TALK ON WITCHCRAFT BY FR. JACOB TARDIE-ADOMAKO
A TALK ON WITCHCRAFT AND CURSES DELIVERED BY REV. FATHER JACOB TARDIE-ADOMAKO, ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIRST SYNOD OF KONONGO-MAMPOMG DIOCESE, HELD AT THE SPIRITAN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, EJISU, FROM 24TH OF MAY 2015 TO 3RD JUNE 2015. I thank my Lord Bishop Most Rev. Joseph Osei Bonsu , the Vicar General and the Synod Planning Committee for the double honour done me by calling me first to be a member of the Planning Committee and again inviting me to give a talk on the topic WITCHCRAFT and CURSES These topics have gained currency and have become very sensational. It has caught the attention of the news papers and the media, radio. Day in and day out we hear so many stories being told in the news papers about these. Many Christians including Catholics have joined the chorus of pronouncing curses and invoking the powers of the lesser gods on others at the least provocation. There is lack of forgiveness and this has greatly affected the faith of the people. Many are also living in fear of witchcraft, magic, sorcery and others. There is a whole area of superstition because there are many things happening which defiles human understanding and human beings want answers to them. Many too, because of their inability to handle these problems have also resorted to denial of the existence of these spirits. For them, it is not right to say that witches do exist, there is no power in the demons or even they do not exist.
We must find other means of tackling our problems in life rather than believing in the power and the existence of the devil or demons or the gods. One of the things the devil has been able to achieve in our lives, is the fact that he has been able to convince many people to believe that he does not exist, there is no struggling between us and the devil; and if he does not exist what measures would we take to fight him?. Hence he will continue to rule and ruin our lives. The Church’s document Lumen Gentium number LG37, said; ‘’A monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world and will continue until the last day as the Lord has attested. Caught in this conflict man is obliged to wrestle constantly if he is to cling to what is good, nor can he achieve his own, integrity without great efforts and the help of God’s grace’’.LG.37 Vatican ii Saint Padre PIO, added,’’ the field of battle between God and Satan is the human soul; it is in the soul that the battle rages every moment of life. The soul must give free access to the Lord so that it is fortified by him in every respect and with all kinds of weapons.’’ It is in the light of this that I am doing my presentation Introduction What is witchcraft? . Witchcraft is a complex concept that varies culturally and socially therefore it is difficult to define with precision; and cross-cultural assumptions about the meaning or significance of the term should be applied with caution. Witchcraft often occupies a religious divinatory or medicinal role. And is often present within Societies and groups whose cultural framework includes magical world view. Although witchcraft can often share common ground with related concepts such as Sorcery, magic, the paranormal, superstition, necromancy, possession, shamanism, healing, Spiritualism, nature worship and the occult; it is usually seen as distinct from these when examined by Sociologists and Anthropologists. Scientifically the existence of magical powers and witchcraft are generally believed to lack credence and to be unsupported by high quality experimental testing, although individual witchcraft practices and effects may be open to scientific explanation or explained via mentalist and psychology. Witchcraft is a supernatural force or substance in which the one in possession of it can use it to harm innocent people. It is an association of souls of some living human beings. Such people are called witches and wizards. ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD Among the Akans of the Ashantis witch craft is called BAYIE. According to Debrunner, It is a combination of two words. BA and YIE. BA can be called EBA that is a child; YIE is to take to extract. YI BI that is take some. For the Akans, the specific concept is the idea of some supernatural power of which man can also be possessed and which is used for evil and anti social activities. The Akans thinks that bayie can be used for evil but it can also be used for good purpose. This belief is mirrored in all aspects of society including magic films and day to day activities of the Akans. Bayie is also used to describe a genius who performs an extraordinary feat in any field or profession, for example footballer Opoku Afriyie for scoring many goals was given the nike -name’’ wizard dribbler’ ’.Again BAYIE can be used to describe the advance society’s ability to invent, in life as the good use of bayie. They say KWASI BRONI BAYIE YE BAYI PA , ODE NE BAYIE AYE TRAIN NE AEROPLANE. While the Akan see bayie as evil, they see it as something that can be used for a good purpose. The paradox is pictured in the etymology of the word bayie. …Christaller.-presents the derivation of bayie as from oba-child and yi –to take away. That is bayie conveys the idea of the person who takes away a child or kills a child. According to Osofo Komfoo Damoah BA YIE was derived from two words OBAE that is CAME and YIE --that is WELL or GOOD. Here bayie is portrayed as an inherent potency internalized in some fortunate human being as part of their personality. Therefore Debrunner’s definition for Bayie may not be conducive for the Akans. It can be deduced from the discussion so far that, the bayie in the Akan concept is the belief that some people may possess supernatural powers which may be used for either good or evil. The person who is possessed by Bayie is called – Obayifoↄ. The male witch is called ben bonsam. In the strict sense of the word, a Witch is a person who has the power – the massive power –to use what is commonly known as Black magic. In other words a witch is a person who is faithful and committed disciple of the devil. He shares his powers of destruction which are the essential nature of the devil, which is why a witch. In this strict sense he or she is the devil incarnate in his being, morality does not exist, he is geared to go against anything that is from God or that is godly. Witches rarely agree to submit themselves to healing prayers, which could transform them into people who would fear God and respect His laws. This is because in their formation, which often derives from heredity, they opt for the powers of the devil and tell God to close his paradise. By contrast the devil lives in a possessed person as a parasite which is why most of the possessed go about the world looking for exorcist; they feel they have someone or something that must be gotten rid of. Above all they retain an element of free will and are conscious of their state. Witchcraft is evil but it is said that witch can turn all the destruction acts mentioned into good deeds for those they love. There are types of witchcraft Bayie kokoo ( red witch) this is acquire from ben bosom ( male wizard who oppone serious instruction steers the witch to kill and to kill Bayie tumtum the black witch these destroys farms and property and ruin humans mind. Bayie fitaa white witch they are those who will use their craft to protect their children and famliy. They turn either into a lion or a leopard stay in front of their houses and watch over their children and family members so that other people will not come and catch them, they eat from what have been throw away on the refuse dump Good and evil bayie either athe good or the bad bayie is said to depend on the nature of the one who possesses it and not the bayie itself. Bayie kwasea or bayie abor) Abor). Evil witch is held, grows through the possessor insatiable appetite for human flesh and power instead of using the power to help others. Acquisition of witchcraft It is believed that witchcraft can be acquired through various means: One such means is heredity. A person whose is heredity might have received it from the almighty God. Such witchcrafts are held to be very powerful. It can also be inherited from a dying witch within a family or it might have been given to a person in the mother’s womb. For the Akan witchcraft is acquired mainly within ones family. An inherited witchcraft cannot be given to a person in another clan unless in an exceptional case where it can be given to a true friend. It is believed that witchcraft which has been transferred by a dying witch to a beloved without one’s knowledge begins to manifest in the recipient after the death of the transferor, coincidentally the effect of the death of loved one on relatives makes some of them emotional, nervous, weeping, talkative and day dreaming. Thus many such people are taken for witches. It can also be acquired through food such as mashed plantain mixed with red oil. Through the purchasing of it by anyone who wants it. This kind of acquisition is not the normal practice of the Akans. People will fall sick especially when it does not agree with their spirit. It is believed that it can be acquired through the buying of cheap things. Bathing in a river after witches have bathed can lead to a mother given birth to a witch. One may intentionally acquire or buy witchcraft Witchcraft may given by the devil. It can also be inherited from a dying witch within a family or it might have been given to a person in the mother’s womb.For the Akan witchcraft is acquired mainly within ones family. An inherited witchcraft cannot be given to a person in another clan, unless in an exceptional case where it can be given to a true friend. It is believed that witchcraft which has been transferred by a dying witch to a beloved without one’s knowledge begins to manifest in the recipient after the death of the transferor, coincidentally the effect of the death of loved one on relatives makes some of them emotional, nervous, weeping, talkative and day dreaming. Thus many such people are taken for witches. Witchcraft can be acquired through receiving of gifts such as: necklaces, pieces of cloth It can also be inherited from a dying witch within a family or it might have been given to a person in the mother’s womb. It can also be acquired through food such as mashed plantain mixed with red oil. One may intentionally acquire or buy witchcraft It can also be acquired through food such as mashed plantain mixed with red oil. Through the purchasing of it by anyone who wants it. This kind of acquisition is not the normal practice of the Akans. people will fall sick especially when it does not agree with their spirit. It is believed that it can be acquired through the buying of cheap things Bathing in a river after witches have bathed can lead to a mother given birth to a witch. One may intentionally acquire or buy witchcraft. It can be given also by the devil himself. Organization and Activities It is thought that witches are organized at the Local, National and International levels. In the covens they have various positions, kings, queens, messengers, secretaries and executioners and the many other positions you can think of. At night, it is believed that they leave their physical bodies and fly off to meetings. Before they leave for their meetings they make sure that the person sleeping in the same with them are sedated and pushed into deep sleep. Some will spit on those sleeping; other will flap their two hands like a bird that wants to fly. Every witch or wizard has his or her own way of putting people into deep sleep. They are particular leaves that they can also use to sedate people one of them is Guaklo The meeting places of witches are thought to be on top of big trees and covens. pot which obtains human blood were usually kept under such places. Modern meeting places include the sea, rivers, lakes, market places and church buildings. In all these it is believed that the ordinary person cannot see the organization with their naked eyes. It is believed that they feed on human flesh and human blood which they take in turns to provide them. The Obayifo) can provide only a relative. Consequently they kill people during Christmas, Easter and the Akan