Samhain in Spring
This spring the energy is different. How can it not be? We are all living through unprecedented times, wearing face masks, and mourning our dead. Samhain tide is here early this year. For a month now I’ve been doing daily meditation and trancework focusing on the spirits of those who have passed from Covid-19. I’m not the only one. I know many spiritworkers, shamans, and priests who are doing daily, weekly, and monthly practices surrounding these newly dead. These are the kinds of deaths that leave trauma behind. Deaths where people can’t see their loved ones, where they’re separated for the safety of those around them.
Many of us are lighting candles, sitting in meditation, and calling on our spirit allies to assist those who have passed ungently into the next world. I was honored to have part of my invocation used in this video created by Youtuber Angela Raincatcher as part of her psychopomp work:
I found watching the process of assisting the dead through ritual dance to be profound and I was deeply grateful to know that others have been doing this work. Ancestor work is not my primary path. I work most closely with the spirits of the land. However, as a priest and spiritworker I’ve been called on to assist with ghosts more than once. When you’re working on a local level as a pagan community leader, you often end up doing things that are a little outside of your norm. So rather than working directly with the unquiet dead, I elected to assist and pray that those who were already dead could come to help those who were dying. Your basic spiritworking version of phone a friend. Others who work more closely with the tides of death work in different ways.
All of us want to do our part right now. Wearing masks and staying home is the most important thing, but if you’re called to do healing or psychopomp work make sure you’re doing the prep work to make it successful and safe.
Some Suggestions for working with the Recently Dead:
- If it was someone you loved who passed on, ask for help. Make sure to get support from your community if you are grieving.
- Make sure you have spirits who have your back. Now is not the time to make a bunch of new spirit friends just so you can go do psychopomp work and help ghosts transition. If you haven’t already laid the groundwork, it’s okay to stick to prayers and candles.
- Do purification after every time. I’ve been using mugwort smoke or incense. Don’t forget this step, it’s more important than you might think.
- Do self-care afterward. That doesn’t mean to go buy a chai latte. It means brushing your teeth, doing your exercise, and taking your meds. This kind of spiritwork is taxing to your meatbag. Living things don’t do well in the deathlands.
- You don’t have to help every spirit. It’s okay to say no.
- Balance deathwork with other kinds of spiritwork and meditation. To do this it means you need to be doubling up on meditation and trance practices.
No matter what, be gentle with yourself and those around you. Grief and fear are close companions right now. It is a good time to strengthen your mindfulness, compassion, and gratitude practices. Remember that we are all small beings doing our best and that is okay and as it should be. If you find my work to be helpful to you, please consider becoming a Patreon if you can afford to do so. Every little bit helps.