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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Subject: Spirituality


Many readers may wonder what the three dots .’. used in magickal books signify. This usage derives from the very old Masonic connections of the early Occult orders. The meaning attached to varies according to the way in which it is used. Thus, at one time, it will mean "Honorable Initiate," at another time it means "sacred" or "Illuminated". It always signifies something holy or that an esoteric meaning is involved.



Margaret Ann Lembo(Boynton Beach, FL) is a spiritual practitioner and owner of The Crystal Garden, a spiritual center and gift shop. For more than twenty years, she has led workshops and classes around the country. Her audio CDs (guided meditations and more) are distributed nationally. She is also the president of the Coalition of Visionary Resources (COVR). Visit her online at www.margaretannlembo.com.





Jody Baron (Plainfield, VT) has written over a dozen books as a ghostwriter of spiritual and New Age material. She is the founding moderator of The Abe Forum, an online discussion of the teachings of the Abraham-Hicks organization.





In Wicca, a derogatory term for a person who joins a coven to discover their secrets for his or her own use, or to cause discord and strife within that coven or tradition.  On internet forums, including those frequented by Pagans, a term describing a person who makes posts designed to stir up angry responses from or disagreements between those who regularly post to the form.





Kristoffer Hughes (Wales) is Chief of the Anglesey Druid Order, a Mount Haemus Scholar, and a member of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. He is a teacher, writer, workshop leader, and guest speaker at Paganconferences, camps, and festivals throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Hughes is also a frequent contributor and consultant to Welsh and English television companies and France 5 network.

Hughes is the author of From the Cauldron Born.





Large scale. Pertaining to the universe.




Aalu
In ancient Egyptian tradition, a place of joy and peace after death. According to the tradition, if you were found unworthy, your soul would vanish into nothingness. If found worthy, you would enter Aalu (also spelled Aaru, Yaaru, etc.) a type of paradise where the gods lived.


Absolute
A term frequently used to mean God or "The Divine." It sometimes refers to something that is spiritually completed. That is, if you are totally involved in meditation, you are in "absolute meditation."


Activation of Consciousness

"Consciousness activation in the three lowest natural kingdoms is an unconscious and automatic process which gradually becomes a conscious one in the human kingdom. In higher kingdoms it is the result of self-initiated consciousness activity."

Laurency, H.T. The Knowledge of Reality, 1979, The Henry T. Laurency Publishing Foundation




Adonai
Pronounced “ah-dohn-eye,” a Hebrew word that literally means “my lord,” although frequently translated as “the lord” or simply “lord.” Among Jews, it is spoken as a replacement for the Tetragrammaton, the holy, four-letter name of God that should not be pronounced. Adonai is frequently used as a generic name for God among Jews. Another replacement is Hashem (pronounced “hah-shem”) which literally means “The Name.”


Adonai Ha-Aretz

Hebrew translated as "[My] Lord of the Earth." In the Kabalah, this is the god name associated with the tenth sephirah, Malkuth, and is associated with elemental Earth.




Ahankara
A Sanskrit term meaning the individual consciousness or ego, as opposed to the aspect of self that is linked to the divine.


Ahevah

Transliteration of the Hebrew word for "love." Sometimes transliterated as ahavah. Via Gematria, a form of Kabalistic numerology, it equals 13, also the numeration of the Hebrew letters in the word for "one." As the Kabalah holds there is only one deity, the number one represents God, and since the numeration of the letters in the word equal the numeration of those in "ahevah," this is taken to prove that God is love.




Aik Bekar

A Kabalistic method of Biblical interpretation and system for making codes. See Temurah.




Ain
(Kabbalah – Tree of Life) “Nothing.” It is the outermost of the three veils of negative existence above the Tree of Life.


Ain Soph Aur
“(Kabbalah – Tree of Life) Limitless Light.” The innermost of the three veils of negative existence preceding Kether.


Akashic Record
Stored-up cosmic memory. A level of time-consciousness within the astral plane that contains all the past events, thoughts, images, and activities of humanity from the beginning of time. This "chronicle of the world" can be accessed by the mystic and the magician.


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].




Alaya
A Sanskrit meaning not capable of being dissolved. To Theosophists, this relates to the universal soul, the basis of all things.


Alignment
The process of harmonizing two or more things. Thus, a person might align himself or herself with a deity, a planet, etc


Allegory
A descriptive story that includes symbolic or hidden meaning, used for imparting ideas and principles.


Ammonius Saccas

(175?—242) A Greek philosopher from Alexandria, Egypt; little is known about him. However, he founded the school of Neoplatonism in Alexandria and is thus considered one of the founders of that system. There are no records of his writing, and we know of his teachings through his students, especially Plotinus.




Analogeticists

Title given to those who followed the teachings of Ammonius Saccas. They received this name because they used analogies and correspondences when they interpreted myths and symbols, much as many occultists do today.




Anima Mundi

The “Soul of the World.” There has been a dual usage for this phrase:

1) As the World Mind or Global Consciousness, divided into spiritus mundi or world vital force and corpus mundi or the world physical body;

2) The divine essence that permeates everything, also known as Astral Light, Prana, Animal Magnetism, Spirit.





Animal Soul

Individual animal awareness is primarily physical and emotional, but sharing in the mental substance of the species Group Soul. It is generally believed that accumulated mental activity leads individual animals to transmigrate into the human kingdom—but only those animals such as Cats, Dogs, Elephants and Monkeys that have been in close and constant association with human “owners.”




Animism
More than the concept that all things—humans, other animals, all forms of vegetation, and even minerals, stones, and rocks—are alive and have a spirit or soul, animism is the belief that all things, animate and inanimate also have some degree of reason and the ability to act. Thus, the winds, streams, rocks, etc. have intelligence and can share their wisdom.


Antaskarana
A Sanskrit term used by Theosophists to mean the link or bridge between the personal or lower self and the spiritual or universal self.


Antinomianism

The rejection of socially established morality or religious laws. 




Apocalypse

An enormous disaster. The name comes from the last book of the Christian Bible and is from the Greek where it actually means “revelation.” That book has the revelations of St. John resulting from visions. Those visions describe the violent end of the age. Highly symbolic, numerous interpreters give different versions of the meanings of the book.




Apotheosis

Greek word that means “to become divine” or “to ascend to a divine level.” Originally described the way a king was made divine in some ancient religions. In France and England this may have led to the belief in the Royal Touch (which see).

Early Christians changed the meaning of the word to mean that a person or group could partake of the divine nature and not that they could become divine.




Arcane School

An occult organization founded in 1923 by Theosophist Alice A. Bailey and her husband, Foster Bailey, it was designed to bring in the New Age by the Great White Brotherhood, the spiritual hierarchy of masters who are believed to guide human destiny.

Over the next years Bailey dictated a series of books that laid out a program for bringing in the New Age. In addition, there is a correspondence course. International headquarters at 113 University Pl., 11th Fl., Box 722, Cooper Sta., New York, NY 10276. More information at their website www.lucistrust.org/en/arcane_school.





Archetypal Image

The (usually) physical form of an archetype for a particular culture, mythology, religion, or individual. For example, the archetypal image of the universal mother deity can take the form of the Christian Mary.




Archon
From the Greek meaning “authority,” it is from the same root as “archangel.” In Gnostic belief, the Archons were planetary rulers with various spheres or planes of control. In Gnosticism, while you are alive, they prevent you from focusing on spiritual development. When you die, they prevent you from traveling to God. The only way to get past them is via the recitation of certain magickal formulas. Thus, having the sacred knowledge allows you to reach God, a concept which may be a metaphor for Gnostic practices.


Arupa
A Sanskrit term that literally means "without form." In Theosophy, it represents the idea of a thing with a spiritual form that has not manifested or does not have a physical form.


As Above, So Below
An expression used in many spiritual and magickal traditions that is a shortened version of a passage from a document called “The Emerald Tablet of Hermes.” In full, the section reads: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.” The “miracles” refers specifically to alchemical practices, although it has been generalized to all magickal practices. Today, many people use this expression as an explanation for the relationship between the Divine and humanity. It implies that the spiritual world must follow certain laws of nature, and what happens on a spiritual plane must manifest on the physical plane, and that it’s possible to modify what’s on the spiritual plane through actions on the physical plane.


Asat
A Sanskrit word meaning "not real." It illustrates a seemingly contradictory concept: our seemingly real physical universe is actually sat or unreal. It is merely our senses interpreting the inner reality of the spiritual realms.


Ascending Arc
A Theosophical term, also known as "Luminous Arc," meaning the evolving waves of life energy.


Ashe
Name for the Life Force emanating from every living thing in the Universe. It’s also a reference to the Spiritual Power and Abilities of the deities and all living things. It is also used as a closing for prayers and powers statement, to give emphasis, much like “So Mote it Be” in Wicca or “Amen” in Christianity.


Ashlar

A square stone block. In Freemasonry it represents the Mason and his spiritual advancement. There are two kinds, the rough ashlar and the smooth ashlar. It is also symbolic of the alchemical Philosopher's Stone, a representation of inner transformation as a result of spiritual work.




Ask, and You Will Receive

Remember that your Personal Human Consciousness is modeled on the Body of God. The Powers of the Universe are yours to learn and earn. You do have the Power, but you have to learn it, understand it, believe it, use it, and—above all—have faith in its reality. 




Aspiration

The aspiration of the student (we are all students) towards growth and the attainment of Initiation should be a burning flame like a lover’s desire for his beloved.





Astral Illumination

Through astral projection and increased awareness, we accelerate our growth and gain understanding of the nature of our existence.




Astral Love

Like astral sex, astral love and romance are emotional and emotion is the substance of the astral plane.




Astral Matrix

The astral body—in contrast to a constructed thought form—is a non-physical replica of the physical body and can be used as an organizing matrix perceived to be ideally healthy. Upon re-engagement with the physical body, health images can be transferred for healing and rejuvenation.




Astral Plane
An intermediate and invisible level of reality between the physical plane and the higher, more divine realms. It is the common boundary between the individual and noumenal reality. A nonphysical level of existence that is the basis of the physical plane.


Astral Plane

The second plane, sometimes called the Inner Plane or subjective world, it is an alternate dimension both coincident to our physical world and extending beyond it. Some believe it extends to other planets and allows for astral travel between them. 

It is that level of concrete consciousness between the Physical/Etheric, the sphere of ordinary consciousness, and the Mental and Spiritual levels. It is where dreams, vision, and imagination are experienced and magical action shapes physical manifestation.




