“It is better to reign in hell, than to serve in heaven.”
There are many things that God delivered me from. Paganism and the Occult are but two pieces to the puzzle. I pray God will use the testimony to touch someone or perhaps bring to light the deceptive path of Germanic Paganism. I have noticed an increase in its popularity. Thank you for reading it and finding it worthy of your blog. May God receive the glory! Thank you and God Bless you! Your brother in Messiah, Edwin
“In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.” Job 33:15-18
Laura’s Comment: This is a dramatic true story. Especially the part when Edwin entered utter darkness, feeling evil entities around him as he saw a tunnel with Light at the end. What happened next was incredible!
This is a long testimony but very worth reading and sharing with your friends!
Edwin McKinney’s Story.
Q: When did you first become interested in the occult?
A: From what I can remember, it all started with a desire to overcome my perceived enemies (adults who were abusive [verbal and physical] and those of my own generation who were cruel and critical). I took a great interest in super heroes like Superman who had more-than-human strength to deal with his bullies and enemies. I also had a great interest in movies like Conan the Barbarian, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Excalibur, and so many others of that genre.
I would watch these movies any chance that I would get; studying the scenes that dealt with incantations and the use of the supernatural to overcome adversaries or have influence over them. Many times, in these movies, sex and supernatural were intertwined and I found that exciting, especially since I had been introduced to pornography at a very young age. Though I did not fully understand sexuality and the supernatural, those were two things that I was most interested in. I longed for it and pursued it. These were two doors that swung wide open for me. When I walked through them, I walked into the occult.
Q: You mentioned movies as sort of an “open door” to the Occult. What about music?
A: Even though fantasy type movies were the first to catch my interest, music was not far behind. I vividly remember sitting in front of our television and watching MTV come on for the first time. We didn’t just have music, now we had music videos! It was an exciting time. It didn’t take long for videos to start showing women in provocative and seductive ways. With my audible and visual sensors being stimulated it was easy to get hooked.
There were two movies that came out in the early 80’s that really peaked my interest. The first was a 1984/85 release titled “Ghoulies” and the second was a 1986 release called “Trick or Treat”. Ghoulies really played on the idea of demonic control and the use of the black arts to achieve sinister goals. It had incantations, minions, and ceremonial magic. Though the movie was “silly” and “cheesey”, to a youngster like myself, who was intrigued by such things, it had me mesmerized.
Then there was “Trick or Treat”. It had heavy music, supernaturalism, sex, and violence; you could play records backwards and receive hidden messages; artwork of the album covers was dark and mysterious. I was instantly intrigued. Not long after that, I began to hunt for album covers in record stores that had a certain look. I purposely searched for songs that spoke of darkness, wickedness, and rebellion; anything that I believed would feed my hunger for the occult.
Bands like Slayer, Possessed, Venom, Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, and so many others. I would sit intently and read the lyrics as the music played in the background. Mercyful Fate seemed to have the heaviest influence. It became an obsession. If it hinted at evil, sex, violence, and the supernatural I was all in. I would pick out certain things in the lyrics and write them down, such as names of demons or books of magic.
As it would turn out, some of these bands mentioned real books and would reference certain rituals or incantations. I would go to the library to find these books or anything that mentioned demons or mysticism.
It was on one of these library trips that I came across the book that changed everything. The book was titled “The Black Arts” and was written by Richard Cavendish in 1967. What I had found was an original copy. When I picked it up and scanned through its pages it was like finding an old friend. I stole the book from the library and began to study its contents.
Q: The book you mention, “The Black Arts”. You said that “it changed everything”. What do you mean?
A: When I found that book and scanned through its pages. It felt as if the book was looking for me as well. I know that seems strange, but that’s how it felt. I remember feeling very excited about it. Like I said, I had stolen the book from the library and immediately began to immerse myself in its contents.
All that I was looking for was in this book. It had incantations, spells, and names of demons, dark philosophy, talismans, and history.
I remember reading, “It is better to reign in hell, than to serve in heaven”. I found that compelling. It spoke to me. It seemed to address my desire to rule over my enemies and to subdue the weak. It spoke of binding demonic forces for personal use. These are things I greatly desired; that if someone hurt me I could unleash “something” on them. “The Black Arts” became my companion. I created a notebook filled with incantations, names of demonic beings, and pictures of various talismans and magical symbols. Whatever new thing I would learn, I would put it in this notebook.
“The Black Arts” led me to “The Beast”, Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn. It led me to the French occultist and ceremonial magician Eliphas Levi. I was introduced to Anton LaVey and his philosophies and so much more. The book was yet another door to the path of darkness and I gladly walked it.
Q: Did you ever have any encounters with the spirit realm while involved in the occult?
A: Yes. On many occasions. Contact with the spirit realm became a normal part of my life. Communicating with the “dead” was something I looked forward to. Sometimes I was alone, but most of the time I was with others of like mind. We would use spirit boards, automatic writing, and hypnotism to tap into the other side. Sometimes our conversations would take hours, while others were over as soon as they began.
I was the “provoker”. I would instigate and be confrontational with the “spirits” we would contact. The “spirit” would become agitated at my arrogance and normally cause some sort of issue amongst us. Either the lights would go out. Burning candles would go out all at once. Sometimes the spirit board viewfinder would move on its own before flying off the board. However, I was never physically attacked nor harassed in my dreams. I had expected “them” to bother me, but they never did.
I know now of course that these “spirits” were demons and that’s all they ever were. I can recall a time when I was preparing for a ceremonial incantation to bind a demon for service. I had everything I needed to do the ritual. I carefully drew out a magical circle with a pentagram within. Then I drew another circle around that circle. At each point of the pentagram I drew various symbols in which I contained them within their own circles. Between the outer and inner circle, I inscribed words of power and magical names.
The time had come for me to stand within the circle and I felt it. I felt the atmosphere around me become very dense and heavy. It was almost suffocating. The light within seemed to dim unnaturally. I knew that I was not alone. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and chills came over me. I began to second guess my actions. Something was very different about this and I wondered what presence was about me.
