Cackling Kitsch

I met up with someone in Clitheroe last month who has been to the chapel a couple of times. While waiting, I noticed a sign on the pavement: The Cackling Witch: Readings by Appointment. Some would say that a shop dedicated to witchcraft and the occult is appropriate for Clitheroe, on account of its proximity to Pendle Hill and the famous occultic skulduggery which allegedly occurred about it in 1612. The shop has a website which I was curious to inspect. The proprietor sounds amiable enough, but cheerfully related some incidents which I found mildly disturbing. As well as the usual candles and jewellery, one may purchase ‘spirit boards’ and ‘psychometry readings’. Paranormal investigations can be arranged, all for a modest fee.

I imagine that the Cackling Witch is welcomed by few Christians in Clitheroe, and creates puzzlement in the atheistic secularist who assumes that spiritual practices and beliefs should have died out years ago. Yet even in godless Britain, this kind of thing has not lost its allure. They who realise that atheism is as false as it is empty, yearn for spiritual meaning. The occult and magic still appeal -to our pride. Its allied activities and practices assure us that we can know, influence or control our futures; that we can contact and receive assistance from supernatural beings greater than ourselves; that we can overcome the vast spiritual ignorance in which we were born. Sadly, none are true, for only Jesus Christ can be sought, approached and trusted. He, and He alone can escort us to heaven while giving us peace of mind on earth. Why would you seek help and comfort from imperfect intermediaries and dark forces, when the very Light of the World bids you call out to Him?

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21

[God] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Colossians 1:13

Never mind the cackling witch, the whispering shadow or the smirking spirit: apply to the righteous, smiling Saviour who came to seek and save the lost.