Why Spirit Workers Are Like Zombies

CDC_zombie

If you want to be a spirit worker, you must die. Just like the child you were must die to become the adult, your human self must die to become a spirit worker. The initiated are half alive, half dead. We are souls stuck in between – not quite spirits and not quite human. We shapeshift between forms – now human, now animal, now spirit, now elemental force, now otherwordly being. We drift between past, present, and future knowing that time is a non-linear illusion and all is accessible.  We are possessed by spirits and the ones who possess others with our spirits. We are the dream-walkers, shape-shifters, psychopomps, seers, mediums, mystics, visionaries, and miraculous healers. We see the unseen, hear the unheard, and experience the impossible. We dwell in paradoxes within the suspension of disbelief. We dance on the dagger’s edge between life and death, magic and insanity. We are unnatural. Supernatural.

It all sounds rather romantic until someone loses an eye, or a soul, or their life. That is why we are so few – we have to die. Some don’t make it back from initiatory death, some don’t make it back in one piece, but most will never go because they fear death above all else. And we should fear it – we should respect death and fear. We should not be fools stumbling in the dark. We should know the danger that lies ahead, the pain that will come, and walk into it knowingly always pure of intent and heart. We should know why we choose to die. Is dying worth gaining power? No, it shouldn’t be about striving for power. We die to serve. Once we die we do not belong to ourselves. Spirit workers are servants to greater spirits than themselves and will always be haunted and hunted. Every spirit serves another and we too are spirits. Erase any romantic notions from your head – this is not about you or being special – you are one of many. Your body is on loan, a temporary vessel. As long as you serve, the vessel is protected from harm and from physical death. If you make it about you or about power there is no guarantee you’ll be safe or come back.

Do you really want this? Is it worth being able to see and hear spirits? Why do you want it so badly? Be honest with yourself and the spirits and maybe one day you will die and come back — joining this host of revenants called spirit workers. Some days you will wish you hadn’t and that you could turn it off and switch back to your old life, but other days your soul will sing and you won’t be able to imagine being anything else.

Truly seek the why and know you have to die.

That’s all for my full-moon mead ramblings this night. Sweet dreams little witchlings.

Comments

45 Responses to “Why Spirit Workers Are Like Zombies”

  1. sara magnuson says:

    I just finished working at my ancestor altar and came back to read this post. And now I just sat here for a few minutes tryting to think of what to say…! Yes…I agree…what you said…the most well put way of saying this I have read.
    Thank you for your full-moon mead ramblings!
    Sara

    • Karen Fierro says:

      Wow. Not wow like a happy wow, just serious, overwhelmed, complete – wow. Sara I love your blogs. None has reminded me of how much I am not a witch more strongly than this last one. I think I’m witchy, but definitely not a witch. Like Kalynn I tend more towards healing. Its natural, easy, sometims painful, but always satisfying. I’m just glad she also mentioned the jealousy – because I definitely am that! I’ve always wanted to see the unseen things I feel, but never have. Perhaps I’m to afraid of the price….

      Thank you again. I love reading your blogs. You are a delicious, passionate, honest writer. Your imagery alone is like a Beltane feast!

  2. After reading some of your pieces about necromancy I have to be honest with myself. I don’t seem to have the knack for this. You talk about some abilities being innate and others learned skills. I don’t seem to have seering ability or necromancy. I’m not a divine conduit or have any luck with portending the future (except on the rare occasion when I just feel like something might happen soon…possibly…maybe…don’t hold your breath.)

    My talents seem to be along the bardic and healing veins. I admit a jealousy for people who seem to be able to move along more supernatural paths, but I guess you can’t change who you are or what you’ve been gifted with, and you should be thankful to have been given something so good.

    None the less ;p

    • greycatsidhe says:

      Kalynn, I can so relate to this. This post really hit home for me because it made me realize that I have so many worldly ties that hold me back from deep spirit work. In one sense, they hold me back because I just don’t have the time or energy to spend hours trancing. It is also because of a fear of losing an aspect of myself or my life. There’s no way that wouldn’t impact the ones I love. Sara, I wonder if you could ever talk about that? It must be very personal, but I do wonder what would happen if my own growing relationship to the Gods, Ancestors, and Nature Spirits became more demanding.

