Spirit Parks: Symposium to Reimagine Cemetery 2020

Here’s Chicago architect Mark A. Miller’s compelling vision towards reinventing cemeteries to better match contemporary sensibilities: In the United States, the centuries old traditional model of cemetery is failing to resonate with current generations and changing ideals about death, grief and memorialization. People are looking beyond the rituals of traditional religions and the constructs of … Read moreSpirit Parks: Symposium to Reimagine Cemetery 2020

Invocation of the Queer Spirits: The Arts of Ritual, “Seance” and Memorial

From an interview with artist/healer AA Bronson: What happens in the séances? The séances are designed in a format suitable to the history of the location: in New Orleans, we have devised a ritual that utilizes the methods of Afro-Caribbean spiritual traditions, especially Voodoo, together with the methods of European ceremonial magic. Peter and I … Read moreInvocation of the Queer Spirits: The Arts of Ritual, “Seance” and Memorial

The Great Fairy Science (from “The Water Babies” by Charles Kingsley)

Although Charles Kingley’s 1863 children’s novel has fallen from favor, his image of the Great Fairy Science – “who is likely to be queen of all the fairies for many a year to come” – might serve as an icon for certain nontheistic practices of magick. It’s a fun coincidence that the word “steam”, proudly … Read moreThe Great Fairy Science (from “The Water Babies” by Charles Kingsley)

The Rogers Park Black Lives Matter Shrine, Updated

Over the course of the winter, the Black Lives Matter shrine in Rogers Park, Chicago has grown from a gallery of posters and a scattering of flowers and candles into the much more elaborate memorial shown above, complete with an ornate wooden altar. The repurposed Chicago Reader newspaper vending box next to the altar stores … Read moreThe Rogers Park Black Lives Matter Shrine, Updated

“Memorial Ritual and Art: A Case Study and Exploration of the Potential for Healing”

Click here to read Cinder Hypki, Rhonda S. Cooper and Louise Knight’s paper examining the use of ritual in grieving and healing processes: The powerful symbolic and metaphorical nature of ritual is a compelling “medium” unto itself for community artists and cultural workers. “Performance artists” and artist-activists often use elements of ritual to engage and … Read more“Memorial Ritual and Art: A Case Study and Exploration of the Potential for Healing”

“A Very British Day of the Dead”: The Glastonbury Festival of Death and Dying

The Somerset market town of Glastonbury has a long and highly storied history, being closely connected in legend to both the coming of Christianity to England and to a vast stream of pre- and post-Christian “alternative spiritualities”. The modern township includes representatives of some seventy religious and spiritual persuasions and the main shopping district is … Read more“A Very British Day of the Dead”: The Glastonbury Festival of Death and Dying

The Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Poetic Faith and Nontheistic Spirituality

Nontheistic spirituality or spiritual naturalism are umbrella terms for spiritual disciplines that require no faith in the literally supernatural. Examples include Humanism, numerous forms of atheistic/secular Paganism, Humanistic Judaism, Secular Buddhism, The Satanic Temple’s approach to Satanism and so-on, as well as present-day revivals of ancient philosophies such as Stoicism and Epicureanism. My Way of … Read moreThe Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Poetic Faith and Nontheistic Spirituality

“Monuments to Unbelief”

Leigh E. Schmidt’s essay for Aeon.com examines the phenomenon of public memorials representing humanism, freethought and atheism: American freethinkers had long been preoccupied with the public memorialising of their incredulity and anticlericalism. They wanted to enshrine their commitment to scientific rationality over biblical revelation, their strict construction of church-state separation, and their worldly focus on … Read more“Monuments to Unbelief”