Magic involving communication with the deceased
- "Necromancer" redirects here. For the 1962 novel by Gordon R. Dickson, see Necromancer (novel).
Necromancy or nigromancy is a form of magic involving communication with the deceased—either by summoning their spirit as an apparition or raising them bodily—for the purpose of divination, imparting the means to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge, or to use the deceased as a weapon, as the term may sometimes be used in a more general sense to refer to black magic or witchcraft.
Quotes about NecromancyEdit
- The Jews of our days believe that after the body of a man is interred, his spirit goes and comes, and departs from the spot where it is destined to visit his body, and to know what passes around him; that it is wandering during a whole year after the death of the body, and that it was during that year of delay that the Pythoness of Endor evoked the soul of Samuel, after which time the evocation would have had no power over his spirit.
- Augustin Calmet, Treatise on the Apparitions of Spirits and on Vampires or Revenants: of Hungary, Moravia, et al. The Complete Volumes I & II, (1759;2016), p. 237.
- First came up the ghost of my comrade Elpenor, for he had not yet been buried under the earth of broad roads. We had left him unwept and unburied in Circe’s palace, since other concerns were pressing upon us. I wept on seeing him and felt pity in my heart. I gave voice and spoke to him: “Elpenor, how did you come under the dark of the west? You beat me on foot, while I came with my black ship.”
- “O Rivers, Earth and you who punish whoever of the dead is forsworn, be wit nesses and accomplish this spell for us. I have come to inquire how I may come to the land of Telemachus, whom I left on the bosom of his nurse, my child.” Such was his outstanding spell.
- Julius Africanus Kestoi 18 (PGM XXIII)
- She lifted her veil slowly. What a sight presented itself to my startled eyes! I beheld before me an animated corpse.
- The Monk by Matthew Lewis (1796)
- Take you up when you feeling down
When you're sick he will come around
Takes his cures from out the ground
He's the one who can hypnotize
And you'll never believe your eyes
He can cause the dead to rise.
- Erik Stewart and Graham Gouldman, 10cc, Baron Samedi from the album Sheet Music, (28 May 1974).
- Oh glory of Haemonia, that hast the power to divulge the fates of men, or canst turn aside fate itself from its prescribed course, I pray thee to exercise thy gift in disclosing events to come. Not the meanest of the Roman race am I, the offspring of an illustrious chieftain, lord of the world in the one case, or in the other, the destined heir to my father's calamity. I stand on a tremendous and giffy height; snatch me from this posture of doubt; let me not blindly rush on, and blindly fall; exort this secret from the gods, or force the dead to confess what they know.
- Sextus Pompey, Pharsalia as quoted by William Godwin in Lives of the Necromancers pg. 110-111
- Ye Furies, and dreadful Styx, ye sufferings of the damned, and Chaos for ever eager to destroy the fair harmony of words, and thou, Pluto, condemned to an eternity of ungrateful existence, Hell and Elysium, of which no Thessalian witch shall partake, Prosperine, for ever cut off from thy health-giving mother, and horrid Hecate, Cerberus, cursed with incessant hunger, ye Destinies, and Charon, endlessly murmuring at the task I impose of bringing back the dead again to the land of the living, hear me! -if I call on you with a voice sufficiently impious and abominable, if I have never sung this chant unsated with human gore, if I have frequently laid on your altars the fruit of the pregnant mother, bathing its contents with the reeking brain if I have placed on a dish before you the head and entrails of an infant on the point to be born-
I ask not of you a ghost, already a tenant of the Tartarian abodes, and long familiarized to the shades below, but one who has recently quitted the light of day, and who yet hovers over the mouth of hell: let him hear these incantations, and immediately after descent to his destined place! Let him articulate suitable omens to the son of his general, having so late been himself a soldier of the great Pompey! Do this, as you love the very sound and rumour of a civil war!
- Erichtho, Pharsalia as quoted by William Godwin in Lives of the Necromancers pg. 112-113
- He asked the boy who he was. He replied “I am the demon of your son.” And thus he offered him a small written tablet. He unrolled it and saw these three lines written on it:
Indeed the minds of men wander in folly. Euthynous lies in his destined death. It was not good for him himself to live, nor was it good for his parents.
- Plutarch, Moralia 109b–d
- The cemuc barley is reserved for the necromancer.
- Sumerian proverb, Collection III at The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, 3rd millennium BCE.
- Note: In ancient Mesopotamia, barley was used as commodity money.
- Necromancer at TV Tropes — Includes a list of works of modern popular media that feature necromancy.