Technically, it could be said that what I do is “Necromancy.” After all, my primary work revolves around spirits who were, essentially, formerly human in nature. I’ve shied away from using that term because it provokes (at least in my mind) images of bearded men in long robes chanting ancient languages in smoke filled rooms surrounded by candles and strange glyphs…
Okay, so I don’t have a beard and I don’t generally wear a robe. There are definitely similarities between what I do and the “Classical Magicks” as I tend to call a loose group of “High Art” magick. You know…Hermetics, Enochian, Ceremonial…whatever you prefer to call them. The languages are different, the symbols and glyphs are different, but there is definitely a similar essence there.
Which is why I picked up this book…
I’m not going to give a review on it, not exactly. There are several reviews already over there at Amazon if you’re curious. It’s interesting to go over them as they pretty much are all 5 stars but one…but the only 1 star review has the most agreement. Give that what you will…
This book isn’t supposed to be read, it’s supposed to be used. The student is supposed to follow along Mr. Coleman’s instructions, chapter-by-chapter, without reading ahead. Only when the mission for one chapter is finished are you supposed to dare to continue on to the next. Apparently, reading ahead can destroy your ability to work his system, for whatever reason.
Being that I wasn’t really interested in learning a new system, I just went ahead and read the book. My goal here was to compare and contrast his methods with what I already do…and maybe even learn something or at the very least have some food for thought. Mission accomplished, I have to say.
First, I have to say he answered one of the questions that’s really been nagging at my mind. For ages, I’ve wanted to get more in-depth here as far as using a pendulum with the spirits. However, I couldn’t figure out how to get out of the Catch 22. You see, in order to be sure that I’m working with a non-malicious (or mischievous) spirit, I confirm with a spirit I trust. But how do you find a spirit you can trust without having a spirit you can trust? Yeah, therein lies the rub, to horribly misquote Shakespeare.
One of the first lessons in this book is in contacting the Ancestral Spirits. So, that much we have in common. For his purposes, he teaches that a Necromancer needs to find 3 Ancestral Spirits that the practitioner can work with. Not necessarily the three most recently deceased, or the three most closely related, simply 3 dead people related to the practitioner who seem open to assisting the practitioner. The Ancestral Spirits are the ones that go out and recruit the other spirits that the necromancer will use. And yes, “use” would be the correct term. As much as he relates eventually that this becomes a partnership or a friendship, I can’t say that the actual methods he uses gives me that impression at all. His methods would be more akin to training a dog to guard a house or fetch a newspaper than it would be as a “partnership.”
That aside, this is exactly what happened to me, although it was mostly accidental. By the time I’d actually begun actively working the spirits, I already had an entire host of non-related spirits around me…and now I know why. Seems that recruitment was going on even when I wasn’t aware of it.
I also suspect that one of the major theories involving “mediums” is true. Someone who is “open” becomes something of a magnet to the other side. I never really thought of myself as “open” so I never really coordinated that theory in regards to me…but…if a natural medium gift draws spiritual entities to it, I would imagine that a developed method would as well.
Like I said, food for thought, right?
Having already found a good number of spirits around me that I can trust, and one in particular who has become the group’s “spokesperson” as well as my Patroness (who may or may not be a deity…still pending on that one), I’ve never had any trouble sorting out the helpful from the not-helpful at all spirits around me. Which is a good thing, given how many there seems to be.
Now we’re getting to another point though. There are, even in Mr. Coleman’s world, spirits that aren’t helpful. He lumps them all together and calls them “trickster” spirits. I don’t much like that term. I understand trickster energy. Tricksters can be mischievous, and often a pain in the ass, but they’re not always destructive. Or I should say they aren’t destructive without a point. Tricksters will run you ragged, they’ll taunt you and tease you and push your limits to the farthest reaches, but they always have a point to the exercise. Yes, they occasionally “punish,” but it’s more, again, in the way of classical conditioning. You don’t get what you want or need until you’ve learned the lesson.
Lemme say, I’ve seen this over and over and over and over…
So this has helped me to begin developing my own spiritual “hierarchy.” Not so much a hierarchy as it doesn’t have so much to do with superior/inferior spirits, but a recognition that there are several “flavors” of spirits out there. Here’s my list: Beneficial, Neutral, Trickster, Mischievous (but not trickster), Malicious, and Malignant.
More on that later…;-) I don’t want this post getting too far away from me!
Mr. Coleman has some interesting tips on when a spirit is a Trickster, and I have to say I’m torn on this one. I believe he has a lot of cut-and-dry ideas which have some basis in truth, but there are always exceptions to rules, at least in my world.
His favorite method to determine if a spirit is a trickster is based on what that spirit tells you. If it’s useful information, it is not a trickster. However, if it goes rambling off on nonsensical pseudo-spiritual information, guess what? It’s a trickster.
Very interesting, as this would mean that all those new age channelers are channeling tricksters, right? Everything we’ve been told about Atlantis, Lemuria, and Avalon would be nonsense, right? Seth would be a trickster. Also, almost every spirit that has been documented by the various Spiritist and Spiritualist churches would be tricksters as well.
I truly believe there is some truth in his theory. Given how many people I’ve come into contact with who are receiving information from this spirit and that…and yes, I think many of those spirits have their humans chasing their tales, for the sheer fun of it. There’s an awful lot of bunk out there, given by supposedly earnest spirits for the well-being and enlightenment of mankind that just doesn’t ring true.
However, I have been reading a spiritist book that was written through automatic writing. The vast portion of this text would fall under Mr. Coleman’s definition of a trickster, sure enough. It’s primarily regarding the problems in modern society, and waiting for the end times and the restoration that will happen afterwards with everyone happy and frolicking and so forth. There’s an awful lot of Jesus love in that book. Thing is…the spirit who was being channeled had been a nun TWICE in her recent incarnations. So…it would make sense that her personality would still cling to those ideas. She loved the Christ and the Church enough to spend two separate lifetimes in the convent.
I guess what I’m saying here is that we need to remember to consider the source.
Of course, sometimes the source is confused, or lying. But that’s a post for a different day.
Another gem of information as well as meaty food for thought…that the first discipline a necromancer needs is to be aware of their own thoughts. To understand their own personality completely, and every influence on it, from psychological to zodiac. Because it is extremely simple for spirits to influence humans. And they do. Sometimes for the sheer fun of it, according to Mr. Coleman. The best protection is to thoroughly understand which thoughts are your own, and which ones could be coming from outside sources.
I got to say I agree with him there. Since I began working with human entities, at least, I’ve realized how easily influenced we are. Otherwise, I wouldn’t get the results I do. Spirits are non-physical, so their influence on the world around us has to be non-physical in nature. It’s not like they can actually change things themselves. No, they have to influence humans to change it for them. And they do.
Wow, that was an easy bit of “logic”, eh?
There are some other little snippets of advice I was able to glean from this book. Some interesting methods of preventing spirits from entering certain areas, useful incense blends to get rid of negative spirits, were just a couple. Some of them I’d heard of, others were slightly new.
It’s also interesting because although I definitely would consider his methods “classical conditioning,” and he does insist that anyone wanting to practice necromancy needs to have a firm background in “magic,” there’s not a lot in the way of pomp-and-circumstance. It’s time-consuming, I’ll say that. The entire book, if done correctly, would likely take well over a year to get through. And it’s monotonous. Incredibly monotonous. Some of the training methods are downright annoying. So it’s all-in-all definitely not my cup of tea.
But I’ve certainly learned from it. I’m still assimilating some of the thoughts. We’ll see what comes of this on down the road…