Spiritual Warfare Is Essentially Black Magic

Back in 2000, maybe early 2001, there was a big prayer warrior event aimed at Ephesus. They were praying against the Queen of Heaven, which to them represented Ashtoreth, the Whore of Babylon. As a young virginal devotee of Artemis, I saw it as a direct attack on Artemis of Ephesus. It wrenched my heart then, and makes me tear up remembering it.

This isn’t a new phenomenon but an organized and concerted effort:

Queen of Heaven: Perhaps the most recent development has been Wagner’s emphasis on confronting the Queen of Heaven. Originally manifesting and receiving worship as Diana (or Artemis) or Ephesus, he advocates that the Queen of Heaven has taken on many forms in history around the world: she is known in Japan as the Sun Goddess, in Mexico as the Virgin of Guadalupe, in Nepal as Sagarmatha and in Calcutta as Cali. One of her current disguises is that of the Virgin Mary as venerated by Roman Cathoics.

I don’t like to think about it. I have no interest in spiritual warfare and wouldn’t bother expending such energy against Gods I dislike. I’m not terribly fond of Yahweh but I kinda like Jesus. He’s an interesting hippie rabbi who said laudable things such as:

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” — Luke 6:45

I try to forget that such hateful Christians exist. I am proud to count kind, honorable and quite Christ-like Christians among my friends. Yet when religion is twisted by hate and married to politics, we all have to pay attention.  Over at The Wild Hunt, Jason brings these maleficent doings to light:

I’ve written at some length about the upcoming prayer rally “The Response” and its problematic organizers and endorsers, and I have also devoted quite a bit of time to the New Apostolic Reformation, a neo-Pentecostal Christian movement that regularly engages in spiritual warfare tactics, displays a disturbing anti-Pagan emphasis, and has intertwined itself with Perry and his prayer event. While I use the terminology “spiritual warfare” quite often, I think that it’s hard to envision what this practice is like among the Christians who engage in it. I’ve mentioned that it is, in essence, malefic magic, but that’s often a difficult picture to square with the usual harmless image of devout Christians with heads bowed and hands clasped. But an upcoming New Apostolic Reformation-led event, brought to my attention by fellow Pagan blogger Hecate, does an very good job of illustrating how “spiritual warfare” works in their context.

It’s easy when you read spiritual warrior literature to see exactly how prayer is like magic. Both involve working with energy. The primary difference is that magicians work with a code of ethics (even when it’s a code we don’t agree with) and prayer warriors don’t. There is no prohibition against “praying against” and maleficent prayers directed at people, organizations, cities and Gods are kosher. It’s the old trick of shoving the blame onto Yahweh and calling it his will, for if he is a just, merciful and true God then he surely filters the prayers. I think anyone who has given the Old Testament even a cursory glance is aware that Yahweh is not a God of peace, cooperation or encouraging of diversity.

Spiritual warfare is a moral and ethical cop-out. It’s the spiritual equivalent of the Fair Game doctrine. Dividing the world into black and white, and then declaring the wrong side of that divide open to an organized, ongoing negative energetic assault is not what I think Jesus meant when he said:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” — John 13:34-35

As a Wiccan I am willingly bound against willfully harming another. For me to pray against someone is inherently against my religious beliefs. At best, I can send negative energy sent my way back to the person who sent it, but to work against someone is unacceptable and will have real and serious repercussions for me. Hatred does it’s best work on those who hate, not those that are hated.

Hatred joined to prayer is just as dangerous and contemptible as “dark magic” because in it’s essence it’s the same thing. Giving your malefic intent a thin veneer of religion and the name of a God you perceive as just and merciful does not excuse your actions.

I picked up Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defense after reading Jason’s post yesterday and found this nugget of wisdom:

“There is no essential difference between sticking pins into a wax image of an enemy and burning candles in front of a wax image of the Virgin. You may think that both these practices are gross superstition, but you can hardly think that one is real and potent and deny reality and potency to the other.” — Dion Fortune

Labels do not define our morality. They do not evaluate our character. It is not calling yourself a Pagan, Christian, Witch, Evangelical, Thelemite, Catholic or Wiccan that identifies you as a good person, it’s what you do. If what you do is declare spiritual warfare against others, if you devote your time and energy to harm, destroy and  confound others, then you are not a good person. You soul is blackened and corrupt.

I invite Pagans to join me in a day of joy, and to join me in expressing solidarity with people across the country who believe in religious freedom. I will be creating an altar to Columbia, that bright muse of our Founding Fathers, and give her offerings and prayers for the protection of unity and liberty in this great country.

