Life after death means chance to heal, make amends

Life after death means chance to heal, make amends
Wisdom of Wicca

I get asked quite often what our beliefs are about death and the afterlife. Since we just left the season of death this past Ostara, now is a perfect time to go into depth as to what we, as Wiccans, believe the afterlife holds for us.

Before I get started, I will say that not every Wiccan and Pagan have the same concept of death; there are many different forms of paganism. There are some Pagans who do believe in the Abrahamic concept of heaven and hell after reincarnation. And there are Asatru-pagans who believe something more like the Norse concept of the afterlife, which would include Asgard, Valhalla and Helheim. So on and so on. These among others will be saved for a later time, because I am going to tell you the lore of the Summerlands.

In our beliefs, death is not something to be feared. In fact, we know it is inevitable and not eternal damnation. Death is a peaceful process that should be celebrated as a vital part of soul growth and treated as a sacred crossing.

Once we pass, the veil is lifted from our soul as dark space is cleared from our sight. This veil separates the physical, astral and spiritual realms. After we pass the gatekeeper, who determines if we are ready to cross over or not, we are then taken to the Summerlands, a place of neither good nor bad. Summerlands is described as the land of eternal summer solstice as is compared to the Fields of Eleusis, a place of paradise and relaxation to reflect on our life before. In crossing, we leave all physical aspects of our bodies behind; we have no name, no desire. We are our soul in its purest form, emotional and vulnerable. We can no longer hide in the shell which we call a body. We are greeted by those we have lost in the last life, our ancestors and those we know astrally through travel and flight. These greetings are of positive nature, tears of happiness, cheering, hugs. We are often held and comforted until the trauma of our physical passing has gone.

In common beliefs, Summerlands is where we walk with the god and goddess in their many forms. We are given a chance to make amends with the souls of those we have wronged or have been wronged by in the previous life, to come to terms with our mistakes and reflect on the lessons we were given to learn, as we are placed in a physical nature to learn and grow. During this time, we walk the path of what our own personal paradise would be until we are ready to move on. If we are given another reincarnation, our souls will stay in Summerlands until ready to cross back over into a physical existence — after we feel we have gotten the relaxation and resting period our souls need and deserve. This could either be back on Earth or another planet or dimension. After this, we are taken to our next life by either our loved ones or the Horned God. In some cases, we are sent through the well of souls if Earth is where our next life cycle will be.

If not given another reincarnation cycle, we are to either stay in Summerlands to help those after us cross over and live in eternal paradise or in some beliefs we are given the choice to return to wherever our soul calls home.

Another commonly asked question in relation to death is usually “What happens if someone does something horrific like murder or abuse? Is there a punishment?” Yes, in theory, it depends on how you as an individual looks at the concept. Going back to reflection on the previous life, you most always have to have some form of shadow work, facing your negative aspects, accepting and working through them, accepting yourself as a whole. Since Summerlands is neither good nor bad, emotions are what will create our afterlife. A good life will bring paradise in the beginning, whereas the guilt of wrongdoing will bring sorrow. But this is not eternal damnation. Remember, mistakes and self-inflicted trauma are not a bad thing; it’s all about processing and learning until you are able to do better.

Raven Ebonywing serves as the Microsoft Teams events coordinator for Aquarian Tabernacle Church International. She is a second-year student at Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary and student of Lady Belladonna Laveau. She also serves as the high priestess in the WISE tradition of Creation’s Grimoire Church of Wicca in Bentonville and is a member of the Benton County Interfaith Alliance. Email her at

Categories: Wisdom of Wicca