festivals for celebrations. This is why many people die during these occasions. It is believed that the witches can fly overseas to attack relatives. There are stories on TV about people who tuned on their TV and saw their mother’s and father’s or other family members on the TV screen and in photographs. In the year 2011 someone came from the western religion to see me for exorcism. Some two months before coming to Ghana according to him he snapped some photographs of during his child birthday celebration in UK when the photographs were printed he saw his mother carrying basket with a cutlass in it as if going to the farm in the picture. He got shocked and collapse and was rushed in a ambulance to the hospital. The situation got worst so he came to Ghana. He confronted the mother and the mother replied would you not thank God that you did not died but have come home. If you saw me in the picture and so what? Unfortunately he could not show me the picture but narrated his story to me. It is strongly believed that they can cause infertility in women, impotency in men and cause “awoma wuo” that is condition where couples encounter infant mortality. Diseases like diabetes, leprosy, and convulsion are thought to be cause by witches. They are also thought to inflict material losses on people. Again they are believed to make people ignoble through their deeds. They can read people’s intentions and work against them. Bayie must not be confused with other supernatural ways of causing harm and evil. The work of Akomfo), Nsumankwafo), Adutufo), sorceries involves ritual acts and visible apparatus such as the use of Asumang and aduru, fetish and medicine. The distinctive characteristics of harming by bayie are that it is done in secrets; it is the imperceptible projection of inducement from the witch. The implications of this supposition are that: 1. Bayie is considered spiritual, complex and secret society that cannot be measured by physical and scientific methods. 2. All people live in fears and suspicion 3. All sudden deaths, infant mortality and mysterious deaths are assigned to abayiefor: i. Any chronic disease is the work of Abayifo) ii. Any action of mismanagement or carelessness is the responsibility of Abayifo) iii. All sort of bad behavioral practices are attributed to the scheme of Abayiefo) iv. The relatives of good witches prosper, while the relatives of evil witch suffer. This whole concept cause confusion and suspicion among family members since no one knows who is obayifo). Consequently any kind of mishap, failure or disease calls for consultation from a powerful spirit person for supernatural knowledge of the causation of the problem. The assumption leaves room for dubious people to deceive people and cause confusion in the society. For example, when prognosis given includes naming family member which is often the case it create family problem. Witchcraft issues become the source of family tension which often draws families into litigation before the family heads. There are no good witches there are all selfish and wicked Why would people give themselves to the devil or enter into satanic worship. When man is separated from God, he is poor and unhappy. He is unable to understand the meaning of life, and even less the meaning of hardships, sufferings and death. He longs to see help from any source. He longs for the happiness that the world holds out there as a lure or bait power, health, love, pleasure, and admiration,. It seems as though the devil is saying ‘’ if you, then will worship me, it shall all be yours. Luke 4;6-7. Thus we see every one young and old, women, labourers, professionals, politicians, actors, etc. Seeking the ‘’ truth’’ about their future. This sort of crowed will always find another crowed: sorcerer’s soothsayers, astrologers, card readers, diviners, prana therapists, future tellers of all kinds. Those who turn to them are motivated by chance or hope or desperation, or as an experiment. At the end of all, some become victims, others remain bound, still others enter into the closed –end article of sects. The association is a ‘’lodge’’ in a spiritual realm. Under then power of the devil, the SOULS of witches and wizards leave their physical bodies and travel (Astral travel) CONCIOUSLY for EVIL purpose planned by the devil. Satan steals the individuals while very young or in cases in adult-hood through food or drinks offered by a witch or a wizard with the purpose of stealing the individual on behalf of the devil. Some of them are unfriendly: but a great number of them are pretentiously friendly, kind and warm in their attitudes. In all that, they act wickedness under the smiles. One converted witch said to me: It is not advisable to shake hands with a person known to have witchcraft. She said further that they do a lot of harm to people by shaking hands with them. She added that even their smiles are scandalous and their laughter produces fumes of deadly poison into the nostrils of men outside their occult society. Their praises are curses of injury and downfall of men. Their gift comes to the recipient with a sting of scorpion and a bite of serpent. NARATE THE STORY OF AKOSUA LUCKY HERE. They are so close and yet so far because of their vow of secrecy. Secrecy is the vow members appearing before Satan or his regional representative for the first time, makes never to disclose their membership or things done in the society to anyone who is not a member. Because of this vow, which is given under threat by the devil, even when the victim is undergoing the most severe torture or humiliation, he dares not disclose his membership of that atrocious society. Their vow gives Satan or his representative the right to inflict any punishment upon the vow-breaker. The punishment may take the form of diseases, sickness, madness or even death. It is because of this vow and the consequence of breaking it, that even some people who were witches before hearing of Christ are still in the occult group. They may be in the church or may preach the word of God - all that would be in be in the service of the devil. They are in to WEAKEN believers by their words which are charged by the devil. They are in the church: but are far away from it: they don't form part of the church. Hell is their destination. No doubt, the witch or wizard has been stolen, killed and is on the process of destruction. The demon carried out its atrocious acts through him. He sees his business failing, marriage breaking up, children dying or suffering from all kinds of sickness and diseases. He suffers the pains of seeing his family members dying at the operation of his demon, yet it is imperative that he watches on with pains and in silence. The other side of the coin in this game is appealing to the victims. Before his own destruction begins, the devils coax the witch and wizard to delight in the wicked or destructive powers of the devil. They can influence other people by spells, charms, and juju and in other ways. As long as they are affecting others, it is O.K.: but when the demon turns round and attacks them to begin their destruction, it is then that they begin to look for help out of their destruction, but not to be saved. Such wicked agents of the devil are enslaved to be witnesses to their own destruction. However, of all that the enemy is using his victim for, the devil knows that he has not been able to rob a man or his victim of all his spiritual knowledge of God. Man still has remnant knowledge of God's power, mercy, grace and compassion. All witches should know that, God has opened His arms to welcome them home if they would come. Once home with God, no power of the devil can harm them or fulfil the conditions attached to the breaking of their secret vow. Satan rules them through fear and threats. Satan also counsels them not to reveal their state because they would be disgraced. He says to them; It is a great shame if people get to know that you are a witch. They would avoid your company. The victims coil by such concepts Note secrecy keeps things in darkness. It is Satan that acts in darkness; hence he requires those who would follow him to behave similarly. In Christianity one moves away from the place of darkness into the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. In secret, we say nothing. We speak boldly and openly to the world that they may be enriched with the Good News about Jesus. Following the secret vow, taken before a higher authority of the devil, the witches and wizards begin warfare against the church and everyone who loves Christ. The controlling demon lives inside the individual witch or wizard. He is aware of the presence of the devil; but he dares not declare it. Through the wizard or the witch, the demon carries out his nefarious activities against: (i) That person harbouring the demon; (ii) Everybody that is within his environment and (3) The Church His wicked deeds against man are performed through SPELLS, CHARMS and JUJU. The person entertaining the demon in his body would gradually deteriorate in mind and body. Finally, within varying periods of time he becomes seriously mal-adjusted beyond the power of modern medical know-how. Alternately, the devil might cruelly take the life of the individual. When problems are mounting up in the life of an agent of the devil, especially, if the person is a church goer, people question why God has allowed it. In situations like this, the Bible says "it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. For they have sown the WIND, and they shall reap the WHIRLWIND" (Hos. 7:6, 7). Sadly, when those who sow WIND are reaping WHIRLWIND they fear to reveal the secret association between themselves and the indwelling demon. They may be sick to death or on the threshold of madness of some form of maladjustment in mind and body; yet they prefer to remain loyal to their vow of secrecy. They desire healing; but they fear to reveal the demon who is the agent of their problem. As it has often been the case, they even shift the blame on others. They do everything to cover up their enemy; but expect God to heal them. It is high time such victims realized that God does not act contrary to His holiness. Whether the witches and wizards admit their acknowledgement of their co-operation with the demons, hurting them or not, God knows the true position of every individual. Lasting healing or deliverance will occur only when the association between the individual and the demon is broken willingly. The association will be broken when the victims faithfully, intellectually, emotionally and wilfully denounce the devilish association. He has to admit willingly, his relationship with the devil and rejects every property and media which is points of contact. The victim should not be made to admit under pressure or victimization. A lasting solution will come when he willingly surrenders to the Lordship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (c) Children: During early age, children are led into this spiritual lodge. This is an association of the souls of living people under the control of demons. The living souls are called out of the physical body by the demons of witchcraft and are accompanied to meetings. When the soul leaves the body for the first time to attend the nocturnal meeting of witches, he takes a vow of secrecy under threat and his mind is educated under the power of Satan to turn away from human reasoning to devilish mentality. The individual then revolts against God and every one that loves God. Holy things or acts are repugnant to such soldiers of the devil. The purpose of the demons in this society is to harden the hearts of the victims. The witches and wizards are given a heart of wickedness against their fellow human beings who do not belong to that wicked group or society. They plan and hatch wickedness against the church. Indeed, it is the highest form of mystic lodge established by Satan for the wicked deeds against man, including even the witches and the wizards themselves. Through this spiritual lodge, Satan draws so close to man that, at times, sleeps eats and walks with the unsuspected man. They are wonderful hypocrites and extremely wicked agents of Satan. Some relate bayie to supernatural powers either charms, fetish, sorcery, witchcraft. Bayle is similar to spirit possession. They