For several months, I’ve been working and planning with two other witches to organize a conference that I’ve been dreaming of for a few years: a death conference. Several summers ago, during the last iteration of Many Gods West in Olympia, Washington, I attended a deeply moving workshop about preparing polytheists to carry out death rituals. The presenter shared a story about a member of their own group who crossed into death with their help. Just a few years ago, at PantheaCon (the second to last one–can you spot a theme?), Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary offered a gathering in one of the hospitality suites on behalf of Amici Mortem, or Friends of Death. There were a surprising number of young people there, and we learned from Selena about green burial options, body composting, and how to make preparations for the quality of death we might want to have.
The upcoming conference I’m hosting is called, In the Roundhouse of the Ancestors: death work and death care in Celtic polytheism. Laurel, a wise soul and witch in Kingston, Ontario, and local witch Corvin in Portland are working with me to make this event happen. We’re providing a forum for workshops by Morpheus Ravenna of Coru Cathubodua and author of Book of the Great Queen, Rue McDonald, Sharon Arnold, Mortellus, author of Do I Have to Wear Black? , Izzy Swanson, and Scott Richardson-Read of the Cailleach’s Herbarium. Irish artist Sean Fitzgerald designed our beautiful conference logo.
There’s still time to register, but don’t wait too long. The conference is taking place on Saturday, 16th October, 2021.
Samhain approaches, and I’m feeling the tendrils of the Ancestors reaching, grasping, and seeking connection.