Channeling the dead, summoning demons, and divination of spirits is an art that has been practiced throughout ancient history. King Solomon, Saint Cyprian, and Marie Laveau are some of the most famous conjurers regarding spirit summoning. This tradition of asking spirits and other entities for advice, divination, and to run errands is stronger than ever, especially with many people taking a renewed interest in the occult and communicating with passed loved ones.

The art of spirit communication and summoning is called necromancy. “Necro” meaning “dead”, and “mancy” meaning “magic” in Latin. From ancient Egyptian stories to the Bible, necromancy has made appearances as a way to divine, or have servants to carry out bidding. While magic through an approved religious priesthood was acceptable, those that spoke with the dead were generally feared and ostracized throughout almost all history of major cultures. Witches, those who usually practiced taboo magic outside of the sanctioned religious practices, were viewed as dangerous for having power over not just nature, but the dead. Witches have been blamed for influencing politics, weather, crops, and more because of this fear.

Necromancy falls under the category of nigromancy, “nigro” meaning black in Latin — in other words it is “black magic”. This is quite important, because until recently, contacting the dead and any entity was seen as part of the dark side of magic. This belief has flipped a 180 and is now seen as white magic – as long as it is SANCTIONED BY THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.

The watering down of original beliefs in order to force it into a paradigm that is its “opposite” is a popular notion that has consequences. It is now acceptable to talk to loved ones, or claim to, but not to speak with entities that aren’t sanctioned deities or ‘nice’ spirits. This is hypocrisy, because many of these beings have ‘two-faces’. These gifts, and attempts, originally belonged to those that were fearless enough to go against the norm to get what they needed or wanted. It wasn’t a fad, and it was very serious. There was always an understood payment, which varied in practice and cultural ideals.

Now everything is instant gratification and entitlement. The practice has changed from being respectful (even fearful) of entities to treating them like they owe us something for simply being human. This spills into people’s practices, as they no longer give offerings or an exchange of energy with those they claim to work with, expecting the entity to be their slave. I would put New Age mediums in this category, too. Love and Light is not an offering –and it won’t protect you from something that most people don’t even understand.

Because the art of respect and courtesy, along with not learning the fundamentals, is being lost, there have been a rise in problems regarding the dead and other entities. I have seen attachments and possessions rapidly become more common in the last five years. People are confused as to why their methods backfire or don’t turn out as expected – after all they are all powerful humans that control their destiny! These delusions will bring about calamity, and sometimes a kind of death where the vessel may become empty and is utilized by whatever feels free to step in. I have seen several of these empty vessels within our local community. The interesting thing is that empty vessels will tell a truth to lure in clients and then lie throughout the rest of the session – something that is warned about in historical anecdotes when working with spirits.

Necromancy should only be reserved to those that not only dare (and have strong will), but know how spirits and entities work, and what they really are. Most of the dead called on are not even there. Most of these ‘mediums’ have an attachment whispering in their ear, telling them what the client wants to hear. There are some of the older rules and teachings that can be bent, but many are on point, such as identifying what spirits you are working with, being able to discern and command the truth, and giving offerings.

I work with many types of entities, and occasionally the dead. I have found that their personalities are diverse as the living. When working with the dead it is important to remember that if they are truly spirits – then they did not pass on and they will be the same type of person in death. That means that the father who was cruel to his family isn’t suddenly going to feel ‘sorry’ for his actions and want to tell his family he loves them and he’s going to a better place. It does mean that he will still justify his actions, and carry them out if he is displeased on the other side, too. People do not usually change during life, and even less in death. Anyone that claims different is trying to sell you a product –exchanging your hope for their greed and pride. It should also be noted that most people can’t contact those that have already been reborn or completely crossed over, because those types of souls are no longer within the realm of the Dead that intersects with the physical world.

One of the things that a lot of different older systems do warn about is that spirits do not like to be disturbed and they will lie. It is a given that they will lie. There are operations, devices, and tools that can be used to discern the truth. There are ways to bind an entity to truth – but that only works on lower level entities. This is also where you have to listen close to wording; if it is ambiguous then the entity is not willing to comply to what you wish to accomplish. Also, because of the evolution of words, meaning may have changed over time. This is why it is good to know the time period in which a spirit resided in life. I have other articles that goes more into the art of wording and vocabulary, one of which you can find here.

Offerings are another thing that the dead love. It shows respect, and gives them an anchor to this world. When a person channels without an offering, one of two things happen – the spirit will take energy from the vessel (leading to days of being tired or getting sick), or they will anchor themselves to the vessel to either feed through psychic connections, or possess the body itself. This is also why it’s important to have spotters during sessions; you may need other people to help push out the spirit and cut the left over cords. There is NEVER NOT an exchange of energy. It will be taken forcefully if an agreement isn’t arranged before hand. This goes for all entities, even one’s claiming to be ‘aliens’.

