Sweat Lodge

Written by Tayria Ward on June 25, 2012

The last official Bridging Worlds Mountain Retreat Center event is about to begin. This is the quiet before the arrival, the spirits of the land and the ancestors are gathering now to welcome the guests, I feel it viscerally.

This event has been on the calendar for a year. A young

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Winter Solstice, the Turning

Written by Tayria Ward on December 21, 2011

Today is December 21st, the date given to celebrate the Winter Solstice, the darkest day in our hemisphere, the world now beginning to turn toward the light of longer days. The event has been ritually celebrated by humans since well before recorded history. We find the markings of it in

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Rites of Passage, Death and Mystery

Written by Tayria Ward on July 14, 2011

Rituals are symbolic acts, gestures that create a relationship between individuals or communities with the larger reality. There are daily rituals, which indigenous cultures describe as maintenance rituals, and radical rituals which address larger questions and transitions in life.

Then there are Rites of Passage. These are rituals that take one

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A Good Death

Written by Tayria Ward on June 25, 2011

My Mother, Kathryn Whitlow, has courageously struggled with frail health for the last 6 years. During her many close calls all I could think to ask in prayer for her was that she have the gift of a good death. The idea that she might be alone, or frightened, or

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The Living and the Dead

Written by Tayria Ward on December 8, 2010

A friend is visiting me whose husband of 30 years, a man who was also a close friend to me and my dream analyst, died 3 months ago. We have been talking non-stop as if outside of time and space for more than 24 hours, with a little tiny bit

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Death and Life

Written by Tayria Ward on November 5, 2010

In excavating a poem I was looking for today, I re-encountered one I had filed written by Goethe. I was struck again by the last stanza of his poem called “Holy Longing.” This poem addressed me profoundly at a time when I felt I was suffering my own death, yet

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Time, Space and Love

Written by Tayria Ward on September 26, 2010

Dicksee – Romeo and Juliet

Just watched the movie Letters to Juliet. When I was a teenager I had posters on my wall of Romeo and Juliet, memorized scenes from the play which I can still recite, and lived a similar story of forbidden love except that I survived, my

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Ferrying the River Styx

Written by Tayria Ward on September 22, 2010

These words have occurred to me over and over today. Styx is the river in Greek mythology between earth and the underworld, and the river that the newly dead cross into the afterlife. A ferryman, Charon, transported souls across the river, taking them from one world to the next.

The image

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Universe as a System

Written by Tayria Ward on September 18, 2010

I ran into these words by Buckminster Fuller a few days ago, and wish I could ask him to explicate them more on the subject of death.

“You cannot get out of Universe. Universe is a system… Universe is a a scenario. You are always in Universe. You can only get

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The Unsayable

Written by Tayria Ward on September 17, 2010

The world is mostly made up of the unsayable. That is why we need poets and artists, the true ones. The dimensions that words can never touch are really what make up our experiences from one moment to the next. The tiniest bit of it is sayable. The rest is

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