Funerary Rites

Funerary Rites: To Know Death is to Know Life
Article by Deanna Jenne'
ear of death is at the crux of all fear. Acceptance of our own  and others inevitable mortality is often avoided with complex life-style choices arising to assure safety and life-ever after. The choices one makes to protect life may be set up in careful, risk-free, controlled and controlling ways.

    Many traditional cultures revere their ancestors and connect with the dead loved ones each year around this time, when the veil to the worlds is thinnest. Cemeteries in Mexico are lit up by candle light so the soul can find its way back to the realm of the living at this otherworldly time, called Dias de los Muertos. Here, in Mexico, the living prepare the favorite meal of their dead loved one(s) and place it among the flowers and candles on an altar either inside their home, if death struck within the year of this holy time, or in the cemetery upon the dead one's vault. People even sleep on the grave and hope for a visit and message from the deceased.

   You may have a very different way of honoring the passing of your loved ones. I've noticed that today a memorial service seems to suffice for saying goodbye. Or an elaborate Catholic Mass may still be held for the believer, and I leave having the sense that the soul of the deceased did move on. Yet, often these days its purpose alludes those who do not embrace this religion. I grew up Catholic, pre-Vatican II and have experienced everything from a spiritual awakening to Catholic-light.  However, if one does not have a strong spiritual or religious background or believe in an afterlife of some sort, how does the living know one has moved on to what we call the ancestral realms or their soul homeland?

   The greatest fear is and should be, that the soul remains stuck in the bardo, purgatory, limbo" or simply, on the other side of the veil of the living. A ghost is a stuck soul, able to be seen by some in the realm of the living, but unable to participate. A miserable soul existence. Many want the best for their loved ones soul; I often hear that it’s the least one can do for their beloved mom or dad who has just died. I am an escort for the soul. I perform Funerary Rites, guiding the deceased through the realms beyond this realm in order for the person to reconcile this life’s burdens, be purified and journey to his or her’s original soul homelands, the place of his or hers soul creation. This is a lengthy ritual that takes two days of preparation, ritual and telling the story of the soul’s journey to the living. The story often includes a tale of how one lived their life and the trials they faced along with the story of their reconciliation and purification. This is a sacred journey, and may be considered the last rites for the deceased before arriving at the doorway to the ancestral homelands. 
   Funerary Rites are a way for the living to be assured that the soul is well-tended to and in a peaceful place. Many cultures and traditions have a form of funerary rites are elaborate and ancient rituals to care for the not only the soul but the living people as well; assuring them of proper burial and rites leaves one knowing  about death and and its consequences, so that life can be lived well.

   Archaelogiststs have found in gravesites of ancient people, what I may consider to be offerings of gold and jewels, tools, grains in pots and symbols of the afterlife lying with the bones of the deceased. From ancient texts, one may find stories of elaborate funerary rites along with guidelines for living and dying. It may be said that more intact cultures, cultures honoring the cycles of life including elaborate funerary rites, did not live in fear of their pending mortality for to know life is to know death and to know death is to know life. The elaborate funerals and rites actually kept the for millennia. It is only in recent times that these rites have been dismantled and therefore, people are lost, without a rudder or guide, for living.
   If you do not have a religious background or a life rooted in an ancestral tradition where dying produces a guideline for living you may feel bereft, at sea, and scared of the inevitable. Fear is often at the helm of the ship that will eventually lead you across to the afterlife.
In the early years of my shamanic training I went through a long period of darkness where I had to experience death. This, along with a few of my own close encounters with death through by a fall and emergency surgery and dreams of a calling to do this work, I was led through a strenuous ritual preparation and initiation in order to perform Funerary Rites. For thirteen years I have been helping the deceased move on to their soul's origin, their homeland, what is also called the 'ancestral pool'.

See attached documents to prepare and help make a more informed decision for yourself and loved ones.

Lisa L,
Jan 10, 2018, 10:47 AM