Astral Powers

Those natural powers and trained skills that arise from mastery of the particular “rules of engagement” that characterize the astral plane. With understanding the nature of astral substance and energies and the unique characteristics of the many sub-planes and resources of the astral plane, we need to train the astral body in much the same as we do the physical body—by learning and practice. 

In most situations, we are interested in using the astral to explore the non-physical universe and to influence physical actions. 

Still anchored in the physical body, we make use of various OBE procedures to do these things. In most cases, it is vital to set specific goals, and it is through such work that we do gain skills, train our astral “muscles,“ and grow in consciousness. 




Astral Replica

Anything on the physical plane is replicated on the astral plane in non-solid astral substance that responds to feeing and thought. 




Astral Sex

Every physical action has an astral reaction, and nearly everything sexual is accompanied by emotion, the very substance of the astral plane. Love and Romance are likewise emotional, and these three are mostly associated together and function through the exchange of magnetic and electrical energies that engender excitement, pleasure, and built the magical potentials fundament to Sex Magick.




Astral Substance

Instead of physical substance the astral world has its own unique substance that some writers refer to as “emotional” because it is the foundation for our emotional consciousness just as the physical substance is the foundation for our physical consciousness, and the mental world substance is the foundation of our mental consciousness.  

A range of energy/matter substance of lessening density as the range of vibrations increases.




Astral Substance

A generic term used to describe the malleable or "plastic" substance that comprises the astral plane.




Astral Telepathy System

A nine-step Out-of-Body induction and telepathic sending system.




Astral Walk-Out

In Astral Walk, a stage in which the astral body disengages the biological body. See: Astral Walk.

Suggested Reading – Slate, J.H. & Weschcke, C.L.: Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment, 2012, Llewellyn





Atheist

A person who believes there are no Gods. Although among some self-described "skeptics" atheism includes the lack of belief in anything not fitting into 19th-century materialistic philosophy, there are some people today who would note that this simply does not allow for the belief in ultimate deities. It can allow for the belief in other non-material things including spirits, ghosts, survival of the personality after death, and magick.




Atkinson, William Walker

(Yogi Ramacharaka) American businessman, author, and occultist, 1862–1932. Self-help ideas learned from the New Thought movement helped him recover from a breakdown, and in 1900 he decided to put his talents to work in this field…He began publishing two series of books, one on New Thought under his own name, and one on yoga under the pen name of Yogi Ramacharaka.

Both he and his books soon became fixtures in the occult community of the time. In 1907 he was contacted by the young Paul Foster Case and the two entered into a long correspondence, eventually co-writing (with an unidentified third person) The Kybalion…He was involved with one of the successor orders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

His series of books on yoga (including The Hindu Yogi Science of Breath, Fourteen Lessons in Yogi Philosophy, Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga, and Hatha Yoga) played an important part in introducing Americans to Hindu spiritual traditions.




ATS

See Astral Telepathy System.




Attention

Focused awareness. Concentration. To "pay attention" is a conscious choice to limit perception and the work of consciousness to something specific.




Augoeides
Literally “luminous body,” it was a term from ancient Greek that was also used by Neoplatonists. According to occultist and founder of the Theosophical Society, H.P. Blavatsky, the Neoplatonists believed that the Augoeides would only “shed its radiance” on a person, while Kabalists believed it would enter into a person’s soul, remaining there until death. Occultist Aleister Crowley equated it with the Holy Guardian Angel, which he also equated with the higher self, and wrote rituals for working with it.


Augoeides

Greek term meaning The Higher Ego or Individuality of Man; the “Father in Heaven.”





Aura
A shell or layer of astral substance that surrounds and permeates the physical body. A halo or sheath of spiritual light/energy that surrounds a person and can be seen by clairvoyants.


Aura

An emanation or set of emanations that extends around objects and animals, including the human body. There are multiple beliefs as to the number of different types of auras that extend around the body. Some say there are seven, others say five or three.

The aura extends from just above the surface of the skin out to infinity. It becomes more and more ethereal as it extends further from the body, and beyond about three feet even people who can see auras are not able to detect it. The smoothness of each aura level, as well as the pureness of its color, are said to indicate the conditions of the person they surround.

In the three-fold system of interpretation, the area closest to the skin is said to relate to your physical well-being. Outside of this physical aura is the mental aura that relates to your state of mind. It could be called the psychological aura. The third part of the aura is the spiritual element. It relates to your spiritual advancement and is further away from the body than is the mental aura. Actually, all three are said to interrelate and overlap according to those who see auras. The chakras, several spinning wheels of vivid color in the aura in front of the body, are also said to be visible.


Aura
Human energy field that surrounds and interpenetrates the body. The aura contains the chakras and nadis or meridians.


Aura

An egg-shaped sphere of energy extending as much two to three feet beyond the physical body and viewed by clairvoyants in colorful layers that may be "read" and interpreted.

It includes layers outward from the physical: the Etheric, Astral, Mental, and Spiritual bodies. The aura is also known as the "magical mirror of the universe" in which our inner activities of thought and feeling are perceived in colors. It is also the matrix of planetary forces that shapes and sustains the physical body and the lower personality.

Clairvoyants may analyze the aura in relation to health, ethics and spiritual development, and the aura can be shaped and its surface made to reflect psychic attacks back to their origin. 

Suggested Reading:




Aura

The human aura is the body’s external energy field which is a manifestation of the internal energy system’s central core.




Avichi
(Sanskrit) A word that means "having no waves." Among Theosophists, it is a name for a type of hell where all of those things that were important to you become meaningless. At the end of a period of avichi, people and things dissolve and return to nature.


Awareness

Awareness is the focus of consciousness onto things, images, ideas, and sensations. Awareness is more than what we physically sense. We do have psychic impressions independent of the physical apparatus. And we can focus our awareness on memories dredged up from the subconscious; we can focus on symbols and images and all the ideas, and memories, associated with them. We can turn our awareness to impressions from the astral and mental planes, and open ourselves to receiving information from other sources from other planets, other dimensions, and from other minds. 

Awareness is how we use our consciousness. It is just as infinite as is consciousness, just as infinite as is the universe in all its dimensions and planes. When we speak of expanding or broadening our awareness we are talking about paying attention to new impressions from new sources, and from other ways we can use our consciousness. Awareness if like the "Operating System" that filters incoming information, sometimes blocking "what we don’t believe in."  

Awareness is something of a corollary to Concentration. We are used to thinking of it as passive in sensory perception but it changes dramatically when used actively. Your perceptions can be extended with expanded awareness, and what was invisible can become visible, or heard, or tasted, or sensed. To become more aware is to become enriched. And becoming aware is not limited to objects and people, but includes energies pulsing through and around objects, persons, and their environment. 

Through extended awareness, we grow and develop our latent psychic powers into reliable skills.   

Louis T. Culling wrote:

"Surely one has seen the indispensable necessity for continual awareness in the trance practices. Awareness! Awareness! I would be tempted to say that ‘awareness’ is the most important word in Magick were it not for the fact that there is a dangerous hazard in being 'hung up' with one such category."

Suggested Reading:

Culling, Louis T. & Weschcke, Carl Llewellyn: The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.’.B.’.G.’.




Babalawo
Title for a diviner priest of high rank within the Santería and Ifá community that means “Father of Mysteries.” The “mysteries” refer to the wide knowledge they possess about their divination systems and about the Spiritual Forces that surround us. They are the only ones that have the authority to consult Orunmila, Orisha of Divination and Witness of Destiny, through their ritual implements, such as Ikin Ifá (palm nuts), Opele (divining chain), and Opon Ifa (divining tray).


Babalorisha
Priest initiated in the Santería/Ifá religion. It means “Father Possessing Orisha.” In the Santería religion, this title is given to a priest who has initiated others into the religion. Their initiates usually call them “Padrino” (godfather), denoting the influence Catholicism had on the development of the religion. Also called Babalosha.


Bardol Thodol
Actual name of the book commonly called The Tibetan Book of the Dead.


Be Here Now

An Eastern concept that we should our attention in our lives on the present, not dwelling on the past or the future. In this way we will supposedly achieve the most happiness.




Become More Than You Are

A phrase coined by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke to express that concept of self-directed evolution. You, we all, are a "work-in-progress" towards fulfilling the potential of the Whole Person already existent as a "matrix" of consciousness into which we are evolving. To "Become more than You are" is the goal of everyone who accepts the opportunity and responsibility of accelerated development and Self-Empowerment.




Bi-Directional Endlessness

From the reincarnation perspective, the continuum for individual existence is endless, with neither beginning nor end. 




Blasphemous

Disrespectful or disparaging of religious beliefs, irreverent, sacrilegious. 




Blasphemy

Something that shows disrespect or is disparaging of a religion.




Bondage

The use of restraints, real or imagined, for power exchange during erotic play. 




Brahman
Although most people see Hinduism as polytheistic, it is actually a monotheistic religion with thousands of manifestations of the ultimate deity. This ultimate being transcends all duality and is known as Brahman. All other deities are just aspects of Brahman.


Brahman

God, the supreme Godhead or universal soul. Despite the fact that Hinduism is described as a polytheistic religion, there are certain monotheistic aspects underlying the concept of Brahman. Interestingly enough the literal meaning of the word is growth or expansion. 




Buddha Nature

The definition varies somewhat in different branches of Buddhism, but it can be understood as suggesting that the potential for Buddhahood is intrinsic in all beings and that it can be awakened through practice. 




Candle Meditation

A preparatory OBE exercise helpful in developing concentration skills required to induce and guide the experience.




Candomble
Candomblé is an Afro-Brazilian syncretic religion that, like Santería and Vodou, has its roots in the ancient religion of Ifá and is also influenced by European spiritualist practices and indigenous folk wisdom along with Christianity. The worship and service to the Orixás (deities) and to the Egungun (ancestors) are the core beliefs, along with the practice of rituals to enhance every aspect of life and divination to communicate with the Orixás.


Causal Duality
This principle states that equal benefit comes from action towards a goal and inaction away from it. The causes of our success are both to be found in efforts to move forward and from the absence of efforts to move backwards.


Causal Substance

Like the other five planes of the three lower levels, there is “substance” as well as “laws” relating to its specific nature. The Causal shares the third level with the Mental Plane—which likewise has its unique substance, but the two share the characteristic of five dimensions (in contrast to the familiar three of the Physical and Etheric Planes of the first and lowest  level).




Chayyim Vital
Kabbalist (Turkish 16th–17th Century). A leading disciple of Isaac Luria, Vital experienced many fantastic visions and personal revelations. Elijah and other righteous men of the past appeared to him. He performed healings, exorcisms, dowsing for water, and at one point declared himself the Messiah. He also believed he had undergone multiple incarnations and, for example, had the soul of R[abbi] Akiba.


