Posts Tagged ‘death’

"Still-Life with a Skull," Philippe de Champaigne (1602–1674)

My grandmother grew up in Brooklyn in the early 1900’s. She told me a story about how she had a mischievous friend who dared her to go into a house if it had a wreath on the front door, indicating that there had been a death in the family. My grandmother said she was too scared to go herself, but her friend would enter the house in order to go look at the dead person displayed in the parlor.

Just before she died last fall, I went to see this same grandmother on her deathbed at the hospital where she spent her last few days. There had been talk of moving her home but it became apparent that she was too weak to transport. The room was clean and bright and my grandmother seemed to disappear into the white sheets, her face obscured by an oxygen mask. Those of us who saw her in those last days and hours kept waiting for the last breath. We knew it was close but we kept asking questions. What will it sound like? What will it look like? What will she feel? Will we watch her struggle? Touching her hand, two days before the last breath did finally come (I heard it was big and steady, like a sigh), was the closest I have been to another’s death—that is, until last Thursday.



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The Witch of Forest Grove honors a gift from the Dark Goddess

We Revelers have been getting in touch with our witchy side recently. For us, it’s been mostly about connecting to the phases of the moon and exploring the use of ritual. We’re pretty proud of our efforts and feel good about what we’ve done, but we have no illusions about what might be ahead. The world of folk magic is deep and vast, so for inspiration we look toward our “elders” such as The Witch of Forest Grove, Sarah Lawless, who knows exactly what to do with a dead crow.

To read Sarah’s full (and awesome) post regarding a dead crow she found while out wandering, and what she did with it, follow this link. Her writing honors the life and death of the animal in a way that inspires us to learn more. We Revelers also appreciate hearing Sarah describe a “messy” side of magic. Nothing is all songs and candles, is it? We look forward to our own chance to learn the beauty of life and death.

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