THE JOURNEY INTO SPIRIT: A PAGAN’S PERSEPCTIVE ON DEATH, DYING AND BEREAVEMENT

Journey into Spirit

A review of Kristoffer Hughes’ book The Journey into Spirit: A Pagan’s Perspective on Death, Dying and Bereavement by Maria Ede-Weaving

Druidry teaches us to honour death and to remember the dead with reverence. However, for most of us, our wider culture has hidden much of death’s processes from view.  The physical realities of this most inevitable and unavoidable rite of passage have been obscured and this has only served to intensify the fear of death and sever the connection to its deeper mysteries. We live in a world of plastic, a substance which by its very nature defies the laws of decomposition, and this seems to reflect on some inner level, the chronic fear with have of the dissolution and decay that are the vital foundations of renewal and life.

This is a subject close to my heart. I have lost most of my close family over time and last year my father died. We were very close and his death was unexpected; the grieving has been intense. When Philip asked me to read and review Kristoffer Hughes’ The Journey into Spirit: A Pagan’s Perspective on Death, Dying and Bereavement, I had mixed feelings – although of late I have sensed an emerging from the darker spaces of my grief, parts of me still feel a little raw, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to gaze into death’s face again quite so soon, even if only in the pages of a book. Despite my fears, I am so pleased that I read this wonderful book.

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