Thursday, January 30, 2020

As Dianne Skafte Essay Example for Free

As Dianne Skafte Essay As Dianne Skafte stated in her book, â€Å"All the lives form the body of the Earth, and to that body all shall return†. The earth is viewed as the source of life with all the agricultural crops it gives to sustain the living. However, this very earth is also the home of the dead. People in different parts of the world plant their dead in the earth just like the seeds of their crops with the belief that their loved one will be born again as a new person, live in the body of an animal, or stay in the underworld. Otherwise, our ancients believed that the spirits who were returned to the earth become wise and that they gain the ability to turn into clairvoyants who can see the future and thus give guidance to those who are still living (Skafte 2000). This is the primary reason why necromancy was constantly used in the classical world. If a person decides to contact the dead, he or she will have the ability to know many hidden things. The act of necromancy falls under the umbrella of many different occult divination practices. The term was rooted from the ancient Greek language with the word ‘nekros’ meaning ‘corpse’ and ‘manteia’ or ‘prophesy’. Necromancy evolved through time and developed many different forms. Even though the Greeks may seem to be the civilization that is always connected to the act, summoning the dead was well-practiced by different civilizations around the world during these classical times like the Romans, Asians, Medieval Europeans, and Egyptians (Helium. com). The people living in the classical times look highly into their ‘necromaneias’ or the oracles of the dead. One famous act of necromancy was the one that happened in a hillside cave in Epiris where the famous legendary hero Odysseus was said to have summoned the dead at the place in order to get some guidance and information for his dangerous journey to home. Even though the Odyssey is only a fictional tale, Homer was able to base his writings from the actual practices of the many Greek necromancers that operate during their time (Donald Tyson’s Supernatural World. com). The place was also often connected to the worshipping of the goddess of the underworld, Persephone and the god of the dead, Hades. During the periods of medieval and renaissance times in ancient European history, the act of necromancy is considered as a normal part of the life of the people. There are other reasons why conjuring the dead is used. Wise-men ask for help from the spirits of the departed in order to seek for help in diagnosing the illnesses and giving cures to their patients. When it comes to families, they often seek for guidance from their dead loved ones and ask them to appear in their dreams. It was also believed that the souls of those who had already ‘crossed over to the other side’ have the rare ability in finding missing persons or even treasures that have long been lost. Spirits also help unearth some secret crimes that have been committed but were never given justice. The act of necromancy was so popularly used and believed in the ancient times that Catholic priests were even believed to have practiced the art centuries ago even though it was not openly discussed in their history books of their churches. Classical engravings also document some of the necromancy acts of famous philosophers and scholars of the time. Example of this is the one depicting John Dee, a 16th century mathematician with a famous necromancer. In the picture, the two were enveloped by a magic circle with signs of the zodiac and other symbols with a corpse in front of them. Another illustration was that of the Edward Kelly, an Elizabethan alchemist, and Paul Waring who are also protected by a magic circle while facing a corpse that has risen from the ground. All of these depictions were not fiction and were actual events. The use of the magical circle that shrouds both pictures mentioned serves as the protection of the humans from the forces of the spirit they have called that is mostly unhappy and unwilling to cooperate (Donald Tyson’s Supernatural World. com). During these times, scholars asking for the guidance and knowledge of the dead were not considered as an uncommon phenomenon. During the classical times, Nobilities or the Christian clergy were the literate members that compose high society. It is believed that either or both of these two groups were responsible for the spreading and practicing of the necromancy despite of the fact that is was strictly forbidden in Christianity. Access to necromancy is a kind of act that can only be accessible to those who belong to the scholars of Europe mainly because of reasons of accessibility, knowledge, and the procedures it use. Evidence to this fact is the number of confessions that a couple of Nobles and Clergy members expressed regarding their experience with the act. A closer look at the practices of necromancy also showed that the procedures are closely similar to Christian rites. In exorcism cases in Christianity, the spirits or demons were forces away through the use of the name of God, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus. This can be compared to the spells of necromancy which are similar to these rites in complete opposition (Necromancy. com). There are also examples of necromancy written in the Holy