The Changing of the Gods

By: Dave Hunt; ©2001
Dave Hunt comments on the current fascination with “native” religions how they differ from the path of righteousness given to us by God.

The Changing of the Gods

(from Occult Invasion, Harvest House, 1998)

Western nature enthusiasts are adopting Native American fetishes. While some wear these occult objects (imbued with power by the spirits) as jewelry, Phil Jackson honors and displays them in the inner sanctum of the Chicago Bulls. This is the fullest rejection possible of the Christian faith in which Jackson’s parents hoped to raise him, and a surrender to paganism. Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz, in his encyclopedic work on paganism—not as a critic but a sympathetic believer—explains the origin of the power which Jackson and other admirers of native amulets and charms believe resides in the objects they venerate:

Dr. Taylor has brought together examples from all parts of the globe of so-called fetishism, which is veneration paid to natural living objects such as trees, fish, animals, as well as to inanimate objects of almost every conceivable description, including stones, because of the spirit believed to be inherent or resident in the particular object: and he shows that idols originally were fetishes, which in time came to be shaped according to the form of the spirit or god supposed to possess them….
The divine virtue residing in the images of the gods [or fetishes] was thought to be… transmitted by the imposition of hands and by magic passes… [and] extraordinary curative properties were attributed to it.[1]

Native Americans still pray to the trees and rocks and other inanimate objects. This is the superstition of animism, against which all experience and logic cries out in protest. Phil Jackson praises Crazy Horse as a great holy man. Black Elk claims that “our great chief and priest Crazy Horse… received most of his great power through… visions of the Rock, the Shadow, the Badger, a prancing horse (from which he received his name), the Day, and also of Wanbli Galeshka, the Spotted Eagle, and from each of these he received much power and holiness.”[2] A prayer in the steam lodge cries out to the rocks:

O you ancient rocks who are sacred, you have neither ears nor eyes, yet you hear and see all things. Through your powers this young man has become pure… worthy to go to receive some message from Wakan-Tanka.[3]

How amazing that Jackson and so many others like him would reject the God of the Bible, who has so fully proved His existence and love, and in exchange turn to pagan idolatry! How astounding that so many who have been raised by Christian parents would renounce the salvation which Christ offers and embrace instead the superstitious hope of some mysterious power within fetishes! One is reminded of God’s lament over His people Israel:

Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and have hewed out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (Jeremiah 2:11-13).

Those who deny the miracles of Jesus recorded by legitimate eyewitnesses in the Bible willingly accept the hearsay and myth passed on by native “holy” men and women. Black Elk tells how Slow Buffalo received his power from a buffalo in a “vision”:

I saw a great people who were breaking camp… suddenly… I was there with them… they all turned into buffalo….
They showed me a large buffalo bull and said that He would be my Grandfather… a younger buffalo… would be my Father; then they pointed to a buffalo cow… She was my Grandmother … a younger cow… would be my Mother.
They said that with this fourfold relationship, I should return to my people and that I should teach them what I had been taught there….

Slow Buffalo then began to sing another of his holy songs.

These people are sacred; From all over the universe they are coming to see it. White Buffalo Cow Woman Appears is sitting here in a sacred manner; They are all coming to see her.[4]

An Undeniable Common Source of “Power”

Shamans among the natives of North, Central, and South America, as Slow Buffalo’s account demonstrates, believe that they receive their power from animals and birds. At times they experience becoming these creatures, and the power animals likewise become humans. Black Elk’s biographer, Joseph Epes Brown, explains the native American’s deification of self—the lie from Eden:

The Indian actually identifies himself with, or becomes, the quality or principle of the being or thing which comes to him in a vision, whether it be a beast, bird, one of the elements, or really any aspect of creation. In order that this “power” may never leave him, he always carries with him some material form representing the animal or object from which he has received his “power…”
In wearing the eagle-feathered “war bonnet,” the wearer actually becomes the eagle, which is to say that he identifies himself, his real Self, with Wakan-Tanka [the Great Spirit which Wanbli Galeshka (the Spotted Eagle) represents].[5]

Even skeptics who have studied them around the world acknowledge a malevolent power behind pagan religions. The Times Literary Supplement (London, England) in its review of Evans-Wentz’s book declared: “The author… after examining the evidence, con­cludes that… there is a residuum, an X, which nothing can account for except the hypoth­esis that… immaterial beings really do exist and occasionally manifest themselves in cer­tain places to people who bring a certain psychic equipment to the perception of them.”[6]

Clearly paganism is not an accident of the human imagination but a system designed by some intelligence which is timeless and has always had access to mankind worldwide. The same practices are found everywhere. Even when cultural practices are diverse and there has been separation from other peoples by natural barriers of oceans and vast land dis­tances, the same occult practices persist. The identity of the intelligence behind these native religions is betrayed by paganism’s anti-Christian qualities.

In every culture, those who spent their lives learning the secrets of occult power were honored as the priests, priestesses, witches, witch doctors, medicine men, sorcerers, magicians, gurus, and masters. All are so basically similar that they are now included by anthropologists under the one term shaman, the title given by the Tungus tribe in Siberia to its witch doctors or medicine men. Siberian shamans practice the same sorcery that Carlos Castaneda calls “a religious and philosophical experience that flourished [in America] long before the white man came to this continent, and flourishes still.”

The universal involvement of pagan religions with animals supports the biblical account of the serpent appearing as a “power animal” or “guardian spirit” to speak with Eve. More­over, shamans worldwide receive basically the same information from their “power animals” as Eve received from hers. There is only one difference: The Bible identifies this teaching as the great lie of Satan, while native religions embrace it as the truth. The comments by anthropologist Michael Harner, one of the world’s leading authorities on shamanism and a practicing shaman himself; are very revealing:

The connectedness between humans and the animal world is basic in shamanism…. The shaman has to have a particular guardian in order to do his work… [and] the guardian spirit is sometimes referred to by native North [and South] Americans as the power animal….
The capability of the guardian animal spirits to speak to a human or to manifest themselves sometimes in human forms is taken as an indication of their power…. The belief by shamans that they can metamorphose into the form of their guardian animal spirit or power animal is widespread and obviously ancient….
In the course of the initiation of a shaman of the Wiradjeri tribe in Australia, he had the nonordinary experience that feathers emerged from his arms and grew into wings. Then he was taught to fly.[7]


  1. Walter Yeeling Evans-Wentz, The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries (University Books, Inc., 1966), p. 401.
  2. Black Elk, The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk’s Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux, recorded and edited by Joseph Epes Brown (University of Oklahoma Press, 1989), p. 45.
  3. Ibid., p. 56.
  4. Ibid., pp. 124-25.
  5. Ibid., pp. 7, 45.
  6. Evans-Wentz, Fairy-Faith, inside back of jacket.
  7. Harner, Shaman, pp. 58-59.

Leave a Comment