Funeral Blessing –
Death is something that we cannot escape. When our loved ones pass, we want to do anything we can to help their spirits rest easy. Also, we must ourselves grieve and heal from the pain of their loss. That’s what they would have us do.
To assist us in this inevitable process, we have funerals, a ritual of passing that shows our respect, our love for the departed.
Many believe that the funerary rite allows the spirit of the deceased to transition into the afterlife, while some see it as simply a necessary action, so that the human mind can process the loss. Either way it is clear that, to be healthy, we must move through the 5 stages of grief.
We’re all familiar with the custom of putting flowers on the resting place of one who has left us. As magickal practitioners, we have the opportunity to plumb a bit further into the depths of the underworld, to act as a psychopomp (one who guides the souls of the dead to their resting places).
Plant Spirit, as Psychopomp
We can call on the powers of the healing herbs of Mother Earth. Spirit and matter overlap here and we find peace, even through handling these items. Indeed the smell and the feel of this mixture will stir emotions in you. It’s a very fitting way to show reverence for the dead, both human and animal alike.
Funeral Blessing is my own special blend of thirteen, sacred herbs and resins. You sprinkle this mixture over the grave of the person or pet who has passed, while saying your goodbyes or the prayers of your choosing.
There is not much that you can do in the face of death, except defer to its final authority and behave as gracefully as possible.
This becomes much easier when you have some, small task to do, like the sprinkling of a powder or the lighting of a candle. It helps us to overcome the feeling of powerlessness.
A simple act such as this can help one reclaim purpose and make some sense of the pain. The dead appreciate offerings and it’s traditional to pour out libations to them.
The living need small token gestures, to help assimilate the grief, rather than rejecting it. A small act, like purchasing this mixture and spreading it over the grave of your departed loved one, achieves just that. It says to the spirit of that person or animal “I love you and so I bought you this, to smooth your way in the next world”.
It’s also simple enough that even someone who is hysterical with grief can perform this basic action. It sometimes has the effect of calming them and sometimes, it triggers a powerful emotional release.
That’s vital, for the healthy coping of such a loss. Sometimes people are numb when death strikes and the act of spreading the herbs can signal that it’s OK to cry and feel the hurt. It’s a powerful, cathartic release, which enables one to process and move forward.
Of course, that’s exactly what your loved one would want, for you to move forward and be happy.
As an additional point of practicality, we typically bury our pets in backyards and at much more shallow depths. We want to avoid other animals disturbing their graves and the pleasant fragrance of this mixture assists greatly to mask their scents, ensuring that they won’t attract unwanted attention from other, curious animals.
The Funeral Blessing mix contains:
Angelica – To purify and drive away evil
Camphor – Related to the Moon, creates peace for Spirits
Chamomile – Also of the Moon, relaxes and calms the deceased
Frankincense – Sol, The scent of kings, blesses and exalts the Spirit
Hyssop – A spiritual cleanser, mentioned in the Bible for purity
Jasmine – The Moon, again for peace, but also for pleasant dreams
Lavender – Mercury, relaxation and clear sight, makes a straight way
Myrrh – Elemental Water and the Moon, Frankincense and Myrrh are the staples of any church, given to the Christ Child at birth and representative of the Sun and the Moon
Passionflower – calms and makes transition easier
Peppermint – Produces joy and mirth, a positive, Jovial outlook
Rose – Represents the crux of Life and Light, Venus Divine
Sage – Jupiter, chases away evil ghosts who would interfere
Vervain – a magickal “amplifier” which blesses and gives the soul of your loved one a strong push toward the LVX.
Here’s an article about ancient funeral traditions and it mentions one of the herbs in this blend. For those who are curious, further research will reveal many herbs and resins which find their way into funerary rites.