Invoking the souls of the dead or spirits in order to know the hidden truth and acquire special supernatural powers is a radical rupture of one’s relationship with God, a great danger and a direct invitation of demons into one’s life.
Invoking the souls of the dead or necromancy, and contacting spirits or spiritism, are forms of magic known since antiquity and it is especially associated with paganism (although spiritualism as a doctrine had not developed until mid- 19th century). Nowadays, with the ongoing crisis of faith in so many parts of the world, a comeback of this type of practice is noticeable. G.K. Chesterton proved to be right when he said: “When man stops believing in God, he can believe anything.” People trust all types of tricksters, who for money pretend they are able to contact the world beyond. Or they may believe that real contact with spirits will bring good fruit, while neglecting the truth that ultimately it will always bring misery.
God’s Word Sharp as a Sword
In the Old Testament, entering into any magical practices is strictly and explicitly prohibited: “When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you must not learn to imitate the abhorrent practices of those nations. No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or who consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord; it is because of such abhorrent practices that the Lord your God is driving them out before you.” (Deuteronomy 18:9-12) Elsewhere in the Scriptures we read: “If any people turn to mediums and wizards, prostituting themselves to them, I will set my face against them, and will cut them off from the people. Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes, and observe them; I am the Lord; I sanctify you.” (Leviticus 20:6-8) Also in the prophetic books God laments: “My people consult a piece of wood, and their divining rod gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have played the whore, forsaking their God.” (Hosea 4:12; Isaiah 2:6, 3:2-3) The betrayal of God is compared to whoredom, that is to prostitution – it is a radical rejection of God’s law, an obvious violation of moral values, destructive to individuals and society as a whole.
Causes and Manifestations
Therefore, we may wonder why invoking spirits is growing in popularity today? The reasons for this phenomenon include: 1. The desire to validate the existence of the spiritual world through sensual experience. 2. The desire to make contact with the world of spirits, especially the deceased loved ones – to grasp “that other world,” not by learning the revealed laws, but from direct messages that come from the spirits invoked. 3. The alleged help that spirits of the dead can offer to overcome earthly hardships or suffering. 4. Mass propaganda through films, books, magazines, radio, television, computer games and other media that arouse interest in magic and occultism, as well as the entire mysterious world of the dead (see Fr. A. Zwolinski, Invoking Spirits).
Getting involved in occult practices enables demons to be able to act directly on a human being, not only in an ordinary way – through temptation – but it also opens that person up to demonic acts: ghostly visits, torment,obsession, entrapment, enslavement, possession
When such contact with the world beyond is made, that refers to mediumship phenomena (Latin medium meaning a person who has the ability to make contact with the other world). Mediumship can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Its manifestations include, for example: 1. Changes in someone’s mental and physical state – ecstasy, elation, possession, the embodiment of “spirits”. 2. The organism’s supernormal sensitivity (an individual as a “receiving device”) – penetration of thoughts, seeing from the distance, clairvoyance, clairaudience, sensing traces left by the human psyche in non-living matter (psychometry), dowsing, radiesthesia, sensing phenomena concerning future or past things. 3. Supernormal interaction of the human psyche with the body – self- anaesthesia, replacement of one sense with another, the phenomenon of bilocation and the production of doubles, the secretion of matter by the medium as “ectoplasm”, “teleplasm” or “ideoplasm” (including the production of “phantoms” of human or animal figures). 4. Abnormal impact of the human body on matter and energy outside one’s body – impacting other people’s bodies or objects (“magnetizing”), dematerialization and re-materialization of bodies, moving or lifting objects without being in physical contact with them, performing different activities from a distance, such as writing, playing an instrument, knocking on furniture, causing distant occurrences: sounds (whistling, clapping, human or animal voices), thermal (changes in body temperature, cold breeze), light (appearance of sparks, points of light), invisible radiation of various kinds (aura effect), other electrical and magnetic phenomena (see Fr. A. Zwolinski, Invoking Spirits).