The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: Practical Rituals, Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations on Crossing Over
by Starhawk, M. Macha Nightmare, and the Reclaiming Collective
AVAILABILITY: Active Record (Readily Available)
Publication Date: October 1997
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Binding: Trade Paper
Topics: DEATH_RELIGIOUS ASPECTS; WITCHCRAFT; NEOPAGANISM
Description: An anthology, inspired by the death of Starhawk's mother, of work from over 40 contributors - from both the wider Reclaiming community and the larger Pagan community - on facing death and dying with a Goddess oriented understanding of the sacred cycle of birth, growth, death, decay and renewal.
Says Starhawk, "Our goal was to create a sourcebook that gave a pagan perspective on death and also gave songs, chants, liturgies, poems, meditations, music and instructions for what to do. Grief, we've found, is not a state in which we want to create wonderful new rituals or write inspired songs. Generally, when we are grieiving, we want something to turn to that can ground and comfort us..."
Filled with encouragement, strength and inspiration, 'The Pagan Book of Living and Dying' is an invaluable source of both spiritual counsel and very practical tools and techniques for:
* honoring and caring for a dying person
* grieving a beloved relative, partner or friend
* planning a funeral or memorial service
* distributing personal possessions and making room in the home for a loved one's memory
* understanding and mourning specific types of death
* providing final instructions for one's own death, and much more
A groundbreaking addition to today's popular literature on death and dying.
Starhawk is the author of nine books, including her bestselling The Spiral Dance and Webs of Power, winner of the 2003 Nautilus Award for social change. She has an international reputation, and her works have been translated into many different languages. Starhawk is also a columnist for beliefnet.com and ZNet. A veteran of progressive movements who is deeply committed to bringing the techniques and creative power of spirituality to political activism, she travels internationally, teaching magic, the tools of ritual, and the skills of activism. Starhawk lives part-time in San Francisco, in a collective house with her partner and friends, and part-time in a little hut in the woods in western Sonoma County, where she practices permaculture in her extensive gardens and writes.
Review(s): "When it comes to death & dying, westerners have their own challenges and need their own rites. Starhawk, Macha, et al's anthology of essays and contemporary passing-over rites, based on our Northern European Wiccan heritage, fills this need beautifully, and covers a lot of ground." - Francesca De Grandis, author of 'Be a Teen Goddess!'
"I am in the middle of the galleys of the 'Pagan Book of Living and Dying', and it is absolutely superb. I wish I had it several months ago when my father died. I love the simple and elegant writing, and the way death is described in relationship to the cycles of the natural world. I found the book enormously comforting, and even suitable to lend my very non-Pagan stepmother as she goes through her own grieving process." - Margot Adler, author of 'Drawing Down the Moon'
"It makes a fascinating read and is full of useful practical information. I thought the information about making wills and what to sort out before you die was excellent. It would be great if we had something similar in the UK that met UK legal requirements and was readily accessible. The other fascinating info was how to ceremonially cremate a dead body. I have filed this away in my mental file of 'facts for emergencies' along with what to do if an elevator/lift you are travelling in starts to plunge to the ground and what to do if you accidentally drive your car into the. It must be my Scorpio mind." - Vivianne Crowley, author of 'Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millennium' and 'Celtic Wisdom, Ancient Wisdom: Earth Traditions in the 21st Century'