I became uncertain and fear overtook me. I could not utter one word of the incantation. No matter how hard I tried, the words would not come out. Looking back, I am thankful that I did not go through with it. I hate to think what might have happened or what gateway I almost opened. There were other encounters, but that was the one encounter I fled from. It was too real if that makes sense.
Q: Did you ever channel?
A: No, but I had a friend that did. I was present many times when he would channel. He claimed the “being” was from some star cluster. Unlike me, he is still in bondage to the occult and new age. He still practices channeling and divination. He also seeks the guidance of psychics and his “spirit guide”. In the past, I would hypnotize him and speak to his “spirit guide”. I never found the “guide” useful. He claims to be a Wiccan and has for many years.
Q: Did you or anyone you know of ever sacrifice animals?
A: No. I nor anyone I hung out with had ever ceremonially sacrificed a living creature. I am certain though that if we would have our experiences, more-than-likely, would have increased. Considering what I know about the power of sacrifice, we would have no doubt made contact with something sinister. And if I were to say that we did not consider it, I would be lying. We did consider it. On several different occasions, we had made plans to kill an animal, but it never happened. Thank goodness!
Q: Were drugs, such as hallucinogens ever used by you or your friends?
A: Oh yes. Acid and mescaline were favored hallucinogens among us. These illegal substances were used to get us where we wanted to go very quickly. By doing these “drugs”, there was no need for in-depth prayer, chanting, or seeking. It definitely helped open our minds eye to the “other-side”. Its use was both spiritual and recreational for us.
Q: When you say “open our minds eye”, what do you mean exactly and did you experience anything strange or supernatural while hallucinating?
A: The whole experience is a strange experience. Seeing strange things, hearing strange things, feeling odd and weird things is part of the experience. I have heard stories of people having “bad trips”, but I never had one in my opinion. Were my “trips” intense and insane? Absolutely! Did I ever encounter something that would be considered frightening? Yes, but it wasn’t frightening to me. I found it very exciting. I desired the experience.
My hunger for darkness and the occult welcomed such experiences. For example, I was tripping out on a hit of mescaline. I had locked myself away in a bathroom and shut out the lights. The only light was the outside light coming in from under the door. So, it wasn’t total darkness, but it was dark enough. I stood there and waited for something to happen. It did.
Suddenly out of the darkness came these ethereal shapes. As they drew closer to me, they became more defined. I could see them clearly. There were three of them and they were suspended above me. They had reddish skin, black hair, and were wearing these necklaces that looked like bones strung together. As they hovered above me and began to swirl around me, I noticed they had no legs. Below their torso was nothing more than a wispy trail that would flow as they moved around.
They seemed curious about me. In my excitement, I slung the door open and pulled in one of my friends, who was also under the influence of a psychedelic. I told him to stand still and wait. They had disappeared, but quickly returned. Thrilled, I said to my friend, “Do you see them…do you see them”!? He looked up and said “yes”. I asked him to describe them and he did.
He described the same beings that I was seeing. I was so excited about it. I made an advance at them to touch them, but they disappeared when I did so. After that, they were gone. Were they real? If my friend would have described something else, I would have doubted my own experience, but he didn’t. I’ll leave that up to you.
Q: So, would it be correct to have labeled you a Satanist or a Spiritualist?
A: There may have been a time when I accepted the Satanist label. It was something I didn’t reject, but I preferred “occultist” most of all. And though I regarded myself a spiritual person I had never called myself a spiritualist. Of course, knowing what I know now, it makes very little difference. I was being deceived by the same spirit. However, as far as others go, I was known as a Satanist and devil worshipper; both labels I never rejected.
Q: What about Paganism? Some would say it’s all Satanism. What do you say?
A: Looking at it from where I am now, I would have to say that they are right and wrong. Let me explain. They are right in the sense that the same deceiving spirit that’s behind Satanism is the same spirit behind Paganism. That’s true. If you want to split hairs that “spirit” is also behind addictions, murder, pornography, homosexuality, transgenderism, and adultery.
However, Paganism is not Satanism. Without getting into great detail, Satanism can be broken down into two types; theistic and atheistic. Theistic Satanism views Satan (the adversary/enemy of YHWH) as a supernatural deity. Satan, in the theistic view, can be worshipped and petitioned.
Many of them, those who practice the occult, believe that he can influence and manipulate the natural environment. Occultists believe Lucifer to be the bringer of knowledge and that YHWH is actually the evil “god” who kept man from gaining knowledge. In other words, Satan is the good guy. He is the one who removes boundaries and frees us from all limitations.
Aleister Crowley summed it up when he states, “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law…” Do what thou wilt? It means if you want it then get it. If you are not allowed to have it then take it. By giving yourself over to this “law”, nothing is beyond your reach, there are no limits, and no boundaries. That brings us into atheistic Satanism. They don’t believe that Satan is a deity. In fact, they don’t believe in anything spiritual or supernatural. They merely follow the character of Satan. Satan the rebel; Satan the anarchist; Satan the self-righteous…you get the picture. Basically, “do what thou wilt”.
As strange as it is, they tend to lean on science as their religion. Of course, they wouldn’t call it that, but scientism is a religion. Anyway, getting back on track, Paganism is a wee bit more complicated than that. I will say this; the occult covers all bases. The occult is in Satanism, Paganism, New Age, Eastern mysticism, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Gnosticism, and even some so-called Christian organizations like the Mormons. So, if someone is looking for a cut and dry answer, it’s going to require more than I am able to give at this moment.
Q: Which category of Satanism did you fall into?
A: Considering what I have already discussed, I would have definitely fell within the Theistic group of Satanism. It was a spiritual darkness that I felt comfortable with.
Q: Did you have a Christian upbringing? Did your family go to church regularly?
A: I did not have a Christian upbringing. The Bible was not discussed nor was it ever brought up. If it was, it wasn’t discussed with me. We didn’t say grace at the table before meals and I had never heard or witnessed prayer in the household. I do remember going to a church for a very short time, but all I can recall from that experience is eating cookies and coloring pictures of “Jesus”. Otherwise, the only time I found myself in a church of some kind was for funerals. I do remember asking my mom when I was very young if we had a religion. She said, “I guess we’re protestant”. That was about as far as that conversation ever went. My dad had this huge family bible that he inherited from his mom, but we never read it. So, the answer to the questions is no. I was not raised up in church. I didn’t have a praying mother and father. Bible stories and stuff like that were never read to me at bedtime. “God” was never discussed. You get the picture.
