What is Psychopomp?


“from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός – psychopompos (english translation), meaning ‘conductor or guide of souls’”*

Documented since at least Greek times, and likely in existence for thousands of years before that, a psychopomp, in the english translation, is someone who acts to assist the recently deceased or dying cross into the Light and make their peaceful transition to the Other Side.

This can be anyone who seeks to help those who are in the stages of the death process cross over peacefully, be it someone who is already deceased or someone who is beginning their transition.

This process of providing assistance to the dying or the deceased, for their soul to come to peace, is more widely and loosely known as administering death rites.

However, the job of a psychopomp, or a guide of souls, is slightly more intentional and more directed in that they literally escort the soul in need to the Light.

In Spirit, Angels, Spirit Guides, Previously Deceased Loved Ones, and Deities often fill this role.

In the physical world, by and large, it is only the shaman who is able to fill this unique role.

The reason for this, is because in order do you this, you must have experience connecting the physical world to the spiritual world.

You have to have experience making the transition yourself, from physical to Spirit, in order to  help someone else do this.

And while the living shaman has not themselves made the dying transition to the Light, they do, on a daily basis, perform work within the Spiritual world and return to the physical.

We have a physical body and we have a spiritual body.

The physical body is our vessel. It’s our skin, our bones, our hair, our blood, and our physical constitution.

The spiritual body is what makes us who we are. It’s our personality, our emotions, our feelings, our behaviors, our life perspectives, and our experiences.

This is the part of us that transcends to Spirit when you leave the physical world.

The term psychopomp originates from Greek and is considered a shamanic practice - but what is it and what does it mean?

The recently deceased and the dying have made and are preparing to make the transition between the physical world and the spiritual world.

The world in which they live with their spirit in a physical body, and the world in which they live as just a spirit.

Sometimes, those in Spirit need help to move from one world to the other.

There are many reasons for this – disbelief, worry, trauma, hesitation, skepticism, and concerns.

There are many reasons why an individual’s Spirit may not immediately move from the physical world and into the Divine Light, Heaven, Universal Source, or the Other Side.

Sometimes, they need the help of someone that can hold their hand and walk them through the process, releasing worry, removing fear, addressing concern, and answering questions.

This can be done after death, or during the dying process, as the Spirit is able to cross into the Light and leave the body before physical death in many cases.

Shamans move between physical and spiritual worlds, and are able to transition between the worlds. They can hold the hand of the recently deceased and dying and help them through the process.

Shamans are specifically trained in a way that allows their Spirit to leave their own physical body for a time, without dying, and then come back and rejoin their physical body.

Shamans can go to Spirit and come back to their body without experiencing death. This is called the shamanic journey and it’s done for the purposes of spiritually healing another. (Read more about the shamanic journey here).

Crossing a Spirit into the Light upon their death or after they have died is an act of healing.

A shaman can be called in by family members to ensure and assist their loved ones in crossing over during the dying process or shortly after death. They can also help cross over lost souls that may be causing problems in the home or personal life.

When a Spirit goes to the Light, it is said that their Soul is at peace.

Psychopomp is the process and the individual that is able to bring a soul to peace by assisting them to cross into the Light, go to Heaven, or rejoin Universal Source.

An individual that guides souls to the Light can be Angel, a Deity, a Spirit Guide, or a Shaman.

Psst ~ want to learn more about basic shamanic practices? Check out the eBook Shamanic Basics – Click here to learn more and get your copy!


LAST UPDATED: April 2, 2015