Chapter 26 Witchcraft, Family Ceremonies & Polygamy

Witchcraft, Family/Tribal Celebrations, Traditional Medicine & Polygamy

Recent seminars for pastors in Africa on the subject of deliverance have indicated the common reoccurrence of several problems, perhaps unique to Africa.  Why do we study African heritage curses in places other than Africa?  Most African-Americans are only about 5 or 6 generations away from their African heritage.  Remember Ex 20:5, “the iniquities of the fathers ……”  Anyone who prays for African-Americans needs to pray against the generational curses that resulted from the witchcraft, family/tribal celebrations, and polygamy practiced by their ancestors.

Witchcraft & Traditional Medicine

Whether or not a person has chosen to visit a witchdoctor themselves, was taken to visit a witchdoctor by their parents or someone else, or has someone in their ancestral line who is a witchdoctor, the outcome seem to be the same. The person automatically receives a “spirit of witchcraft and a “spirit of poverty”.  Many times, they receive a “spirit of death,” along with both a “spirit of depression” and a “spirit of hopelessness.”  During such a visit to a witchdoctor, the person will be cut on their arms, head, neck, waist or thighs, for the specific purpose of binding the person in a blood covenant with the devil.  The blood covenant binding makes it even more difficult for this person to become free.  Also during this visit, the witchdoctor may make an animal sacrifice, give the person (or child) a charm (in some cases, a charm is embedded under the skin in the hand or arm) and/or an amulet to wear or to place in their home.  Perhaps the witchdoctor will use incantations (chants or spells) and/or have the person drink special liquids the witchdoctor has particularly prepared.

The results of any number of these demonic combinations can be severe.  In females, the outcome can produce low self-esteem, barrenness, miscarriages, female problems, poverty, the “spirit of a vagabond,” prostitution and difficulty holding a job or even maintaining a steady relationship, including a marriage.  In males the outcome is reflected in impotence or sterility, depression, failures in jobs and businesses, anger and violence.  This generational curse continues until the person is delivered and the curse is broken, and they then join the thousands that love God and receive of his grace and mercy (Ex. 20:6).

Be aware that in Africa, one of the reasons that witchdoctors are visited is the lack of availability of medical doctors.  There is perhaps one medical doctor for every 5000 Africans in semi-rural areas, and the ratio grows much higher the further removed the Africans live from any large city.  In addition, they are required to pay in advance for any medical services, at a time when most Africans are struggling even to provide for a day’s supply of food and water.

An ignorant mother, desperate for help with a sick or dying child, may believe she has only one alternative:  to take the child to a witchdoctor, an herbalist or a psychic healer.  Oftentimes the child’s situation will improve for a while, but the exposure to the dark side leaves its mark.  Through pursuit of the practices of a witchdoctor, the “spirit of darkness” and the “spirit of witchcraft” have been invited in and they reside in the individual (or the individual and an accompanying child), and remain there until the individual or child is delivered from this dark domain—sometimes not until years later, if at all.  Frequently these witchdoctors are respected as friends of the family who supposedly do “good deeds” for family members.

While traditional healers (at times called psychic healers) use more local herbs and other means to heal those who come for treatment, the overall outcome is the same:  darkness and despair.

Women who are barren (considered an utterly disgraceful condition within all African cultures) oftentimes go to a “healer,” who gives them a strange concoction to drink and who utters specific incantations.  Nine months later, the woman gives birth. The curses, however, remain upon the mother—and probably upon the child as well.  Barrenness is a common symptom of exposure to blood covenants and witchcraft practices

Purported “healers,” “prophets” or “spiritual seers” are sought out to heal a person of illnesses for which they cannot afford medicine or for illnesses for which the white man’s medicine has failed.  Unfortunately, these cures have demonic components to them.  This cultural practice occurs more often in rural areas where trained medical doctors are unavailable.  These “healers” have the capacity to offer healing to individuals who are under demonic possession—actually using darkness to cast out darkness. For example, one woman was sent to such a “healer” and was made to strip down.  The proclaimed “prophetess” bathed her in milk and eucalyptus oil.  The woman was then made to face east, north, south and west, and at each location was made to speak a specific incantation.  She was then given a “blessed” candle and told to pray using this candle until it burned out.  In addition, her friends were given “salt” to eat—for the purpose of breaking their curses.  By seeking out these types of healers, a gate or doorway is ignorantly opened into the spirit of the one who comes for treatment—the dark spirits take great delight in the spiritual permission given to enter this person’s spiritual domain.  While many may not have visited a witchdoctor or participated in family ceremonies, they may have ancestors who moved from rural areas who participated and carried their spiritual baggage with them creating generational curses.