Chiah
The Qabalistic Part of the Soul that represents the creative impulse and divine will. The Chiah is attributed to Chokmah.


Chiah

Part of the soul located in Chokmah. It is Divine Will, the source of action.




Chiah

That part of the soul in the Qabalah attributed to Chokmah manifesting as wisdom. The Divine Will. The Theosophical Buddhic Body.




Christian Science

A religious tradition based on the book Science & Health with Key to Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (derived from the works of Phineas P. Quimby) and the Bible. Although it has a full theology, most people are familiar with it through their belief that illness is the result of fear, ignorance, or sin, and if you eliminate those factors through prayer, the illness will cease. Followers of Christian Science tend to prefer this healing system before the use of drugs or surgery, but unlike some religious sects, it is not required.




Christos
Greek for "Christ," meaning the anointed one. Similar to the Hebrew translated as "Messiah." Mystically, we each have a divine inner core (sometimes called "Christ Immanent") that we can manifest.


Circumpunct

Name for a circle with a single dot in the center. In astrology it is used to represent the Sun. Anciently, it was a symbol of the Egyptian solar deity Ra. In Neoplatonism it represented the soul in the spiritual world.




Collective Unconscious
In the writings of psychologist Carl Jung and his followers, the deepest stratum of the unconscious that contains material relating not to the individual but to humanity as a whole. The most important presences in the collective unconscious are the archetypes. According to Jungian theory, these are reflections of primal instincts, and also the patterns on which gods and other mythic entities are based. Contacting the archetypal patterns of the collective unconscious in a conscious and balanced way is an important part of the process of individual, the goal of Jungian psychological work.


Collective Unconscious

A concept from the theories of psychologist Carl Jung, the function of the Personal Consciousness that bridges to the collective racial, cultural, mythic, even planetary memories and the world of archetypes of the Universal Consciousness, making them available to the Psyche mainly through the Sub-Conscious Mind.

The memories of all of humanity, perhaps of more than human, and inclusive of the archetypes. The contents of the collective unconscious seem to progress from individual memories to universal memories as the person grows in his or her spiritual development and integration of the whole being. There is some suggestion that this progression also moves from individual memories through various groups or small collectives—family, tribe, race, and nation—so the character of each level is reflected in consciousness until the individual progresses to join in group consciousness with all humanity. This would seem to account for some of the variations of the universal archetypes each person encounters in life.




Consubstantiation
Part of a religious ritual where the wafer and wine metaphorically become the body and blood of Jesus. Usually found as part of some Protestant rites. In the Roman Catholic Mass ritual, believers feel the wafer and wine become the actual body and blood of Jesus. This is known as transubstantiation.


Contacts
A generalized term for non-physical forces or entities with whom communication of some sort is established. Often, these contacts will be the first communication a person has when going into trance. Contacts may have information or guidance for the person communicating with them.


Control

The spirit who acts as a kind of manager through which other spirits communicate to the medium during a séance.




Control

In science (and in the scientific investigation of the paranormalparapsychology), experimental proceedures instituted to prevent extraneous factors from influencing the results of an experiment.




Cosmic Archives

The comprehensive records of the cosmos, which include our personal archives.





Cosmic Consciousness

A phrase coined by Richard Bucke to describe his own experience of unity with the universal consciousness of the cosmos. Bucke believed this to be the goal of human evolution.




Cosmic Genotype

Each individual’s unique spiritual or cosmic makeup, which remains unchanged from lifetime to lifetime. Also known as a Spiritual Genotype.

Suggested Reading:




Cosmic Identity

The soul’s unique spiritual identity that exists in perpetuity.

Suggested Reading:




Cosmic Illumination

Raised awareness of the cosmic scheme of our existence, accompanied by increased knowledge of our higher self. See Cosmic Actualization.




Cosmic Language

The universal language of the spirit realm.




Cosmic Life Force

The energizing foundation of all reality, both tangible and intangible.





Cosmology

A way of explaining the universe and its processes. The word can be used in both scientific and religious contexts. 




Cosmos
In theosophy, a term meaning the greater universe—including spiritual planes—and not just the observable physical universe.


Cosmos Wide Web

Modeled after the World Wide Web (WWW) of the Internet, the CWW recognizes existence of the Akashic Records imagined as “infinite-sized and capable data banks and servers, accurately accessed through a speed-of-light fast astral search engine using an imaginary keyboard and large monitor to call up and see those records we desire.




Crystal Gazing

Also known as Crystallomancy, a technique typically using a crystal ball to engage and liberate the mind's psychic powers while promoting a state of general self-empowerment. Crystal gazing opens the channels of the mind and permits the free expression of multiple inner faculties.




Crystal Gazing Focal Shift Technique

A meditational technique generating an empowered mental state conducive not only to increased psychic awareness but personal insight as well.




Crystal Gazing Focusing Procedure

A program to stimulate psychic faculties and awareness expansion using a crystal ball.




Cycles
In Theosophy, the concept (also known as the "Law of Cycles") that nature repeats everywhere. However, it is not an exact repetition, as with each new cycle there is a modification of the previous cycle.


Dagoba
A mound or shrine in Buddhism. They contain spiritual relics such as a piece of the bodhi tree under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment, or the teeth of a deceased saint. They may look similar to Buddhist Stupas, but Stupas do not necessarily contain a relic. In the Star Wars movies, George Lucas has the wise, monk-like creature, Yoda, living on a planet called “Dagobah.”


Dei Lucrii

The collective name for ancient Roman local or personal deities of profit. They were worshiped and evoked to ensure successful business ventures. The deity Mercury eventually took over their functions.




Deity
God or Goddess. A pure being that manifests certain qualities which can be evoked to raise power, transform negative into positive and receive blessings.


Demonic Possession

The supposed taking over of the personality by an evil, non-physical entity.




Desire

See also Emotional Matter. “Desire” is an alternate name for the Astral Plane (or Level) and likewise for the Astral (or Emotional) Body or Vehicle. But “Desire” is also one of the most fundamental of human emotions and is the qualifying adjective associated with such basic drives as Sex, Food, Money, Security, Comfort, Romance, etc. While older occult teachers taught that desire should be repressed (especially in connection with sex), such repression is both unhealthy and undesirable in terms of the Wholeness of the human person. Desire is neither good nor bad, but it is motivation and liberates and directs the energy of Life. “Control” and “Balance” keep desire in perspective.




Desire Body

Alternate name of the Astral (aka Emotional) Body.




Destiny

While related in meaning to “fate” and “karma”, destiny has a less rigid feeling. Each person is born with a life ‘pattern’ that can be seen in a birth horoscope. We each have a genetic heritage, the love of our parents, the immediate environment, etc., but as we grow older those surrounding factors are replaced with new ones that may change what seemed to be an expected pattern. Education and social environment may become powerful influences for change.

The empowered person takes charge of his or her destiny, making conscious decisions rather than letting change passively affect life. 

Suggested Reading – Finley: Designing Your Own Destiny – Shape Your Future in 12 Easy Steps




Dichotomy of Evil
A philosophical problem facing monotheistic religions. The basic idea is that such religions view god as having the qualities of being both good and all-powerful. This, however, is impossible. Observation shows us that there is evil in the world. Were a good god all powerful, it is argued, evil would not exist. Therefore, either god is not all powerful and cannot stop evil (often represented in the form of an evil entity such as the Devil), or god is all-powerful but also actually evil.


Direct Knowledge

“Men are not all mystics, though all must one day attain to the mystical union, each following his own road to bliss of which there are said to be seven. Upon one of them, especially, and possibly upon others, direct knowledge of the forces and intelligences of Nature and acquirement of the faculty of cooperating with them in which is sometimes called the Great Work which can be of much value.” 




Discarnate Illumination

Raised awareness and understanding of past-life influences on our present growth and enlightenment.





Discursive Meditation
The traditional Western approach to meditation, which uses the thinking mind to explore symbols and visionary experiences.


Dispensation

Being given the right to do something, such as lead a magickal group. Sometimes a dispensation is given without having to go through usual trainings and/or initiations.




Dispensation

A special empowerment to dispense and manage religious or spiritual instruction and practice. Within Christianity, it is the official granting of a license to organize a church. It is also a special time period designated by God for certain things to happen. For Esotericism, it is believed to be both a time period and a licensing to a particular group or groups to establish themselves and their message seemingly granted by spiritual higher-ups. 

There are those of us who believe that we live in a special time when dispensation is universal for all who will open their mind and spirit to the influx of higher conscious happening now. We are approaching a turning point when the “world as we know it” will end and a new world order will begin to replace the old. Few things happen overnight, but time is critical and changes will be rapid as global conditions require new world organizations and new worldwide solutions to problems arising from the past. 




Divine
Having the qualities of a deity.


Divine
Referring to a deity.


Divine
Foretell the future as in performing a divination.


Divine Body

Name of the vehicle for functioning consciously at the 6th level or plane up from the physical. Alternate names include Submanifestal, Monadic, and Anupadaka.




Divine Plan

Most Esoterists and Occultists believe that there is some kind of Divine Plan, or Great Plan, guiding the evolution of Humanity, and indeed of all life, all consciousness, and the Universe itself.

Is the Plan knowable by mere mortals?
Perhaps not, but some believe there are “Masters,” “Inner Plane Adepts,” or other “Great Ones” who know it, at least, partially and who themselves work under its guidance at high spiritual levels. 

Do these Masters ever appear on Earth? In Physical Form?
Some say yes. And even that they have incarnated in such men as the Buddha, Christ, and others in order to bring about certain transitions in Humanity, in Consciousness, perhaps even in the genetic structure.




Divine Plane

Name for the sixth plane or level up from the Physical. Alternate names include Submanifestal and Monadic.




Double
See Astral Body


Dream Body

Alternate name for the Astral (or Emotional) Body, but also the specific term for astral body that has separated from the physical body during sleep. Becoming conscious while in the Dream Body facilitates one particular form of Astral Projection known as “Lucid Dreaming.”




Dream Book

See Dream Journal.




Dream Incubation
An ancient spiritual technique in which worshippers slept in temples to receive dream messages or healing from deities. From the Latin incubare. Similar procedures have been practiced throughout history on every continent.


Dualism
A philosophical belief that there are two opposing forces in the universe that are always contending or seeking balance with each other. These can be seen in concepts of male/female, yin/yang, mind/body, god/goddess, good/evil. Some spiritual traditions accept this duality. For example some Christian traditions believe that an individual is a soul “trapped” within a body and some Pagan traditions see the highest form of the Divine in the forms of a God and a Goddess.