are distinct though they are similar because both have supernatural powers and are thought to be controlled by certain spirits to perform certain actions. They are different because in the sense that in witchcraft the “ahomoa” witch spirit animal is thought to cohort with a person in a symbolic marriage while in spirit possession the person is said to be the vehicle whose body served as a reacceptance for a spirit entity who controls the person in brief intervals and then vacate while witches are abhorred and despised in society. Spirit possessed person “akomfoo” are well respected. Those who are possessed by the gods are thought to help the community by the giving of divination and the knowledge of herbal medicine. It is a public affair which is not concealed and it is not a nocturnal activity. That of witchcraft is done secretly and it is also a nocturnal activities Many self confessed witches base the evidence of their being witches on dreams. They dreamt that they were doing these things and they have come true. The witch is supposed to possess bayi kukuo. The object is thought to be a pot in which a mixture of human blood and articles like beads, nails, herbs and snakes are said to be found in it. They are kept in either room farm, river etc outside the house. When one is accused of which he or she is expected to show where the craft is hidden so that it will be brought out and burnt, few witchcrafts are able to produce some physical object. They often claim the objects are spiritual. Another appurtenance for Obayifo) is Ahoboa, nhomoa. The animal power that is within me. The witchcraft spirit animal is supposed to be a snake, a dog, a lion, a bird, vulture or centipede. It is supposed to be spiritual animal, and invisible but may materialize at the time of performing a duty. A person can have more than one spirit animal. The more witchcraft spirit animal the person has the more powerful the person become. It is believed that some witches carry their witchcraft animals in their bodies, on persons, example in Jewelries, ring girdles, and strange beads, stringed-beads. They wear them in their purses, in their bellies or in their genital part. These witchcraft animals are believed to perform actions for the witches if such an animal is killed in the performance of its duties the person will die. The “ahomoa” cannot be caught since it is spiritual. So others say in this regard it can be said that the witchcraft’s spirit animal is thought to be the real person that the witch possess. Without “ahomoa”, there is no witch. Protection from witches All class of society seek protection from abayifoo. The best protection is held to be sunsum eye den( a strong personality spirit) Akan say that se wo sunsum eye den a obayifoo ntumi wo ( if your personality spirit is strong witches cannot overpower you? Debrunmer mentions that this idea of protection; susum eye duru or den was repeated to him several times. People with sunsum a eye den are those who are bold, fearless forceful, strong –willed or simply put, those with a strong –personality. Witches are said to attack the akra ( soul) of people. Strong sunsum protects okra. The issue is that how can people who are already fearful of witches be strengthened in the personality –spirits, so as to protect their souls from them. The traditionally spiritual people ( akomfoo, adunsifoo) have ways of providing answers for this. The solutions are found in the giving (charms, amulets or fetishes) and the placing of client under taboos. These client after putting their heads under the god,’’ that is they enter into relationship or convenant with the obosom to protect them. Some of the prophylactic sunsum like talismas and couries, must always be won, carried or hung on door to prevent witches from entering their rooms, others like moto ( black powder) are either injected into the body through small cuts that are made. On joints or faces and the medicine rob in, or through drinking into the body, with water or wine. Sometimes people bath in herbal water, or they burn ehye (similar to incese,) in their rooms. People who are aready sick are besmeared with clay. The belief here is that these medicines either in or is the person, will make that person’s flesh so bitter or nasty that witches will not care to taste it. Thus, it can be inferred by these claims that the sunsum of the clients become strengthened and so receive protection by becoming fearless of witches. By putting oneself under an anti-witchcraft shrines, that is special deity devoted to witch hunting. Joining spiritual churches which offer protection against witch` es, if a witch enters the church it can be discovered. Seeking the protection of the divinities, all of whom act as of protectors of their worshipers people protect themselves by appeasing the witch Appearing to God by erecting an alter and saying prayers Protection through special medicine for example among Ashantis we have pampim The use of incense . USE OF RINGS. Doing good deeds. Exorcism of witchcraft and evils spirit Those who confess that they are witches and wizards are brought to anti-witchcraft shrines for exorcism. Again, they can also be exorcised by priests and the exorcist in the church. Magic There are two types of magic. (a) Black Magic: In this kind of magic, the devil employs human agents. The agents act under the strict instructions of a demon or demons. The media for stealing souls for destruction are: (i) The use of parts of plants, trees, shrubs and herbs. The agents deceive the recipients that they are merely drugs and have no binding or mystic power. This might not be wholly correct. In 1985, I met a man who could cause convulsion by dropping the leaf of a certain herb into a fire. When that is done many children gets the convulsion and they are brought to him. He gets more money from that, so he is using his magical skills to make a living. Souls belong to the Lord our God. In Ezekiel 18:4 the Lord declared: "Behold all souls are mine: as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine the soul that sinned, it shall die". Admittedly, there are some chemicals in most leaves that can bring about healing. Many of the drugs on our drug market today are extracted from parts of plants. (ii) Blood Covenant: The black magical demons often enter into blood covenant with people. The covenant or the agreement may not be broken till physical death. The person who enters into this kind of covenant becomes a servant to the demon forever. The covenant can only be broken by the power of Jesus Christ; but the devil tries with all that is in his power to prevent his covenant children from meeting Jesus Christ. At best he makes them hypocrites. To achieve this hypocrisy, he directs his covenant children into one of the cults he has set up and gives them the feeling that they are Christians. He makes others megalomaniacs-- a feeling of being great in power--, and uses them in further binding of people seeking deliverance from their hopeless spiritual conditions. The procedure is simple and not explained to the victim. It is, however, accomplished through deceit. The agents of the binding demons prepare black powder or some form of juju from some parts of animals or plants. The black powder is prepared by burning or rather roasting the parts of the animals or the plants to a blackish material. This is grounded and used for the purpose. The juju men also prepare 'DUFA' from other parts of trees for the same purpose. To prepare 'dufa' the parts for the plants are not burnt before grinding. The black powder is called "Moto" in Twi language. To enter into the blood covenant, small cuts in the body are made with blade, usually on the head or the joints or both. As the blood flows out, the BLACK POWDER or the JUJU is applied into the cuts. This act constitutes the BLOOD COVENANT. It means the person had sealed his servant hood to the demon with his own blood. According to the scripture, the blood is the life of an animal. God said to Noah, "Every moving thing that LIVETH shall be meat for you: even as the green herb have I given you all things. BUT FLESH WITH THE LIFE THEREOF, SHALL YE NOT EAT" (Gen. 9:3-4). Accordingly, the blood of man is his life. Drain the blood out of a man and he is dead because the life has been taken out of him. By the blood covenant, the devil takes your blood which is your life and in exchange for that he enters your body and controls hat life till death. Then after death, he goes with you to hell to await the judgment day. Life Covenant: Apart from the blood covenant, the devil may also enter into life covenant with person. To enter this covenant, the devil takes from the individual, some parts of his body. Usually the parts taken by the signing demon might be hair from some parts of the body, finger nails or toe nails. He may also take parts of material once used by the individual. The devil gets the person into a bond on the ticket of deceit. The signee is promised protection of some kind. In the case of children, their parents subject them to this kind of the devil's control of their life without their will. The covenant is not right because the agreement was entered into without the individual's knowledge or will. However, to the devil the bond is perfectly right. He respects the covenant and will keep it till the individual dies. Thus innocently, the child becomes bonded for life to the devil. Effect of the Covenant: As a result of the various covenants, unsaved people develop all kinds of characters. The following character traits and diseases, are the results lf covenants with and bond to the devil. (a) Prostitution, Stealing, Drunkenness, Violence, wickedness, Truancy in children (b) Stubbornness, arrogance and disobedience in children. (c) Cheating, deceiving and lying, Laziness (d) Sickness and diseases which medical know how cannot diagnose the cause of cure () Depression, frustration and madness and many others. Praise be to God who loves the world gave His Son Jesus to the world by whom we obtain salvation. Without the shed blood of Christ, such covenants are meant to be everlasting. However, as a person so bonded comes to Jesus Christ and faithfully and willingly rejects the devil and sinful life the lord breaks the bond with His power and sets the individual free (Matt. 11:28). Temporary Covenants: Mystic Beads- Talismans and Rings: In Africa, children and even some adults are often seen wearing mystic beads, black rings, copper rings and all kinds of talisman. Such things are devices of the devil for binding and identifying those children who have been sold to him and the adults who have willingly approached him to seek his protection. The pretext is that, the devil, the deceiver, through those media protects those wearing them. It will therefore be naive for anybody to think that Satan protects his enemy. With those media, he steals, kills and destroys (John 10:10). This kind of covenant is temporary. When the individual stops using those covenant items the covenant is broken. Death and destruction await everyone that waits upon the devil. His strength will be weakened, and he will faint along the journey to ETERNITY. