Aids to Transition - Dying, Death, and Funerals - Spells

The Big Book of Practical Spells: Everyday Magic That Works - Judika Illes 2016

Aids to Transition
Dying, Death, and Funerals

Aquamarine worn on the body eases the transition and provides luck for the next journey. Jet comforts those left behind. Angel's trumpet flower essence (FES) eases the approach to the mystery threshold and helps provide a sense of tranquility and peace.

The sense of smell remains until the last breath for most. Fragrance may still be used to communicate even if other methods fail. Soothing, healing incense may be burned. Scented oils are applied to the body to nurture, protect and soothe. Essential oils of myrrh and vetiver communicate the presence of the Earth Mother whose loving arms await—and also prevent and heal bedsores. (Remember, essential oils must be diluted in a base oil before being applied to the body. If someone is physically fragile, dilute even further; as little as one drop per tablespoon of oil can still be effective.) It is traditional for the body to be anointed with scented oils after death, too. Sandalwood is traditional although any fragrance associated with the individual may be used.

The period between death and funeral rites is considered an extremely vulnerable threshold. Candles and incense burn constantly for protection. Candles are strategically placed, usually at the head and feet. The body is not left alone. People may sit quietly in vigil or the body may be brought in as guest of honor at a wake. In societies where there is a history of malevolent magic, human guards will also remain at the grave until a period of safety is achieved.

Botanicals have a place in funeral rites, too. In North Africa, powdered henna leaves are sprinkled in a dead man's hair while a deceased woman's hands and feet are painted to provide happiness on the other side. (No such luck for widows who are banned from henna decoration, anywhere from a few months, as in North Africa, to forever, as in India.) In Europe, rosemary is tossed into the grave to ensure the memory of both the deceased soul and the mourners. Ancient Greeks wove garlands of yew to adorn the deceased (very poisonous for anyone else!) as a botanical request for Hecate's escort service to the beyond. Fragrant smoke may also be created. In India, sandalwood remains traditional. California Indians burned sage to purify the atmosphere but also to assuage mourners' grief.