Nov. 30th is Lost Species Remembrance Day

Premonition by Jan Harrison

I may or may not get a chance to collaborate with someone on some kind of mourning ritual/project this year, but either way, I will be observing it. I have it in my head to make papier mache masks of recently extinct (or due-to-soon-be-extinct species), and either ritually burning them or keeping them and, when my Year is up, honoring them as part of the dead.

It’s interesting to me that this date was chosen when it was – in the midst of Wild Hunts and so near to mumming season, so I may incorporate the mourning ritual with other veil-lifting, Otherworld-related ones I will otherwise be having next year. Anyways, this is all very related to the body of praxis I’m calling “rotwork” – a sort of meditative practice focused on quiet contemplation; the reincorporation of grief; radical acceptance; performing physical work; witnessing decay in all facets of life; finding beauty in the fallow; engaging the dying; refusing to prioritize the human built world over the non-; pursuing artistic expression without centering the artist.

At any rate, for interested parties, here are a few links:

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5 thoughts on “Nov. 30th is Lost Species Remembrance Day

  1. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I feel very drawn to this idea, and I think I’m going to add it to my religious calendar. Maybe a small rite this year (without much time to prepare) and something more elaborate next year. The blog featured a beautiful example of someone making spirit boats for each type of lost animal (mammals, birds, etc.) and I might try to do something similar. You’re right, the timing works well.

    My own practice involves being a “memory keeper” for individual dead animals, most of whom I found personally, often shepherding their remains through the decomposition process and tending to the bones. This feels like an expansion of that work.

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  2. Reblogged this on A Forest Door and commented:

    This strikes right at my heart, and I plan to do a small rite of mourning and remembrance this year, and work on something more elaborate for next year with more time to prepare. As someone who works very intimately with dead animals, this feels like an expansion of that calling. Maybe some of you will join me.

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  3. “…the body of praxis I’m calling “rotwork” – a sort of meditative practice focused on quiet contemplation; the reincorporation of grief; radical acceptance; performing physical work; witnessing decay in all facets of life; finding beauty in the fallow; engaging the dying; refusing to prioritize the human built world over the non-; pursuing artistic expression without centering the artist.”

    That’s a great summary. It offers more detail about rotwork than you have on your about page at the moment, too. I encourage you to put this summary on your about page, or add it to what you already have there, and expand on it even more if you are so inclined! I’d love to read more about this body of praxis as you conceptualize it. It sounds very aligned with my endarkenment work.

    Also, I plan to write a book called Sacred Endarkenment one day, and I would like to quote you about rotwork. It will be quite awhile before I start work on that book manuscript, though – first I want to finish the book manuscripts I’m working on now! So there’s no rush. Just wanted you to know that I’m interested.

    Oh, and by the way, I can’t help but wish you were on Facebook, because there is a Pagan & Polytheist Monasticism discussion group there, started in September, that I think you would really enjoy. Lots of brilliant people and thought-provoking posts, and the group is well-loved by its members. I’m one of the admins for the group. I know you aren’t about to get on Facebook, of course, but I wanted you to know your presence there is missed!

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    1. Thanks! It’s a definition that definitely needs refining – I’ll refine it as I continue to go down this path, especially after my year of the great detour is over and I can get back on track. I’ll probably write more about it as I start thinking about it more in a couple of months.

      That would be a book I’d love to read – and if I can coherently conceptualize this sort of practice and lifeway better by then, I’d be honored to have a blurb about it in there!

      And ahh yes, facebook. There’s a lot of interesting groups I’m surely missing out on, but unfortunately, spending more time on social media would probably undermine something about something I’m trying to achieve here. (And as with my tendencies personally, either I get bored of internet things quickly, or get addicted, and I don’t want to fuel that particular fire haha.) Even though you know I was going to politely decline, thanks for the open invitation anyways. :]

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