|Divination (Palm Reading) and St. Thomas Aquinas|
Today's post is a continuation from my previous post, Discerning The Spirits: Warnings Against the New Age and Occult Practices and How To Recognize the Action of the Holy Spirit, and is the second in a series of posts based on a book, Spiritual Deceptions in the Church and the Culture: A Comprehensive Guide to Discernment, written by Moira Noonan, OSB, Oblate and Anne Feaster. The content for today's post continues to draw from chapter eight, Discerning The Spirits, and focusses on sections that further expose the deceptions of the New Age and occult practices.
What follows is information that identifies divination and magic, and how the source of both, Satan, deceives many; how divination and magic are contrary to God's FIrst Commandment and the virtue of religion; a summary of the Three Species of Divination from St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica; many examples of the New Age and occult practices; and testimonials including Moira Noonan's experiences during her time as a "New Ager."
I hope that today's post will encourage you to include this comprehensive guide in your discernment process. The need for greater awareness makes this book an indispensable resource on a subject that is becoming increasingly necessary in Canada and many other countries where so much of the New Age and occult practices are apart of the mainstream culture.
Counterfeit "Gifts": Divination and Magic
This section in, Discerning The Spirits, comes directly after a preceding section entitled, Authentic Spiritual Gifts and Their Fruits, which you can read about at the last part of my previous post. I encourage all to do so who have not done so already, to better understand the reading ahead.
Noonan and Feaster begin by identifying the author of all counterfeit gifts, Satan. Quoting scripture, the authors refer to what Jesus told us about Satan, "He was a murderer from the beginning, and has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie he speaks from his very nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (Jn 8:44)
The authors elaborate further about Satan's nature by identifying aspects of his character, methods and strategy, all of which are aimed at destroying man. Satan mocks God by making his dark works appear as authentic gifts of the Holy Spirit, just as he made the forbidden tree and its fruit appear good to Eve and then Adam. Satan hates us because we are loved by God and although he has been given limited power, it is nothing compared to God's unlimited power, which He has given to His faithful ones through Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit. God's gift is given to us according to His will and plan for us, to spread His kingdom and draw everyone to Himself. Satan is quite the deceiver and it is important that we always remain alert to his snares. Noonan and Feaster provide that much needed reminder from scripture,"Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour." (1 Pt 5:8)
The need to remain sober and watchful could not be more necessary in today's society. It is a necessity that has been made urgent by the waning and abandonment of faith; a lack of knowledge and understanding of "these practices" leaving many unsuspecting souls in a vulnerable state; the media; and the reintroduction of many occult practices under new names by the New Age so as to appear innocuous, all of which have greatly contributed to the infiltration of these practices into mainstream society. The power in these practices is real, and never derived from God, but always a manifestation of demonic spirits summoned by practitioners who in the process, place their souls in great peril.
Divination and Magic
Further in the chapter the authors define and distinguish divination and magic. Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge of future or hidden things by inadequate means, which includes superstitious practices and the invoking of demonic powers. Magic is the interference with the usual course of physical nature by inadequate means such as the recitation of formularies, gestures, mixing of incongruous elements and mysterious actions. Any knowledge acquired from these practices and the hope to work "miracles," does not have God as its source.
Magic aims to do, divination aims to know. The authors note, "Whereas divination is a quest for unlimited knowledge, magic is a quest for unlimited power and ability; both seek to accomplish these goals through recourse to the demonic." (127) The teachings of the Catholic Church specifically forbid all forms of divination and magic, which is explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity. (2116-2117)Noonan and Feaster have also quoted Fr. M. Piotrowski, the Society of Christ Provincial, and editor in chief of Love One Another magazine. The authors have done so in order to help explain the "why" behind Church teaching. Here is what Fr. Piotrowski has contributed to Catholic understanding of divination and magic, "Anyone who makes use of a pendulum or tarot cards, who consults palm or card readers, psychics, touch healers, or acts through a spiritist medium, expresses thereby a lack of faith in God's love and opens himself up to the influence of evil spirits." (128)
After the authors clearly illustrated the interrelation between divination and magic, they proceeded to introduce and explain St. Thomas Aquinas' Three Species of Divination, which was used as a framework to elaborate on the many forms of divination still used today, while contrasting them with the authentic gifts of the Holy Spirit found in the lives of saints.
