Notable and quotable 24: death and tea lights

I haven’t done a “notable and quotable” for a while. I’ve been a bit busy making YouTube videos and promoting the second editions of my books, Dark Mirror and The Night Journey. But I spotted some great posts and thought they were worth sharing in case you missed them.


Samhain is a time when we think about death, although it’s been ever present all summer with the pandemic, and so we need to think about what it means. Paganism is one of a few religions that represent death as part of the natural cycle.

Mark Green of the AtheoPaganism blog has written an amazing post, Death, the Creator:

“the next, magical, phenomenally important phase after death is the one we will never live, never experience: the composting. The rotting into rich, fertile soil, the recomposition of our component molecules into bacteria, badgers, bluebirds or bears. … Yes: that very thing we fear is what makes all we love about Nature, about Life on Earth. Death creates; it is the process of gathering of resources for assembly of new creatures, plants and animals and microbes.”

Mark Green, Death, the Creator

Tea lights

Meanwhile, Bish at has an important message for Pagans: don’t use or leave tea-lights, incense, or candles at sacred sites, whether that’s burial mounds, stone circles or other types of site. I also dislike clouties tied to trees: I use a strand of my hair and tie it very loosely to a twig. Birds probably use it to line their nests. Leaving candles and other detritus spoils the sacred site for other people. Using candles and incense damages the site. I’d like to think that Pagans who are actually involved with the wider Pagan community would know better than to do this, but maybe I’m naive and that’s the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Either way, don’t do this, follow the Country Code, and respect sacred sites.

“Fine, spend Samhain in a spooky cemetery or a ‘haunted house’ or even an ancient long-barrow… But treat it like your favourite grannies house, your most beloved ancestor’s living room… If you want to make connections with those who have gone ahead into mystery, do it with respect.”

Bish, A little rant on “pagan tealights”

Also noteworthy is that the AtheoPaganism blog has published a guide for AtheoPagan clerics. It’s really good and should be read by all Pagan leaders, in my opinion.

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