The opposite of dualism is monism.


Duotheism

A belief in two deities. They may be complementary, such as in the God and Goddess of Wicca, or in opposition such as a deity of creation and one of destruction. 




Dweller on the Threshold
An expression invented by Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803–1873) in his novel Zanoni (1842) to describe a phenomenon frequently encountered by people on a spiritual path. As people spiritually progress, they meet and overcome many challenges. Perhaps the most frightening is the Dweller on the Threshold who blocks the way to further progress. Some people claim the Dweller is a manifestation of who you have been. Since most people don’t want to give up their past, this Dweller is quite a challenge to overcome. It is similar to the concept of facing up to past actions (including from past lives) and overcoming them.


Earth Religion
Any of a wide set of spiritual traditions that revere or “honor” the Earth and nature as the manifestation of the Divine. Often strongly opposed to pollution and the wanton exploitation of natural resources, many Pagan religions describe themselves as an Earth religion.


Earth-Based Spirituality

Spiritual beliefs and practices that center on the planet Earth. Some followers view the Earth as divine (see Gaia Hypothesis). The Earth may be related to as a goddess such as "Mother Earth." Others may view the Earth as being a source of spirituality and due respect and honor, often manifesting in the form of ecological awareness.




Ecstasy

An altered state of consciousness that is unclearly defined but typified by sensations described as rapture, loss of self-control, trance, etc.




Ecstasy

Bliss, an intense emotional state in which the individual is transported beyond the bounds of everyday consciousness. 




Ego

A Latin term meaning "I."

  1. In Theosophical teachings it is the part of us that is aware of the self. 
  2. In Tantric traditions the ego is a false sense of who we are.



Ego

That function of the Personal Consciousness that confronts the outer world.




Eh-heh-yeh

Also transliterated from the Hebrew as Eheieh, it is a god name assoiated with the highest sephirah, Keter. It is usually translated as "I am;" however, it is an infinitive and is more accurately translated as "I will be."

It comes from the 3rd chapter of Exodus in the Bible. Here, Moses is at the burning bush and is told by God to go to the Egyptian Pharaoh and say, "Let my people go." Moses asks whom should he say sent him, and God responds, "Eh-heh-yeh ah-sher Eh-heh-yeh." This is usually translated as, "I am that I am." Linguistically, this makes little sense, and it has been noted that is makes God sound like the cartoon character Popeye. However, the more accurate translation, "I will be what I will be,"makes far more sense, with God saying that names are irrelevant as God will be whatever He wants to be.




Eisegesis

The interpretation of a text in a way that seeks to prove or support presuppositions, opinions, biases, notions, beliefs, etc. about the text, rather than objectively and critically examining the meaning of the text. An exegesis attempts to discover the meaning of a text as written by the author or authors. An eisegesis filters the text through the beliefs of the interpreter.




Elan Vital

Vital Energy, Prana, Chi. A term originally created by philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) in his book, Creative Evolution (1907). Bergson's sister, Mina (AKA Moina), was married to one of the original heads of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and eventually became the head of the order.




Emotion

"Energy in motion." Emotion is a dynamic and powerful response to something perceived that connects to universal human experience and archetypes. Emotion is the energy "powering" most intentional psychic and magical operations, the energy responsible for many types of psychic phenomena, possibly including hauntings, poltergeists, rapping, etc. where there is potential for the emotion to have been "recorded" in the woodwork of the building. On the Kabalistic Tree of Life, emotion is found in the Sephirah Netzach as part of Ruach, the Conscious Self.




Emotional Body

An alternate name for Astral Body or vehicle, used by many modern esoteric writers like Henry T. Laurency and Lee Bladon because they consider the substance of the astral (emotional) plane or world to be best defined as emotional as is the consciousness of that body and level. The strength and the challenges are emotional.

The emotional body is the primary vehicle for consciousness between incarnations, first dissolving at the three lowest sub-planes so as no longer to be in contact with the physical world. The three highest sub-planes provide the substance fulfilling personal and religious fantasies without any veracity from the Mental and Causal levels.




Emotional Plane

An alternate name for the Astral Plane or World, because the nature and substance of the astral (emotional) plane or world may be best defined as emotional, i.e. “matter in motion,” and it responds to human feelings and emotions.




Energy Body

Also called the aura, the energetic field that surrounds the physical body; some believe it can be seen by the psychically gifted. 




Entheogen

A substance such as a drug (or less often, a technique) used to create altered states of consciousness that allow us to experience the divine directly.




Esoteric
Teachings, generally of a spiritual nature, kept secret or that are revealed only to a select few. Those teachings that are given to everyone are known as “exoteric.”


Essential Body

The vehicle for consciousness at the fourth level up from the physical. Here the self-identity of the individual as Monad or Soul is permanent and at the same time can experience others’ consciousness as his own and can also experience oneness with Universal Consciousness. The Essential Self no longer needs to incarnate in the physical world




Essential Plane

The World at the fourth level up from the physical, and is characterized by six dimensions of Matter and Motion. It is the lowest for the four higher planes of our Solar System.




Eternal

A term most often used to mean "living forever" or "without end." The original meaning, however, is "outside of time;" that is, not limited by our physical universe that is constrained by time and space. Thus, the popular expression that "God is eternal" does not mean "God lives forever." Rather, it means that God exists outside of time and space. Therefore, God could choose to appear in our physical universe at any time or place in the past, present, or future. For all practical purposes the saying would appear to us to indicate that God lives forever, when it actually means that God is not limited by time or space.




Etheric Template

In the incarnation process, the “information” needed for the whole physical body and associated subtle bodies is brought down from the Causal level, through the Mental and Astral levels to form an actual “template” at the Etheric level to guide the formation of the embryo and its birth in relation to the pre-determined birth horoscope. It is this Template that provides the blueprint for the physical life.




Every man and every woman is a Star

This is from Aleister Crowley, and is one of the most important as well as poetic things he ever wrote. There is a dual meaning here:

1) that every one of us is Divine at our core and that our destiny is to make our Whole Person Divine;

2) that we are all evolving towards roles of greater responsibility.

Some have interpreted this to mean that as we become greater can actually become "stars" in the astronomical sense for every planet, every star (sun), every solar system, every galaxy is a living system of similar to a person only on a macro scale. All is consciousness and our source is universal.

The Book of the Law spells out that the Great Work is to unite with and do the will of one's own True Self. Thus, "Every man and every woman is a star" moving in their own orbit, by their own unique nature, not to be diverted into a common mold of uniformity.




Evolution

The process by which living things develop, change, and diversify.




Exegesis

The interpretation of a text. Although this can mean a critical examination of any text (where "critical" means an in-depth analysis rather than a denunciation), it is especially associated with a study of a spiritual text such as the Bible. 




Exoteric
Although sometimes mistakenly presented as meaning a teaching that is false or of lesser importance, it actually means a spiritual teaching that is given to everyone. Those teachings kept secret or are revealed only to a select few are called "Esoteric."


Faith

A belief in a thing or idea, often without proof that what you believe in is valid or true, or in spite of evidence that it is not valid or true.




Fasting
The process of denial—traditionally self-denial—of something we usually do not deny ourselves. This denial may have purposes of healing or expiation of things we perceive as “sins,” but is often used in preparation for some sort of ritual. Although this may be viewed as a type of purification, some people believe that by denying oneself those things that usually take up our focus or attention, we can turn our focus to the purpose of the upcoming ritual. The most common denials are in the form of food or drink. There are also fasts that deny such things as communication with others, sexual activity, etc. In some traditions, fasting is only partial abstention. In others, there are limitations on fasting based upon one’s health. Fasting also gives an external impetus for self-control, allowing a person to see that he or she can have power over various desires, needs, or urges.


Father of the New Age

An expression describing Carl Llewellyn Weschcke due to his "behind the scenes" impact on bringing the "New Age" into manifestation.




Feelings

An instinctive response conveying some "truth" about a person or situation. It is a kind of filter through which we experience reality. Also see "Operating System."




Female Energy
More accurately, archetypal female energy. Based on the idea that only the ultimate divine source (i.e., God) is totally unified, the nature of energy is divided into two parts, represented by male and female. In most Western traditions, archetypal female energy is said to be receptive, nurturing, and creative. It is also known as magnetic, negative (in the sense of the negative pole of a magnet), and the Chinese Yin. In some Eastern traditions, such as Tantra, female energy is seen to be active and outgoing.


Finite

Of limited duration. This term especially relates to the idea of having a fixed ending. Opposite of infinite.




First Matter
The original, unpurified material that is transformed in an alchemical operation. In physical alchemy, the first matter is lead; in spiritual alchemy, the unenlightened human.


First Matter
A mixture of the Serpent and the Menstrum. Used in alchemy and sex magick.


First Matter

Together, the effluvia of the Lion and the Eagle, is the "First Matter," the original Creation. This First Matter is to be transmuted by the magickal imagination, by aspiration and inspiration and by the "Fire" which is the ecstasy. Ecstasy is, as it were, the magickal fire for transforming all into inspiration and aspiration.

 




Fundamentalist Christian
A movement that developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among some conservative Christians who held certain beliefs, including the inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth, Jesus’ substitutionary atonement for the sins of all who believe in him, etc. Some non-Christians have a more generic concept of Fundamentalist Christianity, and apply the term to any who believe that their form of Christianity is the only true way to God. Extremist Fundamentalist Christians may disagree with other Fundamentalist Christians over relatively minor issues and some have negative views of any who are not a part of their particular Christian denomination.


Gaia Hypothesis
Also known as the Gaia Theory, the belief the Earth and everything in it functions as a type of organism. While a popular belief among some Pagans, it also has a growing number of scientists who take the hypothesis as a way to explain the functioning of the earth.


Gautama Siddhartha
He was a spiritual teacher from ancient India who founded Buddhism. He was born in the sixth century, B.C.E.


Global Civilization

The belief, fostered by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke among others, that humanity in the twentieth century struggled to create the first global civilization based on a commonality of Hollywood centered entertainment, international political organizations growing out of World War II and the Cold War, the European Union, a world economy, a common currency, universal education, universal human law, and free trade. 




Global Empowerment

Global empowerment must begin somewhere. Becoming personally empowered can be seen as the first step toward empowering the globe and making the world a better place for present and future generations. The starting point is personal empowerment and grows person-by-person as psychic development leads from personal growth and development to the continued evolution of humanity as a whole in partnership with planetary consciousness.




Glory

A name for the halo or other indication of spirituality surrounding a person (or just their head) in spiritual and religious art.




