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Suicide and the Great Cycle of Life

To: soc.religion.paganism
From: (Steve Storm)
Subject: Re: Suicide and the Great Cycle of Life
Date: 10 Dec 1996 00:58:22 -0600

In article <>, Alan Sheridan/Alpha Starsinger  writes:
|> I'm having difficulty reconciling the great cycle of Life/Death/Rebirth
|> with the concept of suicide, and could use some help.  My sister chose
|> to take her own life last Monday, and while I can accept her death and
|> process the grief, the question has come up about how we, as pagans,
|> view suicide.  I can't come up with a rational answer at this point, and
|> would appreciate feedback.

Mercy in the form of Death is one of the gifts of the Crone.  Sometimes,
in our incarnations, we take on loads we cannot handle.  It would be cruelty
beyond measure to insist that such a burdened one continue with their load
just because we do not wish to grieve at their passing.  (Now, it might be
true that was a better answer for their pain, but sometimes there isn't.)
Doctor Kevorkian is attempting to inject this notion into the American
mainstram of thought.  I, personally, wish him luck in his efforts.

The soul will come back for new lessons, or repeat that particular lesson
until it can overcome the challenge.  That's one interpretation.  I haven't
seen any consistent Wiccan attitude that I could point to.  But I see no
immediate conficts between suicide and the "great cycle".  Some Christian
faiths consider suicide a "sin" that denies the sinner access to Heaven.
I do not know of any Wiccan dogma that sets such a stigma to suicide.

Sometimes there is no point.  The Wheel of life goes round and round
without need of explanation or reason.  To accept this, understand this, and
still celebrate the cycles: that is one of the hardest lessons.  I'm still
working on it.

The Rede says "Do what thou wilt."  And suicide is one of the actions and choices
a Wiccan is empowered to take.  Whether the grief others then feel is "harm"
becomes an interesting Wiccan discussion point which I will gladly leave to
others.  My stand is that it then becomes the decision of the survivors
whether to grieve their loss or to celebrate what limited times they did
get to share.

There is no "rational" answer to emotional pain.  There are only comforting
reassurances and the continuing love of those who remain.  I hope you recieve
plenty of both.

Blessed be.


As we endure storms,    |   | These are opinions!
So we receive rainbows. |     Steve Storm       | Not policies or dogma!

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