Q: Did you ever believe in the God of the bible? I mean, if you believed in Satan, surely you believed in God/YHWH.
A: It’s weird, because even though I did believe in a biblical adversary and in demons. I rejected YHWH and His Messiah outright. It was as if I never put the puzzle pieces together. I accepted the existence of Lucifer over the existence of YHWH. Honestly, my desire was never to worship anything. I believed that I could use Satan and demons for my purposes in the occult. I was an Occultist. That’s pretty much what it boils down to.
However, the deeper I got into the occult the more hate I began to develop for the Bible and anything to do with it. Eventually, that hatred turned me totally against the existence of even Satan. I know that sounds strange, considering the spirit behind the occult, but I didn’t see it that way.
The occult eventually led me into more new age/paganistic beliefs. It seemed like the mature path to take. I could still contact the spirit realm, but without all the Satanic stuff. Satanism and demonism became childish to me. It began to feel very foreign to me. In fact, if it had anything to do with a monotheistic/Abrahamic world, I rejected it. I remember asking myself, “If Satan is an Abrahamic concept and he is at war with another deity that has nothing to do with me. Then why am I entertaining a Middle Eastern worldview that is foreign to MY European ancestry”? That’s how I became a Pagan. I had become very aware of bloodlines and how I was tied to those bloodlines in the spirit. I believed that by reconnecting with the ways of my ancestors was the only real way to achieve true spiritual enlightenment.
Q: Earlier you had said that Paganism is not Satanism. Without getting into great detail, can you elaborate a bit?
A: Like I had said earlier, “If you are looking for a cut and dry answer, it’s going to require more than I am able to give”. However, the simplest explanation of Paganism is the belief in more than one deity or god. It’s not only the worship of many gods, but it’s also the worship of the spirits of ones’ ancestors.
Paganism comes in many forms going back to the most ancient of times, but they are all based on the same concepts. Paganism is very cultural and ethnic. It exists deep within the folk of a certain region or territory. I believed, as do a majority of modern-pagans, that the religious traditions of the Pagan cultures are pre-Christian. While this may be true as far as Christianity. It’s not true as far as the whole Biblical narrative. That’s what I know now. I was too near-sighted to see it any other way back then.
Of course, if the ancient ways are older than Christianity (when pagans think of Christianity it typically means the whole Abrahamic religion) then Paganism is more established and trustworthy. It speaks to you, because it comes from those who are responsible for your genetic makeup. As for me, I found spiritual enlightenment within the Germanic/Celtic ancestral groupings. Anything considered Abrahamic is rejected in real Paganism, especially in Heathenism.
Q: You mentioned Heathenism. Isn’t that another term for Paganism?
A: Heathenism is a religion that falls under the banner of Paganism. Not sure how deep in detail I should go, but it is a pretty complex system of beliefs. Heathenism is a subgroup of Paganism that has subgroupings of its own. And like Christianity, there are varying doctrines and “truths” that are shared among the groups.
One thing that separates Heathenism from other systems within Paganism, is that Heathens do not accept the label of neopagan. Neo-Paganism is a subgroup that Heathenism does not fall under. The branches of Paganism spread far and wide. It can become confusing for those outside of Paganism. To be honest, it can be confusing for Pagans as well. So, instead of looking for cohesion or common ground, the subgroupings of Paganism tend to stick to their own branch and typically see it as “to each his own”. So, getting back to the question, Heathenism is not another term for Paganism. Heathenism falls within Paganism.
Q: Does Heathenism accept Satanism?
A: No. Satanism is not accepted. In fact, any form of Satanism is rejected. If you were to ask me that as a Heathen, I would have laughed at you. I would have told you that Satan is a Middle Eastern concept that has nothing to do with my Germanic and Celtic Ancestors; that anything monotheistic or Abrahamic is best left in the deserts of the Middle East. I would have then continued by telling you that Christianity is a foreign religion with a foreign god that has no place within the cultures of Europe and that Christianity stole much from my ancestors; that the Church is responsible for the death and destruction of many European peoples. So, yeah, Heathens do not accept Satan, believe in Satan, let alone worship a deity by the name of Satan or Lucifer. If it’s biblical then it is rejected. Period.
Q: As a Pagan, more specifically as a Heathen, what groups did you belong to, if any?
A: Under paganism we have a subgroup known as Germanic paganism. Under Germanic paganism we have two primary religious groups, i.e., Asatru and Anglo-Saxon Heathenry. Both are pantheistic and tribal. Asatru traces its’ lineage to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland) while the other, as the name suggests, has its’ roots in the Anglo-Saxon peoples of early medieval England. Of course, in pre-Christian England it wasn’t called Anglo-Saxon Heathenry and in pre-Christian Scandinavia it was not called Asatru.
The “the way of the gods” was cultural, ancestral, and ethnic. It did not have a name. Like I said, it was a tribal way of life. In both the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon cultures, different clans or tribes had varying traditions. Even though they all believed in the gods, not all tribes held the same god in the highest regard. Families within the clan had their own particular gods they idolized as well. From a historical and archaeological point of view, the Nordic and Anglo-Saxon cultures are very fascinating.
Not only were the gods and goddesses idolized, but certain spirits and ancestors were as well. Astruar and Anglo-Saxon Heathens share the same gods. The only real difference is in how the gods names were pronounced and spelled. For example, the Scandinavians referred to the chief god as Odin, while the Anglo-Saxons referred to him as Wotan. A popular god these days is Thor. To the Swedes he is called Thor; to the Anglo-Saxons he is called Thunar. See?
Viking culture seems very popular these days. While that is great for those interested in the history of the Vikings and how they lived, what’s disturbing to me is how folks are drawn to the culture of the Vikings. Again, nothing wrong with having a great interest in the culture, traditions, and history of these pagan peoples, but there is something wrong with wishing to recreate the old ways and practice the old ways.