      • We are what we are all the time, but we can turn it down or (almost) off when needed. I know people who do this work and still have normal lives – husbands and wives, children, soccer practices… It makes it harder but also keeps you grounded and sane. You play up the part of yourself that is still normal, that still identifies with everyone else, or you wear a mask and fake it.

        There’s always a price, but it’s not always as steep as we fear. My choice took me further away from family than I like and away from the careers they’d hoped for me, but they are happy that I’m happy.

      • theredlass says:

        Maybe that is a part of it. I mean from a historical viewpoint, shamans, druids and the like didn’t belong to themselves. They belonged to the tribe. They were responsible for maintaining the well being and balance with the spirit world. So obviously you had to give up certain things in order to be one with them and have open lines of communication. Family, friends, spouses, children. I heard a rumor once that druids were not allowed to have children. (No confirmation on that, least not that I have found.) I’m sure the gods take into account your willingness to become so deeply involved with them. Who wants an unwilling servant?

    • Ian Phanes says:

      Kalynn,

      One of my great frustrations has been that the person with the strongest talent for healing in our community has never focused on developing that. Instead, she has wanted to be seen as an expert in everything, and thus fails to be expert in anything. Please, I beg you, rejoice in your special gifts and work them for all their worth. Your community will be very grateful.

  3. Cinna says:

    ah…well it’s just the way things work…the reality of it, the whole experience is not an abstract mystical concept.. but rather an actual real physical experience. You are never the same again..the physical experience takes its toll and many people still prefer the none gets hurt fantasy… where it is all a mystical experience or an imagined one..LOL..

    It is indeed a high price to pay .. and you do pay dearly .. however nothing come for free .. and as it seems you well know Sarah .. there is no going back :)

  4. Robert says:

    Fortunately, we are rather lively zombies.

    “We dance on the dagger’s edge between life and death.”
    Deliciously well put. Succinct, true, and we usually have a cross-wind blowing. And it is always wonderful to have an equally trained companion to hold the circle or the wardings. And help clean us up after.

    Blessings

    Rob

  5. Maria says:

    Thank you again for a great writing!
    “Some days you will wish you hadn’t and that you could turn it off…” I agree. But, you can learn to switch it off, and I think this is one of the most important things to learn if you want to be able to live your everyday life. If you don´t learn this, you are most probably going to end up in a mental hospital quite soon. Its absolutely true that when you take this path you can not turn back, but you can and should learn how to handle this. Tell the spirits when to speak and when to leave you alone. Off course, they will push through, but still, you have to be able to control it to the extent it is possible.
    I wrote this even though I don´t believe that you meant a spiritworker is always all the time bombarded by spirits (even though some days it´s just like that) and that´s the way it should be… :)

    • “But, you can learn to switch it off, and I think this is one of the most important things to learn if you want to be able to live your everyday life. If you don´t learn this, you are most probably going to end up in a mental hospital quite soon.”

      Yes – what Maria said *beams*

  6. I don’t know what to say… I follow very carefully your articles about necromancy in the hope that I found something to unstuck me. This one here… it moves me deep inside. I have the impression that you describe my life, my doubts : the fact that I am always stuck between states, between worlds… that I feel such a thirst for life and yet so close to death in every moment… It thus often makes me feel lost and weird, so misunderstood, but how do you explain that ? and how do you live with it ?

  7. Are you familiar with the Afro-Caribean practice called Palo Mayombe? Everything you write here is central to Palo.

    • I have heard of it but am not well-versed in it. I think perhaps many traditions of spirit work have this in common. These ramblings stem from conversations with my local friends who are spirit workers too. We all felt the same though our practices differ.

  8. Jeryze Pipitone says:

    Thank you Sarah for your insight. I have just started to recieve the posts and look forward to more. This one was spot on.
    All blessings Be Yours

  9. Duffi says:

    This sparked qute a conversation within me. I realized that I had my initiatory experiences quite early in life, and I’m still re-membering the dismembered parts. It’s good to read from others here that you can continue a “normal” life, since that’s part of my desire. Also I think (viz. your reply to Ton) that we spirit workers specialize; I’m not a necromancer, nor a medium, but a visioner and a mystic and a healer? Sure.

