Necromancy: The Dark Art of Summoning The Dead – (Exploring Magic Ep.1)

Necromancy: The Dark Art of Summoning The Dead – (Exploring Magic Ep.1)

Magic is something that we commonly see through all types of fiction and works of fantasy Most of the time it provides us with a major plot device it allows us to submerge ourselves in a world that feels familiar but yet unique and fantastical In works of fantasy and fiction it’s common to see magic described as light and dark good and evil there are acceptable practices and then those that are taboo the subject of this video is necromancy a practice that many classify as black magic or dark witchcraft a school of magic that should not be practised but that wasn’t always the case and so today we’ll take a look at some of the origins of necromancy how it evolved and what examples we have today before we go any further we first
need to define necromancy the term itself refers to a practice of magic that centres around communicating with the dead this can involve summoning their spirit or even raising their entire body as the spirit would no longer be considered part of our world it’s believed they would have access to
the past present and future raising them physically is something we see from those who perhaps wish to bring a loved one back from the dead or in some cases they’re even used as a weapon to do the bidding of their master the word itself originated from the Latin Necromantia which was taken from the Greek Nekromanteía or Necromathia which meant divination by the means of a dead body this takes us to some of the earliest accounts of necromancy which took place in Greece and Rome along with Egypt and Babylonia these practices are often compared to shamanism and there was no stigma or notion of
wrongdoing when it came to necromancy this is something that came much later there was a practice in ancient Greece called Nekyia or a Nekyia which essentially was a rite or a ritual where the dead would be called upon to answer questions about the future one of the earliest examples we have of this particular kind of necromancy comes from Homer’s Odyssey where we see the powerful sorceress Circe who is capable of both the raising and communion with the dead Circe then teaches many of these spells to Odysseus the hero of the story she then advises him to travel to the
underworld and to perform an Nekyia In order to gather the information needed
for him to safely return home in book 11 of Homer’s Odyssey Odysseus was instructed to raise the spirit of the blind prophet Tiresias and this particular ritual is described in some detail he must first light a fire in the dark of night and then sacrifice animals whose blood will be given to the shades or spirits to drink whilst doing this he would recite the incantations given to him by Circe Odysseus encounters several spirits before seeing the Prophet the most notable of these being his mother who he was shocked to see because he
believed that she was still alive when Tiresias finally appears he drinks the blood and begins to give a discus the information needed to make it home first advising him not to eat the cattle of Apollo to avoid incurring his wrath he also tells him that he will return home alone with none of his crew we can see from this particular example that necromancy wasn’t seen as an evil
form of magic almost quite the opposite this type of necromancy would be used by
numerous Greek and Roman poets who would include these rituals in their stories it became somewhat of a common trope for Greek and Roman heroes to perform a Katabasis a physical journey to the underworld that involved performing a task or a quest in many cases communion with the dead those bringing the dead back to life were referred to as necromancer’s and it seemed when it came to summoning one’s body they would mainly focus on those who had died recently within a year or two rituals of necromancy did tend to vary as we saw in Homer’s Odyssey they can be grotesque involving animal sacrifice and sometimes
even mutilation and consumption of the dead other times involves practices such as wearing the clothing of the deceased and consuming food such as blackened bread and unfermented grape juice which was thought to symbolise the decay and lifelessness of death it was fairly common practice to see artefacts such as talismans and wands used alongside these incantations so when did necromancy become this dark art? this school of magic that was considered unacceptable or taboo most sources point to once a time period of medieval Europe when the church really began to crack
down on magic and witchcraft necromancy was one of those practices to be condemned as dangerous the church labelled the act of necromancy as maleficium an act of witchcraft were the intention of doing harm necromancy would be equated to raising demons who hid under the guise of spirits the church believed that resurrection itself was an act that could only be performed with the assistance of God and interestingly enough there were a number of clergy who did perform certain degrees of necromancy these practitioners were
