Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 20,310,475


September 30th. 2017 ...

Transitioning

An Open Fire: Healing from Within

A Little Magickal History


August 31st. 2017 ...

The White Goddess: A Seminal Work in the Neo-Wiccan Movement.

Gudrun of the Victory Gods

The Goddess Asherah


July 31st. 2017 ...

Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light

Truth and Lies: Finding Wicca

Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers


July 2nd. 2017 ...

Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces

A Distant Thunder: Should You Care?

On Preconceived Pagan/Wiccan Political Affiliations

On Cursing: Politics and Ethos

Ares and Athena


July 1st. 2017 ...

Elements of Magic


June 1st. 2017 ...

The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions

Herbal Astrology

La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength

The Lady on the Stairs

Nahualli: Traditional Aztec Witchcraft and Totems


April 30th. 2017 ...

Nazis Made Us Change Our Name

Why the Faeries?

The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives

Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles


March 30th. 2017 ...

Magic in Daily Life

The East and West of Wiccan Magick

Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords


March 3rd. 2017 ...

Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion


February 10th. 2017 ...

Understanding the Unseen

Kitchen Magic and Memories


January 10th. 2017 ...

The Gray of 'Tween

Becoming a Sacred Dancer

Little Dog, Big Love


December 9th. 2016 ...

A Child's First Yule


November 10th. 2016 ...

What Exactly Is Witchcraft?

A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities

On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans

What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)


October 10th. 2016 ...

Witchcraft from the Outside


September 11th. 2016 ...

Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess

How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)


September 3rd. 2016 ...

Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?

What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?

Nature’s Reward


August 12th. 2016 ...

When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch

Hungarian Belief in Fairies

Past Midnight

Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament


July 13th. 2016 ...

What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses

Magic With A Flick of my Finger

An Open Mind and Heart

Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum


June 13th. 2016 ...

Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality

Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia

My Father, My First God

Life is Awesome... and the Flu


May 15th. 2016 ...

Wiccan Spirituality

Faery Guided Journey

How to Bond with the Elements through Magick

Magical Household Cleaning

Working with the Elements


April 2nd. 2016 ...

Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected

The Evolution of Thought Forms

The Fear of Witchcraft

Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele

Magic in Sentences

Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess


March 28th. 2016 ...

Revisiting The Spiral

Still Practicing

Spring Has Sprung!


January 22nd. 2016 ...

Coming Out of the Broom Closet

Energy and Karma

Community and Perception


December 20th. 2015 ...

Magia y Wicca


October 24th. 2015 ...

The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans

Feeling the Pulse of Autumn


October 16th. 2015 ...

Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts


September 30th. 2015 ...

The Other-Side


September 16th. 2015 ...

Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate


August 6th. 2015 ...

Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 15617

VoxAcct: 423970

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 1,344

Times Read: 2,809

RSS Views: 10,797
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Author: Healing Coyote
Posted: February 16th. 2014
Times Viewed: 2,809

This is the hardest article I've ever had to write. My psychiatric client, of whom I've written of before, died. In fact, she died on Yule, around 3am (December 20, 2013) .

She struggled with Schizophrenia her whole life, which affected her ability to cope with the ravages of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis, and the very limited prognosis that was told to her by doctors. Of all the worries, paranoid delusions, uncertainties, and frustrations that she had to deal with, her greatest fear was of being alone, and dying alone.

I worked with this beautiful soul every day for a solid year: I got to know her very well, and worked very hard to keep her body healthy so that she could talk with me about her life (and keep her mind healthy) . Near the end, I called her every day at the hospital, went in on weekends during medical emergencies, visited at least twice a week, and spoke to over 20+ doctors and nurses in order to make sure that they respected her wishes, and treated her like a smart, independent woman who could advocate for herself. Many times, her paranoid delusions would cause her to lash out in anger and fear, but I always tried to make myself available to counsel her through it, and to help her say what she really meant.

As much as I was able to, I wanted her to feel like she was supported, and that she was Not Alone.

A week before she died, she stopped eating, stopped drinking fluids, and stopped taking her medications. She wasn't able to talk, or even verbalize any grunts. But because of our shared therapeutic relationship, I could easily pick up on her wishes, as she rolled her eyes (she desperately wanted to smoke a cigarette!) or adjusted her body towards me when I asked to give her a quick hug.

She had already received Last Rites from a Catholic priest, but as she was unable to verbally pray anymore, the priest visits had drastically reduced. During one visit, I witnessed the incredible fear in her eyes (I had not visited for ~4 days) , and immediately reminded her that I was there, and that I would not leave her alone. I brought a ceramic figurine of an angel, and placed it near her bed, while I pulled up a chair and sat on the other side. She needed comfort, and although she disliked physical touch (many schizophrenic clients do, it's too much stimulation and can immediately trigger violent voices) , I asked her if she wanted me to hold her hand during the time I was there. She nodded faintly, and I held it.

