Archetypes of Death and the Trickster

I’m writing this on Hallow’s Eve, the day when the veil between the physical and spirit worlds is thinnest. We’re waiting to do a radio show on the topic of spirit contact and also, at the host’s request, the widespread fear of death as part of our ‘publicity tour’ for  Secrets of Spirit Communication. So it seemed appropriate to start writing about the subject before the show begins.

On the blog today is a post about the sudden death Piper, our daughter’s cat. The woman who was with Megan when the cat was found stayed to comfort her. The next day the same woman called Megan and told her that her cat had just been killed by a car, and Megan went to comfort her. That was National Cat Day, and the day before Halloween.

These types of synchronicities underscore the power of the archetype we call death. “An archetype is like a natural force,” wrote Robert Hopcke in There are No Accidents. It can be as powerful as a tornado, whipping into our lives, creating chaos.”

The fear of death is common, but mediums have often said that being born is  more traumatic than the passage to the afterlife from death. I was only part way through this post when the call came and the radio show began. Trish had appeared on The Donna Sebo previously to talk about astrology and had also talked with Donna’s husband while making arrangements. So as the show was about to begin, Trish asked Donna how her husband was doing. Donna, who is a medium as well as radio show host, very casually said that he died earlier in the month. It wasn’t that she didn’t miss him or care that he’d died. On the contrary, she was certain that he still existed elsewhere and mentioned that he’d been in contact with her. So an interview about spirit contact certainly came at an appropriate time for  Donna.

Sometimes it seems that the Universe actually makes light of death, like it’s no big deal or even reason for humor, or at least irony! That’s particularly true when the Death and Trickster archetypes merge. Here are some examples that we’ve written about.

Will Rogers, humorist, actor, and writer, died in a plane crash with his aviator buddy, Wiley Post, shortly after taking off from a lagoon in Point Barrow, Alaska. Rogers’s typewriter was found in the debris, a piece of paper rolled into it, and the last word he typed was death. Even Rogers probably got a kick out of that one.

Samuel Clemens, best known as Mark Twain, was born just after Haley’s Comet appeared in 1835. The comet only appears in our skies once every 76 years. In 1909, he wrote: “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’”

Indeed, Clemens died one day after the comet appeared in the sky.

Hours after famed Trappist monk Thomas Merton proclaimed in an important meeting with religious leaders that the times ahead were electrifying, he died by electrocution while sitting in the bathtub.

The last movie that John Huston directed before his death was called The Dead.

The last book of poetry that Anne Sexton published before she committed suicide in 1974 was entitled The Death Notebooks.

At the time of his death, Philip K. Dick was working on a novel entitled The Owl in Daylight. In esoteric traditions, the owl is considered a messenger between the living and the dead.

The last song that Hank Williams wrote was Angel of Death. When he died, he had a hit single at the top of th charts: I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.

Hank got that one right. But also wrong. We’ll all die, but our consciousness survives. The so-called dead are alive and well just beyond the veil.

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