Professors Jennifer L Buckle and Sonya Corbin Dwyer write for Psyche on the benefits of memorial tattoos: Many of these bereaved individuals talked about their memorial tattoo as an expression of their need for a sense of permanence in response to painfully clear impermanence – a reaffirmation of life amid the stark reality of death. … Read more‘A tattoo is for life’: how memorial tattoos help the bereaved
Somewhere between the rock-ribbed skepticism that is satisfied with saying “no” and the credulity of true belief in the supernatural – or maybe not between those poles, but the third point in a triangle – is the sentiment of poetic faith expressed in legendary singer/songwriter Don McLean’s haunting Sister Fatima. Lyrically inspired by the text … Read moreSister Fatima
Rick Snedeker’s article for OpenSky – a newly-launched media platform for secular folk – offers words of wisdom for confirmed atheists in mourning: For us, life is what it finitely is; we’re convinced there’s zero chance for a potentially better sequel in a great beyond. So, carpe diem (“seize the day,” in Latin) is an appropriate motto … Read more“How do I grieve if there’s no afterlife?”
Francesca Gino and Michael I. Norton wrote this 2013 essay for the Scientific American on the benefits of ritual from a psychological perspective: Rituals in the face of losses such as the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship (or loss of limb from shark bite) are ubiquitous. There is such … Read more“Why Rituals Work”
I’m fortunate enough not to suffer from thanatophobia (the fear of death) but I have great sympathy for the many who do. That fear – and the cultural fear of endings in general – presents a significant barrier to embarking on the Way of Life and Death. There’s light on the horizon, though, via overwhelming … Read morePsilocybin: A Journey Beyond the Fear of Death?
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
Daniel Lev Shkolnik interviews existential coach Yannick Jacob on how to apply this 20th century philosophy in a practical way to help us find a greater sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.
From Barbara Groth, Founder and Creative Director of the Nomadic School of Wonder: This image is from the very first gathering of the Nomadic School of Wonder in Galisteo, New Mexico in 2015 where we explored the theme of “Death & Rebirth” with palliative care physician and teacher Alex Jadad. On All Hallow’s Eve, Alex … Read moreA/Wake Ritual with the Nomadic School of Wonder (Galisteo, New Mexico 2015)
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”
Leah Green, a reporter for The Guardian, offers this seven-part series of short videos exploring responses to death. Throughout, Green – who suffers from death-related anxiety – maintains a healthy balance of rational skepticism and curiosity in her encounters with immortalists attempting to prolong their lives indefinitely, survivors of near-death experiences, organizers of death café … Read moreThe Death Land Series