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by Catherine Frakas 24 Jan 2003

My son QUESTION from Michael Hunt October 26, 2000 Hello,
Last night i woke up in the middle of the night and i heard someone speaking. i went to my son's door and heard him talking, so i open the door a little way and peeped in. He was sitting on a mat in the middle of his bedroom in front of his desk. On the mat appeared a penticle written in red ink, and on his desk was a opened book, several black, red and blue candles and a cup. i heard a little of what he was saying he said 'Goddess Hecate work thy will'.
1. Who is Hecate? 2. What do you think he was up to? 3. What does the penticle signify?1 4. What can i do?
Can you please help because i am really worried about him.
Thanks alot. Mike.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on December 17, 2000 Dear Mr. Hunt:
You son is involving himself in the occult.
You need to ask him about his activities. What does it all mean to him? Why is he doing it?
In his answers watch for the REAL reasons. He may not feel loved, may have a sense of hopelessness or despair. He may feel out of control.
This will give you clues as to what is really going on with him and perhaps you can try to address those real issues and perhaps find alternatives for him other than the occult.
At the same time you need to tell your son that he cannot perform these activities in your house. These things are an abomination to God and are dangerous. He is playing with demonic fire.
Although he will protest, if he will not get rid of the occultic stuff in his room, then you need to remove it yourself. You will also need to search his room. There may be occultic stuff in his closet, symbols painted behind posters, or under the bed, or between the mattresses. There could even be secret compartments where he may have worked loose a baseboard or floor board to hide stuff in the space between the floor and the ceiling of the room underneath his room, or in the walls.
The fact that your son is doing this is a sign that something is wrong. Counseling might help. Certainly you need to take authority as the father and pray Spiritual Warfare prayers for your son. You can find some of those prayers in our SW Prayer Catalog linked on the Index page of this Q & A.
You need to approach him with love, not anger. He needs to know that you love him -- despite what he is doing.
In summary:
Make a copy of any occult writings and a list (and picture) of occult items belonging to your son.

Get an expert's opinion on the items involved (I can help you with that if you send me a list and some pictures maybe)

Talk with your son. (see below for questions to ask him)

Get counseling for your son preferably from a Catholic Counselor who understands spiritual warfare issues.

Remove all occultic material and items from your home. Either destroy them or put them in storage until your son is on his own. You are not morally or legally bound to allow anything in your home that is destructive.

Don't allow any of these items to re-enter your home

Gently insist that school officials search and remove any occult paraphernalia or literature from your son's locker or desk. All lockers should be searched such as book lockers, gym lockers, art lockers, storage bins in vocational lockers. If the school will not do this on your word contact law enforcement and your son's counselor

Set specific and enforceable limits on your son's activities and whereabouts. This will help to prevent occult involvement.

Deal with the spiritual aspect of this problem. You need to meet the spiritual needs of your son. He is obviously not getting his spiritual needs from the right source. Find out why and try to meet his needs. Find knowledgeable people to whom you can ask for help (again, I am available to help if you need)

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. It may be a long haul. St. Monica had to pray for YEARS before St. Augustine came to his senses. This may get resolved in 1 year, 5 years, 30 years. However long it takes, PRAY for him. See the prayers in our SW Catalog.
Questions to ask your son. These are to be asked in a kind, gentle, and loving manner. Not in a heat of argument.
If he says, everyone's doing it then ask him to name five kids who are actually dabbling in this stuff. If he can't then you can suggest to him that it is not as common as he thinks. If he can name 5 other kids, then we have trouble. His involvement may be more intense than mere personal curiosity.

What about Satanism, or the Occult, or Hecate (whichever he responds to) most intrigue you?

He will give an answer, then ask him why? He may respond, because I want.... (power, sex, drugs, to be loved). Ask him why he wants these things. You are asking him to reveal his heart with these questions. He may be very reluctant to answer.
After he has given you what he is looking for, why he is doing this, ask him, Are there any sources -- disciplines, activities, relationships -- besides the occult that can realistically give you (list something positive that he wants). For example, he wants to feel in control. This is really about self-esteem and Self-Confidence. It can be a positive thing to be involved in things that give you self-confidence. Thus you can sit down with him and draw two columns on a sheet of paper. At the top write: GOAL: Gain self-confidence. On side list all the negative results of occult involvement that he thinks will give him self-confidence. Then honestly list any negative downsides to the positive option you suggest for him (for example, to build self-esteem he might join the ROTC program at High school, take self-defense classes, get involved in a sport, etc.)
Work with your son to think through these options to reach the needed goal.

Ask him about his believes and experiences, such as Do you believe there is an actual devil?
Do kids play much with Ouija boards?
If you sold you soul to the devil for something, what would it be?
Do you really think there are magic spells to make somebody fall in love with you?
Have you ever met a real witch?
Final Thoughts:
Check your son's room about a hour or two after you and he have gone to bed.
When asking questions about the occult, do not expect straight answers. Expect denial and lies.
Ask yourself, Is my child trustworthy, that is, worthy of my trust?
Remember that truth without love can be cruel. Love without truth can be sentimental.
When assessing your son's involvement, don't let your heart get in the way. Look at the hard evidence. Ask an expert.
Consider joining a support group for other parents who's children have been involved in the occult.
Admit your own failures. Be willing to make needed changes in your own life.
Provide a loving fence in your home which can sound like this: You can believe what you choose. You cannot practice certain thing in the home or on this property. Nor will I knowingly allow you to practice this elsewhere.

Brian Brody, an occult expert in the field of psychiatry was quoted in Group Magazine: We need love and structure for kids to prove limits so they can feel secure and not run to a kiddie cult to get someone to provide that limit and structure they need.
There is a lot more. But that goes beyond what I can do in this forum
We will be praying for you and your son.
Much of the above material was quoted or paraphrased from, Exposing and Confronting Satan and Associates by Wendall Amstutz and Steve Lansing, Ph.D.
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