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 Sister Fatima. Lyrically inspired by the text of … 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?”
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?
Neuroscientist David J. Linden writes in his new piece for The Atlantic: And because our brains are organized to predict the near future, it presupposes that there will, in fact, be a near future. In this way, our brains are hardwired to prevent us from imagining the totality of death. If I am allowed to speculate—and I hold … Read more“A Neuroscientist Prepares for Death”
I’m delighted to be able to share this interview with Crossbones Graveyard shaman John Constable by my friend Daniel Lev Shkolnik, who hosts the very worthy Re-Enchantment podcast series. John and Daniel met as participants in the Memoria Symposium, which took place during the Halloween/Day of the Dead period of 2021. This is exactly the … Read moreThe Making of a Sacred Cemetery | John “Crow” Constable Interviewed by Daniel Lev Shkolnik
The legendary Seattle rain. It was a thin gray rain; hard and fast and cold. In it, we had to walk four blocks from the Public Safety Building to the Zillers’ Jeep—we were at its mercy. As was my custom in such elements I hunkered against the rain, drew my head into my collar, turned … Read more“I let it do to me what it would”
Suicidal seventeen year old media whiz Archie Williams (played by Gabriel Sunday) visits poet/filmmaker Jesse Gabriel Vargas (David Carradine) in this scene from the 2011 movie Archie’s Final Project, also known as My Suicide. Which self do you want to kill? It would be a shame to off all of them.
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
Thanatodiva Caitlin Doughty and human composting maven Katrina Spade present a short documentary on the Recompose facility in Seattle, and on the process and philosophy of recomposition.