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A Druid's Funeral

Ivsaar Thornvine slowly walked up to the tree that marked his master's grave. It had grown quite a bit since he had last seen it. A large willow tree next to a pond, about three times as high as Ivsaar. He remembered last seeing his master at the funeral: Lying in a circle of leaves right where the tree now stood. As he stepped beneath the canopy, kneeled and touched the tree's trunk he could almost feel his masters presence. It gave him strength and a sense of security in this time of trouble. Ivsaar wondered what his master would have done in his place.

Execution

Selecting the Site

When a druid dies, the first thing to happen is finding a suitable burial site. If the druid did not specify anything while he was still alive, this choice rests on his relatives or—if there are none—on his druid circle. Usually, a site is chosen that is connected to nature and the druid's work. Other aspects to consider are enough available space and the accessibility for his relatives.
 

Preparations

Every aspect of the ritual is planned exactly and loaded with symbolism. A circle of leaves is spread on the ground, with a diameter large enough for the deceased's height. The circular shape symbolizes the circle of life and the Everlasting. The body is then placed in the circle, arms spread out wide and facing the sky as if embracing it. This is done because the sky is said to be the new home of the gods, where his soul will return until the gods decide to send him down again. Furthermore, four weeping willow seeds are placed in the earth, one below and above each arm respectively. These seeds will grow the tree which will mark the grave.
 

The Ritual

When the time of the burial has come, family, close friends, and at least one druid from the deceased's circle will gather at the burial site. That druid will lead the ceremony. All participants will stand around the circumference of the leaf circle and say a prayer to the Evergreen. In that prayer, the Evergreen is asked to guard the druid's body and guide his soul to the realm of the gods in exchange for the lifetime the druid spent protecting her forests and their inhabitants. After the prayer, all guests will hold each other's hands as the ceremony leader begins chanting a spell in the strange old druidic language. This causes the willow seeds to sprout and rapidly grow into one tree with four roots, engulfing the dead body under its roots within only minutes. When the tree reaches the height of a man, this marks the end of the ritual.
 

Remembering the Dead

In memory of the deceased, his friends and relatives return to the tree, step beneath its leaf canopy and touch the trunk to feel close their loved one again.   For particularly important druids, the grave often also attracts younger druids seeking advice, They also will step beneath the leaf canopy and touch the trunk and ask the tree their question. Some claim to have gotten an answer.

Components and tools

The ceremony requires:

  • Enough green leaves to form the cycle.
  • Four weeping willow seeds.

Participants

Everyone who knew the deceased or benefitted from his work is welcome to the ceremony. However, only select few close friends and relatives have the honour to stand directly around the circle. All others gather a few metres away.   The most important participant is the druid who leads the ritual and casts the spell.


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Comments

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14 Jul, 2018 12:10

I think the article would benefit from some sort of hook in the beginning to give some sort of overview right after the quote, as well as some interesting exit at the end. Maybe another quote or plot hook. :)   Nice use of tooltips to help fill the reader in on related articles too!

14 Jul, 2018 23:26

Thanks for the feedback. I must say I wasn't too inspired when writing this, maybe I'll go over this again when I have more/better ideas

15 Jul, 2018 06:17

They don't all come easy, but going on anyway is what matters! :)

14 Jul, 2018 12:21

Funnily enough, my funeral article was for a druidic circle, but I'm pleased to say that we took different routes for the rite's processes! Lovely article :)

14 Jul, 2018 23:03

Thanks! I'd love to read yours :)

15 Jul, 2018 12:23

Ah, well, The Death of an Ancestral Druid would be mine. I see below you may be adding more to this later, I'd love to see how you expand on yours too :)

14 Jul, 2018 13:30

A very good start. I'd love to see a little more detail. How do the elders interact at a funeral? Anything else like that to know?

14 Jul, 2018 23:25

Thanks for the feedback, I'll go back to this once I have more ideas.