Spiritual Drunkenness

By Ruth Davis

Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine;
they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. (Isaiah 29:9)

Charismatic drunkenness
Yoga/pagan drunkenness
Drunkenness among Satanists
Sufi drunken states
Egyptian goddess of sacred drunkenness
The truth about spiritual drunkenness: occult, spiritually adulterous and spiritually blinding


I believe the biblical verse above - "they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink"...speaks more to spiritual staggering at the Word of God than to the literal staggering of intoxicated occultists. But the words are fitting in this context, and graphically illustrative.

Spiritual drunkenness - staggering and numbness and feeling "under the influence" - is an experience shared by occult worshippers in Sufism, Satanism and Hindi yoga, among others. It is one of Satan's counterfeits of biblical communion with God. Moreover, there is no such thing as biblical spiritual drunkenness. It is not a God-given experience that Satan mimics in other religions. Staggering and feeling drunk is never biblical. Godly spirituality is sober above all else, and eminently reasonable, even while being wonderfully supernatural. And it is based on the life-giving Word of a God who is sober, orderly, and gentle. Therefore as a 'counterfeit' experience, it is one of the easiest to identify as ungodly and unbiblical.  

Spiritual drunkenness was a common feature at Pensacola, and at the Toronto Airport Church, whence flowed the so-called Toronto Blessing. It now features in the so-called Lakeland Revival. By occult impartation it spread the curse of staggering and blindness all over the globe. Many people are convinced that spiritual drunkenness indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. Charismatic John White writes: "In meetings where the Holy Spirit's power is strongly manifest, some people may seem a little drunk." A little? Charismatics sometimes boast that they are too drunk to drive. 

But if you are not convinced, if you wonder about all this and have nagging questions and doubts, please read on. Heed this small voice, for to quench it would be to quench the promptings of truth. I write here plainly, but in love. We need to bring down strongholds of error about spiritual drunkenness. On the principle that showing is better than telling, following are illustrations from the mouths of occult practitioners themselves. All believe they have met with God and are communing with Him while they stagger about. And there are more similarities. Please compare and judge for yourself if this could be from God, or from Satan.

Charismatic drunkenness

An enthusiastic pastor from England , wrote:

I had a mighty power encounter with God. I've been intoxicated - completely drunk with the Holy Spirit. He's a person, and he's so wonderful. When I was baptized in the Holy Spirit some 20 years ago, it made Jesus real to me. This move has made the Holy Spirit and the Father's heart real. It has completely turned us around as a church. It's given us a real hunger for souls, a love for show them the love of God.

Pastor Bill Randles observed the following at a Charismatic meeting:

Spiritual drunkenness seemed to be the predominant manifestation. After the invocation, "Come, Holy Spirit," the receptive congregation began to stagger and sway. Loud, raucous laughter rolled over portions of the congregation, like a wave...People are stumbling and falling over each other by the dozens. Most are flat on their backs with a silly dazed grin on their faces or trying to get up and unable to...The ministry team is going around "swishing" the wave on people, getting intoxicated themselves...the young man from Ohio is telling me, "This is God,"...his eyes are bloodshot, he is swaying as he stands there, and he's breathing heavily, just about to fall over!

This experience is believed to bring the joy of God:

Drunkenness in the Holy Spirit is actually an extreme form of joy!! One does not experience true joy unless one is truly in God!! Therefore one must expect the more extreme forms of drunkenness when actually filled with the Holy Spirit of God!

Yoga/pagan drunkenness

A kundalini yoga teacher wrote:

When you feel intoxicated without taking any drug, while walking your steps fall majestically or like one drunk and you are unable to do any other work and you like to remain mute and dislike speaking to or hearing others and you feel like one drunk of Divinity, know that your Atma Shakti Kundalini, the power of Self, has come into action.

And a general pagan teaching on the joys of spiritual drunkenness:

Understanding that the term "drunkenness" has many meanings is a good foundation for comprehending the ecstatic ritual experience. One can be "drunk" with joy.

Drunkenness among Satanists

 A leading priest of Satan, Alistair Crowley, who called himself The Great Beast and who prophesies from his "Lord Satan," as he calls him, wrote:

Lord Satan saith: In rioting and drunkenness I rise again. You shall fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

I am of the snake that giveth Knowledge and Delight, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness...I give unimaginable joys on Earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death; peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy...

The following is from Crowley's Book of the Law, where we find the love song of the serpent as he lures seekers ever more deeply into the occult:

I love you! I yearn to you! Pale or purple, veiled or voluptuous, I who am all pleasure and purple, and drunkenness of the innermost sense, desire you. Put on the wings, and arouse the coiled splendor within you: come unto me!