almost always highly trained and educated in astrology demonology and exorcism combing the Christian, Jewish and Arabic teachings that centered around necromancy practitioners of necromancy or necromancer’s outlined three things they believed could be achieved through the practice knowledge illusion and the ability to manipulate the will of others these three things can all be seen in a positive and a negative light it just comes down to where you stand on one side you have the church who believed those outside would use necromancy as a means to harm others and benefit themselves those who are not associated of the church saw it as an attempt to control and limit this form of magic so that it would only benefit the church now whether or not you believe these rituals and this particular school of magic is real is completely up to you my stance on Necromancy is pretty much the same as my stance on the supernatural and all sorts of myths and legends I don’t personally believe in these stories but I believe they created and inspired interesting ideas and archetypes that we used and still use today in storytelling and that segues nicely onto the next part of the video having discussed what necromancy
is where it came from and how it’s changed we can now take a look at some more modern examples and how the archetype of a necromancer is used today for those of you who have been watching this video and waiting for examples of necromancer’s there are quite a few that appear in big franchises that you likely would have heard of or seen before one that many of us would have come across in recent times is Tolkien’s character Sauron the Dark Lord who went by many
titles one of these of course being the necromancer those who have watched the
movies and maybe read some of the books may be wondering why he was given this title? because raising the dead isn’t something we really see in any of the movies however in the history of middle-earth a series of volumes collected by Tolkien son from all of his father’s manuscripts in volume 10 morgoth’s ring we see a quote that tells us he is indeed capable of communion with a dead enslaving them and harnessing their knowledge if we take a look at the Mortal Kombat franchise we have Shang Tsung and Quan Shi hoo both assumed roles of warlocks and sorcerers who dabble in the art of necromancy in both their cases they focus on raising the dead to form armies for their master and ultimately do their bidding raising an army of undead is honestly something that we see from most necromancer’s in Harry Potter we of course have Lord
Voldemort a wizard who did practice necromancy raising an entire army of skeletons and zombies during the first wizarding war which consisted mostly of those he had already murdered we also see something similar to this with the white walkers and the night king of Game of Thrones who can raise the dead by simply lifting his arms now all of these examples so far definitely have evil intentions and they are the villains of their respected stories but as we’ve already seen necromancy wasn’t always considered a dark art and not all necromancer’s are depicted as evil we’ve already discussed the story of Odysseus who is the hero of Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey if we take a look at the Marvel Universe and black panther in specific T’Challa sister Shuri has the ability to
reanimate the dead and she’s no villain we also have the rather interesting
example of dr. Frankenstein who many consider to be a necromancer who certainly didn’t have evil intent I do find the case of Dr. Frankenstein to be
quite strange because technically you can argue that he did raise the dead and therefore he qualifies as a necromancer but I tend to look at him as more of a man of science and he’s monster as a creation so I guess we do have to ask ourselves other than the influence of the church
during the medieval period why are so many necromancer’s in fiction evil? I think it comes down to the fact that they just make really good villains when you defeat the villains army you expect the battle or the war to be over but with necromancer’s they’re capable of summoning entire new armies from the corpses given this feeling of hopelessness they also have a level of knowledge obtained through communing with the dead that makes them more than
just a formidable enemy there is also this taboo when it comes to messing of the dead and just leaving them to rest in peace thus the act of raising the dead can be seen as disrespectful and even evil in some cases there are some aspects of necromancy that we don’t always have to view through a lens of ill intent such as communicating with a dead I mean sure this is still an aspect that can be used in a negative way but someone wanting closure for a close friend or a loved one is something that most of us can relate to how you choose to view necromancy is ultimately your choice but hopefully this video has been informative I’m sure those of you who were unfamiliar with the necromancy archetype will start to notice it a lot more in your favorite stories feel free to share your favourite necromancer’s or even just your thoughts with me in the comments below as always I have been your host mythology and fiction explained

