Ancient Practices

When creating funerals that speak to us we may find inspiration from the practices of our Pagan ancestors.

Below are samples of burial practices that where performed by past Pagan civilizations. Each section follows the same format. First a brief sample of common practices is presented. Second deity names and concepts that are relevant are listed. This is followed by suggestions of how we might adapt some of the practices to modern day ceremonies or find modern representations that point to the ancient practices. Next are some translations of text from that culture for use in a funeral and finally a list of resources is provided.

The following is ordered from the oldest known civilizations to the newest.

Indus (Harappan Civilization)
Sumer (Mesopotamia)
Egypt
Minoan
India (Hinduism)
India (Jainism)
India (Buddhism)
China (Ancient China)
China (Confucianism)
China (Shinto)
Babylonia
Assyria
Kassite
Hittite
Myceanean
Israel
Olmec
Phrygia
Chavin
Phoenicia
Roman
Carthage
Greece
Persia (Ancient Iranians)
Moche
Nazca
Byzantine Empire
Teotihuacan
Huari (Wari)
Toltec
Chimu
Aztec
Inca
Celtic
Norse

Resources

The follow resources have useful information for a variety of cultures.