Family/Tribal Ceremonies

Birth:  When a baby is born into a family within the African culture, an initiation ceremony takes place involving the slaughter of an animal and the sprinkling of blood; then the child is named.  This ceremony supposedly “welcomes the baby into the clan.”  The baby is required thereafter to wear charms (around his or her waist or arm), allegedly for protection from evil spirits.  However, animal sacrifice and the wearing of “charms” both signify involvement with the occult.  When the child reaches puberty, an initiation or rite-of-passage ceremony is engaged in, further entrenching this individual in occult practices.  Other practices are additionally suspect of demonic rites and rituals.


Circumcision and/or Initiation Ceremonies:  In their early teenage years, both boys and girls undergo a “rite of passage” initiation through a ceremony of circumcision.  Within the circumcision ceremony, using a single knife and allowing blood to spill to the ground, the initiates are asked to repeat incantations and take ancestral vows; all these practices are undertaken to bind the initiates to their ancestors.  The slaughter of animals, the consumption of traditional liquor and the singing of specific songs which invite ancestral spirits to inhabit the initiates are other occult-type practices used during these ceremonies.  The marking of tattoos is another custom which is commonly practiced.

Following this “rite of passage” ceremony, the teenager is considered to be old enough to engage in sex and, therefore, proceeds to engage in multiple sexual liaisons.  Also indoctrinated into the initiates is the hatred of other tribes.  Some girls are made to make pacts with demonic spirits, which later manifest in their inability to procure marriage or, if marriage is procured, marital strife ensues.

During these ceremonies, lessons on community values and beliefs are imparted to the initiates.  A fire is lit in the traditional hut where the initiate stays in seclusion for three weeks.  During this period of seclusion (as superstition would have it) if the fire goes out, the initiates automatically become barren and are considered to be outcasts of the community.

Wedding Ceremonies:  Within some cultures, a marriage is dedicated to ancestral spirits, purportedly for the purpose of an ancestral blessing (whereas marriage is a sacrament “consecrated” and blessed by God, who is its creator). In some cases a young girl is married to a deceased relative (a demonic spirit).   Many times other rituals, incantations and witchcraft practices are involved, all opening doors to the demons of barrenness, adultery and incest.

Businessmen:  Many cultures unwittingly undergo a ceremony to have their businesses protected and flourish under the aid of their “ancestral spirits.”  For this effort to become effective, these businessmen are required to offer a sacrifice to their ancestors.  They are then given a spiritual guardian or protector, who gives orders which they are told they must follow, if they are to be successful.  They may also be given a human zombie (an enslaved individual who, for example, would perform work for them from morning until night, such as sewing clothing).  Some very bright young males are dedicated to Satan and bound to the business man because of the younger’s ability to make money for the business.

Cultural Practices:  Many people are innocently influenced (demonically) by having parts of their bodies pierced then inserted with either bone particles or previously “blessed” jewelry.  Certain prints on fabric (some worn “traditionally”) represent occult symbols.  Tourists ignorantly purchase this printed fabric or clothing, as well as other items (demonically contaminated curios, ornaments, artifacts, etc.), taking them home as treasures, unaware that they have purchased and placed value on “an accursed thing.”

Traditional (Tribal or Clan) Ceremonies:  Ceremonies from several Provinces in Kenya,   involve sacrifices, ancestral relationships and appeasing the “water spirits” (the gods or spirits of the water)—all of which are demonic in character:  Nc’wala—of the Ngoni people of the Eastern Province,  Mutomboko—an annual festival of the Northern Province; and Kuomboka—of the Lozi people of the Western Province.

Funeral Ceremonies:  A widow or widower is made to sleep with a close relative of the dead husband or wife allegedly for the purpose of cleansing the spirit of the dead.

