Christians, pagans compete (gently) for Salem’s souls

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SALEM, Mass. (RNS) Paying customers were lined up outside witch houses and psychic parlors when 20-year-old Casey Sholes of Willimantic, Conn., finally stumbled across a place offering dream interpretations for free. Inside, two interpreters at “The Vault” assured the aspiring nurse that despite her weird dream, the Creator has blessed her with special talents and […]

  • JMJ

    Your all SICK with EVIL …and you think you are doing no harm …well you are putting your Soul in to Hell if you keep practicing this witch craft.. Mother earth .. paganism stuff …you are hurting Jesus and most of all your own SOUL ….it is all in the Bible look it up !!!

  • vjd

    I thought this might be helpful for any Catholics reading this article.

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    2116 ….Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

    2117 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.


  • sage

    I really do not think that the Catholic church should preach aganist it as they pray to dead saints and mary. and do a little research on the church and not just catholic, and what pagan symbols and practices are used in christian church’s. a double edge sword it seems. If one really knows Christ and has Faith, they do not need man to bring that spiritual peace, which man can’t. But I do understand fully why people look for something else.Having a symbol i think is ok, But to worship one is the problem in my way of thinking.

  • nathan

    @jmj. get a life. evil? what exactly is evil? is your god so weak that we can hurt him? im not sure you’re really a christian. im guessing you probably just worship the far off shadow of something you dont understand…i mean im just speculating. you know. based on the comment. these types of comments are the reason that “god is dead”.

  • Kenneth Glover

    I know some of the beatitude people mentioned in this article featuring Salem. It was a pleasure to view them through the authors experience.

  • My name is Kyri Spencer and I am in fact the Kyri Spencer that is quoted in this article. I was pleased with the quote that they picked because it expresses the humility I believe is more productive than righteous rancor: it’s not for me to say that one belief system is better or more correct than another. Religions are practiced by people and people are flawed, all people.

    Who defines what is magic and what is sorcery? Catholic priests use incense for purification while the parishioners light candles for loved ones on altars of the departed. The priests sprinkle water that has been ritualistically anointed to perform house blessings and to cleanse while worshipers honor and pray to specific saints and angels for specific purposes: protection, healing, good fortune, good health, etc. At mass Catholics perform an act of transubstantiation in which ordinary bread and wine are transformed into the very body and the blood of the savior and are consumed by the worshipers. The Holy Bible is full of accounts of visions and signs and dreams, warnings from God, inspirations from God, as well as stories of healings and miracles.

    These are beautiful and deeply meaningful traditions, but to the uninformed, to someone who just arrived on this planet, they would appear to be the practice of sorcery and magic, would they not? Borrowing from Matthew: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.”, which boils down to: look in the mirror first to avoid being a hypocrite.

    The word divination comes from the Latin word divinare, which means to see beyond, to be allowed knowledge by divinity. As a person who has recognized and utilized their gift of divination, it has been my privilege to help people: to provide warnings, to provide validation, to give closure, to comfort the grief-stricken. It is not about empowerment, cheating the system, gaining an advantage, or bypassing the will of God. One who practices divination merely opens themselves up to receive what knowledge is there for them to see or to hear what is communicated by whatever intelligences or entities exist beyond the scope of our limited perceptions.

    Yes there are those for whom it is a racket and they are of the same ilk as the phony evangelists that make themselves rich off of their parishioners but should all Christian ministers be judged by the actions of Jim Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Vaughn Reeves, Richard Roberts, and all the others?

    Are the miracles, the healings, the divination the prophesies that are detailed in the Bible the only ones that ever were and the only ones that will ever be allowed? If God decided that once again mankind desperately needed a savior in the flesh to spread the message of compassion, love, and brotherhood,and again sent his son of Himself, would we crucify that person just the same? If that person performed a miracles would that person be burned as a witch? If he spoke of divine visions would he be stoned as a rabble rouser? Would that person be nailed to a crucifix to die for the ignorance and ugliness of the mob? After one thousand, nine hundred, and eighty years, would we treat the next savior any better than the last?

    Ignorance is the fuel of fear and suspicion, I simply ask people to educate themselves, ask questions, and to think for themselves. I have so much more to share on the subjects of psychic capabilities and spirit mediumship, I would ask those who are interested to visit my web site: Salem Sight Psychic Readings