For many orthodox Christians, the Bible is, of course, the largest hurdle to the idea of accepting occult practices and esoteric theories. I spent a long time reconciling my interest in the occult with my understanding of the Bible, only coming to a holistic view of Scripture and occultism in recent years. In this short post, I want to share a reflection I wrote a few years ago on a passage in St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, which is often cited by traditional Christians to outlaw the notion of working with elemental spirits or powers. A closer reading of the passage, however, complicates such a simple interpretation.
Originally posted as a part of my column, The Blooming Staff, on the Agora, the group blog of the Patheos Pagan Channel.
I can’t recall the number of times I have sat at my computer with a stack of books by my side in the middle of the night, say at 2:45 AM or maybe 4, bursting (silently) with excitement over some intellectual epiphany, some sudden realization or Eureka! moment in which I feel like I have finally cracked open the secrets of the universe. All the questions I have struggled with for years—answered. An entire treatise of occult knowledge and mystical revelation unfolding before my third eye. When you spend most of your time immersed in theological and religious questions, great conversion moments are almost guaranteed to happen with an unsettling regularity, unsurprisingly proportionate to the number of books you read that purport to share some hidden knowledge.