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and faint" (Isa. 40:31). These soothsayers etc use magic . There are two kinds of magic. Imitative magic and contagious magic. Imitative magic ,some people call this homeopathic or indirect magic is based on the concept of similarity in form and practice. It rests on the principle that everything generates something similar hence okoto nnwo anomaa our proverb. A crab begets a crab. In this magic, a puppet represents the target and after the appropriate initial ‘ prayers which are recited while piercing the body of the puppet the victim will also feel pierced and begin to suffer pain or illness in the same parts of the body that were pierced in the puppert. Contagious magic; or direct magic is based on the principle of physical contact, or contagion. To have influence over the target, the sorcerer must have access to something of his or hers, such as hair, nails chippings, clothes, a photograph will do better if it shows the entire body; the face must always be uncovered in this type of magic, one part represents the whole. In other words, what is done to one part will have an effect on the entire person. Thus the sorcerer will use the appropriate ritual or formula during pre-established times of the year and of the day and of the time. The evil work will come to fruition through the intervention of the spirits that he invokes. The acts of so called high magic can be classified as sacralisation, consecration blessings, destitutions, curses, excommunications. The aim of all these actions is to transform objects and people into sacred symbols naturally consecrated to satan. The magic material is magnetized at specific times, these are objective of magic astrology. The individual, who wear them bring upon themselves such a negative energy that it will damage not only them but their families Incense is used abundantly in the preparation of all sorts of magic activities. The incense is offered to satan and it is clearly meant as a courterpat to the liturgical incense we offer to God. People rush to buy these devil incense. Other forms of magic are prepared by the sorcerer for their victims to consume them by mixing with their food or drink these generate a sensation of diabolical oppression in those who consume (mmoto) the victim will find not only disgusting objects in their body but also the evil spirits who were invoked during their preparation. There are others who use love portions which is popularly known as ‘’ for girls’’ binding thus can also force a horrible relationships among certain peoples. Magic is always tied to divination that is the attempt to know our future through crooked paths. We have the popular custom of card reading – that is asking tarot cards to predict our future- this is the most common means of divination used by sorcerers and fortune tellers ( ABISA) it is believed that the origin of test cards goes back to the thirteenth century. It was introduced by the gypsies who condensed into this game of cards their power to predict the future. The basis for game is an esoteric doctrine that claims to fix the relationship between man and the divine world. The naive person stunned by the precision with which his past has been revealed, comes out of the session either in despair or full of futile hopes, he often becomes suspicious of his family or friends and most especially he will form a sort of addition to the individual who read his cards that will endure into the future and cause feelings of fear, rage, anger, uncertainty, he will constantly desire to turn into magic practices or buy some talismas to counter the enemy inside. To whom he himself opened the doors and who now is causing sickness, misfortunes etc. Another worse form of magic coming from witchcraft whose aim is to harm others through magic is spiritualism. Spiritualism has the spirit of the dead or superior spirits. Spiritualism is practiced in every country and among all people, the medium is the intermediary between spirits and men, lending his energy (voice, gestures, writings, etc)to the spirit who wants to reveal himself. It may happen that these spirits who are always and only demons – will possess some of those who participate in the séance. The church has always condemned séances and participation in them. We never learnt anything useful by consulting satan. Fr. Amorth has emphatically stated that many people are tricked through their lacks of faith and their ignorance endorsing certain dances, charts, clothes, and animals that are used in different voodoo rituals may seem interesting from an ethnic or folkloric point of view four candles at four corners of street or a triangle of candles, of which one points to the ground, may apper to be a game or a harmless superstition. It is tinic to open our eyes, especially he says’’ I driect this invitation to priests, these are attempts to evoke demon spirits that they may or may not harm someone in the end, but whose ultimate goal is always to separate the victim from God, to lead him astray to sin anguish, alienation and despair. Satan is our worst enemy and he will remain so until the end of time. Therefore he uses all his intellect and power in an attempt to thwart the plans of God, who wills the salvation of all. Our strength is in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, His Blood, His Wounds, and Obedience to His Words and to His Institution, the Church. (f) Cults and Occultism Among the unbelievers, there are some who would not buy idol worshipping for anything. They consider bowing to idols as lowering their prestige or social status. The devil adopts different strategies to enslave such people. He traps them through (a) CULTS and (b) OCCULTISM Cults: Simply defined, cults are religious whose doctrines deviate from orthodox Christianity. Cults deny most or all the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. For further information about cults consult my booklet, "Successful Witnessing to Cult. The devil creates false impressions in the minds of converts of the cults that they are also reaching out to God through their empty religions. The power behind all cults is that of the devil, although they are classed into two major groups: (a) Non-Christian cults. These are the cults which do not use the Holy Bible as their authority. They have a different revelation of God. It is not difficult to mark out those religious groups from Christians. (b) Christian cults. These are the deceiving groups. Members may even claim to be Christians though they do not accept completely, the Christian basic doctrines about Christ and the Holy Spirit. Members of this group of cults use dual revelations of God. The Bible is not their only authoritative revelation of God. It is always the Bible plus some other revelation. Christian cults can also be further grouped into two distinct groups. i. Group One consist of those cults which use the Bible and philosophy of their founder as their authority to reach God. Such cults do accept in its entirety God's only method for saving the lost world. To them salvation is through Jesus and something else. The blood of Jesus alone cannot atone for man's sin. They are dominated by human philosophies and deceits. Salvation to them is by works and the blood. The devil has cunningly brain-washed converts of such religious institutions through man's philosophies which offer a false sense of peace, security and salvation. ii. Group two is made up of small denominations. Usually, the founders call themselves prophets or prophetesses. They use dual revelations too. They use the Bible and both Black and White magic. Florida water, olive oil, water, candles and other things are used as media for spiritual operations. Their acceptance and use of Christian doctrines are just a cover up. Some of the self-styled prophets and the prophetesses have been deified. Converts may collect sand from their footsteps or even water which runs down their body as they are bathing. Such filthy things are considered holy or blessed and contain magical powers for healing, protection and so on. The 'blessed' water, candles, olive oil, Florida water, etc. are held in a similar esteem. Enslavement through such cults is obvious to any rational being' yet adherents are made blind to that fact. Such spiritual leaders are confused people who shepherd people into the open hands of Satan. Occultism: It is an area of study which is concerned with the hidden side of life. It is a subject that deals with occults which simply defined means "HIDDEN", mysterious or concealed from human view. The most important teaching in occultism is that: There is a hidden power lying in man undeveloped. By certain designated meditations this hidden power can be developed to advantage. This is the first device used to get Christians to fall. This is an appeal to the pride of life (1 John 2:16) According to such teaching one can develop to the level of Jesus by meditation and concentration. One can therefore DO and BE and HAVE all things. To them Christ is not the Son of the LIVING GOD: but by subjecting Him to hidden powers and thus became a "Master". A master is a term used in the occult world for souls which reach "perfe ction" in their spiritual development. After physical death, such souls remain in the spirit world from where they come to help those who need them. Consideration the theme of the Synod ’’the catholic Diocese of Konongo Mampong prospects, challenges and the way forward. And having reflected on the theme witchcraft and curses I propose the following as the way forward. In the gospel of St Mark 16 :17 Jesus said In my name they will cast out demons . This simple affirmation that concludes the Gospel of Mark has been sufficient to serve as a complete pastoral directive for liberation during the first century Christianity. Justin the Martyr, Tertullian and Origen tells us that every Christian was an exorcist, that is, had the power to expel demons, which was founded on faith and the name of Jesus. Then the formulas for exorcism began to multiply and to be organized. In the meantime, the Ecclesiastical authorities started to regulate exorcisms, entrusting the most severe cases solely to the care of the competent individuals. At the same time, the church multiplied the sacramentals allowing everyone to use them for lesser incidents. Beginning with the Seventeenth century when the most serious exorcisms were reserved for the Bishops or for Priests whom they delegated, as in the case of today, every diocese enjoyed a sufficient number of exorcists. Canon Law exhort Priests, Parish Priest in particular to be especially near families and individuals who are suffering; to assist the poor, the sick, the needy and those who are undergoing severe trials….. (Canon 529). These directives include the specific needs of the victims of the evil one. But when they tell us their story, do we believe them? As a result, recourse to sorcerers, warlocks, card readers, etc. is escalating. There are very few victims who will turn to an exorcist after they have suffered at the hands of others. We are witnessing the fulfillment of the words of scripture concerning King Ahaziah. While the king was gravely ill, he sent messengers to consult Baalzebub (Prince of demons) god of Ekron, to find out his future. The Prophet Elijah intercepted these messengers and asked them “Is it because there is no God in Isreal that you are going to inquire of Baalzebub?”(2Kings 1:1-4). Today the Catholic Church has abdicated this specific mission, and her children do not turn to God anymore, but to Satan. In January 2015 when we had the NUDPA Congress in Takoradi, the Nuncio Arch Bishop Spiech asked the Priests, ‘what we are doing because Rev. Bornke came from USA in September 2014 at the Suame roundabout, Kumasi and about five hundred thousand (500, 000) people attended his one week crusade programme. Another Islamic Evangelist came to the Kumasi Baba Yara sports stadium and about the same number attended it. If two people could pull about one million people within the metropolis at two separate times, then there is a need for us to sit up and do something. The church in Ghana is a ‘sleeping beauty’. This was in response to a question by Fr. Gabriel Anyimadu Bona when he asked the Nuncio to tell us his impression about the church in Ghana within the Eleven months of his stay in the country. We must do something about this. What are the greatest needs to the church today? Pope Paul VI said on the 15th November, 1972 that, do not think that our answer is simplistic or superstitious and unreal: one of the greatest needs today is the defense from that evil that we call the devil. It is obvious that these words of the Pope addressed to a much wider field also include exorcism. St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church for Moral Theology told confessors that the Priest before anything else must privately exorcise whenever he suspects demonic infestation. I have ever practiced this on certain individuals before in the confessional, and the results by the grace of God were splendid. This is true when a Priest suspects some form of demonic influence in some form of moral sickness. All other instances of evil spirit or influence can be resolved through the normal means to obtain Grace: prayer, the sacramentals, group prayers for deliverance, etc. This is too wide a field to be abandoned to private initiative. Hence on September 29, 