Honoring Our Pagan Fallen on Memorial Day

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  May 27, 2013 — 2 Comments

In America, today is Memorial Day, a federal holiday that recognizes those who have died in the service of our military forces. For decades modern Pagan military personnel have worked to see that their contributions and sacrifices were given equal honor and recognition. Today, Pagan involvement in our armed forces is at a level of visibility and acceptance never before imagined, though with that recognition comes new challenges. While we work to continue our advances, let’s take a moment to recognize the fallen.

“Memorial Day weekend Remembering, Honoring, Thanking Military Pagan Dead at Veterans Ridge of Circle Cemetery at Circle Sanctuary headquarters near Barneveld, Wisconsin.”Selena Fox, Circle Sanctuary

“Some feel it’s macabre to celebrate death, and phrased like that, I can understand. But we as Pagans do not celebrate death the way most folks celebrate birthdays. We celebrate the life the person lived. So in that way, I do not feel it’s in any way disrespectful to hang out at the beach on Memorial Day or to get your grill on, as long as at some point during the feasting and festivities for the unofficial kickoff to summer, you acknowledge why we have the holiday.”Lori Dake, PaganSquare

Pagan headstone at Arlington National Cemetery.

Pagan headstone at Arlington National Cemetery.

“I’m planning some ritualizing this Saturday, but I’m also going to set aside a few moments to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the greater good of us all. I think the meaning of Memorial Day often gets lost over the long weekend, and it is about more than the start of summer and backyard barbecues. Light a candle and say a prayer to the brave fighting women and men who have lost their lives in service to our country (or your country for those of you outside the United States).”Jason Mankey, Patheos.com

“Honoring the military dead isn’t about supporting the wars in which they fought. It’s about recognizing the sacrifice of men and women not too different from us, who did what they believed necessary. It’s about honoring their sacrifice, because we are here and they are not and in many respects we are here because they put themselves in harms way and are not. One day a year, two if one counts Veterans Day, is not too much to give. The greatest gift we can give them is respect and remembrance. Let us not forget our fallen warriors, our soldiers, the men and women who laid down their lives for ours. Hail them.”Galina Krasskova, PaganSquare

The modern military experience can also be a modern Pagan experience, those who are wounded and die in our country’s service aren’t an anonymous “other” removed from our experiences, but us. We here at The Wild Hunt give honor to all our Pagan brothers and sisters who have served, are serving, and have fallen in the line of duty. Please feel free to link or post any observances, tributes, thoughts, or remembrances you think appropriate on this day.

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  • James Halstrum

    Please
    SHARE this WITH appropriate OTHERS.

    “One
    example of the principles and practice of Self Help”

    “The
    Therapeutic Process”

    +
    Regarding Reoccurring Negative Dreams and Flashbacks.

    EXAMPLE

    A
    father and son, living on the West coast of Canada ( in the Vancouver
    area ), loved to go sailing between the mainland and Vancouver
    Island. The father, over the years, had

    upgraded
    from a small boat to a larger sail boat and the son was intending to
    follow his example, but, at the time of this example the son only had
    a small boat.

    One
    day the son went for a sail in his boat and a major storm came up
    which caused his boat to capsize. The son drowned on that day and his
    body was never recovered.

    As
    result, the father kept having a reoccurring dream regarding the loss
    of his son and the lack of closure. ( no funeral for closure because
    the son’s body was never recovered )

    In
    the dream the father would go out in his sail boat to where his son
    had drowned and he would dive over the side and swim down to the
    bottom. When he would get to the bottom he would find a treasure
    chest and when he opened it up it would, always, be empty.

    (
    it can be said that the father treasured his son )

    At
    that time, I was a co-facilitator of a therapeutic group in which the
    father ( as a participant ) told the story of his reoccurring dream
    and to address the problem the following potential solution was
    proposed to him.

    Write
    up his story including his emotions, feelings, appreciations, anger,
    resentments, positives and negatives of the relationship with his
    son and with his death, etc.

    Buy a
    small tree ( hopefully his sons favourite kind of tree).

    Take
    the write up, the tree and some pictures of his son ( + small
    personal objects / reminders of his son ) and take them to his son’s
    favourite place.

    NOTE: His
    son’s favourite place was up on a forested knoll over looking Horse
    Shoe Bay on the North Shore of Vancouver where he could see the
    marina that he and his father used to dock their sail boats.

    The
    father was to take the write up, the tree, the pictures and the
    personal

    objects
    to the knoll.

    Dig a
    hole for the tree / then read your write up ALOUD..

    Set
    fire to the papers ( write up ) pictures and personal items.

    Let
    the smoke go up into the air, the ashes and personal items fall into
    the hole.

    Plant
    the tree over them. ( burying them and the problem in order to gain
    closure )

    The
    father never had the reoccurring dream again…

    NOTE:
    People and their family members can, by using these principles and
    practices, gain closure in relation to various kinds of personal and
    family issues = loss of a loved one, abuse, addiction, PTSD (
    especially reoccurring dreams ), suicide prevention, anger
    management, beginnings and endings, unfinished business, closure,
    etc.

    Some
    guidelines:

    Use
    your own imagination and creativity when you apply

    these
    principles and practices to your own personal + family issues.

    This
    can be done alone and/or with others who can appreciate their
    attendance

    and
    find value in the process.

    NOTE:
    This therapeutic process can stand alone and/or be an addition to

    existing
    individual or group therapy programs.

    Helpful
    hints:

    You
    can bury and get over your own personal / family issues and start an
    anger free life.

    Planting
    ( a living memorial, a bush, shrub or a crop ) represents hope for
    the future.

    “The
    obstacles in life, often, become precisely what is required”…

    Warm
    Regards, to family members dealing with the loss of a loved one(s)
    and related family issues ( past, present and future ).

    Author
    James L. Halstrum ( The Stone Shadow )

    P.O.Box
    1326 Montague, PEI C0A-1R0 + Phone 902-838-2218

    http://www.facebook.com/james.halstrum1

    Note:
    If this helps and/or saves the life of one person, I’ll be pleased.

  • T Thorn Coyle

    Here is my Memorial Day piece for this year:

    http://www.thorncoyle.com/blog/2013/05/27/in-memoriam-2013/