When people think exorcism, they think Catholicism. A vision of the Exorcist, with the priest with his bible and robes comes to mind. However, this was not the only religion that practiced exorcism.
In Hinduism, the Artharva Veda, one of the four holy books, is said to contain the secrets of magic and alchemy, including exorcism practices. Basic exorcism includes a mantra (a chant capable of creating transformation) accompanied by the yajna (a ritual of offerings).
|Quran- Photo by ~crystalina~|
In Judaism the exorcism is performed by a rabbi (priest) who has mastered the art of the Kabbalah. A minyan, a group of ten adults, gather around the possessed and recited Psalms 91 three times while the rabbi blows a ram’s horn. The horn is blown with certain notes to shatter the hold the possessing entity has on the body. Once it’s shattered the rabbi asked the entity why it’s possessing the person and the minyan pray and make the entity feel ready to move on.
So, back to Catholicism, what is their deal? Well, early in Christianity it was believed that anyone could perform an exorcism because the power was derived from Christ. He stated “And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons.” (Mark 16:17). It started as laying hands on the possessed person, and invocation of Jesus’s name, and the signing of the cross. Then the church created an office for handling the matter in the 3rd century and added exsufflation, or blowing upon the possessed. It evolved into the Roman ritual and now an exorcist, appointed by the Church, is the only ones allowed to perform the ritual. This priest recited passage from the Roman Ritual and entreats God to intervene on behalf of the possessed. It is different for each priest but it is imperative at some point that the priest commands the spirit to leave in the name of Jesus Christ.
It seems that even though their practices are different, most exorcisms require at the bare minimum a belief in a higher power. Most with their prayers, or mantra call upon that power to drive out possessing forces.
Be sure to catch more from Gabriella and her version of exorcism in "A Prescription for Delirium" available NOW on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.