Water in Necromancy
Those who dive into death magic know how strongly death is connected with the earth. Bodies are buried and decomposed within the earth. Ancient Sumerians believed that the soul could not travel to the Netherworld until the body was buried underground. The ancient Greeks recorded passages to the Underworld which included deep caves. Earth is the most prominent element in death magic; but another element that is equally prominent is water.
Just as earth connects to the Underworld in ancient mythology, so does water. You’ve probably heard of the river Styx carrying souls into the Greek Underworld, along with the five other rivers that make up its geology. Entrance into the ancient Egyptian afterlife was granted upon a passage downriver on Ra’s boat. In Mesopotamian mythos, we see a contradiction where some sources depict a soul traveling to the afterlife by road, whereas others travel by river. There are more examples, but to keep the post short I’ll paraphrase: Where there was a land of the afterlife, there was water.
Because of this, one of the most well-documented methods of Roman necromancy is scrying with water. The water was placed into a brass (or sometimes black) bowl, usually with a drop of oil. Green olive oil was most common, although some magicians may have included alcohol or blood instead. The source of the water, too, was very specific. Some sources claim that spring water is most effective to contact the dead, while others claimed river water worked best.
Some records of Underworld travel and hedgecrossing require the magician to either float down a river, or cross a river to enter the afterlife. Cleansing before rituals usually involved spring water for both full body cleaning and fasting. Some forms of spiritual travel require the magician to be submerged as well.
If this topic interests you, I highly recommend researching mythos of the underworld, necromancy and funeral processions from the craft you pull inspiration from.
There are no books specifically about death witchcraft. That is why I wrote one. However, you can find many texts on death work, necromancy, ancestor work and folklore that can aid your craft. Here are many of the resources that helped me learn.
If you have any more sources, please, please add them. Or you can message me, and I’ll add them. Sources for death witchcraft are elusive, and I would appreciate any extra insight or resource.
I guess a better title for this post would be Communicating to Spirits of the Dead Through Their Bones. But that’s a little lengthy.
Bones are commonly used to enhance spirit communication. According to some theories, a piece of the deceased’s soul still remains in the bone, allowing the soul to contact the living–kind of like a spiritual telephone. There are many techniques to communicate via bones, but this is my personal method.
For this technique, you need a solid foundation with energy work. You’ll also need ethically gathered bones. You can gather them in the wild, buy cleaned and ethically sourced bones online, or get some from your local butcher and clean them yourself.
This process happens within a couple minutes, so here is each step, slowed down.
The First Time:
Once you have a general sense of the soul, it will be a lot easier to communicate directly.
Every Time Thereafter:
I hope this was helpful or gave some good ideas. Happy witching!
Magical Uses for Graveyard Dirt
I get asked what to do with graveyard dirt all the time. In short, what you do with it depends upon the spirit connected to the dirt. In this post, I will lay out the basics concerning magical uses for graveyard dirt.
From specific graves:
From the crossroads of a graveyard or cemetery:
How do you know the character of someone who was buried there? You have to communicate with the spirit who inhabits that grave. That, however, is a conversation for another post.
I hope this clears up graveyard dirt for you.
I love necromancy. I LOVE it. But due to the lack of legitimate practitioners, there’s very little information about modern necromancy. Many of the techniques listed seem … questionable to me at best. I’m going to logically examine some of the rites I see listed over and over again, and argue with my own opinion as a death witch whether they’re necessary.
Breath stealing is the idea that you should be present when someone dies, and breathe in their last dying breath, in order to allegedly achieve knowledge on the symptoms of life and death. Having spoken to many death witches, I know I’m not the only one who believes that this is disrespectful as fuck.
Unless you are a medical professional or a priest, most people won’t want you around in their last dying moments. They’ll want to be around friends and family–not some stranger who’s doing this for a necromantic rite.
The only way I can see this working is if you were around a friend or loved one who is dying, and even then–would you really want to use their last moments as a necromantic rite? Anyone can do what they want; but to me, even the thought of that feels terrible.
