Monday, March 28, 2011

Ceremonial Magic Fads: Necromancy

I have noticed that the CM (Ceremonial MagicK) community has often pointed their finger at the New Age community and jeered at them for being to faddish. The idea that New Agers glom onto this fad, that fad & the latest fad. Often, there is truth to these accusations since most New Agers do not know the history nor cultural settings of things like fire walking, Chakra Power centers, Crystals, Feng Shui and so on. However, the CM community is equally as bad....

Since my joining the on-line community in January 1997, I have noticed an ever growing number of CM’s ‘adopting’ (as they are wont to say it) methods, techniques & such the say New Agers have done with their own interests. Such things as Hoodoo, RootWork, Candle Magic, Root Bags, Vodu, and lately, Necromancy.

While it does not hurt to involve some things such as giving offerings to Spirits in Evocations, even though the bibles of such things (re: the grimoires) do not mention it, too many CM’s want to copy how things are done in the African Traditional Religions and then claim it as something they’ve been doing for years.

I actually had an ATR teacher, an Obeah man from South Florida who was well versed in both Obeah & CM who suggested I do this & that. Some of that I shared with various Yahoo Groups over the years and amazing how many of those techniques & ideas wound up in people’s books, blogs & on their websites as their own.

Still the idea of paying one of the 72 from the Goetia for work performed was an idea that many traditional CM’s thought was stupid. Their attitude was if it’s not written in the bibles (re: the grimoires), then it’s not in the plan. I gave candles, oils, incense, food & liquor to any Spirit I summoned be they from the Goetia to the Grimoirium Verum to the Le Dragon Rouge as a matter of course. Now it’s a household thing.

But that alone is not enough. Then we had the CM’s who felt it’s necessary to go & become ATR. One had to go & become a Babalawo, several Houngans and Mambos in Vodu and a number of them were Palero’s. It’s like there was this massive push to join the ATR & find SOMEONE, ANYone to teach them African Traditional Magic. Funny though that a number of them opted for the typical people who bounce around out there on the Web as a Mambo or some of the loudmouths in the Yahoo Group’s ATR lists posing as Houngans or Paleros. (But that’s another rant all its own)

NOW it seems everyone & their brother in CM are claiming they know how to practice Necromancy. Um excuse me Since when? Just because you find a few scant references to it in Egyptian & Greek sources? Or you have learned (through yours truly) in Yahoo Groups how to salute your Ancestors & set up an Ancestral shrine? LoL Were it that simple & easy. Those are just the first steps and not the end all to working with the Dead.

Yes there are some Paleros out there who brag on lists about how to do Palo (a big no-no I might add) but in truth, what you’re doing with the Dead is playing a game, not practicing Necromancy. The Dead are dangerous and just because you can summon & command attention from Raum, Orobas, Seere, Dantalion, Bael & a few others, does not mean you’re going to have a simple run of it working with the Dead. If it were simple, everyone would be doing it.

Necromancy is another art all together. While it is a great idea to have some skills in the area of evocation & summoning Spirits, that’s not everything. The Dead do not have to listen to you. Why? You have no Spiritual Authority!

Oh sure, Jesus said you can exorcize evil Spirits in his name, so what? He was talking Demons, not Joe Sixpack who died six months ago in prison after being repeatedly raped in the shower. That Joe Sixpack is far more dangerous than any of the Goetia. Jesus never said anything about dealing with the Dead; he was talking about higher Spiritual beings such as Demons, not Daimons or Daemons or the Dead. Trying to exorcize a Guede (one of the Dead) in Jesus’ name is fun to watch. The Spirit gets agitated & typically leaves only because most humans are stupid & won’t listen. BUT the Dead guy always comes back unless He is dealt with by someone with real, valid Spiritual authority.

Now even with valid Spiritual authority, trying to exorcize a house or a Spirit from someone is a very dangerous situation. LBRP’s do not work on them; Hexagram rituals do not work on them; telling them to get out does not work on them; threatening them in Jesus the Christ’s name does not work on them; none of that jive you’ve been taught to believe works.

It takes Spiritual authority, knowledge & skill to remove them from a house or out of someone and there is the danger that the exorcist doing it may have the Spirit try & jump on him/her! Your little Hoodoo tricks won’t work with them and you may end up pissing the Geude off even more - much like morons do when they try to exorcize the Spirit in the name of Jesus or Yahweh.