St. Thomas Aquinas' Three Species of Divination
Noonan and Feaster begin this section of the chapter by immediately quoting St. Thomas Aquinas from Summa Theologica, "...[A]ll divinations seek to acquire foreknowledge of future events, by means of some counsel and help of a demon, who is either expressly called upon to give his help, or else thrusts himself in secretly, in order to foretell certain future things unknown to men..." (128) Saint Thomas groups all forms of divination into three species: express invocation; tacit invocation through signs found in nature; and tacit invocation through signs prepared by man.
First Species: Divination by Express Invocation
Saint Thomas Aquinas distinguishes this first species as follows, "When demons are expressly invoked, they are wont to foretell the future in many ways. Sometimes they offer themselves to human sight and hearing by mock apparitions in order to foretell the future...when demons are invoked openly..." (128) Divination of this species includes: fortune telling (pythonism), channeling, mediumship, spiritism in all its forms including necromancy, telepathy, and all psychic powers. Noonan and Feaster note that most of the New Age practices discussed in chapter eight's Discerning The Spirits, fall into the category of St. Thomas' first species. Below are a few examples of these practices including Moira Noonan's testimonial of her time as a "minister" in a New Age church.
Fortune Telling (Pythonism) vs. Authentic Prophecy
To spotlight the difference between fortune telling and authentic prophecy, the authors provide a scriptural account of a woman possessed by a demon that used her to display the counterfeit gifts of clairvoyance:
Now it came to pass as we were going to the place of prayer that a girl met us who possessed a divining spirit and brought her masters much profit by soothsaying. She followed Paul and ourselves and kept crying out, saying: 'These men are the servants of the most high God and they proclaim to you a way of salvation.' This she did for many days; until Paul, being very much grieved, turned and said to the spirit, 'I order thee in the name of Jesus Christ to go out from her.' And he went out that very moment. (Acts 16:16-18)The Douay Rheims version of scripture refers to the demonic spirit as "pythonical spirit," as opposed to the more general "divining spirit."
Clairvoyance, the ability to act as a seer or fortune teller, is to be contrasted with the authentic gift of prophecy. As the authors note, the charismatic gift of prophecy is not a prediction of the future as is the case with fortune telling. Saint Paul's letter to the Corinthians defines what is authentic prophecy, "But he who prophesies speaks to men for edification, and encouragement, and consolation. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophecies edifies the church." (1 Cor 14:3-4) True prophecy is a gift from God to build up the Church in the communion of saints. True prophecy glorifies God in the Mystical Body of Christ and it is only done in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The authors have included a few examples of those individuals from the Church who received the authentic gifts, spotlighting in the process how they differ from the counterfeit gifts of divination. This list includes: St. John Bosco, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Padre Pio, and Italian mystic Maria Teresa Carloni.
For the sake of brevity, I will not be elaborating on each individual's life, but I would like to include a few brief points on Saint John Bosco. This saint was given the gift of prophecy and all of his prophecies have all come to pass except those dealing with the end times. A key indication of the authenticity of the "gift" was the fact that the visions and dreams he experienced were given for the salvation and the edification of souls, and for the glory of God. This most humble and obedient saint did not ask for these gifts, nor did he did not try to teach them to others, and he never requested any payment for them; as the gifts of the Holy Spirit are freely given. This is in sharp contrast to the "masters" of the New Age which seek to pass their counterfeit gifts to their "disciples," and many times require payment for services rendered (information).