I invite Christians to stand up against spiritual warfare. Publicly state that you worship a Prince of Peace who commands us to love one another, and that hate and malefic intent in your God’s name is immoral.

Such a dark website for 40 Days of Light Over DC. I’ll be spending some time this week working with other Pagans to create an interfaith project devoted to more positive ends. Stay tuned for further information.


About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • Nicole Youngman

    Thanks Star–I have a bookshelf full of these people’s crap and have been studying/writing about them for a while, but the insight that “Hatred joined to prayer is just as dangerous and contemptible as “dark magic” because in it’s essence it’s the same thing” never quite fully clicked with me before. Fundamentalists and social scientists alike have separated “religion” and “magic” into separate categories for a long time–the social scientists are starting to realize that they’re pretty tightly intertwined after all, but the xians just say that if their God does it then it’s prayer, not magic. The idea that they’re committing the same kind of “black magic” that they have ALWAYS accused us (and Jews, and…) of is beautifully and deeply ironic.

    • Jwbatson

      Nicole, I am very interested in the fact that you’ve been studying these NAR people who are trying to mix religion and politics.  I just started a Facebook group called Uncovering the New Apostolic Reformation.  Please join and share.  I’d love to have your expertise as a resource in the group.  -Judy

  • Nicole Youngman

    Thanks Star–I have a bookshelf full of these people’s crap and have been studying/writing about them for a while, but the insight that “Hatred joined to prayer is just as dangerous and contemptible as “dark magic” because in it’s essence it’s the same thing” never quite fully clicked with me before. Fundamentalists and social scientists alike have separated “religion” and “magic” into separate categories for a long time–the social scientists are starting to realize that they’re pretty tightly intertwined after all, but the xians just say that if their God does it then it’s prayer, not magic. The idea that they’re committing the same kind of “black magic” that they have ALWAYS accused us (and Jews, and…) of is beautifully and deeply ironic.

    • Jwbatson

      Nicole, I am very interested in the fact that you’ve been studying these NAR people who are trying to mix religion and politics.  I just started a Facebook group called Uncovering the New Apostolic Reformation.  Please join and share.  I’d love to have your expertise as a resource in the group.  -Judy

  • ThemonTheBard

    I didn’t know about the Ephesus prayer attack.

    Just a few weeks ago, my sister broke relations with me with an e-mail that accused me of being a stupid, lying, Liberal Satan-worshipper who was fool enough to believe the lies of the Black House (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, if you missed the racist reference), and she brought up something about me foolishly thinking I worshipped Ashtoreth rather than Satan.

    Unbelievably hateful attack from a self-identified disciple of the Prince of Peace, but that’s unfortunately typical and not the interesting part.

    I knew in a very general way who Ashtoreth was/is, but I’m not much into worshipping gods at all, and I’m quite certain I’d never mentioned the name of Ashtoreth to my sister or anyone else. So where did she get the impression that I “worshipped” Ashtoreth?

    Your initial paragraph solved that little mystery for me. Apparently she’d had some contact with the Ephesus assault, if not involvement. That probably also explains why she was recently warning her daughter (my niece) that President Obama is Satanic.

    • http://lifencompass.com Scott K Smith

      oh my, that is AWEFUL. I’m so sorry!

    • Rua Lupa

      I am not a citizen of the USA and often don’t follow things considered common knowledge by my southern neighbours and suspect that this following question I have is somehow linked to that fact.

      How does President Obama remotely connect with the Ephesus assault? I also cannot understand how your sibling would associate you with that either. (no need to respond to the last question if you don’t want to) …  I also admittedly still don’t get the Black House thing entirely either, I know what is meant by it, but not how it relates.

      I hope things turn out better with your relations.

      • Anonymous

        Brief history: Christian Fundamentalism comes from The Fundamentals (1911) which lays out “fundamental beliefs” that define True Christianity. Fundamentalists of the early 1900′s were also deeply opposed to a number of social issues of the day, including “liberal” study of the Bible (meaning use of historical/critical methods as opposed to literal interpretation), Marxism, and the theory of evolution. Fundamentalism was deeply involved in the Scopes Trial of 1925. After the trial, Fundamentalists withdrew from their parent congregations and became increasingly sectarian and anti-intellectual. In the late 1940′s a group split from the Fundamentalists and called themselves Neo-Evangelicals, or simply Evangelicals. They were committed to shedding the anti-intellectual reputation, and to re-engaging with society on a larger set of social issues, including feminism, homosexuality, abortion, secular humanism, and school prayer. There are also strongly anti-black and anti-semitic sympathies from Southern Baptist traditions that predated Fundamentalism — the most extreme of which manifest as white supremacist splinters, such as Christian Identity.

