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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in the dead

Posted by on in Culture Blogs



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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Do We the Living Owe the Dead?

 What do we the living owe the dead?

Three measures of respect: respect of body,

respect of offering, respect of memory.

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The Lemuria: Folk Magic and Ghosts in Ancient Rome

One of the reasons I was so deeply attracted to Religio Romana was the attention that is given to the Dead and the Ancestors. In February, the end of the traditional Roman religious year, the month is spent paying our dues to those powers higher than us that perhaps we've neglected either knowingly or unknowingly. This shows up with the observation of the Parentalia and the Feralia within it, both to recognize the Lares, the God/Spirits of our more spiritually-developed Ancestors and Heroes, and the Manes, the Spirits of our Beloved Dead and, in my personal tradition, the Spirits of the Unclaimed Dead.

The month of May, a month of purification and possibly named after the Maiores (Ancestors), also has an ancient festival in it focusing on the Dead. But this time it is not for the Manes, the “good” Dead, those who had been given proper rites in burial and were offered cultus by their families, but the Lemures, the angry, restless Dead.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Ancestor Vigil

We've been doing the Ancestor Vigil here for about 20 years and every year it is a little different but the intention is always the same. It is not a Samhain ritual, it is not a celebration of Hallowe'en, it does not glom onto the trendy love of Dia de los Muertes. It is a ritual commemoration of the Recent Dead, the Beloved Long Dead and the Mighty Dead.

We set up a central altar, a candle-lighting station and a place to get more info on Mother Grove Goddess Temple and to leave your food donations for the food pantry. People are invited to place mementos on the altar and there is a place in the ritual where we speak the names of the dead that are closest to us.

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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 Studies Blogs
Ancestor Worship & Dealing with the Dead

Ancestor worship has become a popular topic in the Pagan community, but it is worth noting that it is not universal, or necessarily normative. It can also lead to some problems. . .

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  • Neil Pitchford
    Neil Pitchford says #
    There is one aspect of ancestor interaction that you haven't raised here (possibly because you are not familiar with it) and that
  • Shodo Hathos
    Shodo Hathos says #
    When you have no ancestor practice or training in ancestor work to then give advice on ancestor practice seems presumptuous at bes
  • Phaedra Bonewits
    Phaedra Bonewits says #
    I think the custom of naming our spiritual and intellectual influences as "ancestors" is an artifact of not having ancestor revere
  • Sam Webster
    Sam Webster says #
    I think the problem lies in when we do a thing only because those before us have done that thing. Perhaps that is a hook for some,
  • Elizabeth Creely
    Elizabeth Creely says #
    One more thing...what is the title of the picture accompanying the article and who is the artist?

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
"Summer is over"

"Summer is over," Odin said to me, a couple of weeks back.  I think it may have been on one of the 95+ degree days of our recent heat wave.

I blinked at Him.

He repeated it: "As I said, summer is over.  The Hunt is on the move."

"Well, They should fix the weather, then," I quipped.

"Oh, They are working on it," He assured me.

I tried to laugh this off, or blame it on a moment of poor signal clarity, but that very same day, or the next, when I repeated His words to a dear friend, she offered that the leaves on her dogwood tree were changing color and that He had called her attention to that.  We both agreed we could hear hoof beats in the still, heavy summer air: the Host is gearing up earlier than usual this year. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • aought
    aought says #
    My Forsythia bloomed twice last year, and twice again this year. Not the usual course of events. A year ago when I was hiking in t
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    And then there's this:
  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    And saw this today as well. Thought it was interesting, given your post:
  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    That squares with my experience as well. Not specifically about summer being over, but about something very odd and very portentou

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