Sorry to abandon my own thread, my life is a whirlwind, made by my own hands.
So, quickly reading through, I could see one loose end, and that's the practical side of things, the actual ritual approach. First, one last bit of opinionated esoterica, then nuts and bolts.
Questions arose about the true self, whether it can be changed or not, if there is or not, and all that. I tend to forget that we each experience this existence in a unique way, and can only perceive and interpret with the tools we are given through circumstance, much of which is not up to us. One is no more or less valid than another, and we each have to find our own way. Even the term witchcraft, the thing that brings us here, is mind bogglingly different to each of us.
Bearing in mind this is a public forum, I will leave the more dangerous stuff out.
The key to a ritual death is psycho-drama. I can't prescribe a specific ritual but there are games we can play:
The first is similar to what your parents or friends did when you were little, and they pretended not to be able to see or hear you, and they would walk around saying "where's Johnny?, have you seen Johnny?" and everyone would play along, this was often prompted by you hiding at first, but then they would pretend not to have found you, and suddenly you were invisible. There you are waving your hands and yelling, and you are invisible. This, with the simple addition of "oh, didn't you hear? he died" or something similar, if played out long enough can have a devastating effect. The people involved are instructed to just keep doing it at long as they have to. The "dead" person will have to use mental techniques to help convince himself that he has truly died, and is a ghost walking around among the living. The rebirth happens after the departed has slept, and when he wakes up, he his greeted by the same people as someone new, and welcomed into the group.
Again, specific elements have to be decided on according to group lore.
Another option is the mock funeral. this can go many ways. One way is to have the person lie in state, surrounded by a number of personal possessions, each member of the group takes one thing, in remembrance of the person that passed as the "body" lies perfectly still in a state of complete relaxation, but not sleep. The former person is eulogized, last rights are given, and he is borne away by those he knew in life. Where the person is taken can vary, a "burial chamber" in a basement, hole dug in the ground, or other similar arrangement(just don't actually bury someone). The next step is for the person to be awakened by whatever death deity is relevant, a group member in costume and mask, who demands payment for crossing over, or guides the departed through the underworld and eventually back to life. One way of doing this is by having the departed surrender his old clothes, the vestiges of his former life, in return for a new set, or some similar act.
Other elements can be exchanged or added, such as cremation of an effigy, funerary processions, wakes, etc.
But, sometimes you don't have a group to work with. Solo death rituals can be as effective, but again I'm leaving out the stuff that could get someone hurt, including the way I did it myself. The role of the individual in both a group setting and solo is similar. You have to contemplate death, and what it means, for a long time. This includes separating yourself from attachments to the elements of your life as it is now to the greatest extent possible. I don't mean actually getting rid of things or giving stuff away, but developing the full understanding that all of what you have in this world is temporary, and ultimately meaningless, including the body you inhabit, your habits, your preferences. Realize that all of these elements could have been very different, and are merely accessories and learned affectations.
When working solo, you can set up a mock grave site, complete with headstone or another kind of marker and visit it regularly, hanging around it like a ghost. Create a physical representation of your death deity and place it in some far away place that is hard to get to, then later, make the journey on foot, alone to it in order to "meet your death" spend some time with it in the underworld, leave a token of yourself, and return to a "new life". Or simply find a place that represents the death part of the life cycle to you and remain there, perfectly still, unable to move for a predetermined amount of time, with the attitude that your body is no longer yours and is vulnerable to whatever forces are present(wind, cold, insects, hobos--ok, not hobos). Naturally you don't want to do this in a place where you will be disturbed, or eaten alive by something, or could freeze to death). Do whatever works in order to get the idea into your psyche that this is the end of the life you were living. You will reach a point of release, after which comes a feeling of complete freedom. This is the desired result.
I hope this helps those that are curious.