The Memory Garden at Eternal Home Cemetery (Colma, CA)

Still a work in progress but nearing completion, the Memory Garden at the Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma, California is designed as a ritual and memorial space for families mourning pre-natal loss. As described here, the Garden will feature: (…) a grassy green slope dotted with wide-set benches. Downhill would lead to a clearing, where … Read moreThe Memory Garden at Eternal Home Cemetery (Colma, CA)

Dear Guardians: A Burning Man Short Film (2014)

From the creator’s website: In 2011, I stood in the shadow of the Temple of Transition. I taped a photograph of my wife’s recently deceased father to the inside of an archway. I roamed her hallways, silent. I witnessed a beauty that brought me to my knees, as Mike Ventimiglia writes: “I don’t know if I’ve … Read moreDear Guardians: A Burning Man Short Film (2014)

Odyssey of the Dead (2019)

According to ceremonialist Daniel Lev Shkolnik: In the oldest story in existence, Gilgamesh crosses the sea of death in search of immortality. In Greek mythology, Charon ferries souls across the river Styx to Hades. In ancient Egypt, departed souls were thought to travel with Ra on the solar bark to reach the sacred field of … Read moreOdyssey of the Dead (2019)

Autumnal Equinox Memorial Altar 2020

I started creating this bookshelf altar during the day and evening of September 22, which was the Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The altar features a colorful scattering of dead leaves gathered during my evening walks, a copper string of white lights, a mirror for self-reflection, an incense holder, a small jar of home-mixed … Read moreAutumnal Equinox Memorial Altar 2020

“Dancing with the Dead: Two Techniques for Spiritual Rejuvenation”

Humanist poet, speaker, organizer and ritualist Daniel Lev Shkolnik writes for Patheos on a self-devised memento mori/carpe diem rite: When I pass into a cemetery alone, a calm settles over me. I watch the hawks hunt from the pines. The hares dash through among the stones and the bones of slower hares. The puffball mushrooms … Read more“Dancing with the Dead: Two Techniques for Spiritual Rejuvenation”

“Lessons of Immortality and Mortality From My Father, Carl Sagan”

Click here to read Sasha Sagan’s 2014 essay for The Cut: My parents taught me that even though it’s not forever — because it’s not forever — being alive is a profoundly beautiful thing for which each of us should feel deeply grateful. If we lived forever it would not be so amazing. In this video, Sasha … Read more“Lessons of Immortality and Mortality From My Father, Carl Sagan”

The Art of Dying Institute (New York City)

The Art of Dying Institute, an initiative of The Open Center, is dedicated to fostering an engaged community of practitioners, researchers & scholars, educators, front-line innovators, partners and investors to address the need for a cultural awakening around the theme of death and our mortality, how we die and the consequences for how we live. … Read moreThe Art of Dying Institute (New York City)

Coreopsis: Rituals for Living and Dying

Coreopsis is the semi-annual journal of the Society for Ritual Arts: Our mission is to support the ritual arts community through the advancement of arts and scholarly research in the fields of spirituality, consciousness, healing, performance, and visual media. We support work that advances freedom of spiritual practices globally, the scientific study of spirituality and … Read moreCoreopsis: Rituals for Living and Dying

The Art of Spontaneous Spectacle

I was delighted to stumble across this ritual firefly procession in honor of the Twilight King during my evening walk last night. The event was arranged and performed by a troupe called The Art of Spontaneous Spectacle, which has been organized by local actors and directors unable to ply their craft in orthodox venues due … Read moreThe Art of Spontaneous Spectacle