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What Is Necromancy?

Necromancy is an ancient form of magic used to conjure the soul of a dead person in ghost or apparition form or to raise the spirit of a dead soul through a body, for the purpose of divination. Necromancy relies heavily on the belief that a person's soul survives well after death as the soul contains superior knowledge of the disembodied spirit. Necromancers claim that through a particular source of rites and spells, a departed "white" or "black" soul can be evoked to predict the future. Ancient practitioners of necromancy would often go to caves, volcanoes, and water's edge to summon the spirits of fallen heroes or gods with "white souls" or even demons and villians with "black souls" for guidance. Historically, necromancy was often considered forbidden, "black magic," or demonic by most cultures and religions except paganism which generally accepted the practice.

The term necromancy derives from the Greek word "nekros" meaning dead body and "manteia" meaning prophecy, divination as well as the Latin term "necyomantia." Necromancy was first cited by Homer during Ulysses' voyage to Hades in the Odyssey. The most famous story of necromancy is within the Bible's The Witch Of Endor, often called the Medium of Endor. The story tells of a woman ordered by King Saul of the Kingdom of Israel to summon the ghost of the deceased prophet Samuel in the First Book of Samuel chapter 28:3-25.

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