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.