Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Accidental death in ritual

So Houngan Hector has been cleared of criminal negligence and Lucie's death ruled accidental.

But the causes of death were identified as "the combined effects of 'physical exhaustion, ambient room temperature and an oxygen-depleted atmosphere'". So that's a failure of ritual health and safety, no less negligent than the behaviour of James Arthur Ray which caused the deaths of three sweat lodge participants.

I guess what happened to Lucie could have happened to anyone who uses a lot of incense and does rituals in a warm room with lots of dancing - but everyone needs to make sure that the members of their group do not suffer from any medical conditions which could be exacerbated by these environmental conditions. Even better, don't set up your ritual space so that it causes oxygen deprivation. Just use joss-sticks rather than pan incense, for one thing. And leave the door ajar, and make sure that anyone who has asthma knows where their inhaler is, and that other people also know where it is. And alternate dancing with other more restful activities like meditation.

More safety advice (essential reading for all ritualists):
NB none of the articles below were in response to the Houngan Hector incident

    No comments: