Scattering Violets

An exploration of funerary traditions and innovations, care of the dead, and pagan perspectives on death

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Prayers of the Psychopomp

I thought I'd do something a little different this month and share a couple of prayers I make to my psychopomp Gods and the dead. These prayers, made at my psychopomp altar or ancestor shrine, are a major part of my practices as a pagan and as a death care professional. These prayers supplement and aid my professional work, and my profession is an act of devotion to those whom I worship. I think it's important for people to feel that the work they do is sacred, and worshiping the Gods and spirits of that work is one way to experience the sacredness of how we earn our living. Prayers focus our thoughts and remind us of our purpose, providing a quiet moment to remember why we do what we do, anchoring us to our values and the Gods and spirits whom we love.

Nighttime Prayer to Psychopompic Gods and Spirits

O Rosmerta, Our Lady of Roanoke –
Mother of marshes and junctions,
Gracious Hostess of the living and the dying,
the coming and the going, Plentiful Sustainer –
and Mercurius Psychopompos –
God of the roads and rails, fleet-footed and cunning,
Guide into the Otherworlds, Knower of the ways –
and Genii Cuculatti, Messengers and Gift-Bearers,
and all my helping and guiding spirits on this path,
Teach me to be a better servant,
Fill my body with strength to bear the dead,
Show me the ways so that I may guide them;
Fill my mouth with words that comfort the grieving,
Help me make spaces for them to rest and be nourished.
Thank you for entrusting this sacred work to me.
May my words and deeds honor and please you
in the coming day.


Ancestor Prayer

Beloved ancestors:
Thank you for watching over us, guiding us, and protecting us.
Know that we remember you and love you.
Life is full of challenges, but we do not walk alone.
We hold the wisdom of ages within us, through you.
Instill in us the courage to live honestly and justly.
If there are wrongs, help us right them.
If there are wounds, help us heal them.
Foster us to become better ancestors.
May you ever live in us.


Photo by Sneha Cecil on Unsplash

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The Cunning Wife is an animist, writer, diviner, crafter, witch, and spirit worker and traveler. Her work has been published in a number of online and print magazines, including Witches & Pagans and Hagstone Publishing's Stone, Root, and Bone ezine. She gets excited about scholarly essays and books on folklore, magical tales, and ancient spiritual practices, and is passionate about sharing that information. She is also an avid crafter of magical and mundane items. She believes that there is magic in the mundane, just waiting to be remembered.  


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