A Reader's Guide To Necromancy


Since the beginning of time, death has played a prominent role in human society.
Every culture throughout history has had rituals and rites to not only prepare a soul for death, but to help the deceased to pass into the afterlife. From the jazz funerals of New Orleans to the sky burials of Mongolia to the fantasy coffins of Ghana, the acknowledgement and celebration of a loved one’s death is ingrained into most cultures around the world, dating back hundreds, or thousands, of years.
But one death ritual that is far less commonly known, and practiced, is necromancy.
What Exactly is Necromancy?
Ask this question to any Dungeons and Dragons player and they’ll tell you that necromancy is a form of “dark magic”, where the spellcaster can manipulate the magical power of life, death, and “undeath” or “unlife”. It’s typically associated with undead monsters and evil magic users.
But, did you know that necromancy isn’t inherently evil?
Early necromantic practices are believed to have been derived from shamanism, the practice of interacting with the spirit world. Necromancers tried to communicate with the dead, or the ghosts of their ancestors, often as a means of divination.
Necromancy practitioners were in a number of ancient cultures: the Babylonians called them sha'etemmu or manzazuu, the Persians revered them as diviners, and even the Greeks and Romans respected them. It was only in Medieval Europe that they became associated with evil, a result of the direct influence by the Catholic Church in their efforts to ban anything “heretical” that went against their established doctrine.
Necromancy has appeared in literature for millennia. The earliest example is in Homer’s “Odyssey”, where Odysseus travels to the underworld to gain insight for his journey home. He follows Circe’s instructions to use spells to raise the spirits of the dead to offer him their wisdom.

Read the entire article in the October 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

You can just click on the magazine image on the left hand side of our home page to open and enjoy!


If you would like to receive the magazine every month (for FREE!) , just sign up on our home page. Once you do, an e-mail validation notice will be sent directly to you. Just open and click the link and you're in - forever!  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to downlad and read!