As we sat there, I was told quite clearly by my Spirits to begin talking with her about Death.

Now this may seem cruel on the surface, but I was guided by my instincts and the Spirits not to talk about the process of death (because that is a mystery to all who have not died) , but to talk about What Happens After. Shamanic Journeys are often called "little deaths" because the Journeys occur outside of space and time, and visiting Ancestors, Mighty Dead, etc. can sometimes be as simple as asking to speak with Them.**

So I started talking. I moved from holding her hand to stroking her hair (she loved to get her hair done, and would completely zone out in a meditative state as someone brushed her hair) . She quickly felt calmer, her rapid breathing balanced out, and she closed her eyes. I spoke of what my Spirits have shown me about the reconciliation and rehabilitation of the Soul after death. I spoke of the love of her family members, who have all gone to death before her, and how they would be with her, to welcome her home. I spoke of Helping Spirits, Angels, and all the Others that would be with her to direct her to her next phase. And I promised her that at her moment of death, if she was scared and alone, that I myself would come and link her to her loved ones.

Well, the moment came. She died at 3:20am on December 20th. And I was paralyzed with grief.

Psychopomp work is best done within three days of a person's death, and although I planned out each evening to Journey to her, I was frozen. I could not pick up my rattle. I ended up making a supportive Crystal Grid for her, with Smoky Quartz, sticks of Yew, Chiastolite (crossroads stone) , and others. I spoke out loud to her, and told her of my love for her and my joy for the end of her suffering.

But I could not Journey, and I could not rattle.

A week passed by. I started to catch my breath a bit. And WHAM-- Two by Four, courtesy of Brigid, great goddess of Healing (and one of my Patrons) . My skin exploded into a giant rash-- itchy, inflamed, and it would not go away!

Like a true Coyote, I could not figure out what had happened! It took me another two days before I finally heard Her strongly in my head-- "You did not keep your promise. If you are gonna do this Work (shamanism) , do what you say!"

I was deeply embarrassed and disappointed in myself. I have some Shadow Work regarding death (even though I know quite a lot about it, I am still processing my father's death, and all of the self-exploration that entails) , and it had completely overtaken me.

I immediately set up my altar space in my room, grabbed my rattle, Grounded and Centered, and Journeyed. Coyote popped up immediately, gave me a hug, steadied me, and away we ran.

He took me to the exact moment of her death in the hospital. She was waiting for me.

I burst into tears.

Again, I was so disappointed in myself, but I also was thankful that I was making up for it now. Coyote reminded me that space and time are really wonky, and I realized that even though it took me over a week to get it together, I was with her at her moment of death, and I was fulfilling my promise to her right now!

She looked at me, and had the most delightfully confused look on her face. "Monika?" she whispered. "Yep, " I replied, "I told you that I'd be here for you. And although everyone faces death alone, you are Not Alone at all, and everyone's waiting for you." At that moment, the ceramic angel by her bedside grew, and became huge, ethereal, and glowing. I bowed, and asked if I needed to do anything (such as Soul Retrieval, etc.) for my dear client. The Angel gave me the impression that It could handle everything for her, and that I was there to both bear witness and to honor her.

It became very bright in that hospital room, and although I wasn't permitted to perceive any images within the glow, the emotions I felt were overwhelming. I was moved to sing, and Handel's Messiah Chorus popped into my head (instincts work so well in Journey space!) . As I sang "He Shall Feed His Flock, " I could feel the moment my client received healing from her schizophrenia. I could feel the moment that she reunited with her mother and sister and father. And I could feel the moment that she fully left the Middle World for her own perception of Heaven.

I am still working through my own grief for her, mixed with emotions from my father's passing (not too long ago) . But I am so thankful to Brigid and Coyote for helping me to push through my own blockages, to fulfill my promise to her. And I am thankful for all of my Helping Spirits, especially the numerous Psychopomps that I work with (Coyote, Manannan mac Lir, Odin, Freya, Hermes, and others) for teaching me about this important Work (although Brigid was instrumental in my Two-by-Four moment, I don't usually associate her with psychopomp work) .

Hail the Gods, and Hail the Mighty Dead!

** DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT TRAINING. And not just training from Spirits, but training from human teachers. There is great danger in visiting the Dead without a guide, or training, etc. It is very easy for spirits to masquerade as an Ancestor in order to manipulate you. You MUST have good judgment for this type of work, which is why it is not for many healers (even those within shamanic/magical circles) . Remember: All That Is Dead Is Not Wise.



Copyright: (c) 1/30/2014 by Monika Lonely Coyote



ABOUT...

Healing Coyote


Location: Columbia, Maryland

Website: http://www.healingcoyote.com/

Author's Profile: To learn more about Healing Coyote - Click HERE




Other Articles: Healing Coyote has posted 3 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Healing Coyote... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Healing Coyote ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2017





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2017 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2017










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).