The Ministry of Scorpio is the work of the spirit and the flesh, guarding the gateway between worlds and of those ready to help those face the consequences of such contact with spirit. It shall include:
- Provide support for those making the transition between this world and the next, and counseling for those family and friends left behind to adjust after such transition.
- Education and Training in sacred sexuality in the traditions of witchcraft.
- This ministry is responsible for maintaining contact with the spirit world on behalf of the Temple, particularly communion with the ancestors.
To contact the Scorpio Minister, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crossing Over & Bereavement Services
The Scorpio Ministry at the Temple provide assistance for the dying and those left behind after a death. For the dying, we offer crossing over support either in person or over distance, and bedside guidance if desired. At the bedside, anointing of the body with a special crossing over salve is offered with a blessing.
For those left behind, we provide guidance on how to support those dying through the use of altars and rituals. We also provide an ear to those who wish to talk about their experience. In most cases, the bereaved are contacted 2 or 3 times during the initial weeks after the death. Most are able to cope with a relatively small amount of effort from the ministers. These techniques are covered in items 1 to 6 for most cases. In rare cases, the death triggers deeper issues. If this is the case, then the care needs to shift to a referral to a clinical counselor or to paid sessions with a minister who provides spiritual counseling or another modality.
The Scorpio Ministry provides support to those in grief through:
- phone calls,
- guidance on ritual practices for those who have passed that also support those still present on this side of the veil,
- bereavement circles,
- other rituals,
- meeting for coffee or meals,
- in depth meetings for support (which are referred to a clinical counselor or to spiritual counseling sessions which are fee based.)
The Temple also provides assistance in building an ongoing relationship with your ancestors through ritual and altar suggestions and classes.
In related Scorpio ministry work, the community works to hold space for those grieving and helps create a culture “in which death is recognized as an organic part of life; there are no societal obstacles in the natural expression of grief; people who have suffered the death of a loved one are embraced by a safe and caring community that they can rely upon to help them cope with the grieving process.”
Ancestral Shrine: Click the link for a PDF of the Temple’s ancestral shrine ritual to honor the recently departed.
Death: Talk about it!
Death Cafes: A place to talk about death in a supportive, nonjudgemental context
Elsa and Danielle’s Death Cafe at Robin’s Nest Facebook page: We share a lot of good resources and articles.
Funeral Consumer’s Alliance (2013). Before I go You Should Know.
Goodman, Ellen, The Conversation Project.
Morgan, Gwen W. (2010 Hardcover, 2014 Trade paperback) What if … Workbook: Give the Gift of Preparedness to Your Loved Ones. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Medical Personnel on Death
Gawande, Atul (2014) Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Metropolitan Books Henry Holt and Co: New York.
Being Mortal is featured on a Frontline presentation available online. The video shows part of what Dr. Gawande included in his book. From the website: “FRONTLINE follows renowned New Yorker writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life. In conjunction with Gawande’s new book, Being Mortal, the film investigates the practice of caring for the dying, and shows how doctors — himself included — are often remarkably untrained, ill-suited and uncomfortable talking about chronic illness and death with their patients.”
Kalanith, Paul (2016) When Breath Becomes Air. Random House: New York
Nuland, Sherwin B. (1993) How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter. Vintage Books.
Volandes, Angelo E. (M.D.) (2015) The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care. Bloomsbury Publishing
Your End of Life Care: Plan for it!
Advance Care Planning: Advance care planning is making decisions about the care you would want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself. Resources from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Advance Directives, Healthcare Decisions, POLST: Information to help complete an advance directive based on requirements under NH law. Also there is information to assist a person who is making health care decisions for another person and an explanation about Portable Do Not Resuscitate (P-DNR) medical orders and Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) in NH.
My Gift of Grace: A conversation game for living and dying well
National Healthcare Decisions Day: Advance Care Planning Resources.
Deathwise: Deathwise is passionate about motivating people to talk about, make decisions, plan for the end of their lives and then documenting their wishes in an advance directive to ensure their preferences are communicated to their medical services providers, family and friends.
