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Honoring the Moments- Laura Wildman Hanlon

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Birth, Marriage and Death…Rites of passage offer a time for rituals to help asknowledge and celebrate the special moments in time when an individual’s life takes a major change. This panel will discuss the various Rites of Passage and how to create personal rites to hornor those moments.

Deathwork and Animal Companions- Kathryn Smith

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Our animal companions are friends, familiars, chosen family. Yet they are not honored as such in our society. What actions do we need to take when they pass, both for ourselves and for them? Our grief for them is no less real than for a human family member or friend, but society as a whole gives it far less respect. We need to seek solutions for that, both for ourselves and for those we may be called on to counsel if we are priests or priestesses. This workshop will discuss both practical and spiritual aspects of dealing with the loss of beloved companion, in terms which can be applied to a variety of traditions. No specific ritual methods will be taught. Instead we’ll discuss concepts and principles, so that you can go home and find ways to express them in the context of the traditions you follow. This workshop is about giving you tools, not off the shelf solutions.

Death Ritual Panel

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Viking ship burials, cremation, internment, sky burials, mummification,… There are so many aspects of death rituals. An early discussion of anthropology and religion asked two peoples: How much would we have to pay you to get you to eat your dead? and How much would we have to pay you to NOT eat your dead? and each side said that no one could pay them enough to fail in their duty to their beloved dead. Some rites were designed to make sure the dead stayed in their graves- away from the living. Others were designed to help them move from the community of the living to the community of the ancestors. Others are designed to maintain the relationships between the dead and their survivors. Some rites are designed for the living and not the dead. Which are the most important to you and why?

Tchipakkan, and Rob Nolan

End of Life/ Death Panel

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We will be discussing dying: how we prepare for it, and what we expect after we die. From Near Death experiences, to “bucket lists”, to arranging what kind of end-of-life care you want, to how you want your body disposed of, how does what you believe about post-death experience impact what you want done during and after your death to your body?

The Shadow of Death- Morgan Daimler

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Many people view death as the enemy of life, yet anyone who does healing work must know how to handle death and dying. This class will look at the place of death within healing, and the natural place of death within life. Only by understanding the role that death and dying play can we truly embrace living. We will also look at why many healing deities are also associated with both birth and death and how all of these connect together into an organic whole. [1 hour, closed room]