The story of Saul and the Witch of Endor played a significant role in my coming to terms with the difference between what God calls evil, and what Man calls evil.
After my encounter with an Angel who revealed to me that even though I would be set for life as a Pagan, if I continued down that path I was doomed to cause more harm to those I encountered, I saw a LOT of myself in the witch of this story. And it was so painful. Here’s a woman that helps others, but God had commanded that she be executed for these very acts of kindness. So, for the rest of the month of October, I’m going to focus on some things I learned because of this story.
This week, I want to talk about how the Witch of Endor can be used to address the issues surrounding Modern Necromancy (also known as Mediumship).
Just last year, I met another woman that thought talking with the dead would bring her comfort. A complete stranger, she approached me in an Ace Hardware store and started talking religion. Finding out that I use to be pagan, she caught up with me outside in the parking lot and started asking questions about Quija boards and whether or not she was using one correctly.
Many Christians will tell you that you’re opening a door to the demonic, and that it will plague you. I know quite a few Pagans that will say the same to anyone who isn’t actually trained in how to properly open and close spiritual doors. My approach to this discussion is different. My approach, however, relies on 3 key takeaways from the Witch of Endor on Necromancy:
- You never know who is actually coming through the veil.
In the story, the witch is not the one which identifies the entity as Samuel. She says she sees gods coming from the ground and describes an old man in a robe. It is Saul who accepts that the medium has woken Samuel up from his slumber. I haven’t covered Sirach yet, but a cursory look reveals that when the Book of Sirach was written, some believed it was Samuel as well. In reality, there is no evidence proving it was or wasn’t Samuel.
The realm which harbors divine and demonic beings is not the same as the physical realm. In that realm, what occurs in the physical realm, and God’s declarations, can be made well-known knowledge. That is, the demand “tell me something only you and I would know” is impossible to apply.
In the case of this story, it is entirely possible that the entity which spoke through the Witch to Saul was not Samuel, and was aware of God’s plans to destroy Saul.
2) Truth is a greater temptation than a lie.
Let’s run with the theory that it was not Samuel, it was a demon. Then why tell Saul the truth of what was going to happen at the next battle? It maintains the Witch’s reputation. This, in turn, gives a demon the ability to challenge the faith of more people.
One of the problems in modern Christianity, is that a lot of denominations deny that anything not of God is real. For them, it’s not “Anything a demon can do, God can do better”, it’s “Anything a demon does is a parlor trick, or a human lying about their experience.” This denial makes it that much easier to convince those on the fence about Witchcraft that God’s been lying to them this whole time. But a study of the Old Testament will reveal that God hasn’t tried to hide the fact that other beings can perform miracles without Him- even Christ affirms this when he explains that not all who say “Lord, Lord” will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
For the record, though, it doesn’t mean you won’t get lied to by a demon. Whatever suits the entity’s purposes, is typically what you’re going to get. They’ve been at this game far longer than any man on earth has been.
3) Knowing isn’t what changes things.
Even if it was Samuel, knowing the truth of God’s declaration changed nothing. Not Saul’s fate, and not even Saul’s heart. When one seeks out a medium’s help, the real work isn’t getting the answers- it’s work to let go of whatever caused you to seek them out in the first place.
You may think I’m telling you this because my model works. In truth, it’s because of the #3 that I acknowledge both my model and the “you’re opening doors you cannot close” models can be equally futile. It didn’t work with the woman that came to me about using a Quija Board, or asking how she could have a Shamanic Journey to determine that a foe was truly in Hell where he belonged.
In order for my model to work, you need time to invest in communicating with the person in pain. An established rapport, not a chance encounter. Possibly even the help of a therapist.