Here you’ll find information about Catholic Occultism as found and promoted on this website. I took the liberty of formatting as a FAQ in hopes of making the information as clear and accessible as possible:
What is Catholicism?
Catholicism is the religion that Jesus of Nazareth founded during his earthly ministry.
What is Occultism?
Occultism comes from the Latin word occultus, -a, -um, meaning “secret” or “hidden.” The word properly refers to knowledge that’s hidden from view. Occultism may be considered “esoteric” (inner, not commonly known) to distinguish from the more familiar “exoteric” aspects of religion (outer, commonly known).
What is Catholic Occultism?
The term “Catholic Occultism,” as used on this website, refers strictly to those spiritual concepts and practices (and foundations for practices) that are found within historic, orthodox Catholicism but are not in view of the average layperson.
What are the Sources of Catholic Occultism?
As one can glean from the book The Magic of Catholicism, the sources of Catholic Occultism are the same as the sources of the Catholic religion: the Bible, the Creeds, the Church Fathers, the Ecumenical Councils, the Writings of Mystics and Saints, the Manuals (seminary textbooks), the Liturgy, Catholic devotions, and Papal Decrees. These sources are read side-by-side with the “scientific paradigm” known and understood by the Medieval Church (four elements, seven planets, twelve signs, herbal and other knowledge available at the time).
Can Catholic Occultism be Separated from Catholic Theology?
No. One cannot properly be a Catholic Occultist unless one has proper Catholic Faith. Theology is “faith seeking understanding,” therefore the possession and understanding of the Catholic faith is the prime requisite of a Catholic Occultist.
Can a Non-Catholic Incorporate Elements of Catholic Occultism?
Yes. While one must be a Catholic in order to be a Catholic Occultist properly speaking, one does not have to be Catholic in order to incorporate specific elements or practices of Catholic Occultism into his or her own system.
Can Catholic Occultism be Separated from Catholic Moral Teaching?
No. While Catholic Occultists may question one or other aspect of the Moral Teaching, the fact remains that the Moral Teaching as a whole is the practical application of the Theological Teaching, from which Catholic Occultism cannot be separated.
Is Catholic Occultism Compatible with Modern Catholicism?
Modern post-Vatican II Catholicism (also called “Novus Ordinarianism”) prefers a more secular and “social” approach to religion, turning its eye away from mysticism, esotericism, and private devotion. This means that while individuals have been able to practice Catholic Occultism while operating within a post-Vatican II framework, the “Spirit of Vatican II” itself is not 100% compatible with Catholic Occultism.
Is Catholic Occultism Compatible with Traditional Catholicism?
Catholic Occultism is a product of pre-Vatican II Catholicism, meaning it is compatible with Traditional Catholicism and most compatible with pre-Tridentine Catholicism.
Is Catholic Occultism Compatible with Protestantism or Eastern Orthodoxy?
Catholic Occultism may be compatible with other Christian traditions (i.e. Protestantism, Orthodoxy, “Ecclesiastical” Gnosticism) in some areas but not in others, determined by those areas in which Catholicism and the other denominations agree, and the extent to which they agree.
Is Catholic Occultism Compatible with Other Forms of Occultism?
Aspects of Catholic Occultism may be compatible with other forms of Occultism when the other stream is not at variance with Catholic theology. The less theological variance, the more compatibility, and vice versa.
Is Catholic Occultism Compatible with Thelema, Chaos Magic, or Neo-Paganism?
Absolutely not. Thelema, Chaos Magic, Neo-Paganism, and their variants assume a worldview that diverges irreconcilably from that of Catholicism, not to mention they draw from different “spiritual currents” (as their language would put it) and reject central doctrines of the Christian faith entirely.
Is Catholic Occultism Conservative or Liberal?
Catholic Occultism is politically agnostic while being theologically conservative. Within the boundaries of this website, we endorse no political party, social position, or platform. As Occultism in general is a process of growth and attaining balance, the serious Catholic Occultist generally seeks to avoid becoming entangled with extremism on either side of the spectrum.
