Many of us have experienced unexplained phenomenon 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 every day waking life. 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.
Why the Dead Need Healing
Many indigenous cultures and spiritual traditions throughout time have understood the importance of ensuring the recently dead have funerary rites to ensure the soul of the deceased makes it to some appointed place. These rites are often complex, elaborate and take place over weeks, months, years to ensure that their loved one’s transition to an elevated place free from being anchored to the Earth.
The concept of the soul, in this case, can be assumed as having consciousness after death and often through these rites, is being ushered, and/or convinced to leave their mortal coil and transcend to another state of being. For those who have the benefit while living of preparing for their death, often this transition is smooth and with the proper rites, elevation proceeds.
However, many have lost knowledge of these critical rites of initiation, and through Earth disconnection, migration and colonization, have been cut off from ways to properly prepare for death and/or ways to properly tend the dead. As a result of this and/or in the case of sudden death, the assumption is that many of the dead continue to be earthbound and are in need of healing and assistance for transcendence.
Those anchored to the Earth are stuck between planes of existence for varying reasons such as unfinished business, fear of their fate in the afterlife, shame, guilt, needing forgiveness, needing to forgive themselves or quite frankly the lack of spiritual energy to move to higher planes. (In this latter case, there is historical evidence of hired professional mourners to ensure the soul’s passage to the afterlife has been mourned properly in order to transition. It is the belief that the better honored or mourned the more energy is available for the process). It is also quite possible that the excessive grief of those in prolonged mourning of the dead and their inability to let go can also cause a spirit to remain anchored to the Earth. Enter the Psychopomp.
“Our society is desperately in need of people who are prepared to help midwife Death: to help others approach the last stages of life, and the journey into life beyond life, with courage and grace. The role of the psychopomp is not confined to helping the living to travel the roads beyond Death. It involved helping spirits of the deceased to find their ways.” Robert Moss
A psychopomp is a healer who with their helping spirits, guides the souls of the dead transitioning them to their next journey. Psychopomps work as a death doulas, being physically present during the dying process as the person is transitioning ensuring that their soul finds its way to the elevated ones, or one who works with those who have long passed and are anchored to the Earth in a vehicle such as a person, place or animal.
Premises of Psychopomp work include:
- Spirits are real and not all the dead are equally well
- Consciousness operates on many levels, and in several energy vehicles, during life and after death.
- Healing and forgiveness are always available across the apparent barrier of death.
- Spiritual guidance and protection from the other side by well ancestors and guides is possible for helpful and timely communication assisting the unhealed dead with their transition
- Departed family and friends once well in spirit can become helpful allies and a potent source of well being and support.
It’s common for many to assume that only the folks who had a difficult time in life are the ones who may be anchored to the Earth. However, that’s not always the case. By nature of the dying process, there is some degree of elevation when our souls leave the body. Often, when we check in on the troubled dead, they are better off than we think. It is also true that those who we think are well in spirit because they lived on the Earth more kindly, are actually still earthbound.
How can you be assured that you do not remain earthbound upon dying?
A way to ensure we have smooth transition is to tend to our soul’s health while living and to encourage those who we love to do the same. By this I mean, do your personal work, respecting your sovereignty and others, (human’s and other than human), actively seek pathways to forgiveness of others and self. As an example, as a personal practice, I honor the cycles of the winter and go into Deathlodge every winter to release any attachments that are not serving. These types of ritual practices are tremendously helpful to ensure a good death.
“We should always, as near as we can, be booted and spurred, and ready to go, and, above all things, take care, at that time, to have no business with any one but one’s self” Michel de Montaigne
So how do we know if our loved ones have transitioned?
As we die our essence/spirit detaches from our physical body. Ideally, when we are transitioning well, our spirit moves on to our next journey, but for those who are anchored to the earth, this essence remains trapped between planes, needing energy or vital life force. To gain this energy the earthbound spirit, at times will seek out this energy food source intentionally or unintentionally from those on their blood lineage, other humans or even animals to sustain itself and to prevent a weakening state. Symptoms the living might be experiencing this are:
- Depression, prolonged grief. Not only may you feel unhappy but you could also experience lack of energy.
- Not feeling like yourself, lethargic, loss of interest in things that formally brought happiness or chronic unexplained illness.
- Seeing what is more known as ghosts, moving objects, smelling familiar scents of the recently deceased
- Visitation in dreams, typically repetitive and upon wake feeling drained.
- Sensing a presence
A psychopomp is called to help the souls of those who are trapped in either lower vibrational planes of existence or in what is known as the middle world, another dimensional side of our current Earth-bound plane. As a result, these spirits often reach out for assistance through dreams, hauntings, sensory events and manifested illnesses in living. The belief is that these Earth-bound ones are stuck, in need of vitality, having access to freely move about in a disembodied state lingering until they receive assistance to move on. It’s presumed that the further back in time they are the weaker their spiritual essence is unless they have been actively able to access hosts through generational family patterns.
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. Often times this is because they may wish to communicate with the living, ask for forgiveness, complete a task, or simply just need to know what to do as they were unprepared for dying and may not even know have passed. In most cases, the spirit is happy to move on when giving 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. For example, if they were abandoned in life by their parents, they might not know there are healed ancestors who will gladly step in and bring them to an elevated place of healing. If they were traumatized further and had soul loss, the psychopomp may have to do a soul retrieval first, bringing back all the soul parts before the spirit can transition.
In most cases, 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. Some may need time to process the information and the forgiveness. 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 boundaries between the living and the dead are certain though, and each has it’s right to be in a state that is undisturbed from the other, a place where sovereignty is given, and permission is asked before insisting on communication. In many cultures, it is a given that those in mourning do not actively seek out the recently dead to assure they are anchored to a place in their next journey. If we seek communication too quickly, we can pull them back to being anchored to the Earth. 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. This process is often witnessed through the onset of tears of release from both the living and the dead, a sense of peace for both and somatic sensations of feeling lighter for the living.
For the purposes of the work I facilitate, there is a distinction between the unwell blood lineage ancestors and other spirits of the dead who are not well. One of the ways we can ensure that our blood lineage ancestors transition is by actively tending to our ancestral bloodlines. For this work, I recommend Dr. Daniel Foor’s approach to Ancestral Lineage Healing. When earthbound spirits are desperately looking for help they may try to contact their descendants in various ways. The preference is to guide people who are experiencing difficulty with the blood lineage ancestors to the Ancestral Lineage Healing Approach as I find it an empowering vehicle for folks to a learn grounded, safe and effective way of developing supportive relations with their people.
But, we won’t really know what’s up until we have a diagnostic conversation to determine if the symptoms that you are experiencing appear to be on your blood lineage or through other disincarnate spirits. In the case of the latter, the dedicated work of Psychopomp directly addresses the needs of spirits who are in need of assistance and is highly effective when general clearing practices, such as smudging, or clearing ceremonies, do not improve environmental symptoms.
Trained by Gail Gulick on Sandra Ingerman ’s approach to Psychopomp, this transformational practice restores wholeness and empowerment to individuals who are suffering from extended trauma due to unwanted or intrusive energies of which they are experiencing the immense burdens the dead.
Psychopomp work is often better suited in person, however, depending on symptoms, can be done through distance work. The work typically occurs in one session, two, if follow up is needed.
If it’s determined Psychopomp work would be beneficial, the offering is $150.00 for a 90-minute session. If cost is an obstacle, I can offer some flexibility through payment plans on a case by case basis, so please reach out.