Grace, a good friend of mine, has an amazing testimony which I want to share here. She said this by way of summary: “As a young girl with an inquisitive and enquiring mind, the New Age and the Occult caught my attention and held me captive for over 20 years with strong interests in various areas of the New Age, membership of the Spiritualist Church of the UK, and becoming a practicing solitary witch. After coming to faith in Jesus in 1999, I have been passionate about sharing the hope and peace of Christ to New Agers and those in various areas of the Occult.”
What follows are some of the details in her own words (but significantly edited by me with her approval, mainly to keep down the length of the article):
I have long had a fascination with the supernatural. I was only about 9 when I did my first séance with a Ouija board. My sister cried when the lights came on of their own accord. I was unperturbed and in fact quite heady from the experience.
I was 11 when mum sadly left my father and took my sister and I away. She readily bought me books on numerology and mystical folklore. Now I analysed my dreams, studied astrology, and continued with séances. In high school I introduced my friends to psychometry and astrology.
While in college I craved fun, alcohol, romance and the easy life of living on campus. I took a deck of Tarot to college and regularly did readings for myself and anybody else that wanted one. I became known for the readings. It was during this time that mediumship took my fancy and during college break, I often visited the city and met with various successful mediums to try to glean as much knowledge as possible.
As I sifted through the various ways of connecting with spiritual entities and messing around with causing what I wanted to happen to happen, I would spend many a spare afternoon in esoteric and secondhand bookshops searching for the old pagan ways. Some of these bookshops had held courses in Psychic development or A Course in Miracles that I had attended at various times and I started to get to know some people on the same ‘wavelength’ as me.
It was in one of these dusty old bookshops that I met a Warlock (a male practitioner of witchcraft – although many will refer to themselves as a witch and not a warlock). He was a seemingly wise old man with a very authoritative presence about him.
He told me about other groups of like-minded people in Melbourne and said that I might like to meet a coven. I was told this group regularly trounced through the underground tunnels (sewers) at night and that I would be expected to do this also if I joined with them. I agreed to at least meet them at a bush reserve on the outskirts of Melbourne.
I decided to take my dog Bud. As I got out of the car I started to feel very uneasy, and Bud growled. In my heart, I knew this was not a good move and something was very wrong and so I hopped back in the car and drove home. It would be fair to say that I despaired over this mainly because I was eagerly searching to connect with others like me, to be understood and to be taught in the craft.
In hindsight, I am incredibly grateful to God that I didn’t join this coven, and I believe He prevented that from happening in His mercy. I decided though, at the time, that I was not meant to join a coven and decided to establish myself as a solitary witch (otherwise known as a castaway) using the Wiccan Rede. Essentially most Wiccans accept the so-called Wiccan Rede, an ethical code that states “If it harms no one, do what you will.”
Wiccans believe in meditation and participate in rituals throughout the year, celebrating the new and full moon, as well as the summer solstice, and Halloween (Samhain). The problem with their code of course is that who decides what is harmful? There is no real measure of this for a witch. What one person considers harm, another sees as good and justified.
Whilst I prided myself on being what is coined a “white witch”, meaning my intentions with magick (as occultists refer to it) were always to have an outcome that was positive, I was always bothered by the notion of what is good and what is not good. For example, a ritual to ensure I would receive more cash to be manifested in my life through magick meant that my father who I was living with at the time would start just giving me lots of cash for no reason.
Initially this felt amazing, but then it started to dawn on me that it wasn’t far off stealing – from my own father. It could be argued that I wasn’t harming Dad – or was I? Is manipulating others to get what I want good? These are the questions that started to bother me with regards to witchcraft and magick.
Magick for the witch is about raising and directing energy to fulfill your intentions. To be in control is very alluring. But I was also aware that many practicing witches didn’t just stay on the white side (the right hand path as Occultists call it), and often went into areas which were plainly dark such as chaos magick which is…chaotic. The pull to go deeper and deeper into these areas was very strong simply because of the new realms one could uncover and the “excitement” attached to this.
Over time, a practicing, solitary witch can get very easily cut off from reality. My boyfriend at the time was noticing changes in me and told me he would end the relationship if I didn’t stop all this nonsense. But then his two beloved dogs quickly went missing and they were never found. I do believe this was a spiritual ‘punishment’ to him for trying to pull me away from the craft. Once you are in agreement with the works of darkness, regardless if you actually believe they are works of darkness, powerful events will happen in your life and in the lives of others around you.
