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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 111 - 5/21/2003
So, You’re Dead. Now What?
What happens to our souls/spirits after we die? Is there an everlasting haven to which we retire? Are we reprocessed and reincarnated? Do we – as dearly departed spirits/souls -- have any say in the matter?
How have you coped with the loss of a loved one? Do you feel that this person/animal is still keeping an eye on you from beyond? Do you think that some of your present animal friends are really some of your old animal friends recycled? Would that work for humans as well?
Are you troubled over the thought that one day you will die? Why or why not?
| Reponses: There are 59 responses posted to this question.
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| Just Toss My Body In The Woods ||May 23rd. at 6:07:23 am EDT|
|Tarbh Nathroch (Eastern Mass) ||Age: 31 - Email |
Wow, The big question. What fun it’s been reading all the beliefs. Even while growing up Roman Catholic I never bought into the heaven / hell after life. The Idea of a God so terribly spiteful as to put you in eternal torture just never made sense to me. The pass / fail entrance into heaven didn’t sit either. The way I see it you draw positive or negative energy to you based on how you live. At the time of death those with a positive charge will have an easy time of it, while those charged negatively will suffer. I’m talking about the soul’s transition here only, not the bodies death. As we all know good people can die in pain while bad people can pass quietly in sleep. Now when it comes to judgment I’ve always been comfortable with the Egyptian way of thinking. Your heart is weighed against the feather of Ma’at. For those of you not familiar with the concept of ma’at, ma’at is order, truth, the way things should be. If your heart is to heavy or too light, as in to much guilt or a lack of caring you are destroyed. This is better than eternal damnation. There is an up side though. Since energy can not be destroyed your life force and spiritual energies are recycled in to a new person. A sort of reincarnation if you will. So even though all that you were is completely gone your energies get another chance. Now if your heart balances you pass into the after life. What that is though, I’m not exactly sure. I guess I’ll find out if I get this life right. The only thing that bothers me about death is the treatment my body will get. The way I see it, the earth nourishes my body in life, my body should nourish the earth in death. The thought of having my body put in a wooden box and sealed in a concrete vault never to touch the earth again terrifies me. I would like to have my body thrown into the woods to let nature have at it.
| Death Is But A Second Beginning ||May 23rd. at 8:30:28 am EDT|
|Lord Archaeus Samhain (Rochester, New York) ||Age: 41 - Email - Web|
Of crying in the night over souls now gone in flight
Who have forever more left behind this mortal coil
Where we the ones left standing upon this earth
In suits of flesh long owned and aged since birth
Do ponder long this simple meaning of passing
So now another vacancy holds so much sorrow
To finally realized that all time lived is borrowed
Until again within the Summerland's we meet
To consider the meaning of death is one of our species greatest questions.
In wondering if there is life after death, has proven in being one of the greatest boons to many religions where the continuance of eternal bliss or suffering has drawn the masses through the years in seeking comfort from those of clergy, mediums and spiritualists, who have also been sought for more meaning.
Death is not the end but is in fact the beginning of yet another knowing both strange and vast beyond measure and present meaning, for once we have passed through the thresh hold from this earthly plain do we then find a whole new reality.
We often will retain those of our most strongest emotions that had either proven a blessing or curse when still in living form, which may then be interpreted as either protective or demonic when expressed in spirit form.
But rest assured that much of your memories concerning your present life will then become your all knowing universe when dead, which will from time to time interspersed with occasional moments of interaction with the living.
The world of the dead is not made of random occurrences or chance encounters where spirit may only rise upon a moment at only measured times of the year, but are in fact of constant motion of movement where evidence of their activity can be detected during any time of the day, month and year.
For it is true that energy never truly dies but instead is only transformed to yet another evolution of knowing and purpose, where ours is seemingly random in its selection.
You may not see nor even presently sense them, but all around you at this moment are vast multitudes of souls, both those now deceased from many species of life, and of those whose only reality have been of spirit, as well as those created through our projections of thought and prayers, for in the reality of spirit, do they also make up the many who roam about its existence and many lands.
The death of a loved one is the loss of their presence and significance in our lives.
But in death you may be assured, that if a loving bond had been forged in life, will the attraction even in death remain.