Is it Necessary? While it is certainly a unique experience to be present during a death, I do not believe that this rite is necessary one bit. No one knows the symptoms of life and death. And that’s okay.
Grave sleeping is the rite of sleeping in a graveyard/cemetery overnight in order to lose your fear of death and familiarize yourself with death energy. The rite is harmless in itself, but it’s the practicality of it that makes me wonder.
Most cemeteries and graveyards close during the night in order to prevent graverobbing and vandalism. You’d have to get permission of the cemetery caretakers or possibly the town you’re in to be able to sleep there overnight.
I have seen people say that you need a blanket, some incense, and/or a weapon in case you need to fight off people (which seems highly unlikely). I’ve never seen anyone recommend that you bring a pad to sleep on, a pillow, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, matches and holders for the incense, water and food, and make doubly sure that you’re sleeping there on a dry clear night. This makes me wonder if the people claiming this have ever actually done the rite themselves.
Also, I’ve seen some claim not to bring cell phones into the cemetery, because the cell waves will scare the spirits away or some shit that I’ve never once experienced myself. Please bring some method of contact with you in case anything happens. This isn’t “disbelieving” or “cowardly”, it’s self-care.
Some necromancers and death witches have recommended sleeping in a coffin as an alternative to grave sleeping. This is certainly plausible if you can gain access to one, and way safer. Just make sure you can breathe in it if you keep the lid closed.
Is it Necessary? Actually, there are very credible alternative techniques for familiarizing yourself with death energy and reducing your fear of the dead. I can make of post of some if people are interested. That being said, if you’re interested in grave sleeping and have the means to do it, go for it. I’m sure it’ll certainly be affective!
“Bring a shovel into a local cemetery …”??????
Literally never bring a shovel into a graveyard or cemetery. If you’re caught, people will assume you’re graverobbing, and you’ll be in A LOT of trouble.
Also, why would a necromancer, who ideally cares about the well-being of the dead, desecrate their resting place by digging it up for their own gain? Even if you dug a hole in the path or nowhere near a grave, I imagine it’d still upset the spirits dwelling there. The element of earth is directly linked with spirits of the dead, after all, and you’re digging up their earth. I’ve never seen any spell require a deep hole; any hole you dig can be carved out with your hands.
Is it Ne– No.
“Place this very specific herb/stone/whatever on a grave as an offering.”This is more of a precaution than anything, but if you’re looking into death witchcraft, I recommend researching different cultures’ burial traditions. In some cultures, people don’t put flowers or herbs on their graves. These graves will sometimes be in a culture-specific cemetery or have specific markings on their graves. Be careful not to disrespect any soul.
Is it Necessary? It is necessary to leave an offering, especially for the collection of graveyard dirt. Just be respectful and thoughtful about what you offer.
“The life of a necromancer is a lonely one. People may leave you, but allow them to leave. Necromancy requires devotion and pain and destruction of the self.”This mentality stems from a common misconception among necromancers and death witches. To idea goes as follows: to completely embrace death, you’ll need to accept spiritual deaths in your life as well. This can take the form of people leaving, because they don’t accept a part of your life that’s helpful for you. Unfortunately, that tends to happen to a witch.
That being said, witchcraft should never be self-destructive. Perhaps this is a naive opinion of mine, but even if people tell me not to believe that, I will tell that that they’re wrong every single time. If you’re abandoning too much to pursue this path, pause and consider re-organizing your life. Witchcraft should improve you and reward you, spiritually. That’s why people become witches.
In addition, becoming a death witch has not made me a loner. Quite the opposite. I have met many wonderful people and interacted in wonderful communities due to my craft. Any craft carries the potential of bringing people together. I hate to rip apart some peoples’ dark edgelord persona, but the necromancer path is not inherently lonely.
It’s not necessary.
I’ve been itching to make this post for a long time, if only to reassure people who are interested that you don’t have to do these rites. I will try to make more necromancy and death witch posts in the future, since I know a lot of people are interested, and there are very few resources on tumblr. As always, you can comment or send me an ask about your opinion.