Funeral Rituals

Rituals, spells, prayer, meditation and magical acts.
User avatar
Nahumatarah
Sodalis
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:08 pm
Location: Pohjola
Lodge membership: Salome

Re: Funeral Rituals

Post by Nahumatarah »

Nefastos wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:57 am I once had a friend who was outwardly in a good control of his life: rewarding work, family, widely respected, enough money, good friends, the whole deal. But in a way he seemed constantly to thist after losing control. One evening he gave me an extempore gift: J.G. Ballard's "Crash," a novel about being pathologically drawn to car crashes. His inscription was: "With open greetings, not knowing about the outcome." Not long after that, he died in a crash.

After that I have been even more careful how exactly I contemplate my own death, not to feed the subconscious in ways that are not completely healthy.
Oh I'm sorry. That sounds like a especially cruel joke of fate. "Be careful what you wish for" i think is a pretty sound advice. I'm a firm believer in sympathetic magic and related concept like laws of "attraction", or "contagion" so i don't think these sorts of things are coincidents in any way.
Nefastos wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:57 am Burning the body was seen something like killing one's immortal soul, and since the ghost is tied to the remnants of one's physical body, it can appear as long as those are even remotely intact
In Fosforos (Appendix II, pg.333 footnotes) you listed different burial customs and described how they could either hasten or prolong the formal part of the souls natural disintegration. I realize it's a broad question and that the answer depends on the individual we are considering but let say one decides s/he wishes to be cremated. Do you think there should be a waiting period between persons death and cremation, or is it almost always better to hasten the transition?

I personally view burial places as very sacred and magical, and also think funerals as immensely important events, not only for the person whose funeral it is, but also to those attending.I'm also very interested in old churches and their vicinities such as the one I mentioned even though I don't have any family that I know buried there. In my family we visit graves of family members and friends often and take care of them not just on traditional dates like All Saints' Day or Christmas but whenever. While I was reading The Key of Solomon King (Mathers' translation) I came across the section that states:
The Key of Solomon King wrote:For those matters then which appertain unto the Moon, such as the Invocation of Spirits, the Works of Necromancy, and the recovery of stolen property, it is necessary that the Moon should be in a Terrestrial Sign, viz.: – Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn.
For funeral practices, or for example grave maintenance do you think there are especially auspicious dates that could be in some way beneficial for the soul of the departed, or for the one doing the maintaining?

Also, next to the church i mentioned there is a small wooden ossuary that houses some of the excavated bones of the deceased congregation members. I noticed on my last trip that on the burial ground surrounding it there were woodland strawberries and wild raspberries growing. I remember reading somewhere that strawberries were seen as a symbol to the spirits of young children who had died in infancy in Scandinavian folk religion. Both of these fruits are also used in Christian art symbolizing kindness and fragility. Medieval artists often depicted the Virgin Mary with strawberries or raspberries. Do you think there are special magical qualities to fruits that grow in such places compared to ones that are found in forests, or are cultivated?

Anyone can answer these questions.
"The time has come to turn your heart into a temple of fire."

- Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī
User avatar
Smaragd
Frater
Posts: 1369
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:27 am
Lodge membership: Graal, Phanes

Re: Funeral Rituals

Post by Smaragd »

Nahumatarah wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:40 am Do you think there are special magical qualities to fruits that grow in such places compared to ones that are found in forests, or are cultivated?
Yes, I do. Intuitively I wouldn’t eat such berries and fruits, but then there’s the counter-intuitive way which reveals or seeks to harness the powers. I’m guessing cannibals have used this idea throughout the ages, but this is only the most base point of view to the subject and using such fruits in different ways already point to more subtle and beautiful directions. The basic idea I’m getting is that the berries are flourishing out from the remains of the dead. The collective essences of those buried in the earth are partly transferred to these berries. The burial ground is thus sort of a prima materia stage of the genius loci – the collective souls of the local folk. I wondered if I’d write anima mundi, but genius loci seems a bit more accurate. Still every bit of ground is more or less in touch with the whole of the earth and thus this idea of prima materia of anima mundi is a possible for pointing the meaning of such fruits of the graveyard. This opens an interesting door to the topic at hand: what kind of meanings and emphases the different choices for burial ground hold, and how strictly one would want different plants to grow near or from a grave of a relative.

