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Exorcism in Ancient Times: 5 Pagan Approaches Explored

It's important to state upfront that the pagan ideology referred to in this blog post does not align with biblical principles and I do not personally endorse any method of exorcism that does not align with the sovereignty of God's word.

The origins of exorcism date back to the earliest civilizations recorded in human history, where the existence of malevolent spirits and demonic entities was culturally accepted as the norm. Although various cultures had distinct methodologies for performing exorcisms, the majority of them (in opposition to biblical teachings) exposed individuals to the risk of attracting additional demonic forces and torment through their employment of rituals and incantations.

Here are 5 of the top techniques ancient pagan civilizations used in an attempt to perform exorcisms, along with Christian rebuttals:

1. Witchcraft: Chanting, Incantations, and Objects: Chanting and reciting incantations is a form of witchcraft and the Bible takes a strong stance against it. God’s word instructs and encourages us to pray in faith with conviction to God through Christ, trusting in His power to deliver us from evil. Empty phrases and powerless words that are ritualistically repeated does not drive out demons. Furthermore, the use of objects like amulets and talismans for protection or warding off evil is also not biblical. Our protection comes from the Holy Spirit and the power of God which is activated through the fusion of His love and our faith-filled prayers.

2. Sacrifice: In some cultures, the practice of human and animal sacrifice was common during exorcisms as an offering to ancient gods or to appease evil spirits. This is one of the largest legal rights generational demons claim to try and stay in an individual’s bloodline. It is not consistent with Christian beliefs. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and God hates the spilling of innocent blood.

3. Use of “Holy” Water: While the use of holy water is common in Catholicism and other Protestant faiths, ancient cultures often worshipped bodies or sources of water and were deceived into idolatry of water spirits. Water itself does not possess any magical or cleansing powers. Placing pagan incantations and using it ritualistically outside of the confines of Christian faith is what ultimately opened the door to more demonic bondage.

4. Herbal remedies: Many cultures used herbs and other natural remedies to treat demonic possession. While using herbs for medicinal purposes can be a good and healthy thing, they alone do not hold the power to drive a demon from somebody’s tormented soul. Jesus does. (Luke 4:18).

5. Confrontation: Some cultures believed that the most effective way to expel a demon was by direct confrontation. This is a losing battle 100 out of 100 times without the power and authority of Jesus Christ. While there is nothing wrong with a Christ follower confronting evil, precautions should be taken beforehand, and it should only be done in Jesus’ name by people who are strongly rooted in the Word of God.


While different cultures had their own unique approach to driving out evil spirits, as an ordained minister and pastor who performs 100’s of exorcisms every year, I choose to follow biblical principles and model my techniques after the methods that Jesus used.


If you are interested in some resources that will further help educate the reader on how to “effectively” cast demons out of people using Christ-centered methodology, I’ve included links to 10 books that I personally found very helpful.

2.) Curse Breaking by Bob Larson

6.) Rite of Exorcism by Catholic Church and Charles Wolffe

7.) A Manual for Childrens Deliverance by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. As an Amazon Associate: Rebuilt Ruins Ministries may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through links on this post.


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