Gnosis

The Greek word for "Knowledge," it came to mean a special knowledge of spiritual mysteries. People seeking this spiritual knowledge directly from the Divine were known as Gnostics. In Chaos Magick the Gnostic Trance is an intense state where you are deeply focused on your magickal goal.




Gnostic
See gnosticism.


Gnostic Mass
The primary religious rite of the Thelemic religion.


Gnosticism
A word derived from the Greek gnostikos, meaning one who has acquired gnosis or "knowledge" (literally, "one who knows"). Any of several Gnostic sects that flourished in the Mediterranean world during the time of Christ, particularly during the second and third centuries C.E. and for many centuries after. The two major branches of Gnosticism were Sethian or Jewish Gnosticism, and Valentinian or Christian Gnosticism.


God's Image

We are told that we are made in God’s image: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:26-27) Therefore we are to understand that the pattern of our Personal Consciousness was structured by Mother/Father/Creator/Source at the beginning of Existence itself.




Goddess
A female god or deity; a greatly adored woman; a woman of great beauty.


Gods

“This term is used... to denote, not the symbolic images to which the title was given by ancient peoples, but hieriarchical Orders of Intelligence, quite distinct from man in this Solar System, but who have been or will be men.

“...In the East they are called devas, a Sanskrit word meaning 'shining ones' and referring to their self-luminous appearance. They are regarded as omnipresent, super-physical agents of the Creative Will, as directgors of all natural forces, laws and processes, solar, inter-planetary and planetary.

“...Nature spirits, like animals and birds, are actuated by a group consciousness shared with others of the same genus. Gods, Sephiras, devas, and angels, have evolved out of group consciousness into separate individuality, as has man. Archangels, especially, have transcended the limitations of individuality and have entered into universal or cosmic consciousness, as has the Superman or Adept.




Gran Met

The pool of life force. In Voodoo it is believed that when you die your life force returns to this pool, waiting to incarnate again. 




Great Chain of Being

The belief in a hierarchical structure to the universe, from God down to angels, fallen angels (or demons), astronomical features, royalty, common folk, animals, plants, and down to precious and then common minerals. The concept began with Plato and Aristotle, but achieved a high level with the Neoplatonists and Kabalists. Since this structure was believed to be decreed by God, it gave royalty—including kings, queens, princes, and all nobles—superiority over common people, a belief that existed until the Enlightenment that began in the late 17th century and culminated in the American and French Revolutions.




Great Secret

The “Higher” always controls the “Lower.” What is magically created on the higher planes—Causal, Mental, and Astral—will precipitate action on the next lower plane, and if so “instructed” through ritual and intention will manifest as physical reality.




Great Work
The union of Man and the Universe, the fusion of the Microcosm and the Macrocosm. The integration of the Lower and Higher selves.


Great Work

The path of self-directed spiritual growth and development. This is the object of your incarnation and the meaning of your life. The Great Work is the program of growth to become all that you can be—which is the realization that you are a "god in the making." Within your being there is the seed of Divinity, and your job is to grow that into the Whole Person that is a "Son of God." It is a process that has continued from "the Beginning" and may have no ending but it is your purpose in life. It is that which gives meaning to your being.

In this new age, you are both teacher and student and you must accept responsibility for your own destiny. Time is of the essence! Older methods give way to new ones because the entire process of growth and self-development has to be accelerated. Humanity has created a time bomb that’s ticking away, and only our own higher consciousness can save us from self-destruction. But—have faith and do the Great Work for it is all part of a Great Plan.

The Great Work is not denial and restriction but fulfillment. There’s not just one narrow Path, but many paths—one for each of us.

Suggested Reading:

Denning & Phillips: Foundations of High Magick




Greater Causal Body

The highest level of Causal Consciousness functioning as the permanent “soul” that continues from incarnation to incarnation. It is designated as 47:1 in the Cosmic Involution Scale.




Greater Causal Plane

The highest level of the Causal Plane, designated as 47:1 in the Cosmic Involution Scale.




Group Soul

The collective consciousness of a community, herd, nation, ethnic group, or nation, reflecting and then reinforcing distinctive behavior, thoughts, and culture.




Guph

The lowest part of the soul, centered in Malkuth. A low level of subconscious intelligence allied to the physical body. The autonomic nervous system. Also spelled G'uph.




Hashem
Pronounced “hah-shem,” it literally means “The Name” and is used by some Jews in place of trying to say the Tetragrammaton, the holy, four-letter name of God. Others use Adonai for this purpose.


Health Aura

See Etheric Aura.




Heathenry

A specific polytheistic reconstructionist path based on aboriginal Germanic tradition.




Heathenry

Any polytheistic reconstructionist path which is also based on aboriginal traditions from Western Europe. Although this may include the British Isles, it is often primarily associated with Northern Europe including Scandinavia, as well as much of what is modern Germany. Examples include Asatru and Odinism, as well as some sects of Druidry. Although these groups can fall under the broad definition of Pagan, some people who follow the path of Heathenry do not consider themselves Pagan.




Hegelian Dialectic
See Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis Theory.


Hellenic

An adjective attached to things that have Greece, especially ancient Greece, as their source.




Henotheism
A term invented by linguist Max Müller to mean the worship of a single Deity while accepting the existence of other gods.


Heresy

Beliefs, theories, or practices that are different from the beliefs, theories, or practices of some mainstream concept. Thus, the idea of what is now called continental drift was, at one time, considered a heresy. Today it is an accepted scientific belief. Often, heresies are not only different from mainstream concepts, but they are considered challenges. Most of the people killed during the Spanish Inquisition were accused of heresy by challenging the beliefs of the Catholic Church.




Hermetic Chain
Also known as "The Golden Chain," it is the Greek concept that there is a linking or "chain" of living beings. At one end are the highest of deities, moving down to lesser deities, heroes, then sages, ordinary people, and then lower animals, etc. Each "link" in the chain inspires and teaches the links below it on the chain, resulting in the transmission of concepts such as love, wisdom, and knowledge of the universe and its secrets.


Hermetic Principles

Although originally published in the book, The Kybalion (1908), the seven hermetic principles are allegedly based on the writings of Hermes Trismegistus. This has been called into question as some of the principles are more associated with the New Thought movement popular at the time of publication. The seven principles are:

  1. Mentalism ("All is Mind.")
  2. Correspondence ("As above, so below")
  3. Vibration (everything vibrates; spiritual things vibrate at a higher frequency)
  4. Polarity (everything is dual)
  5. Rhythm (the vibration—#3—swings back and forth, like a pendulum)
  6. Cause and Effect (there is a cause for everything that happens), and
  7. Gender (gender manifests in everything physical).



Higher Planes

1) A general reference to levels above the physical—generally meaning Etheric, Astral, Mental and Spiritual.

2) A reference to levels above that being discussed, and generally meaning planes above the Spiritual or that our commonly grouped into the Spiritual Plane. Planes refer to a) levels of manifestation and b) levels of the Whole Person—as "bodies."




Higher Self
The part of ourselves that exists in harmony with the Universe; the divine self.


Higher Self

The third aspect of personal consciousness, also known as the Super-Conscious Mind. As the Middle Self, or Conscious Mind, takes conscious control of the Lower Self, or Sub-Conscious Mind, the Higher Self becomes more directly involved in functioning of the Personal Consciousness.

Even though the Higher Self is also known as the Holy Guardian Angel, there is value in using a more easily comprehended psychological term. Words are words and there are often many names for the same thing. But each gives a particular shape or color or tone to the thing named to expand our understanding comprehension when we are relating to larger concepts.

Qabalistically, it is the Super-Conscious Mind in Tiphareth that mediates between the Divine Self and the Lower Personality.




Higher Self

According to Donald Tyson, that which you really are, as opposed to what you think you are. The truest identity of the individual stripped of all transitory veils.




Holism

The Whole View. Seeing things from a fully organic perspective inclusive of all the levels of life, consciousness and manifestation. It’s all the "connections" seen at once.




Hologram

An image wherein any fragment of the whole contains all essential elements of the whole, but to a lesser degree. Modern theorists, noting the holographic quality of DNA (i.e., every DNA molecule has the genetic code for the entire body), note that the body has holographic qualities and the mind may also be holographic. Symbolic of the concept that all things in the universe are infinitely interconnected.




Holy

Sacred. This can be used to refer to an object, place, image, ritual, or vision.




Holy Water

Christianity: water that has been blessed by a priest. Used for

  • Baptism
  • Blessings of people, places, or things
  • To dispel or protect from evil.

Magick: water used for blessings, banishing, purification, etc. Often combined with salt to represent the union of water and earth. May be blessed by leader of ritual or (among Pagans) by High Priest or High Priestess. My be replaced by wine or fruit juice.




Hoodoo
Originally a pejorative used by non-Africans, especially slave holders, to refer to all African religious systems, it is today a term used to describe the African-based system, heavily influenced by Western thought, that includes magic, healing, and hexing, especially using herbs and roots.


Hubris

Extreme pride or arrogance that often involves assuming greater skill or knowledge than one actually possesses. Typically used as a description of the cause of a fall from a position of power.




Human Monad
According to Theosophists, the human monad is a name for that part of a person which is the root of the human ego. After physical death it helps create the "Reincarnating Ego" for its next incarnation.


Humility

In some Wiccan traditions, an honest self-assessment, including an understanding of one’s true greatness and smallness, and admitting where one is lacking. With this appraisal it is possible to see where one can work to spiritually advance.




Huna

Traditional Polynesian, especially Hawaiian, spiritual system that includes theological, psychological, practical, and magickal concepts.




I Am

1) This phrase invokes the higher self in a powerful self-affirmation used in some techniques of self-hypnosis. 

2) "I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy. To me! To me!" This key part of the G∴B∴G∴ Retirement Ritual is your Holy Guardian Angel speaking to you.

Saying it with feelings of deep emotion and acceptance of the reality that your HGA [Holy Guardian Angel] is your Higher Self and is the dynamic partner of you as a Whole Person, and that your HGA loves you and all parts that make up the Whole Person is an invocation of the deepest kind. 

3) A term describing deity as used by Godfré Ray King (pseudonym of Guy Ballard) originally in his book, Unveiled Mysteries. This led to the Great I Am and the I Am Activity led by King and his wife. A new version of these teachings became the source of the Church Universal and Triumphant and Summit Lighthouse led by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Both traditions, with their ascended masters, also have Theosophy as a source.




Ialdabaoth
One of the Archons of Gnosticism, who was actually responsible for creating the physical and some say spiritual worlds. Ialdabaoth took the form of a proud and boastful lion, thus matching his arrogance. The name is used in many magickal rituals.


