Saturday, September 25, 2010

Raising the Dead - PMBP

For the Practical Magic Blog party, I thought I’d dabble on a subject raised in the film. I always really loved the part when Jillian and Sally try to raise Jimmy, Jillian’s psychotic boyfriend, from the dead after poisoning him with Deadly Nightshade (classiest of the poisoning substances). Besides being an absurdly bad decision to resurrect someone trying to murder you, the spell looked rather easy, and I've always longed for a Zombie of my very own!

Skip to the 4:00 mark to get to the good stuff.

A closer look at the ingredients that the producers/scriptwriters felt would, in combination, bring life to the dead reveal some pretty standard deep magic materials. Blue sage, Madagoria (Mandrake root), Henbane (another poisonous herb) and lots of beeswax candles are among the decipherable ingredients. Then there is a lot of gesturing, tricks with the tongue and whip cream, and the delightful sticking of needles in the eyes of the dead.

So, I decided to see how much this little song and dance that ends badly for all involved has in common with other methods of raising the dead. In order to do that, I needed to actually find other methods of raising the dead. Luckily for me and every other seeker of the obscure, there is Google.

E-How Method: How to Raise the Dead

Ah! There truly is an E-How for everything. This helpful little gem suggested many paths to follow for emptying out the grave, and with very little overhead needed. For its voodoo method, all that is needed is a puffer fish (the really poisonous fugu) ground up into powder and tested on someone who may or may not die from ingestion (if they do, you can resurrect them next). E-how also suggests you try your psychic abilities after dousing the corpse with animal blood, or perform your own free-style incantation in the garden of good and evil. Loud music and consistent shocking with electrical currents are also viable options. Warnings consist of brain-eating Zombies and making sure the subject is actually dead before you perform any resurrection work on them, as you may just end up killing them and creating more work for yourself.

Randy Demain - Crazy Christian Method

According to evangelist and Youtube-proclaimed whack job Randy Demain, westerners have made this Jesus-commanded act of resurrecting the dead too difficult. Randy proclaims that he raised aUgandan folks from the dead. After being rudely interrupted while in the middle delivering “The Message” to a congregation, Randy was shown to the stiff body of a woman in the tall grass. In his vexation over being interrupted just to be shown some dead woman, he commanded the woman to live in the name of the Lord, because he needed to get back to his congregation. The dead woman abided, was brought back to the compound where she stole money and ran off before being converted.

Witchcraft method:

Surprisingly (or not, if you are at all familiar with Witchcraft), there are no methods for raising the dead that Google can reveal. Wiccans and Pagans almost categorically condemn the idea of violating nature in such a way. But then there is that little thing called Necromancy. Sure, most modern witches don’t touch the stuff, and the very root of the world means black magic. But it’s still a category and perhaps my last best hope for getting that Pet Zombie I’ve kinda always wanted.

Practiced all the way back to antiquity, Necromancy can be found throughout ancient Europe, notably in Greek mythology. The ancient Necromancer was pretty hardcore about his craft, wearing dead people’s clothing and even engaging in a little cannibalism (hopefully only of those they weren’t bringing back to life). They also had strict scheduling policies: bodies could be raised up to 12 months after death. Afterwards only the spirit could be summoned. A classic afterlife warranty program.

In medieval Europe, resurrection was linked with Demonology and Astrology (via Arabic influences), and was practiced by highly-educated members of the lower Christian clergy, not Witches. Offering sacrifices and invoing various demons, these necromantic rites mingled the occult with Christian and Jewish tradition and were considered prayers as opposed to witchcraft by ecclesiastical authorities. The Munich Manual is a Bavarian grimiore of the 15th century that outlines rites and general information on demonology and prayer. It has not been published in modern English.


Well, so much for the fantasies inspired by Practical Magic. As far as the Google Gods can say, I will never really be able to get my pet zombie or raise my childhood dog from the grave. So I’ll stick to watching Jimmy Angelov be resurrected only to choke out Nicole Kidman and be buried under the rosebushes. Or I’ll just keep killing and resuscitating house flies. That’s a start, right?

As part of the Practical Magic Blog Party, I'm giving all readers 20% off any purchase through Monday at My October Country's Etsy Store. Just convo me on Etsy with "Raising the Dead" after purchasing to be refunded the 20%!


Birgit said...
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Birgit said...

Wow, now that was interesting -- especially the part about the Munich Manual. You see, I live in Munich. I have been quite sure that the book must be in the State Library. Sure enough I found it -- it can even be viewed online. It's Latin though. I studied Latin, but I also forgot a lot... Anyway, the book is a sight in itself -- I will surely check it out more thoroughly when time allows. Thanks for mentioning it -- great PM post!

-- Birgit

Leah said...

Very interesting! And a smidge creepy ;)

Kat the hat lady! said...

Very cool PM post :-) Kat

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Who knew? what a fascinating post!! Hope you can come visit to see our visitor buried in the rose garden. :)

Layla Morgan Wilde said...

This was one of the more interesting posts during the party. Btw, I'm a serious cemetery buff and photographer.

Shaiha said...

Very cool and unique PM post.

Be sure to stop by my blog for my giveaway.

Brightest Blessings!

Joane said...

Very interesting. I like looking at the darker side of things. Good to know someone else does too. Thanks. Come my blog for a giveaway.

Susan's crafty chaos said...

Ah, the wonders of the internet :P Pet zombies sound like so much fun but sadly they can never be litter-trained :P

Scrap Vamp said...

Thanks so much for having me to your blog party! It was very interesting to see all the different ways people think you can raise the dead. I hope you'll visit me, too!

Jo said...

Delightfully creepy PM party post! Bravo!

Elysian Field Originals said...

Wonderfully creepy party post! Brightest Blessings!

Aimee Jeffries said...

Great post! I really had my heart set on that pet zombie too...bummer! :)

annabelle said...

Curious and strange and quite haunting .For my PM post I designed a DG on the very same subject....Thanks for your spooky entertainment.
~^..^~ * Annabelle

Penny said...

creepy party post - but very enjoyable.
Thank you so much for sharing.

Brightest Blessings,

Elizabeth Barczynski said...

ooo...that was fun!

Ephemerot said...

Dear Birgit,

Please steal this book for me! I will have my pet Zombie yet!

Thanks to everyone who visited and left their links. I've had so much fun flying over your blogs! Come on back for more creepiness!

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