Bible. One of these is that on Samuel, chapters 28 and 31 that tell the story of King Saul and his abhorrence to David. In the story, he began doubting his decision of bringing David into his court because of the latter’s charisma in people and good skills of being a warrior. The King regretted letting David enter his kingdom when he started to notice that the people were already choosing the young man’s side instead of his. During that time, the Philistines were also preparing to attack. Out of desperation, King Saul disguised and went to see a ‘seeress’ to help him contact the dead. It shall be noted that the king has given an order to persecute all seers, wizards, and others that deal with the supernatural thus the need for his disguise as a common man. After the woman was convinced that she never have punishment for the request, she went onto a trance and related a vision to King Saul. According to the vision, she saw gods ascending from the earth which all gathered to form a man who is covered by a long mantle. As Saul bowed to the ground, he then recognized the spirit that possessed the woman as his deceased prophet, Samuel. But the vision was not the end of it. Samuel chastised the king for his evil attacks of David and said the because of King Saul’s violation of his covenant with the Lord, he will die the next day. The following die, King Saul’s soldiers were slaughtered and he mortally wounded. Knowing his coming fate, he decided to fall upon his own sword (Skafte 2000). Another example of necromancy mentioned in the bible was in Aeschylus’ Persians. In here, the necromancy procedure consisted of Queen Atossa asking the Persian elders to call Darius from his grave. The Queen brought some garlands of milk and different offerings like milk, honey, water, and unmixed wine and oil. The elders followed the queen’s request and called upon the deceased King asking for powerful death gods like Hades to send his soul in the face of earth. When King Darius was successfully summoned, he narrated the beating of the ground and the effect of the cries of the ‘necromantic cries’ on dead people like him (Bremmer 2002). This literary description supports the ancient beliefs about the two questions that are usually mentioned by the souls called through necromancy. The first is about the experiences and unknown secrets of the deceased while they are still living and the second, who is depicted by this story, are the relating of the souls of the ephemeral and magical things they’ve learned upon ‘crossing over’. There are many risks in calling the dead. One of these is through the perspective of Christians who condemn the use of the act. According to this side, the acquiring of knowledge from the dead is prohibited because it was not information that God prohibited to be released. According Christianity laws, there are only two legitimate sources of information that the living can use. These are the things that are revealed by the Lord and those that gleaned through a natural kind of revelation. Simply said, using necromancy to know secrets from the dead is also equivalent to stealing forbidden information. Second, spirits are not beings that people can simply call and command. The art of necromancy is divided into two different phases, the first of which is the calling of the spirit and the second is compelling it to do the bid of the necromancer. Since the spirits of the dead aren’t actually always willing to be called and ordered, there is a great risk for the necromancer and his assistant to be attacked by the former if they’re magical barrier is not that strong (Necromancy 101. com). Moreover, acts of necromancy should have well-defined motives because otherwise it will be considered as works of darkness, simply for the selfish whims of the person who wants to ‘call’ and can also turn out to be dangerous for the health and reason of the necromancer and his assistant. In necromancy procedures of classical times, necromancers are forced to inflict pain on the spirits they call just to force the latter to follow them. As a result of these, the souls are usually very unhappy towards the individuals, heightening the probability of them to become violent.Thus, there is a great risk that comes along with the valuable secrets a spirit may expose (Spence 1960). Bibliography: Bremmer, Jan N. 2002. The rise and fall of the afterlife: The 1995 Read-Tuckwell Lectures at the University of Bristol. Routledge. DeWaay, Bob. 2006. The Dangers of Divination. http://www. deceptioninthechurch. com/dangersofdivination. html (accessed June 14, 2009). Necromancy. 2009. Necromancy in History. Necromancy: Encyclopedia II. http://www. experiencefestival. com/a/Necromancy_-Necromancy_in_history/id/1575928 (accessed June 14, 2009). Skafte, Dianne. 2000. When Oracles Speak. Quest Books. Spence, Lewis. 1960. Encyclopaedia of Occultism. New York: University Books. Townbridge, B. 2009. Necromancy explained. Helium. com. http://www. helium. com/items/246248-necromancy-explained (accessed June 14, 2009). Tyson, Donald. 2007. The Truth About Necromancy. Donald Tyson’s Supernatural World. http://www. donaldtyson. com/necro. html (accessed June 14, 2009). Wendell, Leilah. 1997. Necromancy 101. The Occult Library. http://www. realmagick. com/articles/17/1817. html (accessed June 14, 2009).

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