1985, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a letter to all the Bishops reminding them of the current norms on exorcism. (Photocopy of the letter). A true exorcism, reserved to the Bishop or his delegated agent is a sacramental, as such it pledges the intercession of the church. All other exorcisms are a form of private prayer, even when it is practiced by groups. Cardinal Suenens has a practical suggestion for the Bishops or the Church. He writes, “I suggest reserving to the Bishop not only cases of demonic possession in accordance with the old norms, but to give him jurisdiction over all instances of suspected demonic influence although the office of exorcist has disappeared, at least as one of the minor orders, any Episcopal conference could ask Rome to reinstate it” (Pg 121 – 122). The Cardinal suggests allowing the laity to be granted the office of exorcist for less severe cases. Fr. La Grua in his book ‘La Preghiera di liberazione’ quoted by F Father Gabriel Amoth (Pg 135 and 187) has this suggestion for the Bishops while waiting for the official reviewing of the rituals for exorcism. In every diocese, the Bishop should appoint a discernment group of three or four individuals to work side by side with each exorcist: each group should include a Psychologist and a Doctor. Every instance of suspected demonic activity should be bought to this group, who after appropriate research, would refer the patient to the proper place, a doctor, an exorcist or a prayer group. All lesser incidents should be referred to the prayer group, or groups, according to the needs and the exorcist would be referred only the most severe occurrences. A priest should always be present in every prayer group. Deliverance therefore should always be part of the pastoral care of the sick. A well defined therapy should span the following: evangelization, sacramental practices of the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist, spiritual exercise, affiliation with prayer groups. Needless to say, in minor incidents a prayer group would not be allowed to exorcise but only to pray over patients unless an authorized priest were present (Pg 113 – 114). In our diocese this area was ever mentioned at one of our Presbyterium sessions. Unfortunately, we could not carry it through. Those who were mentioned and could be part of the discernment team are Nana Nsumankwaahene , (Anthropologist), other experts in Spiritual counseling and Clinical counseling, Psychological counseling and a Doctor in Behavioral Sciences. These could be grouped together to form the team to assist the exorcist Increasing the number of exorcists and training them to administer their ministry properly are not the only challenges. There are other opening questions; the devil never ceases his activity, while the Lord’s servants sleep as the parable of wheat and the darnel tells us. The first step, the fundamental step is to reawaken the awareness of Bishops and Priests, according to sound doctrine that scripture, tradition and megisterium have always transmitted even though the Second Vatican Council, the teaching of the last Popes, and lately the catechism of the Catholic Church. Many priests underestimate the danger of witchcraft. While they rightly trust in the salvific power of Jesus. Who died to free us from the bonds of Satan, they forget that the Lord never told us to underestimate the devils power; He did not tell us to defy him. Who asks to sift us He told Peter, the devil wanted to sift you, but I have prayed for you when you are able to stand pray for your brothers’’. Jesus Christ himself under went temptations by Satan and showed us clearly that we cannot serve two masters. Pope Paul IV, on the 13th November 1972 gave a talk and in it he said,’ who ever refuses to recognize the existence of the demonic reality, denies biblical and ecclesiastic teachings. So does anyone who claims that this reality has. Its own beginnings and that it does not originate from God as every creature does, and anyone who tries to explain as personification, as conceptual and fantastic personification of all unknown causes of ills. Later on he added ‘’this chapter on the demons and on the influence that they can exert on single individuals, on communities, on entire societies or on events, is a very important one for catholic doctrine. We need to revisit it and study it unfortunately, today it is practically ignored’’. Today for many ecclesiastics these words of the Bible, of tradition and of the magisterium on the subject are wasted, Monsignor Balducei rightly writes ‘’ it is well that the public knows what kind of crisis the church is facing today. At least doctrinally ‘’ of noted by Rev. Fr. Gabriel Amorth page 166, this crisis i may say is not only doctrinal but it is pastoral above all. That is it involves bishops who are not appointing exorcists, and priests who also do not believe in this office of exorcism any more. It is pastoral again because some priests will leave their sacred function and go out to collect Holy Water, oil, handkerchiefs from some other pastors or evangelists’ and bring to their people. Parishioners it is pastoral because some priest will tell their parishioners to leave the oils blessed by the bishops and apply the ones they gave to the other evangelists to bless for them and they in turn will give to their parishioners. The widespread of Duabo poses serious pastoral challenges, among such challenges are: Should a Christian who has been cursed be sent to the shrine of the obosom to reverse the curse or what? If he or she is to be sent to the shrine as it is done at Antoa and on many shrines of the fetishes should the person be to die since a priest cannot pacify the gods with blood which is only means to satisfy them. Again if a person seeking reversal of a curse at a shrine dies in the course of the treatment, will the church bury him or her? What pragmatic measures could be taken by the church to curb this canker out of our society; how do we then educate Christians and instil in them the Christian virtues, yet they do not put them into practice Recommendations Pastors of souls have a lot of work to do, we should try to intensify our catechesis. There is a need for the pastors to take post baptismal and sacramental catechesis more seriously even though pastors are doing them, there is a need intensify this. Pastors must try and revisit the trekking approach of spending time with the people they visit. Give them some church’s teachings on sin and on Holiness. Many people have lost the sense of sin and its effect on the human soul. We need to talk and educate ourselves and others on these topics. And many more. I would also like to suggest that we do intensive studies into these areas. African Traditional Beliefs are a real challenge to the Christian faith. Instead of doing African Studies with European Concept we need to have a shift and tackle. African studies from African perspective. We have our cosmology ; we need to use our understanding and belief to understand the faith we prefers. We should desist from saying that witches, etc do not exist. We must not approach spiritual thing from the anthropological and sociological point of view we must study and tackle it from the spiritual point of view. We need to intensify our prayer life and the prayer life of the church. The Diocese can continue to organise retreats and open fora to inform Priests and the laity about the operations of witchcraft and curses. Many people look at witchcraft from the Scientific point of view, as a result, they do not belief in the reality and existence of witches. this must stop. For if we do not believe that it exist we will not be able to prepare ourselves to against it and it will be a challenge to the faith of our people, they will leave the church and go for spiritual help elsewhere. A training Course in exorcism and demonology in general should be introduced in the syllabus in the Seminary so as to prepare the future Priests well enough to face these challenges of our time The Diocese must train some priests as exorcists who can help people in these areas. Many of our congregation are leaving the Catholic Church greatly because they feel these areas of their need are not being met. When they go to these places they are given certain articles which they buy and we have them in our Churchs as Sacramentals. These also affect their faith. Example MOGPA moment of grace prayer army and many other places Priest and other pastoral agents should do research on some topics in our traditional beliefs and help our in this area of the new evangelization. For example abamono, spirit possession, libation, nsaman kom, and many more. when they are well acquainted, enough with the issues, they can preach about them in their homilies. The diocese must bring all those who are interested in these areas together and form them into a team so that from time to time they can move from Parishes to Parishes or Deanery to Deanery to educate people on these issues. Programmes could be organised at certain levels and give workshop on these areas curses and witchcraft, As well as other traditional beliefs. Open forum could be organized from time to time for people to share their experiences and views. The Bible has a lot of teachings on witchcraft and curses, priests and catechists etc must be helped to find them in the Bible and make use of them in their teachings. The diocese can create an office in each deanery where those with such pastoral problems can go for Spiritual counseling. We need to intensify our teaching on the need of the people to have more faith, and trust in the merciful God. This is an area that calls for critical attention. Our Seminarians who come on pastorals could be encourage to research into the traditional beliefs of our people. This will help the church to know how to deal with such issues. Some of the diseases, misfortunes and many of Symptoms taken as witchcraft can be explained by the medical Sciences. So people must be encouraged to consult the doctor whenever they fall sick. Other misfortunes like broken marriages, broken relationships must all be looked at from other sources other than witchcraft. People must be encouraged to feel responsible for their wrong doings and do proper examination of themselves rather than pushing the responsibility on the witches. We must talk more about forgiveness of sins, we must encourage people to read the Bible; for according to St. Jerome; ‘’ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ’’ People must be told to stop sinning, for the wages of sin is death. Jesus Christ must always be at the centre stage of our lives. We must take our prayer life seriously and make frequent use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. It is interesting to note that these days many people prefer confession on the radio and going for counseling to the pastor of the other churches than to the priest in our own churches. People must be advised to stop suspecting others. For there too much suspicion among ourselves. If we are able to focus our attention on the relationship between us and God a lot of these issues would not gain currency. We must be serious with our Christian lives. The Faithful must be helped to appreciate the efficacy of the Eucharistic Sacrifice the Mass. We should pray to God to help the members of the Church to understand how evil it is to believe and trust the power of curses and witchcrafts. The Church forbids people from joining free masons. Thank God Most Rev. Bishop Osei –Bonsu has written extensively on the dangers of belonging to this group. Catholics who join this group faces some sanctions when we tell them that those who will pronounce curses on another will be banned from receiving communion people will be afraid to curse and they will even report others who curse. Our traditional rulers at all levels should assist in these areas. Some are doing their best to help supplant the curses, by putting sanction on those who curse though yet a lot more could be done. The power of Jesus Christ is the greatest. At Society meetings the leaders should tell their members about the effects of curses and witchcraft The image of the Church is tarnished when a member of the Church is accused of being a witch. This consequently causes people to lose faith in