honest and direct with my children.  Death is a part of life, and it happens all around us.  Living in a forest near a busy road we see the cycles of life as a tangible constant: sex, birth, growth, decline, decay, and renewal.  They're in the plants and animals who share our space as our neighbors and family.

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