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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Experimental Method


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observation and behavior of something based on discovery within the theory, that theory becomes a scientific law—until superseded by another theory that better explains all observations.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."


Psychic Development
Classes called "Psychic Development Classes" have been popular for years, and indications are that they will remain so for years to come. People simply want to develop and increase their psychic abilities. In a real Psychic Development Class you ...
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Shamanic Healing
Shamanic healings have long been shrouded in mystery, misunderstanding, and superstition. Still, as we learn to better understand the shamanic philosophy of life, we can begin to have clarity about this special form of healing. Basically, the shaman ...
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Review of Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn
Summary: Although it doesn’t live up to its name as the Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn, the brilliance of the art and the deck’s adherence to the concepts of the Golden Dawn make this the ultimate deck for doing readings according to the ...
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Ordo Templi Orientis
(Latin, "Order of Oriental Templars") One of the largest magical orders in the world today, the Ordo Templi Orientis emerges from the complicated world of central European fringe Masonry in the early twentieth century. Its beginning dates back to ...
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How Is Astrology Different from Psychic Prediction?
Astrology is a science, based upon the mathematical calculation of the planets’ positions in the sky and their relationships to each other and to the Ascendant and Midheaven. By using the longitude of your birth place, the date and the time, an ...
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Principles of Ceremonial
Magical ceremonial can be built up and elaborated to forms of great subtlety and complexity, but the initial principles which cause its creation are simple in the extreme. In the first place, ceremonial is a different thing from meditation, and it ...
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Review of Gypsy Oracle Cards
Summary: Evoking another time and place, this reproduction of a nineteenth-century deck creates the atmosphere of a bygone era, while offering old-fashioned guidance and wisdom. In-Depth Review: Every day people use different tools to predict the ...
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Review of Bach Flower Inspirational Cards
Summary: The gentle and wise guidance of the flowers, as Bach unveiled them, are here to help us find balance and enhance well-being. This charming and beautiful deck can be used as an inspiring oracle deck to find answers to troubling questions or ...
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What is Divination?
Prophesy and information by "occult" methodologies.  By reading naturally produced signs ranging from the shape of clouds to the positions of planets (astrology). By reading artificially produced signs ranging from tea leaves to the throwing ...
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What Is Involved in Ritual Magic
By now you may be impatiently asking yourself what ritual magic is, and how to perform it. I want to point out before beginning that it is impossible to fully describe such an extensive subject in this small essay. That is why so many excellent ...
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What Is Hypnosis?
Exactly what is hypnosis, or more accurately, self-hypnosis? Self-hypnosis is a self-induced, altered state of mental consciousness that allows you to give constructive suggestions directly to your subconscious mind. More simply put, you cause ...
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Stress and anxiety affect us on all levels. Be it the body's pounding heart, the rapid pace of breath, overwhelming feelings, racing thoughts, or a disconnection from our deeper beliefs, stress weaves its way into all levels of our experience. Yoga Therapy teaches us to understand how to address our stress on all layers of being. Ancient yogis... read this article
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