God. Especially, those whose faith in God is skin –deep. It creates fear and laxity in people and many people can stop going to Church. Many who are facing challenges believed to be caused by these witches, leave the Church and go to other places for solutions to their problems. This also breads mistrust, dis-unity and panic. Some people even refuse to help others and in need. Individuals lose confidence in themselves and this affects their self image. They lose faith in God as well. What are the effects of the beliefs in Witchcraft on Society or the Community? The Society does not prosper due to the unwillingness of competent corporate individuals to accept postings to such communities. It destroys marriage and family life, it creates confusion and brings disunity in our Society and it hinders and retards progress in the Community. It creates enmity, and sickness in the Society. Besides all these, it reduces labour force. People attribute any and every misfortune or mishap to witches instead of seeking other reasons. It makes people hide behind this and fail to take responsibilities of their lives since it is easy to attribute our weakness and failings in life to the witches. Besides all these, the faith the Society or Community has in God becomes undermined. It causes sorrow. It tears families apart as a result of conflicts, quarrel, discrimination and suspicion. It leads to isolation and loneliness. What can the Church do to assist her members who are accused of Witchcraft? The Church should continue to pray for them and show them love since witchcraft is an activity of the devil. And because the devil stole the individual who has been created in the image and likeness of God, we cannot leave them at the mercy of the demons. The faith of our people is skin–deep, therefore we need to talk to them and advise them on the dangers of religious syncretism. We have to educate them on the power of the Word of God. As a Church we should make sure that they are not discriminated against. We should organize seminars and open forum on the dangers of these evil acts and encourage the Church to accept those who are accused as children of God and not to maltreat them. Other counselling session could be organised for them. There is the need to have some Social integration programmes organised for them so that they will not isolate themselves. This is very necessary so that they do not go back to join the witch group again. Deliverance and healing services be organised for them, Retreats are also necessary. We must encourage them to believe in God’s mercy and forgiveness for them. God loves them even as they are in all their situations. The Church must encourage them to have hope in God that all is not lost, We have to think of giving them some material aid or assistance since the Community might refuse to help them financially. We must facilitate reconciliation of the accused family. WHO CAN EXPEL DEMONS. All priests, even those who are not exorcists, have a particular power that derives from their Ministerial Ordination. This is not an honour to their person but a service for the spiritual need of the faithful; to liberate them from evil influences is one of the things that are required of a priest. Much faith, much prayers and fasting are always needed on the part of those who intercede and for those whom we intercede. It would always be best if a group of people would gather to pray concurrently with, but separately from an exorcism. There is a need for a team or intercession team. Everyone can use common means to obtain grace such as prayers of deliverance independently from, or even during the exorcism itself for instance, putting a crucifix or a rosary, or some relics on the head of the victim. The relic of the Holy Cross is most effective because it is by this Cross that Jesus defeated Satan’s kingdom. The relics of saints who are particular patrons are also efficacious, simple blessed holy cards such as those depicting Saint Michael the Archangel, of whom demons are particularly afraid. The exorcist must bear in mind or be aware that it is not every attack that can be considered spiritual. An exorcist must have some knowledge or be aware of mental illness only to the degree that he should recognize when Psychiatrist is needed. He is not required to know about mental illness as much as a Psychiatrist does. By the same token, the exorcist must be aware of Para-psychological phenomena, but he cannot be a substitute for an expert in the field. The exorcist’s specific domain is Supernatural. He must have exact knowledge of supernatural phenomena and relative cures. Apart from the priests, there are veritable army of people, claiming charisms, seers, pranatherapists, healers, and even gypsies who are also engaged in the healing. These people with: CHARISMS: - The Holy Spirit with divine freedom gives charisms however and to whomever he pleases. These are not given to the glory or benefit of the receiver, but as a service to his brothers. Among these charisms is the power to liberate from evil spirits and to heal from illnesses. These gifts are also given to the communities. They are not tied to personal holiness but to the free choice of God. Experience tells us however that God normally grants these gifts to righteous people of proven humility who pray frequently and live an exemplary Christian life – this does not mean absence of faults. Today, there is an inflation of those claiming charisms who attract crowds of suffering people. The question is how do we discern those who are real from imposters? The discernment belongs to the church which is entitled to use any and all the tools she considers necessary for this discernment. This is a complex and difficult problem because charisms can suddenly stop. Since no living person is confined in a permanent state of grace, it is possible that one who has received a charism becomes unworthy. Fr. Gabriele Amorth has suggested some guidelines for determining the presence of true charisms. 1. The individual or community lives the gospel in a profound way. 2. The individual or the community performs the services absolutely free not even accepting donations, as through these it is easy to become wealthy. 3. The practices used must be common means to obtain grace approved by the church, avoiding unusual or superstitious actions. For instance; they must not use magic formulas but prayers, the sign of the cross and imposition of hands, and nothing that could offend modesty. They should avail themselves of water, incense and relics and avoid anything that is extraneous to the normal ecclesiastical use. They should pray in the name of Jesus Christ and through the intercession of the Saints. 4. The fruits must be good. This is an evangelical rule that sums up all the other rules, “the tree is known by its fruits…. Matt 12:33”. Vetican II document Lumen Gentium (LG)12 affirms that the Holy Spirit distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. These charismatic gifts, whether they are the most outstanding or more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation. Still extraordinary gifts are not to be rashly sought after. In any case, judgment as to their genuineness and proper use belongs to those who preside over the church and to whose special competence it belongs. Not indeed to extinguish the spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to that which is gold.”LG:12”. It is evident that these guidelines are just about universally ignored within the church. Therefore, the Council affirms in vain that whoever receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit – even a lay person – has the right and the duty to exercise them, under the guidance and the discernment of the Bishops. SEERS AND SENSITIVES: Seers are people who have the gifts of seeing and the Sensitives are those who have the gift of feeling. Both express what they have experienced through contact with objects or individuals. Sometimes, when they come into contact with a possessed individual they immediately detect the problem. Even seeing a photograph of an object or person, hearing the voice of a person, touching a letter or object that belongs to a person suspected of being possessed, they are able to detect the real cause. Seers and Sensitives are often asked to walk into homes or houses of strange occurrences that are thought to be infested. They can detect objects or sense whether evil is present or not. They are able to track the life of someone, pointing with surprising precision at which age the evil spirit or influence occurred. How and why they happened. These seers and sensitives must be prayerful individuals, rich in goodness and charity and especially very humble. However, we need to be careful since there are multitudes of people who believe they have and are reputed to have these gifts. Pranatherapy is a theory of Prana or of Bioplasma. This is the act of healing someone through the transfer of energy. Official science is researching into this phenomenon, but has not sanctioned it yet. However, Father La Grua said “if healings occur through an energy that the healer transfers to the sick person either through a different store of energy, they have nothing to do with charismatic healing. Additionally, there may be the danger of evil infiltration. That is why we need extreme prudence. A Venetian Exorcist Father Pellegrino Ernetti validating the caution with which we view pranatherapy also said, it is by accurately discerning the fruits and methods they use that we can recognize the tree. Sorcerers: Healing can occur through demonic intervention, possibly under the guise of extra terrestrial beings or guiding souls. Jesus Christ himself cautions against any false christs and false prophets (Matt 24:24). A different multitude or army of healers, completely separated from demonic powers, is the multitude of false sorcerers, simple charlatans or swindlers. They cheat people by giving them talismas, ribbons and pouches; a lot of inscriptions are written on paper and folded for the sick to use, usually they pay heavy money for it. Gypsies: Fulani, medicine men etc whom we meet sometimes they request for money and when that is given, they tell their victims a lot of stories. Sometimes they are able to tell you any omen or danger that is looming ahead of you. They are able to reveal a secret in your life and give directives or directions as to how to solve those problems. Sometimes, they are true and precise. In all how do we explain these occurrences? It is not easy. Why are people flocking to these people? There is always a temptation in it for us to seek these charismatics, seers, sensitives, sorcerers and exorcists because we often fall into the temptation of finding the quickest way to heal, by going outside the common sacred means to obtain grace and unwilling falling into the trap of magic. We begin to see for example that if we use small dish full of water, add few drops of oil and utter a few names we obtains some answers, and we begin a series of magic practicing. Some put a key in the bible tie it and when it swings to a direction which they have agreed either left or right, they claim than they have found their answers consequently they can continue and practice more magical acts. There are some priests who used some methods of healing with some success, without realizing that they were turning to magic. The devil is shrewd; he is always ready to promise us the kingdom of this world. If we fall on our knees and adore him. THE CHURCHE’S OFFICIAL RULES FOR EXORCISM OF THE DEVIL. A PRIEST-one who is expressly in special wise authorized by the Ordinary-when he intends to perform an exorcism over persons tormented by the devil, must be properly distinguished for his piety, prudence, and integrity of life. He should fulfill this devout undertaking in all constancy and humility, being utterly immune to any striving for human aggrandizement, and relying, not on his own, but on the divine power. Moreover, he ought to be of mature years, and revered not alone for his office but for his moral qualities. 