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" If the world is a tree,

we are the blossoms "


Capsula Mundi

November 10th, 2014

capsulaFollowing on from my previous post about The Long Barrow project at All Cannings here, I have discovered another fascinating project that offers an alternative method of interment. Capsula Mundi has been set up by Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel. It is a form of woodland burial but rather than using a coffin, the body is placed in a foetal position in an egg-like capsule. Here is some information from the website that explains a little more:

It’s the first Italian project created to promote the realization of green cemeteries in our country. Capsula Mundi is a container with an old perfect shape, just like an egg, made with modern material -starch plastic- in which the dead body is put in a foetal position. Capsula Mundi is planted like a seed in the soil, and a tree is planted on top of it. The tree is chosen when the person is alive, relatives  and friends look after it when death occurs.  A cemetery will no longer be full of tombstones and will become a sacred forest…

Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel with one of the burial capsules.

Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel with one of the burial capsules.

…Man doesn’t only belong to the human race, but to the planet’s complex life. Since man has been able to express himself through writing, the tree represents the union between the earth and the sky, material and immaterial, body and soul. The vegetable world is an element of contact among us, complex organisms, and the mineral world, are sources we cannot get nutrition from. To make a coffin nowadays you cut down an old tree, of valuable wood. A coffin has a short life spand and is a product of our society. The growth of  a tree needs from 10 to 40 years and a coffin is used for three days. Capsula Mundi is produced with 100% biodegradable material, starch plastic. The starch is taken from seasonal plants such as potatoes and corn. Capsula Mundi saves the life of  a tree and proposes to plant one more. By planting different kinds of trees next to each other it creates a forest. A place where children will be able to learn all about trees. It’s also a place for a beautiful walk and a reminder of our loved ones.

5 Responses to “Capsula Mundi”

  1. It is a good idea. We already plant trees on our loved ones grave, but the commune still needs you to use a coffin for now. But perhaps there is an alternative solution to suggest to our various governments from now on! Thank you for sharing. I like your site thank you.

  2. I love this! Is there any idea where such pods might be buried? Would they go into existing cemeteries, or will new ones be built for them, or will individuals have to seek out their own sites and pursue the necessary permits for using them? And along that line, can families be buried together this way? These would be beautiful, grouped and growing together, with small, beautifully-crafted plaques hanging on each carrying the name of the one buried beneath. Friends and family could tie ribbons on the trees as prayers to departed loved ones, and place bird houses and feeders in them as they grew. Now I wonder in such a place how the leaves would be treated when they fell in autumn- ideally there should also be a kind of forest floor, so the leaves can remain to feed and build the soil. The trees should not be placed someplace that has a manicured space where leaves will be bagged and removed, depriving the soil of their needed nutrients. So many layers to this project, which could all lead to such good things, if strung together mindfully! Thanks for sharing.

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