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In various systems of religious belief, a being, such as a god or a person acting as a shaman, who guides the spirits of the dead to the afterlife or the otherworld.

[Greek psūkhopompos : psūkhē, soul; see bhes- in Indo-European roots + pompos, guide (from pempein, to send, escort).]


(Poetry) poetry a mythical figure who guides souls to the place of the dead
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.psychopomp - a conductor of souls to the afterworld; "Hermes was their psychopomp"
imaginary being, imaginary creature - a creature of the imagination; a person that exists only in legends or myths or fiction
References in periodicals archive ?
taking the form of a resplendent Colombian Army battalion for one Indian, while a white colonist encountered a shape-shifting tiger-devil in the person of his shamanic psychopomp (Shamanism 327).
In this context, the White Rabbit is a clear example of what is known in most of the world's mythologies as a psychopomp, or guide of souls.
What is striking is that both rituals require the participation of a young man, in the second case, specifically a virgin boy, the classic psychopomp of late Hellenistic theurgy.
On a number of funerary monuments Epona seems to play the role of guardian of the dead or of psychopomp, overseeing the transition from this life to the next.
Through three generations of Grand Guignol insanity, Nael Eltoukhy's sly psychopomp of a narrator is our guide not only to the teeming cast of pimps, dealers, psychotics and half-wits and the increasingly baroque chronicles of their exploits, but also to the moral of his tale.
38) Priam's entire expedition to Achilles' tent is well-known for being a figurative katabasis (39) in which Hermes serves as psychopomp, to which his role as "guide of dreams" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], Hymn.
Angel and Psychopomp in Madeleine L'Engle's 'Wind Trilogy.
In the west a sorcerer is of a type related to Faust--one who has bargained his soul in hopes of gaining what he shouldn't have been trying to discover in the first place--whereas a shaman remains a ethnographic term, relating most directly to the spiritual explorer, healer, psychopomp and conjuror of otherworldly landscapes found universally in aboriginal tribes.
In a separate fragment, the speaker addresses Hermes, "the guide of souls," a psychopomp deity, with a very explicit desire to leave the earth for Hades, here metonymically designated by the river Acheron: "Great Hermes stood before my bed,/And Lord Most High I cried to him,/My joys are done;/All my great prosperity,/So help me Love
Similarly, the elite in Super-Cannes are salvaged by the psychoanalyst Walter Penrose, described on the first page of the novel as an "amiable Prospero, the psychopomp who steered our darkest dreams towards the daylight" (Ballard 2000, 3).
17) The pilgrim's Christ acts as a guide, a psychopomp, who conducts the troubled soul to some resolution.
They are watched over by Jizo ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), an important psychopomp (i.