Walking With Death: Psychopomp Work

Walking with Death is a profound calling.

I had the honor of experiencing this part of my training a couple of weeks ago when my neighbor died.

When I did Psychopomp training I never imagined myself actually offering it. The conversation in my head played out as; ‘how do I say to someone, you’re dying — I can help with that’.

Ultimately, it occurred organically. I offered some energy work to ease her anxiety and ended up easing her death for both her and her family.

And what a rich and rewarding experience it was.

In Jungian psychology, the psychopomp is a mediator between the unconscious and conscious realms. It is symbolically personified in dreams as a wise man or woman, or sometimes as a helpful animal. In many cultures, the shaman also fulfills the role of the psychopomp. I learned this practice as part of my Shamanic Training.

Certain people seem to be born with an ability to help people cross over at the time of death, or assist those souls who need guidance after the transition. Yet, a psychopomp is not generally a medium. Their primary function is not to reconnect the living with the dead, but to help the spirit or soul of an individual cross over to a safe place at the time of death. While it is true that some have a natural inclination towards this work, others find it is a skill that can be learned. Either way, there is a great need in our modern society for those with psychopomp skills.
There are a number of ways to enter a state of consciousness in which one can tap into the unseen realms and assist with a “good death” or communicate with spirits who may be earthbound. These include meditative states, dream states, shamanic states, hypnogogic states (such as waking dreams where the individual is awake, but their brain waves indicate they are still sleeping), and other altered states of consciousness. ~ Find out more at Psychopomps

I began by doing some energy extraction work. It helped with the anxiety tremendously.

We journeyed to find a power animal/guide and Orville the Owl came an wrapped his wings around her. He helped to see into the dark of the Cancer in her lung in an attempt to clear it out. He surrounded her when she had a drain put in her lungs and her last Chemo.

We then went on to journey together and BOTH of us met her Grandfather. He merged his light body into hers to support her journey. The tears that this brought were the tears of one who suddenly ‘knew’ that death wasn’t the end. My friend was an atheist who thought death was death and now she knew otherwise. This knowing gave her some peace that she wouldn’t be leaving her husband, two young kids and Mom completely.

It was fast becoming clear that the Cancer was overtaking her body rapidly so, in our next ‘session’ we just sat and I asked her if she was ready to go. She answered yes.

This brings tears to my eyes because only days earlier she had been adamant that she had to stay for her two young kids.

I told her family. Probably the most courageous thing I have ever had to do. Her Mom grabbed my hand and said THANK YOU! It was as if it wasn’t me, which it really wasn’t. Spirit/God/Guides/Whatever had taken over at this point.

Her Mom went to speak to her and I heard tears of relief and acceptance. I heard my friend say ‘I didn’t want to leave you’. I couldn’t hear the rest but I know it was hugs and tears of knowing.

I went to say Goodbye to my friend for that moment and an instance that I shall never forget happened. She looked me in the eye and said ‘Thank you, thank you for EVERYTHING’.

Later that day I took my dreamcatcher. My tool to journey to the other side. At this point she was on the hospice bed, no longer able to sit on the couch.

We did the exercise I had learned where I tether the person and guide them through the portal to explore the other side. I have never seen such a profound change in a persons face. I asked her to turn around and look back and know that she would be able to do that when she was finally ready.

Even after I pulled her back to our world she held the dream catcher and we talked about her experience as much as she could talk.

I asked if it was peaceful, she said yes.

I asked if it was beautiful, she said yes.

The dreamcatcher stayed with her that night. As did my representation of Orville the owl.

The next morning she was barely conscious. For days her family told me the only time she smiled was when I was there or my name was mentioned.

She stirred when she heard my voice but it was difficult for her so I told her to sleep and I would do the work.

I just spoke to her. Held the dreamcatcher and then hung it where it was in her sight, even though her eyes were closed for good at that point.

After a while I left the family saying I would come later if needed.

Her Mom thought she was waiting for something. Her whole family was there but her brother. He was traveling.

He sent a text saying what he would say to her if he were there.

She transitioned ten minutes later.

At Peace.

At home.

Our society is so sanitized and fearful around death and yet, it’s the one sure thing in life.

It’s the cycle.

She hasn’t ‘gone’. Her spirit is here. I feel her urging me to tell this story.

The story of the atheist who found peace with death and had a ‘good death’.

I was the deathwife as opposed to the midwife.

I am so honored that she allowed me in.

Don’t fear death beloveds. It’s OKAY. I don’t know what lies beyond but I do know it’s not ‘nothing’ and that it’s peaceful.


Louise Edington is a kick ass Soul Astrologer and Shamanic Guide helping you to become the Creatress of YOUR meaningful and purposeful life.