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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Experimental Method

DEFINITIONS

Experimental Method:

Derived from the practices of medieval alchemists, the experimental method is at the heart of Western science. It involves these steps:

  1. Through observation and research, an educated guess or hypothesis is made concerning the cause and action of the observation.
  2. The hypothesis is tested via more observation and the use of controlled experiments to determine its accurateness. If the hypothesis does not explain all of the observations, it needs to be changed. When the final hypothesis explains all data, the method moves to the next stage.
  3. The researcher calls on other experimenters to duplicate his or her work. Experiments to prove or disprove a hypothesis are not considered valid unless everything can be successfully reproduced. If others cannot duplicate the research, the original experimenters may return to the beginning and start over or abandon this completely. However, if the research is replicated and other researchers agree with the hypothesis, that hypothesis may be developed into a theory.
  4. Theories should be able to predict other observations and behaviors. If experiments by different people show that the theory is correct, and if the theory accurately predicts the observation and behavior of something based on discovery within the theory, that theory becomes a scientific law—until superseded by another theory that better explains all observations.

Thus, a theory in science does not mean one explanation out of many. Rather, it means the best and most complete explanation of all known data.

Also known as the "scientific method."




ARTICLES

Unconscious in the Astral
We have been speaking of the projection of consciousness, but strange as it seems, it is also possible to project unconsciously—to leave one’s body and not even know that one has done so! Take, for example, the peculiar experience of a New York ...
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Understanding Astrological Houses
The chart’s houses symbolize different facets of the self. Think of them as the fields of experience upon which you live your life. Each relates to a certain environment and specific relationships. One way to understand the houses is to consider ...
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Hoodoo
The traditional folk magic of African-American culture, also known as conjure magic and rootwork. (The origin of the word "hoodoo" itself is uncertain, although it may derive from a West African source.) Hoodoo is to occultism what the blues are to ...
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Beltane Ritual
Setup Items for this ritual include: Two white candles for deities; Four candles for the directions in pastel shades or colors of bright flowers; Chalice; Athame; Sweet juice such as peach nectar; Shelled sunflower seeds on a plate suitable for the ...
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Crystal Cleansing
There are many different viewpoints on crystal cleansing, and whether it’s even necessary or not. Follow your own feelings/intuitions on this. If you do feel your crystal needs cleansing, then it probably does. Here are some suggested methodsof ...
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Creating a rune amulet
Modern rune rituals are sometimes done entirely with visualization - the runes are made in the astral world and are never actually written down or carved on any material. This technique works fairly well, but it is not in harmony with the ancient ...
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Divinatory Practices
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different forms of divination and clairvoyant practice. The following lists organize some of the more familiar by the major styles. It is a preliminary effort. Analytical Tables of Clairvoyant & ...
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Corto Maltese Tarot Review
Summary: The famous artwork of comic book luminary Hugo Pratt provides magnificent impressionistic watercolors. As an art deck it is a wonderful collection yielding feelings of travel, adventure, and romance in distant lands a century ago. The ...
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The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn Review
Summary: The Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn is an evocative and provocative deck exploring a new vision of tarot that is fresh and exciting while remaining consistent with the Golden Dawn tradition. This deck would be suitable for someone with ...
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How the Enochian Tarot Works
How can a deck of cards show you what will happen in the future? How does the Tarot work? In order to work, a Tarot deck must be an authentic microcosm of the macrocosmic universe. In other words, it must be structured in the same way that our ...
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Hypnosis
If you were to ask a dozen "experts" to give a definition of hypnosis, they would give you a dozen different answers. No matter what anyone says, there is no such thing as an accepted definition of hypnosis. No one knows exactly what it is. Some ...
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"Writers will put things into a novel that they daren't put in sober prose, where you have to dot the I's and cross the T's."1 This quote is from Dion Fortune, to my mind the foremost magical teacher of the West. It tells us clearly that in writing fiction, magicians can go out on a limb. They can give us a taste, secondhand but deeply felt, of... read this article
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