By Thomas R. Horn
September 7, 2010
In addition to the kind of spiritualism mentioned in the previous entry as sweeping most quarters of institutionalized Christianity today, expressions of neo-paganism in the larger public square now range from self-help organizations working with corporations to offer symposiums to their employees to produce positive harmony, prosperity, and overall business success to other, not-so-subtle forms of paganism such as practiced by Wicca and the women’s spirituality movement, in which more than six hundred thousand women nationwide participate in the invocation of ancient earth goddesses. Retail stores in faddish malls are springing up across the United States to meet the need for replica idols of the popular female deities, and marketing occult paraphernalia used in venerating the goddesses (crystals, candles, books of spells, etc.) has become a multimillion dollar industry.
Dimly lit "occult" bookstores that once inhabited shabby old buildings have been replaced with trendy New Age shops located in the most fashionable strip malls in the nicest areas of town. One such store, Necromance, resides at stylish Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, where business is booming with sales of human fingers on a leather cord, necklaces of human teeth, bone beads, and human skulls including tiny fetal ones. While store owners are generally New Agers or practicing witches, Necromance and similar businesses are attentively supported by a growing population of churchgoers, neo-pagans, politicians, Hollywood entertainers, and teachers of the arcane rites. Not long ago, one such witch claimed to be a temple prostitute of the goddess Astarte and performed sequential gate-opening magic sex with 251 men at the University of Southern California.
Today, adherents of such mysticism boldly ask, "If God is our Father, then who is our Mother?" Then they happily answer, "Earth!" Not surprisingly, the worship of the earth’s "spirit" as a goddess mother has been revived as a central feature of contemporary religious phenomena. In 2010, Earth Day was celebrated by coordinating millions of people worldwide into a universal effort aimed at saving "our endangered Mother Earth." Christian leaders signed "Green Pledges" and Wiccan witches performed arcane rituals in honor of the hoary spirit Gaia. Interest in such contraptions as the sweat lodge—a device used by several ancient religions as an apparatus whereby one reenters the womb of the Earth Mother—was emphasized as a primitive yet effective method for furrowing a womblike gateway into the surface of the earth to make contact with the underworld spirit. This method of communing with Gaia, as practiced by various religions and New Age devotees, includes sitting in a semicircle around heated stones inside the lodge and entering into a mystical state of consciousness. As with the DMT churches (mentioned by Dr. Bennett in a previous entry) who use psychoactive drugs to open gateways into the mind, the altered mental condition in the sweat lodge is accomplished through hypnotic repetitive chanting, drumming, and breathing the fumes of stimulants such as peyote.
Spirit animals, called "power animals," are invited to guide the soul through the underworld journey or "vision quest," and participants are encouraged to "dance their animal" for revelations and healing of the body and mind. Such animal dancing is accomplished by allowing the spirit of the creature to enter and take control of the participant. Dr. Leslie Gray—a noted university instructor and female shaman—employs such uses of "animal dancing" in the psychiatric (shamanic) treatment of her patients. She described the positive results of animal dancing in the case of one insecure young woman, saying, "I [laid] down on the ground next to her and put us both into an altered state of consciousness via a tape of drumming. I came back from my ‘journey’ and blew the spirit of a mountain lion into [her]. I then instructed her to go out into nature and dance her animal... [and when she did] she no longer felt afraid of people." 
Uses of animal imagery and other nature elements in the worship of the Great Earth Mother is by design. Modern pagans, drawing on Eastern philosophies and the occult, believe that, unlike the "evil human race," these elements are at one with Gaia. According to them, if it were not for male-dominated, Styrofoam-producing, beef-eating, gas-guzzling human beings, the earth would be a better place. Natural earth-centered resources such as animals, crystals, and even colors are thus the products of choice for the students of earth-centered spirituality. Light blue is the color of Mother Earth’s sky, so candles of light blue are burned to acquire her magic tranquility or understanding. Red candles are burned for strength or sexual love, and green candles for financial assistance. Instruments like magic wands are also made of Mother Earth’s natural supply, usually of willow, oak, or fruit tree branches. Magic potions employed during esbats (earth celebrations held during the new and full moons) also contain the earth’s natural byproducts, including clover, olive oil, grape juice, garlic cloves, and rosebuds. Special ceremonies using the earth samples are conducted at the crossing of three earth paths (the triple-path haunt of Hecate) and dedicated to the Mother Earth goddesses—Gaia, Demeter, Persephone, Isis, Aphrodite, Hathor, Hera, Diana, Athene, and Hecate.
