VERMONT DEATH & DYING SYMPOSIUM

2019 Symposium Presenters

SPIRIT GALLERY AND ANCESTOR SHRINES, Salicrow

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Salicrow is a natural psychic medium who has been aware of her gifts since childhood. For over twenty-five years she has worked as a seer, using the tarot and runes as her tools. With her ability to divine the future and revisit the past, she advises her clients with compassion and a straight forward approach. As a medium, she helps people to connect with their beloved dead, family, friends, and loved ones who have passed, as well as make connections with the guiding spirits who watch over them. As an intuitive healer, Salicrow is dedicated to helping the beings of our planet and the Earth itself. She is a Reiki master in six schools of Reiki, a sound healer, druid, and a practitioner of Rune Valdr and Seithr.


About the workshops:


Spirit Gallery: This gallery style communication is intended for larger groups.  Psychic Medium Salicrow is directed by the Spirits present to determine who will receive messages.  Not every message will be able to be delivered to all guests. However, the messages passed are so specific that it is often a moving and beneficial experience to everyone in attendance. A great deal of healing transpires in Spirit Galleries with Salicrow.

Ancestor Shrine:  Learn how to build a beautiful and worthy shrine for your ancestors. 

WORKING WITH THE UNEXPECTED IN THE DYING PROCESS, Cornelius Keppel, M. Psych

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Con has been a dedicated student of human behavior, spirituality, and non-ordinary states of consciousness his entire adult life. For many years, he was a school psychologist and transpersonal therapist. In addition to traditional academic training, he holds certifications in neurolinguistic programming(NLP ), hypnosis, EMDR, and past-life regression. In the latter, he has guided many clients through the death process and experiences in the afterlife state. 

Philosophically, he believes in a multiplicity of selves residing in the psyche (autonomous/ semi autonomous psychological parts, e.g. the inner critic), the benevolent intention of all human behavior at its origin, and the primacy of gratitude and self-compassion in the human condition.

His personal practice includes meditation, biofeedback, and nocturnal "dream" work. As avocations, he enjoys intuitive writing and making beeswax candles.


About the workshop:

This experiential workshop is about you, following the premise: "you can't fully understand what you haven't experienced." To that end, participants will explore their relationship with the inner world thought-form we refer to as death, and in an optional, imaginative exercise, bring the experience into real time. Finally, small group sharing exercises and debriefing will bring-to-life the "...unexpected in the dying process." 

SHADOWLOSS with Thanatologist, Cole Imperi

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Cole Imperi is a dual-certified thanatologist and one of America’s leading experts on death, dying and grief. As a writer and podcast host, she is enthusiastically changing the way we approach loss, death and dying in the United States, and teaches how to live a brighter life by finding the light of loss. 

Cole is a Certified Integrative Thanatologist and Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement through the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Cole is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher. She holds a post-graduate Certificate in Typeface Design from the Type@Cooper Condensed Program. She is a Certified Crematory Operator. Cole was appointed by the City of Covington, Kentucky to the Board of Overseers of Historic Linden Grove Cemetery and Arboretum and serves on the board of a green burial cemetery—Heritage Acres—in Cincinnati, OH. She is teaching faculty for the ICCFA Cremation Arranger Certification program, and a public speaker covering topics ranging from generational marketing, end-of-life issues, and grief/loss. She is Adjunct Faculty at a mortuary college teaching Thanatology. Cole is Associate Producer of MORTAL, a feature-length documentary film about the human condition. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Art of Dying Institute. Cole is an active hospice volunteer and bereavement support group 

About the Workshop:

Cole is tailoring a talk specifically for us and will join us live but remotely for questions.

TALES OF A PYRE with Angela Lutzenberger (video)

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Angela is a board certified interfaith chaplain who has worked as such for 11 years, the last 8 in Hospice care contexts. Since 2015 she has been involved in home funeral and death midwifery training and education in Maine and since 2017 has been enrolled in Mortuary School. As a practicing Buddhist for over 25 years she is long familiar with community death care and particularly with the powerful ritual engagement open air cremation offers. She was inspired years ago to build a pyre in Maine, feeling and knowing that enough folks in Maine would want that option for themselves or their people after death. She founded Good Ground Great Beyond in the Spring of 2018, purchased land in March of 2019 and is currently working with lawyers and gathering volunteers to help make that so. 

 
 

About the workshop:

Angela is sharing her not yet released video on her work Open Air Cremation grounds in Maine.

EVOLVING FUNERAL HOMES with Helen Robertson

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Helen Robertson, and her husband Steve own Sayles Funeral Home in St Johnsbury Vermont. 