As we are talking of fruit, we are also talking of this sort of a peak point of the essences before new seeds are sown to the ground when the fruits are dropped. Such fruit, growing on graves, could be found greatly valuable in rituals relating to ancestral working, genius loci – the different portions of the world soul or anima mundi at large. I find there’s potential there when the attempt is to work up from the earth element to the more subtle ones, thus the chaotic state of prima materia seems proper correspondence to the burial ground and ancestral powers.
"Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets"
- William Blake
User avatar
Nahumatarah
Sodalis
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:08 pm
Location: Pohjola
Lodge membership: Salome

Re: Funeral Rituals

Post by Nahumatarah »

Thanks for your thoughtful answer, Frater.
Smaragd wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:13 pmIntuitively I wouldn’t eat such berries and fruits, but then there’s the counter-intuitive way which reveals or seeks to harness the powers. [---] The basic idea I’m getting is that the berries are flourishing out from the remains of the dead. The collective essences of those buried in the earth are partly transferred to these berries.
This was on the lines of my thinking too. I did partake in some of the berries that grew a little farther away from the actual churchyard in hopes of maybe detecting some subtle effect for research purposes but, alas no effect. Maybe a more systematic approach was needed. Maybe harvesting, then drying up and mixing them with with spices and herbs, with proper attention to correspondences to create and incense or a potion to be used as a part of ritual on the churchyard later would produce a more dramatic effect. I'm not personally very interested to try such workings right now though, only curious.
Smaragd wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:13 pmThis opens an interesting door to the topic at hand: what kind of meanings and emphases the different choices for burial ground hold, and how strictly one would want different plants to grow near or from a grave of a relative.
Yes exactly. I was also thinking about different sorts of cut flowers, wreaths and bouquets that are traditionally placed on the coffin or on the graves of the deceased in funerals. If we one believes in spirits, and subsequently in spirit offerings wouldn't the type of flowers that are chosen also draw the attention of their corresponding spirits? I hear in many asian cultures people usually consult their spiritual leaders about what type of flowers are proper for such events.
"The time has come to turn your heart into a temple of fire."

- Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī
User avatar
Smaragd
Frater
Posts: 1369
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:27 am
Lodge membership: Graal, Phanes

Re: Funeral Rituals

Post by Smaragd »

Nahumatarah wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:44 pm I'm not personally very interested to try such workings right now though, only curious.
Me neither, I would look for the effect in a bit different way. For example, the curiosity dug up by the discussion rised this idea for me that I could use such berries to symbolize the dead and use the berries as an offering. If I’d recognize in my psyche some ancestral powers rising, let’s say the violent ways to express masculinity in my family would try to reappear in my own relation to these powers, I could take these berries and create a ritual formula where the berries would mark my connection to my ancestrys base forms of masculinity, but also to the vastness of the world soul to find openness to rise up from the harmful patterns of behaviour on to more open field of choices. Making an offering of the berries in a meaningful way could be used to initiate such changes in one’s own soul. The freeing of the essences in the berries as they sow the new seeds on the ritual ground, carrying in themselves a new step in my ancestral lineage. There the effect of the grave berries, or rather the essential meaning of them, would be seen in the glimmering moment of the ritual if the formula would have been made out thoughtfully and intuitively enough to have a real connection to one’s own soul. For myself this could work as a supporting ritual to the actual striving for change, and I guess mostly because all the meanings I drew on the berries and saw them impregnated by it.

Apologies for diverging a bit from the topic, but this is fascinating.
"Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets"
- William Blake
User avatar
Nahumatarah
Sodalis
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:08 pm
Location: Pohjola
Lodge membership: Salome

Re: Funeral Rituals

Post by Nahumatarah »

Smaragd wrote: Sat Nov 06, 2021 3:18 pmApologies for diverging a bit from the topic, but this is fascinating.
No need to apologize, at least in my part. This subject greatly interests me too and I value your deep input, and systematic approach towards it. I have felt these sorts of atavistic ancestral impulses creep to surface from time to time in my workings so it's always nice to hear other people's ideas on how to approach such phenomena. I may have to chew on your response for some time though, before I can have something more to add.

I was discussing funeral practices earlier today with a friend, and the discussion quickly advanced to the grey (or black?) area between necromancy, ancestral work and such related topics. I guess it's hard to discuss funeral rituals without touching on these subjects as well.
"The time has come to turn your heart into a temple of fire."

- Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī
User avatar
Polyhymnia
Soror
Posts: 826
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:20 pm
Lodge membership: Hermes, Phanes, Salome

Re: Funeral Rituals

Post by Polyhymnia »

Nahumatarah wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:40 am Also, next to the church i mentioned there is a small wooden ossuary that houses some of the excavated bones of the deceased congregation members. I noticed on my last trip that on the burial ground surrounding it there were woodland strawberries and wild raspberries growing. I remember reading somewhere that strawberries were seen as a symbol to the spirits of young children who had died in infancy in Scandinavian folk religion. Both of these fruits are also used in Christian art symbolizing kindness and fragility. Medieval artists often depicted the Virgin Mary with strawberries or raspberries. Do you think there are special magical qualities to fruits that grow in such places compared to ones that are found in forests, or are cultivated?

