The Last Ecstasy of Life: Celtic Mysteries of Death and Dying (Paperback)
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A guide to the sacred stages of the death and dying process viewed through the eyes of a Celtic anam-áire
• Emphasizes how shadow work, integrating past wounds, and healing our ancestry allows us to facilitate the ecstatic transition into the next life
• Offers exercises and visualizations to help us integrate emotions like anger and grief, which impact the soul’s readiness to leave the body when the time comes
• Discusses what happens to our cells when we die with regard to the human energy field and explores the soul’s journey through the aítes or bardos
In the Celtic tradition dying is considered an act of birthing, of our consciousness passing from this life to the next. Informed by an early near-death experience, spiritual midwife and former nun Phyllida Anam-Áire offers an intimate overview of the sacred stages of the dying process seen through the lens of her Celtic heritage. Compassionately describing the final dissolution of the elements, she emphasizes how important it is to resolve and integrate our psycho-spiritual shadows and wounds in this lifetime. What truly heals is our capacity for authentic compassionate love--in life, in death, and after. Healing our ancestry before leaving the body eases not only our transition but sets future generations free from old stories held in our family systems.
Sharing her insights into God consciousness, our earth/ego mind, and the soul’s journey through the Aíte or bardos, Phyllida’s poetic words guide us toward the final ecstasy as the soul leaves its material form and enters the vast Universal Heart of cosmic energy. Providing a deep spiritual understanding of the mysteries of death and the afterlife, this courageous book combines Celtic and Christian wisdom to dispel the fear of dying and invites us to live consciously and with love to our very last breath.
About the Author
Phyllida Anam-Áire, a former Irish nun, as well as grandmother and therapist, who trained with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, has worked extensively with the sick and dying. She offers Conscious Living, Conscious Dying retreats in Europe and gives talks on children and dying to nurses and palliative care workers. Also a songwriter, she teaches Celtic Gutha or Caoineadh, Irish songs or sounds of mourning. The author of A Celtic Book of Dying, Phyllida lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
“Devotionally humble, radically conscious, and gently profound. The Last Ecstasy of Life gives us the lost answers to the most burning questions of our time: What is life for? And what part does death play in this continuum? Phyllida Anam-Áire illuminates for us the natural way of birth and death through ancient wisdom. She illustrates the journey of the soul through the stages beyond leaving form.”
— Elina von Herzklang, doula and near-death experiencer
“The Last Ecstasy of Life is a book to be absorbed at a cellular level, as it speaks to the soul in each of us. I felt a deep sense of joy as I read it. The language and essence is one of love and deep compassion. I know going forward it will be a loving companion on my life journey, offering sustenance, re-hearting, and a constant reminder of what we truly are.”
— Bethan Elsdale, RCST, UKCP Reg, IoB, psychotherapist and craniosacral therapist
“This book is groundbreaking. I felt so warmly welcomed into its pages where I was ecstatically inspired by the abundance of life force in death, in dying, in life. Phyllida shows us how to live and die fully through our heart and soul with her deep compassion and wisdom on every page. This book is a soul companion for life and death.”
— Croilan Greta Pattison, MBACP (Snr Accred), psychotherapist, teacher of Celtic consciousness, and gu
“A timely and courageous book, Phyllida’s words take us deeply into the mystery of life and death. Understanding death as part of our evolutionary spiritual journey through life, it is seen as a great adventure where the soul is freed to transition into a higher vibrational state of unbounded wholeness, beyond the material world. Phyllida takes a fresh look at the dying process, describing with deep love and sensitivity the final dissolution of the elements and absorption of the soul into the Universal Heart of unconditioned cosmic energy. This is deep wisdom, reassuring, practical, and loving--an essential guide for each one of us preparing for our own conscious death and an invaluable support for those accompanying others making their final passage.”
— Sara Arivanna Trevelyan, M.D., psychotherapist, Brennan Healing Science practitioner, and One Spirit
“I so recommend this book. In beautifully poetic language and poetry, Phyllida Anam-Áire presents an integration of spiritual insights, deep knowledge and understanding of the process of dying, and authentic personal experiences and insights. Her love and compassion, which have brought light and comfort to so many, shine through on every page.”
— Frances de Vries Robbe, R.N., esoteric healer and Access Consciousness practitioner
“Beautifully written and presented, The Last Ecstasy of Life contains much information that will be of great help and support to all those who are involved with death and dying--those who are undergoing the dying process, their relatives, friends, caregivers, and supporters. It is also of interest for anyone who wishes to understand more about the great mysteries of life and death. Phyllida writes with a flowing, colourful, and poetic style and covers practical, emotional, spiritual, and esoteric aspects of the experience of dying. This book may raise many questions for the reader, and perhaps one may disagree with aspects of it; but this is good, for without discussion and the free exchange of differing points of view, there can be no advancement of true knowledge. I would recommend this important book, so timely in our world of the chemical and materialistic approach to the phenomenon of death, as a gift of Light in a darkening world.”
— Jacqueline Kemp, BscHon (psychology), ATCL, ALLCM, Reiki master and author of Size Zero and Beyond
“Phyllida Anam-Áire lets us participate in her own experiences, insights, and amazing understanding about living, dying, death, and rebirth into a new existence. She paves the way to a new consciousness. The Last Ecstasy of Life is key to delving deeper into the mysteries of love and overcoming the fear of death. It explains the connections between healing and spiritual evolution and how immensely important it is to heal the psychic pain of our imprints while we are still alive, to be able to face death very consciously in peace, in a final ecstasy.”
— Alannu-Doris Hogger, healer and psychotherapist
"Reading The Last Ecstasy of Life was a journey of self discovery. Led by a guide who speaks with wisdom and a clear reverence for life, the reader is led to examine themselves. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn to approach death with compassion and have a deeper appreciation for life. This is an excellent book that was a pleasure to read. Anam-Áire has managed to breathe such a vibrant sense of life and love into a book all about the topic of death and dying. She has left me with questions to ponder for the remainder of my life as I try to shape what that life will look like. Though when death finally does come for me, I believe I will be more prepared."
— Dennis Quinlan, Musing Mystical