The expulsion of troublesome evil spirits, ghosts or demons by special rites.
These rites exist in many cultures and societies where spirits are believed to interfere with the mental, physical and spiritual health of human beings. Exorcisms are normally performed by an appropriate official trained in the necessary skills, such as priests, or an occult adept.
The magical arts of exorcism involved ceremonial magic, and the official exorcism rites of Christianity are in many ways similar. Ritual techniques include the use of adjuration, prayers, invective, incense, foul odors and the use of holy substances such as sacred herbs, blessed water, or salt.
In Roman Catholic rituals, exorcism is treated as a tug-of-war with the possessing devil for the victim's soul. Certain symptoms of possession are supposed to manifest before the exorcism can take place, such as levitation, superhuman strength, speaking in tongues or clairvoyance.
Once exorcism commences, the victim suffers a violent sequence of fits, painful contortions, vomiting and swearing. Among Protestant churches, the Pentacostalists, Charismatics and 'televangelists' often use the laying on of hands to 'drive out devils' and allegedly cure illnesses. Western psychologists and psychiatrists appear to perform a similar service in ridding patients of troublesome personalities.
See Heptameron, Demonology, Demonomancy, Grimoires, Buddhism, Hinduism, Beelzebub, Islam, Christianity, Alchemy, Talisman, Archangels, Angels, Angelical Stone, Satan, Agrippa, Diviner, Divination, Wizard, Pythagoras, Witchcraft, Diviner, Witch, Warlock, Alchemy, Paracelsus, Devil, Kabbalism, Numerology, Alchemy, Magic, Pharaoh, Grand Grimoire, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Masello, Robert, Fallen Angels. . . and Spirits of the Dark, The Berkley Publishing Group; (2) The Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Handy Volume Edition, Oxford University Press.
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