Many of us have experienced unexplained phenomena in our lives, occurrences often caused by spirits whose transition into the afterlife was interrupted at the time of death due to trauma on this plane, or because of unfinished business that kept the soul anchored to the Earth.
Caught in earth-bound patterns indefinitely, these corporeal spirits need help to progress with their transition. Until help is received, they persist in making their presence known, creating disturbances in our everyday waking life.
A psychopomp’s (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός, psychopompós, literally meaning the ‘guide of souls’) responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. In Psychopomp work, the practitioner works directly with these souls in non-ordinary reality, guiding them compassionately through the process of transitioning on to their next journey.
In order to locate these disincarnate spirits, the psychopomp journeys to their helping spirits to assist in locating the soul in the non-ordinary reality. Once found, they will communicate with the unwell spirit to determine why they are trapped in their current state.
In most cases, the spirit is happy to move on when given the chance to do so. Some may need mediation due to fearing persecution because of the choices they made in life or feeling unworthy of an elevated state of being. Some may be locked in their own story of trauma, replaying itself over and over, and need convincing that there is another way.
Often, working from a place of compassionate action, establishing trust, and reminding them of the love that is available to everyone, will be sufficient in bringing them to a place where they can begin to transition. There are others who are more anchored in, invested in staying on the Earth, causing harm to the living, in which the psychopomp may utilize other rituals to remove the spirit.
The role of the psychopomp is to ensure the boundary walls between the living and the unwell dead are delineated and secured. Once a spirit is ready for elevation, often the gates through which they pass are made available by a higher ancestral being on their blood lineage, or other helping spirits where they will move into an elevated state of being.
The Foundations of Psychopomp Practitioner Training is based on years of training and tending in these ways and seeks to support others enhancing their natural gifts, learning new ways of engagement, and strengthening current practices as they related to the unwell dead.
I’m most grateful to be co-weaving this community of psychopomps with fellow skilled ritualists, and now to welcome the 4th gathering of deepening potent skills in assisting the nonblood lineage lamented.
WHAT WE WILL DO:
Our intent is to learn how to assist non-blood lineage ancestors to wellness. In order to do this, you will develop a working knowledge the various obstacles that the troubled dead encounter and the ritual antidote to support their process of elevation.
As a participant in this training you will be introduced to these practices in progressive succession, with each acquired skill supporting the next stage. Through this you will be developing ritual etiquette by establishing relationships with helping spirits who accompany you in the facilitation of the healing process, Each ritual skill will be introduced in the one day core training, enhanced in the 2nd Friday core teaching and implemented in a monthly practicum with your fellow cohort members.
We will begin by strengthening your personal ritual container through which you will do your healing work.
- This session will include establishing ritual boundaries & honing your relationship with your Psychopomp Guide.
- You will strengthen pathways of connection through meaningful ritual invocation and processes which bring clarity to perception and ritual potency.
- You will also further develop and enhance ritual protection strategies and self-care techniques necessary for psychopomp work.
In this module we will be developing relationships with our core council of helping spirits who assist us in navigating our healing sessions and the terrains of deathscapes in which we do our work. We will:
- Learn differing Cosmologies of the Realms of the Dead and their corresponding landscapes.
- Connect and strengthen our guidance from a personal helping spirit who will assist you with navigating the Middle World protection.
- Hone your tracking ability via tracking helping spirits to assist in your work.
- Develop your Clare’s and learn divination through dreams of the dead and how to navigate liminal these terrains.
In this month’s module we will explore how to work with the varying degrees of the unwell dead, through soul retrieval, curse unraveling, and extraction. The endeavors of a Psychopomp often include the liminal workings of depossession, curse unravelling and soul retrieval and therefore it is necessary to understand and work within these domains. We will:
- Explore soul loss and its impact to the troubled dead The soul retrieval process helps interage soul parts which are necessary for the soul to become fully integrated to bring about elevation.
- Participants will learn about the obstacles and obstustruction brought about through curses or soul contracts and learn pathways of tracking and clearing their impacts.