        When people talk about the Religious Right in the US, they are usually referring specifically to the most politically active arm of this cluster of religious movements, which goes back to the 1970′s and Jerry Falwell’s “Moral Majority,” which later morphed into the Christian Coalition. They approached the teetering Republican Party in the late 1970′s and delivered the white house to Ronald Reagan — they have been an indispensable component of the Republican Party ever since. The anti-everything agenda remains true to its roots in Fundamentalism.

        More generally, the Religious Right in the US is comprised of the political component, as well as a majority of the remaining Fundamentalists, Neo-Evangelicals, and as many of the ultra-far-right splinter organizations as can stand to be in the room together.They have a revisionist history of the US in which the intent of the Constitutional Framers was to found a Christian Nation in the New World, based upon the “fundamental” teachings of the Bible (as outlined in the 1911 Fundamentals): an “original intent” from which the US has strayed into ethnic and religious pluralism, secular humanism, socialism, liberalism, and moral relativism, all of which are causing all of the troubles experienced by the US, from Hurricane Katrina to the 2008 credit bubble collapse (hurricanes and volcanoes are visited on us by God as warning signs of His displeasure that our God-fearing nation has strayed from His Intended Path, and social problems are the “natural consequence” of defying God’s Law.)They believe in Dispensationalist teachings, which includes interpreting the Apocalpyse of John in the Bible as depicting future events yet to come, including a Rapture and Tribulation period as depicted in the Left Behind novels of LaHaye and Jenkins. They believe the Tribulation (which looks a lot like ecological devastation) followed by a final battle between the forces of good and evil called Armageddon, MUST occur as infallibly prophesied in the Apocalypse of John. So they aren’t particularly concerned about either environmental collapse or the threat of devastating nuclear war, which they believe is inevitable — since just before the world is destroyed, Jesus returns in a classic deus ex machina and saves us all. If you think I’m exaggerating, please don’t. James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan, was an Evangelical, and was quoted as saying that we might as well use up all our resources, since he didn’t think we had much longer until Jesus returned.

        Many of them actually LONG for ecological collapse followed by nuclear war in the Middle East, just to get the ball rolling so Jesus can return. Since apparently he can’t come back until the prophecies are fulfilled.

        They have a Manichean belief in the forces of Good (angels) and Evil (demons) that wander about in the world attempting to tip the balance. Demons can inhabit and take over human bodies of those who dabble in the Dark Arts, which includes everything from Satanism to Transcendental Meditation. These are all known as “spiritual gateways,” in the same sense as “gateway drugs,” and the Christian must be ever-vigilant to never, ever, ever touch such things. Even those who do not indulge in Dark Arts explicitly are continually tempted by demons. See Frank Peretti’s novel This Present Darkness. 

        As we approach the imminent Rapture, they expect the prophesied rise of a political leader, a populist, a gifted speaker, and (of course) a Liberal, who is wholly possessed by Satan and takes the world into Armageddon, which is ultimately a battle against God. This character is the Antichrist.

        I think perhaps this gives you the background you need to understand what my sister wrote to me.

        I am, of course, a Liberal in her eyes, because I don’t agree with her far-right agenda of destroying what they call Socialist Security (though she and her husband depend upon it), denying evolution, overturning Roe v. Wade, denying rights to homosexuals, dominating my wife as the spiritual head of the house, etc.

        I am a liar, because all Liberals are liars. That goes without saying.

        I am a Satan-worshipper because I practice the Dark Arts — which, if you recall, includes any non-Christian practice, but particularly Pagan practices. As a Pagan Druid, I’m doubtless fully possessed by some major power of Hell.

        I’m not sure the polls are all in on Obama as the Antichrist, but he’s clearly a Liberal (he fails the same litmus tests that I do), he is — or was — a popular leader, he’s clearly a gifted speaker, and (shhhh) he’s BLACK. Remember that racist strain in Evangelicalism? A BLACK man in the WHITE house. That has to be an omen, right?

        I feel sorry for my sister. But you can’t talk to a Fundamentalist, not when they’ve gone that deep.

        • Anonymous

          Oh. It just occurred to me. I haven’t visited the Evangelical nuthouse for a long time.

          You know how the religious right calls him “Obamanation?” It’s a double pun. “Obama Nation” of course, and “Abomination.”

          But there’s a technical meaning to this latter.

          One of the prophetic signs in the Apocalypse of John is something called the “abomination of desolation.” I have no idea what this is in the original Koine, or how it should be translated into modern English. That expression comes from the King James English, which (so far as Fundamentalists are concerned) is the language in which God dictated it. But the phrase IS linked by Evangelicals to a Jewish concept that dates back to the slaying of the Maccabean priesthood and a desecration of the Jewish Temple by slaughtering a pig on the altar and dedicating it to the conquerors’ gods. Jews and pork, you know.

