Understanding the power of ritual.
All around us are the powers of darkness. They have no access into our lives because of the protective hedge that God has placed around us.
So while the serpent's powers of darkness cannot get in, we can break through this hedge from the inside, and then the serpent bites.
God in His wonderful grace has ensured that we cannot accidentally break through the hedge while going about our ordinary everyday affairs.
To open a door in this unseen hedge we must undertake some ritual act that would not be something we do as a natural part of our lives. This is how 'charming' works. (e.g. rubbing a slice of potato on a wart and burying it in the garden or at a crossroads. Or drinking milk that a ferret has already lapped. Etc)
For instance chanting certain rhythms (which I will not mention for obvious reasons) as one looks into a mirror, will - as many foolish schoolchildren have found out - draw in dramatic occult manifestations
Or levitation, where people press down on a person and then walk around and around them etc in order that the person may rise up of the ground under unseen super-natural power.
Or Ouija boards, where all participants lay a hand on a glass surrounded by letters of the alphabet, and ask a question. The glass moves rapidly from letter to letter under unseen super-natural power spelling out the answer.
I mention these examples as sadly, they are quite common even in our culture.
However these are but the popular tip of the iceberg. Witchcraft and satanism etc draw in ALL their power through ordered ritual. (They also use symbols long understood by the powers of darkness as an invitation. The most powerful of these are the pentagram and the hexagram. (see symbols) That is why you cannot naively suggest that you can make a symbol mean anything you want it to)
These occultists also use ordered ritual because it is a powerful way of yoking different people together into 'one body'. In a sense all eat 'from the one loaf' When they have passed through the ritual they have become one with all others who have passed through the same ritual. Such ritual is not neutral.
Freemasonry understands this and speaks of the 'mystic tie' that holds Masons the world over into one brotherhood
The spiritual contamination is always one way. God will not tolerate spiritual mixtures. Even in the physical you cannot catch someone's health, but you can catch their sickness.
That is why scripture is so emphatic about not being 'yoked' together with unbelievers.
For satan to get access to people - especially Christians - he must dress occult ritual up in a religious garb in order for them to swallow the hook.
For instance the ritual of the Apprentice mason is almost identical in its framework to the initiation into witchcraft. Those joining have no notion of this whatsoever.
When witches release a spell to do its work, they seal it and send it with the words 'so mote it be' The only other brotherhood to use these words at the end of each ritual are Freemasons.
Therefore when the Orange order in its early years tried to ban all rituals they were in fact 100% on the right path. However the powers of darkness needed the rituals and after a long battle lasting from 1798 - 1925 the dark powers won the day and the rituals of the Royal Arch Purple and the Royal Black Preceptory were accepted.
They were only accepted because they were dressed up in religious garb.
These rituals always have, always will, open the door to spiritual blindness.
The fact is that the powers of darkness over Northern Ireland NEED the annual bonfires and the mass ritual marches every year in order to be strengthened in the immediate heavenlies over the land. That is why the spiritual temperature rises every year without fail, lest apathy cause them to loose power from dwindling ritual.
'For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.' Ephesians 4:12
See 'Understanding soul ties' for associated understanding