The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: T/K (Anglais) Broché – 8 octobre 1997
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RITUALS AND RESOURCES FOR HONOURING DEATH IN THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
Birth,growth,death,and rebirth are a cycle that forms the underlying order of the universe. This is the core of Pagan belief – and the heart of this unique resource guide to de
Biographie de l'auteur
M. Macha NightMare, Priestess and Witch, has chosen to develop her skills as a collaborative ritualist and author as her contribution to our emerging Pagan culture. Early in her journey on the path of Witchcraft, Macha joined in the formation of Reclaiming Collective, to teach Craft and to perform public sabbats in San Francisco. The collective evolved into a Craft tradition, and eventually dissolved itself in 1997, to re-emerged as a much larger and more inclusive entity. She co-created, with Starhawk, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: Practical Rituals, Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations on Crossing Over, HarperSan Francisco, 1997, and is author of Witchcraft and the Web: Weaving Pagan Traditions Online, ECW Press, Montreal, November 2001. Her writing has appeared in many periodicals, and she has spoken on behalf of the Craft to electronic and print media.
Macha holds Elder and ministerial credentials through The Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), the oldest and largest non-denominational organization of Witches in the United States. A member since 1981, she is a former National First Officer and has served the Covenant in many other capacities. She is on the teaching faculty of Cherry Hill [Pagan] Seminary in Bethel, Vermont, where she also serves on the Pagan Pastoral Counseling Advisory Panel.
She is a member of the Biodiversity Project Spirituality Working Group, to increase biodiversity awareness, preservation, and activism within religious communities. She also works with the Sacred Dying Foundation in educating funeral professionals and hospice workers about Pagan beliefs and practices about death and dying. To keep current on Pagan research, she participates in the Nature Religion Scholars Network.
Her matron is Kali Ma. Her magical practice is inspired by feminism and a concern for the health of our planet, and is informed by Celtic, Hindu and Tibetan practices, the sacred art of tantra, and the magic of enchantment. When the opportunity presents itself, Macha travels the broomstick circuit, where she enjoys immersing herself in the diverse community that is American Witchcraft.
She lives in Marin County, California with her beloved partner Corby and their thwo cats. The light of her life is her daughter Deirdre Blessing.
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Les auteurs nous racontent exemples de leurs vies,et comme il's ont trouvé des dificultés dans ces moments et la décision d'écrire le livre.
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It turns out it was that very reason that Starhawk and other members of Reclaiming wrote this book. Very few modern Pagans are raised in their chosen spirituality and often find they have no traditions or practices to guide them when dealing with the loss of a loved one.
This book is not a strict step-by-step ritual guide, but a sharing of experience that includes blessings, prayers and ritual details. The collected writings share how various people have dealt with the situations around long illness as well as sudden losses. There are accounts and suggestions for rituals not only to say farewell or bury the dead, but for how those still alive can honor those who have died and address their own grieving and healing.
I found the stories shared in this book to be incredibly personal and yet at the same time practical. I feel I will have a foundation of knowledge from which to draw when I have to deal with this issues and changes in my own family and circle of friends.
Touching on issues ranging from SIDS to AIDS, this book contains beautiful and comforting words for both Pagans and non-Pagans. The use of prayer and meditation is strongly recommended in the book, which may put off the non-religious person. However, being as the book is aimed largely at the Pagan population, it may be a moot point. I found the commentary compassionate without being patronizing, a task that is difficult within itself. "Living and Dying" is certainly a book we've needed for a long time. So rarely is death treated with such respect and objectivity. Death is a reality, a part of life that we need to embrace, and not fear. And while I'm nowhere near the state of embracement, I can, with the help of this book, at least reconcile the fact that "inevetable" should not mean "hopeless".
I recommend this book, for many reasons - the dialogue, the topic coverage, the compassion - and I'd include it as "essential reading" for any Pagan.
Perhaps one of the greatest things about this book is you do not have to be Pagan to appreciate and understand the contents of it. You could be an athiest and it would still help you and bring you comfort. This is by far the best non-fiction book I have ever read. If you are looking for a book to help you cope with death or learn more about it, buy this one. Even, and especially, if you are only going to buy one on the subject.
It will help you greatly. It has helped me and any many other countless people greatly. I was extremely close to my mother, for years I cared for her and I love her more than life itself so when I was 22 years old and she passed away suddenly after a battle with cancer everyone thought she had recovered from, my whole world seemed to crumble to peices and I honestly wondered if I could even go on living, if life would ever again be the same, if I'd ever smile again. Then a very dear friend of mine handed me her copy of this book. She told me if I read it that it would give me a better understanding of death and help my heart heal. I read it and I would be lying if I said it did not do just that. It changed my life and while I was reading it, just two months after my mother passed on, my husband and I discovered we were pregnant with our beautiful little boy so while finishing reading the book I was also able to experience the circle of life firsthand and it was so beautiful it was beyond words. I could even feel my mother's presence when my son was born and it was the most amazingly wonderful feeling there could ever be. I think the knowledge in this book honestly has the power to enhance your life as you begin to look at death in a whole new light, see it from a completely different point of view, one that will warm the heart, comfort the spirit, and make you see happiness where there was sorrow.
Read this book sometime and you'll forever be grateful you did!
I especially enjoyed the story "Bo's Cremation" by Patricia Michael. The details given of his life and death are so personal and helpful. The instructions (and examples of trial/error) in obtaining a loved one's body, keeping it on dry ice, and setting up your own viewing and cremation ceremony was amazing.
I was also thoroughly drawn to the story "Aric Arthur Graf Dies (or Rickie Goes to Become an Ancestor)" by Donald L. Engstrom. This story was very intimate and striking. The idea of the author going into trance and being able to astrally project himself with his loved one on another plane about to cross over was mesmerizing.
The items about using the Tarot with death related activities was helpful. The last section of the book gives fabulous concrete things you can do do make sure all your "things" are in order for your own death. This should be read and acted upon by all, because you just never know when you may have to go (like one section of the book says--always keep your bags packed).
Being fairly new to the Wiccan religion still, I feel like I have a more concrete understanding in the Pagan beliefs of death and dying. I feel more enlightened about the subject in general as well. I found the section on suicide to help answer a lot of questions I had about that. The book doesn't just make it a cut-and-dried topic either, it talks about the intricies of suicide based on depression, long term health illness, and other topics.
It's been said in other reviews, but I must reiterate--This book belongs in EVERY Pagan home. The sooner the better.
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