The following is an excerpt from Christian Spiritual and Magical Rituals, laying out principles I’ve learned from experience performing exorcisms.
The Vatican’s new ritual for exorcism can be found here, in the first-ever English translation!
A lot of people think exorcism can be a great and wonderful thing. It’s like they’ve been drawn in by what we see in the movies and on TV. I’m here to tell you firsthand that there’s nothing wonderful about it.
If you’re considering performing an exorcism or becoming an exorcist, then I want you to read this section and take it very seriously.
I speak as a battle-scarred veteran and can tell you most entities are weak and easily evicted from wherever they’re found. Either that or I have an extraordinary gift for this sort of thing. I have no idea one way or the other.
What I do know is that if you’re planning on doing an exorcism, you need to come prepared. Even if most entities are weak, you absolutely cannot go in there with a sense of overconfidence. Confidence is a key to success, while overconfidence is a swift ticket to failure. Especially if the entity you face is not a weakling.
When you address the spirit, they may laugh, they may hide, they may be silent, or they may try to taunt you. But know this: in all cases, they will attempt to read your mind in hopes of finding a way to retaliate.
One way to block a spirit from reading your mind is to say the Ave Maria in your mind over and over again. It’s a short prayer that’s easily memorized and can be mentally repeated over and over without interrupting your thoughts or your concentration. You can do it in English, but make sure to learn it in Latin. Pronounce it in Church Latin, because for some reason it irritates the entities even more. (I don’t know why, I just know that it works.)
If the spirit finds a way to retaliate, it can be anything from minor inconveniences to car accidents to finding yourself losing your home and your job. They generally try to scan your life and find the weakest possible point, the point most vulnerable to attack.
If you’re financially struggling and in real risk of losing your home or apartment, that can become a point of attack. If your car has a tie rod on its way out or a transmission gasket a hair’s breadth away from leaking, that becomes a point of attack. If you have an inordinate tendency for sexual desire, that can become a point of attack. If you have a naturally closed-minded or bigoted personality, that likewise becomes a point of attack. They will inconvenience you if they can, ruin your life if they can, or outright manipulate you if they can.
If you have any of these weaknesses, you should not attempt to perform an exorcism. Doubly so if you have severe mental illness and refuse to take medication.
If they find they can’t get to you directly, then they’ll try to work through those around you. Relationships may grow bitter, friendships may grow cold, your supervisors at work may become a little frosty. In essence everyone you know becomes a potential weakness, a potential vulnerability, and a potential liability.
You need to examine your relationships with people before you try an exorcism. You need to figure out who’s weak-minded, mentally imbalanced, most vulnerable, and whether these relationships can’t afford to be sabotaged (supervisors at work, for example).
If you have liabilities in this department, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go forward with the exorcism. It does mean you should be aware of any possible directions for counter-attack and have a strategy at hand.
There are times where you may be facing a strong spirit and getting the upper hand. At that point the spirit may try to offer you a deal. Do not take it, it’s a trap. Such deals need to be navigated with extreme precision; otherwise the spirit will find some loophole to cheat you out of what you ask for.
There will be other times when you defeat the spirit only to see it turn friendly and even appear years later to advise you on some or other matter. This is a highly specialized matter where I can’t advise on a “one size fits all” basis. In some cases the spirit is showing honest respect and in others looking for revenge, so I can only suggest rejecting or ignoring such attempts at friendship at least in your beginning years.
Once you learn to get a feel for how the spirit realm works (and only so much of it can be taught), use your judgment and come to your own decisions on a case-by-case basis. I would urge using extreme caution and being very careful when giving the benefit of the doubt. In fact don’t give that benefit at all. Verify, verify, verify.
While I may have written a long treatise on why one doesn’t have to be a priest to perform an exorcism, it should by now be obvious why leaving exorcism to the priesthood is a good idea. It’s one thing to have the power to do it, but another thing entirely to be in a position of freedom from the troubles into which it can get you.