I want to deal with this issue from two sides: helping the soul to cross over peacefully, and helping those left behind through their grieving process to find closure and healing, and also look at how these two are related.
When you lose a loved one, as if that isn’t bad enough, it can be complicated by the attachment of a ghost that hasn’t moved on. This can drain your life energy, and also keep you stuck in the same emotion, which at this point is going to be one of loss. This is because a ghost isn’t just the soul of the person, but the emotional body. When this is separated at death, it isn’t balanced by a conscious mind, so just experiences the emotions the person still had at the time of death. This is why hauntings tend to be very repetitive; the ghost clanking its chains at the same time every day. It’s just an emotional body that is stuck there, not a reasoning soul.
Naturally, death is a big loss on both sides. The ghost and the person left behind are bonded in this emotion. The ghost is unable to move on because of its emotional attachment, and the person is stuck in grieving, because there wasn’t the chance of closure with the lost loved one. This is why all religions give some kind of last rites to move on the soul of the departed. Without some kind of rite, the soul is likely to be stuck, and adds to the suffering of their loved ones.
Last Rites and Helping the Soul Move On
It is much better if the people suffering loss take part in these last rites rather than leave it to a priest, so they get some kind of closure. Since the soul is still there, you can talk to it, right? One of the biggest regrets is that people feel they never got a chance to tell their loved one certain things, and never got a chance to say goodbye.
Here is a simple process anyone can do to find release when a loved one has died. Prepare the space, by setting up an ancestral altar, plus an altar to the angel of death. In the angelic system, this will be Azrael. In Vodou, you call upon Ghede. Both these are dressed in purple and black; the colours associated with death.
Have a picture of the deceased person to put on the altar. Take some time to talk with them, knowing that they can hear you. Tell them everything that you still wanted to say. Take a bit longer to say goodbye. Put their picture on the ancestral altar, knowing that their ancestors are helping them across, and they are supported. Call the angel of death to take them across. It’s good to feed the ancestors by giving them whatever food they would have liked when they were alive, but without salt. Light a black and a purple candle for Ghede or Azrael, and a white candle for the ancestors. When the soul moves on happily, you will find you can grieve more completely and move on.
Homeopathy is also very helpful for easing the process. Each person experiencing the loss can take a dose of Ignatia 200.
If you would like to go deeper into this topic, I will be running a workshop on Saturday as part of my Magickal Membership. You can join the membership here or purchase the workshop as a one-off here.
In this workshop I will teach how to move on a soul elegantly, helping complete their karma, and also go into how the dead affect us, and how to cut ties with them and close doorways of death. We will also use some magickal meditations to ease grief and let go, and learn how to choose your afterlife.