Idol
A person whom you wish to emulate, as in “He is my idol.”


Idol
An object anciently believed to be a deity. In modern times, this has changed to the concept that the idol represents the deity or the deity’s power. A person who worships an idol is called an “Idolater.” There are proscriptions against idol worship in the Bible. Although this is usually followed by believers based on religious concepts, it has been pointed out that since the Bible describes the creation of a religion, it may have simply been based on the concept of separating biblical religion from other faiths.


Idol
When there is a belief that deity is in everything, followers may worship idols as being manifestations of the divine. An example of this is found in Tantra and Hinduism where deity is said to fill idols (after being invoked into them), known as murtis, and are fit to be worshiped.


Illumination

In many Western traditions, illumination means an ecstatic state resulting from contemplation of the divine. In many Eastern traditions, it means the experience of dissolving into the divine.




Immanent

A spiritual belief that God (or Gods) exist as part of the physical world and can have direct interaction with humans. Many Pagan religions believe in an immanent deity or deities. The opposite of a belief in the transcendency of deity. See: Transcendent.




Immortality
A term meaning life without death. Although the term is popular in describing vampires, it is also incongruous as a person must die in order to become a vampire. Some mystics separate the difference between physical immortality, which some, such as the Theosophists, would contend is contrary to nature and our need to evolve, and spiritual immortality, where our consciousness continues from physical life to life.


Incarnate History

A record of one's past incarnations on this earth plane. 




Incarnate Preparation

A process of preparation in the spirit realm for embodiment on the earth plane.

Suggested Reading:

Slate: Beyond Reincarnation




Individuality

The sense of what makes a person different from all things external to himself or herself.




Individuation
In the psychological thought of Carl Jung, the process of personal development by which the ego comes into relationship with the Self, the essential core of the human psyche. The concept of individuation was largely borrowed from earlier occult models of spiritual development by way of Jung’s substantial contacts with the European occult scene.


Infinite
Without an end. Continues endlessly. A term sometimes used to describe a deity.


Inner Bodies

"…[T]he seven bodies or principles of man, beginning with the most dense, are stated to be the physical body, vehicle of thought, feeling, awareness, and action in the physical world; the etheric double, the connecting link between the inner and the outer man and the container of the vital energy or prana received physically from the sun and superphysically from the spiritual sun; the emotional or astral body, vehicle of desire; the mental body, vehicle of the formal mind and instrument of concrete thought; the higher mental or Causal Body, vehicle of the level of abstract mind of the threefold Spiritual Self, called by the Greeks the Augoiedes and frequently referred to as the Ego; the Buddhic Body, vehicle of spiritual intuitiveness; and the Atomic Body, vehicle of the spiritual will. Overshadowing and empowering the whole sevenfold man is the Dweller in the Innermost, the Monad or Divine Spark."




Inner Divinity

The belief that each person has a "Divine Spark" or part of the Divine Creator at his or her core. As the person evolves and grows in wholeness, he or she becomes more and more closely identified with that Divinity until an ultimate unity is accomplished.




Inner God
A concept found in many religious and mystical traditions, it is the idea that within each person is some kind or aspect of God or the Divine. Magickians try to manifest the powers of the Divine. Others debate the "quantity" of the Inner God. That is, some say there is only a tiny bit of the Divine within us while others contend that we are gods but don't recognize it. Some mystics try to manifest this godhood. Another way of looking at the concept is that it is our inner, essential divinity, the source of inspiration, life, love, etc. Other names for the Inner God include "Christ Immanent," the "Christos," the "Buddha within," and "Brahmapura."


Instinct

An innate behavior, especially as a response to a given stimulus. Instincts may exist since birth–implying a genetic or past life influence—or may result from conscious or subconscious mental programming. As a general rule, animals with lesser or damaged frontal brain lobes tend to function instinctually whereas animals with greater thinking capabilities can choose to act contrary to instinctual prompts.




Interdimensional Interaction Program

Nothing more clearly illustrates our spiritual essence than our capacity to interact with the spirit dimension. Our awareness of spirit guides and in some instances, the departed, illustrates our capacity as spiritual beings to interact with the spiritual realm. To explore that interaction and its empowering potentials, the Interdimensional Interaction Program was formed at Athens State University under the auspices of the International Parapsychology Research Foundation. A major objective of the program was to determine the relevance of self-hypnosis to spirituality, to include mediumistic communications.




Interfacing

A group procedure designed to merge the physical realm with the spiritual without the involvement of a spiritual medium.

Suggested Reading:

Slate: Beyond Reincarnation




Intermediate Nature
A Theosophical term meaning the human soul. It is "intermediate" in nature because, as a result of incarnation, it is imperfect. However, during life it learns lessons so, eventually, it no longer has a need to incarnate.


Inward Silence

An expression used by some to indicate a state of mind where we “turn off” or silence our emotions, thoughts, and daily cares so that we may participate more effectively in a ritual.




Iyalorisha
Priestess initiated in the Santería/Ifá religion. It means “Mother Possessing Orisha.” In the Santería religion, this title is given to a priestess who has initiated others into the religion. Their initiates usually call them “Madrina” (godmother), denoting the influence Catholicism had on the development of the religion. Also called Iyalosha.


Jungian Psychology
Officially known as “analytic psychology,” the system of psychology developed by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875–1961) became one of the most common interpretations of occult phenomena in the Western world during the second half of the twentieth century. The central concept of Jungian psychology is that the whole range of occult and religious phenomena are psychological in nature, and have to do with the relationship between the individual and the realm of the collective unconscious.


Jungian Psychology

Also called Analytic Psychology, it's the system developed by C. G. Jung. After studying with Freud he advanced a more spiritual approach to psychotherapy evolving out of his studies of occult traditions and practices including (in particular) alchemy, astrology, dream interpretation, the I Ching, the Tarot, and spiritualism.

For Jung, the whole range of occult and religious phenomena have evolved out of the relationship between the individual consciousness and the collective unconscious. While the personal unconscious or subconscious mind is the "lower" part of the individual consciousness, it is through it that we also experience and have experience of the elements of the collective unconscious—most importantly the role of the archetypes.

The archetypes are "collectives" of images and energies relating to

  1. Roll specific functional, formative and universal experiences such as Mother, Father, Lover, Judge, Hero, etc.
  2. Those that are more personal with karmic content including the Shadow (repressions), the Anima (expressions of the Feminine in men), the Animus (expressions of the Masculine in women) and
  3. The Self (the evolving Whole Person that overshadows the Personality).



Khaba

Ancient Egyptian term. The astral body.




Khabs

Khabs is Consciousness of one’s real Individuality, while Khu is the active conscious Personality. "The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs." This very clearly states that the Divine is not outside of man but is part of the Personality.

Awakening to this is the beginning of Knowledge of the Higher Self. The Divinity is not distant and separate but right in the heart of the matter—in fact, it’s the Soul of the Matter. The Khabs is the soul and the personality is function of the soul.




Khabs

An Egyptian word that directly translates as "star." In Thelemic concepts it is the actual identity of the physical self, your real essential personality as opposed the the personality you generally present. See Khu.




Khabs is in the Khu

See Khabs.




Khat

Ancient Egyptian term. The etheric double. Food, incense, oils, etc. were left in the tomb to prolong the existence of the KA. Attributed to Malkuth.




Khu

In Egyptian mythology, the Khu is a combination of your life force or spirit (the Ka) and the soul (the Ba). In Thelemic spirituality it is the part of you that creates a physical form, your body, so it can gain experience and self-consciousness. See Khabs.




Kia
In Chaos magick a loosely-defined term similar to the sense of Spirit as the body’s animating force. It has some of the functions of the Soul but is not the Soul.


Know Thyself

This motto was inscribed on the 6th-century B.C.E. temple of Apollo at Delphi and quoted by several ancient writers, some of whom attributed it to Solon. It has been since been quoted thousands if not millions of self-help, motivational and spiritual writers and teachers.




Know Yourself

The process of self-discovery, of self-knowledge, of self-understanding is endless until such time as we become one with the Highest Self. The process of self-knowledge is the process of becoming more than you are. 




Koan

A concept found in Zen Buddhism. Although it may be formed as a story or a statement, it is usually presented in the form of a question. A Koan cannot be answered by the logical thinking of the rational mind. It may not have a logical answer at all. The purpose of a Koan is not to challenge a person to think, but to move beyond logical thinking. Solutions to a question or concept come from the intuition and can lead to deep spiritual insights. The best known Koan is, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” A better translation of the original version would be, “Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?” 




L'olam

Transliterated from the Hebrew in multiple ways, its meaning is dependent upon the context wherein it appears. Thus, it can mean world, universe, or forever.




Law of Attraction
The belief system in which what you think, feel, and believe is what you attract to you or create in your life.


Liber Al vel Legis

Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law, channeled to Crowley by an entity known as Aiwaz, and considered the holy book of the Aeon of Horus and the foundation of Crowley’s spiritual tradition, Thelema.




Life Field

A weak electric field surrounding every living organism that acts like a "matrix" to guide its development. It is the Etheric Body.




Life Force

The energy that is possessed by all living things. 




Life Journey

The "journey" through life that each person makes. It is the "story" of one single  life-time.




Living Light

The Light that is characteristic of the astral and higher planes. It is this “Living Light” that is the foundation of the Cosmos itself and the source of Spirit or Akasha, the element from which all the other elements are derived. It gives meaning to the phrase “Let there be Light” that is the true beginning of all.




Llewellyn's Encyclopedia
See: Llewellyn's Paranormal, Magical and Occult Encyclopedia.


Llewellyn's Paranormal, Magical and Occult Encyclopedia
Llewellyn Worldwide's free, on-line encyclopedia of terms associated with spirituality, metaphysics, the occult, body-mind-spirit, magick, the paranormal, the "New Age," and all topics currently linked under the general term "parapsychology." Intended as a free service to the community in thanks for the support Llewellyn has received, Llewellyn's Paranormal, Magical and Occult Encyclopedia consists of an enormous quantity of terms, brief definitions of those terms, and longer articles related to those concepts. Ever-growing in the number of entries, it is our goal to provide the largest encyclopedia of its kind in the world. We welcome your comments, input, corrections, additions, and suggestions.


Loading

Associating an I AM sentence and symbol with a full description and image of that which is desired. Then the sentence and symbol are vehicles for the entire operation and are used in self-hypnosis to convey the desired goal to the subconscious.




Loka
The Sanskrit term that is used in Theosophy to mean a "world," "sphere," or "plane," as in the idea of an astral plane, spiritual world, etc.


