Psychopomps, unicorns, brainstorming


I learned a new word tonight from a friend who is at some sort of shamanic training session:

psychopomp Look up psychopomp at Dictionary.com1863, from Gk. psykhopompos “spirit-guide,” a term applied to Charon, Hermes Trismegistos, Apollo; from psykhe (see psyche) + pompos “guide, conductor.”

Psychopomps (from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός – psuchopompos, literally meaning the “guide of souls”) are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply provide safe passage. Frequently depicted on funerary art, psychopomps have been associated at different times and in different cultures with horses, Whip-poor-wills, ravens, dogs, crows, owls, sparrows, cuckoos, and harts.

In Jungian psychology, the psychopomp is a mediator between the unconscious and conscious realms. It is symbolically personified in dreams as a wise man or woman, or sometimes as a helpful animal. In many cultures, the shaman also fulfills the role of the psychopomp. This may include not only accompanying the soul of the dead, but also vice versa: to help at birth, to introduce the newborn child’s soul to the world. This also accounts for the contemporary title of “midwife to the dying,” which is another form of psychopomp work.

My sleep schedule is all messed up, and it was really hot in our room this morning, so I had some pretty strange dreams {that always happens to me when I’m hot.} Falling off of a cliff or from the sky into a river with my mom. Mom ended up on the other side, us both scrambling for purchase. I climbed the cliff, only to find the ice I was chipping through was holding back a ton of water, so I had to give up and drop back to the river. I managed to get out but on the opposite side of the river to my mom. I kept waking up, falling asleep, and dreaming different strange dreams. I don’t think any of them had a psychopomp in it—unless you count the unicorn. I remember waking up and thinking, I can’t believe you just dreamed about a unicorn!

And in other news, I thought I somehow missed the solar eclipse this evening, much like I missed the super moon. I was stuck at the station trying to record the intro to Tuesday’s show in the midst of a torn-up studio (some major repairs going on). But apparently it’s tomorrow. We don’t have eclipse glasses, but maybe we can use the pinhole technique.

So I was able to finish and upload the show. It just needs a complete listen-through tomorrow, just in case.

I had a long lazy afternoon of errands and brainstorming. I even stopped in and looked at a commercial space again for a cafe idea my friend and I have. Tomorrow I plan to stay home as much as possible. I need to rest up and get organized for a training class in the mornings and consulting in the afternoons all next week.


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