Dear Mortellus: How do I know if I’m a Necromancer?

Dear Mortellus: How do I know if I’m a Necromancer? January 2, 2021

Photo by Renato Danyi from Pexels
Photo by Renato Danyi from Pexels

Anonymous Asks: I can see spirits and even sometimes talk to them, but I don’t have training in any of this. Lately I’ve been having dreams and in one I was basically told I was a necromancer. How do I know if I’m a Necromancer? What does it mean to be one?

Hello Anonymous! That’s a really interesting question and one I’m excited to answer. It sounds to me that what you’re experiencing is mediumship, which is a bit different in my humble opinion. Your question didn’t give me a lot of information on what your practice is (or indeed, if you have one!) but it is important to note that a necromancer is someone who practices necromancy, which is an area of magical specialization. Mediumship is a psychic ability, and psychics (those with extrasensory perception) aren’t necessarily mediums (one who can perceive and communicate with the dead), but all mediums are psychics.

How do I know if I’m a Necromancer?

Mediumship could certainly be defined as necromancy, circumstantially. I define necromancy as a magical practice that involves working with the dead, both corporeal and incorporeal, to accomplish magical goals in addition to receiving information and insight. Mediumship can be a very handy skill for a necromancer to have, but isn’t necessarily… well, necessary, to get the job done. Of course any specialty practice necessitates a good solid foundational practice and so if you’re interested in this sort of magic I would recommend starting from the beginning with Wicca for Beginners: Fundamentals of Philosophy & Practice by Thea Sabin.

You may be wondering why a Wicca book.

Firstly, I myself am Wiccan, and it’s a system I’m comfortable recommending. Secondly (and more importantly) the majority of materials you will find on the topic of necromancy will be rooted firmly in Western esotericism, and Wicca at its most basic, will give you some sensible jumping off points. I wish that I felt comfortable recommending you some materials on the topic of necromancy specifically – but I’m afraid that there is just very little out there that isn’t problematic in some regard, and I wouldn’t want to give you a bad introduction. To that end, if you’re a patient soul and don’t mind waiting on my next book to hit the shelves, I’m happy to report that it’s just that – a comprehensive introduction to necromancy!

My advice?

If I were in your shoes however I would advise that you begin with honing your ability to communicate with the dead. That way, it won’t just be sometimes that you can speak to them. To that end there are a few books that might help, such as Choosing to Be a Medium: Experience & Share the Healing Wonder of Spirit Communication by Sharon Farber, and Magical Mediumship: Partnering with the Ancestors for Healing and Spiritual Development by Danielle Dionne. Though I can’t give a fair recommendation having not yet read them myself, Danielle’s book came highly recommended. Personally, I’d suggest Mat Auryn’s book, Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick & Manifestation, as a resource as it has a broad range of information as well as exercises for strengthening your psychic muscles. As such, I reached out to the author, Mat Auryn, to ask their thoughts on your question, and he had this to say:

Just like psychic ability and intuition, spirit contact is something that is occurring all the time and often it’s very subtle in its perception and influence unless one has strengthened these skills, which I view as being intrinsic to all humans. Before, during, and after we incarnate into a physical body we are spiritual entities. I believe that our physical senses are the crystallization and extension of our spirit senses, or what others might refer to as extra-sensory perception or psychic abilities. It’s through these senses that spirits interact, and through these senses that we can understand and communicate with them in return. In my book Psychic Witch, I not only teach how to develop and strengthen these skills but also place a heavy emphasis on doing internal work to learn how your own mind operates. This helps to discern what is being genuinely received and what is a fabrication or projection of your psyche. I also emphasize getting in touch with your own inner spirit to various degrees, as that will be the springboard for all spiritual discernment and in my opinion, is the greatest spiritual ally that you can have. Not everything that appears to be a spirit are genuinely spirits, and not all are what they present themselves to be. Learning to be a clear conduit for spirit communication, knowing how your mind conjures illusions on its own, and being in contact with the higher aspects of your internal spirit is invaluable for discernment.

– Mat Auryn

Lastly… what does it mean?

To your last question, what does it mean, to be a medium, to be a necromancer… you may be surprised to find that most of the work is with the living. The dead, generally, don’t need our help. Instead they’re here to give it, and we death workers live in service to them. A voice with which to speak, hands that might hold, arms that might lift up; that through us, those around us might occupy a world with a little less sorrow.

A big thanks to Mat Auryn for contributing a comment to this querent, be certain to go pay him a visit at matauryn.com, or right here on Patheos Pagan at For Puck’s Sake.

About Mortellus
Mortellus is a Gardnerian High Priestex, Mortician, and Necromantrix living in beautiful Western North Carolina. You can read more about the author here.

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