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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

New Terms

Aurum Solis

An initiatic Order reactivated under this name in England in 1897 by George Stanton and Charles Kingold. Focused on Theurgy, High Magick, and Hermetism, it claims to descent from the Ogdoadic (Hermetic) Tradition of Ancient Egypt and then Greece. It is one of the main schools that offer a modern powerful training in the foundation of the Western Mystery Tradition. It is best known through the published works of three of its leaders, Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips (pseudonyms of Vivian Godfrey and Leon Barcynski), and today Jean-Louis de Biasi. Together, they authored many books on magical practice, such as Astral Projection and Creative Visualization, and the comprehensive curriculum presented in The Magical Philosophy. Jean-Louis de Biasi, nominated lifetime Grand Master, perpetuates this tradition with books such as The Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis, Rediscover the Magick of the Gods and Goddesses, and more to come.

The Tradition of the Aurum Solis is defined by what is called the "Golden Chain" (of the Masters). This lineage is rooted in Hermetism, which is a tradition associating Theurgic practices with a rational approach to the inner mysteries of the life. The tradition first describes the high origins of the human soul and how it descended into physicality and what that means; secondly, it reveals the path by which the soul may again return to the Eternal and Supreme and what that involves.

This pre-Christian Tradition has given to humanity some of its greatest Scientists and Humanist Philosophers. Polytheism, the main religious expression of this time, provided the tradition of tolerance for any spiritual practice and experience. Many are the ways! But organization, self-discipline, and practice lead onward to the Next Step!

These progressive manifestations of non-theologic science and humanist spirituality were severely attacked during the rise of the institutionalized monotheistic religions in Europe and the Middle East, leading directly to the Dark Ages. However, in the fifteenth century, the Theurgic Neo-Platonist Ogdoadic tradition reappeared in Florence, Italy. The Renaissance was really a universal rebirth of the human consciousness igniting the beginning of modern civilization: breaking the religious and monarchist domination of human thought, science, and philosophy and leading to the industrial, technological, and information ages, to democracy and human rights and the abolition of slavery, religious tolerance, universal education, and the metaphysical traditions, etc.

From this earlier time the Theurgic/Hermetic Tradition was secretly continued in Europe until its rebirth in 1897. Aurum Solis is a unique example of an initiatic and spiritual organization that remained rooted in the original humanist spiritual values developed by the founders. From the beginning, Aurum Solis chose to maintain a clear and unique lineage, working hard to improve the visibility of the original Western Tradition. By highlighting the unique characteristics of this spiritual path, Aurum Solis is showing the urgency to see life differently. Dogmas are dangerous; chaos is risky, while rediscovering a tolerant and traditional path to the divine is paramount. This is the Modern Renaissance! For information: www.aurumsolis.info.




Ti-Bon-Ange

Literally, the "Little Good Angel." In Voodoo, the soul is seen as having two parts. The Ti-Bon-Ange is the part of the soul that has your individuality and personal qualities. It leaves the body when sleeping so you can dream. It also leaves the body during rituals of possession so a Loa can take over the body. The other part of the soul is the Gros-Bon-Ange.




Aliens

Generally associated with UFOs, semi-humanoid beings claiming to originate on other planets or other dimensions. Most contacts with these beings involve telepathic communication and some have included abductions and transportation to space ships were surgical operations have implanted devices, and others have included sexual contact. Some believe aliens are spirits and that alien encounters are psychic in nature. Suggested Reading: The Gaia Project by Hwee-Yong Jang (Llewellyn Publications) and Interdimensional Universe by Philip J. Imbrogno (Llewellyn Publications)




Alchemy

The art and science of creating medicines from plants and minerals for healing physical and psychic diseases, thereby restoring the alchemist to a state of perfect harmony. These medicines can be either liquid, such as the Elixir of Life, or solid, such as the Philosopher’s Stone. Alchemy is also known as the Royal Art.




Akiba

Akiba (or Akiva) ben Joseph Talmudic Sage, Biblical exegete and mystic (1st–2nd Century). [Rabbi Akiba] is arguably the most celebrated figure in the Talmud. [In a famous Kabalistic story, he] was the only one of four sages who entered pardes and returned unscathed. His prayers were credited with ending a drought. He encountered a ghost and subsequently exorcised it by teaching the dead man’s son the daily liturgy; this is credited by some with establishing the tradition of reciting Kaddish [memorial prayer for the dead].




Aikido

Aikido is a martial art that relies on harmonious movements and minimal muscular effort to resolve conflicts.




Forer Effect

Named after psychologist Betram R. Forer. In 1948 he created an experiment that showed that if people receive general descriptions that could apply to anyone, they will accept it as specifically applying to themselves. Debunkers use this phenomenon to explain away the methods of people claiming to give psychic readings. Examples of phrases used to represent this effect are sometimes called Barnum Statements.




Flying Rods

A photographic phenomenon where video cameras or still cameras take photos that seem to show rod-like images or objects traversing the photo. Some debunkers have claimed that these are simply flying insects that form a blur and move too fast or too close to the lens to be clearly photographed.




Fakir

Originally an Arabic term from the early 17th century, faqir, translates as "a poor man." However, it became used to mean a holy man of Islam who subsisted through begging. By the late 18th century, the term "fake," from German or from Latin, with our modern meaning, was used in the slang of London's criminals. The combination of these two terms seems likely to have produced the word fakir (pronounced fah-keer), which was applied to Hindu ascetics.




Exopolitics

The theoretical examination of political institutions and methods used by extraterrestrial societies. This can be an important study in determining how best to communicate with (or whether to communicate with them at all) any such civilizations.





While Llewellyn's Classic Tarot has my name on the cover, I did not so much design this project as direct it. Llewellyn wanted a deck that was designed to be faithful to the traditional tarot images, symbols, and meanings recognizable to most modern tarot readers and students. Creating a faithful yet new expression of timeless tarot imagery is... read this article
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