Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
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A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
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May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Death: Just Passing Through
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We are all Human Beings. We are all like cowboys in cheesy Westerns- “just passin’ through, ma’am.” We are born, we live, and we die. Some of us grow old before we pass through the veil, and as elders are able to pass the wisdom that comes with time on to the younger generations. Some of us die at or even before birth, some die very young or in middle age. Each of us has his or her lessons to learn, and his or her lessons that are taught to others by our simple interaction with them. Our life cycles are the same from birth to childhood to puberty, adulthood, old age and death. The customs associated with the passages of the stages of our lives vary from culture to culture, as do funereal rites and customs.
Most of the Pagan/Heathen religions teach us that death is only the beginning. Death is a transformation of our energy into a new form of energy. Our soul, our essence, in a sense, leaves our physical body, to be cared for by the Great Mother and Great Father, given rest and repose for as long as we wish, before we are reborn to a new life, a new body, new lessons, new thought-forms. The afterlife and its cycle is much like life. Nothing in life is static; everything changes, including the seasons. Our blue planet has seasons and glorious transformations, and so do we Humans. We are creatures of the Earth, unable to exist without the benefits gained from each season of our planet.
Death is painful only for those who are left behind. As Human Beings, we are prone to want what we want, without taking the lesson proffered by our loved one’s life, death, or passage through the veil between the worlds. Understanding comes in time, and when our human grief has lessened, we are more able and more willing to take these lessons to heart. From those around us whom we care for, we learn to deal with frustration, disappointment, heartbreak, illness, sadness, joy, love, exhilaration, anxiety, and in time, we learn to be at peace with ourselves and with one another. Happiness and love for self can be exemplified, and if observed long enough, learned by us as well. The sadness that comes when we lose a loved one is the sadness that comes when we lose a favorite teacher, for each person we know teaches us something; some are Master Teachers, some are simple Teacher’s Aids, but all of them teach us something, whether for good or ill.
The respect and love we feel for our loved ones causes us to want to protect them, even as they leave us for the afterlife. In some cultures, the body of the dead person is washed, dressed, and buried with useful items from life, and jars of food for them to take on their journey into the afterlife. In some cultures the body of the dead person is burned on a pyre with much ceremony. In some cultures, the bones of the dead person are removed from the tomb and washed after a year or so, and left in the sun on a special day, to soak up the sun’s rays. In this way, the family of the deceased feels they have shown honor to their ancestor, and given them back some of the sweetest part of the life they once had, as they sit with them in the sun and talk and ask them questions.
In many cultures, special words are said over the body of the deceased by someone considered a holy person, as it lay in a funeral casket. Special songs are sung, and more of the members of the wake or funeral may speak before the casket is interred in the appropriate place. Church bells are often tolled as the casket is removed from the church. All these things are done for the living who are left behind on this plane. The living want to protect their loved one in the afterlife, and deep down, they all want to appease any evil entities who may be lurking, whether they admit this fact or not.
Condolences are for the living. Condolences are those trite little phrases we are taught to say when there really is nothing to say, but something is expected to be said. The dead person does not care that they are dead. They have passed through the veil between the worlds, and are in the care of the Mother Goddess. They remember very little of their lives on this plane. We certainly remember them, and hopefully, the lessons they taught by their being, and the things they wanted us to remember. We remember that they said they loved us, or that they liked lilacs. We remember that they hated high collars on their blouses or the funny way they slurped soup from a saucer, rather than a spoon. We feel uncomfortable at their funeral, because we know they did not care for socializing or small talk. They said what they meant, and they meant what they said, and they spoke only when they had something to say.
There are a plethora of lessons to be learned when a loved one passes, and some of them will only be realized as we grow older ourselves. For instance, we didn’t understand why our loved one liked to slurp their soup from a saucer when they did it, but later, when our own hands tremble with age, we realize that it is easier to steady a saucer with two hands that it is to steady a spoon with one, and so we slurp our soup from the saucer, too. Lessons can be small, or lessons can be large, but we learn them. When we learn all we can learn, and we have taught all that we can teach in our physical form here on Earth, then it is time for us to pass through the veil, and begin the cycle from life to death to rebirth anew.
We will pass through the same veil, be in the care of the same Mother, however She may choose to introduce Herself to us. We will have rest, and we will come to learn and to teach again in this plane. The cycle will renew itself, just as sleep renews us in life, just as the Earth renews herself each Spring. Life is a cycle, and it leads to death, but death is nothing but a new beginning.
Just My Thoughts
Copyright: M.T. Bargeman, 2011
Location: Plain View, Virginia
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