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| My Thoughts...... ||May 23rd. at 10:20:53 am EDT|
|Thorin the Skald (SW Michigan) ||Age: 35 - Email |
As a Skald, or keeper of stories, I hold to the belief that there is another "Realm" that we will pass over to when we die. For each of us it may be a slightly different place. The Christians see it as Heaven/Hell, the Native Ameircans call it "the Happy Hunting Grounds", some pagans call it "Summerland", and those of us that follow the Norse Way call it Asgard...well, part of it is anyway!! LOL What I am trying to say, is that I feel there is another place where your spirit/soul goes when we die. My sister died when I was 16...she was 12. She was thrown from her horse and landed upon a rock pile, and her head was cracked open like a melon. Sorry I seem insenstive here folks, but this is what happened. My mother found her 2 hours later. I will never forget that day for the rest of my life. Nor will I forget the dream/vision I had of her within the week after her death. She came and sat on the edge of my bed during the night, and we talked of many things. What those are, I cannot recall. I do remember her saying that she was all right, and that gave me comfort. My parents also had a similar dream/vision happen to them around the same time. Since then I have felt her spirit with me at certain times in my life. I have also always had the feeling of being "watched over" when I was growing up in my parents house. Now, as a divorsed man who was forced to move back in with his folks, I see this feeling as more that what I realized it to be when I was younger. It is the pressence of all the people who lived in that house that are related to me. They are there....or at least a part of them is....and it is comforting to me to get to experiance them. Last Midsummer, I also felt & heard the pressence and voices of the 2 elderly brothers my ancestors bought the property from back in the early 1900's....and I think they got it from the Native Ameiricans....from what happened last year. If any of you would like to hear more, feel free to email me. It is a good tale. Let's just say some friends and I had our own little "Midsummer Night's Dream"!!! LOL Having become a Pagan, I feel that I am more in touch with the Spirit Realm, and I am seriously considering becoming a legal Clergy in my path. I hope this finds all of you in good health and good spirits. Take care, and Bright Blessings.
| I Have Been Dead ||May 23rd. at 6:22:05 pm EDT|
|Moonlite Dust (Texas) ||Age: 13 - Email |
I dont think u people understand that i have been dead for a long time. Well my body is still physically here but my soul is gone. So when my body finally loses all feeling, just throw me in the lake ok. cuzz i dont care
| Death Is.... ||May 23rd. at 8:47:59 pm EDT|
Temporary! We, along with all other organic matter, are recycled over and over again. I believe our spirit goes to a "neutral zone" (a/k/a the Summerlands) , where it rests until it's time to return. As far as whether or not we have a choice when & where to return, I'm highly skeptical, as I know I would've chosen much better lifetimes for myself than the ones I've had! I believe Karma does the choosing.
My familiar - and soul mate - a bunny rabbit - has connected with me TWICE in the past 10 years; after 2 years of separation, he came back, the same breed of rabbit, same markings, same personality, and - most importantly, in the same manner! He was a stray who miraculously found me again. (There are NO coincidences in the Universe!) If anyone is interested in reading his story, I've provided a link to his website.
My Dad - with whom I was very close - crossed over 3 years ago, and for the next 6 months, his spirit visited my apt every day. We would hold conversations (telepathically - I never saw him or heard him speak out loud) . He told me that he would return within 2 years; my response was, "Dad, you've lived a good life of 81 years; don't you want to rest? You deserve it!" As he'd been very active for a senior citizen, he replied, "Are you kidding - I'd get bored!" Exactly 18 months later, a boy child was born - the great grandson of my Dad's brother & sister inlaw! Though I never got to meet the child, I immediately knew who he was.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
| Dissipation. Decomposition. Dancing. ||May 24th. at 11:50:46 am EDT|
|Updog (Richmond, VA) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I've never been a fan of "one-to-one" reincarnation. Y'know, the idea that the soul is a discrete unit, the spiritual atom. Personally, like the image of the fallen log. In the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, huge trees fall and become the staging grounds for a new generation. When the young trees mature, their roots still hold the shape of the tree on which they grew. The log has long since rotted away, so what you get is the shape of the old tree renedered in negative space by those that succeed it.
