Necromancy tends to get a raw deal in popular culture. Indeed, characters associated with this most misunderstood paradigm tend to fall into two distinct camps. The horror film villain with an army of the resurrected dead and almost eternal lifespan, or the unlikely hero who utilises the fallen in a last ditch effort to do evil for the greater good. The modern necromant is actually more concerned with life force in all its myriad forms than either of these fantasy stereotypes. Especially skilled practitioners will instinctively recognise the energy inherent in bodily fluids, auric fields and even the everyday environment.
Coupled with years of magickal study this understanding allows them to manipulate said flow of power to either heal or harm as desired. It is not an easy process, nor is it guaranteed to generate results. But when it does work it works miracles, and sometimes that is exactly what you need. Many of those walking the more mainstream necromantic path may seek exclusively to communicate with spirits as did the infamous historical sorcerers of old. Lusting after either treasure or wisdom, they pester the discarnate with questions and demands, rarely getting the vastly unimportant answers that they seek.
It is a dangerous misconception that the dead are any more honest or wise than the living, one that stems from incorrect religious ideas about the nature of the afterlife. Despite new age claims otherwise a good portion of the recently deceased do not become undergrads at some cosmic university while they await a new posting within the material plane. Many never cross the veil, remaining here in a state of confusion instead. These echoes form the majority of the entities that a conduit of the death current will encounter on a daily basis. In light of this, a few more socially minded magickians might prefer to dwell where the forbidden arts shade into modern mediumship, serving as a tool for communication between the living and the lost.
The caustic influence of spiritualism, with its dual vices of heretical Christianity and blatant falsification of evidence, has done much to damage this branch of the esoteric family tree. Still, there is nothing inherently wrong with training to become a medium if approached honestly. Yet those with a truly necromantic viewpoint realise that to narrow their interests in such a way is to also drain much of the positivity from an already unfairly maligned paradigm. Those who push beyond this point will inevitably become so attuned to the ebb and flow of life force that they can instinctively recognise its drumbeat running through all living things.
The necromant easily notices when the tempo is speeding up or slowing down, and can tell when someone is about to make their final journey beyond the veil. Such an insight can become a burden, however, and a is grim responsibility in any case. With enough practice a skilled necromancer may even become adept enough to alter the Reaper in her path, though this can only ever be done at a heavy price and never for more than a few weeks at most. Death is a force much more powerful than even the most advanced student of the necromantic arts. She can rarely be bargained with and will not be denied forever. Sadly, this is not a path to immortality, and even the best among us will never become a kingly lich or lowly revenant.
Only medical science can grant such boons. Many modern occultists strongly support the case for singularity, the inevitable blending of man and machine that has become a staple of sci-fi fiction. Unfortunately, this advance is staunchly opposed by the blinkered religious majority who see the idea of improving upon the human form as somehow Satanic. But those damned few who are willing to push the limits of what is socially acceptable understand that all magick is an invasive and violent discipline wherein every advance in knowledge must be paid for in blood and toil. Such is the path they have chosen, and chosen gladly.
Were it not for the strict moral code associated with it, madness and aberration would no doubt follow the adept’s first forays into this particular abyss. Approaching the death current in any form is not an easy path, nor is it one that can be trod either lightly or without sacrifice. Accepting the necessary role that dying plays in living can be a heavy weight to bear at times. Yet what the necromant inevitably loses in physical potency and peace of mind is more than made up for by the benefits inherent in becoming a psychopomp. Not least of these is the ability to keep themselves and their loved ones safely ticking away, even when the Reaper herself is chasing them down.