Saul and the Woman with a Familiar Spirit & Ancient Necromancy

Finger Pointing UpSo did King Saul completely give up on killing David?

1. Oracle
In the village Messopotamos, a short distance from the beach, you will find the archaeological site of necromancy.

The existence of the oracle is estimated in ancient times, and the major buildings were added in the third and second century B.C. Built on a hill northwest of Lake Acherousian over a cave is an impressive sight.

Here in ancient times was believed to be the Gates of Hades, the entrance of the souls of the dead to the underworld.

The famous oracle accepted each year large crowds of pilgrims.

Through a mystical process that lasted several days, they thought that they could communicate with the souls of the dead and learn what they had requested.

“And it came to pass in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel.  And Achish said unto David, Know thou assuredly, that thou shalt go out with me to battle, thou and thy men. 

And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head forever” (1 Sam 28:1-2).

The Philistines pitched in Shunem and Saul in Gilboa.

“And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. 

And when Saul enquired of the LORD, 1 the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets” (1 Sam 28:5-6).

After Samuel died, Saul got rid of all the 2 familiar spirits and wizards.  But now he wanted one so he told his servants to find him a woman that had a familiar spirit.  His men told him there was one in En-dor, so Saul disguised himself and took two men with him.

“And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? 

And Saul swore to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. 

2. Rivers
Lake Acherousia
In antiquity, the confluence of the rivers Acheron, Kokytos and Vovou, formed the lake Acherousia.

The lake covered the area between the villages Kastri, Acherousia, Kanalaki, Chohla and Mesopotamia.

According to the ancient Greeks, the boat was carrying the souls of the dead to Hades, with the boatman Charon starting from Oracle and headed towards the depths of the lake, where there were the so-called “Gates of Hell.”

Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee?  And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me?  For thou art Saul. 

And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. 

And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?  And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 

And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbor, even to David: 

3. Efyra
At the junction of the Acheron and its tributary Kokytos flourished in the 5th and 6th centuries. BC Efyra the ancient city, which was known by the necromancy of building of the 5th century. B.C.

Visitors flocked from all over the known world in this unique oracle, where they could stay after an initiation process and to communicate with the dead.

Today, the remains of distinguished rooms, corridors, the central underground chamber, pots etc.

It is the oldest city of the continent and you will find it 500 meters from the Oracle.

It was built in 13-14 century B.C. by Mycenaean colonists and was an important trading center since the days of Homer.

Often referred to the Odyssey and other tales.

Today only parts of the outer wall and two tombs from the Iron Age are saved.

The city was destroyed by the Romans in 167 B.C., like other 69 cities in Epirus.

Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.

4. Pandosia
Pandosia (Ancient Greek: Πανδοσία) was an ancient Greek city of Epirus. Together with the other Elean colonies Bucheta and Elatea it was a city of the Cassopaeans, who were a sub-tribe of the Thesprotians. It was located south of the river Acheron.

Very little is known about its history, save that Pandosia and its neighbours Bucheta and Elatea were conquered by Philip of Macedon. He transferred the cities to the possession of Alexander I of Epirus.

Alexander was allegedly warned by an oracle to beware of Pandosia and the Acheron river. When he left Epirus for a military campaign on the Italian Peninsula he thought himself to be safe, far away from the two places. He did not realize there was also a city called Pandosia and identically named river in Bruttium until it was too late. He was killed there during the Battle of Pandosia.

In 1994, archaeological surveys were started on small number of fortified town sites in Southern Epirus. The modern village Kastri is most frequently identified as the site of the ancient city. The ruins of an acropolis can be seen on a hill near Kastri.

This site 33 hectares (82 acres) occupies and was investigated with an archaeological survey in 1994. Over 85,000 artifacts were uncovered, more than 15,000 pottery sherds and more than 70,000 tile and brick fragments.

A definitive identification of this site as Pandosia has not been possible however, because Strabo described the city as situated to the south of the Acheron, but Kastri is just north of the river. This uncertainty has led to the suggestion that it might have been located much further inland at Gourana. Alternatively, the Acheron river might have changed its course over time to the south of the city.

Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. 

Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.

And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me. 

Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way.

But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed. 

And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof:

And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night” (1 Sam 28:9-25).

1 God will not answer prayers that come from evil people. 

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. 

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (Is 59:1-2).

Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: He will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings (Mic 3:4).

2 Why Saul got rid of the familiar spirits and wizards is unknown, since he still chose to use them.  He may have thought by doing that God would forgive him because participating with evil spirits is a sin. 

5. Chinese shaman tomb
The Chinese shaman tomb and its contents from 2,800 years ago. Almost 800 grams of cannabis was found inside the tomb.
Magic in the Greco-Roman world

Early necromancy was related to – and most likely evolved from – shamanism, which calls upon spirits such as the ghosts of ancestors.

Classical necromancers addressed the dead in “a mixture of high-pitch squeaking and low droning”, comparable to the trance-state mutterings of shamans.

Necromancy was prevalent throughout Western antiquity with records of its practice in Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

In his Geographica, Strabo refers to νεκρομαντία (necyomanteis), or “diviners by the dead”, as the foremost practitioners of divination among the people of Persia, and it is believed to have also been widespread among the peoples of Chaldea (particularly the Sabians, or “star-worshipers”), Etruria, and Babylonia.

