Former witch struggling with dark popular media

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Thanks for reading this, and hopefully offering your advice as more experienced catholics / christians than I.

**The background: **I am a catechumen in RCIA now, studying and working towards baptism and confirmation, but I used to be a practicing witch / pagan / occultist. Not good. It got me in a lot of trouble over the years.

**The issue: **I find popular culture incredibly tempting, in terms of returning to darkness, and going back into what I now recognize is sin. I feel it would be even worse to go back now, now that I know it’s a sin.

I was always on the darker side of paganism, practicing “left hand” or black magic, and paying allegiance to darker gods such as Loki. As a result, certain TV shows like Supernatural, Buffy, or True Blood, or certain movies like Thor Dark Worlds or Harry Potter cam really send my head for a spin.

**The question: **What’s the best way to protect me and my salvation, etc, and keep myself safe from sin, darkness, and various occult forces?

I know it sounds silly, but at least I am aware of my past, and what my stumbling blocks are. It’s a struggle for me, but I know in my heart and in my head that I need to stay away from sin and follow God. Please help with your advice, and with your prayers.

Hi. Well, I’d say that darkness wants to attract attention - to take us away from the Cross.

Being aware of the dangers in the world is important and if you know about them then you have valuable experience as you know your enemy and how vulnerable people are.

But we still need to live in the world even though not partaking of everything in it. Some don’t have TVs which frees us from the bind of consumerism which is very noisy and intrusive - but that is not obligatory.

So, reflecting on the Truth that our Lord is JOY :); then we can see how important it is to bring Him into all we do each day so that we experience what He, Joy, can be to us, that we can live being grateful to Him.

So I’d advise praying for a few minutes every morning. And leaving a little time at the end, in silence, for Him.

I’d recommend praying at the holy hour of 3-4pm. And I’d ask a priest about the Rosary.

And I’d say a little “thank you” too at the end of each day.

But concentrate on the good in your life and if it is lacking then think how you can open up to Joy, your Creator, each day.

But keep praying.

Any thoughts about darkness could be a temptation so simply don’t dwell on them. If you do have thoughts of such things then just pray quickly in a few words. And pray for people who maybe don’t have the benefit of understanding which you now have. When we do good and are kind to others, this is the act of sharing our Saviour’s love. Praying for people is important because people need prayers. And then you are already helping to spread good in this world by your actions.

Overall, try not to worry, because it doesn’t help anything as worrying is not constructive. Instead, take it all to the One who has helped you see what was not good for you, and who is walking with you to help right your path.

Plenty of this: :):):):):):):slight_smile:

Peace and all good.

Excellent question.

I’m a huge horror fan and run in horror fandom circles, which is where 90% of my sweet friends are. It’s been a part of my life since I was born (my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mom are horror fans). Occasionally I think about this. Now, horror brought me to the Church, but sometimes I question what I should watch…

Praying to St. Michael the Archangel to watch over & protect you.

I totally agree with the previous posters on the importance of prayer.
Also, have you done a proper clean out from your house of any items you have previously used to practice witchcraft. Get rid of them, ASAP.

That is most important, because same as Sacramentals do have an effect on the material world, so can artefacts be possessed by demonic forces influence their surroundings.

I would recommend as well to ask your priest, to come and bless the house.
Get or bring and place a Crucifix (Blessed as well) in a prominent place.
Finally you can ask your priest about blessed salt and blessed water, these are also Sacramentals.
They serve to remind you of Christ and His gift of salvation.
Wishing you the best on your journey to the faith do have a blessed day.

Thank you for the advice. I have been praying every day and often throughout the day. It brings me quite a sense of peace that was missing in my former life. It’s quite a relief, actually.

There are still some things I need to get rid of, but I’m working on it, as I realize what needs to go. Thanks.

Thank you!!

Thank you for the advice. I do need to focus more on the light, and not the darkness. You have a point, though, about maybe focusing more and staying away from TV altogether, until I can feel a bit more firm in my faith and life.

:thumbsup::slight_smile: Again, try not to worry and just rest in the knowledge that you are in a good place…

'Isaiah 49:13-16 (abbreviated) -

*'Shout for joy, you heavens; exult, you earth!..

…For the Lord consoles His people
And takes pity on those who are afflicted.
For Zion was saying, “The Lord has abandoned me,
the Lord has forgotten me”…

‘…I will never forget you.
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands*…’.

Do you feel compelled to watch those TV shows or see those movies? I would advise you to make a conscious choice NOT to do so, but instead substitute more wholesome TV, films, and books, including those of a religious and spiritual nature. If necessary, sell or dispose of the television set so that you won’t be tempted.

I think what would help the most would be the goal of total immersion in Catholic life. This sinner needed the structure, discipline, tools, love and compassion the Catholic Church offers.

Do not bite off too much too quickly rather work your way up in increments. Pray daily and later, several times a day. Attend Mass and partake in the sacrament of confession once you are fully Catholic.

Darkness cannot flourish in the presence of light.

Do you have a local parish from where you can get some holy water? Many of them have a little font in the back or something where you can pour some into a little bottle. In anticipation of your baptism, this sacramental can be very helpful against dark forces. See this thread for encouragement on non-baptized using holy water. :o

Also, consider reading testimonials for people who have had similar situations as yours. Here are a couple resources from an old post:

One thing I found to be really helpful for me in knowing what my “triggers” were was to replace those certain things with other things. In your case, if these types of movies or shows are triggers for you, consider downloading some podcasts of Catholic Answers shows, interviews, or other good wholesome podcasts that would interest you. There are lots out there that are free and entertaining. When those shows are on TV, simply turn off the TV and listen to a podcast. Or get some good religious or at least not anti religious themed action movies, like Lord of the Rings, For Greater Glory, Narnia, etc. so you are not denying yourself the entertainment, but only replacing the “type” of entertainment that wont set off a trigger. The more you do this, the easier it will get.

Of course this suggestion should be used in conjunction with a daily prayer life as others have suggested.

Welcome home! I’m so glad to hear you are in RCIA and have renounced your pagan ways.

A few suggestions:

Pray, pray, pray! You’re heard this from others yet I cannot overstress the importance of DAILY prayer in our lives. You feel the effects of prayer and know it by the Christian term “grace.”

Understand the “world” contains good and evil. God didn’t create the world evil and He has no wish that we do evil with it. There are movies that inspire us and those that should repulse us. We all know the difference and can make our choices appropriately. You mentioned the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I have to admit I’m a recovering Buffy addict! As an example of pop culture, even “Buffy” can be viewed in terms that bring us closer to God but we have to work harder because it IS Buffy after all! My point being that we can view God in everything in this world and can use even the most entertaining media in our faith journey.

I understand you’re getting rid of material items that remind you of your pagan past. This is a very decision. We all need to rid ourselves of “souvenirs from hell.” I heard this term on a Catholic Answers audio file and it constantly reminds me to look about my life for stuff that keep dragging me back to sin. Find it, get rid of it. You can’t get to heaven weighed down with “souvenirs from hell.”

As you walk your new path to God, look for and make new friends who can help you. Eventually, you will become strong enough in faith to reach back to former associates who continue to be exploited by the evil one but try to get your feet solidly planted in God before you attempt pulling them out of the deep waters. Be careful you don’t get pulled back into the old life that is so destructive to yourself and others.

God Bless you and may He protect you always! :thumbsup:

EmmelineCox

You mentioned:

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).

Etc. etc.

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).

You said:

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.

God bless.

Cathoholic

Focus outward towards acts of charity, kindness, and compassion to others.

It’s the best rebuke towards Satan.

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