Love One Another! 8/2007 → Magic, idolatry, spiritual threats
I am a mother, in my late fifties, with two grown children and two grandchildren. For many years I practiced the art of divination, fortunetelling, and magic rituals.
Divination gives one the illusion of having control over the weather, events, and people; supposedly it enables one to foresee misfortunes and guard against them. In fact, it leads to such a degree of enslavement that the psychic dare not leave her house without first consulting her deck of tarot cards. For example, my daughter would call me up to say that she would be back late in the evening, as she was stopping to have coffee with friends. After consulting my cards, I would call her back and tell her that she should not go, as she would suffer an accident or something else untoward.
I always used to carry a little pendulum with me. I thought that as long as I had it close, it would be better disposed to me and give me more favorable answers. One day I changed my purse and forgot to put in the pendulum. When I later realized this, my head began to swim. I felt dreadfully lost. I was convinced that without the pendulum, I could not function normally. I was like someone with a heart condition, who will not leave the house without his medicine.
I realize now that we cannot know the answers to all our questions, and that we must resign ourselves to the fact that we are only human beings after all. But I did not think that way then. I thought, for example, that with my skills I could be useful to people who were unable to find a marriage partner. Often these people were attractive and well-educated. I saw no reason for them to be lonely. People, such as the person I was then, find prayer ineffectual, and so they turn to numerology, resort to magic spells, or consult secular exorcists. “The marriage card is facing down” a psychic will tell her client. This means that the client has no prospect of marriage. So the psychic puts down more cards. The next card indicates that the client should go on a trip. Still another card points to a certain aunt of the client’s. So the psychic tells her to go and visit her aunt and then come back for another session.
Psychics are often thick as thieves. One calls up another and says, “Listen, I have a client who is having trouble finding a husband. How would you like to do her numerological portrait?” and so on. Psychics often perform rituals and show their clients how to conduct them at home. Costly things, these rituals! It is unbelievable how much people will spend to have one performed. The pendulum or the groceries! People forgo the necessities for such things. Psychics often perform special “rituals for money,” but whatever short-term advantages the clients might derive from these spells pale in comparison with the losses and misfortunes these people suffer in the long run. Undoing these spells requires certain counter-spells, and so evil builds on evil. After a while, the person returns to her psychic, and the story is repeated.
I did not see my occult practices as a sin, as a rejection of God, because at that time I had no firm grasp of my faith, although I always knew that God existed, and I even prayed to Him. I always considered God to hold first place in my life, and my tarot cards, second. I did not think I was sinning, as I always prayed first and only then reached for the cards. But then one day my daughter told me that my occult activity was causing her harm. She saw it as a threat to the child which she was then carrying. I loved my daughter very much, and my grandson as well. I wanted very much to continue being a grandmother, and so, faced with my daughter’s ultimatum, I put it all aside. I decided to take a holiday from divination meaning that I did not decide to put an end to it forever, but only for a time. Psychics are so enslaved that they are unable to lay aside their cards for a week. They must have contact with them every day, even if it is just to touch them.
On returning from the hospital, after having her baby, my daughter felt unwell. Her newborn also began to experience health problems. After a few weeks, the child landed in hospital with bronchitis.
Since I was very busy at this period of my life, I had no time for my cards. When my grandson was nine months old, my daughter had to go for an operation. It was then that I came to the conclusion that I had no need of tarot cards or a pendulum. My involvement with these objects was taking up far too much of my time. Suddenly I discovered that I had more time for housework, for talking with my son on the telephone, etc. It dawned on me (almost a year had passed by now) that none of the predictions I had made on the basis of my cards had come true. I realized that even if I had allowed myself to be guided by the cards, my life would have been none the better or richer for it. For example, I used to perform rituals to clean the house of “negative energies.”
Strange things began to happen at home, after I first took all of this to a priest in the confessional. The faucets would start running by themselves, electrical appliances would inexplicably go on, furniture would crash to the floor. But it was at night that I was most tormented. I could not sleep. Sometimes I was so exhausted and battered that I got no rest all night. I suffered from terrible dreams hideous nightmares. I was conscious of invisible presences, scrapings, knockings, moving shadows. Fortunately, I saw none of the horrors sometimes seen by those who practice witchcraft, for example. Such people often experience all manner of torments and afflictions and, as a result, return to their psychic, and become still more dependent on her, thus closing the magic circle. When I used to be tormented in this way, I thought it was because I had failed to “observe the HSR” (Health and Safety Regulations) a facetious expression, which psychics often use among themselves. It means that I had not sufficiently protected myself with salt, candles, or chalk, or that I had failed to perform the necessary ritual.
It is interesting that all this happened to me after I first went to a priest and confessed my sin. Now, many years later, I think that by allowing these things to happen to me, God wanted to show me who I was really dealing with, since psychics consider their mediums to be protective spirits, good spirits, angels. There are even so-called “angel cards” used for divination. If any diviner, psychic, or practitioner of sorcery finds what I am saying laughable, let her test it for herself in the same way. Let her confess her sin but sincerely! while she has time on this earth; for if, after my dealing with evil spirits, I had not confessed, and had died in my sins, all those famous accounts of infernal torments would have been nothing compared to the real torments I should be suffering now. To my mind, hell is not so much a place as a spiritual state, a state of appalling darkness. I have experienced that darkness.