Know your rights about your rites!
The Funeral Consumers Alliance provides resources regarding individual’s rights regarding death and references for state level information.
Slocum, Joshua and Carlson, Lisa (2011) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death. Upper Access Inc, Book Publishers: Hinesburg, VT.
Plan Your Rites!
Home Funeral Movement: There are several websites with resources regarding Home Funerals. Here are a few:
Bailey, Sue and Flowers, Carmen (2009) Grave Expectations: Planning the end like there is no tomorrow. Kennebunkport: CiderMill Press.
Beryl, Rev. Paul On Death and Dying (There’s nothing wrong with being compost). (2014) Kirkland, WI: The Hermit’s Grove.
Campanelli, Pauline (1998). Pagan Rites of Passage, St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
Fortune, Dion (2000). Through the Gates of Death. York Beach. Weiser.
Mourning Dove Studios: “Our mission is to help you to take control of how you mark the milestones of life and death. Our products and services will assist you in personalizing final rites of passage and creating a conscious legacy of love, including keeping our legacy to the earth in mind.”
Penczak, Christopher (2013) The Mighty Dead. Salem, NH: Copper Cauldron Publishing.
Rinpoche, Sogyal (2002) The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. San Francisco, CA: Harpers.
Slocum, Joshua and Carlson, Lisa (2011) Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death. Upper Access Inc, Book Publishers: Hinesburg, Vt.
Starhawk, Nightmare, M. M., & the Reclaiming Collective (1997). The Pagan Book of Living and Dying: Practical rituals, prayers, blessings and meditations on crossing over. San Francisco: HarperCollins.
What do you want done with your body?
Green Burial: With the increase in popularity of environmental awareness and recycling, people are thinking about ways to decrease their footprint at death as well. This is referred to as the “green burial” movement. Here are some references for cemeteries and places to purchase biodegradable caskets and shrouds:
Mushroom Burial Suit or the Infinity Burial Project:
If you want to create gem stones from your loved ones’ cremains, see this company, LifeGem.
There are also companies that make lockets that allow you to carry a small amount of cremains with you.
For adding cremains to reefs in the ocean, Eternal Reef out of Decatur, GA
If you wish to have a fancy casket commemorating your life in line with the style of Ghana: ghanacoffin.com or artcaskets.com for a caskets with colorful pictures that honor a hobby, avocation or interest of the deceased.
Donate to the Plastination Process: Dr. Gunther Von Hagein has institutes in Dalian, Heidelberg and Kyrgyzstan.
Resources for Grief & Bereavement
The Temple of Witchcraft Scorpio Ministry provides support and ritual suggestions for processing and working with grief. See the Services portion of the top of this page.
Brooke, Jill (2001) Don’t Let Death Ruin Your Life. NY, NY: Penguin.
Canfield, Kack and Hansen, Mark (2003) Chicken Soup for the Grieving Soul.
Kessler, David (1997) The Needs of the Dying: A guide for bringing hope, comfort, and love to life’s final chapter. NY, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
David Kessler’s website which includes books, references and movies to watch to help facilitate grief. www.grief.com
Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. NY, NY:Collier Books.
Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth and David Kessler (2005) On Grief and Grieving, NY, NY: Simon and Schuster.
Kumar, Sameet (2005) Grieving Mindfully: A compassionate guide to coping with loss. New Harbinger.
Valle, Ron and Mohs, Mary (2006) Opening to Dying and Grieving: A sacred journey. Saint Paul, MN: YES International Publishers.
Viorst, Judith (1986) Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations that All of us Have to Give Up in order to Grow. Ballantine Books.
Whitmore Hickman, Martha (1994) Healing after Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief. Harper Collins
Wolfelt, Alan D. (2003). Understanding Your Grief. Fort Collins, CO: Companion (an imprint of the Center for Loss and Life Transition).
Death of a Child
The Children’s Room is an organization that helps children and their families who have lost a close relative. Their website often has good resources and ideas.
Compassionate Friends: A national organization providing support and resources for those who have lost a child.