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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in death

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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My family name, comas diaz, means death and or dying in Spanish.  As far as I can remember, I have experienced a special relationship with death.  You see, death communicates in a strange way with me.   That is, it lets me know when a loved one dies.  For example, death speaks to me through premonitions, dreams, and physical reactions.  My first memorable encounter with the death of a loved one was during a lucid dream.  Dressed as a surgeon, I tried to save the life of a young man in an operating room.  “I hope no one died in Puerto Rico,” I told my husband Fred when I woke up.  “This dream was strange, ” I said.   “Dream?  That was no dream, you had a terrible nightmare all night long,” Fred replied.  The absence of messages from family that day relieved my anxiety.  When night approached, my cousin Alberto called.   “Our young cousin Chalito was in surgery last night after a car accident, “ he announced.  “Unfortunately, the doctors could not save him,” Alberto concluded.

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  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Hi Ted: Thanks for the information. I totally agree with you: Anne, you and I know what we know!
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    ah, Ted -- something else we have in common. At the age of 54, I've now outlived the lifespan of both my mother and father. Since
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Anne - It does create a more mature perspective on life, doesn't it? In one way more fatalistic and less expecting of miracles, bu
  • Lillian Comas
    Lillian Comas says #
    Hi Ted: Thank so mo much for sharing with us. Interestingly, i just heard that scientists who study consciousness have identified
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Anne and Lillian - My mother came to me in a lucid dream shortly after she passed away (age 59) from pancreatic cancer. As you hav

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Importance of Remembrance

In Canada we call November 11th “Remembrance Day” and it’s a pretty big deal for us culturally.  It’s not just a bank holiday, like Veteran’s Day in the US.  Though it is that, we also take time as a culture, in our schools prior to it and at our daily grind otherwise, to observe a moment of silence for the dead of our many World Wars, to which we now must add the Gulf War and the War in Afghanistan.  As children in school, we make construction paper poppies and listen to the stories of soldiers.  As adults, often we stand in the rain as our veterans stand solemnly in their uniforms and their medals, and we try to give their experience meaning and find hope in a time of darkness.

I think as Pagans, it is especially important that we engage in this practice of remembrance.  Whatever your view on war (some traditions strongly respecting the warrior path, such as the Asatru; some being adamantly opposed to war, such as Reclaiming Witches,) our empathy for the experience of it is a valuable service we can contribute to our culture and the world.  The many reasons connect to the uniquely Pagan experience of our spirituality.  Now granted, these are all generalizations; and as such, not everyone will fit these moulds.  But we seem to have these commonalities that make remembrance, especially of powerful and terrible events such as war, much more immediate and intense.

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  • Carlee Barnes
    Carlee Barnes says #
    As a retired US military member, I take offense at the first paragraph. We have more than a bank holiday. There are parades, fla

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
November skies

There's just something about a November sky.

For many, November can be a month of hard coping, with the clocks changing, the nights drawing in, the colder air and wetter weather.  Yet we often miss the beauty of this month, lost in our own solipsism.  Looking around us, we see that there is so much more than our own worlds, than our own lives. As Bjork said, "nature is ancient and surprises us all"…

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tending the Tales of Grief

Every so often, I offer a workshop or discussion on Ancestor veneration. I hadn't done one in several years, but felt the urge to do it this year.  Last night was the chosen evening and we drew in together at Mother Grove's little chapel to talk about the Dead and our Dead.

It was informal--more of a conversation than a class.  I started out with some general information about honoring our Beloved Dead through altars or memorial displays. We went on to discuss the layers of the Dead that we may choose to honor--family and friends who have died,  all those folks we find on Ancestrydotcom and those intentionally selected heroes and inspirations who have no blood or cultural tie to us but who have inspired us through their story.

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  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Beautiful words.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Going Back

There is no place in a regular wheel of the year where it makes sense to talk about going back, returning, backtracking or heading the wrong way. The cycle of the year does of course bring us round the same seasons, reliably, but there is always a sense of moving forward.  Turning, not returning. Time as we experience it only flows one way. However, there are many ways in which we can go back.

 

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    This is poetic and evocative, Nimue; thank you. Here in Phoenix, AZ we are out of touch with the "natural" changing of the seasons

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

Death is not a winter activity, it does not come just with the falling of the leaves, but weaves its slow, funereal dance through every day of our lives. Each living breath for us times with a last breath for some other creature. We cut the corn for Lammas, (or at least, these days, someone cuts it and most of us never see it). The death of the corn represents the life of the tribe. And so we’ll dig out the one folk song every Pagan seems familiar with, and honour good old John Barleycorn reincarnating as beer. In celebrating the beer we can slide over the death of corn, and with it our own mortality. Reincarnation for us is really something to guess at, and when we are planted in the ground we do not put up fresh, green stalks of our own.

I’ve long been fascinated by the relationship death has with the four elements. Our methods for relinquishing the dead take us to all four of them, although different cultures favour some more than others, depending mostly on available resources and behaviour of climate. What I’m thinking about here is disposal of the body, not human sacrifice, although there are parallels. We can put the dead into the water. Most usually we’ll do that when at sea, in the absence of other means of disposal, and not wanting the danger of a rotting corpse on a boat. However, I recall reading about some ancient peoples who put their dead, or some of their dead into flowing water, by choice.

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  • Nancy Vedder-Shults
    Nancy Vedder-Shults says #
    Nimue -- What I like best about this post is how your brought the "unsightliness" of death "to life" in your prose. No pun intend
  • Aleah Sato
    Aleah Sato says #
    I appreciate this essay, especially living in the Southwest deserts, knowing that this intensely hot, arid time of year brings dec

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Death and the Lovers

This may surprise you, but my major life decisions were not decided by using tarot. They were used by trusting my gut. I do mean that quite literally here. One of the most painful decisions I had to make was done using my souring gut alone one fateful morning in the summer of 2007.

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