I’m not really huge on spiritual contact out of the correct rituals, but I do think that the rules can be bent a bit for people someone knows personally. After all, no-one asks before picking up the phone, and in the case of people who were retired in real life before passing, they didn’t really keep any sort of schedule anyway. Not being one who particularly subscribes to necromancy, I really think Crowley in Magick Without Tears was onto something in Chapter 37:
What do I mean when I say that I think I was Eliphaz Lévi? No more than that I possess some of his most essential characteristics, and that some of the incidents in his life are remembered by me as my own. There doesn’t seem any impossibility about these bundles of Sankhara being shared by two or more persons. We certainly do not know enough of what actually takes place to speak positively on any such point. Don’t lose any sleep over it.
Ruach: This may be translated Mind, Spirit, or Intellect: none of these is satisfactory, the connotation varying with every writer. The Ruach is a closely-knitted group of Five Moral and Intellectual principles, concentrated on their core, Tiphareth, the Principle of Harmony, the Human Consciousness and Will of which the four other Sephiroth are (so to speak) the feelers. And these five principles culminate in a sixth, Daäth, Knowledge. But this is not really a principle; it contains in itself the germ of self-contradiction and so of self-destruction. It is a false principle: for. as soon as Knowledge is analysed, it breaks up into the irrational dust of the Abyss.
This is Crowley being very matter of fact, someone need not accept that a particular religion is right or correct to understand that there are separate impulses which make us into us. At the very simplest matter there might be conflicted emotions – a parent might love a child but hate to administer punishment. These are mitigated by the intelligence, where a parent knows that by spanking the child and correcting the behavior, the child will hopefully learn and be performant later in life. Similarly there is an inertia, which says that the child should be performant in a certain way which is why the behavior is bad or good. The easiest example I can come up with is something like a family tradition – if everyone is a shipwright, and the family tradition is on the water, than a child could be encouraged to use leisure time to swim, or woodwork, or sew sails, or paint with oils. Similarly, re-incarnation is the reintegration of a particular level of skill into the person if they re-incarnate with it as they choose.
But you should read the essay. Similar to how I feel when I hunt, I have an emotional connection, an intellectual connection, and a body connection to the sport. I feel for the animals, I have to intellectually consider nature and the habitat, and I have to be a competent hiker and shot to take the game. When I die, one of those skills will pass with my physical body (hiking, shooting muscle memory), my intellect will pass along a bit longer, and my emotional set which is actually what makes me into me will either stick around or return to God or whatever we do. I suspect the vision in Saturn, because it mostly dealt with the dead reliving portions of their lives, was really an intellectual reaction being fueled by an emotional one. Might there be a second death in the Garden? Perhaps, but I would suspect that once we become beings of pure emotion, we would be overcome with the exchange of love between us and the Godhead and seek union with it much in the same way we seek union with our wives or husbands. It’s emotional, it’s physical, it’s intellectual. If we don’t want to have union with the Godhead and experience all these things as the sum of all experiences, then it would be only natural to re-incarnate so we wouldn’t be deprived of one corner of the triangle of experience.
(“Phergoph, I thought you were talking about your grandmother, don’t make this weird”).
Why do “fallen” spirits seem to be really interested in the physical? They’ve never experienced it! Why do they seem to be really interested in people with strong sexual urges? They can’t create or fully experience that union! What are “not fallen” spirits then? Spirits content with their offices. We have spirits who represent things we usually think of as emotions or forces, and similarly our souls are variegated admixtures themselves. Does anyone ever re-incarnate fully? Probably not, I’m fairly comfortable arguing that intentionally or not, we don’t come back with everything. Part of that might be the skills or parts of our souls are perfected, and part of it might be we don’t want the temptation of overeating or something like that and in an effort of freeing ourselves from the demons of gluttony, we also are willing to trade some of our aspiration.
Alright, so after that whole thing about “How do souls work?” I would venture anyone who practices necromancy probably hasn’t put much thought into the hows and whys. But what brought this on? I normally don’t think too much about my Grandmothers chairs. I happened to be doing something near our Yule Tree (probably stealing cookies) and the two overstuffed wing chairs sit in the little nook with the tree. There’s an end-table between them we put some candles and decor on, along with all my grandmothers lamps in the “adult room”. This is the one room we keep nice and this is the one room which the adults try to hang out in when we have more formal functions. Toys which end up in the den get kicked out, the room is a small bit of solace in a house otherwise filled with kids and their kit. However, the wing chairs my grandmothers, along with the lamps, and they contribute a certain disjointed peace to the room by themselves being mostly floral and familiar in a room mostly occupied and decorated with cream colored solid toned furniture. They stick out, but by themselves they don’t impose on the room. However, this particular night, as I was
wrapping presents stealing cookies, I distinctly caught the presence of my Grandmother sitting in the chair.
Can people come back to visit? Sure. Such is the secret of magic. If we can call up that emotional connection, and we can find that intellectual shell, all that’s left is the familiar hand on our shoulders and that person can be there. Would I say she’s been wafting around in the afterlife stalking me around the house, in the shower, through the bedroom and she has one last really important message that only she can tell me if I know her name begins with B and she drove a buick for a low price!?!?!? No. We’re all part of the same Godhead. Her soul is my soul, which is my wife’s soul, which is her kids soul all up and down the tree. It is therefor, sufficient, to just remember her how she was. Expression is the mirror of experience. Experiencing her coming to visit and sit in the chair and remembering how she expressed herself lets me express her again and experience her for Christmas.
We had a brief chat, I caught a smell of roses over the smell of pine, and I left her out a dinnerplate with some pasta, and of course, the last cookie.