The Journey into Spirit: A Pagan’s Perspective on Death, Dying, and Bereavement by Kristoffer Hughes

By Thea Prothero

The Journey into Spirit: A Pagan’s Perspective on Death, Dying, and Bereavement by Kristoffer Hughes | Llewellyn Publications | ISBN 9780738740751

This is Hughes’ most pivotal work to date, a highly significant and multi-layered guide to death.

Fans of his writing will not be disappointed as he sets his mind to everything relating to leaving this mortal coil. Hughes lays his heart bare, sharing his own personal, deeply moving experiences as both the bereaved, as when losing his beloved sister, and as autopsy technician for the Crown Coroners Service.

He analyses death from a scientific point of view, which could be difficult to read or comforting, depending on your point of view.

The book is divided into four parts, the first three based around Iolo Morganwg’s three circles of existence: Abred is the circle of physical existence, birth, life and the inevitability of death, and how this begins the cycle again. Then comes Gwynvyd, the spirit, which studies the grief process, and Ceugant, realm of infinity.

The final part of the book consists of a series of rituals, practices and celebrations, including rituals for the dying, a Druid funeral and a whole chapter on the origins of shamen.

There are also suggestions for making your own Samhain ancestor altar, something my family does every year.

This is The Book of the Dead for Pagans and I simply can’t recommend it enough.