Has my medicine subjected me to the demonic?
Question: I have been seeing a naturopath for a few years now. He has used mostly whole foods and supplements in his remedies for my Lyme disease. His treatments were effective. However, when I looked up the company online, I was disturbed by new-agey things there, such as that they pray over the pills. Does this mean I have subjected myself and my family to the demonic? Are we no longer able to take these if we become infected? Is there any way to do so, do we need to bless them before we take them?
— Name withheld, Washington, D.C.
Answer: The website you supplied for examination does indeed contain many troublesome things. They claim that “blessings and prayers are done over the herbal blends continuously and special ‘vibrational imprinting’ is spiritually performed daily.” An expert on the site says, “We can get your energy shifted, so you can better adjust. …” Further, they claim access to a kind of psychic ability through what they call “Neuro Bodyscan.” This, they claim, is “a technique that uses intuitive skills of a ‘body systems intuitive, to see into the body from a distance.'” The use of tarot cards or something similar are also implied when they say, “When you call me … we can draw a card, for inspiration.”
Hence, we see references to New Age notions such as energy flow through bodies, occult forms of divination as manifest in the use of “cards,” and paranormal concepts such as “scanning” a body by intuition and deep meditation. These sorts of practices are a dangerous opening to dark spirits and provide easier access for demons. It is one thing to pray over herbs and ask God for a blessing; it is another, non-Christian notion, to pray over them in order to convey a dubious and potentially dark energy of “vibrational imprinting.” Such notions are not revealed to us by God, who calls us to trust in him and not resort to strange notions of contrived or hidden energies or forces. Drawing cards and other forms of divination are a violation of the First Commandment.
Some years ago, the Vatican published a paper, “Jesus Christ: The Bearer of the Water of Life,” analyzing New Age movements and issuing warnings to the faithful. Here are some excerpts:
“When one examines many New Age traditions, it soon becomes clear that there is little in the New Age that is new. … [Its ideas] date back to Gnostic groups which grew up in the early days of Christianity, and gained momentum at the time of the Reformation in Europe. … It has involved a progressive rejection of a personal God … alongside a focus on hidden spiritual powers or forces in nature. … An adequate Christian discernment of New Age thought and practice cannot fail to recognize that, it represents something of a collection of positions that the Church has identified as heterodox. … We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead toward a renewal of religion. … [It] can be described as ‘a modern revival of pagan religions with a mixture of influences from both eastern religions and also from modern psychology, philosophy, science, and the counterculture.'”
To be clear, you are right to be concerned. One must strive to stay away from such sources as you cite here. Exorcists and many others in deliverance ministry can tell volumes of how such appeals to invisible energies, clairvoyance, divination and so forth lead inevitably and often inexorably to the dark side. If one is not calling on the Holy Spirit, it is evil spirits that they summon. And evil spirits have a nasty way of answering and setting up shop in the lives of those who summon them. Even if someone would like to assert that some of these practices could be OK, it is better to err on the side of great caution and simply stay away from dubious things. Stay, rather, with the good, clear water of the Gospel.
But what of the fact that these herbals did in fact help you? It is good to remember two things. First, the help may have been in no way associated with the “blessings” said over them. So just stick to the herbals without all the “vibrational energies,” etc., that are invoked. Second, it is a given fact that demons can perform signs and wonders to deceive (cf. Ex 7:22; Mt 12:27) and draw us into their tether. Surely it is advisable to find herbal remedies that are free from all this occult background.