Dereck Turner

70 thoughts on “Necromancy: The Dark Art of Summoning The Dead – (Exploring Magic Ep.1)

  1. pavinthiran rasta says:

    om batra kaliye potri
    >bless all the witchcraft and socerer

  2. Kosak Grabovsky says:

    Asimov considered Frankenstein's monster the first robot, and also an early sci-fi story.

  3. Anselma Reich says:

    Dr. Johann Georg Faust (the Inspiration for the play by Goethe) is said to have been a necromancer and a lot of other things. Ü

  4. Piggy Coyote says:


  5. World Traveler says:

    The bible speaks of necromancy when king saul sought out a witch to summon the dead prophet samuel to ask him a question. Samuel appeared and asked why he was disturbed from his place of rest. So if you believe in scripture, then you have to believe this is a real and documented art

  6. cloudbloom says:

    I love how the Necroscope books handle this subject

  7. airbus Guy says:

    a whore in the block alley using this ritual just hand stroke and abit sucking like black magic can bring dead dick to erect

  8. Sanath Maharaj says:

    The Necromancer class in Diablo 3

  9. The Oceans says:

    Isn't the church the biggest villain of them all? Lol, may a necromancer never raise it once it's dead. 💀

  10. Matthew Morrissey says:

    They do have debts they need settled

  11. Sacred Wiccan Shamanic journey says:

    What happened to the intro?

  12. Nathan Ricard says:

    How about this as a good way to use this magic:

    A cop and a wizard summon up the ghost of a man so that the man can be an eyewitness to his own death. Then send Mr ghost back to the after life to Rest In Peace.

  13. matthew benard says:

    Well morality was really loose and differnt at the time

  14. Eu, Kennedy says:

    I was waiting to you talk about Spiritism

  15. Kenos Entity says:

    woah woah woahhh, WATCH THE MAGIC!

  16. Adam Alien says:

    Well done

  17. Adam Alien says:

    Subscribed !

  18. Schiffelers says:

    The modern day kit of a necromancer would include the AED A modern day twist on the Jezus and Lazarus story, connecting to the lore of Frankenstein and electricity . You've mentioned "The Church" more than once… but not in their true light as biggest coven of necromancers themselves. They twisted the meaning of necromancy a little bit, and condemned it, to keep the power to themselves. Knowledge = power / secret libraries of the Vatican. Also including the immense catacombs. Heathen/Germanic/Barbarian culture was more about cremations of the bodies.
    Also the Holy War was one of the first biological warfare's; introducing the plague to the middel Eastern cities. Throwing plague infested dead bodies over city walls. That is why their culture still dislikes dogs because of the European demons that had them.
    Also the church had a witch-hunt on cats in the middle ages, the familiars of witches. Which took out the natural enemy of mice and rats, which caused the massive spread of the Black Death in the Dark Ages of Europe. The Golden Ages of the Roman Catholic Church; the Necromancers that flipped the world upside down.
    [Hellas=Greece (birth of western democracy – demos=the people).
    Hel/Hella=goddess of the underworld. Were dying of old age was the worst death, which brought you to hell on earth, eternal winter.]
    Not believing in reincarnations and cycles of the soul and spirit, as guardians of the garden of life called earth.
    And for a moment in time became the most powerful organization on Earth that wanted to rule the whole world.
    Now we have science (of the swastika/sun-wheel) the modern word for magic: Quantum mechanics etc.

  19. D extra Barz says:

    Yes it is possible …we all have power within us as we are part celestial and part matter …we are tools in fact intermediators for the natural and unnatural ..necromancy ..yes..

  20. 13th Mage666 says:

    Magic is the fun part of life. – From a Real Occultist 😉

  21. Frank says:

    Christianity is based on faith not on action Quarryville should not be either

  22. Dark Lord says:

    I will role over the world

  23. Scott E. Nosferatu says:

    My favorite necromancer was Boris Dragosani from the Necroscope series.💀

  24. Macnutz420 says:

    I share your view of the supernatural. I simply do not believe in magic of any variety, even the magic of the world's religions. But I certainly do find it interesting. To study these things you are exploring the thinking and mind set of humanity, the inventor of it.
    A, interesting, entertaining, and informative video. Thanks

  25. Bruce Jedi Lee says:

    More magic please? Maybe pyrokenisis?

