Have you ever dabbled in the Occult? Come on, be honest. I am a child of the 60s and 70s America. I also believe that the Catholic Church actually enabled me to easily delve into the occult. Face it. Obviously, the occult is mysterious, other-worldly, and who doesn’t want to know the future? As a teen, I was into all of that. Not knowing any better, I played with Ouija Boards. Wanting to be cool, I just about memorized Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs and knew all the personal characteristics of each zodiac sign.
When I went away to college and walked away from the useless Catholic Church, I loved the bar scene. My favorite pick-up line was, “What’s Your Sign?” If the guy didn’t know, I’d ask, “When’s your birthday?” Immediately, I knew what his sign was. Additionally, I then determined if he was compatible with my being a Gemini. If he wasn’t, I’d introduce him to a friend of mine with a compatible “love sign”. If he was, I’d continue the conversation.
Needless to say, that whole system didn’t work at all. I never found a guy willing to commit to a long-term relationship, never mind marriage. I was going about life the wrong way.
Besides astrology and Ouija Boards I also tried…
- Taro Cards
- Having my palm read
- Drugs and alcohol — yes they are part of occult practices. However, and I thank God for this — I never got addicted.
Where and When did all these Occult Practices Start?
Obviously, they didn’t start in the 60s and 70s. They just had a resurgence in popularity then. Some will say that they’re having a resurgence in popularity now. (That’s for a later post on Neo-Paganism.)
No, these practices started long, long ago. But first, let’s see what the Bible has to say about the occult…
God, very specifically, laid down the law for the Israelites prior to them entering the Promised Land…
A Call to Holy Living
9 “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. 10 For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, 11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you. 13 But you must be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the Lord your God forbids you to do such things.”Deuteronomy 18:9-14 NLT
There’s that word “detestable” again! If God labels a practice or act detestable, you probably shouldn’t do it.
What is the Occult?
The occult is an umbrella term that includes many practices and belief systems. These beliefs are usually based on the idea that everything is or contains energy (an un-quantifiable energy), and one can access, change, channel and/or manipulate this energy (or force) for the purposes of gaining information, healing, or bringing a desired situation or thing into material reality.Marcia Montenegro
The Occult covers practices that are detestable to God…
- Astrology (Isaiah 47)
- Casting spells (Deuteronomy 18)
- Consulting spirits (Deuteronomy 18)
- Witchcraft (Deuteronomy 18)
- Spiritualism (Deuteronomy 18)
- Magic (Genesis 41)
- Sorcery (Exodus 22)
- Divination (Deuteronomy 18) – the attempt to foretell the future in order to shape our lives according to it.
What is Divination?
Divination is the most widespread occult practice. The occult practice of divination is practiced by observing omens, casting lots, interpreting physical objects or shapes, or spontaneously by whatever the diviner sees. Divination practitioners use literally a myriad of techniques and paraphernalia such as: astrology, books, tarot cards, crystal balls, tea leaves, palm reading, Ouija Boards (this could be under the spiritism section also), water, fire, numbers, dreams, rods (especially for discovering underground water), entrails of animals, Feng Shui, the dead, etc. The Scriptures seem to say that true divination is brought about by demons.Pastor Billy Crone
Paul encountered a demon-possessed diviner…
16 One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”
18 This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.Acts 16:16-18 NLT
In other words, friend, if you mess with the occult, you are messing with demons.
Druidism stems all the way back to the 4th century BC. It’s the main pagan religion of the Celts. The Celts had no written language, thus traditions and beliefs were passed from generation to generation orally and through iconography. Mostly by poets, bards, artists, and music.
The Celts were all over Europe. In fact, I traced a great grandfather of mine to Galicia, Spain, which is at the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula to the Celts. Hence, when I had my DNA done, I ended up with 7% Irish and 5% from Wales.
From the Celts and the Druids we get these occult practices…
- Animal and human sacrifices — their ashes would help the crops grow
- May Day — They would burn humans in a huge “wicker man” “bone-fire”, which is where we get the word and “bonfire” ritual. (You can click on the link to look at an image on Wikipedia.) From here we also get “Burning Man.”
- “3 Times the Charm” – say a spell 3 times and it will work.
- Beginners Luck — if a new practitioner was successful at their first try at a spell they were lucky.
- Sacred spaces — there were high spots where they went to be closer to the “spirits” — aka demons. (Remember this is way before Christ and the Holy Spirit. Hence, these are demonic spirits they are conjuring.)
- Tapping — “knock on wood”.
- Oak trees — “oak knowledge” — they were doors to the spirits. Literal tree-hugging. I actually saw a guy hug a tree in front of my former apartment that was marked to be removed.
- The shamrock — a sacred plant to the Druids eventually represented the trinity.
- Mistletoe — to celebrate Saturnalia on the Winter Solstice (Dec. 25?) It’s a poisonous, yet curative plant with spiritual properties and it grows on trees.
- The sun with a face which became a halo around the heads of “saints” and “holy” people in the Renaissance and Eastern Orthodox iconography.
