Necromancy 101

by Leilah Wendell

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Stop me if you've heard this one. "Necromancy is a dark and dangerous practice so make sure that you stand in your magic circle to protect yourself from evil spirits." Puhlease! Don't tell me that some people still buy into that antique mumbo jumbo. Although, with the advent of the internet, we have immediate access to all types of "information", and when one does an innocent search for a topic, one never knows if the information procured is unbiased and accurate, or simply the by-product of dis-informed minds seeking to perpetuate fear mostly due to sheer ignorance. Case in point, Necromancy, a simple little word that commands a whole gamut of hyperbole. Oh, the sites you'll see! Now folks, I'm not someone who publicly enjoys bitching and moaning (that often), but everyone has that one niggling thing that just sticks in their craw enough to yell ouch outloud.

Folks, it's time to put away all the bad old books inspired by christain fear, intolerance, ignorance and dogma bias and open yourselves to a purer, unconditional level of consciousness. Necromantic practice is aligned with neither the 'right' nor the 'left' hand path. It is simply an acute attunement to what I like to call, the "death energy", an affiliation and natural affinity some people have for the current of transition. It is a fact that some people just feel more at home among the dead rather than the living. Most of the historical information on necromancy is so heavily steeped in the christain religion that such "staples" of the craft like The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish and The Grand Grimoire by A.E Waite, the Malleus Maleficarum and anything by Eliphas Levi, while fun reading as a teenager, are no longer a viable nor accurate view of necromancy in today's world where many belief pantheons overlap to create the multi-cultural society we live in. The world is a big, diverse place no longer bounded by the harsh constraints that produced these types of fear-inspired texts. It amazes me that there are several sites out there purporting to be 'lefthand path" necromancy that simply reiterate the same old christian based texts as their "Grimoires".

True necromancy, or what I prefer to call Necromantic Practice can only be achieved when all elements of fear are eradicated. Necromantic Practice does not involve dominance and servitude. In other words, the spirits of the dead, or of Death Itself, are not at the magician's beck and call, nor will they, nor "He" do your "bidding". It is only the arrogant soul that believes this. One cannot "conjure" nor "command" spirits.

In earlier times, Necromantic rituals were often elaborately ghoulish, and irreverently brutal. Because of this, Necromancy (or divination through the dead) was considered a "black" art. Something engaged in only by practitioners of "sinister magic". True Necromantic workings, however, do not involve using brutality, desecration of the dead, or any other practice that one would consider the antithesis of reverence. Such methods are the trappings of fear and ignorance. We do not seek to have the dead tell us our futures, nor to call souls back from that distant realm to do our bidding. In High Necromantic practice, the cadaver is simply a consecrated catalyst - an empty chalice, if you will, that we will attempt to fill with a potent spirit. It is the host body. The death house is not violated, nor is the host. All elements are treated with the love and sacrosanctity a true magician must have if he or she ever hopes to succeed in contacting and sharing consciousness with non-corporeal entities.

Necromantic rituals are neither "black" nor "white" magic. They are rites of twilight, a merging of dark and light in a beautiful and natural union where all dividing lines become a blur. Black and white are simply sides of the same coin of Truth. There is no balance of one without the other. Everything in the universe must have its balancing factor, or there would be no universe at all. There is great beauty and divinity in the darkness, though fear of the unknown keeps many from looking. If you have an open heart and are pure of spirit, you may be graced by the presence of spirits, but only when one is humbled by Love and perforce of Faith will one be ready to receive their message and appreciate the visitation for what it is. Contact with spirits, whether the spirits of the dead, or "higher" entities entails responsibility. It is not a game to be engaged in for egocentric purposes. You can play in your magic circle until one day you are mature enough to realize that no circle is necessary, nor can such trappings of man contain any energies outside of our realm.

Many people believe that if they 'raise' the dead, that they can tell one's future because spirits are not bounded by time and space as we know it. However, if a spirit has something vital to impart to you, IT will call upon you, not vice-versa. The dead have better things to do and a higher purpose to serve than to be someone's personal, on-call seer. Necromantic pratice entails respect and reverence not only for the spirits of the dead, but for the spirit of Death, Itself. So, if you are sincerely seeking to engage in necromancy, ask yourself this-

How willing a lover would you be to Death?


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