2. In order to exercise his ministry rightly, he should resort to a great deal more study of the matter (which has to be passed over here for the sake of brevity), by examining approved authors and cases from experience; on the other hand, let him carefully observe the few more important points enumerated here. 3. Especially, he should not believe too readily that a person is possessed by an evil spirit; but gi ought to ascertain the signs by which a person possessed can be distinguished from one who is suffering from melancholy or some other illness. Signs of possession are the following: ability to speak with some facility in a strange tongue or to understand ii when spoken by another; the faculty of divulging future and hidden events; display of powers which are beyond the subject's age and natural condition; and various other indications which, when taken together as a whole, pile up the evidence. 4. In order to understand these matters better, let him inquire of the person possessed, following upon one or the other net of excorcism, what the latter experienced in his body or soul while the excorcism was being performed, and to learn also what particular words in the form had a more intimidating effect upon the devil, so that hereafter these words may be employed with greater stress and frequency. 5. He will be guard against the arts and subterfuges which the evil spirit are wont to use in deceiving the exorcist. For oftentimes they give deceptive answers and make it difficult to understand them, so that the exorcist might tire and give up, or so it might appear that the afflicted one is in no wise possessed by the devil. 6. Once in a while, after they are already recognized, they conceal themselves and leave the body practically free from every molestation, so that the victim believes himself completely delivered. Yet the exorcist may not desist until he sees the signs of deliverance. 7. At times, moreover, the evil spirits place whatever obstacles they can in the way, so that the patient may not submit to exorcism, they try to convince him that his affliction is a natural one. Meanwhile, during the exorcism they cause him to fall asleep, and dangle these illusion before him, while they seclude themselves, so that the affected one appear to be freed. 8. Some real a crime which has been committed and the perpetrators thereof, as well as the means of putting an end to it. Yet the afflicted person must beware of having recourse on this account to sorcerers or necromancers or to any parties except the ministers of the Church, or making use of any superstition, may any sort of forbidden practice. 9. Sometimes the devil will leave the possessed person in peace and even allow him to receive the Holy Eucharist, to make it appear that he has departed. In fact, the arts and frauds of the evil one for deceiving a man are innumerable. For this reason the exorcist must be on guard, lest he fall into this trap. 10. Wherefore, he will be mindful of the words of our Lord (Matt 17; 20), to the effect that there is a certain type of evil spirit who cannot be driven out except by prayer and fasting. Therefore, let him avail himself of these two means above all for imploring the divine assistance in expelling demons, after the example of the holy martys ; and not only himself, but let him induce others, so far as possible, to do the same. 11. If it can be done conveniently, the possessed person should be attend to church or some other sacred and worthy place, where the exsorcism will be held, away from the crowd. But if the person is ill, for any valid reason, the exorcism may take place in a private home. 12. The subject, if in good mental and physical health, should be thorted to implore God’s help, to fast, and to fortify himself by frequent reception of penance and Holy Communion, at the discretion the priest. And in the course of the exorcism he should be fully collected, with his intention fixed on God, whom he should entreat with firm faith and in all humility. And if he is all the more grievously tormented, he ought to bear this patiently, never doubting the divine assistance. 13. He ought to have a crucifix at hand or somewhere in sight. If relics of the Saints are available, they are to applied in a reverent way the breast or head of the person possessed (the relics must be openly and securely encased and covered). One will see to it that sacred objects are not treated improperly or that no injury is them by the evil spirit. However, one should not hold the Holy Eucharist over the head of the person nor in any way apply it to his body, owing to the danger of desecration. 14. The exorcist must not digress into senseless prattle nor ask superfluous question or such as are prompted by curiosity, particularly if they pertain to future and hidden matters, all of which have nothing to do with his office. Instead, he will bid the unclean spirit keep silence and answer only when asked. Neither ought he to give any credence to the devil if the latter maintains that he is the spirit of some saint or of a decease party, or even claims to be a good angel. 15. But necessary questions are, for example: about the number and name of the spirits inhabiting the patient, about the time when they entered into him, the cause thereof, and such like. As for all jesting, laughing, and nonsense on the part of the evil spirit- the exorcist should prevent it or contemnit, and he will exhort the bystanders (Whose number must be very limited) to pay no attention to such goings on; neither are they to put any question to the subject. Rather they should intercede for him to God in all humility and urgency. 16. Let the priest pronounce the exorcisms in a commanding and authoritative voice and at the same time with great confidence, humility, and fervor; and when he sees that the spirit is sorely vexed, then he oppresses and threatens all the more. If he notices that the person afflicted is experiencing a disturbance in some part of his body or an acute pain or a swelling appears in some part, he traces the sign of the Cross over that place and sprinkles it with holy water, which he must have at hand for this purpose. 17. He will pay attention as to what words in particular cause the evil spirits to tremble, repeating them the more frequently. And when he comes to a threatening expression, he recurs to it again and again, always increasing the punishment. If he perceives that he is making progress, let him persist for two, there, four hours, and longer if he can, until victory is attained. 18. The exorcist should guard against giving or recommending any medicine to the patient, but should leave this care to physicians. 19. While performing the exorcism over a woman, he ought always to have assisting him several women of good repute, who will hold on to the person when she is harassed by the evil spirit. These assistants ought if possible to be close relative of subject; and for the sake of decency the exorcist will avoid saying or doing anything which might prove an occasion of evil thoughts to himself or to the others. 20. During the exorcism he shall preferably employ words from Holy Writ, rather than forms of his own or of someone else. He shall, moreover, command the evil to tell whether he is detained in that body by necromancy, by evil signs or amulets; and if the one possessed has taken the latter by mouth, he should be made to vomit them; if he has them concealed on his person, he should expose them; and when discovered they must be burned. Moreover, the person should be exhorted to reveal all his temptations to the exorcist. 21. Finally, after the possessed one has been freed, let him be administer to guard himself carefully against falling into sin, so as to give no opportunity to the evil spirit of returning, lest the last state of that man become worse than the former. The Directory. It’s probably better not read all of this directory through at once as it’s not exactly a bundle of laughs. It’s definitely not the stuff for late night reading after a heavy cheese supper and an overdose of Horlisks! Use it as a resource to give you at least a very basic understanding of things you come across day by day. Amulets/lucky charms Objects that are worn superstitiously and carried as symbols of protection. A Saint Christopher necklace could certainly fall into this category. Several reasons are given for their alleged power. 1. What they are made of. For example, many gypsies wear copper to fend off arthritis. 2. What they look like. They may take on the form of an idol or occult symbol and be adored with symbolic jewels. 3. How they are inscribed (words placed in them, etc). 4. A spell that has been cast upon them. (Where 3 and 4 apply, the object is similar to a talisman.) Animism/ancestor spirits Tribal religions which in various ways worship the spirits of their ancestors. These spirits are believed to be able to appear in dreams, warn people of danger, as well as causing great harm. This may seem a long way from twentieth-century Britain; however, the rise of belief in ‘mother earth’, the popularity of Stone-henge and Glastonbury, has set some people on the path to animism, nature religion and paganism. Apparitions (ghosts/phantoms) Strange appearances of figures or persons (living or dead) for whatever reason. Astral body The spiritual, non-material body supposedly possessed by all humans (and in some beliefs all living things) which continues to exist (or separates) after bodily death. Also known as a soul body, etheric body, doubles spirit body, dream body or psychic body. According to spiritualists this is the vehicle for the spirit in its sate after death. Astral plan According to spiritualism this is the intermediate world into which the spirit passes at death. Some mediums claim they project themselves there at will. Astral projection A temporary experience of leaving one’s body which is particularly dangerous. This is achieved by some through meditation techniques and by others through taking hallucinogenic drugs like LSD or so-called Magic Mushrooms. Others have also experienced astral projection during yoga exercises. Astrology Divination by often inaccurate presentations of the signs of the zodiac. Using the times, places and dates of birth, astrologers create a chart which is used to: 1. Predict future events 2. Analyse people’s characters. 3. Plan people’s futures. Aura A force field or energy field around the body which is normally invisible (according to those who believe in it). Certain occultists interpret these auras based on their colour, shape or brightness. Automatic writing Writing produced by an individual in a trance or while hallucinating, usually without their conscious awareness. This is often associated with séances. Blood pact A pact with the devil in your own blood to serve evil in exchange for power. Any pact with evil, whether spoken or writing, is powerful and can lead to terrible bondage at the hands of the powers of darkness. Chain letters A letter sent with a request to copy it and send to others. It is intended to grow progressively as each new recipient writer to a number of friends. Prosperity and good luck are offered as a reward for co-oeration, and a curse or ill-fortune threatened for failure to take part. Chain letters are sent to others, whereas letters of protection are like lucky charms for personal use. (See Curses, Charms, Spells, Amulets.) Charms A broad term including incantations (spells) and amulets, fetishes or talismans. The word originally meant ‘a song of holy words’ which had magical powers. When referred to an object, it refers to the spoken spell used to prepare the object. Control spirit (familiar spirit) A medium’s personal spirit which encourages, enlightens and speaks through them during séances. It is in fact an evil spirit that is communicating, not the spirit of a dead person. Coven A witchcraft group usually consisting of thirteen members. Crystal gazing (crystal ball or scrying) Divination or clairvoyance which uses a crystal ball as the means of spirit contact. Some people do this by looking upon water, fire clouds or some other such object. Curses Charms intended to cause evil related to black magic. Direct voice While in a trance, a medium’s voice is taken over by a control spirit or another evil spirit. Sometimes the accent or tone is a totally different voice to that of the medium. (See Mark 1:21-26.) Divination A broad category which includes various means of attaining knowledge not available naturally. This knowledge is obtained