by Jan Groenveld
What is "The Occult"?
The word occult is from the Latin occultus which means "hidden". Medicos often talk of Occult blood which simply means blood which cannot be seen with the eye. However, the word has undergone a change of meaning in that narrow sense to now encompass a whole area of beliefs outside the mainstream of all World Religions.
People see the occult in different ways. For example, Christians see the occult as evil, destructive, and Satanic e.g. inspired and directed by the Devil himself. Some conservative Christians see anything that is not 'Christian' as being 'Satanic' and thus part of the Occult. On the other hand those involved in the occult see it as spiritual, mysterious, and a source of knowledge and healing power.
For example, a shaman performing a healing spell might believe that the spell taps into absolutely natural forces. They find it difficult to comprehend the Christians position that they are part of the Occult because they do not believe they are dealing with anything supernatural. On the opposite note, some conservative Christians have gone so far as to regard all music that is not sung in church as being of the devil - therefore occult.
Most lists of occultic activity includes Wicca or Witchcraft along with foretelling the future (e.g. astrology, tarot cards, I Ching, tea-cult reading, runes, palm reading, Ouija boards, Dungeons and Dragons, fire walking (walking on a bed of glowing coals bare foot), heavy metal rock music, many Holistic Health practices such as acupuncture, flower remedies, etc), divination, the Masons. etc). Christians also include an enormous range of practices such as:
Christian Books about the Occult
The best book on the market right now is "When the Devil Dares your Kids, Protecting Your Children from Satanism, Witchcraft and the Occult", by Bob and Gretchen Passantino.
Most books are very sensational in content and the authors were not very well informed. The similarity between the books leads one to believe they have all referred to one another's work or research, but have not spent the extra time to substantiate the claims and teachings independently. Clearly, when you read the Passantino's work you can see the difference.