Tag: death

You Don’t Call, You Don’t Write… The Quiet Dead

As psychopomp is a critical role of my personal and professional shamanic path, I’m often approached by those who want me to communicate with deceased loved ones. In some cases a different scenario arises and I’m asked, “Why doesn’t my deceased loved one visit me?”

My immediate response is, “How do know your loved one doesn’t?” There is an assumption that because we are emotionally close to a deceased loved one that we are open to and will recognize a visit from that dear soul. It’s an understandable assumption, as our culture generally sensationalizes and romanticizes interactions with the deceased. In reality, it is often because we are so emotionally involved with the deceased that we don’t or can’t perceive their presence. Sometimes when loved ones are still actively grieving loss, they are too distracted to observe spiritual activity. In their haze, they miss subtle messages that a trained intuitive would intercept, or they are holding out for a grand entrance when a gentle presence is right in front of them. Consequently, sometimes when the deceased sense that their loved ones are not moving on, they do not visit them on purpose. The inability of living or deceased loved ones to accept death causes all involved to stagnate. Often the dead realize that their presence may only encourage the living loved one’s grief instead of soothe it.

Emotional involvement isn’t the only impediment to visitation from beyond the grave. Whether due to fear of the paranormal or the exclusion of such a possibility due to religious path or life view, these can be long-held beliefs that prevent spirit interaction. Often people haven’t really considered the possibility of interacting with a spirit until someone they love dies. Again, in that dynamic lies an assumption that the emotional bond will in and of itself reveal an active connection beyond the veil, and in this case trump institutionalized beliefs. I know it is entirely possible for someone who does not believe in spirits to have a spontaneous change of heart. However, in these cases there is still more than an emotional bond at work. Our consciousness is organized into beliefs and personal truths so that we can make sense of data coming in. At any point that we choose, we can change our beliefs, thus change the organization of our consciousness. In the case of those who prior eschewed spiritual possibilities let alone contact, it’s not likely that their beliefs will spontaneously reorganize to suddenly allow the perception of a visitation from a deceased loved one. If you fear spirits or have rigid beliefs that oppose paranormal life, the likelihood of experiencing such after the death of a loved one is slim. It is possible, though not probable. Naysayers who do experience unexpected spiritual interaction have generally gone through a rampant restructuring of their beliefs.

Another reason that the dead don’t visit is simply because they have no need to. They’re happy. They’re peaceful and they have genuinely grown beyond the concerns of the formed realm. It doesn’t mean they don’t love us or have abandoned us. It doesn’t mean you will never see them again. In fact, most of us repeat experiences of ourselves with the same groups of souls. It just means they’ve moved on to the next point of their destiny.

So what’s the magickal combination? Why do other people have full-on conversations with your deceased loved ones when you don’t seem able to? Remember that people who work with spirits likely demonstrated some innate ability to do so early on in life and/or had a life-changing experience that opened them to their ability, and have dedicated their lives to the skills and boundaries of that work. It’s not random or trivial. They devoted themselves to learning to read the signals and communication of spirits in subtle and profound ways. Moreover, they do so without an emotional charge. They are not emotionally involved with their work, and that enables them to stretch the limits of their ability. To people who interact with spirits doing so no different than interacting with the living. Venturing into the realm of the dead is as common place as walking into a crowded restaurant. In short, it’s not a big deal to them. They will it so, and so it is. Through that accomplishment, it’s always a miracle.

The thing is, there isn’t anything special about people who experience spirits and those who don’t. The only difference between those who do and those who don’t is willingness and the taming of cultural domestication to see life in a fuller, less prescribed way. If you are curious about how to interact with spirits, connect with a trusted professional who can mentor you in doing so. If you’re not but still want to interact with deceased loved ones, find someone who can do so and know that your bond is as intact as ever across the veil and it’s a blessing to have such. Moreover, find etheric ways to deepen your relationship to your loved ones now, and the opening for that greater interaction will always be there.

Conductor of Souls

I’ve been asked about the word ‘psychopomp’ several times lately, and it was suggested that a bit of explaining might do. Psychopomp is Greek for ‘conductor of souls,’ or someone whose role is to peacefully lead the departed to their next experience. Traditionally shamans are psychopomps, or deathwalkers, as others refer to them. In that context, there is a good bit more involved than escorting the dead onward and upward. In my childhood were several ongoing experiences that convinced me I was having a different go of things than most, and seeing dead people was one of them. It wasn’t until my late teens that I put the pieces together and understood that I was a natural deathwalker.