It seems to me, that in death, as in life, we are "simply" regions in the ebb and flow of energy and matter. Our patterns ripple out from us and death is no barrier to this... If anything it is an acceleration of this process.
All is impermanent. All is without self.
On with the dance.
| Energy ||May 24th. at 2:36:58 pm EDT|
|Mica (FL) ||Age: 33 - Email |
An interesting range of ideas and beliefs here. This is just my two cents, here, so please bear with me. To me, death is a point of transformation, like conception and birth are. But no matter how much I'd like to believe in the classical ideas of an afterlife or reincarnation (the soul as a discreet, basic unit that is incarnated into one body after another, perhaps with a break in between) , I find them hard to digest.
Basically, I believe in reincarnation, but in a different way. To me, the soul, like the body, is a manifestation of energy - a non-physical projection of the energy produced by the body and brain. However, if energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed, then the soul does not just disappear into nothingness at death, either. Energy can be many different things: light, sound, or a physical object like a tree or a brick - or a soul and its body. All life and all things are manifestations of the great pool of energy of which the universe is only a part. The idea is hard to describe. It's like an ebb and flow to me. Perhaps this analogy is better: Sparks of fire that light up and then go out, combining transforming energy from one set of forms (oxygen and carbon in the form of paper, wood, or another object) to another set of forms (light, heat, and CO2) . If this rationale is true, as we observe in the every day process of energy transforming itself in our bodies when we digest food, in heat and light and fire, then the soul cannot be destroyed - nor does it go on to exist as a soul after death. I believe that it is transformed into another form or manifestation of energy, just as our bodies are transformed into food for worms and microbes and plants, and on and on.
Perhaps this great pool of energy is intelligent enough to consciously and purposely manifest itself into all of these different forms - to experience its existence in a myriad of different forms and aspects. After all, we are intelligent manifestations of it, so in this sense, we are like the mind of this energy. But even if this energy is really intelligent and purposeful, I still find it difficult to believe that the soul is a discreet unit of energy that can exist intact without the body. No form of energy can exist intact forever without transformation into something else.
| Mystery ||May 24th. at 5:22:30 pm EDT|
Death does not scare me. I would like to know what happens after we die. I hope it is good. However, even if it is nothingness and we are just gone from this existence, we will be dead, so really it will not matter much one way or the other. But I do hope that it is heaven, A wonderful new kind of existence with new knowledge, no struggles and a life in a place that is unspeakably beautiful. I do believe that life after we leave our present bodies exists. I believe it because I have felt the presence of a dead loved one in the room while my mother and grandmother where speaking of him. That we could come back and see after those we love is a wonderful ideal. I only we wish that we were able to see this more clearly while we are here on this earth. It would be terribly comforting. I kind of like the idea that our dead have just moved away. As far as animals, I don't think I would want to be in a heaven that did not contain the souls of all things. I am not afraid to die. I am not in a big hurry because there are many things left to experience here, but when my time comes I will go without reservation.
| Don't Really Know ||May 24th. at 8:42:15 pm EDT|
|MargGarg (Delaware) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I can't say that I know what's going to happen to "me" after I die. Part of me says that my energy and matter will return to the great cycle that all matter and energy goes through. Another part of me says that I get to "hang out" in the ocean. This may not apply to everyone. I've always felt connected to the water and so I'd like to think I'd get to go there. I've done a little spiritual work concerning this and it seems my wish may be granted. As for fearing death, I don't think that I do. I fear pain, which is often associated with death but I'd like to think that one doesn't feel pain at that moment. I did have a dream where I died in a tornado. When I finally accepted that I was going to die, this amazing sense of closure and euphoria came over me. Everything was black. Then I opened my eyes to my dorm room. A little disconcerting to say the least. I suppose I would fight until I realized I could fight no more and then just go.
Just my two cents on the matter.
| My Weird Random Theory... ||May 25th. at 2:39:54 am EDT|
|jude (Indiana) ||Age: 37 - Email |
A random theory that popped into my head while mindwandering one day...
