Category Archives: Necromancy

Mysteries of Beast, Blood and Bone

By | Bones & Blood, Featured, Folk Magic, Necromancy, Witchcraft & Magic | 8 Comments

© 2013  Sarah Anne Lawless – Originally printed in Serpent Songs: An Anthology of Traditional Craft curated by Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold and published by Scarlet Imprint. Do not copy or use any portion of this text or its images without the express permission of the author, but sharing the link is very welcome. kulls line the windowsills. Skulls float in jars on top of cupboards. Bones boil in pots on the stove, the flesh melting away. Hidden among the drying herbs and roots there are hearts and tongues and eyes. It is not Baba Yaga’s hut I describe, but my kitchen. Bone collector, bone washer, animal necromancer, deathwalker, shapeshifter, poisoner, witch… these are the words people whisper of me and my practices. Some whisper with fear and others with desire. I am an animist, a folk magician, and a rootworker. It is not just herbs I work with in my folk magic, but also skulls and bones, hearts and tongues. I practice the lost art of working with beast, blood, and bone in order to rebirth the ancient nature of Witch as a wild and primal creature; surrounded by spirits, anointed with blood, dressed in hides, and adorned with talismans…

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Collecting the Bones of Trees

By | Books, Necromancy | 29 Comments

There are many books of magic, ethnobotany, and cooking in my living room, staring at my lonely unwarped loom, but hidden away in the darkness of my room is a seldom-seen collection of books. Some with ratty linen spines and some of softest leather and finest gilt, the pages filled with poetry, ancient tales, folklore, witchcraft, incantations, pagan gods, and beautiful art. All of them are old or rare, smelling of dust, attics, basements… You see I’m a collector, collecting the bones of trees and fragments of souls of long-dead authors. Together they weave a skeleton of the world tree as the tree of knowledge; whispering the wisdom of ancestors from printed bones. I’m an animist and so every book has a spirit. Sometimes I dream inside their pages, whispers instructing me on how to use the lore in my practice. Is it the spirit of the book itself, its long dead author, or the fragments of souls of those who read it? Perhaps it is all of them and more — for reading can be an act of necromancy — of communing with the dead. Such a thought brings new meaning to “reading the bones,” does it not? Lewis…

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Western Gate Samhain Festival

Western Gate Samhain Festival

By | Events, Festivals & Sabbats, Necromancy, Witchcraft & Magic | 10 Comments

Last weekend I hopped in the Shaman’s truck with Mel and Kerri and after meeting up with more friends we all drove up North together to the Okanagan stopping in Hope to have lunch with Huntress and Thicket along the way to the Western Gate Samhain Festival. Once we reached the dry sagebrush steppe we pulled over hoping to harvest some pungent wild sagebrush but only found the much less fragrant yellow rabbitbrush which the two shamans harvested and wrapped into smudge wands right away to dry. The sky was big, the clouds dramatic, and the wind chill with the bite of winter. We arrived in Kelowna in the late afternoon at a lovely old Unitarian Church near the lake with a large labyrinth painted onto its beautiful hardwood floor. We helped set up the space for the Celtic concert that night and then everyone sat down for Amelia Hogan’s Gaelic songs workshop. We had a bit of trouble with the pronunciation, but eventually we began to sound harmonious singing together in Irish Gaelic. The concert started off with the gorgeous voice of Kerri Joy accompanied by her violin and guitar. She sang bawdy, dirty songs that had people dancing…

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Bone Collecting: Cleansing & Consecration

By | Bones & Blood, Folk Magic, Necromancy, Witchcraft & Magic | 18 Comments

When you bring home new bones and skulls (or other animal parts), and before you add them to your altar or craft fetiches or tools of them, you should first cleanse them. This prevents energies from past owners or negative energies from the spirits of the bones themselves from effecting you or cursing you. I cleanse with holy water and incantation, I bless and consecrate the creature to its desired purpose, I formally introduce it to my other spirits, and then I feed it offerings. Cleansing of the Bones Many of the creatures that come my way as a bone collector have died violent deaths. Life is messy and nature isn’t gentle – animals very seldom die natural deaths after long lives. They are killed by their own kind, killed by natural predators for food or territorial disputes, hit by cars, culled by humans as invasive species or pests, or hunted by humans for sport or for food. Such is the way of things, and I cannot change it or pretend it is not so, but what I can do is ease the creature’s passing by treating it with honour and respect after its death. I can ease its angry…

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How to See in the Dark: A Practitioners’ Dialogue on Working with Darkness in Magic

By | Necromancy, Witchcraft & Magic | 35 Comments

“The Earth is beautiful, and bright, and kindly, but that is not all. The Earth is also terrible, and dark, and cruel. The rabbit shrieks dying in the green meadows. The mountains clench their great hands full of hidden fire. There are sharks in the sea, and there is cruelty in men’s eyes.” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan In the darkness most people will huddle around the fire and look into its warm bright flames, but sometimes there is a person whose face turns away from the light and looks into the dark of night. They know the light blinds so one cannot see what hides in the shadows or see the beauty of the night with its moon, stars, nocturnal creatures, and dusky colours. Such persons who choose to see the unseen are often shamans, witches, spirit workers, and other walkers between worlds. Come with us away from the fire and learn how to see in the dark. As above so below. As within so without. We are the children of Nature and so our nature’s reflect our progenitor. We are two sides of the same coin; bright and dark inseparably entwined.  We are good, kind,…

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