Invoking the names of these gods is not “cool” or “neat”. You are invoking the name of a false god and idol. Whether one thinks it is innocent or not, that’s what you are doing. Remember, many of these gods required blood sacrifice in order to receive their blessings. Human blood? You bet. Now let’s get to the question. I first associated myself with “The Ring of Troth”, which was founded in 1987 by former Asatru Free Assembly members Edred Thorsson (Stephen E. Flowers) and James Chisholm. I had a subscription to their quarterly journal called ‘Idunna’ and had a book titled “A Book of Troth”. Though “A Book of Troth” was not the only publication of its’ kind, what made it different was its’ content.
It was like a “bible” of sorts for followers of the Nordic gods. It is one of those “must have” books for Germanic Pagans. After cutting my teeth with “The Troth”, I began to feed on all things Asatru and then eventually ventured over to the Anglo-Saxon Heathenry table. By the time I found my way to Anglo-Saxon Heathenry, I had an extensive library, which included journals and other publications.
I joined the Theodish Rice, which was a very conservative and “down to earth” group that prided itself on keeping things as authentic as possible. I found it to be the most organic and authentic Heathen organization out there. I had become well versed in Heathen cosmology and in reading Runes. The Occultist inside of me was drawn to the more supernatural side of the “faith”.
Galdr and Siedhr were the two practices that dealt with contact with the “other-side” and magic. Without getting into great detail, galdorcraeft and seidhring is witchcraft, which dealt specifically with singing or shouting the runes and invoking the gods or spirits. I was a dedicated due paying member of the Theodish Rice for quite some time and remained so until my experience with the true God.
Q: How serious were you with your Pagan beliefs?
A: I was very serious. I prayed to the gods. I talked to them and truly desired their guidance. I studied and researched “the way of the gods” constantly. I corresponded with Heathen scholars and researchers all the time. I was not a dabbler. It was not a passing phase or some recreation. The amount of documentation, i.e., books, letters, essays, thesis’, booklets, pamphlets, etc. I had was extensive.
My intention was to grow in the “faith”; to be known as an apologist and well-respected member of a Kindred. In fact, I had just joined another organization (Thaet Angelseaxisce Ealdriht) and had plans on visiting with an active Kindred in New Orleans, Louisiana right before my experience with the true God. I would read the Norse myths to my sons at bedtime and talk to them about the gods and goddesses. I could answer their questions normally without hesitation. Their young minds were open and curious. They began to believe in what “daddy” believed in.
Looking back on it, I am so thankful that YHWH intervened when HE did. Of course, after my encounter with the true God, I had a lot of explaining to do. I was also able to articulate and rationalize very well with people. I could attack their beliefs and traditions in such a way to where they were oblivious to it. There are a lot of things I know about Christianity’s traditions that are very Pagan. If need be, I can elaborate on that a bit later, but for now it’s not necessary. So, anyway, yes, I was very serious about Heathenism.
Q: How did you feel about Christians in general before your “change of heart”? Did you have any Christian friends or family members that you had interaction with?
A: I had no intention of changing or becoming anything remotely similar to a Christian. When I say that I hated Christianity or anything Abrahamic, I mean it. It was vile to me. The thought of a believer in my home was appalling to me. If I encountered a believer in the true God, I would either argue with them or ridicule them. I had no love for believers in the true God.
Let me give you an example of an event prior to my coming to the truth. My step-father was a man of the world. He cursed, drank heavily, smoked heavily, and viewed pornography. I accepted his way of life. I had seen nothing wrong with it. If he wanted to drink himself to death or smoke till his lungs exploded, I was fine with his choices. Well, one day I receive a call from him. He sounded different and was excited about something. He began to tell me about Jesus! To hear him even mention the name of Jesus was like jamming rods of hot iron in my ears. I immediately interrupted him and began to ask him what the heck he was talking about. He again tried to tell me about Jesus and how he was saved. I was floored. I wanted so badly to hang up on him. I told him that I did not care and that if he found something that made him happy then good for him, but leave me alone about it.
He tried to tell me that it isn’t about being happy, it’s about being saved. Again, I interrupted him and told him that I had my path. I told him that I was very happy and secure in my “faith”. I told him to not try to convince me otherwise. He seemed sad at my response and simply said that he “would pray for me”. I said “do what you want to do”. He gave the phone to my mom and I gave her a warning. In a nutshell, I said, “DO NOT come to my house and utter the name of Jesus (I hated to even say it), because if you do you are not welcome in my home. I have my path. I am leading and teaching my children that path. We are happy and secure in our way of life. I will not tolerate any talk of or mention of anything biblical in my household”.
I made it quite clear how I felt about it. She couldn’t get any words in. She chose right by letting me speak, because I would have hung up on my mother with no second thought. I hated Christians and anything to do with them. If I heard of Christians being persecuted or of anyone in the Abrahamic religions being harmed, I rejoiced in it. Such a vile spirit I had towards them. So, it would seem obvious that I did not have any Christian friends. If I did, they never brought it up. If they would have, I would have shut them down immediately. Any interaction I had with them was normally limited to debate, ridicule, and criticism. That’s about it.
Q: Did you ever sit and read the Bible?
A: The only reason I would ever crack the pages of a Bible were to search for contradictions or anything I perceived as foolish to use against weak Christians. I spent a good amount of time researching contradictions and so-called mistakes to attack believers with. And let me tell you, there are a lot of people out there that do that. There are web pages dedicated to only that. They really believe in their research and truly feel that they have proven that the bible is nothing more than myth and legend. I did have a bible. It was given to me by my mother-in-law. I did not want to take it, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to hurt her feelings. I hated to even touch it. However, I believed that I could use it for darker purposes. I put that bible through some misery. I had thrown it, stepped on it, put it in the garbage, had plans to burn it, and destroy it. It managed to endure my abuse and never found its’ way in the dumpster permanently. It eventually found itself put away in the bottom of a box of junk and stored in a work shed for years. Looking back, I never really read it. I only abused it. What I knew of so-called scripture contradictions came from other researchers. They were like me. So, I accepted their research.
Q: What happened that made the other gods not so true? Surely something serious had to have happened in order for such a change to occur.
