Green Burial at Circle Sanctuary

Spring is the time to celebrate approaching intimacy, and what is more intimate than sharing a loved one’s passing?  The first  ‘green burial’ took place at the cemetery at Circle Sanctuary in Mount Horeb, WI. this past weekend. Selena Fox presided over the ceremony. Many Pagans claim to want a green burial, but what is it like?  I talked with Robert Paxton, a Circle Sanctuary minister, who participated in funeral, as part of a community weekend at Circle Sanctuary.

Describe what the funeral experience was like?

It was very much different from any funeral I had attended. The person who had died was a long-term member of the Madison folk music and dancing scene. The funeral was a genuinely beautiful and touching event. Family and friends, about a dozen, helped with every element from carrying the casket to the gravesite. They sang song and read poetry. They spoke as they were individually moved to about the life of the person who had passed. Typically, the funeral director said, they would lower the casket into the grave, there would be just a few words and the family would step away and head down the hill. Community members were there to help fill in the grave. It didn’t go like that. We placed the casket in the grave, and the family looked over at the pile of dirt and the half-dozen shovels. They picked them up and got to work. The grave was nearly filled when they tired and the community members took over. They were very engaged in the whole process. Once the mound had risen, they took flowers from the earlier memorial service and placed them lovingly on the grave. One of the funeral party, in one of those ‘ah-ha’, deep truth moments, took a night crawler from one of the last shovelfuls of dirt.  He laid it on top of the mound and said, “Here is the first one, get to work!” It was a very loving experience. It was done very clear-eyed, we are committing these remains back to the earth. We will honor her with this last loving and personal act. At the same time they were completely realistic and open about the nature of what had happened. It was the most truthful funeral I had ever experienced.

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Developing Capitol Community – Editorial

I have talked to several veterans of the Madison Protests over the last few weeks. Each person was vocal about the sensitive compassion of all the people involved. One of the most visible has been John.  He has been involved in distributing food to protesters at the Capitol, almost since the first one arrived. How long have you been working here?

“I started serving food here the Thursday of the first week, so a little over three weeks.”

Community Free Food Booth

Where does all the food come from? We have been receiving donations, but the vast majority if the food comes when people bring in a bag or box of something. People donate money to stores who then call us up and see what is needed. This is all donations. We have been here everyday. Continue reading

Madison Protests Interviews 2 – Pagan Perspectives

Elizabeth MoonRaven, Whitewater, Wi Pagan

Why are you here today?

I feel the energy here is part of the global revolution that is coming forth from all parts of the world. I wanted to be here to add my energy to that realm of energy because we are all related. I feel really great about this energy, it naturally flows (around the square) widdershins, see how the parade flows. This is the natural way to unwind all the bad things that have been happening. I am concerned about all of the American Freedoms becuause there is a bigger dark agenda underneath all of this. Part of what is going on under all of this is there is a land grab, wetlands and parks are being threatened. I have friends and family who are teachers. It affects them, it effects their bottom line. I am out here to support the farmers, and the tractors and to add my good energy to it.

Rally at State Capitol in Madison - March 12th

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Recall Petitions – Resolution Efforts in WI 10th District

Local Resolutions of support for Wisconsin worker rights, and petition efforts for the recall of  Sheila Harsdorf, Wi. 10th Senate District Republican Senator are taking place across the district. The 10th District (map) runs from Burnett county in the North, to Pierce county in the South, and extends along the I94 corridor to Menomonie.  This includes towns; Grantsburg, Frederick, Luck,  St. Croix Falls, Amery, New Richmond, Clear Lake, Hudson, River Falls, Prescott, Baldwin, and Ellsworth.

Events are listed and information about aiding these efforts through, and the AFT – Wisconsin, local coordinator:

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Madison, WI Pagans Speak Out – Interviews

Beket is a now retired, Dept. of Revenue worker. She made the choice to retire the first of the year, when the writing seemed on the wall with Governor Walker’s election. She has been a member of the Circle community for ages.

“I had been planning on retiring, but because I worked at the Dept of Revenue, I was hoping to work into the spring. A week after Walker’s election I had my annual physical, and my doctor, who worked at the Medical College of Wisconsin said, he thought Wisconsin was in for a rough ride. I turned in my resignation the next week.”

What about this vote concerns you?

“This will take our money out of our pockets twice. The amount that is taken out to pay our retirement and health insurance is in lieu of higher wages. By making us pay more, it is basically a wage reduction. By taking away union rights. He could change the amount of say, personal religious holidays available. A lot of people aren’t aware, but Lady Cybele, is a retired field ‘rep’ for AFSCME Council 24, and they got the personal holidays increased. She was on the bargaining team, and it was her intent to get that, so that Pagans could take their Pagan holidays off. ”


Capitol Gallery Scene photo: Nataraj - Eyedance

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