          So they are expecting the altar to be desecrated — something as shocking as slaughtering a pig on a Jewish altar. Or maybe swearing in a BLACK man to the Holy Altar of the WHITE house….

          If all of this makes you feel a little ill, you are in good company.

          • Anonymous

            I do want to apologize if I’ve come across as churlish about the Evangelicals. Watching a sibling flush her mind down the toilet while calling me a Satanist was painful, and it has made me grumpy. Not all Evangelicals are nutcase believers in the insanity I’ve outlined above. I can’t tell you what fraction of Evangelicals read LaHaye or Peretti and (properly) shrug it off as a Roadrunner cartoon. I do know that what I’ve outlined is not fringe in Evangelical circles. With James Watt as a case-in-point.

        • Pj

          I’m a hippy-ish liberal. Yet even to me it’s blatantly obvious that Obama is FAR from the just, moral, liberal character he claims to be – and that statement has nothing to do with his race. I don’t care if someone’s purple – I care about their actions and Obama’s actions so far (having people fired / banned from the USA for speaking against him, ordering perverted “searches” (sexual assaults – they are illegal as the TSA started doing it without the law being changed to allow it) of little kids by groping their genitals (and only Texas has had the guts to stand up against it – all the other states should omit ‘home of the brave’ from their anthem), etc etc etc, show that he is a fascist dictator with the face of a liberal

  • http://www.themonthebard.org/ Themon the Bard

    I didn’t know about the Ephesus prayer attack.

    Just a few weeks ago, my sister broke relations with me with an e-mail that accused me of being a stupid, lying, Liberal Satan-worshipper who was fool enough to believe the lies of the Black House (1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, if you missed the racist reference), and she brought up something about me foolishly thinking I worshipped Ashtoreth rather than Satan.

    Unbelievably hateful attack from a self-identified disciple of the Prince of Peace, but that’s unfortunately typical and not the interesting part.

    I knew in a very general way who Ashtoreth was/is, but I’m not much into worshipping gods at all, and I’m quite certain I’d never mentioned the name of Ashtoreth to my sister or anyone else. So where did she get the impression that I “worshipped” Ashtoreth?

    Your initial paragraph solved that little mystery for me. Apparently she’d had some contact with the Ephesus assault, if not involvement. That probably also explains why she was recently warning her daughter (my niece) that President Obama is Satanic.

    • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

      oh my, that is AWEFUL. I’m so sorry!

    • Rua Lupa

      I am not a citizen of the USA and often don’t follow things considered common knowledge by my southern neighbours and suspect that this following question I have is somehow linked to that fact.

      How does President Obama remotely connect with the Ephesus assault? I also cannot understand how your sibling would associate you with that either. (no need to respond to the last question if you don’t want to) …  I also admittedly still don’t get the Black House thing entirely either, I know what is meant by it, but not how it relates.

      I hope things turn out better with your relations.

      • http://www.themonthebard.org/ Themon the Bard

        Brief history: Christian Fundamentalism comes from The Fundamentals (1911) which lays out “fundamental beliefs” that define True Christianity. Fundamentalists of the early 1900′s were also deeply opposed to a number of social issues of the day, including “liberal” study of the Bible (meaning use of historical/critical methods as opposed to literal interpretation), Marxism, and the theory of evolution. Fundamentalism was deeply involved in the Scopes Trial of 1925. After the trial, Fundamentalists withdrew from their parent congregations and became increasingly sectarian and anti-intellectual. In the late 1940′s a group split from the Fundamentalists and called themselves Neo-Evangelicals, or simply Evangelicals. They were committed to shedding the anti-intellectual reputation, and to re-engaging with society on a larger set of social issues, including feminism, homosexuality, abortion, secular humanism, and school prayer. There are also strongly anti-black and anti-semitic sympathies from Southern Baptist traditions that predated Fundamentalism — the most extreme of which manifest as white supremacist splinters, such as Christian Identity.

        When people talk about the Religious Right in the US, they are usually referring specifically to the most politically active arm of this cluster of religious movements, which goes back to the 1970′s and Jerry Falwell’s “Moral Majority,” which later morphed into the Christian Coalition. They approached the teetering Republican Party in the late 1970′s and delivered the white house to Ronald Reagan — they have been an indispensable component of the Republican Party ever since. The anti-everything agenda remains true to its roots in Fundamentalism.

