040: Empowering Ceremony and Ritual with Jessica Wertz

ceramics ceremony death ritual spirit vessel Oct 25, 2021

How do you celebrate life? How about death? For Jessica Wertz, an artist, the ceremony of death should be sacred and restorative for the families and communities rather than painful and fearful. She came up with this realization when she was living in the woods of Oregon where she found a new connection between life and space through her ceramic craft. 

She eventually transformed her work to creating a death space complete with a personalized package including urn, candles, and book guides for emotional aftercare ceremonies and rituals that values time, space, mood, and people who will be present in the gathering. The company called Spirit Vessel services pre-planning, living memorial, and funeral ceremonies that spark meaningful conversations to honor the life of the deceased and to guide those people who are left behind.

In this podcast, Jessica shares the social structure and fear around death and how to overcome it, comparison of the older generations to the current generation when it comes to conversations about death, and how artists like her can support the dying and the living by creating.


Show Highlights:

  • Death doesn’t have to be a painful process.It could actually be something restorative and beautiful within communities and families, just by having a different understanding around it instead of going status quo understanding of death.
  • You’re a creator and as a creator, you have the skill of making and really living close to just a more profound and deeper understanding of life and death.
  • Death isn’t a mental process, it’s an emotional and spiritual process.
  • What we created is really this anthology of ideas on how to set a space up. If you’re grieving, how simple can we make it? If you’re planning, how elaborate do you want it? The pieces are really from start to finish: how do you set a ceremony up?
  • I think that anything that carves out space for you to be present for yourself is ceremonial.

Guest Links:

Check out Jessica Wertz’s products at jessicawertz.com and the Spirit Vessel ceremonies, packages, tools, and resources at spiritvessel.com. You can also follow their Instagram accounts @jessicawertzceramics and @my.spiritvessel to get updated with the latest products and offerings. For more questions and inquiries, email them at [email protected]

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