A: First of all, I was very comfortable in what I believed. There was nothing going on in my life that would cause me to question the gods or doubt their existence. I was not struggling. My family life was great. I had a great job, a nice little house, a truck that was paid for. My situation was not like so many other situations you hear about. Many come to Messiah out of desperation and hardship. They tend to find Him in their darkest moments. Many hit rock bottom and have no other option but to look up and when they do, there He is. Again, it was not that way for me.
Apparently, He had something else planned for me. Perhaps He has a different way of approaching pagans and those in the occult. I honestly do not know. I attributed the comforts in my life to the blessings bestowed upon me from the gods. I felt that they were pleased with my devotion to them. I honored them during the year through the practice of blot (pronounced bloat) and symbel (pronounced sumble). I believed in their blessings. Besides my personal issues with Christianity and other Abrahamic religions, I kept to the “Noble Virtues” of Heathenry. Unlike many of the neopagan groups, such as Wiccans, Anglo-Saxon Heathens are quite conservative.
So, dancing naked around a fire during a full moon in the “witching” hour was not an accepted practice among the Kindreds. Though we didn’t mind observing such acts. So, as you can see once again, I was serious about it and I felt very comfortable with my “faith”.
Then something strange began to happen; something that made me very uncomfortable and unhappy. Though I continued to worship and praise the gods, it seemed that they became very silent. It’s hard to explain. For close to 15 years I consulted them, talked with them, prayed to them, and I felt deep within that they heard me. There were many times when I felt their presence. However, in the months of July and August 2003 a “stirring up” began to happen deep inside that disturbed me.
Questions began to pop into my mind that made me feel very uncomfortable. I began to question the very things that I held to be true; the gods, the supernatural, etc. Please understand that these thoughts were not welcome. I tried to fight them tooth and nail. I did not understand what was going on. I attempted to consult the gods, but they seemed to not “be” anymore.
I read through my literature, thinking that perhaps others have experienced this disturbance, but I found nothing that would ease my mind. I could not turn off the thoughts of doubt. I even thought at one moment that nothing was true; that everything was fake and figments of our imagination. I would come against those moments of doubt with frustration and anger. I would literally shake my head as if to release these “crazy” thoughts from my mind and cry out to the gods. “Perhaps this was a game being played at my expense by spirits under the instruction of Loki”, I thought.
It was strange. Around the time that this was taking place, my step-father had been saved and my father-in-law began to go to church. Of course, I thought that they were fools. Why would they suddenly do such things? How could they be so weak minded? I knew it was only a matter of time before the God of the Bible was brought up and I was asked to go to the one place I swore I would rather desecrate than step one foot in…church. And it happened as I thought it would. Against everything that was in me, I accepted an invite from my father-in-law to go to a supper at his church.
I hated the thought of mingling with such lemmings and deceived people. I could not stand the thought of sitting in a place where the lies of the Bible were read. I truly believed that the gods would protect me from such foolishness. Well, hand and hand with my wife, I reluctantly walked into this house of worship. I mumbled under my breath the whole time, asking the gods to shield my mind from the lies. They were silent.
I felt very uncomfortable. I felt agitated and irritated, but out of respect for my family, I smiled and shook hands with people. I sat on this hardwood pew closest to the isle, thinking that I would make up a lie and leave during the service. The service was a very uncomfortable thing for me to endure. I felt something stir within me. There was a battle taking place that I was unfamiliar with. I hated what was going on. I kept thinking to myself, “how long am I going to endure this”?
Finally, the sermon was over. The pastor invited people to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! I came for the food not the sermon. While eating, this guest evangelist sat across from me. He looked at me intently and asked, “So, where do you go to church”? I answered sharply, “I don’t”. He must have seen something in my eyes, because he sat back in his chair with this look of surprise and didn’t say a word.
We stared at each other intently and he broke eye contact and turned away from me. He did not say another word to me and I was pleased by that. I could not get home fast enough. As time went on, the thoughts were getting worse. All kinds of questions were crowding my mind; Are you sure the gods are real, is life what you think it is, have you been deceived, why do Christians believe in what they believe in, what makes believers in the Bible so sure, why do they act the way they act and talk the way they talk, what is truth, is there truth, etc.
My mind was scrambled! Curiosity began to knock loudly on my door. Against all that was in me, I scanned through some Christian television stations one night and just didn’t get it. With every word they would say, I would mock them. I would make fun of the things they would say and call them fools. I did not receive anything from it. It sounded like gibberish and foolishness to me. Truth was looking more like a lie to me. I thought, “If the gods have gone silent and are no longer real to me, then nothing is true. Surely the truth does not exist”.
Q: Did you abandon everything you believed in? Obviously, that was not the end of it all, considering you have mentioned several times during this interview that you had an “encounter” with the true God?
A: Oh no. That wasn’t it. Not even close. I began to ignore the thoughts that were causing me to question everything I believed in. I continued to pray to the gods, though they were silent. I still remained active in pursuing a local Kindred to join so that I could fellowship with them. In fact, that’s what I believed would solve the issue of these crazy thoughts and feelings of mine. I believed I had it back under control again.
I had joined Thaet Angelseaxisce Ealdriht and was pretty excited about interacting with them. I planned on reading through a book “The Way of the Heathen” for the second time, because I believed that would help me get back on track. Did I still have a stirring inside of me? Yes, I did, but I fought against those thoughts of doubt with all my might. I waged war against the slightest thoughts that the Bible could have some truth in it.
I fought against the curiosity I had developed for believers in the Word of God. And while I was attempting to reconnect with the gods and fellowship with others of like mind, an unexpected image was at the forefront of my mind. That old beat up and abused Bible that my mother-in-law had given to me years ago came to my remembrance. I kept seeing it in my mind’s eye. I could not get it out of my head. The image of it would not go away. How many times had I tried to throw it in the garbage? Many times! Every time I would angrily throw it in the trash, I would return later to rescue it from destruction. I could not shake its hold on my mind.
On one of the days where it plagued my thoughts, I had enough. I frantically and angrily searched high and low for it in my cluttered work shed. I was throwing things all over the place; turning boxes upside down, emptying out containers, all in an effort to find this most despised book. Finally, after hours and covered in sweat, I found it. I reached down hesitantly to pick it up. It was beaten down, ragged and abused. Thoughts of the many times I had thrown it, stepped on it, and cursed it flooded my mind.