  26. Marnette Ryes says:

    My favourite Necromancer is Chloe Saunders from ‘the darkest powers’ trilogy

  27. berner says:

    Necromancy, it's a great way to raise a family.

  28. Zach Dickey says:

    There are many traditions that incorporate spirit work and/or veneration of dead ancestors, such as shamanic traditions, hedgewitchery, and especially traditions such as Palo Mayombe. These are not exactly necromancy in the strictest sense, but they do incorporate ancestor veneration, asking questions of the deceased, and even the ritual use of bones of the deceased. Of course, then again, Catholicism as well incorporate body parts and the possessions of saints and other holy people… these are known as relics, (first and second class, respectively). These items are kept in churches and the saint or beatified person is then petitioned to intercede on the behalf of the petitioner in order to perform some task or work a miracle. Yet they condemned "necromancers" for doing essentially the same thing, though in this case it wasn't through the church… Just some thoughts at least somewhat related to necromancy.

  29. RANDALL WISSEL says:

    ✨"COOL!??,"✨ 😉"Amazing!??,"✨☮☯👽🇨🇦

  30. Vibhi Verma says:

    Anyone else who thought of Nico Di Angelo??

  31. Xavier Nwameme says:

    Just raising awareness, maleficium means witchcraft or dark arts.

  32. Xavier Nwameme says:

    Communing with spirits and weaponizing them are completely different.

  33. Nefari Subliminals says:

    The part about bread and juice sounds like Communion

  34. YulalescaFilgaia * says:

    Is that skyrim music I hear playing in the background?

  35. OG Campbell says:

    When you have a pure spirit you can sense other around you and there's emotion even the person fame of mind 💯💯💯💯💯💯✊✊✊weather it confusion, anger or even love, don't know how to rise the dead ✊✊✊

  36. Shia Lebeouf: Life Coach says:

    It's strange.. Occultism as a whole is openly called fake yet you never see anyone actually attempt any of it. No one with something to lose anyways. If a no one did attempt it, it did something unexplained the scientific community would instantly begin the process of burying it. Their pride and ego wont allow them the possible reality that they are wrong despite the fact that the universe is not under any obligation to make any sense to us.

    It's a real catch-22. If you or I were to explore it, it does something, we would be mocked because we have no title. If someone with a title were to attempt it, it does something, they lose everything if they share their findings. No matter what happens no one will talk about it unless it happens on a large scale directly in front of people and even then you would see the scientific community hard at work telling everyone it was "Mass-Hysteria" like they do anytime ghosts are brought up.

  37. UnexpectedWonder says:

    Man, it's because what they're doin' is considered Unnatural.

  38. Saundra Scott says:

    Medium are Necromancers

  39. Alejandro Restrepo says:

    That's really interesting! 😀 Necromancy is considered to be my favorite method of divination next to cartomancy with playing cards! 😀 It's too bad that necromancer gets such a bad rep in fantasy fiction such as Sauron from The Hobbit and Khanise from the rebooted charmed series! 😛 It would be nice to have necromancers as heroes instead of villains for once! 😀

  40. David Diaz says:

    When it comes the the black panther mythos, anyone in the royal bloodline that has held the title of black panther, can raise & communicate with the dead, that’s why t’challa is also considered the king of the dead, in the case of shuri it was only because she had to take the mantle of the panther while t’challa was gone.

  41. Sung Jin Woo says:

    I am the Shadow Monarch 😎

  42. Nights Midnights says:

    In the Naruto manga and anime, there is a technique called Edo Tensei or Reanimation Jutsu that sacrifices the living to call forth the dead. It's a forbidden ninja technique as it violates the laws of nature and is seen as inhumane . However it's used to summon back both good and evil ninja for evil purposes such as war ninja.

  43. Lovegoodweed says:

    I guess the reanimation jutsu from Naruto would be a form of necromancy then.

  44. Big Boy Animation says:

    Hello, do you think jesus was using necromancy to raise the dead or its a miracles?

