Amidst the rumors of war, remember this: The iron in your blood and the iron in the core of the earth were forged together in the first generation of stars. The currents in the molten iron beneath our feet and its motion with the turning of the earth create the earth’s magnetic field which shapes our heart’s magnetic field and helps to set its rhythm. We are connected with powers far older and stronger than those of the empire or its false god. And the guidance that they offer is as close as the beating of your heart.
Sean Donahue, Faery Priest and Witch
Yesterday several hundred torch-bearing people marched on the main quadrangle of the University of Virginia’s grounds, shouting, ‘You will not replace us,’ and ‘Jew will not replace us,’ and chanting rhetoric of ‘blood and soil’ in an eerie parallel to the rhetoric of ‘Blut und Ehre‘ which became one of the rallying positions of the National Socialist Party in Germany nearly a century past. This latter part, I think, is relevant as a witch and gentleman nigromancer – much of what I consider my art can be considered the work of blood and earth and the exchange between bridging the past and the present.
There is power in blood and there is power in soil. As Kardec writes in his Gospel:
Regenerating worlds serve as transition phases between those of probation andhappiness… [man] is still of flesh and blood, and because of this subject to vicissitudes fromwhich only the completely dematerialized beings are liberated. He still has to suffer tests, although without the pungent anguishes of atonement… But alas! Man is still fallible even in these worlds and the spirit of evil has not completely lost its empire. Not to advance is to fall back, and if Man is not firmly placed along the pathway to righteousness he may return again to a world of atonement where new and more terrible tests await.
Part of the work of the necromancer is to act in many ways as a spiritual midwife between the worlds both spiritual and physical and to dust off the detritus that often clings to the soul in the present world and the worlds beyond. Unfortunately, as we live in the evils of empire, many souls are not given the proper rites and, like the blood of Abel, cry up constantly from the earth seeking vengeance. This is not a new problem by any stretch of the imagination, however I can’t help but to think that what we are seeing in our culture is the result of centuries of bloodshed with the dead, righteous and unrighteous, playing out a war in which the living are now unconscious participants.
Improperly cared for in death, souls can become every bit as feral as fierce alley cat and strike out at the living in their confused states. It is for this reason that many cultures preserve some form of placation for the ferocious dead, those who died in an unwashed state or those who in life experienced trauma. The blood soaked history of the United States with a long history of exploitation, slavery, war, and violence against the impoverished has created a mass grave where the wrathful dead walk side-by-side with the living and ‘suck the purest of your blood and open wounds which are almost always mortal‘ (Kardec). The psycho-spiritual wounds of the living become entry points for the dead to influence the living, often coercing them to play out the traumas they themselves experienced. It’s no surprise, then, that a century and a half after the Civil War the dead have come back to life to feed off the force of the living in an environment equally as conflicted as the world in which they lived.
Some have argued that the removal of monuments especial to the dead that honored their battles may be a source of their discontent. While not without merit, I have to politely disagree as these are monuments to memories of trauma that keep the spirits earthbound and frequently in a state of confusion in regard to their eventual liberation however earthly greatness, such as riches, titles, glory, nobleness of birth, etc., are impossible to take into death – the great equalizer. It is understood that the living may wish to commemorate their beloved dead, however not all experiences are desirable to remember and here it is important for us tending to the dead to continually wash them in the waters of wisdom, removing from them the blockages they have experienced in life and assisting the in integrating, re-calibrating, and healing disowned and under-realized aspects of themselves in life
Naturally, how this can be done may vary depending on one’s tradition. For myself, drawing upon the inspired teachings of the mystic Victor H. Anderson, I start by recognizing the sovereignty of the wrathful dead and invite them to participate in the processes I use in working what is commonly called the ‘iron pentacle’, a very useful tool worked for personal growth and understanding and for exploring strengths, weaknesses, and inconsistencies. In the practices shared by the spiritualism of Allan Kardec and spiritualist practices in Latinx and South America, prayers are frequently offered as well for the liberation of the dead.
The utility of liberating the dead may be the one of the best tools in the arsenal of the contemporary necromancer or witch and perhaps one that should be considered to help our collapsing society become reborn in a more holistic manner and avoid the errors of the past.