I asked myself a question at that moment. “Why do I hate this thing so much”? And then the unexpected question arose, “Could the truth be in there”?
You have no idea how hard it was to ask that question.
I dusted it off and brought it in the house to read. I remember being alone in my room and staring at it. A battle was taking place that I can’t explain. I would reach out to touch it and then I would pull my hand back and ridicule myself. “You idiot”! “What are you doing”? “How dare I even consider this book of lies”? These are the things I would say to myself. I then asked myself again, “Could the truth possibly be there”?
I sat down in front of it and opened its pages. You are probably waiting for me to say that the heavens opened up and a choir of angelic beings began to sing the most beautiful songs. Nope. Nothing happened. It was just me and this book. I turned to the book of Revelation, because I had heard about it. I began to read it and immediately felt frustrated. I could not comprehend a single word. It was absolute gibberish to my eyes.
It was as if the words were scrambled and I was trying to figure out what words I could make out. Well then, that was it. My mind was made up. There was no truth to be found in this book. I cursed myself for even attempting to find it in its pages. Such a fool I was. Such a weak Heathen I was. How dare I entertain the thought that the gods were not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That everything I have believed in was a lie?
It was settled then! I slammed the book closed and pushed it violently off the desk and onto the floor. I was sure of myself at that moment. I knew what needed to be done. I needed to cast off these vile thoughts and what better way to do that but with a cleansing shower and a goodnight sleep? That was my answer to the issues.
Q: Was it?
A: Actually yes! The most amazing thing happened to me. Though it was not what I had intended. After I had gotten fed up with it all; pushed the bible onto the floor, cleared my mind of biblical thoughts, and hoped for a refreshing sleep, I could never have anticipated what would happen next. What I am about to tell you changed my life and flipped my world upside down.
As soon as I laid my head on the pillow, took a deep breath and closed my eyes, I found myself in the most unusual circumstance. I opened my eyes to absolute darkness. Something wasn’t right. It didn’t feel “normal” or “natural”. I could not see anything around me, though I felt “something” around me. It’s kind of hard to explain.
Suddenly my eyes caught the glimpse of a tiny dot of light. I suppose the best way I can explain it, is imagine yourself in a railroad tunnel. Way down the track you are able to see the train coming. At first its’ light is a small dot. Then as it approaches the light gets larger and brighter.
This “tunnel” that I was standing in was not earthly. I was very confused and felt lost. I could sense that there were presences around me, but I could not see them. However, I didn’t know what to do. I began to focus on this light way down in front of me. I took a step forward, but was very hesitant to move any further. This was as real as you and I sitting in front of one another. There was nothing odd or strange (like dreams normally are) about what was going on, except for the fact I was not in my bed and not in a normal place.
I was very aware and confused. Then, as I began to focus my attention on the light “at the end of the tunnel”, I felt a voice resonate through my body. Talk about hard to explain. It wasn’t an audible voice, but I could hear the voice from within as if it was on the outside and inside of my body. I have never experienced that before. It startled me yet comforted me at the same time.
The voice said, “Come forward”. At first, I did not move, because I was so confused. However, the voice spoke again, “Edwin…Come Forward”. Speaking my name this time, I began to move closer to the light. At this time, I began to feel the presences around me again, as if they too were urging me forward. The closer I got to the light the brighter it became. I began to see something bright and white as snow.
It was a pedestal of some kind and it had something on it. Again, the voice urged me forward, “Edwin…Come Forward and See”. I wanted to ask questions, but I could not speak. In fact, I felt as if I were not even breathing. I thought only thoughts of confusion and wonder. I listened to the voice. I felt nervous. I finally made it to this “pedestal” and noticed a large closed book sitting on it. Suddenly a shape appeared from behind this book.
The shape was that of a man. He was so bright and of the purest white light. It was blinding yet did not cause pain or discomfort to my eyes. His face was hidden by the brightness of this light. His garments were of the whitest and purest material that I have ever seen. It was unlike anything I could ever imagine. Words cannot truly explain the color, purity, and warmth of this light.
It was as if the light itself was alive and unlike anything on earth. He stood silent behind the book. I was hesitant to believe my eyes and still confused about what I was witnessing. Then I heard the voice again, “Look”. He placed his hands on either side of the book. His flesh was not like my flesh. It was beautiful. Almost glittery. It’s almost beyond expression.
He lifts his right hand and slowly reaches over the book and opens it. The voice urges me again, “Edwin, Look”. And as he flips through the pages one by one, I can see what looks like words. Yet as I focus a little more, I know them to be names. Page after page I see nothing but names. Faster and faster he moves through the pages and then suddenly stops on a blank page. I was confused. The voice speaks, “Edwin…look closer and see”. He lifts his right hand into the air and extends his pointer finger. It was slender and without blemish. Suddenly he points his finger at the blank page and then presses firmly against it. The voice speaks very firmly, “Look closer”.
I look and I see nothing, but suddenly the confusion left me. I had a clear mind. I became very aware of the presence before me. Somehow, I became aware of this book and that my name was not written in it. However, I did not understand what that meant. Upon that realization and the realization of the presence that was before me, I became aware of my condition. I knew, somehow, that I was in the presence of something so holy, so righteous, so pure, that every transgression, sin, and vile thing that was within me could not stand to be in His presence.
I felt every bit of my ungodliness. I felt the horror and wickedness of my sins. I swear to you that as I stood there I began to feel like I was shriveling down to the most worthless and vile thing. I could not bear to be in his presence. The lower I got the higher he became and then He spoke these final words, “Choose…Damnation…Salvation…Choose”.
I could no longer look upon him. I could not be in his presence. After he spoke these final words to me, the presences that I felt earlier were about me though I could not see them. They led me away from his presence and back into the darkness. And as the light suddenly went out, my eyes opened and I was in my bed. I had not moved a muscle.
“In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.” Job 33:15-18
Exactly how I laid, is how I woke up. I was in absolute awe as to what I had just experienced. I was in shock! I became excited yet confused. I didn’t know what to do in that moment. I remember telling myself, I am without excuse. I just had an encounter with something so real, that I could not deny it. This presence was not the presence of one of the gods. This was a presence like nothing I have ever been in the midst of. It was a HOLY presence; a pure and righteous presence. I know that to be the truth. What I tell you is absolutely true.