- Possession occurs when a person’s experience is influenced by another conscious being who is sharing their physical and energetic space. This occurs in both the living and the dead and therefore it is necessary to how to recognize and apply the appropriate remedy to support all incarnate beings. Participants will learn how to skillfully perform rituals for the defunct and the living who are experience these symptoms.
In this month’s gatherings we will continue to explore obstacles to the troubled dead elevating and hone ritual skills to assist the living in and the dead through the journey of the dead and dying. We will:
- Establish your unique ritual you will use to cross over the dead and variations
- Learn rituals of appeasement and forgiveness to assist the troubled dead
- Explore grief through ritual practices
In this module we will examine the End of Life Cycle from the unique perspective of Conscious Elderhood and Dying Rites. You will:
- Engage in ritualized Death Rites through visioning practices.
- Explore topics in the Death Doula realms such as living wills, Death with Dignity, memorials, home funerals, dying at home, organ donation, lying-in-state, grief, end-of-life visions, life reviews, rituals to support the dying, obituaries, wills, and other cultural perspectives on death.
- Explore best practices in terms of the guidelines and ethics in which you do your work.
In our last month’s gatherings we will:
- Explore the terrains of rituals for collective unwell dead, the forgotten, and populations en masse including land clearings
- Explore what happen’s next in our practice
- Participate in a closing ritual
Required Engagement and Commitment
Below are the many ways we will commit to the vessel of learning in community with one another. This includes ways we will connect, dates of engagement, and approximately how many hours of commitment you will engage in should you decide to join the practitioner training.
PREREQUISITES AND AGREEMENTS
Those interested in psychopomp come to this foundational course with a few requirements to participate:
- Be skilled at journey/drop-in meditation with a solid group of helping spirits already sourced. (A minimum of 2 years of journey work for self and others). We will be working with drums and rattles and other mechanisms of sound, please come prepared with these ritual tools.
- This work is initiatory and therefore brings us through a process of dismantling in order to allow us to expand to meet the bigger powers and realms we will be working within. Participants should be in stable and reasonably good mental and physical health, as well as have the dedicated time and attention to devote to the training. Check with your helping spirits and ancestors as to whether this training is in alignment with your highest good at this time.
- Experience with Ancestral Healing work is required. Please ensure sure that your matrilineal and patrilineal ancestors are well in spirit. If you are looking for a resource for that you read more here, book an assessment, or go the the online ancestral healing course offered here
- Have taken the foundational course, Forces of Nature
- Have good ritual hygiene, meaning, you come to the work knowing how to anchor in solid protection for yourself and also know how to show up well in communal space.
- Are willing to commit to 6 months of lessons and dyad (pod) group work. This equates to 15-20 hours a month of dedicated time. As this training is initiatory, attendance is required at all core pieces of training and practicums.
- Participants must be willing to receive the work themselves. As cohort members, you will practice on each other as part of the training.
Shannon Willis, M.Ed is dedicated animist and ritualist, helping others achieve clarity, connection and rootedness through the exploration of liminal landscapes of the seen and unseen. Through heart-centered ritual aimed at re-establishing balance and personal sovereignty, and through deeping the pathways of connection within the wider web of relations, her work is found at the intersection of dream midwifery, psychomping, and ancestral reverence.
For over 30 years she has committed her life to partnership with others in transforming trauma and cultural wounding for both the living and the dead. She has a Masters degree in Professional Leadership and Counseling with a focus in Jungian and Gestalt modalities, is the founder of Red Earth Healing, a student of Yoruba culture as an initiate of Ọbàtálá, and Ọ̀ṣun, in the lineage of Olúwo Fálolú Adésànyà Awoyadé from Òdè Rẹ́mọ. making pilgrimages to work with elders in West Africa. She is also a devotee of Nepali shamanism, and other diverse indigenous paths of her ancestors. She is a certified practitioner and teacher of Dr. Daniel Foor’s Ancestral Lineage Healing method.
Her recent and older people of blood and bone hail from the British Isles, France, West Africa and Cherokee and Kaskaskia/Illini nations. Committed to collective healing, she holds grounded, empathic, non dogmatic, heart-centered ritual space which supports presence, trust, and community rooted in the ancient ways of being of service to the Earth.