        More generally, the Religious Right in the US is comprised of the political component, as well as a majority of the remaining Fundamentalists, Neo-Evangelicals, and as many of the ultra-far-right splinter organizations as can stand to be in the room together.They have a revisionist history of the US in which the intent of the Constitutional Framers was to found a Christian Nation in the New World, based upon the “fundamental” teachings of the Bible (as outlined in the 1911 Fundamentals): an “original intent” from which the US has strayed into ethnic and religious pluralism, secular humanism, socialism, liberalism, and moral relativism, all of which are causing all of the troubles experienced by the US, from Hurricane Katrina to the 2008 credit bubble collapse (hurricanes and volcanoes are visited on us by God as warning signs of His displeasure that our God-fearing nation has strayed from His Intended Path, and social problems are the “natural consequence” of defying God’s Law.)They believe in Dispensationalist teachings, which includes interpreting the Apocalpyse of John in the Bible as depicting future events yet to come, including a Rapture and Tribulation period as depicted in the Left Behind novels of LaHaye and Jenkins. They believe the Tribulation (which looks a lot like ecological devastation) followed by a final battle between the forces of good and evil called Armageddon, MUST occur as infallibly prophesied in the Apocalypse of John. So they aren’t particularly concerned about either environmental collapse or the threat of devastating nuclear war, which they believe is inevitable — since just before the world is destroyed, Jesus returns in a classic deus ex machina and saves us all. If you think I’m exaggerating, please don’t. James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan, was an Evangelical, and was quoted as saying that we might as well use up all our resources, since he didn’t think we had much longer until Jesus returned.

        Many of them actually LONG for ecological collapse followed by nuclear war in the Middle East, just to get the ball rolling so Jesus can return. Since apparently he can’t come back until the prophecies are fulfilled.

        They have a Manichean belief in the forces of Good (angels) and Evil (demons) that wander about in the world attempting to tip the balance. Demons can inhabit and take over human bodies of those who dabble in the Dark Arts, which includes everything from Satanism to Transcendental Meditation. These are all known as “spiritual gateways,” in the same sense as “gateway drugs,” and the Christian must be ever-vigilant to never, ever, ever touch such things. Even those who do not indulge in Dark Arts explicitly are continually tempted by demons. See Frank Peretti’s novel This Present Darkness. 

        As we approach the imminent Rapture, they expect the prophesied rise of a political leader, a populist, a gifted speaker, and (of course) a Liberal, who is wholly possessed by Satan and takes the world into Armageddon, which is ultimately a battle against God. This character is the Antichrist.

        I think perhaps this gives you the background you need to understand what my sister wrote to me.

        I am, of course, a Liberal in her eyes, because I don’t agree with her far-right agenda of destroying what they call Socialist Security (though she and her husband depend upon it), denying evolution, overturning Roe v. Wade, denying rights to homosexuals, dominating my wife as the spiritual head of the house, etc.

        I am a liar, because all Liberals are liars. That goes without saying.

        I am a Satan-worshipper because I practice the Dark Arts — which, if you recall, includes any non-Christian practice, but particularly Pagan practices. As a Pagan Druid, I’m doubtless fully possessed by some major power of Hell.

        I’m not sure the polls are all in on Obama as the Antichrist, but he’s clearly a Liberal (he fails the same litmus tests that I do), he is — or was — a popular leader, he’s clearly a gifted speaker, and (shhhh) he’s BLACK. Remember that racist strain in Evangelicalism? A BLACK man in the WHITE house. That has to be an omen, right?

        I feel sorry for my sister. But you can’t talk to a Fundamentalist, not when they’ve gone that deep.

        • http://www.themonthebard.org/ Themon the Bard

          Oh. It just occurred to me. I haven’t visited the Evangelical nuthouse for a long time.

          You know how the religious right calls him “Obamanation?” It’s a double pun. “Obama Nation” of course, and “Abomination.”

          But there’s a technical meaning to this latter.

          One of the prophetic signs in the Apocalypse of John is something called the “abomination of desolation.” I have no idea what this is in the original Koine, or how it should be translated into modern English. That expression comes from the King James English, which (so far as Fundamentalists are concerned) is the language in which God dictated it. But the phrase IS linked by Evangelicals to a Jewish concept that dates back to the slaying of the Maccabean priesthood and a desecration of the Jewish Temple by slaughtering a pig on the altar and dedicating it to the conquerors’ gods. Jews and pork, you know.

          So they are expecting the altar to be desecrated — something as shocking as slaughtering a pig on a Jewish altar. Or maybe swearing in a BLACK man to the Holy Altar of the WHITE house….

          If all of this makes you feel a little ill, you are in good company.

