The A to Z of SUPERNATURAL - E is for Exorcisms - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The A to Z of SUPERNATURAL - E is for Exorcisms

We've reached the letter E in the A to Z of Supernatural. Elle guides us through the 'Exorcisms' seen on the show.

For E I considered covering retired Hunter Ellen Harvelle, or one of the most important pieces of equipment for a Hunter, an EMF Meter, but instead I've decided to feature a very important element of the show. E is for Exorcisms.

In Supernatural there are many ways the Winchester brothers have got rid off demons and other unwanted spirits who are taking possession of a human. There was 'Ruby's Knife', 'the Colt' and the 'Angel Blade' to name but three. The main problem with all of these is they will also kill the possessed human. So if Sam and Dean do not want to resort to such extreme measures they could use an 'Exorcism' spell to remove the Demon, Ghost or indeed Angel from the vessel it is currently inhabiting.

Exorcisms can be a two part process. First the demon is removed from the vessel, and takes the form of black smoke. Then a second part (which is not always carried out) can send the demon back to Hell before it has the chance to take control of another body.

It seems that exorcisms cause demons considerable pain, and the mumbling of a few of the words alone is often torture enough. The threat of exorcism has also been used to blackmail demons, it seems they aren't to keen to return to Hell!

Several variations of exorcism are used throughout the series, at first Sam and Dean read them from their Father's Journal but soon they know them off by heart. The words are taken from the Rituale Romanum, which is the only formal exorcism rite sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church, and was first published in the 17th century under Pope Paul V.

In the 4th episode of season 1, Phantom Traveler, Sam performs the first exorcism seen on the show. He recites the ritual to remove a demon from the co-pilot of a plane. This is the ritual he used, starting with the preceding psalms for rites of exorcism.
"Regna terrae, cantate Deo, psallite Domino ... per caelum, caelum antiquos, ..., glori Patri"
Which translates to "Kingdoms of Earth, sing to God ... in the presence of heaven, venerable heaven, ... praises to the Lord". The exorcism follows.
 "Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica... Ergo, draco maledicte et omnis legio diabolica, adjuramus te ... cessa decipere humanas creaturas, eisque æternæ perditionìs venenum propinare... Vade, satana, inventor et magister omnis fallaciæ, hostis humanæ salutis... Humiliare sub potenti manu Dei; contremisce et effuge, invocato a nobis sancto et terribili nomine... quem inferi tremunt... Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine. Ut Ecclesiam tuam secura tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos."
Translation: "We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, all satanic powers, all infernal invaders, all wicked legions, assemblies and sects... ... Thus, cursed dragon, and you, diabolical legions, we adjure you... stop deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal damnation... Be gone, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man's salvation... Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God; tremble and flee when we invoke the Holy and terrible Name... which causes hell to tremble... From the snares of the devil, Deliver us, O Lord. That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty, We beseech Thee to hear us."
In the second episode of season 8, What's Up, Tiger Mommy?, Sam tests the theory that a reverse exorcism is possible. By saying the ritual backwards Sam was able to trap a demon in it's host body and then kill it with Ruby's Knife.

Not all demons can be threatened with exorcism, we learnt that Abadon was immune to the usual ritual. However she may have been more concerned by the Cure Exorcism that was introduced in Clip Show, the penultimate episode of season 8. In this exorcism the demon is injected with purified blood for several hours on consecrated ground until he starts to turn human, the exorcism is performed with the exorcist's bloody hand over the demon's mouth and the demon slowly turns human again. In the following episode Sam begins this ritual on Crowley, the King of Hell, and he does indeed begin to show signs of becoming human. I kind of love Crowley the way he is, so fortunately Sam did not get a chance to complete this exorcism.

Next time F is for ?

Previous entries
A is for Azazel 
B is for Bobby
C is for Castiel
D is for Dean

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