Anyone can answer these questions.
This is so interesting. When I was a little girl, little wild strawberries would grow in the cemetery of my dad's church. I've thought about them so much even into my adult years that I have been writing a story for my children about consuming these berries and imbibing the qualities of those buried beneath them.

I was not aware of all this rich symbolism you've described. Thank you very much. As for the question, I think intuitively I must. I will have to ponder this for a little bit.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
User avatar
Nefastos
Frater
Posts: 4457
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:05 am
Location: Helsinki
Lodge membership: Graal, Lucifer, Salome

Re: Funeral Rituals

Post by Nefastos »

Nahumatarah wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:40 am
The Key of Solomon King wrote:For those matters then which appertain unto the Moon, such as the Invocation of Spirits, the Works of Necromancy, and the recovery of stolen property, it is necessary that the Moon should be in a Terrestrial Sign, viz.: – Taurus, Virgo, or Capricorn.

For funeral practices, or for example grave maintenance do you think there are especially auspicious dates that could be in some way beneficial for the soul of the departed, or for the one doing the maintaining?

I think that for these matters, the time is of less importance. Even though in Bhagavad Gîtâ it is mentioned that people who die in a certain time will go to the "Moon path" and people who die in another will go to the "Sun path," I think that these are best taken as allegories: that the time is taken from one's inner Sun and Moon, and not the outer. While it is easy to understand why a certain astr(ologic)al condition would help a process of necromancy, which is a separated moment of practice, I think it is not as important to make such conditions for things that are more gradual in nature.

Similarly I see that nowadays the funeral service is more for the living than for the dead. It was different when the culture was different, and the dead were more familiar and interested in their afterlife states. Nowadays, when there are mostly just two types of the dead: those who believed that there will be no consciousness left whatsoever, and those who believed that they will go to "a better place" no matter what, the importance of the ritual service has been lessened almost to the point of unnecessarity. And for those few who actually believe that there might be some importance in how the funeral service is done for their bodies, I think they pay much more attention to the overall feeling of the process than about the subtle nuances of astral atmosphere. For those dead who are to be summoned by the (almost necessarily cruel) power of necromantic summons, the thing is very different: they have already been taken back to the elements, one way or the other, and so, they are themselves part of that astral atmosphere. Thus it is more meaningful whether the condition for that kind of working is optimal.

Nahumatarah wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:40 amIn Fosforos (Appendix II, pg.333 footnotes) you listed different burial customs and described how they could either hasten or prolong the formal part of the souls natural disintegration. I realize it's a broad question and that the answer depends on the individual we are considering but let say one decides s/he wishes to be cremated. Do you think there should be a waiting period between persons death and cremation, or is it almost always better to hasten the transition?

Yes, in footnote 267, so in English version that is page 217. I don't believe that there is much need for prolonged waiting periods, when the death is certain. Also, the hastening or the lack of it should be decided by the late person, obviously beforehand. I think that it is likely that one reason for burying into earth instead of burning in fire has been that in those cultures the dead have been invited to mingle with the living, in a certain way. Consider lares and manes of the Romans, and dozens of other similar examples in other cultures: the dead have become the ancestor protectors of the living. Not necessarily wholly individually, but collectively. They act like that "wall of protection" in The Voice of Silence in a more tribal scope.

Personally I would see ideal that my soul would be released from any connection from this world as soon as possible, so personally I wish for cremation. But there are other preferences. For example, I had planned doing the ceremony of sending the dead (Kuolleen hyvästijättö, Azazelin Avain p.94) for my above mentioned late friend who had met violent death. But when I was going to do it, I had feeling that this would not be for his liking. Later the same occurred again. At that point I considered that because he had been a person interested in magic and parapsychological phenomena, but had not come to complete certainty regarding to those things during his life, he was interested in remaining in the astral worlds close to ours, instead of being ushered onwards. So I left the ceremony undone. It wouldn't have been my choice, but I think it is extremely important to follow other persons' wishes as far as possible.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
User avatar
Nahumatarah
Sodalis
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:08 pm
Location: Pohjola
Lodge membership: Salome

Re: Funeral Rituals

Post by Nahumatarah »

Thank you so much for sacrificing your time to write such thorough and satisfying answers, frater Nefastos. Being cremated on the basis that my, like you so well put it, "soul would be released from any connection from this world as soon as possible" is where my thoughts too have been heading. I guess there is still some (cultural) Christian baggage that is biased towards the idea of burial but the more I think of it the more I come to see cremation as preferable.
"The time has come to turn your heart into a temple of fire."

- Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī
Post Reply