In order to be effective as a psychopomp, one has to possess reasonable skills in counseling, nurturing, protection, good boundaries, as well as the obvious ability to move between realms and know to where souls should be directed when they move on. My innate skills lay in seeing souls, but that was about it. I first had to learn not to be afraid of them, as often they were frightening and gruesome, in order to understand why they were coming to me. I gained initial insight into that dynamic on my own, then later learned specific techniques to help them transition. There are many ways to accomplish that purpose, some as simple as opening space and ‘pushing them’ up, or literally escorting them through in an ecstatic trance state. Others that I’ve found useful involve Middle World journeys to release them (solo energies and group), and a group Brazilian mediumistic technique called mesa blanca, which focuses on the release of suffering spirits.
Ultimately the goal is for the souls to move to their next experience of themselves peacefully. Life force isn’t created to be stagnant. It is progressive, evolving energy that needs to maintain challenging experiences to raise its consciousness. Stuck in place, that elevation of awareness can’t happen, and that’s when problems begin. Sometimes releasing life force goes more smoothly than others. Often souls who are invested in the chaos they create in the formed world are less likely to move on, and encouraging them to do so requires skill in counsel, negotiation, and protection. In many cases, the dead don’t realize they are dead, and that reality can be very upsetting to them. Again, finesse is required. On rarer occasions, they just refuse to move on, and this requires a mutual respect. As with the living, we can only be where we are; we can’t force ourselves or anyone else to be where they are not.
A caveat to releasing the dead is, sometimes the spirits in this realm aren’t of the deceased. There are different schools of thought on this scenario, of which I find souls that were never in form require a different approach to address their needs and release them. These usually are energies that have languished for centuries, or longer, if not are elementals and collective buildup resulting from the planet’s etheric grid being congested. Places, structure become entities separate from the people who dwell in them, and sometimes need to be cleared. Nature spirits sometimes need to be appeased and released. Sometimes people become attached to spirits or loved ones, and in the process of depossesion that spirit needs help moving on. The scenarios of psychopomp work are unique and possibly infinite.
It is our nature to keep moving, progressing. When any facet of our diverse souls doesn’t grow, All Things staggers under the weight of that stagnation. My approach to facilitating that has been to teach classes on how to die, as with all things, education goes a long way. In that way, education itself acts as a soul conductor. And in learning how to die, most of us truly begin to live.

Granny and the Skywalker

I have been on a journey since my Grandmother passed away in August of 2007. There are moments where I have felt crazy, but I know that she is with me and wants me to do something. What that is and ‘why me’ are constant questions. I also see other relatives that have passed on in my dreams. They talk to me, but I can never remember what was said when I awaken. Any idea why my dreams are so lucid, or what Granny wants? Thanks, MM!

Thanks for your note, MM. Sometimes those out of form see things about us that we don’t, intuitively, and your grandmother and thought that showing you something about yourself, rather than just telling, would have more impact. Apparently it did. Your grandmother said that she was lingering help you realize your powerfully innate skill for moving between worlds. She saw this light in you from her vantage point on ‘the other side,’ though she always knew you saw the world differently–a detail that may indicate that she was a lucid dreamer, too. The relatives you’ve seen off and on have truly been visiting you in dreams. For some the skill of ‘starwalking,’ or ‘skywalking,’ as it’s sometimes called, first presents itself through the frequency of spirit visitors in waking, or an odd sense of knowing. For you it has revealed itself in lucid dreaming. Cultivate this skill, and you can program specific dreams that allow you to be more active in your awareness and resolve conflicts. Spirit communication is easily done via dreaming. You can even “bring things back” from dreams, which is an ancient approach to Law of Attraction and manifestation. Dreaming isn’t just a passive adventure, but a valuable tool in empowering the connection between your unconscious and conscious being.

The facet of your grandmother that I met with moved on well. However, you can still meet with her anytime. Cognisant dreaming occurs in the REM level of sleep, or during the theta brainwave state, which can also be achieved when you are awake. If you want to learn more about lucid dreaming, there are some wonderful books on the subject, and about dreamwalking in general. One that I really like is Don Juan and the Art of Sexual Energy: The Rainbow Serpent of the Toltecs by Merilyn Tunneshende. Don Juan and the Art of Sexual Energy: The Rainbow Serpent of the Toltecs by Merilyn Tunneshende A more thorough mastery of theta, itself, is learning ecstatic, or shamanic journey, in which you train the mind to reach theta then will an aspect of yourself out to engage with the spirit world. This approach should be learned from someone who has already mastered this skill. I don’t advocate learning it from a book. Many find learning lucid dreaming challenging, though you have an advantage there. Furthering your dreaming ability would give your more options, though the skill of shamanic journey has an added bonus, in that your dreamstate becomes more easily navigable as you find comfort moving about the spirit realm. However you proceed, MM, I wish you wild star travels, and see you out there!