The term ‘Psychopomp’ comes from the Greek works pompos, meaning a guide or conductor and psyche meaning breathe, life, soul or mind. So a psychopomp is someone who works to help spirits to move on after death, a kind if soul conductor. Another way of looking at it is that a psychopomp is a midwife for the dead.
Psychopomp is a skill learnt by many shaman, or those training in shamanic healing, but there are also others in the world who work as psychopomps either helping souls cross over at the time of death or helping them move on if they have remained earthbound for some reason. There are many reasons why a spirit remains earthbound such as unfinished business, guilt, fear, concern for those left behind, being held here by those left behind and dying suddenly or traumatically. Where there has been a natural or manmade disaster there may even be large numbers of discarnate spirits in need of assistance so that they can move on.
Being a discarnate spirit is not healthy either for the spirit or for those left behind so people who perform the role of a psychopomp provide a service that assists everyone. It is though a role that not everyone who works with shamanism is comfortable taking on.
As someone who works alone and is taught by their guides I was very reluctant to move towards doing psychopomp of any kind. I was concerned about all kinds of things from my own protection to whether I would really know what to do even with my guides assisting me, even though this never bothers me at any other time. I avoided psychopomp for a long time before finding myself in a place where I could assist someone move on in a controlled way for my own peace of mind. What follows is my first, but by no means my last experience of psychopomp.
I decided that the place I would visit via a middle world journey was the graveyard in the village, so having protected myself and built my power as fully as possible, I held the intention to journey there simply to explore:
The graveyard is quiet and there is an overall sense of calmness as I step in but I also sense that this calmness is very superficial. The first soul I see is an elderly man. He is sat on a stone and is carving a piece of wood. He is dressed in an old shirt and waistcoat, calf length trousers with long socks and dark lace up shoes. He seems quite content to be there and completely focused on the wood in his hands.
The second soul is a young man in his 20s who seems very distressed. Dressed in jeans, hoody and trainers, he is wandering up and down between the graves, pacing almost. As I draw near I can see he is quite agitated, talking to himself, hands constantly moving, wringing each other.
The third and final soul I can see is a female child about 6 years old. She has a completely blank look on her face as if she is empty of emotion but is pushing a dolls pram which she is banging against the edge of a grave. I am unsure whether this is out of frustration or to try and get attention.
There are other people in the graveyard, people who are flesh and blood, still very much alive. They are putting flowers on graves and tidying them but even though the souls pass close to them they are totally unaware of the soul’s existence.
The souls have form and colour of sorts but those who are alive are more solid, brighter and have a vibrancy about them that the souls lack.
Having visited for a look around the graveyard I decided then to return to ordinary reality before returning with the intention of helping a soul move on, if in fact one wished to do so.
I make sure I am protected and that my energy is as strong as it possibly can be before I journey back to the graveyard with the intention of helping one soul towards the light.
As I enter the graveyard once again, the elderly man stands and moves towards me. He looks at me with clear blue eyes, ‘Can you help me miss?’ he says.
I ask him what he needs and he tells me that he has been stuck here, waiting, for a long time. He has seen people come and go but he is always left behind.
I tell him that I thought he seemed content but he tells me he has learnt patience because he knew that one day someone would come to help him. He asks me again if I can help.
I ask him if he is ready to move on, if there is anything he needs before he goes, if there are any messages for anyone. He tells me that everyone he knows is long gone and that he is ready.
I call upon my allies for help and am guided to put my hand in my pocket. This I do and I pull out the large shiny black stone that I find there. In my hand it glows and becomes hot. I hold my hand in front of me, arm outstretched and it is as if the stone melts the fabric of the air in front of me.
A tunnel appears, it looks like a railway tunnel, brick around the entrance and the dark passage beyond. The man beside me laughs and I can feel his excitement. I hear voices and as they come towards us, footsteps too. With them they bring the light, the closer they get the brighter the light until the light is all there is.
The voices take shape and move towards us. A woman holds out her hands, a child’s voice calls ‘Grandad’ and the man beside me begins to move towards them. I walk with him but he needs no encouragement. He turns to me, touches his forehead with his hand says ‘thank you miss I’ll be going now’ and with that he moves towards those who have come to meet him. They envelop him in their midst and as they do the tunnel folds in upon itself and is gone……and I am once more back in my room.