“The First Protocols of Queer Goetia”

The First Protocols of Queer Goetia is an anonymous text first published in 2019. It begins: [1. QUEER: “strange, peculiar, eccentric.” From the German quer meaning “oblique, perverse, odd” which in turn comes from the Old High German word for “oblique.” twerh, which is derived from the root terkw, “to turn, twist, wind” as in “the labyrinth turns, twists, winds.” … Read more“The First Protocols of Queer Goetia”

“Rites of Passage: Death”

In the first episode of his series on rites of passage, English artist Grayson Perry creates rituals to commemorate the life of Jordan Seddon – a 17-year-old boy killed by a drunk driver – and officiates a celebration of life for Roch Maher, a man dying of motor neurone disease. A powerful, moving argument for … Read more“Rites of Passage: Death”

“Radical Mindfulness: Why Transforming Fear of Death is Politically Vital”

Dr. Rowe’s book is available from Amazon and other retailers. Here’s the blurb: Collecting insights from powerful thinkers across multiple traditions―including Black radicals, Indigenous resurgence theorists, terror management theorists, and Buddhist feminists― Rowe argues for the political importance of seemingly apolitical practices such as meditation and ritual. On their own, these strategies are not enough, … Read more“Radical Mindfulness: Why Transforming Fear of Death is Politically Vital”

Thanksgiving/Day of the Dead in Cicely, Alaska (Northern Exposure, 1992)

The good people of Cicely, Alaska enjoy their eccentric, Day of the Dead-inflected version of Thanksgiving in this scene from Northern Exposure (1992). As explained by Marilyn Whirlwind (Elaine Miles), the indigenous people of Cicely do not regard the orthodox Thanksgiving as a day of celebration. In fact, they carry a lot of ancestral anger … Read moreThanksgiving/Day of the Dead in Cicely, Alaska (Northern Exposure, 1992)

Memoria 2023

Today is the first day of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere, and the seasons are visibly (and in other ways) shifting. From my own perspective, within my own Way, this marks the unofficial beginning of Memoria; a festival of harvest and remembrance before the onset of the winter months. That festival will “officially” begin when … Read moreMemoria 2023

Drop Tower Shugendō: a memento mori ritual

I suspect that, had the technology been available, the Shugenja of ancient Japan might well have devised an experience akin to the drop tower towards training themselves to die with grace. As a rider, you have a choice, in the liminal moments before the drop. The drop itself, of course, is happening whether you want … Read moreDrop Tower Shugendō: a memento mori ritual

VR Near-Death Simulation and Memento Mori Rituals (New York City, September 2023)

On the afternoon of September 17th, nine participants gathered in the Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn, NYC to undertake an experiment in ritual space and time, guided by artists Bridget Carey, Tony Wolf and Virgil Wong. The main gates of Green-Wood Cemetery, just a few minutes’ walk from the Morbid Anatomy Library. Note the large … Read moreVR Near-Death Simulation and Memento Mori Rituals (New York City, September 2023)