          • http://www.themonthebard.org/ Themon the Bard

            I do want to apologize if I’ve come across as churlish about the Evangelicals. Watching a sibling flush her mind down the toilet while calling me a Satanist was painful, and it has made me grumpy. Not all Evangelicals are nutcase believers in the insanity I’ve outlined above. I can’t tell you what fraction of Evangelicals read LaHaye or Peretti and (properly) shrug it off as a Roadrunner cartoon. I do know that what I’ve outlined is not fringe in Evangelical circles. With James Watt as a case-in-point.

          • Rua Lupa

            I just read all three responses now. And having be raised pentecostal, just saying Obama is seen as the anti-Christ would of summed it all up quite nicely. I did cringe quite a bit to reading, and thus, remembering all what I had used to believe.

            No need to apologize, it looks like you needed a good vent, I’m kind of glad I asked if that was the case.

            I enjoyed learning all the extra history though, which explained a lot of previous questions I’ve had about USA politics and flavors of Christianity.

            My whole family is pentecostal christian, and would get on my ass about me not being one if it ever came out in conversation. Thus far, no one had brought it up – but I get the feeling that everyone it thinking about it. Its not like I am hiding it or anything. My parents push the issue but not to the point of forcing me to tell them straight up that I’m not. So that is kind of stressful. And they believe everything that your sister does too (minus the Obama associated with the Anti-Christ, which was the only major thing that didn’t click in my head).

            So yeah, I totally follow. I hope she gets over it, as I hope the same for my siblings.

            *strength & love*

        • Pj

          I’m a hippy-ish liberal. Yet even to me it’s blatantly obvious that Obama is FAR from the just, moral, liberal character he claims to be – and that statement has nothing to do with his race. I don’t care if someone’s purple – I care about their actions and Obama’s actions so far (having people fired / banned from the USA for speaking against him, ordering perverted “searches” (sexual assaults – they are illegal as the TSA started doing it without the law being changed to allow it) of little kids by groping their genitals (and only Texas has had the guts to stand up against it – all the other states should omit ‘home of the brave’ from their anthem), etc etc etc, show that he is a fascist dictator with the face of a liberal

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    A couple of things, Star:

    1)  Who says that what is written about Iao Sabaoth in the Hebrew Bible is “right” or in any way accurate about the nature of that particular god?  Just because a particular group claims to worship a particular god doesn’t mean their version of that god is the “correct” one…Just as the people you’re describing don’t in any way represent the canonical Jesus (or even many of the non-canonical versions of Jesus), there’s no reason to think that the Hebrew scriptures are an accurate portrayal of their god either, necessarily.  (And the same can be said about any and all mythological texts…)

    2)  I agree that doing some version of “pagan prayer warriors” in response to this is inadvisable; and yet, I don’t think that a non-reaction is appropriate either.  We should do all that we can to defend ourselves and our community, and I think very deliberately should do things magic-wise to send their negative energies and intents back to them.  We can’t take this threat seriously while not actually doing anything to counteract it, other than making it visible and then scorning or deriding them socially and in our coverage of the issue for doing such things.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    A couple of things, Star:

    1)  Who says that what is written about Iao Sabaoth in the Hebrew Bible is “right” or in any way accurate about the nature of that particular god?  Just because a particular group claims to worship a particular god doesn’t mean their version of that god is the “correct” one…Just as the people you’re describing don’t in any way represent the canonical Jesus (or even many of the non-canonical versions of Jesus), there’s no reason to think that the Hebrew scriptures are an accurate portrayal of their god either, necessarily.  (And the same can be said about any and all mythological texts…)

    2)  I agree that doing some version of “pagan prayer warriors” in response to this is inadvisable; and yet, I don’t think that a non-reaction is appropriate either.  We should do all that we can to defend ourselves and our community, and I think very deliberately should do things magic-wise to send their negative energies and intents back to them.  We can’t take this threat seriously while not actually doing anything to counteract it, other than making it visible and then scorning or deriding them socially and in our coverage of the issue for doing such things.

  • http://www.facebook.com/onomatopeon Liam Fisher

    Bible is pretty specific on how to pray:

    http://www.bible-verses.net/Matthew/6.html   – just read down from the top.

    It is one of those conveniently misplaced items since it pretty much bans this kind of thing outright.  Pretty much every TV minister and such breaks this one a lot…

  • http://www.facebook.com/onomatopeon Liam Fisher

    Bible is pretty specific on how to pray:

    http://www.bible-verses.net/Matthew/6.html   – just read down from the top.

    It is one of those conveniently misplaced items since it pretty much bans this kind of thing outright.  Pretty much every TV minister and such breaks this one a lot…

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott K Smith

    Couple of thoughts. First, every part about me is laughing that someone would think they could attack a Deity. Good thing they didn’t go after Aries or Set, or even Macha. GEESH. Not all Gods and Divinities are fluff and light-peace, and there are plenty of myths and personal experiences that show how these beings teach, correct, heal, and yes even slap down people. 