Love
The Hebrew word for Love, ahava, has a numerological value of 13. Similarly, the Hebrew word for unity or the number one, echod, also has a numerological value of 13. Together, they total 26, the same as the numerological value of the Tetragrammaton, the four-lettered name of the Divine, formed by the letters yud heh vahv heh. Thus, God is seen as having the qualities of unity and love.


Love Under Will

This the second part of the phrase that begins with "Love is the Law." "Love magickally directed, and used as a spiritual formula," says Crowley. This is an important clarification for what otherwise has commonly been interpreted as justification for a kind of "free love" movement. As a "spiritual formula" it is a concise instruction for Sex Magick as practiced by the G∴B∴G∴

"Will," of course is the True Will of the Higher Self, while Sex is the engine of energy to be directed by the True Will in fulfillment of our goal.




Lower Self

The aspect of the body, mind, and spirit that is focused on the physical world and attractions to physical things as opposed to more spiritual ideas. 




Lower Self

The conscious mind and the subconscious mind, together, are the Lower Self. 




Luminous Arc
See "Ascending Arc."


LVX

Latin for "light" it is pronounced "lux," and rhymes with "toots," as in "toots a horn." Mystically, each letter is related to Egyptian deities: Isis, Apophis and Typhon, and Osiris, respectively. It also corresponds to the Gnostic supreme deity IAO. 




Macrocosm and Microcosm

The Cosmos and the Individual Person reflecting each in the other: "As above, so below."




Mana

The vital force that permeates everything. It is identical with Ether and the Astral Light that fills Space.




Mariolatry
The veneration of Jesus’ Mother, Mary. Some say this is a form of pre-Christian goddess worship hidden within the guise of Christianity.


Matristic

Referring to a religion focused upon the worship of a goddess or goddesses, or where the female deities are considered more important than the male deities. Preferred by some over the term “matriarchal” as the suffix reminds them of the negative, controlling and limiting aspects sometimes found in patriarchal religions.




Meaning of Life

"What is the meaning of life?" is one of the most challenging questions any of us will ever confront. We can say that our Life's Purpose is "to grow, to become more than we are," but purpose and meaning may not be exactly the same thing. "Meaning" may be either personal or for all of us. Either way, it is probably best discovered for oneself. Meditate on it often.




Meditation
Continuous and profound contemplation or reflection on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or impenetrable nature


Meditation
Besides contemplation and relaxation, Eastern concepts of meditation add another definition. Specifically, relaxation is the first step and intense contemplation of a single thing is the second step. Eventually, by focusing the mind entirely on a single thing, the conscious tires, resulting in the conscious simply getting out of the way. The result—what some might call “true meditation” or the goal of meditation—is an alternate state of consciousness that allows you direct contact with your higher self or the Divine. Some call this cosmic consciousness or any of several names.


Meditation
A long and thoughtful observation of spiritual matters (usually on religious or philosophical subjects)


Medium Within

The belief that each person has the inner, psychic ability to function as a personal spiritual medium.




Memory

The foundation of the conscious mind. What we don’t remember slides into the subconscious mind where it not only remains available for recall but can act either for or against our best interests. Any experience loses its value if we cannot remember it.

Memory is found in Chesed as part of Ruach, the Conscious Self.




Mental Body

The fourth body. The mental body "thinks" in abstract rather than emotional form. The lower mental body unites with the astral and etheric bodies as the personality for current incarnation. The higher mental body is home to the Soul between incarnations.




Mental Plane

The third plane up from the physical/etheric between the Astral and the Spiritual Planes. It is the plane of abstract consciousness, where we find meaning, patterns, the laws of nature and mathematics, number, and form. It is the plane where all thought is shared. It is the upper home for the Akashic records shared with the astral.




Merkabah
Hebrew for “Chariot,” it refers to the chariot of God. A form of mysticism associated with the Merkabah was popular among Jews and a precursor to the Kabalah.

The basic concept of this form of spirituality is simple, but its execution is complex. By entering an altered state of consciousness (through fasting, breathwork, various body positions, and possibly other techniques), the mystic goes through various planes of reality (“palaces”) until having the transcendent experience of gazing upon God in His chariot. There are many traps and needs for information to guardians along the way that make this process difficult.

The concept of going into another level for spiritual and magical practices compares with the shamanic tradition of entering other worlds to get information from spirit and animal guides. The concept of going through levels to reach the divine compares with the original kabalistic concept of pathworking.


Metaphysical

Something that has to do with metaphysics.




Metaphysics
The study of things outside of the physical world and common experience. The term is frequently used to represent all things occult and paranormal. The origin of the term is from Aristotle who wrote works describing the physical world, and then some works covering other things. This was known as “The things after the Physics, “ which in Latin is ta meta ta phusika. Later, the term came to mean things that transcend physics.


Metempsychosis
A term describing the concept that at death the soul moves into a new body. Depending upon the belief system, this transmigration may be to a body of the same or a different species. Also known as reincarnation.


Methods of Activation and Objectivation of Consciousness

“Unlike the yogis’ methods of activation, the esoteric one is a methodical and systematical activation of passive consciousness by vitalizing the different chakras of the different envelopes. Consciousness in each molecular kind is bound up with its particular chakra. When a chakra is vitalized, subjective consciousness in that molecular kind ensues. Objective consciousness is obtained by the subjective consciousness in the chakra activating that molecular kind in the envelope. As has already been pointed out, only the causal self can use emotional and mental objective consciousness correctly. Until then, the individual will be the victim of his own ignorance and will retard his higher development.

"In each new incarnation the individual in his new envelopes has to repeat the whole process of activation. If the individual has once received the knowledge and has not abused it, he will be given occasions to remember his old knowledge anew in new lives."

Laurency, H.T. The Knowledge of Reality, 1979, The Henry T. Laurency Publishing Foundation, www.laurency.com

 



Mind and Consciousness

The mind is the non-physical aspect of identity often linked to the physical brain. It is the location of consciousness.




Miracle

A beneficial phenomenon of astounding impact. Often attributed to supernatural, and especially divine, intervention.




Monad

The fifth, or spiritual, body that is separate from the personality and is a function of the Soul.




Monism
The philosophical belief that everything is of one essence or energy. Those who believe this way would contend that seeing things as opposites that are contending or seeking balance with each other is due to our misunderstanding of reality or as a manifestation of reality. For example, in some Wiccan traditions there is an underlying deity who can only be understood and experienced through its first manifestations as a God and Goddess. The idea of the mind and body being two separate things would be a misunderstanding according to monists.

The opposite of monism is dualism.


Monotheism
The belief that there is one God. Some Kabalists believe the one God has many aspects and give each aspect a name. Vedic Hinduism has one ultimate deity who manifests in the form of many deities and has been called a monotheistic religion with thousands of gods.


Mortal Soul

The astral body temporarily housing the soul after death of the physical body. 




Mysteries

All Life, all Existence, and the entire Cosmos are mysteries and all our science and probing are likewise speculative and pragmatic. If a theory seems supported by observation, experiment, application and practical experience—if it works!—then we assume it to be correct. (Those of us old enough remember that some of yesterday's science is often today's folklore, and some things that were once fictional speculation are among today's science.)

Resolving these mysteries is not only the endless adventure of life, but for each of us it is a path to growth and development. Mysteries will always be with us, and will always challenge us even when we think we've solved one, another will pop up. And even those previously solved will open up further mysterious dimensions. As the Cosmos is infinite, so are its mysteries, and so is the human drive to grow and understand.




Mysteries

The Ancient Mysteries were secret rituals performed by groups of initiates from the Mediterranean world in order to cause a special state of consciousness in the newly initiated recipient.

In ancient Greece, there were several groups of highly developed initiates. These groups were generally created around their interest in a particular Divine story, such as Orpheus, Demeter, Mithra, Isis, etc. These myths emphasized teachings about the after-life and personal destiny. In order to achieve an inner knowledge of these "truths," special rituals and initiations allowed the candidates to directly experiment with these teachings. After these ceremonies, personal fears regarding destiny and death were resolved (no longer traumatic) and the initiates were able to prepare for the end of their physical lives and rebirth through reincarnation (metempsychosis).




Mysticism
The direct personal contact with one's concept of God, the Divine, or the Ground of Being.


Nature

The physical universe of which we are a part.  Especially the living things on the Earth.




Nature-Based Spirituality

Any religious or spiritual path that accepts nature as divine or as having spiritual value.




Negation
Erasing from your consciousness something you have been concentrating on. The third step in true meditation.


Neoplatonism
A term that describes the non-academic form of philosophy attributed to Plato but actually beginning with Plotinus and ending when Emperor Justinian closed the Platonic Academy in 529 C.E. It blended Gnosticism and Judaism (and later, Christianity) and is seen as one source of Kabalistic thought. Neoplatonism heavily influenced medieval mysticism and occultism, and the humanism that developed in the Renaissance.


Nephesh

Also see Nephesch.

(Qabalah). A part of the soul located in Yesod; the etheric double linked to the physical body by prana. It links the physical body (Guph) and the rational mind (Ruach). The etheric body is the Lower Self or lower subconscious with primal instincts and drives. It is the Theosophical Linga-Sharira. 




Neshamah

Also see Neschamah.

(Qabalah) The "Real Ego." It is one of the three highest parts of the soul, along with Chiah in Chokmah and Yechidah in Kether that collectively compose the Higher Genius, the source of intuition. In the Theosophical view it is the Higher Manas attributed to Binah and manifesting as the faculty of understanding and intuition.




New Age
Name for a movement covering a wide variety of practices that were alternative to traditional Western practices, although many have become normative. Included concepts are holistic thinking, mysticism, environmental issues, non-traditional spiritual systems. The term “new age” has also be used by faddists and commercial interests. As a result, some people involved in practices that could be labled “new age” reject the expression.


New Consciousness

The belief that human consciousness has expanded to accept new beliefs and possibilities.




New Man

A belief, sometimes associated with the "New Age," that human evolution continues and is in the process of producing a new species with expanded awareness, various spiritual powers, more immune to common diseases, longer lived, more altruistic, and consciousness-sharing. The New Man is less dependent upon governments, does not identify himself with race or nationality, is free of gender-bias, is mostly vegetarian, and self-supportive.




New Person

Recognition of the evolving person subsequent to the "Next Step." This new person has a mind "outside the brain," emotions beyond hormones, a physical body inclusive of subtle energies, and levels of being and consciousness that extend from the cellular to the spiritual and even "divine." As a "being of consciousness" (rather than just a body with a brain), we have divided the human psyche into subconscious, conscious, and superconscious minds along with soul and spirit, and all somehow connected to a "Collective Unconscious" and a "Universal Consciousness"shared with all other beings across time and space. 




