The Skull and the Flower

By Tony Wolf The evocative yin-yang juxtaposition of flowers and skulls has a curious artistic history encompassing Catholic reliquary, 17th century Dutch vanitas painting, Mexican folk-art, Edwardian art nouveau and ’60s psychedelia. In combination, they offer a startling and provocative alternative to the black-cloaked, scythe-wielding figure of the Grim Reaper, whose imagery is inextricably tied … Read moreThe Skull and the Flower

The Day of the Dead

Here’s a colorful and cheerful website devoted to El Dia de (los) Muertos, perhaps the world’s most colorful and cheerful thanatocentric celebration. As a child in Wellington, New Zealand during the 1970s, I was hardly aware of Latin American culture other than via Spanish-language segments on Sesame Street. That said, I seem to recall first … Read moreThe Day of the Dead

“Every Word of the Sepulchre: How the Seventeenth Century Teaches Us to Die”

Click here to read Ed Simon’s Order of the Good Death essay on how the dawn of the Scientific Age forced thinkers to re-evaluate their notions of mortality: Anxiety has always surrounded death, but in the seventeenth-century there was perhaps a new fear – of Nothingness. These writers deployed Ars Moriendi and Memento mori to approach death in a century … Read more“Every Word of the Sepulchre: How the Seventeenth Century Teaches Us to Die”

“The Adventures of Memento Mori”

The Adventures of Memento Mori is host D.S. Moss’s ongoing podcast exploration of what death means, why that matters and what we can do about it while we’re still alive. With a thoroughly and refreshingly skeptical take on all matters woo, Moss has examined life- and death-affirming topics including spiritualism, creating death plans, diverse concepts … Read more“The Adventures of Memento Mori”