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Witchvox Chapter: Pagan Books
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Rituals and Resources for Honoring Death in the Circle of Life|
The Pagan Book of Living and Dying
Author: Starhawk, NightMare, et al. [a Witchvox Sponsor]
Publisher: Harper SanFrancisco
Category: Spirituality Level: All
" 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
"If you could only buy ONE anthology on Death & Dying, you wouldn't go wrong letting this be the one. It's chock-full of very practical stories, reflections and advice for successfully dealing with Death & Grief, from the very personal unique perspective of some of Modern Day America's interesting Pagan writers & practitioners (and some international perspectives as well.) . . . This is a rich volume of contributions from a collective group whose sensitivity and creativity around the issue of Death is a welcome comprehensive guide to an effective dealing with Life, Death, and surrounding rituals of the Pagan community."
~ Jerral Sapienza, The Bardo of Death Studies, www.bardo.org
"Virtually every modern mortality issue is covered in this book--physician assisted suicide, dying from AIDS, and care of the terminally ill, among others. This is a beautiful and unique book on a very important topic."
~ Jeff Ahrens, in Booklist, a library review journal
"A must for any coven library, _The Pagan Book of Living and Dying_ offers enough material of relevance to individuals that it also makes a great addition to a private collection of Pagan books. Every Priest (ess) needs a copy, and I highly recommend it for anyone working in health care too. Although most useful to intermediate or advanced practitioners, novices should not hesitate to pick it up if they need to deal with death or dying."
~ Elizabeth Barrette
"Pagan Book of Death and Dying is a very deep and warm book, one that will enrich our community as we learn to encounter death with awareness and consciousness, to meet it in the same spirit that our Pagan teachings have urged us to embrace life. . . . Starhawk and Macha have included rituals and prayers to mark the many ways where both the dying and the living need healing and release. There are rituals for funerals, rituals for the painful decision of terminating life support. Prayers for many different situations cover such issues as miscarriage and abortion, organ donation, and violent death, and there are prayers for all stages of the dying process, in aid of both the dying and the survivors. Songs and chants have had musical notation provided. Many meditations and visualizations are included, and these will be useful whether working alone or with a group.
"While the material is oriented toward those whose practice is in harmony with the Reclaiming tradition witchcraft that Starhawk's books have popularized, there is much here of value for those in any Pagan tradition. As our Pagan community grows and becomes more open and integrated with the rest of mainstream society, we have more opportunity to share the healing and blessings that our path and rituals can bring."
~ Carol Maltby, Tendrils of the Wild Vine Coven, for Compuserve
"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 Goddess!
"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. . . . 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
Author's Notes: There are 36 different and distinct Pagan voices, proving once again how wonderfully rich and creative our community is.
Where To Buy: Everywhere good books are sold.
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