- Reincarnation — the soul is immortal and when you die, it passes from one person to another.
The Truth is in the Bible…
27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.Hebrews 9:27-28 NLT
At the end of October, the Druids believed that because the nights were longer, the veil between earth and the spiritual realm was the thinnest. That was the Samhain festival of the harvest and ushers in winter.
As the Roman Catholic Church spread through Europe, they wanted the Celtic people to feel comfortable with their traditions. Therefore, they called their Samhain festival — All Saints Day — November 1st. The Druids, then came up with “All Hallows Eve”, from which our common Halloween traditions were born.
Druid Practices Adopted by the Roman Catholic Church…
- Only priests can interpret the Bible.
- The Eucharist
- Only priests can mediate between a person and the spirits.
- Withholding the Eucharist from anyone who they deemed unworthy or made them mad.
- Holy Water — sites with streams or brooks where people would go for answers to prayers. Rags dipped in the “holy stream” supposedly cured people. Obviously, my Catholic friends, it’s just water. It’s not holy, dipping you finger in it and doing the sign of cross doesn’t do a single thing. It’s another one of Satan’s lies and deceptions.
- Baby Baptism — when I first did my research on where the Roman Catholic Church went wrong, I couldn’t find anything on where baby baptisms started. As it turns out, it was a Druid practice!
Paul warned us of Satan’s deception
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.2 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT
Witchcraft and Wicca
Wicca means “witch”. It just sounds nicer, but it’s not.
What is witchcraft?
For over 1000 years witchcraft has been a part of occult practices. It is the exercise of supernatural (aka demonic) powers to control people or events involving sorcery or magic.
Believe it or not, feminism stems from witchcraft — cronies — offering wisdom, freedom, and personal power. I grew up in the era of “I am Woman, hear me roar!” I got caught up in the “I can do anything if I put my mind to it” false teachings of society.
What else did culture derive from witchcraft?
- Fairy Godmother
- Good Witch
- Fairy Tales and Disney
- Harry Potter
- Shamanism, Voodoo, and Animism — that’s our next post
I mentioned Disney, Harry Potter, and fairy tales and that’s it in a nutshell. We were, and still are, desensitized by media. I grew up watching…
- Dark Shadows
- The Twilight Zone
- The Outer Limits
- Ghost Whisperer
They were fun — entertainment! On the other hand, they “enter” your mind and the more you are exposed to the lies of the world, the more you accept them. Once I became born again, I was disgusted with secular music and most secular TV shows.
The Occult in the White House
- 1800s – the Fox Sisters were raised Methodist, but they eventually rejected the Bible and went with “experience”. They brought the Ouija Board and communicating with spirits from Europe to America. They had seances to help grieving, desperate people “talk” to their dead loved ones. This really became popular after the Civil War.
- Then we saw the rise of Spiritualist Churches and Camps
- The Age of Reason — removed the superstition and condemnation of the biblical church against anyone who professed to make contact with the spirit world — ie demons.
- 1853 – President Franklyn Pierce and his wife Jane, held seances because they lost a loved one. They invited a malevolent spirit in the form of their son, Benny.
- Mary Todd Lincoln was so devastated after the death of her son that she also held seances.
- Nancy Reagan was infamous about consulting an astrologer before making major decisions and influenced her husband thusly.
Basically, when tough times hit, they didn’t turn to the Bible — to the TRUTH — but to spiritualism and the occult. Above all, remember that when you give Satan a foothold, it becomes a stronghold. In other words, Satan was invited into the White House and he has NEVER left!
When we study the Bible, we learn…
God’s warnings to the Israelites apply to us today…
The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give the people of Israel these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living in Israel.
“If any of them offer their children as a sacrifice to Molech, they must be put to death. The people of the community must stone them to death. 3 I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, because they have defiled my sanctuary and brought shame on my holy name by offering their children to Molech. 4 And if the people of the community ignore those who offer their children to Molech and refuse to execute them, 5 I myself will turn against them and their families and will cut them off from the community. This will happen to all who commit spiritual prostitution by worshiping Molech.
6 “I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community. 7 So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God. 8 Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy.Leviticus 20:1-8 NLT
Oh, but we don’t worship Molech! Yes, today’s culture worships Molech in the form of abortion. Why are children aborted? For personal, selfish reasons only — the baby is an inconvenience, a career-stopper, a nuisance, disruptive, ill-timed, etc.
Paul explains it in Romans 1…
19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.Romans 1:19-25 NLT
Who or What do YOU Worship?
If you’re not a born-again Christian — with the Holy Spirit living in your heart — you can easily be demonically possessed. Only the Holy Spirit can protect you from demonic possession. However, if you are not attuned to the nudges, convictions, and promptings of the Holy Spirit, you can be demonically deceived!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
If you want to dig deeper into how these occult practices got started, check out Pastor Billy Crone’s video series.
In case you missed the first parts of this series…
- World Religions Part 1: A Remarkable Look into the Growth of Paganism & Demon Worship
- World Religions Part 2: Greco-Roman Gods, Horrific Persecution, & Constantine’s Rescue