The authors of this book personally witnessed officially sponsored Assemblies of God youth camps in Oregon where children were taken into the woods and taught to use tree branches, pebbles, and other natural products to outline magic prayer trails, with participants moving through the labyrinths to specific mystical areas where they would then stop and meditate to "connect with the spirit." (The occult significance of this symbolism in youth camps is dangerously meaningful, as navigating such labyrinths began in mythology with the story of Queen Pasiphae and her amorous affair with a sacrificial bull. The union resulted in the birth of the transgenic Minotaur, a creature that lived in a labyrinth where every year boys and girls were sent to be sacrificed.) While in ancient times such rituals were gender-inclusive, they were designed specifically to elevate the goddess or female divinity, which consequently also defined the "oracles" or mouthpieces and gatekeepers of even the most powerful male gods in antiquity, including Apollo, the ancient spirit the Scriptures say will rise to inhabit the Antichrist in the end times.
Located on the mainland of Greece, the omphalos of Delphi (the stone the Greeks believed marked the center of the earth) can still be found among the ruins of Apollo’s Delphic temple. So important was Apollo’s oracle at Delphi that wherever Hellenism existed, its citizens and kings—including some from as far away as Spain—ordered their lives, colonies, and wars by her sacred communications. Here the Olympian god spoke through a gateway to mortal men using a female priesthood, which interpreted the trance-induced utterances of the pythoness or pythia, a middle-aged woman who sat on a copper-and-gold tripod or, much earlier, on the "rock of the sibyl" (medium). Crouching over a fire while inhaling the smoke of burning laurel leaves, barley, marijuana, and oil, a magical intoxication (pharmakeia) for her prophecies opened spirit gates through which powerful hallucinogenic manifestations could emerge. Under the influence of these forces, the pythia prophesied in an unfamiliar voice thought to be that of Apollo himself. During the trance, the medium’s personality often changed, becoming melancholic, defiant, or even animal-like, a psychosis that may have been the source of the werewolf myth, or lycanthropy, as the pythia became possessed by Apollo/Lykeios—the wolf god.
Delphic "women of python" prophesied in this way for nearly a thousand years and were considered to be a vital part of the pagan order and local economy of every Hellenistic community. This adds to the mystery of adoption of the pythians and sibyls by certain quarters of Christianity as "vessels of truth." These women, whose lives were dedicated to channeling from frenzied lips the messages of demon gods and goddesses, turn up especially in Catholic art—from altars to illustrated books and even upon the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, where five sibyls join the Old Testament prophets in places of sacred honor. The Cumaean Sibyl (also known as Amalthaea), whose prophecy about the return of the god Apollo is encoded on the Great Seal of the United States (the exposé on this is in our book Apollyon Rising 2012), was the oldest of the sibyls and the seer of the underworld who, in the Aeneid, gave Aeneas a tour of the infernal region.
Whether by trickery or occult power, the prophecies of the sibyls were sometimes amazingly accurate. The Greek historian Herodotus (considered the father of history) recorded an interesting example of this. Croesus, the king of Lydia, had expressed doubt regarding the accuracy of Apollo’s oracle at Delphi. To test the oracle, Croesus sent messengers to inquire of the pythian prophetess as to what he, the king, was doing on a certain day. The priestess surprised the king’s messengers by visualizing the question and formulating the answer before they arrived. A portion of the historian’s account says.
The moment that the Lydians (the messengers of Croesus) entered the sanctuary, and before they put their questions, the Pythoness thus answered them in hexameter verse: "Lo! on my sense there striketh the smell of a shell-covered tortoise, Boiling now on a fire, with the flesh of a lamb, in a cauldron. Brass is the vessel below, and brass the cover above it."
These words the Lydians wrote down at the mouth of the Pythoness as she prophesied, and then set off on their return to Sardis.
[When] Croesus undid the rolls…[he] instantly made an act of adoration…declaring that the Delphic was the only really oracular shrine.… For on the departure of his messengers he had set himself to think what was most impossible for anyone to conceive of his doing, and then, waiting till the day agreed on came, he acted as he had determined. He took a tortoise and a lamb, and cutting them in pieces with his own hands, boiled them together in a brazen cauldron, covered over with a lid which was also of brass. (Herodotus, Book 1:47) 
Another interesting example of spiritual insight by an Apollonian sibyl is found in the New Testament book of Acts. Here the demonic resource that energized the sibyls is revealed:
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination [of python, a seeress of Delphi] met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation." And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, "I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas.… And brought them to the magistrates, saying, "These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city." (Acts 16:16–20)
The story in Acts is interesting because it illustrates the level of culture and economy that had been built around the oracle worship of Apollo. It cost the average Athenian more than two days’ wages for an oracular inquiry, and the average cost to lawmakers or military officials seeking important state information was charged at ten times that rate.