  10. greycatsidhe says:

    Thanks for the above reply, Sarah. I am glad that your family is happy with your happiness. That is important. :)

  11. This hit a nerve with me, considering all the health stuff I’ve endured over the past couple years. Thank you for talking about it here.

  12. Aubs Tea says:

    Thank you for posting this.

    I’ve given thought to spirit working. The Deadz, they call to me. However, aside from tending graves and feeding my akhu, I’m not sure how far I am willing to take it. Or even, if that’s where this all will lead. You’ve given me some serious food for thought and I appreciate that.

  13. Darkamber says:

    Very interesting read.
    I’d like to add, though, that as far as I know, only those who are chosen to become shamans have to take the initiatory death path (or the madness path); not all spirit workers are shamans.

    • I would argue that initiatory death isn’t confined to shamanism. I agree, not all spirit workers are shamans, but shamans are spirit workers. There are many different kinds of spirit workers, but most of those roles found within a cultural context require some form of initiatory death. Some may make it sound gentler by calling it a transformation or rebirth, but the initiatory experience is there nonetheless.

    • Ian Phanes says:

      Death takes many forms.

      (And only some of them speak in ALL CAPS like Pratchett’s.)

  14. Skye says:

    Lovely post, reminds me of why I am most definitely not a shaman, or a witch or anything like that. It can be interesting to read about, but I’m quite happy living as a lay-pagan.

  15. Such a needed reading. Thank You!

  16. Kim says:

    You hit the hammer on the head for me. I’ve always hated zombie stories or ghoul stories in any form. The real reason why is I’ve often felt like one of them and I deeply resented the feeling. Ironically, for me for years I tried to shut out my abilities and turn them off-when I finally stopped and faced those unwanted gifts they became bearable. I found I could manage, then. For the most part I have peace now. There are moments I still hate it but there are beautiful moments too. For the most part, I have a normal life.

  17. JC says:

    You people sound like you live in the fantasy world, it’s common trap to fall in the witch fantasy. That is nothing more than children’s play and illusion. You should focus on real deal and check how real is your magic, if can you achieve your results, or are you wasting your time. Indeed, these four words can empower your magic: “where are the results?” You can say that witchcraft is not only magic, but if you can’t heal seriously ill people, neutralize curses, create working charms, you only pretend to be a witch.

  18. P says:

    These last months I have understood the true meaning of necromancy, pact with gods, to serve and to travel. I mean I have understood it in a intellectual sense, but i don´t practice it (…so hard). Maybe I would learn that i could, and I think thats the problem, it´s scary. But i now understand that I really in future life would have to make a choice (if I´m gifted that is), and i dont know if I want to. Because like you said, everything will change and the old would die. This I understand to, balance is sometimes hard.

    Thank you for a wonderful blog. It´s very beautifull.

  19. Rafaela Batista says:

    Sarah, Everything you’re saying relates so close to a religion here in Brazil called umbanda, a sincretism between catholicism and voodoo and kardecism….. Do you believe your practices are similar to what mediums do, or do you think you’re more intense than it? Love your posts a much.

  20. dreema says:

    Well said. This is something I turned off for the past seven years as I needed to be a parent. But once that seven years was up – it came back with a vengeance. While I wonder why people would choose to do it, I do know that if it’s the difference between being muffled or working with the Dead as required, I actually have missed being able to do this. I have missed the Work, and as a friend put it “The Work is Love”, even if it’s hard work, with little thanks, and can be rather scary and dangerous.

  21. Mugami says:

    Ohisashiburi, Sarah. It’s curious how after not thinking about you for months, I suddenly get this itch to look you up only a few days after you typed the word “psychopomp”…

    But anyways, people who dont have to face that side everyday, should avoid trying to open that door. Sight is not fun nor a game. Getting woken up by The Dead or a Shade that has sensed you or worrying whether that rotas between your children’s matress is good enough. Insomnia, schizophrenia, Obsession, Possession, Impression, Expression, sometimes not realizing that the person who walked past or the one you just talked to were died long ago. Never being alone. Never. Unless you actively Ward or set up a private space. On good days, seeing a few. On bad, they line your path. They beg, plead, get angry, yell, cry, or stand inbetween open elevator doors preventing them from closing because the sensor can see them and won’t shut. Knowing the sadness of how the sweetest child you ever met was the 9 year old who still wants to play hide-n-seek between the gravestones with you. She hasnt changed since you were a kid, not one bit, and never will.

