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Ancient and Modern Myth of Psychopomps

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Grim Reaper

photo via wikipedia
photo via wikipedia

It presumably comes as meager astound that the most obvious spot on the rundown is taken by the Grim Reaper. Spoken to as a skeleton convey a sickle and wearing a dark shroud subsequent to around the fifteenth century, he has turned into the most generally known (and dreaded) of every last one of psychopomps.

There is some contention in respect to whether the Grim Reaper really murders his prey by touching them with his finger, or essentially gathers the souls as their bodies pass on of different reasons. He could be haggled with or deceived by mortals looking to secure longer life, for example, in “The Seventh Seal”, where he played chess against a knight for his spirit.


photo via wikipedia
photo via wikipedia

Thanatos may not include as noticeably as Charon or Hermes—but rather as the embodiment of death, he merits a higher spot. He was abhorred by mortals and immortals alike, in light of the fact that he was pitiless and unpredictable. For all his savagery, he was known to have been deceived every so often most broadly by Sisyphus—or simply beaten physically, as he was by Heracles. Thanatos is normally portrayed as a winged youth, conveying a sword, and he is generally indicated with his sibling, Hypnos, the lord of slumber.


photo via wikipedia
photo via wikipedia

Anubis (who was later supplanted by Osiris as the Egyptian psychopomp) comes in at number three on the rundown. The jackal-headed god was tasked with controlling souls to Duat, the Egyptian underworld, where they would be judged by lives. Under Anubis’ watch, their hearts (which were accepted by Egyptians to contain their souls) were weighed against a plume speaking to truth. On the off chance that their heart was lighter than the plume, they were permitted to proceed. In the event that their heart was excessively overwhelming with sin, Anubis would offer it to Ammit, an evil spirit known as the “Devourer of the Dead”, who would expend it.


photo via wikipedia
photo via wikipedia

Hermes was the Greek lord of business, cheats, and competitors. Broadly, he was additionally the detachment of the divine beings and this occupation obliged the armada footed Hermes to have the capacity to navigate between universes without hardly lifting a finger, which presumably clarifies why he’s likewise the lord of fringe intersections. It was additionally his business to lead the souls of the dead to the passageway of Hades, where they sat tight for Charon to lift them up. Hermes was the main Olympian god ready to visit Heaven, Earth, and Hades—a truth he appreciated gloating going to alternate divine beings. Some of his most renowned transportees incorporate the suitors of Odysseus’ wife Penelope, who were murdered when the legend at long last came back from Troy.


photo via wikipedia
photo via wikipedia

In Etruscan mythology, Charun—not to be mistaken for Charon—was known as the “Devil of Death”. He was regularly portrayed with Vanth, a goddess of the underworld. His part in death and soul recuperation was a bit diverse in correlation the vast majority of the others on this rundown. When somebody was prepared to pass on, Charun would come up to them and beat them over the head with his mallet until they were dead. He and Vanth would then take the spirit to the underworld. Charun likewise managed discipline to the individuals who were underhanded, by striking their souls over and again for time everlasting.


Mercury—the lord of business, fraud and correspondence was one of the Roman psychopomps. Quite a bit of his own mythology was in light of the Greek god Hermes, despite the fact that he obtained a little from the Etruscan god Turms also. Mercury’s occupation was to guide souls upon death to Avernus, a cavity in Italy which was said to be the passageway to the Roman underworld. One of Mercury’s more acclaimed transportees—beginning exclusively from Roman mythology—was the lovely fairy Larunda, with whom Mercury began to look all starry eyed at. He actually had intercourse to her while in transit to the underworld, and sired two kids.


While Azrael, the Angel of Death, gimmicks in Jewish and Christian mythology too, he just truly tackles the part of a psychopomp in Islamic mythology. He is said to take each spirit straight to Allah upon their demise. Be that as it may, since just Allah is said to know the exact minute when somebody should bite the dust, Azrael has no genuine force he could call his own he can just do what he is told. Berber men were once said to shave their heads, leaving a solitary tuft of hair, so that Azrael would have something to take hold of.


photo via wikipedia
photo via wikipedia

Coming in at number eight are those flying female figures referred to in Norse mythology as Valkyries (however Frejya and Odin would likewise at times go about as psychopomps for the Norse). They could be seen hovering above front lines, picking and picking which troopers would live and which would bite the dust. The men picked for exceptional thought by the Valkyries would be taken to Valhalla, where they would get to be einherjar (Old Norse for “single warriors”), and anticipate the onset of Ragnarök, the climactic “nightfall of the divine beings”. At the point when there were no fights occurring on Midgard, the Old Norse name for the spot where people abide, the Valkyries could be discovered serving mead to the einherjar.


photo via wikipedia
photo via wikipedia

A staple of Greek mythology, and a larger number of acclaimed than a portion of the others further up this rundown, Charon positions lower than them in light of the fact that he didn’t direct souls from the Earth to Hades yet simply carried them over the streams Styx (disdain) and Acheron (torment).

Not at all like numerous different psychopomps, Charon did not do this for nothing; he obliged a gift to be given to him. To pay this, individuals would place coins in the mouths of the expired, planning to pacify Charon. On the off chance that installment was not made, the spirit being referred to is said to have meandered the shores for a hundred years.


photo via wikipedia
photo via wikipedia

Xolotl takes the tenth spot on this rundown for one principle reason: he doesn’t exactly fit the bill as much as his Western partners. The lord of lightning and passing didn’t typically direct the dead to Mictlan, the Aztec underworld, however had been known to now and again. He was said to have brought fire from the underworld for people, much the same as Prometheus in Greek mythology. His most normal structure is that of a man with a pooch’s head—yet he can likewise be seen as a skeleton. Xolotl’s most acclaimed transportee was the sun, which the god was said to ensure when it wandered into the underworld during the evening.

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