Author: Tamarack Song
Offered in both a paper and electronic form (PDF). Photo is not an actual representation of the booklet.
Chapter 1 Death as Life
Chapter 2 Allowing Death
Chapter 3 Dance of the Ancestors
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Death is Life, because without Death there would be no Life. The Hoop of Life continually rotates through Death to Birth, and on through life to Death, then again to Birth. Our families and Clans are strong when the Hoop gives them People who are from all places on the rotation. There would be those coming from the Womb and those returning to the Womb–Babes and Children, Parents and Grandparents–all lending their Gifts and Serving to create Balance in the Hoop.
Without Death the Hoop could not rotate. I helped maintain the turn of my Family Hoop when I was Born and my Father Passed Over. The Birth of my Son is continuing the rotation. If my Father lived on beyond his time and did not Pass Over, and others before him did not either, our Family Hoop would become imbalanced with Elder Energy and hobble in its rotation. There would be little room in the Hoop for those who are intended to be Born. Gone would be the infusion of new passions and perspectives that the Hoop needs in order to remain healthy and adaptive. The Gifts of the Elders would not be needed, and there would be no one to Serve the needs of the Elders.
All that has Life is in the process of Dying. Even as Youthful Mountain grows, he is crumbling to Sand. With each Day that passes, the Newborn, the Young, and the Old, are a Day nearer their Passing Over. Who will Die first, nobody knows. The one certainty is that each and all will Die.
Is that reason to fear and mourn Death?
There is another certainty, from the other side of Life–that each and every Living Being was Born. That is certainly as profound and absolute as Death!
Those who possess that awareness can mourn Death and at the same time be joyous for it. They know that Death Honors Life, that Death is the food of Life. Every new Life must have a Death to rise from. Even the gentle Grasses need Death; the Soil that feeds them grew rich on their decomposing Elders and short-lived Children.
Like our Grass Relations, we will return to the Soil perhaps when we are Elders, or perhaps when we are yet Children. From Greater Perspective, it does not matter whether we are young or old. Either way we nourish Life, then we are Reborn to Life. Either way we Die as Children, because no matter how many Winters we have lived, we are yet Children of The Mother. As with all Mothers, Her Offspring are always her Children, whether they be wrinkled from Birth or from Age. Time creates age; the relationship between Mother and Child is timeless.
The Great Mother did not tell our biological Parents beforehand when each of us was due to arrive, and She did not give specifics on the nature and purpose of our life. Nor did She tell our Parents when we would leave this life, and the nature of our leaving. All She did was, for a brief time, entrust our caretaking to our Parents. From The Great Mother we came, and to The Great Mother we return.
Some of us may come to know the Grief of returning one of our Children to The Mother even though his Hoop of Life had just barely begun to turn. We who are Civilized, often struggle in Grieving them back to The Mother because we cannot force the Ocean of our feelings to fit into the Lake of our tears. Because we view our Children as ours, our innate trust in the Roll of the Hoop can so easily elude us.
That places the burden of Life and Death upon us. Our eyes were not intended to bleed that much salt.
When we can release possession of “our” Children, we can more easily come to know the inherent Balance in Grief–the Pain of Release and the Joy of Return to the Source. (When we are no longer possessive, we will likely also notice more balanced relationship with the People in our lives, Children and otherwise.)
We will then be more easily able to feel and express the fullness of Grief for all People in their Passing Over, regardless of relationship. The flowing of our tears then becomes a Water Ceremony–a releasing of The Mother’s Blood down our cheeks to flow us into Harmony with Her Cleansing River. When we Become the River, our tears come like easy Rain that softly washes the sting out of our Grief. The Salt of our tears now becomes our Offering, our Gifting the Salt of The Earth back to the River of Life.