    Do I think it is right, proper, or Okay? Heck no. In my perspective we build a bridge with Deities and attacking one is the same bridge building process, in fact it would be increasing that energy around those folks. “Ask and ye shall receive” is a misunderstood concept. I know when I am intending something then working with Gods, spirit beings, the energy is being magnified… And they are asking for destruction. *whew* stand back folks, don’t get in the line of fire. The Visionary Activist, was it this last Thursday or the week before, anyway she had a good talk about this as well in respect to joining into the calamity that is the media. 

    Personally this has happened to me. I called it being preyed upon as prayer was used as a focus against me, and I CAUGHT THEM in the act! 

    Picture it *Voice of Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls* Fremont, California, 1995. Thanks giving with Family. House hopping to see ALL the family. Standing outside of my aunt and uncles house with fellow Witch Kat and suddenly it is as if there is an irritating energy tightening all around me. Ask friend if she feels it, yes in fact she does! We go a searching for it.
    Inside the family room, door closed, is my uncle, aunt, and a bunch of people from the more distant side of the family I am not familiar with. They are in a circle around the table with my cousins. I say, “whatever it is you think you are doing to me, please stop.” Conversation ensues about how I need Jesus, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Preying on people is WRONG.

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    Couple of thoughts. First, every part about me is laughing that someone would think they could attack a Deity. Good thing they didn’t go after Aries or Set, or even Macha. GEESH. Not all Gods and Divinities are fluff and light-peace, and there are plenty of myths and personal experiences that show how these beings teach, correct, heal, and yes even slap down people. 

    Do I think it is right, proper, or Okay? Heck no. In my perspective we build a bridge with Deities and attacking one is the same bridge building process, in fact it would be increasing that energy around those folks. “Ask and ye shall receive” is a misunderstood concept. I know when I am intending something then working with Gods, spirit beings, the energy is being magnified… And they are asking for destruction. *whew* stand back folks, don’t get in the line of fire. The Visionary Activist, was it this last Thursday or the week before, anyway she had a good talk about this as well in respect to joining into the calamity that is the media. 

    Personally this has happened to me. I called it being preyed upon as prayer was used as a focus against me, and I CAUGHT THEM in the act! 

    Picture it *Voice of Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls* Fremont, California, 1995. Thanks giving with Family. House hopping to see ALL the family. Standing outside of my aunt and uncles house with fellow Witch Kat and suddenly it is as if there is an irritating energy tightening all around me. Ask friend if she feels it, yes in fact she does! We go a searching for it.
    Inside the family room, door closed, is my uncle, aunt, and a bunch of people from the more distant side of the family I am not familiar with. They are in a circle around the table with my cousins. I say, “whatever it is you think you are doing to me, please stop.” Conversation ensues about how I need Jesus, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Preying on people is WRONG.

  • Jim

    Thanks for another interesting article. 

    Rather too much bible in this one for me.
    I accept the basic premise though. Energy. Although one major difference is that magic can work without the involvement of a deity.

    But it is more than reciting a prayer, it requires concentration and intent. I imagine that many involved would not be capable of this.

    It still concerns me.

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

      Too much bible? It’s just another mythological cycle.

      Have you attended Pentecostal prayer events? I have. It was one of the reasons I finally decided to seek out a coven, because if Pentecostals could raise that much energy I wanted to see what a group of Witches could do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/fernwise Fern Bernstein-Miller

        I was Pentacostal for several years.  I call ‘em Christian Shamans.  It was a great place to learn to move energy (and they taught me organizational skills, how to run rallies, estimate crowd size, etc).

        • Rua Lupa

          Was raised pentecostal, been outside of it for about 3 years now. Left mostly due to hypocrisy and having everything good or bad attested to god’s will – never having any responsibility for their own actions. That was my experience.

          I enjoyed the dancing, the way of consciously praying, it was more positive than most Christian groups I’ve come across. I like Jesus, and consider him on the same level as Gandhi in my view now. And agree with Gandhi’s words, I like Christ, but I do not like his Christians, they are so unlike their Christ. (paraphrased)

      • lynn

        Raising tremendous amounts of energy is par for the course in the black church tradition (Baptist, Pentecostal etc.) as well. In terms of energy, the pagan rituals I have been a part of (only three) have not come anywhere near those church experiences I used to have on a weekly basis. Which is one reason I have not joined a coven yet. Even the one shamanic ritual I attended felt pretty staid. 

        The one thing in the pagan world I have seen that comes close — in my limited experience — is drum circles. 