Does Catholic Occultism Accept or Reject Pope Francis?
As with politics, Catholic Occultism is likewise agnostic about the “Sede” question, acknowledging the Sedeplenist, Sedeprivationist, and Sedevacantist positions as probable opinions one may hold in a time of ecclesiastical crisis. The individual Catholic Occultist is free to come to his or her own opinions about Pope Francis I, Benedict XVI, or any other post-Vatican II pontiff in particular or the post-Vatican II “Novus Ordo Church” in general.
Does Catholic Occultism Incorporate Magic?
Yes, with the word magic defined as “Applied theology, in essence the practical use of revealed knowledge – whether revealed through public or private revelation – of the nature of Creator and creature, of the celestial and infernal hierarchies, of the order of nature, and their play upon each several plane of existence, the application being directed towards the manifestation of the operator’s intentions.”
If Magic is “Applied Theology,” Why Does the Church Reject the Word?
Exoteric Catholicism has always defined the word differently, with various textbooks commonly defining magic as “explicit or tacit invocation of demons” or “wonderworking by means of the devil.” Such practices are more properly referred to as Goëtia or Goëtry, and are rejected by the serious Catholic occultist as well.
What is an Example of the Magic Practiced within Catholic Occultism?
The Catholic Occultist commonly prays the Rosary, meditates on the Bible (Lectio Divina), has a devotion to the Blessed Mother, Guardian Angel, and/or a Patron Saint, attends the Mass, and follows a prayer schedule working with either the Raccolta or another traditional prayer book, or prayers of their own design.
How is the Above any Different from Exoteric Catholicism?
Unlike the exoteric Catholic, the Catholic Occultist pursues his or her practice with conscious awareness of the spiritual principles behind each word and action. The Catholic Occultist is also not afraid to engage with spiritual teaching or practice from other periods of Church history (to which the average exoteric Catholic would be either uncomfortable or unaware), or to make a sober analysis of “wheat versus chaff” in non-Catholic systems.
Can a Catholic Occultist Incorporate Non-Catholic Material?
Yes, so long as the material is practical not doctrinal, the material is compatible with Catholic faith and practice, and all theology governing the material is either realigned or rejected before incorporation. This is within the guidelines of then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1989 letter covering the reconciliation of Christian and non-Christian methods of spirituality.
What Is the Goal of the Catholic Occultist?
The ultimate goal of the Catholic Occultist is the same as the ultimate goal of the Catholic Mystic: theosis or divinization. Both paths use many of the same fundamentals and methods, while appealing to different types of personalities.
How Would a Person Become a Catholic Occultist?
A person is eligible to become a Catholic Occultist the moment he or she receives the Sacrament of Baptism. The rest is a matter of choosing to walk this path, followed by diligence in study and practice.
What Is the First Thing an Aspiring Catholic Occultist Should Read?
While Catholic Occultists tend to come to their practice differently, the first book we would recommend is The Magic of Catholicism: Real Magic for Devout Catholics (Brother A.D.A., 2015), which lays out the concept of Catholicism as a magical system, discusses its initiations and practices, and gives a clear framework for beginning one’s own practice.
What Is the First Thing an Aspiring Catholic Occultist Should Do?
The aspiring Catholic Occultist should make a habit out of studying his or her faith, reading the Bible, praying the Rosary, and going to Mass, making a conscious effort to understand the spiritual processes involved in all of these to the best of his or her ability, and learning how to interact with these processes for their spiritual benefit. The aspiring Catholic Occultist would also do well to cultivate a devotion to the Blessed Mother, a Patron Saint, and the Guardian Angel, and seek to live a moral life to the best of his or her ability.
What Else Can an Aspiring Catholic Occultist Do to Get Started?
While again, Catholic Occultists tend to get their start from different sources, reading over this website, the THAVMA blog, and the entries in this website’s Free .Pdf Library can only help the aspiring Catholic Occultist begin his or her journey.