Our first ritual on the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete is a death ritual in which we honor the memory of those who have gone before us. Like so many things on the pilgrimage, the death ritual evolved. I did not consciously plan to begin with death. Rather, the death ritual inserted itself at the beginning of the tour. Now I understand that the timing is right.
As we begin our pilgrimage, seeking new insight about the meaning of our lives, about the meaning of life and death, we pause to remember those who have gone before us.
Before the ritual begins, I discuss the communal burials in round tombs of the ancient Cretans, sharing my belief that the purpose of their rituals was not to secure immortality or eternal life for the individual, but rather to affirm and ensure the regeneration of life in the community and in nature. I add that though I have no desire for personal life after death, I care deeply about the continued flourishing of life for human and other than human beings.
I like to keep rituals simple. First, we create an altar. Two stones mark the place. We decorate them with flowers and fruits from our Mother Earth and small images of the Goddess. Continue reading “Beginning with Death on the Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete by Carol P. Christ”