by occult techniques which produce results that can be interpreted. For example, horoscopes are a form of divination in that astrological data is compiled and then interpreted. Dowsing A form of divination in which a forked rod of hazel wood, or similar construction, is used in an attempt to find underground water or minerals. This practice is sometimes still used by the Water Board today in its search for water. Dream interpretation A form of prediction; divination by dreams. There are some modern books around which put this technique into a similar league as horoscope predictions. It is extremely deceptive and is a wide open gateway into the occult. Drugs Spiritual and mental bondage produced by chemicals that create an altered state of consciousness. Many drugs give and create similar experience to some forms of Eastern meditation like transcendental meditation ™. The New Testament Greek word for sorcery is pharmakia or pharmacy. There is therefore an obvious biblical link between sorcery, the occult and drug abuse. Those who mess with drugs don’t just risk physical addiction, but also demonic bondage. Druids Often on the news with regard to the summer solstice celebration at Stonehenge. They were the priestly caste of Celtic society. It is likely they led sacrifices and practiced magic and occult healing. Obvious links with paganism, nature religion and pantheism (see Chapter 2). Dungeons &Dragons (occult games, role-playing games) Games or books within which the participant is encouraged to adopt another personality through imagination and fantasy. Many games and books of this type contain frequent references to black magic, clairvoyance and evil spirits. There are some good fantasy books about such as those by CS Lewis or Tolkien, but generally care should be taken here. Ectoplasm Much humour was made of this in the film Ghost-busters, which also showed examples of direct voice and other forms of demonic manifestation. Occultists in reality claim this is a mysterious fluid-like or semi-physical substance which comes out from a medium’s body. Evil eye The power which some are supposed to have by birth, or black magic, to cause misfortune to others. Evocation The calling forth of a dangerous evil spirit by the means of spoken or writing word. The evoked spirit must stay at all times outside the protective pentangle, and often a special place for it is ritually marked out an extremely dangerous process. Extra-sensory perception (ESP) Formerly known as the ‘sixth sense’ It is an experience of, a response to, or a knowledge of an event or object that could not have been gained through our normal sense. It relaes to divination, clairvoyance and telepathy. Fairies & goblins Not here referring to children’s stories. Many people who have been into LSD or Magic Mushrooms report conversations with such being while in an altered state of consciousness. In this situation you have a medium-like experience where the person is communicating with evil spirits. The cult Emin promotes belief in fairies. Fetish As per amulet or charm except for the fact that a fetish is believed to be the residing place of a familiar spirit (a spirit that has developed a relationship with a person see Direct voice). Firewalking A spiritistic ceremony to show the human ability (under the influence of demons) to walk over a bed of very hot coals without physical harm. This is often faked, but by no means always. Fortune telling Foretelling of the future. Predictive divination. Freemasonry A secret society based on symbolic occult-type activity. It pretends to be non-religious and is pseudo Christian, but is really anti-Christian. A recent Church of England report declared that freemasonry is ‘incompatible with Christianity’. Geomancy (fortune bones/dice) Divination by interpreting the patterns made by objects that have been thrown on the ground. Patterns are sometimes interpreted by certain rules, but more often by intuitive recognition (ie they make it up as they go along!). Ghosts An apparition of an earthbound nature spirit, or a departed soul depending on the occultist’s world view. In reality, I believe that a ghost is either a mirage or a visible manifestation of an evil spirit designed to deceive people into further occult experimentation or practice. Graphology Divination of character or health by analyzing handwriting. Usually more of a superstition or a vague assumption as to a person’s character rather than a spiritualistic phenomenon. However, it is used by some for telepathy. Hallowe’en All Hallows Eve. The October 31st witch festival. One of the four sabbats of coven witchcraft taken from the four great festivals of the ancient Celts. It is believed by many occultists that Satan walks the earth on these sabbats. Hex An evil spell Horoscope See Astrology. A diagram of the relative positions of planets and signs of the zodiac at a specific time (eg. birth). It’s used in foretelling events in a person’s life. Dr. Kurt Koch writes: Today’s astrologer does not see the planets at the same place his colleague of 4-5,000 years ago. Besides this, several other planes were discovered; Uranus in 1781, Neptune in 1839 and Pluto in 1932. Since all these changes failed to change the astrological system in any way, present astronomers reject astrology as one of the greatest frauds of all times. Astrology is a superstition which has often been called ‘the foolish daughter of a wise mother-astronomy’ (the study of the stars). Invocation The calling forth of a so-called ‘good spirit’ by words whether written or spoken. Kabalah, Qabalah or Cabala Jewish occult mysticism. It covers various forms of fortune telling, magic, altered states of consciousness and spiritism integrated into a complex philosophical system. Kirlian photography A high frequency electrical process which produces a photo-like image of an apparent electrical field that allegedly surrounds living beings. It is considered to be a means of photographing the aura and diagnosing illness and depression. Levitation The lifting of a person or object from the ground by totally non-physical, mental means. It is achieved through the exertion of phychic powers. Ley lines Straight geological lines of spiritual force which some adherents of pagan religious believe were discovered and used in the Neolithic period. Their existence is said to be demonstrated by the many alignments between religious sites. There is no archeological support for this view, though many ancient religious sites do seem to be aligned with one another. Glastonbury and Stonehenge are key sites where ley lines are said to converge. Lifting game Three or four people are able to lift the weight of a full-grown adult with just their fingertips. A magic formula is chanted after which the person is lifted. This could be a mixture of levitation, self-hypnosis and occult magic. Magic (black and white) Exercising power or attempting to manipulate evil spirits. The idea is to subvert or manipulate or dominate people or situations for your own ends by spirit power. Black magic is suppose to be for selfish or destructive purposes. White magic is for ‘benevolent’ purposes. In reality both black and white magic are evil and dangerous, and lieat the center of the occult. Medium (psychic) A person who is sensitive or open to be used by occult powers to the extent that they convey information from these powers to others. In spiritualism, the communication is suppose to be from dead people, via the medium, to living people. A mental medium will transmit only messages, while a physical medium will attempt to use meditation and other forms of physical manifestation. Necromancy. Divination by consulting the dead; often used of spiritualism or conducting séances. Numerology Divination based on the symbolic interpretation of the numbers one to nine. People’s names, birth dates and other significant events are reduced to digits and interpreted. Omens Divination by means of interpreting unusual or uncontrollable events, for example the flight of birds. It’s a form of fortune telling. Ouija board A means of communicating with evil spirits and also of demonstrating ESP. A board with the alphabet and the words Yes and No on it is placed on a table. A glass is turned upside down and each participant rests a finger on it and ask a spirit to move the glass. Many people have been plagued with fear, depression, rage, anger, insanity and have even attempted to commit suicide after involvement with Ouija. It is to be avoided at all costs. Palmistry Divination. The assessment of personality and fore-telling the future by examining hands. Paranormal As related to psychic research. Phenomena that are beyond normality and supernatural. Parapsychology A field of study related to investigating telepathy and clairvoyance. Pendulum An instrument that can be used in place of a diving rod in dowsing. The swinging of a small object on the end of a chain or cord. Pendulums are sometimes swung over people in supernatural healing and other forms of divination. Phrenology Divination by examining the contours of the skull. Poltergeists Noisy ghosts. A haunting phenomenon producing violent noise and physical manifestation like writing on a wall and the levitation of furniture. Poltergeists tend to focused around an individual (perhaps a familiar spirit). A person that I prayed for once had this type of activity occurring in her house. After prayer it seemed that the activity ceased. Possessions Usually used to describe a person that is subjected to an extreme form of demonic infiltration, due usually to occult involvement. The bible doesn’t talk of possessions as ownership, but demonization or having an evil spirit. Both Jesus Christ and the early church on his behalf demonstrated that God has the power to set people free from this kind of oppressions (Mattew 8;28-34 Acts 8; 4-8). Premonitions Advance warnings about specific events or situations. Sometimes this is clairvoyance or ESP. Rune See sell Sabbat A midnight assembly of witches and sorcerers to renew allegiance to the devil through various rites, often involving animal sacrifice and sexual per-version. Satanism Worship and service to the devil (Satan). It is often a ritualistic form of worship which is sometimes based on a twisted upside-down rip-off of medieval Roman Catholicism. Satanists delight in turning things morally and physically the wrong way round, hence they use the Lord’s Prayer backwards. Tarot Divination by card laying either with tarot cards or other types of standard playing cards. Telepathy Mind reading. The ability to transfer young thoughts to another person’s mind without physical means. Trance An altered state of consciousness induced by occult activity. A trance is generally self-induced (except in hypnotism) and is a state in which a person is particularly open to demonic attack. Trick or treat Part of the celebration of Hallowe’en. Originally in the USA, in the nineteenth century, boys and young men went on orgies of vandalism. The custom developed with children knocking on doors and asking for sweets and cakes as an inducement for them not to inflict damage (a trick or treat). Today the tricks are somewhat milder. This tradition has its roots in the past and the occult influence of Hallowe’en. Some of the tricks have been likened to curses. Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) A phenomenon where flying saucers and spacecrafts are seen and alien begins are contacted. This is sometimes an occult experience and many people who have taken LSD, Margic Mushrooms, or had an experience of an altered state of consciousness, have had hallucinations of UFOs. Voodoo An African originated Haitian form of magic and divination using effigies (models of people which can be cursed). This produces altered states of consciousness and induces demonic influence. Warlock A male practitioner of black magic, a sorcerer or male witch. Wicca Nature religion just like witchcraft. It is not as old as claimed, but was founded by Gerald Gardner in this century. Witchcraft, witches A vague description of the practice of magic, or divination, by people who may or may not practice Satanism. Wizard Sometimes a male witch, it means ‘wise one’ and may describe any occultist. A real- life example Here we have observed only the edges of the occult.