Necromancy is a tricky business & it takes a sense of professionalism & know how to deal with these entities. Sure many of the Dead are no longer around here - they’ve moved on. Okay, so what of it? There are plenty who have unfinished business & are ready to tear someone a new asshole. I’ve seen guys who are well experienced in evocations try to force a rogue Geude who is all pissed off, in the name of Bune or Lucifer which is as silly as trying to get the Spirit to obey & behave in the name of Jesus.

Yes there is a lot to read out there on Necromancy as many scholars uncover old Greek & Roman methods but what those scholars are NOT telling you is that even if you know a technique, and you have no Spiritual authority behind you, why should the Spirit listen to you at all? What’s in it for them?


  1. Wow, I had no idea that you started a blogspot blog. I will pop up a notice and link on my blog. Nice looking design as well.

  2. Oh, and your notes on spiritual authority are spot on. All the tech in the world is not worth as much as a gesture from someone with genuine authority.

  3. I've been a professional exorcist for years, having traveled the world doing it and I've used hoodoo to do it just fine ;-)

  4. I love your blog, thank you for all the vital information. I am also in the practice of giving daily offerings to Hekate, Inanna, Pan, Demons, Ancestors, etc. I'm from South Africa, so i work very much with traditional African witchcraft (Sangomaism). It's incredibly hard to find written material on real witchcraft, especially around here where it is the "taboo", regardless of the fact that there are so many witches here, we have to pretty much hide it. I have Jason Miller's book on protection Magick, and it's like my bible. LOL. But you are so right, simply summoning the Dead is a stupid move. I have not attempted it as I know that as far as spiritual authority goes, i have infinite more to gain before attempting such shenanigans. I prefer to grow in my relationship with all Energy forces, whether it be the Gods, Demons, Daemons, Ancestors, or the Dead in general, through offerings and simply being 'at peace' with them, and hoping for the same in return. But I know that as far as necromancy goes, it's much too big for someone such as myself to handle right now. But definitely a practice I desire to 'master' when the time is right with the needed authority. And I think that's why giving offerings is so important, to build that respectful relationship(so as to avoid getting another asshole indeed). If you look at some religions (i won't mention names so as not to offend anyone), it's mostly based on what God can do for us, instead of what we can do for the Gods/Spirits/etc. In my Craft I have found that it's a 2-way street, to give as much as you can out of love and respect, and what you are given in return is always a gift. Thus there is no "leeching" of human energy upon God/Spirit energy, which I've found to usually end in a disaster of whatever sorts. Blessed be.

  5. Just found out you had a blog through Strategic Sorcery, and am most definitely looking forward to reading more. This is a topic I was discussing just last week after finding Martin Colemans work on Necromancy in the back of my shelf. You are dead on brother M, and I have, on two occasions, watched and laughed while inexperienced "practitioners" tried to cleanse a residence of such a spirit. In one case the spirit being cast out was a criminal who had been shotgunned in the home. The CM attempting to cleanse and exorcize was absolutely convinced with his trusty Golden Dawn style banishings would be more than enough. Didn't work out so well for the fella :)

    Anyway glad to have found you on the blogosphere and thanks for always having the testicular fortitude to say what the rest are thinking!

    M Cecchetelli

  6. I sure am glad you wrote this. Boy oh boy am I tired of the grimoiric mages talking on and on about Atr this and Atr that and how it is SO important to evocation work. Blah blah blah. Who cares...

    I mentioned once on a yahoo group that it wasn't necessary to follow Atr practices to be a good Grimoiric Mage, relying instead on the philosophies written at the time the grimoires were penned and borrowing from other grimoires, and I nearly got my head chopped off by the founders of said yahoo group.

    The point being, Atr and necromancy trends are not essential to grimoiric magic.

  7. Moloch,

    Rather than making an ill advised post mocking this subject, I have some questions to ask you (as you apparently wrote handbooks I don't have):

    You note that Necromancy, as such, is not in the grimoires. This is somewhat divergent from both my experience and some of the texts I have made use of, or tried to make use of, in the past. In particular, CLM 849 (the Munich Handbook) conflates the spirits of the dead and more proto-typical treatments of nigromantic demons. It even includes scrying instructions, albeit in Latin, that are similar to the ones used in Classical Greece (using bowls and fluid mixtures within). I was never sure what to make of the text in the past, but I've been reflecting on it and the Geosophia, as well of your comments, of late.

    Where do you see the distinctions between the dead, and the more potent and dangerous demons in the typically used grimoires? Do ritual structures significantly change with that distinction in your work? For example, do protection techniques or pacifications techniques change with the work that you're doing? And where can I find your comments on these subjects? Can I buy a book of essays you've written or something somewhere?