I am a catechumen in RCIA now, studying and working towards baptism and confirmation . . .
Congratulations! You also said . . .
. . . I used to be a practicing witch / pagan / occultist. Not good. It got me in a lot of trouble over the years.
I believe you.
The issue: I find popular culture incredibly tempting, in terms of returning to darkness, and going back into what I now recognize is sin.
Baptism will give you graces to aid in this battle with “popular culture”.
In some sense, sin will always try to “beckon” to you though the rest of your life. With God’s grace you can overcome.
More Strategies For You
Stay especially close to the Confessional (probably going to Confession once a month or even as frequently as once a week) and the Eucharist (daily reception of the Eucharist at daily Mass if possible will be VERY helpful).
Go to Eucharistic Adoration weekly too. (see this link or this one)
Avoid the “near occasions to sin”. Absolutely refuse to watch TV shows that draw you into that mindset. Don’t associate with situations or circumstances that draw you in either. Avoid trash novels, pornography, or gossip “news”.
Accept the Cross.
It will be tempting to circumvent suffering and ask for some demonic “help” (such as “crystal” gazing for “strength” or channeling up a little advice, or a “mini Faustian pact” for a promotion) or even a little “innocent” recreation (re-reading a Harry Potter novel, etc.).
These demonic beings “prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”
Theae demonic HATE you while masquerading as your “friend”.
Don’t buy it. They want your destruction.
Pray daily for protection from them.
Cultivate a close relationship to the Blessed Virgin Mary who is sure to help you. Pray the Rosary (thinking about the Mysteries) daily. Wear the Miraculous Medal and Consider the St. Benedict Medal too (have them blessed by a Catholic Priest).
Web site blocker software (used to block children), can be used by you. You might say, “Well I know how to over ride this. I’m the one that put this software into my computer!”
But it still serves as an “extra warning” to you.
Recovering alcoholics have “sponsor” situations. Someone who can relate to his/her situation, and wants them to avoid this harmful situation. When people are tempted with falling into alcohol consumption they call this sponsor. The sponsor reminds them of the problems associated with the self-destructive behaviors and may even give them a follow-up call later (or meet them later that day for lunch, etc. to help them deal with their temptations).
Avoid (like the plague) situations where you will not be thinking as clearly as you could—situations that “compromise your executive decision making capabilities".
Things like illicit alcohol consumption (getting drunk), marijuana, and other “recreational drugs” should be not only shunned but stayed away from getting the question raised.
For example, an alcoholic (I am not suggesting YOU are an alcoholic), should not hang out at the bar, even for “a dart tournament”.
Another example, a smoker trying to quit smoking (I am not suggesting YOU are a smoker either), who says: “Every time I have alcohol, I just need a cigarette” should avoid alcohol too.
Someone who commits gluttony whenever they go to “The Buffet”, may want to avoid “The Buffet” restaurants.
If you have a friend that you always “spirit channel” with, avoid (and pray for) that friend.
If you have a friend that leads you into gossip, talk to others instead of this person (and pray for that person too).
Likewise if you have friends/situations that lead you to good things, stay close to them.
Try finding a retreat in a quasi-monastic type of setting. (I think this environment is particularly good for someone like you). Getting up early in the morning and praying as community. Spiritual readings at meal time. Quiet time alone. Several times during the day of community prayer. Talks to deepen your faith. Etc.
I feel it would be even worse to go back now, now that I know it’s a sin.
You are correct.
2nd PETER 2:20-22 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 **For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. **22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire. I feel it would be even worse to go back now, now that I know it’s a sin.
(See also Matthew 12:45).
I was always on the darker side of paganism, practicing “left hand” or black magic, and paying allegiance to darker gods . . . . What’s the best way to protect me and my salvation, etc, and keep myself safe from sin, darkness, and various occult forces? . . . Please help with your advice, and with your prayers.
I have been and will continue to pray for you. I will also ask my family and a set of friends who are all power prayers. These people are just great.
Hope these thoughts and prayers will be of great benefit to you on your life-long quest.