Pad of Definitions
As the Pad of Definitions (Phantom Traveler) says, "exorcism is the act of driving out or warding off demons from persons, places or things that are possessed or infested by them, or are liable to become victims or instruments of their malice. During the exorcism ritual, a solemn and authoritative adjuration of the demon is applied in the name of God or any of the higher powers to which the demon is subject."
In the series, exorcisms have two parts. The first expels the demon from the occupied vessel (as black smoke) and the second sends the demon back to Hell (shown as the black smoke being sent downward leaving charred marks on the floor). The second part is not mandatory, or can be interrupted, allowing the demon to escape and possess another vessel.
It is clear from what Sam Winchester says in Phantom Traveler and Devil's Trap that the boys skip the Invocation and Psalms and jump directly to the Exorcism proper. It is understandable, given that it is not as though they have all the time in the world, especially in Phantom Traveler.
It is probably the method with the best survival rate for possessed humans, even if some do not make it after the possession is lifted.
Several adaptions are used in the series, all of them being taken from the Rituale Romanum. The following is a direct line-by-line translation of the Psalms for rites of exorcism and the Rituale Romanum, with annotations on differences observed in various episodes.
In Phantom Traveler
As seen in Phantom Traveler, a version of the Psalm 68(67) is recited by Sam Winchester as he read it in his father's journal: "Regna terrae, cantate Deo, psallite Domino (...) per caelum, caelum antiquos, (...), glori Patri", which can be translated to English as: "Kingdoms of the earth, sing unto God, sing praises to the Lord by way of heaven , the heaven of the ancients, and the glory of the Father,". However, a lot of differences from the Psalm are presented. Others...
"Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica. Ergo, omnis legio diabolica, adiuramus 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 exorcise you, every impure spirit, every satanic power, every incursion of the infernal adversary, every legion, every congregation and diabolical sect. Therefore, diabolical legions, we adjure you ... Cease to deceive human creatures, and to give to them the poison of eternal damnation; ... Be gone, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man's salvation ... Be humble under the mighty hand of God; tremble and flee when we invoke the Holy and Terrible Name at which those down below tremble ... ... from the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord . That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty to serve, we ask Thee, hear us."
"Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica, ergo draco maledicte, ut ecclesiam tuam secura, tibi facias libertate servire, te rogamus, audi nos!"
Translation: "We exorcise you, every impure spirit, every satanic power, every incursion of the infernal Devil, every congregation and diabolical sect, therefore you also cursed dragon. So that your Church can serve thee in secure liberty, [We] beseech thee [as] We pray, hear us!"
In Hell's Angel
"Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas omnis incursio infernalis adversarii. Omnis legio! Omnis con... potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii. Omnis legio! Omnis congregatio et secta diabolica! Ergo, Draco maledicte et omnis......legio diabolica, adiuramus te! 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, adiuramus te!"
"Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus. Adiuramus te, cessa decipere humanas creaturas, eisque aeternae perditionis venenum propinare"
Father Davis and another priest attempted to exorcise what they believed to be Satan out of a teenage girl. Their attempted exorcism called upon Saint Michael and had no effect as it was not a real exorcism. Furthermore, the minor demon they were trying to exorcise was not in fact Satan.
First revealed in What's Up, Tiger Mommy?, this was performed by Sam-based only on theory that it would work the opposite as the conventional rite. It proved to be effective when Sam read the verse backwards to 'reverse-exorcise' a demon, trapping it back in its host body and allowing the Winchesters to stab it with Ruby's Knife.
"Et secta diabolica, omnis congregatio, omnis legio, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis spiritus, exorcizamus!"
A new type of exorcism pioneered by Max Thompson is introduced in Clip Show that can be used as part of a ritual to cure demons. After 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 turns human again. The chant is much shorter than the original, keeping only the first two lines and replacing the rest with the Latin translation of 'Fix this soul!' and then declaring the soul to be 'Washed!' or 'Cleansed!' twice.
Although any being can perform an Exorcism by reading or reciting the ritual, some beings possess the power to naturally exorcise demons without the need of a ritual. The exact method is unknown, although it largely depends on a being's focus and innate power or control over demons. This is a very rare power.
Characters with this power
Alternate Ritual Exorcism
Astaroth knew a spell that exorcised a demon. This spell was completely different from the ritual used by hunters. It also didn't affect the demon doing the exorcism. The recited spell is the language Catalan which is derived from the romance languages:
Monyé valack forsa, ulu iri regatt ruac, fieesh nieesh forthsa lé inmist infirum forthsa por un betest a té un fornalles ecclaisee
An enochian chant was used by the townspeople of a church in Blue Earth, Minnesota. It was supposedly effective in exorcising demons. However, this chant, provided by the Whore of Babylon, proved to be fake and meant "you breed with the mouth of a goat". The demons were actually under orders to evacuate their hosts upon recitation of the fake enochian exorcism.