    Knowing The Dead, is Knowing the worst of Man and the sadness of it. When The Living talk about some hit and run, they remeber it for maybe a day or week. A victim. A drunk driver. But The Bane of Sight is walking past that same spot and seeing her everytime. And the unluckiness if she catches you noticing, follows you home, sits on your bed and weeps as you cover your head with a pillow and hope to hell she just shut the hell up and goes away but dont have the heart to kick her out.

    Unless Working with The Dead comes naturally, don’t force yourself, dont force it. Or you will regret it. You dont have the natural defenses to protect you. I have done some 3 or 4 exorcisms for fluffies or noobs who crossed the line they shouldn’t and ended up subjects of some Expression: Possession, Impression, or Obsession. Or had their houses ransacked by a pissed off Effigy. And woe be the daring childe who chooses a Parker Brothers ouiji board in a necropolis for a first try. Some Dead things dont hurt The Living only because they dont get their attention. Some Shades are as powerful as your local gods. Tell me, have you had your heart stopped by a fist reaching in thorugh your chest, lifted from sitting and been tossed into a wall? Then don’t. Even us naturals are sometimes caught unaware. Those things happened to me and I was born a psychopomp. I can literally Possess a ghost and Dive, dragging it into The Veil for it to face Judgment. I can Invoke The Crown of Flames or The Death Shroud and burn or suck the energy out of nearly any type of Dead or Spirit that wishes to harm me. But long before that, when I was a child, I couldn’t help but See them. I was only luck enought to be born in a family who could See them as well or I would’ve been locked away as a child.

    But yes, what Sarah says in true. There is a “coming of age” and there is a change. As to what that means, well, that’s individual. I’m a psychopomp. Katabasis is my bread and butter and as easy as breathing. But to a necromancer, katabasis is an apex ability, the last door. To a medium, invoking or Sight. To others Touch and the Post- or Precognition that may or may not come with it.

    Some things sound nearly harmless. All things can become dangerous. Healing, reiki, the Work of The Living leaves room for error, Even Goetians. But Dead Work leaves almost universally none. It takes a lot of focus for some to See The Dead, but a Shade uses little effort behind a nudge or a trip that puts you in front of a moving car, little effort to blow out a tire or jerk your wheel. I know people these things have happened to. Dont play with The Dead because it sounds romantic. It’s not. And after being beyond hells and heavens, I prefer being there than here. I long for it, crave it like an addict. It takes a strong person to Cross and come back. Katabasis can easily kill you, simply because you ay reach your limit long before you finish or you may choose not to return, to stay dead. Because, honestly, nothing compares. Hence, the danger.

  22. Mugami says:

    Perhaps I should mention a few things since despite everything people still will attempt Dead Work regardless. I will provide two lists. One for Ki user like myself, one for Ritual Casters like most. The purpose is to provide those defenses and knowledge not often found or that should be inherent. All Dead Work is cross-disiplinary, as such, beyond simple Nercomantic Summoning such made famous in Greece in requires a lot more than any other path. This list is neither inclusive nor exclusive, just some things important and some misconceptions attended to.

    Ki users:
    Us who need little or no herbs, oils, fetishes, who have control over our own Soul and Spirit within our body.

    Learn to Ward. You should learn to radiate your ki outward from your body and have full control of your aura’s movements. This is the most basic protection and proof against the Expressions of The Dead.

    Learn the ability of Drawing The Earth. Dead Work at times can require significant energy from you, as such, sucking the Earth Chi in to replace your expense is highly beneficial and will prevent fatigue and illness.

    Crown of Fire Meditation. Look it up. Learning to manipulate and use your ki as an inferno to expell and repulse The Dead and damage Spirits is one
    “catch all”. Whether based on igniting your own ki or controlling Fire ki, this is valuable.