Clearly The Great Beast experienced raptures of love, or he could not write like this. Note the description of "drunkenness of the innermost senses." These descriptions may be extreme, but it is important to realize that even those who experience less extreme symptoms of spiritual intoxication are practicing the same form of spirituality. The difference is one of degree, not of kind. Whether you are a little bit drunk or a whole lot drunk depends only on how much you have taken; it is all poured from the same cup. An accursed cup.

Sufi drunken states

The mystics of Islam are known as Sufis:

Ecstatic Sufis do not claim that they come to see what Muhammad saw..., but they move in his direction...Their states become trancelike because of their total abstraction from self...Sufis report that as their consciousness begins to change, it feels as if their wills were placed in abeyance and a superior will takes over. Sufis honor their ecstasies, but in calling them "drunken" they serve notice that they must bring the substance of  their visions back with them when they find themselves "sober" again.

Here again we see trance states, submission to a greater power, spiritual drunkenness and visions while under the power of an intoxicating force.

Egyptian goddess of sacred drunkenness

Egyptian festivals feature a goddess of spiritual drunkenness with a very strange name, Hwt-Hrw. It is written:

Just twenty days after the New Year Festival the ceremony known as the Inebriation of Hwt-Hrw occurs...What end does this festival serve? In many ancient cultures, intoxication was seen as a means by which communication with, and awareness of, spiritual realities could be achieved...Inebriation also was achieved through the use of chanting, fasting, dance and music. In essence these were all seen as a means to create an altered state allowing one to become more open to the spiritual forces around them. The Goddess Hwt-Hrw's title "Lady of Drunkenness" clearly reveals this aspect of Her nature. This "sacred drunkenness" or "sober drunkenness" can take on many forms...A [profound] intoxicating state of mind occurs when communing with the divine.

See how many religions teach that spiritual drunkenness is how we commune with deity?

The truth about spiritual drunkenness

Spiritual drunkenness is an occult experience, shared with occultists everywhere.

A good test for occult practice is to see how it fits with the definition provided on this Website (Read: What is Occult, What is Biblical? ) -

  • First, occult practice includes seeking God or truth beyond nature, reason and the rational mind; that is, in the supernatural realm.
  • Occult practice is based on a belief that communion with God comes through subjective, supernatural experience outside of biblical means.
  • Occult practice involves seeking supernatural energy, spirits, power, presence, influence, action or enchantments.

To seek God in spiritual drunkenness clearly fits all aspects of the definition.  It involves communing with God (as it is thought) beyond nature, reason and the mind: occultists do not seek God in His Word, nor in prayer or mindful obedience, but through delving into the spirit realm for experience.  It is thought that feelings of rapture and joy mean one has  found "the father's heart" and is communing with Him.  And it involves the action of manifest presence upon the mind and spirit, with the extreme results of mental numbness, loss of balance, etc.

Spiritual drunkenness is spiritually adulterous communion with another god.

As is generally the case in occultism, the Word of God and the place of the Scriptures as our source of very life are forgotten. Experience reigns supreme. But practitioners are not experiencing God. They are experiencing Satan, or of satanic spirits, for Satan is god of the occult. There they commune with him, and in drunkenness they experience his depths. They seek him out, lie with him and stagger under his influence, all the time worshipping him as God, praising him and rejoicing. I would venture to say that spiritual drunkenness it is an extreme form of spiritual adultery that involves the whole of the person: soul, spirit, emotions, mind and flesh. It is a complete giving over to Satan, the very enemy of the soul. How deceptive and evil it really is. 

Spiritual drunkenness is spiritually blinding and is a manifestation of spiritual blindness.

Those who indulge in spiritual drunkenness (or any other form of occultism or apostasy, of course) will, as they progress along the path they have chosen, become increasingly blind to the things of the Spirit of God. In particular, their hearts will be hardened to the Word, and they will be increasingly disabled from understanding it. The Scriptures will become to them as a book shut and sealed. Their understanding will be darkened and darkened. Hear Isaiah describe this:

Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.  For the Lord has poured out on you The spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. The whole vision [revelation] has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, "Read this, please." And he says, "I cannot, for it is sealed."

They cannot. The life-giving Word of God is sealed to them. They simply cannot understand His truth and the meaning of the Scriptures. They have fallen in with the father of lies, and there they have made their bed.

* * * * * *

All quotations are fully cited in the book True to His Ways, but are removed here for simplicity and to avoid links to occult or Charismatic websites.

© R. Davis, Baruch House Publishing. Posted 2008.

Baruch House Publishing hereby grants permission to all readers to download, print, and distribute on paper or electronically any of its articles or articles provided each reprint bears our name (Baruch House Publishing), copyright notice, and Website address (; and further provided all such reprints are distributed without charge. The articles and articles may not be issued or sold in book form, CD-ROM form, or microfiche.

About the Book   Order   Contact   Sample Chapters  What we Believe
About the Author   Articles  

True To His Ways is a publication of Baruch House Publishing