Q: During this encounter, did you know whose presence you were in?
A: No. All I had were questions. What was the book? Why could I not see His face? Why was He clothed in the purest of white garments? Why was His flesh not as my flesh? Who was He? Where was I in the vision? What were the other presences there with me and why could I not see them? I had so many questions. I was like a kid in a candy store. Yet, at this moment I still had not heeded his words that weighed heavy upon me; damnation…salvation…choose.
Q: What about the others in the family, did they notice something “strange” about you?
A: Without a doubt. The battles that were waging within me, the struggle with my “faith”, the frantic dig for my mother-in-law’s bible, I managed to keep all of that to myself. I didn’t share any of it with my wife or kids. To them, I was still the same old person. My wife had known me no other way. When we met I was a Pagan who also practiced the occult. She tolerated and eventually accepted my way of life.
However, after the encounter, I could not contain my excitement and curiosity in regards to this God that revealed Himself to me. I had to talk about it. My wife was confused and rightly so. She thought that I had flipped out or something. She did not understand what in the world was going on. I mean it was like I went on this year long spirit quest and came back a changed man.
Except this journey took place in one night. Actually, quite amazing.
I was running around in a frenzy, because I had a choice to make. Of course, I was going to choose salvation, but I had no idea what that meant or how to make the choice. My mind was made up though. Salvation was the only choice I was going to make. Damnation was not an option. I wanted to meet this God again and give my life to Him.
Q: How did you go about making your choice to be saved?
A: The decision to choose salvation had already been made. After my experience, all the occult and pagan stuff died to me. It was an easy thing to let go of. The encounter I had was that powerful. It affected me deeply. I was on a mission to learn as much as I could about my experience and the one responsible for it.
I called my Step-Father and told him what happened. He was amazed and rejoiced with me over the phone. He told me that I most definitely had an encounter with Jesus and that the book I had seen was the Book of Life. I told him about the white garments and everything. He was in agreement with everything I was telling him. He said that it’s all in the Word of God. I was beyond blown away.
I honestly do not remember the rest of the conversation, because I was eager to get into the Word and make discoveries. That night I spent hours watching Christian television (TBN and SkyAngel) and feeding on things I had yet to understand. Then, I came across The 700 club and started watching that. I found it very interesting. I remember watching it intently and listening to one of the personalities on the show.
He seemed very sincere and it was as if he was speaking to me directly. He asked if I wanted to know Jesus. I said, “yes”. He explained what it means to know Him and that Jesus loves me; that Jesus is the “Truth, the Way, and the Life”. I got on my knees in my living room in front of the television and confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior that night.
My life was immediately changed; altered forever. I had never felt such peace. It is beyond words. Truly a joy that cannot be contained. After this, I had a hunger inside of me that I had never felt before. I wanted to feed on everything and anything that had to do with the true God and His Messiah. I knew that I needed to be with other believers. I wanted to share my experience and ask tons of questions. I wanted everyone to know what the true God had done in my life.
I called all my friends and family. I told everyone the same story. Told them all about the experience and what He saved me from. Honestly, most everyone’s reply was, “well, that’s good for you Edwin. Glad you are happy”. My reply would be the same each time, “its’ not about that, it’s about Him and you need Him”. I desperately wanted them to know the God that I just gave my life to.
My pagan friends rejected what I had to say outright. The one that I had mentioned earlier in regards to channeling really took it hard. He was heartbroken and angry with me. He could not understand how someone who was so deep into Heathenism and opposed to the God of Abraham could change. He was convinced that I was brainwashed by the “bible belt”. It was a long time before he would speak with me again.
Believe me when I say I called everyone. If I couldn’t call you, I emailed you. I severed all ties with the Heathenry groups I loved. This was not a game to me. This was the sincerest spiritual situation I have ever been a part of and I was going after it head on. I had visited several different churches and spoke with many people, but it wasn’t until I walked into First Assembly of God in Leesville Louisiana that I felt at home.
I was given the opportunity to share my testimony with the congregation. I was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in November of 2003. I was later baptized in the Holy Spirit and was on fire for my God! I quickly matured under the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit. My desire to know and learn was multiplied 10 times what it was when I was a Heathen. It was and is awesome to know the true God.
Q: Were the gods of Heathenism truly dead to you?
A: Absolutely! Once I became a Son of the highest, their power over me was severed.
Q: So, they went without a fight?
A: I am so glad you asked this question, because many believers believe that the gods are not real. Let me ensure you that they are real. They are not like the Creator God, not even close, but they do exist supernaturally. However, what Pagans are worshipping are fallen angels and demonic spirits. I know that now.
When I gave it all to the Heavenly Father and began to serve Him, I cleaned house. I got rid of all my satanic music, satanic clothing, pornography, alcohol, and whatever else I could find that He told me to dispose of. I did all this, because HE told me to do it. No man told me to do it. I didn’t learn about it in church or on TV. The Holy Spirit dictated to me what to do and I did it. I was determined to make my dwelling place a house that served only the true God.
However, that’s when things got interesting. By serving the false gods and practicing the Occult, I had opened a door to my home. I didn’t know how open that door was until AFTER I was saved. It’s quite a chilling thing to discover. Again, in my time of deep sleep, I had another vision. My eyes opened and I got out of bed. My wife asks, “where are you going”? I replied, “There is something I have to take care of”? I walk out of my back door and approach my work shed.
Before I make it to the shed, I see the one I am to confront. He is standing by the entrance to my work shed with a smile on his face and seemed drunk. He looked at me and said, “what’s going on buddy, why so serious”? I stood in front of him and said, “You have to go. You are no longer welcome here”. The smile instantly left his face and he became very serious.
He stepped close to me, rigid and angry, and said, “I am not going anywhere”. I did not hesitate. I grabbed him by his shoulders and pushed him towards my fence and he began to push back. I wrestled with him violently and finally got him in a headlock. I quickly rushed to the fence and managed to body slam him over the fence. It was a struggle. My heart was racing. Just as soon as he hit the ground, he jumped up and began to run to the front of my house. I sprinted into my house and made my way to the front door. I made some racket going through the house and my wife yells, “what’s going on”? I said, “stay in the bed and don’t get up, he is in the front yard”!
