This will be my first in a series of posts examining this question and the origins of popular occult practices.
The word occult can mean something as simple as being hidden from view. When used as a noun as in the phrase The Occult the word takes on a whole new more sinister and deeper meaning. The Occult refers to practices based in the supernatural or spirit realm. Though Almighty God Jehovah, Jesus and the angels in heaven are supernatural creatures the occult refers to practices based in the worship or manipulation by Satan and the demons.
As someone that grew up in a religiously divided household I was always faced with the constant struggle between “good” and “evil”. My father, not a religious man, had a fascination with books, movies and stories that had to do with demons, witches and occult things. My mother on the other had having grown around people who practiced black magic felt a strong aversion to anything that even seemed demonic. The fact that my father is not much of a teacher and that my mother is very outspoken made both my brother and I very, very, very opposed to anything that smacked of the occult.
In my daily searches through the web I notice that there are a plethora of sites dedicated to witchcraft, fortune telling, prophecies of man, worship of Satan, etc., etc. Offerings in The Occult are widely available and openly accepted by an alarming number of the general population. Why? I ask this because there are even professed Christians that subscribe to the mysticism of tarot cards, palm reading, horoscopes, astrology and fortune telling of other kinds. Is it just not common knowledge among people that these things have roots in things demonic and pagan?
My first real face to face encounter with an overtly occult practice was in the sixth grade. Many of my female classmates were dabbling in witchcraft and would regularly hold seances. One morning a classmate of mine brought in a Ouija board and the pendulum that went with it. Apparently, according to him, if the pendulum rotated clockwise in answer to a yes/no question then the answer was affirmative if it rotated counter clockwise then the answer was no. Interestingly he mentioned that if is swung from side to side then it did not know. Right at that moment I said a prayer to Jehovah and went to my desk. I did not want to ask it questions nor did I want questions about me asked. Still they went ahead with their little game. Each time they asked a question about anyone else they would get a yes or no answer. Any time they attempted to ask a question about me the pendulum only swung. Then and there I was convinced that this was a demonic game and that my opposition to the Devil and trust in Jehovah protected me from being the demon’s target.
The next experience was with a program on television. After school my mom and I were watching Donahue. His guest that day was a gentleman who claimed that by channeling his energy he could repair inanimate objects without even being in the room. This seemed strange and a little creepy but we kept watching. We finally decided to turn off the television when he asked the home audience to bring their broken watches up to their TVs and touch the TV with the broken watch and concentrate on it being fixed. The only way you can “channel energy” without knowing it’s direction is if you are directing an actual being. Think about it; supernatural creatures are nothing but pure energy with a personality. They are supernatural because they have powers beyond those of a human. Having put anything up to the TV that day would have opened the door for a demon to come into my house.
My opposition to spiritistic practices or practices of the occult have not always yielded pleasant results. I know that whatever experiences I had was because I was trying to please Jehovah and flee from the Devil.
“Subject yourselves, therefore, to God; but oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.”—James 4:7.