I will be setting up a public altar at Many Gods West this year for honoring extinct species, destroyed places, and other ecological losses.
There will be two parts to it: one small-scale Life Cairn, and a Memorial Wall where people can post writing or artwork.
The Life Cairn at this altar will differ from the original Life Cairn (see also Life Cairn on Facebook and this essay from a founder of the first one). For one, it will be small and, unfortunately, temporary. In addition, the original Life Cairns are for honoring extinct species, but for the conference, this Life Cairn can also be used to honor other ecological losses (mountaintops destroyed for coal, the forest you played in as a child that’s been turned into a housing tract, etc.). There will be stones and marking implements provided (marking the stones is not required, just an option). The materials – unfired clay and charcoal pencils – have been selected to have a low impact on the earth when the memorial is reverted to the land after the conference.
The Memorial Wall of the space will function as a place for people to leave writing, artwork, photos, etc., acknowledging losses as an alternative to – or in addition to – contributing to the Life Cairn. There will be some paper and pens/pencils provided, but people are also welcome to bring photos, drawings, or other lightweight, flat materials from home. People may reclaim what they leave here at the end of the conference (or when they need to depart); anything that is left when it is taken down will be handled in a respectful manner.