Growing from the smaller, self-published Reclaiming book, Crossing Over, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying (HarperSanFrancisco, 1997) is a compendium of information on coping with death and dying. It provides valuable and compassionate guidance for dealing with such varying situations as deaths of small children, of parents, and deaths in battle or by violence.
Birth, growth, death and rebirth are a cycle that forms the underlying order of the universe. This is the core of Pagan belief — and the heart of this unique resource guide to death and the process of dying. Filled with encouragement, strength and inspiration, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying is an invaluable source of both spiritual counsel and very practical tools and techniques for:
• honoring and caring for a dying person
• grieving a beloved relative, partner or friend
• planning a funeral or memorial service
• distributing personal possessions and making room in the home for a loved one’s memory
• understanding and mourning specific types of death
• providing final instructions for one’s own death, and much more
Starhawk, Macha, and other Pagan writers have combined practical rituals with prayers, chants, blessings, meditations, essays and insightful personal stories to offer a new understanding of death and a powerful new approach to the various stages of dying and grieving.A beautifully crafted and deeply spiritual guidebook, The Pagan Book of Living and Dying teaches that death, like birth, is a doorway — another stage in the cycle of life. It will enhance the spiritual beliefs of readers of any faith and help each of us learn to welcome the change and renewal that await us on the other side of life.
To Order:: please support independent bookstores — you should try a local book store or 100Fires.com, rather than going to one of the corporate mega-stores. Click on the banner below for The Pagan Book of Living and Dying:
“When it comes to death & dying, westerners have their own challenges and need their own rites. Starhawk, Macha, et al’s anthology of essays and contemporary passing-over rites, based on our Northern European Wiccan heritage, fills this need beautifully, and covers a lot of ground.”
– Francesca De Grandis, author of Be a Goddess!
” I am in the middle of the galleys of the Pagan Book of Living and Dying, and it is absolutely superb. I wish I had it several months ago when my father died. I love the simple and elegant writing, and the way death is described in relationship to the cycles of the natural world. I found the book enormously comforting, and even suitable to lend my very non-Pagan stepmother as she goes through her own grieving process.”
– Margot Adler, author of Drawing Down the Moon
“It makes a fascinating read and is full of useful practical information. I thought the information about making wills and what to sort out before you die was excellent. It would be great if we had something similar in the UK that met UK legal requirements and was readily accessible. The other fascinating info was how to ceremonially cremate a dead body. I have filed this away in my mental file of ‘facts for emergencies’ along with what to do if an elevator/lift you are travelling in starts to plunge to the ground and what to do if you accidentally drive your car into the. It must be my Scorpio mind.”
– Vivianne Crowley, author of Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millennium and Celtic Wisdom, Ancient Wisdom: Earth Traditions in the 21st Century
If you would like to read reviews, visit M. Macha Nightmare’s page for The Pagan Book of Living and Dying.