    Effigic weapons. You should know that there is a difference between the dagger of The LBRP and The Sword. Learn to funnel your emotions and desire into a bladed weapon. This makes it an effigy of you, your intent. Made of Iron and infused with your ki, a ki weapon is warning to more powerful of The Dead that you can harm them and are willing.

    Ritual Casters:
    Throw away your sage. Please. It is useless as a Ward, suffumigation, and for everything else. It has only benefit to you, if you personally need the vehicle it provides. But it is not a defense, not the least, not at all. Sage is for Witches not for Necromancers.

    Gather tobacco, cardamon, cloves, mate, nettle, dogwood bark, lycoris radiata, frankincense & myhrr, and above all, Wormwood. These are your basic herbs of the trade.

    Learn to write a Rotas. Memorize it.

    And for you the weapon, dedicate and invoke a sword as an egregore and effigy of Apollyon, Raphael, Azazel, Samayaza, Samas, Shamesh, Hermes Trimestigus, Izanami, Enma, Inanna, Hel, Crow, or Anubis. All of these are Psychopompic Deities.

    Know your craft before you Work your craft. Fair Warning.

  23. Seelie says:

    I would be glad to know your advice concerning people who are stuck in between?
    You were saying “Just like the child you were must die to become the adult, your human self must die to become a spirit worker”. How about people who grew up but kept their inner child close to their heart? How about people who can sense, closely feel the path of spirit workers, but haven’t enter it yet?
    Would you suggest them to follow this path and look deeper, or just go their way because being a spirit worker is such a burden in a way?

    • Mugami says:

      Sarah probably has a different take than I, but my suggestion would be don’t do it unless you have to.

      I used to get severe chronic migraines and neck pain and back pain because I refused to do anything spiritual. I was nearly an atheist except I knew that ghosts and shades were real, since I could see them. Sarah, though a conversation about my odd tarot layout, alluded that my physical maladies might be related to my shunning of what amounted to my calling. Taking that advice, I answered the calling and for the last two years, no more back pain or neck pain and few migraines (none like before).

      So my advice is, unless something wants you to go down the path, leave it alone.

      Necromancy is not like other types of magic. It has a huge payoff, but a screw up isn’t like in normal magic where you might end up with some bad luck or maybe an upset spirit annoying you. In necromancy there are many things which can quite literally kill you if you make a mistake. A shade has no qualms about feeding off of you and has only a preference as to whether it wants you alive while doing it. Plus, most magic and rituals don’t help against The Dead, like The LBRP and general protection circles. They won’t even faze a weak ghost. Plus, the powers of The Dead can be more potent than anything you have encountered, notably Expressions.

      In general, don’t jump in simply because you’re curious. That’s like opening the hatch on a plane in flight just because you want to see what happens.

      That said, you can get away with some light things with little worry. Like a keeping a ghost of a dead relative in your home. Give them an altar, feed them, hang out with them, and they can do minor things for you, like get people to call you, make sure a spouse is faithful, implant suggestions, and download that new CD for you off Pirate Bay. Or find your wallet. They also can get you in touch with psychopomp spirits like a shinigami, which can be a fun conversation.

      • HK says:

        @Mugami – I am interested in hearing more about your experiences with 死神! I don’t often have the good fortune to come across others who seem to work with similar entities as I do. Do you have a blog, by chance?

      • Mugami says:

        I do, HK. But I dont keep up with it and it is mundane. No magic on the whole thing. But you can facebook me. Timothy Wolford II. I’m the only one. I’ll add you. Then just PM whatever. I blog/facebook while I smoke outside…and I smoke a lot.

        “無神” is my kanji by the way.

    • Hi Seelie, that part is an analogy, a metaphor to compare to. Many of us keep an inner child, but we can never reverse ageing or our experiences and become children again. If you become a spirit worker and you rescind it one day – the consequences are dire and I’ll leave it at that.

  24. Mugami says:

    I just wanna touch upon this breifly:

    Sarah tends towards the lighter side of necromancy, which might give a false sense of what the middle ground is, especially if you live in The States or UK, because of how sterile we make death seem.

    So to give the other end, two summaries of Ars nigro necrotic rites.

