Coreopsis Journal Autumn 2018
To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness. Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness.
Note: For the next several issues of Coreopsis, we will publish rituals of resistance. From a spiritual perspective, what was effective? Empowering? What and how did you approach the ritual? If a public event, how did you keep safe space? Any and all Traditions and all positive actions are welcomed.
ow we care for the dying people in our midst, and how we die when it is our turn: these together are the proving ground, the cradle and the grave both, for every conviction we have about justice and mercy, about the meaning of life, about what love should look like and what it should do. They are the sum of every political instinct we have, every dream of community we’ve nursed along and every faith we’ve been willing to have in a better day. They are where every fascination about the Other World and the Big Story live, and they are where the midnight fear of Nothing comes to call. They are where our immense technical medical wizardry and mastery is visited upon you and those you love, and where the mythic poverty of our time comes to show itself. They are surely where our love of life earns its keep, or shatters. Mostly, though, they are the place where our ability to be a people is forged, or fails. They are where our village is made or broken. They are where we are most ourselves, and most alone. Together they are The Big Tent of our time.
– Stephen Jenkinson, orphanwisdom.com
What place do myth, ritual and art have in teaching us how to die? In reclaiming the sacred – and normalizing the mundane – reality of mortality in a death-phobic,
medicalized culture? What is the role of the artist, the ritualist, the storyteller, in helping us come into a healthier relationship with the inevitability of our own death, so that we can live more fully?
Paper topics under consideration, but not limited to:
Underworld/afterlife mythologies as guides for fuller living
• Ancient mystery school rites as death rehearsal rituals (and modern re-creations)
• Near Death Experiences and their impact on fear of death
• Cultural festivals of celebration and normalization (i.e. Dia de los Muertos)
• Emerging figures, religious and secular, in the death-positive movement (Santa Muerte, Caitlin Doughtery, for example)
• Hospice work as spiritual practice
• Alternative funeral and burial options that serve spiritual as well as ecological purposes
Rituals for the dead: sitting shiva, funerary practices modern and ancient
• The academic discipline of Thanatology
• Death- and grief-work with children
• Death deities and their stories
The theme of death and the afterlife in artifacts of popular culture and mythopoetics
• Example: ghostly apparitions in mythopoetics and the horror genres, Goth-inspired fashion, literature, and culture
• In music: metal, prog, the ballad tradition, ancient and classical music
• Popular literary works, such as The Dresden Files, The Parasol Protectorate, or the Anita Blake Series and broadcast media series such as “The Secret of Crickley Hall, “Game of Thrones”, “Penny Dreadful”, and “True Blood” that utilize undead and ghostly apparitions as a trope to further the plot. )
Send Query and Abstracts to the Editors at “Autumn 2018, Submission": http://societyforritualarts.com/coreopsis/contact-us/
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Published 2X yearly, never for profit. Peer Reviewed.