Inherited Names:  When a child is born, ancestral spirits will demand that the name of a deceased grandparent, uncle, aunt, etc., be given to the newborn child.  Usually witchdoctors or other healers make the child sick in order to require this, and when the name is designated, the child becomes healed.

Islam:  If a Muslim converts to Christianity there will remain a spirit and/or curse of Muslim/Islam which must be broken in the name of Jesus. This may be a generational curse that comes down the family line if previous ancestors were Muslim.


Polygamy, or the state of having more than one wife, is legal in Africa.  Therefore, it is common to learn that someone from Africa seeking prayer for their troubles or illnesses has come from a polygamous family (or has polygamy within their family’s ancestral line).  The resultant consequences created from being involved in these types of polygamous connections are a “spirits of: rejection, lust, addiction, polygamy, adultery, fornication and divorce, as well as the infestation of the spirits of:  fatherlessness, orphan, vagabond, and hopelessness.  The troubled seeker may not be able to keep a job or a relationship for any extended time period.  If he or she is in school, there may often be occasions when they leave school to visit relatives or places where they know no one, exhibiting a need to drift or wander.  Having no roots or foundation, many fall into immorality as they seek acceptance and some kind of permanency for their life.  These symptoms continue until the curse is broken and they are delivered from their associations with the dark side.

Furthermore, the “spirit of immorality” is very prevalent in Africa, more so in some locations than in others.  Many men take on mistresses and unintentionally bring home to their wives HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.  Unfortunately, the African culture currently recognizes the role of a wife more as being that of a “servant to the husband” rather than as an equal partner.  Due to this mindset, sexual harassment is very common, as in a woman being offered a job “if” she agrees to be sexually available to her boss.  Lack of laws against polygamy and the inability of most women to make a living as a single parent require women to tolerate this objectionable behavior.


While the subject of rejection is covered extensively in another chapter, it is worthy of a brief review here as it relates specifically to Africans.  Because of the predominance of the spirits of witchcraft and polygamy, the spirit of rejection is extremely common in many who come for prayer and deliverance.  The spirit of rejection always accompanies  members of a polygamous family, and those who have this heritage. The spirits of orphan, vagabond and hopelessness will always carry a spirit of rejection.  When a husband takes a mistress, the mistress may also receive a spirit of rejection.

(The following was contributed by a CHCP student from Africa)

“In African culture people not only experience rejection from there family but also from other tribes. If someone gets married to someone from a tribe they will hardly be accepted by the family and by the tribe. It is so deep that even businesses are affected by tribal rejection. My uncle decided to get married to a woman from a different tribe. He got banished from our tribe, and ran away with his wife to live in his wife’s village. I went to visit him. He was very sick and stressed. He shared with me that he had a store that he finally closed because no one from his wife’s tribe would buy from his store.  He said the men of that village were angry with him for taking a woman from their tribe. He did not fit anywhere. This is cultural rejection. Real freedom is hindered, people live even in fear of falling in love. If ministering to an African person with rejection, it will be wise to always ask if they are from the same tribe with their husband or wife. If their say no, ask if they have experienced rejection from their in- laws?

There is also tribal caste system. Certain tribes have more political power, so those from other tribes are looked down upon and made to feel unworthy. The end result is resentment, and hate towards the government. This is what causes a lot of wars, killing and election violence.

Another common cause of rejection in Africa is barrenness. When a woman cannot have children, the entire society is against her and she is condemned. She has the respect of no one. People don’t even hide their insults. I was victim of this type of rejection I have overcome it now but it was very difficult when I was younger.

This week I ministered to a woman for deliverance who had five girls. She broke into tears telling me how she was called names because she could not have a boy. Her husband will not even want to prepare for the coming babies because he knew it was going to be a girl.  She was called names because she could only have girls. The family can even cause the couple to divorce.”


Because the goal of darkness is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), it is no surprise that a “spirit of poverty” accompanies witchcraft, polygamy and rejection.  Suffice to say here, that before the promises of prosperity can be claimed, the spirits of darkness must be removed, allowing the blessings of God to flow through to the seeker.