When it comes to the New Age, the terms "Spiritualism" and "Spiritism" are used interchangeably, however, the term spiritism more accurately represents the core of New Age spirituality. Quoting the Catholic Encyclopedia, the authors provide the reader with the following definition:
Spiritism is the name properly given to the belief that the living can and do communicate with the spirits of the departed, and to the various practices by which such communication is attempted...Spiritism, moreover, has taken on a religious character. It claims to prove the preamble of all religions, ie., the existence of a spiritual world, and to establish a world-wide religion in which the adherents of the various traditional faiths, setting their dogmas aside, can unite. If it has formulated no definite creed, and if its representatives differ in their attitudes toward the beliefs of Christianity, this is simply because Spiritism is expected to supply a new and fuller revelation which will either substantiate on a rational basis the essential Christian dogmas or show that they are utterly unfounded...(130)To further aid the reader's understanding of Spiritism, the authors have drawn from former Cistercian Abbot, Alois Wiesinger's classic work, Occult Phenomena in the LIght of Theology. Quoting Wiesinger, "The best known and most widely spread form of occultism is spiritualism [spiritism]. This cult not only contains most of the other forms of occultist practice...whose foundation is the conviction that it can establish communication with the dead by means of mediums..." (131) As the authors note from Wiesinger's work, Catholics reject Spiritism because it is not fitting that souls of the dead be contacted through intermediaries.
The authors add further clarity by quoting Father Andrsej Trojanowski, a doctor of theology and exorcist, "Apart from the danger of bringing on a range of spiritual disturbances (including demonic possession), reliance of spiritist mediums leads to fear, feelings of helplessness, a sense of being trapped, and despair. It can also lead to serious psychic illnesses." (131)
Moira Noonan's Personal Testimony
One of the most intriguing sections in Discerning The Spirits is Moira Noonan's personal testimony of her involvement in the New Age. What follows is a summary of her testimony.
After completing her training as a minister in the International Church of Religious Science (an offshoot of Unity Church which itself is an offshoot Christian Science, that came about during the Enlightenment period), she was unknowingly led to the practice of spiritualism; necromancy to be specific. Necromancy is a special mode of divination by the evocation of the dead; a form of channeling which seeks to establish communication with the dead through a medium. She was doing all this at a New Age church called, Teachings of the Inner Christ (TIC) founded by Ann Meyer Makeever. It still exists today and as of this book's publication, it is still going strong.
Heavily influence by Yogi Master Babaji, Makeever and the TIC sought to teach others what she had received from her opened "power door" experience, and help others to grow in awareness of their own Christhood. In essence, all this was spiritism using: spirit guides, table tipping, seances, clairvoyance and every "psychic gift." This list constitutes the demonic gifts of: clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and other forms of mediumship. Noonan got very advanced in these gifts and experienced the power of the demonic.
The actual teachings of the TIC illustrate how the demonic deception entices unsuspecting and vulnerable souls with manipulative language. For example, Noonan was under the impression that those spirits helping her were all good spirits because the TIC teaches that:
...Jesus is part of the "Great White Brotherhood," that He is one of many "ascended masters" in the spirit world who come here to help us earthbound human beings reach a higher level of consciousness, the "Christ-consciousness," that is within each of us. Through communication with these supposed ascended masters, we are able to learn how to realize our powers and gifts, our God-given innate psychic abilities, to develop for our own enlightenment, by our own authority. (133)To further spotlight the demonic deception of the TIC's teachings, Noonan quotes from the TIC web site:
We also believe that you create your life through your choices and beliefs. Therefore, we teach how to transform fear into faith, apparent illness into health, and a sense of failure into success and confidence through the effective use of 'Scientific Prayer,' positive affirmations, and the healing of negative thoughts and beliefs. When you know how to heal yourself and to receive your perfect guidance from within, you then know your Self-Authority, which is the key to personal happiness and self-fulfillment. (133)Instead of revealing the truth of the demonic powers, TIC taught it to be something good which Noonan recounts, was all a bunch of lies taught to her in the New Age Movement.