  45. Astral Pilgrim says:

    the church wants just to keep control over the sheeps . Therefore everything for them, that is breaking out of their control is automatically "evil", "cames from devil", and have to be "burned". Necromants/shamans – almost the same and has to do with ability of leaving the body for real. Not astral projection dreams by Monroe. I mean real ability for leaving the body for real. That can make only few people in this world. Astral travelers are necromancers/magicans/shamans.

  46. MrDannidy says:

    Dalamar the Dark. Look him up.

  47. Nathan Garrow says:

    Love your narrations but most are a little small homie, non the less EPIC work on them homie 👍👍✌✌

  48. Darth Kai says:

    What about the Lich chick from Konosuba? She's a really nice person

  49. Guilherme Machado says:

    A necromancer is just a really late healer

  50. Kenway Bawisan says:

    Solo Leveling

  51. kaelang12 says:

    one of my favorite necromancers is a type of yokai called a nekomata; it's a two-tailed cat that controls the dead like puppets

  52. Christopher Davis says:

    What about Jennifer Love Hewitt in Ghost Whisperer as an example for a
    Morally Good Necromancer?
    I'm not crazy about the show (it's too fluffy for me), but her character pulls a lot of the classic Necro tricks in positive ways, from communing with the dead for real world information, shamanic vision quests, and even siccing ghost allies against living people who attack her.
    And that deserves to be mentioned.

  53. True Zschunke says:

    Hmm…. Maybe it’s the acts of the necromancy done and not the art itself?
    The hero’s use it to basically talk to the dead and get info to go home or solve a problem.
    Whereas the villainous necromancers tend to do crap like raise an army of the undead or summon demons or use the magic for generally not good purposes and ill intent.
    Just a thought.

  54. DanielMontBars TheExterminator says:


  55. comicbeastlearner yoness says:

    Isn't thor sister a necromancer

  56. Mary Cavender says:

    It is very real!Had too many experiences and family members who have been involved with it for years! Thankyou for the info to clarify some things!

  57. ThePsalms says:

    Guys I'm from an African country where this practice is even more common that any religion here. It is real, don't mess around with it.

  58. Alec Perdeau says:

    You did a video on Necromancy but don't include Faust? He's probably one of the most famous Necromancers in western literature, depending on which depiction you look at. Not to mention real life dark sorcerer Rasputin.

  59. Manga Man1 says:

    maybe it could be interesting to see a story were the main character is a necromancer who uses it for good, but is shun by society because it is looked at as a dark art. I'd read it

  60. William McDonald says:

    2:17 AM Eastern Ontario

  61. mohamud osable says:

    I believe magic was and has always been the greatest tool man can wield.

  62. Dreamy affirmations says:

    Any other witches here?

  63. Viscount Xander says:

    My favourite series of books were pretty much all about Necromancy. In the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix, the main protagonist was a Necromancer along with their enemies. The thing that set them apart was their intent and use of Necromancy. While their enemies sought to raise the dead as an army and slave force, the main protagonist took on a ceremonial role that was hereditary, involving the use of enchanted necromancy bells to send the dead back into Death or gain more information. These bells invariably had their negatives, for example Astarael the Weeper was a bell that sent all who heard it into Death.
    It's a series I would heavily recommend reading.

  64. ashley steinhaus says:

    Dr. Frankenstein is an evil bastard

  65. Lunar Foxfyre says:

    I view necromancy as any form of magic. It isn't good or evil it is a tool to be used. How you use it is good or evil but not the magic itself.

  66. Matthew John says:

    Mj I love it

  67. Hyper Wing says:

    The skeletons in the catacombs and the fucking tomb of giants

  68. Marshawn Hughes says:

    Names a bunch of necromancers:
    Me: But you forgot about…
    Orochimaru: Nah it's good bro, I'm use this

  69. Kasper Fontain says:

    Elder Scrolls Mannimarco

  70. Alberto Seaman says:

    I’m just saying Mercy from Overwatch is a Necromancer, although she is more science less magic🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️

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