First off, hope you all had a splendid holiday season. During the break I rested for the most part and then got into studying necromancy and veneficium (the poison path), which have been personal practices for my craft and research material for my novel series.
Disclaimer: The following is not medical or psychological advice. I’m not a doctor, okay? I’m just sharing some things I’ve learned.
Turns out these practices cooperate with one another. Although necromancy is done in various ways depending on the culture its practice stems from, there are instances where the method of getting into a trance state for the sake of being more attuned to a divination session or mediumship was done via veneficium. The use of poisonous plants (though not all of them are purely poisonous) and incense is common in magical practices. I particularly like to smoke mugwort or make it into a tea before some sessions. I wouldn’t say that veneficium is necessary to perform necromantic acts, but they’re closely tied together and can help those who want to explore both paths simultaneously. The use of herbs, graveyard dirt, and any other items associated with the earth and the underworld are common tools for necromancy. However, botany, herbalism, and biology studies are required for veneficium. It’s important to know what could paralyze you, give you severe hallucinations or seizures, and otherwise. Marijuana is another substance where THC has given people spiritual experiences, but we can’t neglect the fact that smoking it also means taking in carcinogens. Psilocybin is a fungi that has remarkable effects on mental health and spirituality, but again, know your limits.
Veneficium is also linked to powerful curses and hexes. Currently, I don’t know if these curses or hexes are linked to necromancy or mediumship, especially since most of my research states that communicating with spirits or helping them crossover requires fumigation with the intent of understanding and helping the spirits, not cursing them. Who knows? Maybe people have done otherwise.
Lastly, I want to discuss death energy. For practitioners who have worked with void or darker energies, death energy is under that umbrella. Usually, you’ll need a deity, a death daemon, or some other entity linked with death to learn how to connect with and use this energy. Necromancy revolves around having respect for this energy and the process of death itself, which also means that interacting with spirits doesn’t necessarily mean there’s free reign to intervene with their afterlife, which is why it’s important to have an entity who is familiar with death energy by your side. When it comes to this practice, there’s none of the Ghost Whisperer sh*t. It’s a solemn, sacred practice and I have learned personally that it takes so much work and so much patience. Death operates through literally and figurative means. Death’s energy feels like a constant flowing energy to me, similar to time passing, but there are times where the death of someone (like a loved one, pet, or major tragedy) or the death of something (metaphorically, like a relationship or transition in life) are life-changing events that demand reflection. Bonding with death energy helps with that; it’s another aspect of its sacredness, even though it’s bittersweet more often than not.
Before I end, just FYI, don’t tap into a necromantic practice that belongs to a closed path/practice/culture. Just don’t. Be respectful (or be a decent human being and find a priest to initiate you).
Here are some books I’m currently reading, have read, or plan to read:
- Honoring Death: The Arte of Daemonolatry Necromancy – S. Connoly
- Drawing Down Belial – S. Connoly (more about divination with the daemon King Belial)
- Death in the Garden: Poisonous Plants & Their Use Throughout History – Michael Brown
- Botanical Curses and Poisons: The Shadow-Lives of Plants – Fez Inkwright
- Veneficium – Magic, Witchcraft and the Poison Path – Daniel A Schulke
- The Poison Path Herbal: Baneful Herbs, Medicinal Nightshades, and Ritual Entheogens – by Coby Michael