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RAISING THE DEAD - Al & Jesse Talk About Necromancy

Join us for an evening of two fellow necromancers talking about necromancy. Old World, New World, Saints and Sinners.

The English seventeenth century was a period of civil wars, famine, and plague: life could indeed be ‘nasty, brutish, and short’. Amidst such fragile mortality, people prayed for their deceased, petitioned elevated Christian martyrs, witnessed ghosts, and whispered of black magic in midnight graveyards.

This talk introduces early modern funerary customs and attitudes towards dying, before investigating the roles of the dead in Western occult philosophy and magical practice: from corpses as spell components to both the exorcism and summoning of ghosts. 

The folk-revered and canonical Saints and Blessed Dead of Spain and Portugal and their historical strongholds in the New World are treasure troves of necromantic power and agency. These Catholic inheritances were quickly adapted by local magical workers as allies and psychopomps to and from the world of the Dead. Yet for all the treasure trove this Work provides, it is seldom discussed outside of the languages of practice (Castellano and Portuguese primarily). Due in part to the stigma of Catholicism in the United States and the English speaking world, much has been passed off as superstition and papist propaganda. With their remains enshrined rather than interred, these restless dead are our most helpful allies, whether by virtue of their lives, or the demand of the living now placed in their care. From the use of Saint relics, to cult of the Good and the Bad Marthas, to the cult of Santo Entierro (the entombed Jesus), to the strategic use of Saint-as-masque and the concept of 'forcing the Saint' into a relic, this talk will explore these powerful figures of responsive Blessed Dead as testaments to the intercessory power of the Departed and their agency in magic and their relevance today, especially in the New World.


$40 Entry, refreshments provided

Dr. Alexander Cummins is an historian, poet, and magician. His research focuses on grimoires, folk magic, demonology, and the dead. He has written articles on topics ranging from amulets to apocalypse and his first book, The Starry Rubric: Seventeeth-century English Astrology and Magic, was released in 2012 through Hadean Press. He curates an online archive of freely downloadable historical magical texts over at

Jesse Hathaway Diaz is a folklorist, diviner, artist and performer living in New York City. With initiations in several forms of witchcraft from both Europe and the Americas, he is also a lifelong student of Mexican Curanderismo and devotee of la Santisima Muerte, an initiated Olosha in Lucumi, and a Tatá Quimbanda. He performs with Theatre Group Dzieci, an experimental theatre group based in NY exploring the sacred through the medium of theatre. He is also half of, a store specializing in esoterica, materia magica, and occult art, inspired and drawing from Traditional Witchcraft, Quimbanda, Demonology and Necromancy.