    Dig up a corpse (insert ritual) and the corpse stands up and answers your questions. After your done you order it back into the hole and rebury it. Nothing prevents the corpse from attacking you beyond your knowledge and skill at necromancy. Never turn your back.

    The next is a Corpse Ride. You perform a certain ritual, then cuddle with the partially awaken corpse. Induce a Sending and your soul leaves with the corpse’s. I’m not even going to explain that one further. Several men in the 1880′s were hung for this, none were charged with “sorcery”, and leave it at that.
    Many necromancers work in morgues or mortuaries so they have access to corpses for use. I know several. I also avoid them.

    Even proper graveyard dirt is not fluffy-friendly. So when you think about getting invovled in necromancy, consider how far you’re willing to go and don’t contact the dirtier side unless you’re ready. And avoid calling yourself a necromancer unless you’re ready to deal with the aftermath of possibly offending the worst kind and having them send a Shade after you. ( I have heard of this happening to two people I know. One almost died in a car wreck.)

    • Thank you for sharing the necromancer’s side of things Mugami. Not all spirit workers are necromancers and I’m sure many will continue to shy away from necromancy to work with animal and plant spirits instead. Yes the bits of necromancy I share publicly are lighter. I prefer not to share my actual practices lest someone not listen to the details and end up shooting themself in the metaphorical foot.

      Spirit work is important, but dangerous. Not all spirits mean us well; plants, animals, and even our own blood ancestors can harm us – let alone all the rogue spirits and dangerous supernatural beings out there. Arm yourself with knowledge and how to protect yourself before you do anything. Know the dangers of the otherworlds before you navigate them.

  25. Seelie says:

    Thank you so much Sarah and Mugami for your answers. Now I can see things even more clearer than I could have hoped.
    I’ve always been attracted to the otherworlds since I had a terrible car accident when I was 4 years old in which my grand mother died and I nearly died too.
    Since then, I’ve made a lot of enquiries about this subject, feeling irreparably attracted to the path of the spirit worker, but never really dare to take the plunge.
    Maybe I just have to let it go, since I don’t really feel the need to do it, even if like I said I’m feeling attracted a lot like a magnet.

  26. chatters125 says:

    Thank you for sharing this Sarah and Mugami. I am not a necromancer, like you I believe that being able to contact the dead in this way is a gift a person has, it cannot be learnt if it is not already there. I have always felt the spirits close by – and like you said, not always good, I’ve had a few not nice experiences without even trying anything – this is not a belief, it is like knowing. I once had some spirit shake me awake because they didn’t succeed in whatever they wanted to do with me while I was asleep – something like possession of some sort. So there are certain parts of spirit work I would stay away from. I work with ancestors; I have an altar and only work with spirits I know. After all you wouldn’t go and knock on a stranger’s door, expect to walk in and make yourself at home – the person might be a nutcase, well the same for spirits. Opening the door to the spirit world without knowing about how to protect yourself or deal with spirits is like leaving the front door wide open and going to bed, you might get someone knock on the door and say shut the door, or you might have a rapist or a murderer come through the door

  27. strangebird says:

    Thank you for posting this Sarah…Frankly, I needed to hear it. Being alone in what I do, I need outside communications with others like me to keep me sane. I can turn it off and live for maybe a few weeks or a month before being called back to service. I’ve learned that if I don’t answer right away things unravel a bit in my mind which is a wake up call for me. I very much agree that our lives are lived on the edge. I am in service, I knew this since I was a child but didn’t know the scope of it until I was in my late 20′s. I find that some part of myself must regard the spirits regularly or else it gets chaotic. I’ve had witchy people -not understanding of what I speak- tell me how unmoral it all sounds and how I should be moral and give it up to protect my kids…but my kids are protected by spirits, by me, by my husband, by their own strengths…and if something where to happen I would be there. We can do things to prepare our children in times of need that is called parenting. I was a child once, and my mother had an untrained eye, but I was able to protect myself and learn from service what to do and what not to do…if you communicate to the spirits they teach you these things. Sure I was frightened when I was younger of what I saw but I was strong enough to survive it, I think that is what we must allow our children to do as well. They may choose to be in service too, and their is little we can do about that, they have a choice in the matter whether we want it for them or not. What we can influence is to what degree they will suffer…or not. If we choose to shield them from it, they find it anyway. If we choose to ignore it, they will hurt anyway. If we choose to teach them what we were taught by our spirit encounters they may not hurt so much. I’ve been cursed at by people who say I shouldn’t teach them…that I am creating a situation by doing so, and I have given this much thought. But I can assure you my children are more adjusted to life than many children I know! I am proud that my children handle situations with grace, but sometimes I wish that life were a fairy tale for them, with nothing to worry about. But that will never happen even if they weren’t my kids. So to those that doubt I say this…life isn’t perfect, we do our best to live it well and no one should point a finger without considering the other three pointing back at yourself.