Africa has almost a universal culture of poverty, lack, hunger and need.  It is almost always an ancestral problem that adds to the problems created when the spirits of witchcraft, polygamy and rejection are present.  Even so, once the spirits of darkness are removed, the seeker can become educated about the Scriptural conditions that are required to receive God’s promises of abundance.

Prayer for Witchcraft, Family Ceremonies and Traditional Medicines  

Prayers for the release of involvement in witchcraft and polygamy are nearly the same.  As with most prayers for release from some type of bondage, it is beneficial if the intercessor will lead the seeker in prayer by praying short phrases that can be easily repeated.  Once the seeker has been educated about their “open doors,” and instructed in how to close them, the seeker will need to stand in the stead of their ancestor(s) (father, mother or whomever), repenting for their evil deeds and asking for their forgiveness.  It is best to pray first for witchcraft and then for polygamy.

Sample Prayer:  The following prayer can be used as a guide.

Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your Son who died on the cross for me.  He gave me the treasured gift of the Holy Spirit.  He gave me His precious blood to cover me.  I acknowledge and accept that He gave me power over darkness.  Now Lord Jesus, I claim that power over darkness, and I come to stand in the stead of my ancestors who have been involved in witchcraft, family ceremonies and traditional medicines.  I come to plead for their forgiveness, just as David did for the sins of Saul (2 Sam. 21:1-6).  I stand to repent for them.  I pray that as their sins are forgiven, I, too, can be loosed and freed from the spirits of witchcraft and darkness.  Cover me with the precious blood of Jesus from all the darkness of my ancestors.  Place the cross of Jesus between me and my ancestors.  Forgive my parents for bearing the fruit of the spirits of witchcraft, family ceremonies and traditional medicine.

(If the seeker has visited a witchdoctor, participated in family ceremonies, or traditional medicine on his (or her) own, they must confess, repent for themselves as well).

Heavenly Father, I renounce and rebuke all spirits of darkness, witchcraft, family ceremonies and traditional medicine.  I take back all the spiritual rights and permission that has been given to them, and I wholeheartedly and thankfully give it to Jesus.  I profess that I will follow only Jesus.  I choose only light in my life.  I command the spirits of darkness, witchcraft and poverty to go, in Jesus’ worthy name.  I demand to be free, in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Take note that if the seeker has been “cut” during visits to a witchdoctor, the witchdoctor has make a “blood covenant” between the seeker and the devil.  The seeker will need to have consecrated anointing oil rubbed into all the places where they have been cut.  If some places are private, put a little oil on a handkerchief and let them do it at home.  Then pray the following prayer.

Lord Jesus, I come against any blood covenants previously made with the devil.  I anoint those cut places with sacred anointing oil and demand that the blood covenant with the devil be changed to a blood covenant with Jesus.  I pray these things in Jesus’ blessed name, AMEN.

Prayer for Polygamy

Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your Son who died on the cross for me.  He gave me the treasured gift of the Holy Spirit.  He gave me His precious blood to cover me.  I acknowledge and accept that He gave me power over darkness.  Now Lord Jesus, I claim that power over darkness, and I come to stand in the stead of my ancestors who have been involved in polygamy, immorality, fornication, adultery and lust and who have experienced rejection as a result.  I come confess their sins and to plead for their forgiveness, just as David did for the sins of Saul (2 Sam. 21:1-6).  I stand to repent for them.  I pray that as their sins are forgiven, I, too, can be loosed and freed from the spirits of polygamy, immorality, fornication, adultery, lust and rejection. Cover me with the precious blood of Jesus from all the darkness of my ancestors.  Place the cross of Jesus between me and my ancestors.  Forgive my parents for bearing the fruit of the spirits of polygamy, immorality, fornication, adultery and lust.

Lord, set me free from the consequences of polygamy.  Release me from the spirits of rejection, orphan, vagabond, fatherlessness, hopelessness and poverty.  Loose me from being a wanderer, never finishing my tasks, for an inability to plan and carry it through.  Let me be able to plan, and to execute my plans.  Give me a foundation in place and spirit.  Free me from the fruits of polygamy including spirits of fornication, adultery, immorality and lust. AMEN

(If the seeker has been polygamous, or been involved in fornication, adultery, lust or immorality of any kind themselves, they must confess, and repent for themselves as well).