It is important to remember that Satan mocks absolutely everything in the Catholic Church including the gift of the Holy Spirit. Noonan recounted a personal struggle that occurred when she was invited to and arrived at a Filipino Catholic Mass where in attendance was a visiting young woman from the Philippines, introduced as a "trance medium." This visiting woman was supposedly used by the "Boy Jesus" to speak through her. Noonan had experienced this after she recently converted to Catholicism, describing it as shocking; synonymous to a recovering drug addict being offered just one little "fix." More to the point, it was a temptation from the devil, that if accepted would have drawn her back to that life. Noonan reminds the reader of the much needed warning from Saint Peter, "Discipline yourselves; keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. (1 Pet 5:8)
To illustrate just how difficult it can be for a former "New Ager" to continue the path of conversion, Noonan quotes from exorcist Fr. Andrzej Trojanowski, SCHr, "Former practitioners of divination, the horoscope, and numerology often complain of evil spirits provoking them with 'strange phenomena' which rekindle their interest in the spirit-world and prevent them from facing the concrete realities of everyday life." (133)
Noonan also referred to St. Ignatius of Loyola's Rules for the Discernment of Spirits, where she quotes St. Ignatius, "It is characteristic of the evil spirit...to raise obstacles backed by fallacious reasonings that disturb the soul. Thus he seeks to prevent the soul from advancing." (133)
A Course in Miracles (ACIM)
A Course in Miracles is considered to be the New Age "Bible," which as the authors note, will open you to the occult. Arriving on the scene at a university campus in the United States between 1965-1972, resulting from what the founder, a Columbia University professor, Helen Schucman, referred to as an "inner voice," which according to her was Jesus Christ. This course later became popularized by New Age teacher, Marianne Williamson, capturing the attention of stars such as Oprah Winfrey and Shirley MacLaine.
The course incorporates Hindu and Gnostic teachings, both of which are in direct opposition to Christianity. The authors note that participation in the course slowly erodes Catholic values and will ultimately result in a loss of faith. It does not happen quickly or immediately, but over time with the "365 lessons," a lesson for each day of the year.
The course fundamentally dismantles the participant's core thought system. To illustrate this, here is what the authors included regarding the first three lessons (the beginning of the brainwashing), "The idea for the first day is, 'Nothing I see...means anything.' The focus of Lesson 2, "I have given everything I see...all the meaning that is has for me." The learning objective for Lesson 3 is 'I do not understand anything that I see..." (134) After undoing the participant's thought process, ACIM then reprograms it with the New Age, Gnostic world view one lesson at a time. The authors note that this reprogramming approach can also be found in Ronald Hubbard's Dianetics, Scientology and Werner Erhard's est and The Forum.
The authors warn not to be deceived by ACIM which is cleverly marketed for the unsuspecting soul. To spotlight the dangers of this course, Noonan and Feaster provide the following testimonial how ACIM infiltrated into a California parish:
I went to my local parish to take the RCIA program. We had to have a meeting with the parish priest before the Easter Vigil. We had individual spiritual counseling with him. While in the monsignor's office at the parish, I noticed he had a copy of A Course in Miracles on his desk. I was surprised as it is considered the New Age 'Bible.' I asked him how he happened to have it. He said he got it because he couldn't sleep. He went to a sleep clinic and they assigned him a therapist who wasn't Catholic. This New Age therapist gave him the book telling him that reading it would help his sleep disorder. This Monsignor, a priest for 25 years, who had also been the director of Catholic charities even for the LA archdiocese, ended up leaving the priesthood and the Catholic Church for good at the close of the parish RCIA program after Pentecost. (135)What ACIM teaches is that if you raise your self-consciousness, you can do all things and; therefore, there is no need for a Saviour. Jesus is reduced to a "teacher," and as the authors noted, the course teaches that God does not forgive because He never condemns. In essence, ACIM promotes the breaking of the First Commandment by promoting the idolatry of self. Other teachings include a complete denial of original sin; the need to be humble; that there is no punishment, but only consequences because the law of cause and effect always brings with it the consequences of the action or mistake. (136)
Clairvoyance and Telepathy vs. Word of Knowledge and Prophecy
In the section with Moira Noonan's testimony, you may have come across the following practices that were unfamiliar to you: clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience. The authors define these and other forms of clairvoyance and spotlight the error of engaging these practices with what is true from the Holy Spirit.
Clairvoyance is the supernatural ability of seeing persons and events that are distant in time and place, of which there are two kinds: clairvoyance in space and time. Clairvoyance in space gives knowledge of things that are distant or hidden. Clairvoyance in time is concerned with the future. The authors explain that if someone is clairvoyant, it is synonymous to viewing movies in their head; that is, they see another person's "life string."
Clairaudience is the ability to hear sounds that are audible to the physical ear, such as "spirit" voices. Clairsentience is the ability to sense psychic information. The clairvoyant can see things from the past, present and the future.
