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observation and behavior of something based on discovery within the theory, that theory becomes a scientific law—until superseded by another theory that better explains all observations.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


Visualization Beyond the Body
In traditional cultures the shaman functions as healer and seer. His role is to mediate between the material world and the spiritual world. When someone requests a healing, the shaman visualizes his soul traveling through other realms of existence ...
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What is the Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is an initiatory magical group that was founded in London in 1888. It is a society that is dedicated to philosophical, spiritual, and psychic evolution. The history lecture of the Order states that, "The Order ...
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Samhain Ritual
Setup Items for this ritual include: Two white candles and four black candles; Four small sprigs of bittersweet; One branch of bittersweet; Strands of black, white and red yarn cut to twelve-inch lengths placed in a basket on the altar; Pomegranate ...
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Santería is an Afro-Caribbean religion that comes to us from Cuba and to this day it is practiced worldwide. Its original form, called Ifa, is an ancient Yoruba religion that comes from West-Africa and is declared by UNESCO as one of the ...
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Stimulating the Brow Chakra Through Sound
Introduction: In the article on Tratak we’ve already mentioned the value of stimulating the brow chakra. A very powerful adjunct to the method of physically feeling subtle sensations in the brow area is the use of voice vibrations focused ...
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Taking the Door Without A Key
Door Without a Key is an expression used by Dion Fortune in Moon Magic, London, Aquarian Press, 1956, page 91: “I will tell you what I did, putting all my cards on the table, for it shows how we used the Door Without a Key to escape the Lord ...
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The Dynamic Way to Success
You have heard of—maybe even used—the technique called "positive thinking." That technique is based on creative visualization, which is an easy, effective method for tapping into the innate power of the mind. Some people apply visualization without ...
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The Sacred Circle Tarot
Summary: The Sacred Circle Tarot features brilliant, realistic art and a totally Celtic Pagan orientation. Perfect for art collectors, Pagans, and people who already have experience with Tarot, its uniqueness is its high point and its challenge, as ...
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Review of the Wiccan Cards
Summary: The Wiccan Cards invite the user’s intuition and imagination into each quiet image. Each card is a doorway leading to worlds waiting to be explored. By going through these charming and deceptively simple portals, seekers can find answers ...
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The planets (including the Sun and Moon) are the actors in the astrological drama. They represent ten general categories of energy – ten sub-personalities – that reflect facets of your personality and ways that you function in the world. Each planet ...
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Review of the Wicca Oracle Cards
Summary: The Wicca Oracle Cards invite the user's intuition and imagination into each quiet image. Each card is a doorway leading to worlds waiting to be explored. By going through these charming and deceptively simple portals, seekers can find ...
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It seems strange, doesn't it? A patron saint of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all other sexually fluid shades in-between. Popular opinion would have us believe that, by default, a saint would be against such liberal sexuality, but then again, just because an opinion is popular doesn't mean that it's true. In my book La... read this article
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