When I made it to the front door, he was turning the knob to force his way in and I struggled to shut it and lock it. He screams at me from the other side, “You can’t get rid of me Edwin, I belong here! I am not going anywhere”! I managed to get the door locked and then everything went silent. I stood there and listened. I heard nothing. I knew it wasn’t over. I looked through the glass to see where he was. He was standing at the end of my driveway.
He had changed.
When I confronted him in the back yard, he was wearing very casual clothes, i.e., jeans, t-shirt, and flannel shirt. He no longer looked like that now. He was like a black mass.
Standing at the end of my driveway I could see the look on his face. It was absolute evil and arrogance. Every time I would blink my eyes he would move closer and closer to the house. My heart was racing. I knew he was not going to stop trying to get into the house. And then it came to me.
As he began to beat on the door and say vile things, I said, “You will not get into this house! You have no power over me”! I ran to the kitchen and for some reason picked up my phone as if I were going to call 911.
I closed my eyes and said the name of “Jesus”. Instantly I opened my eyes to find myself in bed and still. Again, the way I laid down was the way I woke up. Not a muscle moved. I knew what had taken place. I knew the battle that I had fought.
There was a noticeable sense of peace. Something was different. I went out to the work shed and it was ok. Nothing was out of place and I felt good. I opened the front door and stared intently around the front yard. I could still see him in my mind, but I knew that he was gone.
I was not familiar with spiritual warfare at this point, but I quickly understood the power and authority of the believer in the name of Jesus Christ.
Q: Speaking of spiritual warfare. Did you have any more encounters after that?
A: Yes. It was about a year after my conversion and I needed to go see my father in Kentucky, which is where I am from originally. The last time I had visited with him, I was my old self. However, this time I was a new creature in Christ and I was a different person. I still had the positive parts of my personality and character, but I was filled with the Holy Spirit.
I knew in my spirit what I was going to come in contact with. I knew the house was full of darkness. There was so much in this house for demons to feed from, i.e., negativity, immorality, and bad memories. There was also good in this house, but believe me when I say that it was not the dominating energy there. Of course, I was oblivious to it when I lived there. Everyone was oblivious to it. The Spirit of God was never welcome in that house.
However, a Son of the most high was coming to visit and I was not going to tolerate their presence. I armored up before arriving. I was not messing around. When I arrived at the household, I let my dad go in before me. I said, “give me a moment dad”. He could see that I was a different man. He was actually quite happy about it, but thought that I was like all the others he had known who claimed to believe. My father is very critical and if he sees hypocrisy, he calls it out. I was not concerned about that one bit. Before I could relax, I had to make my presence known.
Before I stepped into the house and crossed over the threshold, I began to pray, “Heavenly Father, in the name of your most beloved Son, my Master. I give you praise, honor, and glory this day. Father, I know you know about this house and all the things that are in it. Help me, Father, to walk in your authority and power. May no harm come to any who dwell here. In Jesus name, Amen”.
I then began to speak with boldness, “I carry the Spirit of God within me. I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. I serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Where I go He goes! You cannot be in His presence. You have no power or authority here while I am here. I rebuke you and command you to flee, In Jesus name”! That was the first time I had actually done it this way. I knew I was probably stirring up a hornet’s nest, but I believed in the authority that I had as a believer and worker in the Kingdom of God
. I visited for a bit and made my way back to my old room where I used to spend many hours. As soon as I crossed the threshold into my room, the door behind me slams. I heard this faint, but very clear “growl”. I am not going to lie, it startled me, but I immediately rebuked whatever it was and stood on my authority. I opened the door and said, “I want the door open and it will stay open”.
As the day went on, nothing more happened. I felt nothing odd in the house; nothing that would indicate a presence of any kind. It wasn’t until I rested that the next encounter occurred. My mind could not have been clearer. I closed my eyes and went to sleep. Then I began to feel that something was not right. I was struggling to breath and I quickly opened my eyes.
I was staring into the eyes of a presence that was hostile. It was straddled over me and felt heavy upon me. I was under attack and I could not move a muscle. It was reddish-brown in color with yellow eyes. This was really happening! It had its hands around my throat and I couldn’t fight back. I was being choked and couldn’t breathe. And though it was a struggle to do so, I managed to whisper “Jesus” and its grasp released enough in order for me to speak.
I said, “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus, you have no power or authority here”! It immediately released its grip and backed away to the end of the bed. It stood and looked at me with surprise vibrating strangely. I sat up on the bed and made eye contact with it. Again, I proclaimed, “In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you! You have no authority here”! It began to break up and dissipated like grains of sand into nothing. That was the final encounter at my father’s house.
The God of the Bible is real. The Heavenly Fathers Messiah is real. He is alive! Without His intervention in my life, I would no doubt still be a servant of darkness and thoroughly deceived. I believed that I was on the right path. My history with the occult and Paganism dealt with supernaturalism.
So, YHWH knew that I had to have a supernatural experience. Sending a preacher to my home was not going to work. Interacting with an evangelist was not going to work. However, prayer works. My step-father was praying for me. My father-in-law was praying for me. I later ran into a guy that had converted way before I did and he told me that he had prayed for me. I hadn’t talked to that guy in many years. When he chose the true God, we went our separate ways.
Prayer is the one thing I believe caused the turmoil within me. God was answering prayers and He had sent a spirit to shake me up. I still fought it. I was holding onto the old ways and nothing was going to change that. So, I thought. Thank God He revealed Himself to me. It’s an amazing thing.
My walk with Him has been an amazing journey. He has revealed things to me that has challenged me and shook me up. When I would become arrogant, He would humble me. When I would become complacent, He would shake things up. When I would stand on what seems right to me, He would pull it out from under my feet.
I am thankful for every bit of it. I am thankful for His discipline and chastisement, but most importantly I am thankful for His mercy and grace. He continues to reveal truths to me. He continues to challenge me. Praise God Almighty!
No one is like Him. He truly is the God of all creation. He no doubt is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Thank you for reading.
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