By Father MieczysЕ‚aw Piotrowski TChr,
Love One Another! 6/2005 → Magic, idolatry, spiritual threats
Occultism (i.e. any form of divination, astrology, clairvoyance,
chiromancy, recourse to spiritist mediums, conjuring up dead spirits,
horoscopes, etc.) is a true religion of Satan because all those
who practice it do so in clear violation of the First Commandment: “You
shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus
20:3); “The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the
Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with
all your might” (Deuteronomy
Christianity is an extraordinarily fascinating thing. It tells us that we can enjoy a real loving relationship with Jesus Christ, who, being true God, became a real man “for us and our salvation”. If we cling to him in faith with all our heart, he will bring us lovingly to the fullness of happiness.
Many people today are seeking happiness not in God but in the occult. Embracing all manner of superstition, they consult clairvoyants, palm readers and psychics; they dabble in astrology, read horoscopes and “consult the stars” before making important decision. When they suffer health problems they turn to healers of every occultic stripe (in most cases these are tools of the Evil One). For the sake of perverse sexual pleasure, power and wealth, people are selling their souls to the Devil. True, reading the newspaper horoscope is not an evil on the same level as embracing Satanism. This is like putting shoplifting on the same level with grand larceny. Nevertheless, minor theft can lead to robbery on a grand scale. In the same way a seemingly harmless practice such as consulting the horoscope can lead to great enslavement.
Occultic practice inevitably leads to enslavement by the powers of darkness. The history of God’s people tells us that whenever man turns away from his Creator he ends up falling prey to the most irrational and primitive forms of idolatry. One might state it as a law of nature: every decline in authentic religious belief and practice is accompanied by a corresponding rise in the belief in and practice of superstition, occultism and divination.
Occultism involves belief in the existence of spiritual forces or “energies” by which man can know the future, achieve health, good fortune, success or extraordinary powers. To achieve these ends he must undergo some form of initiation and undertake various occultic practices, disciplines, exercises, meditation, etc. Practitioners of the occult claim to enjoy paranormal knowledge or powers such as reading thoughts and the future, influencing other people’s behavior (positively or negatively), materializing objects, communing with the dead, UFOs, etc., controlling the forces of nature. They are often unaware that they are opening themselves up to the activity of mysterious evil forces over which they can have no control. They are freely yielding themselves to their power and becoming slaves of the powers of evil.
Anyone practicing any of the various forms of black magic, Satanism, astrology, spiritism, divination (include freemasonic ritual among these!) transgresses against the First Commandment, i.e. commits a mortal sin; likewise, anyone who resorts to Hindu or Tibetan practices, who makes use of their ancient myths and symbols to acquire mysterious powers by subjecting himself to the guidance of an evil spirit. This is a serious sin of disobedience to the Holy Spirit and a rejection of the protection of the guardian angel.
Anyone who makes use of a pendulum or tarot cards, who consults palm or card readers, psychics, touch healers, or acts through a spiritist medium, expresses thereby a lack of faith in God’s love and opens himself up to the influence of evil sprits.
Holy Scripture is unequivocal in its condemnation of occultic practice.
It is a sin that excludes us from the Kingdom of God (Galatians
Revelation to John 9:21; 22:15). In the Book of Deuteronomy
we read: “There shall not be found among you any one who burns
his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination,
a soothsayer, or an augur or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium,
or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is
an abomination to the Lord; and because of these abominable practices
the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless
before the Lord your God. For these nations, which you are about
to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as
for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do” (Deuteronomy
18:9-14; cf. Leviticus
19:31; 20: 6,27).
No less forceful on this subject is The New Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2115. God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.
2116. All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117. All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service, and have a supernatural power over others — even if this were for the sake of restoring their health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.