- File Size: 3160 KB
- Print Length: 386 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (July 23, 2013)
- Publication Date: July 23, 2013
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005HF9E14
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,811 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: T/K 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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About the Author
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. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
The Pagan Book of Living and Dying discusses all aspects of death, from pagan thealogy (from thea meaning goddess, rather than theo meaning god) to the dying process itself, and it even covers sensitive subjects like helping children cope with death. Congenial essays such as Sharon Jackson's "Crash Course in Being Present with the Dying" and insightful perspectives like Diana Paxson's "Preliminary Thoughts Toward Midwifing Your Own Passage" offer a written spiritual resource for assisting and comforting the dying, and advice on facing one's own passage. The Pagan Book of Living and Dying is simultaneously a practical guide, a comforting liturgy, and a new heritage that shows how to appreciate life through a closer relationship with death. --Brian Patterson --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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My one criticism of this book is that the section on deciding what to do with one's remains does not address the current sustainable ("green") burial options that are growing in availability. Neo-Paganism and Wicca are earth-centric paths, and the idea of the body being returned as directly as possible to nature is commonly expressed in discussions about death. Burial is mentioned only in the context of a traditional cemetery plot with a concrete vault liner and perpetual maintenance. I feel the segment in The Pagan Book of Living and Dying is outdated in this respect and overly dismissive of green burial and home funerals. I look forward to the revised and updated edition, or better yet, Vol 2!
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.
Top international reviews
It's an insightful book and I recommend to anyone considering buying it.