The Summerlands

The Summerland is the name given by Witches/Wiccans and other earth-based religions for their conceptualisation of an afterlife. Belief in reincarnation or the spiral of life, death, and rebirth is a major part of the Wiccan religion.

The common portrayal of the Summerland is as a place of rest for souls in between their earthly incarnations. All Wiccan believe in something different, that is one of the many things makes this religion and way of life so great.

Some believe that after one experiences life to its fullest, and has come to know and understand every aspect and emotion of physical human life (usually after many reincarnations), their deity will allow them to stay in the Summerland for an eternal afterlife, although this belief is not universal amongst Neopagans. Another common element is that the soul has little, if any, recollection of the Summerland once it arrives on the mortal plane again.

The basic Wiccan belief of reincarnation is that you are energy, a shapeless, sexless form that moves from one body which is no longer needed to the next. You are placed on Earth to learn a lesson. Each incarnation you are born into, you must learn or relearn a different lesson through experiencing a variety of different lifestyles. When you have learned all you need to learn in your present life, you move on, die. Death is not seen as a punishment or a bad thing, but in a way, it’s a good thing. It means you have completed one step on the in carnal ladder. After you die, you are brought to the Summerland which is kind of like the Wiccan equivalent of Heaven, but since we have no devil, we have no Hell. The Summerland is where the spirits that presently do not have an earthly body wait for the right time to return to Earth. It is known by many names and is often referred to as the Land of Eternal Summe.

While some Pagans may hold the Summerland to be their afterlife, the majority of people who believe in the Summerland are on the Witchcraft path or Wiccan. The essence of the Summerland is that it is a resting ground where souls can reflect on the life they led, see if they learned the lesson they had intended on learning, and then try again in due course. Most Wiccans generally believe in reincarnation - not everyone does, however. Wiccans don't believe in a heaven, or hell, instead many believe that after death the soul leaves the body, and returns to Earth in a new form. Some people believe that in between incarnations your soul resides in the Summerland. This is a place somewhat similar to heaven, where you can meet loved ones who have also passed away, and review what you learned in your last life. Alternatively, others believe that you will go to the Summerland once your soul has finished reincarnating, and you have learned everything you need to.

While on the astral plane or Summerland or heaven or nirvana or what ever you want to call it our souls are still imperfect. We have not learned all the lessons that we need to learn and so Samsara is ours. Samsara is the cycle of death and rebirth of a soul in other words energy. We do know and can also prove that you cannot destroy energy of any kind. It simple goes somewhere else or becomes part of another energy.
If you burn a piece of wood for example you have not destroyed its energy you have simply changed it. So what happens when we die? Our bodies return to the earth in the form of decay thus adding to earth. What happens to our soul though. If you measure the electromagnetic energy of a living person and then when that person dies do it again the reading will be abundantly less.

I think that what you believe determines this. Its really the same place for all of us but our minds see things differently so we all go to very different place but the same place to. Its called the astral plane or any of 100's of names it is given.
While in the death phase of Samsara we take a look at all of our lives that we have ever lived. Then we decide what we need to learn how to do in our next life. For instance say in all of your lives you have been brilliant in business but a not a very good father you would choose to learn to be a better father. That being decided you wait in your..realm...for the people you choose to teach you these things. Then you are reborn to those people. So lets say you picked a couple that are or will be the right influence on you to to learn your objective. (You know because you can see things differently where you are.) You would be born to this couple and they would set the founding stones for you. You will grow up and live your life with good teachers but it is up to you to learn the lesson and follow through.
At the end of your cycle if you have learned what you set out to learn then you move on and repeat. If you don't well then you just have to try again.

Death is the last life passage each of us will experience. Wiccans view death as a natural part of life. Often some sort of reincarnation is a part of each individual's beliefs. Many Wiccans choose to start working on the death passage before actual death. If a person is known to be dying, Wiccans will often make an effort to visit the person, talk and make their peace with him or her, or at least visit one last time. Hopefully, the person who is dying will not be fearful or anxious about the coming final Initiation. Wiccans will be sad at the coming loss, but also hopeful of a rest in the Summerland's, a place where Wiccans go between lives. It is said to be a place of eternal summer, warm, green, and pleasant. The spirits of those who have gone before are there and will greet the person upon arrival. Those who have passed away are still among us in spirit, and they can manifest themselves to the living in various ways. Many Wiccans have had what they consider to be concrete proof that there is life after death. The dying person will try to make peace with the world, and prepare for the transition ahead.

The Wiccan memorial celebration is not as codified as the other life passages are. Death is a natural part of life. Wiccans celebrate the mystery of death each year at Samhain, so we already have a yearly mourning period set aside in one of our eight Sabbats. A Wiccan memorial can consist of a Circle and a group singing of the Lyke Wake Dirge which although a song, is a magickal Circle and rite in and of itself, and celebrates the cyclic nature of life and death. Some groups will have a Circle in which each person offers a short memorial about the deceased. There may be prayers for an easy passage or a pleasant sojourn in the Summerland's. In the case of a sudden death, there may have been psychic trauma for the soul of the deceased (which is one theory for the existence of ghosts). Then the person may need help to spiritually pass beyond. The group will try to aid in this with prayer and loving energy which can help the spirit on its journey to the Summerland's.


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