Death is a completion of life. When we die, our souls rejoin that of the spirit realm, the multiply single existence of those who have been and those who are yet to be. Having cast off our physical bodies, we discard as well the barriers which separate us during the living period, and we flow together, melding our consciousness together and then coming apart only to meld together again. It is like a giant spiral dance, and in our turning and swirling round, each of us gets to meet up with each other soul, and for a brief eternal moment we come together and share our innermost thoughts, for secrets are meaningless in this world. Everyone who came before is here; our ancestors and our elders, teachers that have left us, friends and enemies of long past, those whom we had loved and those whom we had hated in the living years, the dorky guy who you passed by walking down the street the other day (please say hi to me this time) , even people whom we've never met. This is the Whole from which all energy emanates and to which all returns.
But in due time we yearn for Life. We wish to go back to that place where we may feel pleasure and pain, joy and sadness, where love and hate have meaning. The place where we learn and grow, and we shape ourselves. So we flow out from the whole, once more form our bubble of individuality and venture out from the Whole. We are reborn once more to the physical realm, the place of life. For to completely appreciate the human condition we must experience every aspect of it. So in our lifetimes we shall be both the weak and the strong, the wicked and the virtuous, the wise and the foolish, the victor and the vanquished. And through our journeys our souls shall see all.
But in between life and death, after we have passed from the Physical but before we combine with the Spiritual, there is a passage and an overlapping in which we exist simultaneously in both worlds. After the passage into death (and also before the reemergence into life) we stand between, looking back upon the earth from a more global perspective. Some linger here, for moments or for years, to tidy up loose ends before passing into the Spiritual realm. But some, either by choice or appointment, stay permanently in this place and remain as guardians / spirit guides / angels / etc.
May the cycle go ever ever on...
| Life, Death, Things Of That Nature ||May 25th. at 5:11:34 am EDT|
|Rainwriter (Hawaii) ||Age: 33 - Email |
You know, I'm not really worried about dying. The way I see it, Death is going to catch up with me someday-one way or the other. So I don't really worry about it because I can't avoid it. Maybe I'm in denial.
The thing I do think about is that I'm just not ready to die yet. I still have so many things I want to do, to learn, to investigate. Hopefully, Death will wait awhile longer. If I knew Death, I think I would try and cut a deal, not for immortality, but for time. How much time? I don't know. How much time does the average person need to accomplish all that they want too? And as for what comes after Death knocks on our door? I think that is as personal as individual spirituality. And whose to say that it is a uniform thing, this Death.
I do have an animal spirit that visits me, a cat. I assume it has meant Death and lived to tell about it in some form. My animal spirit friend hangsout every once and awhile. The last time it visited, it stayed for awhile, running around corners, snuffling in things, and jumping on my bed at night after I had laid down. Needless to say, my still living cat was not the most gracious and whenever "spirit" came around, "living" would stick his nose in the air and stalk off in a huff. "Spirit" is a previous cat companion from my younger life, I'm sure, just dropping in to say hello.
| Around And Around We Go! Wheeee! ||May 25th. at 7:26:58 am EDT|
|Foxheart (NH) ||Age: 23 - Email |
It is my personal belief that after we die our spirits go to some kind of rest in a place called the Summerland to await reincarnation. This is a place sacred to Goddess and God, created by them as a wonderful rest-stop for souls on the move. There we might re-connect with souls that we have known before either in this life or in the past. We may meet up with loved ones, spirit guides, the God and Goddess themselves.
When we are ready to reincarnate the other spirits of this place show us the way and we are reborn onto the physical plane. Do we have a choice? Who knows. I think in some way we do have a choice to what womb we are born however in each incarnation we are sent to learn different things. To me reincarnation is not a punishment but a learning experience. We are sent to one place or another to learn all we can. Death is a journey back to Goddess and God to share with them all we have learned.
I have dealt with the loss of loved ones, animal and human. I know they are in good hands. Wether they have reincarnated or not I don't know for sure because I think time is different in the Summerland than it is here. It may be millions of years our time before one of us reincarnates, or split seconds.
Do I fear death? Yes and no. I want to learn as much as I can in this life and be the best Foxheart I can possibly be so that when I do head for the Summerland I can share all my wonderful experiences with the devine. However, I ain't ready to leave this world yet so I better not be going any time soon! When I am ready to die (and know that it is just around the corner) I will take comfort in knowing that in my next reincarnation I will have even more to learn and more to do.
Peace and Blessed Be,
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