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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in death

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
News and Death Rites

Recently a kindred member went to Odin. Jan was exceptionally young to die. It was not his legal last name, but among us he went by Odinsson. I asked Odin if he is with him and he is.

In late March, I went to his wake at his favorite pub. There were several prominent local pagans there. There were also many members of his family and community other than just the pagans and heathens. I made several social media posts over the course of the event, starting with the Irish coffee. I remembered when Jan brought his huge fryer to my house for a post ritual feast and made lumpia from his family recipe. I remembered him standing in my kitchen working at the counter and looking up in wonder and delight when I and the folk dance group went by in the hearth room doing a dance where we clapped and turned in unison, and his wife Stephanie joined us and learned some dances. I mentioned some other good times we’d had, and listened to the others tell about their good times. Near the end of the evening, some local pagans and I attempted a rendition of Finnegan’s Wake with some of the words changed, changing it to Odinsson’s Wake.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Happy the Cat Left the Earth

Happy got to experience rain, sunshine, and moonlight on the weekend he died. I spent all day Sunday with him, carrying him around and petting his beautiful black fur with its thick, light gray undercoat, and white spots on the neck and belly. Coincidentally it was the day Catholics dedicate to their cat saint, so when I lay in bed petting my napping kitty and checked social media there were an unusually large number of cat related posts. I spent a lot of my time speaking softly to Happy. I also internally spoke with Freya. She told me I couldn’t save him, and that she would welcome him to her field and her home.

That evening, he was in my bed and meowed for me to do something. I was not sure what. I carried him to his water; he didn’t want water. I carried him to his food; he didn’t want food. I carried him onto the back porch. He rolled onto his back and gazed up at the moon. The white spot on his belly nearly glowed in the moonlight. I let him sit in the moonlight and checked back on him later, and discovered he had made it back inside the cat door by himself, and camped just inside the flap. When I picked him up I noticed the tip of his tail was wet. He got to trail his tail in the pool one last time, which he loved to do. He had made it all the way out to the pool deck and back, but now he was ready to be carried again. I put him back in my bed and curled up around him. I petted him and we fell asleep. He died in the morning before I woke up.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Centuries-old gravestones returned to Rhode Island cemetery | WPRO

 Halloween Guy



My neighbor looks deeply troubled. I go over to see what's wrong.

He's been up all night. His wife of 60-some years has just died.

I listen to his story, and say the things that one says.

My neighbor is a good man. His life has been one of undeserved tragedy.

Years ago, a motorcycle accident reduced his son to a permanent vegetative state. His daughter struggled with cancer and eventually overcame it, only to die recently of a sudden heart attack. Now, with his wife's death, everything that this man has ever loved has been taken from him, everything.

It's mid-October, and the guy next door—every block seems to have one—is the Halloween Guy. His front yard is mocked up as a faux cemetery: gray styro tombstones spiked into the crisp autumn lawn with glib little ha-ha inscriptions, skeleton hands erupting from the soil, plastic bones strewn between.

I'm struck by the gap between this silly cartoon of death and the immensity of the real thing. It seems, simultaneously, a mockery and, in its sheer fatuousness, utterly beneath notice.

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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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When the Spirit Goes: Death, the Afterlife, and the Translation of the Soul

Something I didn't expect when I started working at the pet funeral home was how much it would cause me to consider my beliefs about death and the afterlife. I knew I would usher the animal dead through their transformation and transition; I knew I would help individuals and families make memorial decisions while they grapple with fresh grief, and hopefully help them find comfort in that process. I saw myself as a purveyor of healing, not as a student. But, of course, I'm learning through my work as well.


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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
An Inspiration on the Way to a Funeral

Several people important to heathens and pagans have died recently. Singer Andrea Meyer of Hagalaz Runedance was shot with a bow and arrow in Norway. I did not know her personally, so I don't know if she is now in the arms of Hel, or has been taken into Valhalla or Folkvang due to dying by weapon, but I think perhaps she went where poets go, which is wherever they want.

I placed a copy of a Hagalaz Runedance album on my main house altar yesterday, along with other mementos of the recent dead. It joined a fabric memento I had just placed there, which participants in the memorial for Phyllis Stewart of Ravenhold wore at her memorial service, which you can see in the photo that illustrates this post. I was on my way to that funeral when I had an inspiration experience.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Kveldulf Gundarsson aka Dr. Stephen Grundy aka Sigmundr Hawkonson has gone to stay with the ancestors. As reported on social media and on various news sites, he died suddenly a week ago.

In a public post, Kveldulf's wife Melodi has announced a worldwide public event, Lift Your Glass, for the evening of October 8th, 2021.  It's not an online meeting, there is nothing to join or post, one just raises a toast.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    I think so, yes.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I know that one of Odin's titles was Lord of the Spear, and that he hung himself on Yggdrasil for 9 days. By any chance was Kveld

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