Yesterday, petals fell in tribute to Robert Bly, whose life’s work came to an end on Sunday, November the 21st, 2021. During the 1980s, ’90s and early 2000s I dipped in and out of the oft-misunderstood “Mythopoetic Men’s Movement”, which drew much inspiration from Bly’s teachings; first via word of mouth emerging from his countercultural … Read moreRest in Peace, Robert Bly: Poet, Anti-War Activist, Author and Founder of the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement Dies at Age 94
Artist Jill Littlewood hosts the October 2021 Memoria Symposium, a conversation between artists innovating in the sphere of memorial and memento mori ritual. Participants include: Nadia Hagen-Onuktav, artistic director of the All Souls Procession in Tucson, Arizona To-Ree-Nee Wolf, director of the All Souls Procession Urn Spirit Group Harley Dubois, Co-Founder of Burning Man John … Read moreOctober 2021 Memoria Symposium: An Open Discussion on Artistic Innovation in Death-Positive Ritual
Produced by the American designers Charles and Ray Eames, this short film offers insight into the Dia de Muertos festival through the medium of folk art. I’m fascinated by the animated diorama shown at 6.50 in the video, but unfortunately I’ve been unable to find any more information about this type of toy. Notably, none … Read more“Day of the Dead” (Eames Brothers, 1957)
The DAG-Box (‘Goodbye-box’) is the creation of Dutch play therapist and primary school teacher Bonnie Jansen. Celebrant Rosalie Kuyvenhoven writes: What is the Goodbye-box? “The box helps young children to play out emotional and distressing situations. Unlike adults, children don’t tend to express themselves verbally. They rather convey messages and share feelings through play. The Goodbye-box … Read moreThe Goodbye Box
Behavioural and data scientist, author, speaker and consultant Pragya Agarwal writes for Aeon on the subject of speaking with children about death, and on children’s conception of mortality: ‘Maybe they go to the Moon. Do you think Naanaa has gone to the Moon?’ I am noncommittal even though I would like to believe that, yes, … Read more“Is grandad on the moon?”
Part of my practice is to find memento mori rituals in daily (and not-so-daily) activities. Whether it’s sporadic, regular, spontaneous or planned, the simple act/thought of acknowledging the reality of mortality is good medicine. A lot of that has to do with accepting loss of control. Roller coasters offer an almost unique opportunity to practice … Read moreMemento Mori Roller Coaster Ritual
The School of Life offers insight into the history, meaning and value of ceremonialism, concluding that a sane and kind future will require the creation of new rituals.
I will be teaching this upcoming online course via the Morbid Academy, starting August 25: This course explores an emergent, dynamic and positive response to the existential problem of death denial, centered on the simple philosophical premise of “mortality sapience”; that by remembering death, we can learn to seize the day. In that spirit, artists, … Read moreThe Art of Ritual: Changing Ways of Life and Death (Online Course)