What follows are the six laws that I believe every modern necromancer should live by, as compiled from my own experience. Working with the dead is an often maligned art which, due to a mistranslation at some point in its history, has become synonymous with the darkest magicks. That said, those who know my previous work will be well aware that I am a devotee of Lilith, the very mother of all demons, so the distinction that I am choosing to make between the two skill sets here is more a point of order than a denouncement of the supposed left hand path.
Respect ye the journey of the dying
Everything ends. This is a journey usually undertaken alone, forgotten and unwanted. Pain is silenced by drugs and the inevitable decay of the physical form is hidden behind locked hospital doors. It is in the recognition of this that the necromancer comes into their own. Sitting vigil over dying family members provides a solemn lesson in the nature of mortality, though for those who have been lucky enough to avoid such an event thus far a basic understanding of anatomy and a keen interest in autopsy will suffice. The most important thing to realise is that such remains are just meat and gristle, and of no use to the genuine adept.
Respect ye the remains of the dead
The true necromancer does not need to desecrate the remains of the dead. No bones need be burned or flesh consumed for a connection with those who have already passed to be made. Indeed, the physical aspects of necromancy are the preserve of those who lack the fine tuned instincts which allow for a purer relationship with the death current itself. Shading into the psychic arts, a recognition and control of energy in all its forms is the only real prerequisite required. While there are many factors which lead to the birth of a necromancer, an enduring respect for the sanctity of death is by far the most important.
Respect ye the places of the fallen
While the dead do not linger in graveyards, they may be called there far easier than at the necromant’s own altar. Battlefields and plague pits all hum noticeably with the death current and attract magickians like moths to a very vibrant flame. Knowing this it makes sense to look after these already liminal spaces, and drive home the need for respect when walking there among the general population. Vandalism to the tombs and monuments of the deceased should be actively discouraged if witnessed, while a local cemetery can be adopted and regularly maintained as an act of devotion as well.
Respect ye the spirits of the lost
Not all who pass arrive at their designated detonation. As such, a necromancer may be called upon to assist in removing such stragglers from places where the living still reside. That said, unless the spirits are deliberately violent or threatening they should be handled with all the respect and understanding that the necromant would accord their physical remains. Dying does not wash away the negativity of the living, however, and bad people remain so after discarnation. Should the worst happen and this appear to be the case then a far less polite methodology is acceptable when maintaining the integrity of the living realm.
Respect ye the deities of the veil
Whichever denomination you adhere to, there will be one or more entities who are especially tied to the death current. Be they solemn psychopomps such as Hecate or glorious warrior maidens like the Valkyries, each fulfils a much needed role within the sphere of death. As such, the necromant is expected to honour not only those associated with their chosen path but the numerous others who undertake the same burden for the roads not travelled. To what degree these secondary observances are made is left up to the individual, though at the very least they should be acknowledged as kindred spirits.
Respect ye the straddlers of the gate
Necromancy is a living art, undertaken by a few of those who who still breathe on behalf of the many that do not. It is a devotional path, paying heed to the importance of helping to keep the worlds of the living and the dead apart. Standing in this liminal space is no easy task, and high priests of the death current tend to report debilitating or mysterious health issues. When coupled with a loss of connection to the physical realm many become mere shells of their former selves. Far from being a negative, this loss of vigour is an important step that allows the necromant to become a living reminder of what awaits us all when we discarnate.