Mental telepathy is similar to clairsentience and can be described as "feeling at a distance," where one mind influences another in a way that bypasses the senses. Telekinesis involves moving objects with the mind.
Clairvoyants teach each other, from "master" to "apprentice." All this is in sharp contrast to someone who has received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which is received in humility and docility, allowing one to be taught. The Holy Spirit never serves as an "information bank" independent from our minds, nor is it the source of any kind of fortune telling and divination.
Psychics get their information from demons; knowledge from counterfeit gifts aimed at deceiving unsuspecting souls. Authentic prophecy is always from the Holy Spirit and is given for the benefit and building up of the entire Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.
Second Species: Divination by Tacit Invocation and Signs Found in Nature
Even though the practices listed in the second species do not involve the express invocation of demons, they nonetheless are considered to be morally reprehensible. These practices offend God with the sin of idolatry, which is against the First Commandment, "...You shall have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3); a commandment that Jesus reiterated, "...You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Mt 22:37) These practices are also against the virtue of religion as they give authority to the demonic, opening up a portal in the soul for further demonic activity.
The authors quote Saint Thomas Aquinas who in Summa Theologica described the second species as, "The divination which is practiced without express invocation...with a view to obtain knowledge of the future, observations in the disposition of certain things." (145) This species pretends to foretell the future through natural signs, such the movement of the stars (astrology), omens and chiromancy or palm-reading.
Astrology and Horoscopes
Astrology might be confused with astronomy. Astronomy is the proper science that legitimately studies the stars, solar systems and outer space. To further clarify, Noonan and Feaster quoted from Fr. M. Piostroski, the Society of Christ Provincial:
Astrology is a divining practice that dates back to antiquity. It still has deep roots in the culture and customs of modern paganized societies. Astrology is superstition. It claims that human life and destiny are influenced by the stars. The watershed events of a man's life such as his birth, marraige and death are supposedly determined by the position, configuration and properties of the stars. We need to remember that astrologists show scant regard for the real positions of the stars as determined by modern astronomers equipped with state-of-the-art telescopes. (145)What is also important to remember about astrology is that it undermines our relationship with God. As Christians, we are to recognize and trust in God's providence, something that astrologists negate with their promotion of pantheism.
The authors ask the reader a very pertinent question, what about reading your daily horoscopes. If you thought it was okay and harmless, think again. The practice of reading horoscopes is also a superstitious practice; horoscopes are based on astrology. Many read them "just for fun," have a cup of coffee and then attend Mass. Is it any wonder why the prayers of such individuals are not answered. Such individuals simply do not realize that the sin of idolatry interferes with God's grace.
If Christian's knowingly use horoscopes intentionally, which Church teaching forbids (CCC, 2115-2116), then why do people continue to do these things, why is there such an attachment. To bypass God's plan in one's life and not trust in His divine providence is to the detriment of each individual that knowingly chooses to rebel against God.
Third Species: Divination by Tacit Invocation and Signs Prepared by Man
Like the second species, the third species, are divination practices without express invocation. Such practices include geomancy (dowsing, astrocartography, Feng Shui) and hypnotic techniques.
From her many speaking engagements in rural North America, Noonan shared how many have failed to understand that it is wrong to seek water sources through dowsing and the services of a diviner. Dowsing is also known as divining or "water witching" using a rod and constitutes a form of divination by which one attempts to tame occult powers. (146) Noonan's response for the need to acquire water, "...[Y]ou get a priest to bless those lands, and even enthrone them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus." (146) As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "All forms of divination are to be rejected." (2116) Noonan also recommended prayer to the Holy Spirit for assistance to finding water sources.
Astrocartography is a type of astrology which uses maps to determine actual land locations that suit individuals' needs and wants, such as where to live, vacation or build their home. Geomancy is divination by configurations of objects and lines on the land. The eastern counterpart to this is Feng Shui. One example of Feng Shui, is Hong Kong Disneyland, who hired diviners and fortune tellers to ensure the success of the theme park.
Hypnosis is a controversial practice in which there are certain guidelines for its proper use. The Catholic Church is concerned about hypnosis because of the potential opportunity for misuse, manipulation, exploitation and maltreatment. As the authors note, hypnosis can only be considered morally licit if necessary for grave reasons, such as the need to operate on someone who, due to allergies, can not be anesthetized.
