In his 1909 book Memories of My Life, English polymath Sir Francis Galton reflected – in the language of his era, whose sentiments on civilization do not match our own in some regards – on several curious and creative experiments in poetic faith: In the days of my youth I felt, at one time, a … Read moreSir Francis Galton Worships Mr. Punch
In devising Mr. Spock’s famous Vulcan salute (“Live long and prosper”), Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy was inspired by the Priestly Blessing performed by Jewish Kohanim. This benedictory gesture represents the Hebrew letter Shin (ש), the three upward strokes of the letter being similar to the position of the thumb and fingers in the gesture. The ritual practice of symbolic gestures is … Read moreWhen the Spirit Moves Me: The Mudra of My Way of Life and Death
Artist Peter McGough explains the Oscar Wilde Temple, a secular “celebration of the creative process through which experience is transformed into art and reality abstracted into revelation.” For more information on this project, please see the Oscar Wilde Temple website.
My Midwinter altar – I think “locus” is actually more apt in this context – is a literal illumination of the vanitas theme, a union of wunderkammer and kamidana (wunderkamidana?) It’s an assemblage of objects whose symbolic meanings are both amplified and made more subtle by their interrelationships. I try my clumsy best to make … Read moreMidwinter Solstice and the Notion of Genius Loci
By Tony Wolf Beginning about thirty years ago, increasingly since my father died in mid-2016 and with great intensity since the start of this year, I’ve been developing an embodied philosophical approach to – and “poetic faith” in -the reality of death and its implications for living meaningful lives. It draws inspiration from aspects of … Read moreMy Way of Life and Death
This evening I returned the last of the leaves from my Autumnal altar, plus the surplus flower stems from my wife’s birthday bouquet, to nature. They will nourish the growth of the tree outside our apartment. A simple and sincere memento mori ergo carpe diem ritual gesture sealed the deal. The flowers themselves, having lost … Read moreReturning
Inaugurated after the devastating 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people, injured between 1500-2000 more and decimated the city’s downtown district, the annual River of Flowers ceremony remains a positive and poignant memorial rite in the city of Christchurch.
Established in 1990 and on hold (in its full form) until the abeyance of the COVID-19 crisis, Tucson’s All Souls Procession remains a grassroots community festival of memorial and celebration. This short video offers a glimpse back into its history.
This recent episode of The Wonder presents an Atheopagan perspective on mortality: THE WONDER explores perspectives, rituals, and observances of modern, naturalistic, Earth-revering Neopagan religious paths. Naturalistic Pagans embrace the world as understood by science (that is, without gods, magic, or the supernatural), and enhance our lives with myth, ritual and activism. Click here to … Read more“The Wonder” Atheopagan Podcast Considers Death
A panel discussion between writer Will Self, philosopher Stephen Cave and Dr Joanna Cook, lecturer in Medical Anthropology, hosted by the Royal Society of Arts in 2014. Much attention is given to the practice of secular/non-theistic mortality and memorial ritual.