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A Pagan Buriel

Like the coming and going of the seasons themselves, we mortals are bound to an inevitable cycle. One of birth,life, and death. It is in birth we learn and grow, in life we strive and are tried and in death we are mourned and laid to rest. Pagan beliefs about the afterlife are about as unique as the individual, though there are a few popular choices. Many belive that the soul is reborn into a new life on earth, one befitting to one's actions in the previouse life. Others believe that the soul is projected to another plane of existance, where 'life' carries on in a new form. This theme is reflected christianity's heaven and hell.*1 Still others believe that the soul dissapates into nothingness and the body reverts to the ash from whence it came.

Regardless of what you believe happens when you die, two things in death are certain. One thing is that you 'll finally know what happend when you die. The second thing is that you have (usually) left behind friends and family that will need to make arrangements for your body. In fact, the laying of the dead to rest has been a long standing tradition throughtout the varied culters of mankind. wheather for the sake of your soul or the comfort of the bereaved, it usually a good plan to ponder what you might want done when you die, and make it known to your friends and family in the form of a last will or death letter. This will save your loved ones from painful indecision, and will aruntee you well prepared for whatever death journey you intend to take.

Basic Modern Pagan Buriel
** I say 'modern because techniques used in years past are no longer allowed in most parts of the world**

Undertaker and Plot Space

Most Undertakers today are very understanding about personal beliefs and try thier best to accomidate the families. Maing special note to the undertaker will ensure that inappropriate decor is removed from the viewing area. Most cemetaries reserve sections for those who wish to be placed in truelt hallowed ground.

Pre-buriel

Home cleansing:With the aid of Birch bows, frankinsense and Rosemary, preform a cleansing ritual on the domicile fo the deceased, this will ensure that the soul is not trapped there.
Vigil Candle: Light a white candle in a window facing east at sunset each day from death to buriel. The soft light calms the soul as it wais for its final rest (the white candle also lends a soothing and comforting effect to the familt as they watc it slowley burn).

The Funeral
Lillies and Roses may decorate, and a single green candle shall burn to the east, beckoning the soul to its destiny. Two white candles burn apon the alter adorned with birch, in honor of the devine as they watches over the departing.
In days of old money and provisions were placed in the coffin as it was believed that these items could be carried into the next world. In greek mythology a person entering hell would only gain passage across the river styx if thier familes had burried them with money to pay. These practices have dwindled down to minor family tradition and is at the soul discreation of the deceased and thier families.

The Buriel

From the service to the bruriel the coffin is lead by the Hiegh Priestess (if the deceased was strngly connected to a particular coven), or the closest surviving female relative. She carries 3 bows of evergreen as a symbol of the three faces of the godess ( or the three steps in the cycle of existance), and everlasting life.
The coffin is also accompanied by four torches to represent the 4 corners, North, East, South and West, carried at each side.