In addition, the consent of the person being hypnotized is required, so as to not violate the free will of the person. In case of children or mentally disabled individuals, the consent of parents or guardians is required.
All necessary precautions should be in place, taking into consideration who the practitioners are; their background and beliefs; his or her skill level and character; all should be evaluated. Also, it would be prudent to have a witness present to present both the physician and subject.
Hypnosis becomes dangerous when used with malicious intent. The New Age and occult practices use hypnosis to place subjects in a state of vulnerability, an "altered state of consciousness," to be exact, which makes an individual susceptible to the usurping of his or her free will.
An example of the New Age's manipulative use of hypnosis is "past-life regression therapy." The authors explain that this practice:
...[U]ses hypnosis to guide patients through their memories of past lives which for Christians is completely erroneous and very misleading. Regression therapies are, of course, only meaningful if one believes in reincarnation, a belief that is fundamental to New Age thinking. Past-life experiences tend to be either imaginary or are drawn from experiences earlier in a client's life. Some may involve dark forces, but most like they do not. Not all forms of hypnotherapy are dangerous. What makes it perilous is that a person under hypnosis has surrendered his will and is completely left open to suggestion at the subconscious level. So it is critical to know the background, belief system, and training of anyone who provides you with hypnosis therapies. (149)Crystals
Crystals for the New Age Movement are similar to the sacramentals (holy water, blessed salt and oil, medals, rosaries) used by the Catholic Church. The New Age uses quartz crystals (not glass crystals) which can be used for communicating with demons and it is precisely for this reason that crystals were so popular in the New Age and witchcraft. Sadly, there are readily available, some of which can be found in contemporary jewelry. Crystals are used for: channeling, Feng Shui designs, in massage therapy, and in the use of pendulums, in energy healing and several other New Age, Wiccan and occult practices.
Noonan and Feaster provide an example of their use, the "Emerald Shapery Building," a high rise building in San Diego, California. The design of the building was based on Feng Shui principles. According to this New Age thinking, the universe is a fully integrated energy system and a hexagon was chosen for its structural integrity; the hexagon is comprised of interlocking triangles which are the building blocks of nature. The "Emerald Plaza" was created by a study of crystals, consistent with the New Age thinking which considers nature to be a series of clusters of hexagons.
The authors provide further details about crystals and the deceptive use of them in society:
Quartz crystals can be conduits for evil spirits when they are cursed, or 'programmed' by witches, warlocks and Satanists. They can be used for demonic purposes and disguised as ornaments on properties such as quartz crystal doorknobs in homes and buildings. Former occultists and victims of satanic rituals have attested to the fact that Satanists curse crystals and insert them into the bloodstream. They are the size of several grains of salt and are used to insert into babies delivered on satanic altars, usually through the umbilical cord. Both mother and infant can be demonized by these Satanic rituals. (147)Pendulums
Pendulums can be used for divining and are often made from quartz crystal, wood, glass or metal. A pendulum swings in one or the other direction, and for New Agers, this signifies either an answer given to a question or the acquiring of secret knowledge. Pendulums are also used to contact spirit guides (the demonic).
Tarot cards are used to tell peoples' fortunes. For the practitioner it arouses an ever increasing desire for knowledge and skill, which they believe to be part of a constant road to spiritual enlightenment. The reality is that any knowledge gained is from the demonic, and practitioners are the equivalent to loud speakers for demons to communicate through. Here is part of a testimonial that the authors have included, illustrating the demonic deception of tarot cards:
...It is important to understand that the Tarot is a door leading into the realm of magic. The cards have been designed in such a way as to open up a very large area of our lives for the demonic forces to act upon and by which to enslave us by playing the role of an all-knowing being. The use of tarot cards is tantamount to the use of spells for calling up spirits...The Merciful Jesus forgives all sins and frees us from enslavement to the occult...While we live on earth, we can win eternal life. The stakes are indeed high: salvation or damnation. (148)This concludes my second post on the selected sections of chapter eight's Discerning The Spirits. The next post, the final in this series of posts on this chapter will include: principles of discernment, the Holy Spirit vs. demonic spirits, recommendations for pastoral care, and a segment on guidelines for healing.