As a witch, often the manifestations initially appear to be golden, but later turn to dust. After a while, my interest in magic by way of ritual and worshipping a goddess left me feeling vaguely uncomfortable about where it could all go and so I decided that a trip to Europe would open up a whole new spiritual path for me. I put solitary witchcraft to the side, but keeping my Tarot in hand, headed to Europe.
While there I became involved in a Spiritualist church. In my first time there a medium walked back and forth pouring out messages from beyond. He had been clear and concise and some of the people in the congregation had received messages that had obviously put them at peace and had been of great comfort. This was incredibly exciting for me because it was a weekly meeting of connection with “Spirit”. (The Spiritualist Church refers to the messages received as having come from “Spirit”).
I felt that I had finally found a church that held my own perspectives. This church even prayed the Lord’s Prayer in unison at the beginning of each service. It seemed almost too good to be true – I had found connection with God as well as keeping my own beliefs. I kept going back.
I eventually joined the Spiritualist Church and travelled far and wide on weekends to attend meetings at other churches. I started to make quite a wide circle of friends – my entire life became devoted to the spiritual realm and how and what it was trying to tell me. I stopped listening to the people around me and only seemed to care about the messages I was receiving from the other side. It took over my entire life.
But vague niggles that I couldn’t quite escape began to eat away at me. The truth was, I was not feeling very joyful anymore. I was getting tired of always striving and grasping to climb the ladder of spiritual heights – trying desperately to fine tune myself to spirit; to connect – to God, to power, to something other than myself. I also realised that people didn’t seem very important to me anymore. I began to feel quite empty inside.
Coming to Christ
Long story short, I eventually returned back home. I started having some amazing dreams. I believe that God was using them as a way of capturing my attention. Jesus appeared to me in three dreams, made of gold, stone and wood; he beckoned me in the dreams to reach out to Him.
But the most significant thing that led me to come to Jesus was an interview I had to be accepted into a counselling course. It was a fairly uneventful interview discussing usual topics about commitment and dedication but finally the manager leaned back and placed his hands in a thoughtful manner under his chin. After rather a strange pause, he asked me what my spiritual beliefs were.
I was a little stumped but managed to tell him about my spirit guides and angels that lead and guide me (I didn’t feel as confident in my convictions as I sounded). He pleasantly smiled at me and then simply said that he was a person that followed Christ – a Christian. Then he closed the meeting. It was a plain and straightforward comment, but for some reason I could not get his declaration out of my mind.
He was so self assured, and my own beliefs didn’t seem to worry him. In fact my own statement sounded like I was trying to convince myself of its validity. Things were certainly taking a turn in my life. The incredible dreams, the realisation regarding the need for God’s truth, a love that seemed to be enveloping me, all pointed to something that I was desiring, but more importantly, something I fundamentally needed.
My courageous interviewer invited me with his family to attend a local church service and I went. The atmosphere was electrifying, the people warm and welcoming, but mostly the huge call of God was pounding on my heart. I could hardly ignore it, and three months later after wrestling with the last pieces of doubt, I gave my life once and for all to Jesus.
He had been calling me as the Bible lay on the bedroom floor. He had whispered to me when I needed peace and sanctuary. He had sent other Christians to simply love and befriend me. He had answered my search for truth. It was a powerful moment, because although I still did not understand certain things about the Christian faith, I knew that Jesus was who He claimed to be and I knew that I loved Him and wanted to do whatever needed to be done to give my life to Him.
I gave my heart to Jesus because of His LOVE. God has dealt with me sometimes gently and other times confrontationally, but he has never left me and continues to take me to great places with Him. All my sin has been washed clean away. I have been much forgiven and I love my Lord Jesus much. Gone is the desire for mystical experiences, psychic activity and controlling people and events through manipulation of energy. Nothing can come close to the love I receive from Jesus and the desire to serve Him.
Bill Muehlenberg, an American-born and Australian-based commentator, is the author of a number of books and thousands of articles. You can follow him on his website CultureWatch, on YouTube and on Twitter.