When someone commits a heinous, brutal act of violence, everybody knows what horrors the victim of that violence has suffered. We feel compassion for the victim and try to do all we can to track down the perpetrator; we want some great punishment for him one that fits the terrible crime. Demons do the very same thing! I experienced this after I went to confession for the first time, when the evil spirits gave me no rest at night. They beat me. Thy pinched my cheeks until they were black and blue! So what if they are insubstantial spirits! When they beat you, they cause you the most substantial pain! A demon will kick and poke and prevent you from praying. This a real spiritual battle, the object of which is to discourage you from praying. At moments like these, how desperately you need a priest, who understands all of this and can render real assistance. I am very indebted to an old priest, to whom I confessed all of this for the first time. Later, he was able to explain to me why divination, tarot cards, magic, and similar things were displeasing to God. The priest convinced me that God would not allow my soul to be harmed. This, in turn, enabled me to endure all those physical and psychological torments. I know that through this priest God made it possible for me to free myself from the evil I had enmeshed myself in by reason of ignorance and my weak faith. Through that priest I learned that all occult practices were sinful and very dangerous.
After that first confession, I realized for the first time in my life that, while I may not have been possessed, I was certainly enslaved. Subsequent confessions restored me to a new sense of life. I began to feel my real self, and feel healthier as well. At home, I gathered up everything connected with my divining activities — amulets and a whole host of objects, including the addresses and telephone numbers of all my psychic friends. When my daughter came to visit, I asked her to throw all these things in the trash. She had no sooner done this when she began to feel unwell. It was then that I understood that in purifying my life and returning to God I must burden no one but the priest; otherwise, I was giving demons the green light to attack others. I noticed that no matter how many times I combed the house for these objects, some would always elude my eye, as though they were purposely avoiding detection. They seemed to lay hold of the house, so as to continue to manifest their evil power. Some of these things, I burned; others, I wrapped up and trashed, praying that no one would find them.
Horoscopes, pendulums, tarot cards, and other tools of divination arouse in the practitioner an ever-increasing desire for knowledge and skill. The psychic is always on the lookout for new courses to take, always widening her network of fellow diviners, psychics, and shamanesses. She believes she is constantly advancing along the road of spiritual enlightenment, not realizing that the evil spirit is deluding her more and more.
I would put it this way. By using these divining tools, the psychic becomes a kind of loudspeaker for the evil spirit, who does not manifest himself overtly. Psychics tell their gullible clients that their knowledge comes from benign spirits. People of little faith believe in some kind of God. Often they even acknowledge the Church, yet they do not believe that these spirits are a real threat to them, that they are evil and present a distinct danger to them. They want to know the future, or else the solution to a personal problem may appear so difficult that they say to themselves, “I don’t care if they are the devil’s cards, just so long as the problem is solved.” The psychic will often say, “It will be as God wills,” or she will tell her client to pray to this or that saint. But her words mean nothing, since in this case God is enmeshed in something evil, which He will have nothing to with.
I state quite frankly that I am very fearful of what will happen to me when I die. It is not the fact of death that frightens me, but what will happen to me afterwards. I am afraid that these torments, which I have already experienced as a penance, will continue after my death. All my hope lies in the fact that I have confessed my sin and feel deep contrition for it. I knew a certain woman who practiced magic. I am unable to pray for her. The knowledge that she died without making a confession is something terrible for me. Knowing what I have suffered, and suffer still, I can imagine — though I cannot know this for certain, for only God knows — what terrible torments she is suffering. I hope God will forgive me, for reading tarot cards, performing magic rituals, and casting spells are not the way to God, or salvation, or any kind of enlightenment.
People say that there are offences committed in this world which, though they may be forgiven, can never be forgotten. Here is what I think: if God did not love me so much, as He surely does, my sin would be unforgivable. My present torments are nothing compared to the torments I suffered in those first days after going to confession. I hope that I have already atoned a good deal for my sin on this earth. I am also hoping that this written confession, which I am treating as a kind of penance, will prompt at least one psychic to make her confession. If I had not involved myself in occult practices, I would not be beaten, prodded, or tormented now. I would not be experiencing such psychic pain. What help my daughter was able to give me during those worst days — she would watch over me at night — was of little avail, for those spirits and nightmares tormented me just the same. Whatever sleep I did catch was worth little.
Those who cooperate with evil spirits must atone for their sin alone. No one can alleviate this suffering for them. A friend of mine instructed some clients of hers to place crystal balls in their house, so as to clean it of negative energies. She showed them how to perform certain purification rites. Within weeks there were two suicides in that house. My friend took such fright that she stopped divining and touch-healing altogether. Terrible wounds then appeared on the palms of her hands, causing her indescribable pain.
In my case, I used to swing the pendulum with my right hand. After I stopped
using that tool, I began to suffer such excruciating pain in my
hand that I had to wave it about and massage it at night. It felt
as if someone were ripping the fingers from the joints. The hand
hurts me less now, but sometimes I still suffer painful bouts of
paralysis. To a lesser degree this used to occur while I was still
divining. In psychic circles they attribute this to excessive energy
radiation. The standard remedy was to place the hand on a radiator,
as the energy was then supposed to find its way to the ground. I
believe that this suffering is my penance and a manifestation of
God’s mercy, who allows me to atone now for a sin that I shall
have to atone for on the other side.