artwork by Holly Golightly for newWitch
As an occultist with very little magical experience, I’m not sure I should even fancy an attempt at what I wish to try. I would like to infuse different types of magick (mostly with mixed practices as well) and create my own Craft. What I would like to accomplish most by doing this is helping the families who have recently lost loved ones find peace and comfort knowing those lost have done the same. (I would, of course, not charge them for my services as happiness is better spent than money.) The things I would like to use are: necromancy, Wicca, elemental, Faerie, blood, herbs, stones and anything else possible.
In your opinion, would this be possible without harming those on the Planes and tearing the veil to where it couldn’t be fixed, basically bringing doom to us all?
Keegan in Kentucky (incarcerated)
First, a word of reassurance: you are in no danger of rending the veil and bringing doom to us all. (It’s good that you thought about these things, though; BW only wishes her boyfriend could show such forethought once in a while.) As far as drawing from a number of different sources and creating your own magical tradition, BW has always believed that variety is the spice of life. While it might not be a writer’s retreat, your current location gives you plenty of free time to work on your project. And it sounds like your heart is in the right place, so BW sees no reason why you shouldn’t buckle down, study hard, and set about creating your Craft. Sure, it’s a big project, but ambition is a great thing. BW thinks her boyfriend left his ambition right next to his forethought, but that’s another story altogether...
Call me conservative, but I get a chill right up my spine when you, a self-described Craft newbie, talk about dabbling in necromancy. While I agree with BW that you are unlikely to call down the wrath of the Great Old Ones and their minions upon the world, there’s no telling what harm you might do to yourself. GW is getting awfully cranky about this point: she believes that mixing-and-matching pantheons and magical methodologies, particularly when one is attempting advanced work like contacting the dead, is a baaad idea.
GW also firmly believes that necromancy is a discipline best left for experienced practitioners. Contacting the dead (especially on behalf of other people) is more risky than the fluffy-bunnies of the world would have you believe: first, because there are a lot of entities wandering around, and not all of them are friendly (hence advanced skills in discernment, shielding, and psychic self-defense are absolute “must-have” skills) and second, because the dead aren’t necessarily smart, or even good. Just like anyone you might meet on the street the dead have their own motives and needs, and they might not always match your own.
Do yourself a favor, Keegan, and grow your skills for a time; begin, for example, by working with your own honored dead. When you have several years of ancestor work under your belt, then ask your dead if they think it is a good idea for you to take up this cause — and seriously consider following their advice.
This article first appeared in the magazine newWitch #17
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