        • Rua Lupa

          Drum circles are my church. Founded two ongoing drum circles so far, and the later is just a babe so far in my new home. I personally can’t be without drum circles for too long anymore, I just get an itch and have to drum. :)

          • lynn

            I met one of the guys who started the Prospect Park Drum Circle (Brooklyn, NY) and he told me same thing, that the circle was his church.

            When I attended a Baptist church for several years, we always had several conga players jamming right along with the pianist.

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

      Too much bible? It’s just another mythological cycle.

      Have you attended Pentecostal prayer events? I have. It was one of the reasons I finally decided to seek out a coven, because if Pentecostals could raise that much energy I wanted to see what a group of Witches could do.

  • Jim

    Thanks for another interesting article. 

    Rather too much bible in this one for me.
    I accept the basic premise though. Energy. Although one major difference is that magic can work without the involvement of a deity.

    But it is more than reciting a prayer, it requires concentration and intent. I imagine that many involved would not be capable of this.

    It still concerns me.

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

      Too much bible? It’s just another mythological cycle.

      Have you attended Pentecostal prayer events? I have. It was one of the reasons I finally decided to seek out a coven, because if Pentecostals could raise that much energy I wanted to see what a group of Witches could do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/fernwise Fern Bernstein-Miller

        I was Pentacostal for several years.  I call ‘em Christian Shamans.  It was a great place to learn to move energy (and they taught me organizational skills, how to run rallies, estimate crowd size, etc).

        • Rua Lupa

          Was raised pentecostal, been outside of it for about 3 years now. Left mostly due to hypocrisy and having everything good or bad attested to god’s will – never having any responsibility for their own actions. That was my experience.

          I enjoyed the dancing, the way of consciously praying, it was more positive than most Christian groups I’ve come across. I like Jesus, and consider him on the same level as Gandhi in my view now. And agree with Gandhi’s words, I like Christ, but I do not like his Christians, they are so unlike their Christ. (paraphrased)

      • lynn

        Raising tremendous amounts of energy is par for the course in the black church tradition (Baptist, Pentecostal etc.) as well. In terms of energy, the pagan rituals I have been a part of (only three) have not come anywhere near those church experiences I used to have on a weekly basis. Which is one reason I have not joined a coven yet. Even the one shamanic ritual I attended felt pretty staid. 

        The one thing in the pagan world I have seen that comes close — in my limited experience — is drum circles. 

        • Rua Lupa

          Drum circles are my church. Founded two ongoing drum circles so far, and the later is just a babe so far in my new home. I personally can’t be without drum circles for too long anymore, I just get an itch and have to drum. :)

          • lynn

            I met one of the guys who started the Prospect Park Drum Circle (Brooklyn, NY) and he told me same thing, that the circle was his church.

            When I attended a Baptist church for several years, we always had several conga players jamming right along with the pianist.

  • Byron

    Peeps, it’s all about the raising and focusing of energy. It only takes will, training and experience to do it. 

    • http://twitter.com/ashareem HR Mitchell

      Any random mob can raise cast vast amounts of energy. It only takes a small number of people to focus and direct it.

  • Byron

    Peeps, it’s all about the raising and focusing of energy. It only takes will, training and experience to do it. 

    • http://twitter.com/ashareem HRM

      Any random mob can raise cast vast amounts of energy. It only takes a small number of people to focus and direct it.

  • Annemarieeastofedentoo

    I would suggest that you seriously misunderstand Christian use of the term spiritual warfare.  The Christian understanding of spiritual warfare is found in passages such as this from Ephesians “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against thepowers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” 

    • http://www.patheos.com Star Foster

      You didn’t explain how this is not like “black magic.” That verse suggests struggling against the “inherent darkness” of the world. Which implies working against the world in all the ways it doesn’t conform to your notion of goodness. To work against someone or something in a spiritual and/or magical sense is the definition of malefic energy work.

      If you can’t express your religion and worldview positively, without threatening others, how do you expect to survive in an increasingly plural and shrinking global marketplace?

  • Annemarieeastofedentoo

    I would suggest that you seriously misunderstand Christian use of the term spiritual warfare.  The Christian understanding of spiritual warfare is found in passages such as this from Ephesians “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against thepowers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” 

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

      You didn’t explain how this is not like “black magic.” That verse suggests struggling against the “inherent darkness” of the world. Which implies working against the world in all the ways it doesn’t conform to your notion of goodness. To work against someone or something in a spiritual and/or magical sense is the definition of malefic energy work.

      If you can’t express your religion and worldview positively, without threatening others, how do you expect to survive in an increasingly plural and shrinking global marketplace?


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