Omnipotentis Dei potestatem invoco. Omnipotentis Dei potestatem invoco. Aborro te ut. Angelum omnium obsequendum. Domine expuet. Domine expuet. Deum adempiremus veritas
I invoke the power and authority of God. I invoke the power and authority of God. Worship earth. This Angel in [Your] service. Lord, reveal [him]. Lord, reveal [him]. This day God temper...
In We Happy Few, Amara was able to exorcise Lucifer from Castiel just through sheer will alone. While Lucifer survived, he was left weakened by the exorcism and burned through several temporary vessels quickly as a result.
Lilith claimed to have sent Ruby to hell. This feat was done by Lilith very discreetly, without any noticeable noise or visual cue. If Lilith was telling the truth, this unknown method of exorcism was one of, if not the, quickest and most effective exorcism to date. However, as Ruby later returned and was secretly working for her, it's likely Lilith was simply lying.
In Supernatural: The Unholy Cause, Dean read an excerpt of the real Rituale Romanum (one of the official ritual works of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church) was used instead the "standard" exorcism recitation. The exorcism recitation was powerful enough to irritate Moa'ah to the degree that it opted to leave a human's body.
Deus, et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, invoco nomen sanctum tuum ... et celmentiam tuam supplex exposco ut adversus hunc, et omnem immundum spiritum...
However, it later extended when he and Sheriff Jacqueline Daniels encountered demon-possessed Civil War horsemen re-enactors.
Deus, et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, invoco nomen sanctum... et clementiam tuam supplex exposco ut adversus hunc... et omnem immundum spiritum, qui vexat hoc plasma tuum... mihi auxilium praestare digneris. Per eumdem Dominum
Exorcism from Late Latin exorcismus, (from Greek ἐξορκισμός exorkismos - binding by oath) is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed. Depending on the spiritual beliefs of the exorcist, this may be done by causing the entity to swear an oath, performing an elaborate ritual, or simply by commanding it to depart in the name of a higher power. The practice is quite ancient and part of the belief system of many cultures and religions.
- It appears that the Supernatural production team/writers did a cut and paste from bits and pieces of at least one version of the ritual and possibly some other prayer(s).
- When Sam first performs an exorcism in Phantom Traveler, he reads a Rituale Romanum from John's Journal. However, as time went on both Sam and Dean memorize the ritual.
- In Supernatural, exorcisms appear to cause demons great pain, as they have been used as minor torture. They also seem to cause demons great fear, as they have been used as blackmail several times, though it may be the prospect of returning to Hell that scares them.
- In Jus In Bello, an exorcism was fatal to the Siege Demons due to the fact that they were trapped in the Monument, Colorado Sheriff's Station by salt lines. This appeared to prevent the exorcism from sending them back to Hell and instead it caused their smoke forms to coalesce, catch fire and explode.
- Not all demons appear to be affected by exorcisms: Abaddon, a Knight of Hell proved completely immune to one.
- In Hell's Angel, Sam performs an exorcism on Castiel in order to expel Crowley, who was trapped inside Castiel's vessel by Lucifer. Sam performed the entire exorcism from memory, and did so while holding up a wooden cross toward Castiel. Dean also applied holy water upon Castiel, which burnt the vessel slightly. Crowley was ultimately freed, and was able to return to his own vessel but was not sent back to Hell like most demons are when they are exorcised.
- At least one exorcism has been performed in every season to date except season 10. In season 4, the exorcisms were done by Sam's powers, in season 8 the only actual exorcism seen was the one the Men of Letters tried on Abaddon to no avail. Season 9 featured Sam starting an exorcism on "Snooki", but the full exorcism isn't shown. The only full exorcism shown that season was performed by Henry Winchester and Josie Sands on Abaddon's demons. The same episode had an interrupted exorcism however.
- At some point, the British Men of Letters invented the hyperbolic pulse generator as "exorcisms are so unreliable." The device drives an angel or demon from their vessel similar to an exorcism.
- Angels can't be exorcised in the same way demons can as shown when a group of priests in St. Louis attempted to exorcise Lucifer from their archbishop in LOTUS.
- In Bring 'em Back Alive, Lucifer is revealed to have the power to exorcise demons back to Hell simply by snapping his fingers.
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- Season 6
- Season 7
- Season 8
- Season 9
- Season 10
- Fan Fiction (performed in song)
- Season 11
- Season 12
- Season 13
- Supernatural: The Unholy Cause (Rituale Romanum)