Copal is traditionally burned during Mexican Day of the Dead rituals but it may be used anytime. Its fragrance pleases, purifies, and honors those who have passed on, while protecting and cleansing the living at the same time.
Chervil, also known as Sweet Cicely or British myrrh, was among the ancient Egyptian funerary herbs. Remains of the herb were found within Tutankhamun’s tomb. Burn the dried herb as incense to comfort the bereaved and also to enable them to contact the deceased if desired.
Many spiritual traditions believe that a dog psychopomp awaits the newly dead, waiting to lead the way to the next existence. Without the dog, it was believed the dead soul was doomed to wander and never find the right path. Trusting souls know that their loyal spirit dog awaits them, however, not everyone has faith. Perhaps out of anxiety, different traditions tried to compensate sometimes a familiar pet was killed following a person’s death so that they could be buried together, with this pet dog assuming the role of psychopomp. The ancient people of what is now Mexico came up with a happier magickal solution:
Create or obtain a clay image of a dog: it can look like a specific breed or individual dog or just be a generic canine.
Incorporate this figure into funeral rites, either burying together with the person or cremating them together.
Knowledge that a psychopomp awaits, that the journey won’t be made alone, can be very comforting. Some like to be surprised but others prefer to choose their own tour-guides. This spell allows you to magickally place your order.
Gather images to represent assorted psychopomps: assorted deities may be represented as well as canines (dogs, jackals, wolves), snakes (especially aspects of the Vodou Iwa Simbi), and birds (corvids, hornbills, seagulls). Flames may be used to represent angels.
Place them on an altar or cast a circle with the images. Accompany by burning candles and incense, especially benzoin.
If you find one particular image calls to you, intrigues or comforts you, keep it by your bedside or sleep with it under your pillow.
If, for any reason, the soul of the deceased seems to be lingering or doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to make the next journey, appeal to one of the psychopomps to provide an immediate pick-up service. Any of the spirits may be petitioned, although one dear to the deceased would be the kindest choice.
If you’re unsure what to do, burn white candles and provide one of the fragrances that call in spirits best: benzoin, cinnamon, frankincense or sandalwood. Call the spirit by name and request that it comes to collect the recalcitrant soul quickly.
To request this sort of escort service, either for yourself during the dying process or for a loved one immediately following death, remove the Moon card from a Rider-Waite tarot deck or a thematically similar deck.
Place it where you can meditate on the image. The two canines are the awaiting psychopomps; the crab or lobster is the soul beginning its next, long journey.
Try to go into the card, jump inside and see what happens. Practice jumping in and out of the card, it’s important to the success of the ritual that you’re confident that you can emerge safely. The subject of death is a mystery and so to some extent is this spell.
Enter the card and see what assistance you can bring back with you.
Death Spirits or Spirits of Death sounds so threatening compared to a Healing Spirit or a Spirit of Love. This isn’t mere modern squeamishness but an attitude shared with the ancients. Death Spirits Although they play a necessary function, made our ancestors nervous, too.
Death Spirits tend to fall into one of two categories:
Spirits who are involved in the dying process or who serve to ease the transition to the next life.
Spirits who are guardians of the dead, who preside over the realms of the dead, or who rules cemeteries and creation growth.
Many Spirit Guardians of Death’s Doors remain unnamed. As with Disease Spirits, there’s some reluctance to name many of them, just in case they actually come when called, thus epithets and euphemisms are frequently substituted. Often, a Death Spirit’s true name remains secret. Hades literally means “the unseen one.” Should that name become too familiar, other euphemisms may be substituted. Polydegmon means “the hospitable one” because, after all everyone is welcome in his realm. Pluton means “wealth,” because ultimately he owns everyone and everything!
Despite the fear they instill, these Spirits can be very needed, helpful and welcome–at the right moment of course. Their assistance is incorporated into many spells for a variety of reasons and purposes.
Guardians of the next world and of the cemetery gates include:
Baron Samedi, leader of the Vodoun Ghede spirits, and his consort, La Grande Brigitte
Dongyue Dadi, Lord of Tai Shan (China)
Hades, Persephone (Greece)
Kali, Shiva, Yama (Hindu)
Mictlantecutli and Mictecacuiuatl (Aztec Lord and Lady of the Dead)
Yambe Akka (Saami)
Appeal to these guardian spirits to protect the souls of the dead, and also to maintain control over the souls of the dead, keeping them in line, so to speak. Petition them also for access to the spirits of the dead, should this be desired.
Copal is traditionally burned during Mexican Day of the Dead rituals but it may be used anytime. Its fragrance allegedly pleases, purifies, and honors those who have passed on, while protecting the cleansing the living at the same time.
Chervil, also known as Sweet Cicely or British myrrh, was among the ancient Egyptian funerary herbs. Remains of the herb were found with Tutankhamun’s tomb. Burn the dried herb as incense to comfort the bereaved and also to enable them to contact the deceased if desired.
Once upon a time, the first magick spell one encountered, immediately after birth, was an enchanted cleansing bath. One’s final Earthly magickal activity (at least in this body) was similarly a magickal bath. Just as childbirth rituals frequently incorporate cleansing spells (specifically, cleansing baths), so last rites usually incorporated a magickal spiritual cleansing bath. The body is bathed, typically with spiritually cleansing, protective materials. Incense may also be burnt for cleanse and comfort.