Currently, Helen is an apprentice learning under her husband Steve who has been a Funeral Director for 20 years. Helen grew up in Colebrook, NH and attended Boston University receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a Specialization in Marine Science.  She married Steve in 1990 and over the next 16 years, the family grew to eight children.  Helen became a stay-at-home home-schooling mom until 2016 when she and her husband decided to purchase two funeral homes, and move to St. Johnsbury, VT. Over the years, Helen has worked in the service department of a motorcycle shop in Boston, served as youth minister and adult educator for her church, worked as a house parent for emotionally handicapped teens, studied homeopathy, and been certified to teach archery and rifle to 4H youth.  The couple and the three youngest children live above the funeral home in St. Johnsbury next door to their oldest daughter and their two grandchildren.

About the workshop:

Helen will speak about what she and her husband have done, would consider doing and what they would *not* do in terms of assisting families in the expanding world of Funeral Homes mingling with the holistic death field. 

HERBAL CARE FOR THE DYING AND CAREGIVER Sandra Lazorak

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You don’t have to be an herbalist to bring the uplifting power of plants into caregiving for the terminally ill and dying. Healing plants are wonderful allies during the end of life process, both for the one transitioning, as well as for the people gathered around them. Using a show and tell/demonstration format, we will discuss safe natural ways to increase comfort, create sacred space, lift spirits, invoke protection, honor the dying, and assist in safe passage. Fresh bouquets, teas, aromatherapy, flower essences, baths and other strategies for physical, mental and spiritual support. Recipes and herbs for stamina, stress relief, nutrition, rejuvenation and restorative care of the caregiver will also be shared. Many of these herbal ways can be utilized from afar, remotely or after death occurs.  

Sandra studied with Rosemary Gladstar and worked at Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center for over a decade, as a chef, gardener and assistant teacher. For 20 years she has been exploring a decolonial approach to plant medicine, traditional healing, and intersectional social and environmental justice movements, in Vermont, New York City and abroad in Haiti, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Mexico, and India.

Most recently Sandra is supporting her parents in their elder hood journeys, full time with her mum who has Alzheimers. Sandra is in the thick of learning about the end of life process, observing cycles of Mother Nature as a primary guide.

KEENING WITH BAGPIPES (Live)

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Nothing evokes emotion and sorrow like the mournful tunes of bagpipe. Iain MacHarg is a professional bagpiper and owner/director of Vermont Celtic Arts. 


About the workshop:

As a group we will enter meditation while in the presence of the live piping to let roll all of the tears we have been holding for too long.

CULTIVATING THE DOULA HEART with Francesca Arnoldy

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CECILIA LEIBOVITZ, MOURNING JEWELRY

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A swatch of fabric that once belonged to a loved one can bring great comfort in grief and keep the memory of that person close. Cecilia makes a keepsake necklaces incorporating fabric from a tie, embroidered handkerchief, wedding dress, or any article of clothing you wish. She will have examples of her work and will be on site to answer questions and take special orders. You can bring the fabric and/or beads from a deceased loved one to be made into a special memento. There will be a small selection of ready made necklaces available for purchase too.

WALKING THROUGH LIFE & DEATH LABYRINTH MEDITATION

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We will be rolling out this portable 25' round medieval labyrinth in the room that it was originally designed for. This is a beautiful walking meditation/contemplation.

GATHERING BY FIRE

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Friday and/or Saturday night we will gather close, tell stories, share experiences and soak in the heat and liveliness of sacred fire.

MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CEMETERY

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For those staying at Casa Luna or those who are early birds, morning meditations to contemplate death is welcome in the cemetery across the street.   The intention is to contemplate your mortality not connect with any spirits! 

SLEEPING AT CASA LUNA

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Casa Luna located on Craftsbury Common was built in the 1790's.  Although the event will not be held at Casa Luna it is only a 12 minute drive away.  There are floor (bring your sleeping bag) and bedroom accommodations available. Carpooling will be really helpful to maximize keeping the container. Privately message to find out housing details. 

SLEEPING AT THE PEOPLE BARN

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Bunk beds and open space floor sleeping is available at The People Barn as "add on" items when you purchase your ticket.  If you have other needs please let me know and I will try to accommodate you. 

Symposium Location

The People Barn is a private residence and retreat center in the glorious countryside of Greensboro Vermont. The property boasts breathtaking views of the mountains, out door fire pit, outdoor labyrinth, (there will be an indoor one as well) large porch for dining and central barn area with magnificent high ceilings. The barn was built specifically for healing and ceremonial retreats. The main events will all be held at The People Barn which is 10 minutes from Casa Luna- headquarters of Stardust Meadow and Village Deathcare. There are bunk rooms and open floor space for sleeping at The People Barn and a limited number at Casa Luna as well.

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