The Babylonian necromancers were called manzazuu or sha’etemmu, and the spirits they raised were called etemmu.

The oldest literary account of necromancy is found in Homer’s Odyssey.

Under the direction of Circe, a powerful sorceress, Odysseus travels to the underworld (katabasis) in order to gain insight about his impending voyage home by raising the spirits of the dead through the use of spells which Circe has taught him.

He wishes to invoke and question the shade of Tiresias in particular; however, he is unable to summon the seer’s spirit without the assistance of others.

The Odyssey’s passages contain many descriptive references to necromantic rituals: rites must be performed around a pit with fire during nocturnal hours, and Odysseus has to follow a specific recipe, which includes the blood of sacrificial animals, to concoct a libation for the ghosts to drink while he recites prayers to both the ghosts and gods of the underworld.

 There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh is son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times,

Or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 

For all that do these things are abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee (Deut 18:10-12).

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because thou has rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee form being king (1 Sam 15:23).

6. Necromancy
Necromancy/Satan’s Heaven
The picture shows John Dee and Edward Kelley practicing Necromancy by Ebenezer Sibly (1806).<br />

The blackest of all the black arts is undoubtedly necromancy, the ancient method of communication with the dead.

The art of raising the dead and controlling their spirits takes its name from Greek words meaning “dead” and “divination”.

Necromancy can be divided into two main branches:

Divination by means of ghosts, and divination from corpses.

The second method leads to the disinterment of corpses and rifling of graves for grisly charms which magicians and witches consider necessary for the effective performance of the magical arts.

Necromancy is a universal practice of great antiquity, only the profoundly initiated, brave and single-minded magician has any chance of success in such a venture, always considered to be extremely dangerous, for not only is a pact with the Devil necessary, but it is thought that the “astral corpse” has an intense desire to live again and could, by absorbing life-energy from living creatures, prolong its life indefinitely, thus, unless he has taken adequate precautions, the magician might be in great danger.

To evoke the dead the magician needs to obtain the help of powerful spirits, both for his own protection and to compel the corpse or ghost to submit to his will.

A spell from ancient Greece calls upon the powers of the mighty Kore, Persephone, Ereshkigal, Adonis, Hermes and Thoth, to bind the dead.

According to a ritual described by Seneca, the Roman dramatist, the summoning of the dead involves not only a burnt sacrifice but a blood-drenched altar.

Scent and odors must be carefully produced from burning substances for their powerful influences.

Elaborate preparations include careful study of the positions of the planets, and especially of the moon and the influence of Saturn.

The site for the operation has to be chosen with care, the most favorable is some lonely crossroads, a vault, a ruin, an unfrequented forest, or a blasted heath.

Once a time is decided upon for the operation, a series of concentric circles of power must be drawn on the grounds within which are inscribed crosses and other symbols, together with holy names of God.

I have never practiced this so I don’t know if the above information is correct or not, other than you would need the devil’s assistance.

But call all the supposed holy names of God that you like, He won’t help you, but He will send you to hell.

The circle must be blessed and consecrated, with the magician and his assistant standing at its center, protected by the holy names from all danger.

Then, wand in hand, the magician summons the dead to rise, using names of power.

Eliphas Levi and other magicians have suggested the need for some attempt at identification between the living and the dead, as for example the presence of a portrait, and a portion of bread which the ghost would be invited to consume.

In his evocation, the magician summons the dead by name and, if he is successful, he has to face the frightening ordeal of a phantom screaming and gibbering with rage at having been compelled against its will to return to the realms of the living.

Samuel was not happy when Saul summoned him (1 Sam 28:15).

Now the work of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.  Of the which I tell you before, as I have last told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:19-21).

Ancient Necromancy

Necromancy, the practice of divination through inquiring of the dead, was forbidden under Biblical law (Lev 19:31; 20:6).

Saul himself had banned this activity from the land and yet, in his desperation to receive some instruction regarding the future, he himself turned to a necromancer.

Such attempts to communicate with the dead are known throughout the ancient Near East.

Mesopotamia provides a few examples of the most famous of which is the Sumerian story of “Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the Netherworld,” in which Nergal summons the ghost of Enkidu to rise from a hole in the ground in order that he might speak to Gilgamesh.

Other Mesopotamian examples attest to necromancers (both male and female) using skulls to house the spirits while they were being questioned.

In Egypt, letters were written to the dead, most likely for purposes of necromancy.

In 1 Sam 28:13, when the necroman­cer sees Samuel she asserts that she is seeing a “divine being” or “gods” (elohim in Hebrew).

This use of elohim to refer to a ghost is unique in the Bible and has given rise to numerous historical and theological questions.

Is this an indication that the dead were deified in ancient Israel and could be sought out in order to provide an oracle?

Other surround­ing cultures had ceremonies to honor the dead in cultic fashion; in Mesopotamia such a ceremony was called the kispu ritual.

The cities of Mari and Ugarit also practiced food offerings and libations for the dead.

Laws against such activities in the Bible (Lev 19:31, 20:27; Deut 18:9-14) suggest that a similar prac­tice was well known, though forbidden, in Israel.

Saul’s willingness to contravene his own decree and God’s law and engage in the heterodox practice of divining the dead demonstrates the desperation and degradation to which his unfaithfulness had brought him.

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