We are discussing necromancy. Keep in mind, I can discuss many things that I may or may not practice.
Necromancy is actually very simple, as well as being highly controversial. It has been called a lot of things, and maybe one of the clearest is bone reading. Do any of you have in your possession the remains of one of your loved ones, like an urn with ashes or something? My own deceased family members urns are buried.
My Mom wouldn’t like anything like that in the house. It would be uncomfortable for her. Ah, good point. People have an intuition about the remains of the dead, and it’s often not rational.
Now necromancy isn’t what it’s commonly shown as necessarily, but necromancy is as old as Shamanic practices themselves. Necro = dead, and mancy = knowing or knowledge.
It is more than just being able to call up spirits at will? Yes, actually. In a sense, it’s the first idea anyone had about death, the afterlife, and prayer. Originally, people didn’t see the dead as “dead and gone”. It was sort of a big mystery about what exactly happened to the animating force or “spirit” when they died. Nor was it understood exactly what the significance of the remains was, but they intuited something was there.
I think it was less a mystery to many old Shamanic cultures. I will agree with you that it was less of a mystery. Originally, the idea of calling to and contacting the ancestors wasn’t seen as evil. Nor were the dead seen as merely impotent spirits that could mutter things to you only.
So they influenced the world more? Yes. They didn’t really have any scientific notions. For one, people just sort of intuited that however the mind worked, that in all likelihood it could still work, and they had the experience of the spirit of the dead still living on in their dream time. This is why there are so many superstitions about sleep. If you dreamed of your dead Granny or Grandpa, in their view it was your dead Granny or Grandpa, and oneiromancy, or divination by dreams, has and has always had a connection to necromancy.
What does oneiro mean? Oneiro = dream, but more literally it was a reference to dreaming spirit. In old dream beliefs, what happens when you are in contact with that world was seen as having really happened. So the dead could make things happen ,and by practicing necromancy you could contact, and not only communicate, but ask or even compel favours from the dead. It’s linked to another discipline known as aeromancy. The conjuration of airy or “etherial” forms” not really connected to some of the idea it is today.
Now as the Shamanistic views sort of fell away, and people moved into an agrarian and thus city dwelling culture, no one really escaped the mysteries of death. Honestly, can anyone really get those ideas out of their mind? It’s as prevalent as our view of life.
That death is bad you mean? Well, some fear, but no. Some cultures do not view death as bad, and they are seen as more “necromancy tolerant” cultures. Voodoo has elements of necromancy, and the old Druid traditions did as well. Necromancy later became sort of decentralized, but even western Europe didn’t truly rid themselves of their “mediums” though they weren’t called that back then. But with the rise of organized religion, and the more or less equivalences of religion with nation, necromancy sort of went underground especially in Christian dominated countries.
They needed to keep death a mystery? Yes.
They needed to not have their heads cut off for being witches etc. Well yes, necromancers faced very real threat.
Was it because the only spirit they want you to know about is God, and any others were evil or considered evil? Actually, no. It was viewed in later cultures, specifically Christian cultures, as pagan. But it was only later viewed this way, and this is not a Jewish view. It’s uniquely Christian. That the only way a spirit could come back was through the agency of Christ, and therefore a necromancer couldn’t possibly be contacting the dead. It had to be demonic spirits.
Doesn’t Christianity teach there is no reincarnation? Orthodox Christianity does. It goes against their teaching of the resurrection doesn’t it?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.