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April 16, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Fourteen: N is for Necromancy


Necromancy is yet another term we often use without understanding what it means. Many people use necromancer as a name for someone, particularly a man, who practices black magic. While this usage is somewhat accurate, it does not entirely capture the meaning of the word.

Necromancy is a form of magic that allows the practitioner to communicate with the dead. Does that sound like seances or the work of a medium? While it might, keep in mind that I said necromancers practice black magic.


One common feature of black magic across cultures is grave robbing.Necromancers might wear the clothing or jewelry a deceased person owned in an attempt to communicate with that person.Necromancers might even use different organs of the deceased in the magical rites. Sometimes this involves consuming different organs from the deceased.

You have my permission to throw up now.

One famous fictional instance of necromancy is portrayed in Homer's Odyssey. Odysseus leverages Circe's knowledge to perform the necessary rites to call upon the dead, especially Tiresias. If you remember, Odysseus performs the rites at night around a roaring fire, saying specific spells while offering blood sacrifices.

In some tales necromancy is used to reanimate the dead, which come back as almost zombies. The necromancer can command the dead to do his will until the spell is broken.

Often necromancers perform their ceremonies in a place of death, like a graveyard.

9 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The part about sex with the dead is so disgusting.

Steven said...

Alex, to my knowledge necromancy and necrophilia are rarely practiced in conjunction.

Gina Gao said...

The part about sex with the dead is absolutely disgusting to hear about.

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Lexie C. said...

This is the second blog to talk about necromancy today! Fascinating!

Steven said...

Gina, agreed. It's a subject I don't prefer studying.

Lexie, I had no idea someone else posted about it!

Grammy said...

Hello, my friend. The sound you hear is me, trying to keep down my supper. Ha. Thanks for the very interesting post, which is probably more than I wanted to know, but found fascinating, nonetheless. Best regards to you. Ulp! Here I go. Ha. Ruby.

Steven said...

Grammy, I'm always glad to educate. And trust me, I could post about much grosser things...

Nick Wilford said...

I wonder what the dead had to say to them about being dug up and eaten!

Steven said...

Nick, I'd imagine they weren't too pleased. I suppose a proficient necromancer could still bend their will to his, but you can see how twisted the practice is.