“Thus, it is but the sixth appellation, that of a consulter with familiar spirits or a witch, that had to incur the greatest penalty of the law of Moses, for it is only a witch which must not be suffered to live, while all the others are simply enumerated as such with whom the people of Israel were forbidden to communicate on account of their idolatry or rather religious views and learning chiefly.
The sixth word is שועל אנא, shoel aub, which our English translation renders, “a consulter with familiar spirits”; but which the Septuagint translates, ενγαστριμυθος, one that has a familiar spirit inside him, one possessed with the spirit of divination, which was considered to be Python by the Greeks, and obh by the Hebrews, the old serpent; in its esoteric meaning the spirit of concupiscence and matter; which, according to the kabalists, is always an elementary human spirit of the eighth sphere.
“Shoel obh, I conceive”, says Henry More, “is to be understood of the witch herself who asks counsel of her or his familiar. The reason of the name obh, was taken first from that spirit that was in the body of the party, and swelled it to a protuberancy, the voice always seeming to come out as from a bottle, for which reason they were named ventriloquists.
Ob signifies as much as Pytho, which at first took its name from the pythii vates, a spirit that tells hidden things, or things to come. In Acts xvi. 16, πνευμα πυθονος, when “Paul being grieved, turned and said to that spirit, I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of her, and he came out at the same hour.”
Therefore, the words obsessed or possessed are synonyms of the word witch; nor could this pytho of the eighth sphere come out of her, unless it was a spirit distinct from her.
And so it is that we see in Leviticus xx. 27: “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard (an irresponsible jidegnoni) shall surely be put to death, they shall stone them with stones, their blood shall be upon them.”
A cruel and unjust law beyond doubt, and one which gives the lie to a recent utterance of “Spirits”, by the mouth of one of the most popular inspirational mediums of the day, to the effect that modern philological research proves that the Mosaic law never contemplated the killing of the poor “mediums” or witches of the Old Testament, but that the words, “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, meant to live by their mediumship, that is, to gain their livelihood!
An interpretation no less ingenious than novel. Certainly, nowhere short of the source of such inspiration could we find such philological profundity!”
H. P. Blavatsky