Regarding offerings, especially if what shows up isn’t the ‘true’ entity called on, you may noticed an increase of energy and suddenly want to get people to follow the entity. This is a different kind of exchange – essentially you are enticing people to feed a parasitical entity through you. This is how a lot of newer ‘cult’ leaders thrive; they are using their ecstatic spiritual experience to bring in new followers to a certain entity (sometimes one they let permanently possess their physical body). The congregation, or worshipers, in turn feed the entity with their own devotion.

This is why it is important to learn ‘stops’ and devices for truth telling and identifying a ‘spirit’ – many times they are actually entities that are vying for more power and have nothing to do with the intended being. This invitation anchors and feeds them.

Though energy and magic is neutral, it is important to remember that it all has consequences. Many which most people do not want to pay. So, here is a list of things to remember about necromancy:

  1. Any technique in order to communicate with the dead is necromancy, including channeling and summoning the dead, and is historically tied to black magic.

  2. The dead are the same as they are in life. This means their base personality and intentions are the same. It is also harder to change in death than in life.

  3. Making contact isn’t exclusive to any one religion or belief – and doesn’t make it more ‘evil’ or ‘good’ in one or the other. It is still necromancy.

  4. The dead, like all entities, need offerings or some kind of an exchange of energy – otherwise they will forcefully take what they want (sometimes more than needed). This can lead to severe fatigue and illnesses.

  5. Channeling is a form of possession (you are letting something enter your body to communicate), and therefore you must take the same precautions as you would for any invocation.

  6. The dead are notorious for lying – just like the living. Learn skills and/or use tools that help you discern the truth, and even bind them from lying. Just because you hear what you want, or what the client wants, does not mean it is is the truth – beware an overly friendly spirit.

  7. Know thyself! This allows for you to catch any odd behaviors or emotions you are exhibiting. This may mean you have an attachment or possession from communicating with an entity or spirit. I would suggest a cleansing and cord cutting after each session. You can find instructions for cord cutting and cleansing from these links.

  8. Love and Light, Jesus Christ, etc., is not going to hold sway on a lot of souls left behind. These are purely human constructions and thought forms. It is best to find older, ancient deities that can remove possessions (I find Anubis to be one of the best). You may also want to bring servitors and guardians which can help prevent accidents, and can help disengage with the dead. I would suggest asking a psychopomp like Samael, Azrael, Michael, Anubis, Osiris, Hekate, Hermes, Ereshkigal, etc. for suggestions to receive a Guardian or guide if you are working heavily with the dead. These usually require contracts themselves, but are a great way to have protection when working with any entity. Sometimes those that are viewed as ‘dark’ are better protectors and mediators. After all, Dark is just an energy and has no moral value.

  9. Not everything that claims to be a spirit of the dead is what it claims. Many beings claim to be something they are not in order to feed, or achieve status. This is why it is important to know how to discern truth, learn signatures of certain types of beings, and learn what types of behaviors are exhibited by the dead versus other entities. I’ve seen low level entities be mistaken for the dead, demons, and even deities.

  10. Safety First! It’s okay to abort evocations and invocations. Learn how to do this and practice before doing an actual ritual; this includes channeling. This is also why I suggest spotters if you have other practitioners that can help.

I would not suggest that those who are beginning magic and ritual interact with any beings that are related to death, chaos, and demons. The reason is that these beings themselves are dangerous and tricksters. You have to know yourself and be confident in your skills and abilities in order for these interactions to work – but it doesn’t make it any less dangerous. This is why precautionary action is needed, and after care. The ability to cut cords, detect behavioral changes, bless yourself and location, to win in a struggle of Will (which is more than determination – it is also knowing your strengths and weaknesses), and banish anything you call up, is essential. Some people are fast learners and have the power, for others it may take years or never. Gauging this ability means setting aside the falsities of ‘nothing can harm you if you don’t let it’ and that being human automatically puts you over dominion of all things (it doesn’t). You wouldn’t challenge a hungry female bear in heat with nothing but your bare hands, and you shouldn’t be challenging anything that can make your life a literal hell either.

Necromancy and witchcraft in general should be left to those that are willing to assess and take risks. Realizing that everything you do has consequences and it will eventually catch up to you – though maybe not how you imagined it.

In closing, necromancy is not a game. It’s not something to dabble in for fun, and it shouldn’t be used for mundane tasks like asking forgiveness or closure. It is, like all magic, a real force with real consequences. It should only be used after considering all the possible consequences, and then accepting whatever those consequences may be; regardless if they were calculated or not.

Remember, the dead are the same as they are in life, and that there are entities out there that are willing to do anything to capture you under their influence. This should help you with your decision regarding using ritual or possession to communicate with the dead. Is it worth it? Are you strong enough? Are you respectful? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before performing necromantic rituals. Stay smart, stay safe.


Photo Credit: Seeking Credit