But now, as the old saying goes, "everything old is new again," and across the world a staggering amount of revenue is flowing once more into oracle divining for the purpose of breaching supernatural gateways. Through pharmakeia, grimoires, talismans, magic diagrams, sibylline channeling, and scores of other methods, adherents of new spirituality are actively seeking contact with the powers on the other side just as they did in days of old.
One of the most curious forms of oracular activity in use by modern soothsayers is the psychomanteum—a simple, yet eerie, idea. A chair placed in front of a large mirror in a dark room serves as the oracle. Once positioned on the chair, the occupant stares into the mirror and waits for contact with ghosts or other entities. In ancient times, a psychomanteum-like mirror system for communicating with "spirits" was employed by primitive Greeks in gloomy underground caverns called "halls of visions." Standing in front of a shining metal surface or cauldron, ancients saw and spoke with apparitions. The Sumerians, Egyptians, and Romans employed similar oracles of polished crystal, brass mirrors, and pools of water, and some argue that the apostle Paul was referring to mirror oracles when he said, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known" (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Revived as an oracle during the 1990s in the book Reunions, more than 50 percent of the three hundred users of the psychomanteum in a study by Raymond Moody claimed to have been contacted by a deceased "relative" or "friend" on the first try. People interviewed by Mr. Moody included physicians, teachers, housewives, business owners, and law enforcement officials. One witness, an accountant who grieved over his departed mother a year after her death, testified of his experience with the psychomanteum:
There is no doubt that the person I saw in the mirror was my mother! I don’t know where she came from but I am convinced that what I saw was the real person. She was looking out at me from the mirror.... I could tell she was in her late seventies, about the same age as... when she died. However, she looked happier and healthier than she had at the end of her life. Her lips didn’t move, but she spoke to me and I clearly heard what she had to say. She said, "I’m fine," and smiled.... I stayed as relaxed as I could and just looked at her.... Then I decided to talk to her. I said, "It’s good to see you again." "It’s good to see you too," she replied. That was it. She simply disappeared. 
Although the Bible warns against opening such gateways to "familiar spirits" or consulting mediums and sibyls, the revival of ancient oracles and the experiences being drawn from them are especially seductive curiosities for followers of modern religion. A quick glance through the most current popular television programs illustrates a great deal about the public’s interest in this field: Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Hunters Academy, Ghost Whisperer, Paranormal State, Psychic Kids: Paranormal Children, Animal Planet’s The Haunted, and more.
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Sociologists understand public demand for such viewing is evidence of pop culture’s preferred spirituality, an informal consensus toward a post-New Testament theological condition. As such, it is reasonable to see how modern culture may rapidly be approaching the culmination of Apollo’s novus ordo seclorum—the prophecy on the Great Seal of the United States that forecasts the granddaddy of all spirit-gate transmigrations, an advent prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and Revelation 17:8 in which the destroyer demon Apollo (Apoleia: Apollyon) rises through underworld gates in the last days to confront the world that sought it.
WATCH THE TRAILER! WARNING: NOT FOR THE WEAK!
[Editor's note: This series is based on research contained in Tom and Nita Horn's upcoming new book: Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, & Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Techno-Dimensional Spiritual Warfare.]
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Over the last decade, he has authored three books, wrote dozens of published editorials, and had several feature magazine articles. In addition to past articles at NewsWithViews.com , his works have been referred to by writers of the LA Times Syndicate, MSNBC, Christianity Today, Coast to Coast, World Net Daily, White House Correspondents and dozens of newsmagazines and press agencies around the globe. Tom's latest book is "The Ahriman Gate," which fictionalizes the use of biotechnology to resurrect Biblical Nephilim.
Thomas is also a well known radio personality who has guest-hosted and appeared on dozens of radio and television shows over the last 30 years, including "The 700 Club" and "Coast to Coast AM." When looking for a spokesperson to promote their film "Deceived" staring Louis Gossett Jr. and Judd Nelson, "Cloud 10 Pictures" selected Thomas as their spokesperson to explain the Christian viewpoint on UFO-related demonology.