  28. Mugami says:

    “Immoral”… How about “responsible”. You are being “responsible”by giving your children a way to defend themselves. What I wouldn’t have given to have known just The Rotas as a teenager so I could’ve slept better, not having The Dead sitting on my bed when I tried to sleep covering my head under pillows just to deafen their constant whining. I didn’t finally go deaf to them until I was 15 or 16. (Thank God.) Now I can only hear them when I want to and with a lot of effort. A wish come true.

    So good for you in teaching your kids. I would warn to watch them though, kids will do some of the stupidest things…

    And to clear something up, I know necromancy, been invited and joined several organizations of them, but I am a psychopomp, not a necromancer. We are very similar, but also very different. I don’t need their rites to Work. And I am a Ki User rather than a Magus. I also have very strict rules regarding The Dead as to want I am allowed to do. I only use necromantic rites to protect people and for local exorcism. My own protection is all based on Ki and personal exorcisms, reverse possession, and Sendings are all through Ki. Much of Necromancy is abhorrent to psychopompia, especially Summonings (but not Callings nor Contracts), Deatheating, and causing Final Death to anything besides Shades. I must take great care with The Dead or I will pay for it dearly when my own Judgement comes. Thus, I am prevented from the use of Ars Negro, but have several benefits necros don’t gain. Like The Death Shroud and the use of Karmic Ki.
    So please refrain from calling me a necromancer. It’s like calling me “part Indian” rather than “part Cherokee”. But I don’t take offense. I get how similar they seem to outsiders.

  29. Mugami says:

    Oh, and Sarah, my point in showing the darker half was as a two-fold warning:

    1.) There are very hardcore necromancers who get very offended when people call themselves necromancers and don’t know of these darker rituals. These elitist wankers do threaten and sometimes send out Shades to hurt or kill “fluffies”. I had one accuse me and attempt to hurt me. To that end, the Shade was to harm me, even kill, if I could not defend against it. It left when it realized I was much more of a challenge than its Contractor.

    2.) Necromancy is a gateway drug to many. They go deeper and darker over the years and end up miles from the limit they were willing to go when they started. Power corrupts.

    That was my whole point. Too many see necromancy as “romantic” because of how movies and pop culture portray it. They imagine the victorian lady, long dead, by a window, with a broken heart or a perfectly passive ghost being trapped behind perfectly constructed Wards in a circle of salt who answers every question and leaves peacefully with a Prayer to Depart.

    They don’t talk of slaughtering black goats in pits and red wine and milk as libations or just how willing The Dead can be inclined to kill the Summoner or how any necromantic ritual will draw the attention of nearby Dead. Or just how powerful a Shade can be. We both may know that a Shade can reach in and stop your heart in an instant, killing for the pleasure of feeding off your suffering, but that does not mean others know or know just how likely that is without protection.

    I will leave it with this final warning:
    Many chapters are spent on the means of protection and the proper way to Summon Goetians. However, Goetians no matter how dangerous prefer you alive (except two), because they feed on you knowing they exist. But Shades are souls not Spirits and they can feed much more readily by simply killing you, tormenting you, and cursing you. And many Shades are more powerful than Goetians. And more still will walk right through a cheap Ward, taking the damage, because feeding off of you is gains them more energy than they will lose.
    The Dead can be beyond dangerous and more cunning than gods.

    • Mugami says:

      I just realized I wrote something partially confusing. I had forgot about the Shade sent to me because it did nothing. Previously I had mentioned two people having shades sent at them. One was injured. The other person trapped it. The reason I didn’t include my little visit is because I had to do with different issue.