The Dangers of Pseudo-Spirituality

“All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for Her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 2117)

While the dangers of dabbling with demons should seem obvious regardless of whether someone is Catholic or not, the recreational exploration of witchcraft and the occult is on the rise. TikTok plays a large part in the permeation of this fascination with the dark arts as they have been promoting “#WitchTok”. As of the writing of this, videos with that hashtag have accumulated 19.8 billion views. Patrick and Cyrus looked at this phenomenon on The Patrick Madrid Show and talked about spiritual hunger and the grave issues that result.

Patrick read from an article in USA Today in which they interviewed TikTokers and practitioners of witchcraft. From the answers they gave, it was obvious that these people were looking for something. Even one of these self-proclaimed witches explained, “We live in this very intense, dark age… People want purpose, and they want connection. But beyond that, they want something that helps them connect to something larger than themselves.” They are searching for God, but they’re looking in the wrong places. They are without any sort of spiritual foundation or practical guidance. Seeking the truth in pseudo-spiritualities will result in becoming even more lost.

“[People] have a deep, innate, insatiable desire for God even if they may deny that God exists. They know that they’re hungry, that they’re searching for something, or as St. Augustine put it so famously, ‘Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in thee,’” said Patrick. He said that it isn’t just exclusive to Christians or religious people either. Everybody has an intrinsic hunger for a relationship with God, including the youth who are being targeted by TikTok.

According to a study in September of 2021, 60% of TikTok’s over 1 billion users are between the ages of 16-24. That means that there is a huge portion of minors and young adults being exposed to this wayward spin on spirituality. The outward aesthetic of witchcraft appeals to younger audiences because it harbors a community, an opportunity for reinvention, “games” like tarot cards and Ouija boards, and the use of charms and costumes. It all seems like a fantasy game until it starts blending into the world of the demonic.

Patrick referenced another article, this one from Aleteia, that exposed the grave dangers of magic and witchcraft. “Magic seeks to take matters into the wizard’s or witch’s own hands and denies God’s providential care over all creation. It is harmful to the soul and plunges a person into a great darkness that is hard to overcome. Even more troubling, practicing the dark arts can open a person up to the demonic, who is constantly trying to lead souls away from God.”

Unsurprisingly, the transition into demonic practices is often so severe that an exorcism is required. Satan is constantly finding ways to coax people away from God, and it seems like it’s getting easier and easier. Even if there is some redeemable content on TikTok, we must remember that the devil will never begin tempting us with something that is outright evil. He’ll hook us with something good and slowly pervert it so that we can’t even tell the difference.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Listen to the full talk below:

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at relevantradio.com and on the Relevant Radio® app.