Nous
A term popularized by Plato meaning the higher self. The Nous is the higher, spiritual aspect of each person and is differentiated from the soul and personality. Some might consider it the spark of the divine within each person.


Novus Ordo Seclorum

The New Order of the Ages represented in the Great Seal of the United States. N.O.S. is the spiritual unity behind the nation and the container for all the ideas represented by its founding. It has the potential to function as the "over soul" of the nation should people turn inward to its inspiration. As we turn to the N.O.S. for inner guidance it aligns the person with those high ideas and guides their translation into their practical and contemporary manifestation. It is the repository of the high aspirations of the founding fathers and those thinkers and leaders who have sought to create a new nation based on principles rather than geographic and tribal boundaries. It represents the Spirit of America.




Numen

Latin for potential, it refers to the concept of a force or entity that guides what occurs in either a singular location or entire world. It also referred to a the cult that viewed the Emperor as having this numen, so he could be seen as having the power of a living god without actually calling him a god.

Today sociologists use the term to describe supposed magickal power within an object such as a talisman or religious fetish. 




Numinous
The concept of the sacred and holy essence found in all great spiritual traditions and religions. The term was created by German theologian and mystic Rudolf Otto (1869–1937).


Numinous

Derived from the Latin numen, it is used today to mean the experience of the presence of a divinity. It was popularized by Rudolf Otto in his book, The Idea of the Holy (original German title Das Heilge) who believed that the numinous experience could lead to a belief in deities, the possibility of spiritual transcendence, the supernatural, etc.




Numinous

Containing divine power or divine presence, imbued with spirit. More generally: capable of evoking fear, trembling, and fascination. 




Olodumare
Supreme Deity of the Yoruba pantheon. In Santería, this Creative Force is also known as Olorun and Olofin. This Deity has no altars or representations and is said to divide its Ashe into different Orisha in order to interact with nature.


Omnibenevolent

A religious concept that a deity is all good and therefore cannot do evil. Traditionally a Christian concept, it creates a problem in monotheistic theology: if God is all good and created all things, where does evil come from? The result is the invention of a “source of evil” (the devil). Unfortunately, this means that the Devil has power that approaches that of God, resulting in two deities rather than the single deity Christians profess.




Omnipotence Paradox

Unanswerable questions surrounding the concept of an omnipotent being. Example: Could an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy he could not lift it? If he could not create a stone that heavy, he’s not omnipotent. If he could create a stone that heavy and could not lift it he’s not omnipotent.




Omnipotent

All powerful. Monotheistic religions tend to believe their deity is all powerful. In Christianity, it is an idea associated both with God and with God’s religious and temporal representatives (religious leaders, kings and other rulers). In Pagan traditions, most gods and goddesses are are limited and not considered omnipotent.




Orisha
Deities of the Yoruba pantheon that are worshiped to this day in the Santería /Ifá/Candomblé religions. The term comes from the union of “Ori,” the Yoruba word for head and consciousness, and “Sha” the Yoruba word for pick or picked, thus giving us “Picked Head” or more appropriately “Select or Selected Head or Consciousness." They personify different forces of nature and are thought to be different manifestations of the Creator/Creatix Spirit known as Olodumare.


Panentheism
The belief that there is a transcendent, unknowable deity who manifests as an immanent, knowable, even personal deity or deities. Thus, the belief among some Wiccans that we can know the God and Goddess (sometimes called the Lord and Lady), but they are only manifestations of an ultimate, transcendent, unknowable deity, is a form of panentheism.


Pantheism
The belief that everything is God.


Paroketh

Hebrew name for the veil in front of the Holy of Holies. In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, it was used to represent the separation between the Outer and Inner Orders.




Personal Deity
The deity most often worshipped by an individual; or, the only such deity. This concept probably first arose in ancient Sumer.


Personality

The “self”—who you are—built up during a single incarnation. The personality is based upon heredity, past lives, and the environment. The persona, or outward expression of the personality, is not the personality per se, but a part of the personality. In the same way, the personality is contains a part of the inner self or “soul.” The soul is believed to survive from life to life during the process of reincarnation. The personality does not survive, although small aspects of it that are important to one’s spiritual evolution may remain.




Philosophical Argument

A means to determine the answer of a question. It uses a series of statements, known as premises, that are interrelated thought an accepted set of rules, known as formal logic, leading to a determination as to the validity or falseness of a question, known as the conclusion.

 

Example

Question: Is Socrates mortal?

Premises: All men are mortal.

            Socrates is a man.

Conversion to symbols: Men=X

                               Mortal=Y

                               Socrates=Z

                               “is” is represented by the =

So the Question can be expressed: Does Z=Y?

The premises can be expressed: X=Y and X=Z

The logical rule of syllogism allows us to infer that Z=Y

Conversion back to words: Socrates is mortal

 

Note that if any of the premises are false, the conclusion is logically false. However, even if the conclusions is logically false, it’s possible for the conclusion to be objectively true. For example, assume one of the premises in the above argument is that “Rover is a man.” However, Rover is actually a dog. Therefore, the premise is false and the conclusion is also logically flase. However, the conclusion is objectively true. Finally, even if the premises are accurate, if the numerous logical rules are applied incorrectly, the result can also be false.

 

It should be noted that a philosophical or logical argument is not the same as two or more people arguing over an idea or belief as such arguments rarely rely on the rules of formal logic and are often tinged or even overpowered with animosity.




Physical Plane
Our physical world.


Planetary Spirit
The belief that every physical body in space is overseen by a hierarchy of spiritual beings. Collectively, they are known as “celestial spirits.” Like humans, they evolve, and the most spiritual of these beings, when specifically referred to a planet, are known as that planet’s “planetary spirit.”


Pocomania

A little-known spiritist religion centered in Jamaica. One of its sources is African religions, so it has similarities to Voodoo.

 



Polarity

The concept that two opposites can combine to form a greater whole. Although given names such as male/female, microcosm/macrocosm, magnetic/electric, etc., perhaps the best demonstration is that of an electric battery where you need both the positive and negative poles to allow energy to flow and power devices.




Polytheism
The belief that there are many deities. Often, the deities are limited to certain areas. Thus, there would be a deity of love, a deity of war, a deity of home, a deity of healing, etc. According to some polytheists, there is one ultimate divinity of which the many deities are manifestations. This is sometimes explained by describing a giant, polished diamond with many facets. It is so big you can only see one or a few facets at a time, while the entire diamond is too large to comprehend.


Postulant

A candidate or person who has petitioned to enter a religious or magickal order. Although amongst occultists it most often relates to people entering magickal groups, it is often used to describe a person who seeks to become part of a Pagan tradition such as Wicca.




Praxis

Putting theory into action.




Preexistence
The belief that the soul existed before it incarnated on the physical plane.


Priest

A man who has been given the power, usually through a ritual, to officially perform religious rites. Thus, a man who facilitates a ritual such as a Wiccan ritual. In some Pagan traditions, all male initiates are considered priests. It was also a negative term among some Pagans referring to Christian priests who were seen as greedy, power-hungry, etc.




Priestess

A woman who has been given the power, usually through a ritual, to officially perform religious rites. Thus, a woman who facilitates a ritual such as a Wiccan ritual. In some Pagan traditions, all women initiates are considered priestesses.




Private Sitting

A séance where there is only the medium and one sitter.




Prophet

A term used to describe a person, often a male, who receives inspiration, information, or insights, or direction communication from a divine source which projects into the future. 




Prophetess

A term used to describe a woman who receives inspiration, information, or insights, or direction communication from a divine source which projects into the future. 




Qaballa

Alternate spelling of Kabalah, the form of Jewish mysticism that became one of the major sources of the Western magickal tradition.




Quest

A test or requirement used given to someone seeking to join a coven or magickal group to see if they have the discipline to learn a lesson or perform a task. If they show the determination and discipline to complete the quest, it implies that the person will complete their training so the magickal order or coven doesn’t waste time training someone only to have that person leave before completing the training. Assigning such a quest is not currently popular.




Rebirth
Another name for reincarnation.


Reimbodiment
A general term meaning reincarnation. Specifically, it means that a soul has joined a new body after the physical death of its previous body.


Reincarnation
Also known as transmigration of the soul, reincarnation is the belief that after a person dies that person’s personality or soul is reborn in a new body.


Relaxation
The first step in true meditation.


Religion

A collection of concepts, opinions, beliefs, practices, etc. concerning the nature of the divine and the universe, and how humans interact with the divine. Eventually, the collection becomes accepted as the “rules” of the religion and is known as “dogma.”




Remanence

A term meaning remaining or residual. For example, when you stroke a piece of iron with a magnet, the iron keeps some of that magnetism. This is called remanent magnetization.

The term is also used by dowsers to mean the imprint of energy remaining in an area after an object has been moved. This remanence can last for a long time. It explains why some dowsers may be able to find a previous location of an object even though that object is no longer there.




Rider
William Rider & Son was a publishing company that began in Britain publishing occult books in 1908. It became the foremost publisher of occultism in England. Two of its most famous products are the original Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot and the original book Dracula by Bram Stoker. Authors include Eliphas Levi, A.E. Waite, Hereward Carrington and Franz Hatmann. Today Rider is an imprint of Edbury Publishing, a division of Random House. Their focus is paranormal and spirituality titles.


Ring-Pass-Not

Generally, a term signifying a circle or sphere beyond which something unprepared or undesirable cannot pass. For example, an area that has been banished and consecrated as a magickal workspace is, at its edge, a ring-pass-not.

On a spiritual level, if you believe that you are separate from others and alternate levels of existence, a ring-pass-not contains your consciousness and prevents other things from getting in. As you spiritually evolve, and the seeming separations fade away, the ring-pass-not extends, allowing the mind to accept more and more. This is sometimes called the “unfolding of consciousness.”




Sacrifice

To give something to the gods, spirits, or your higher self in payment for something you are requesting simply to honor them. Examples of sacrifices include such things as giving up chocolate for a period of time to giving a percentage of your earnings to charity. 




Santeria
Afro-Caribbean syncretic religion developed in Cuba and practiced worldwide, which roots are found in Ifá, an ancient Yoruba pagan religion from West-Africa and is influenced by Christian practices and folk wisdom and Spiritualism. Its main beliefs are centered on the worship of Orisha, a diversified pantheon of deities that personify different aspects of nature and of the creator/creatrix spirit called Olódùmarè. Other practices include rituals for health, protection, and prosperity along with ancestor reverence and complex divination systems.


Séance
A type of ritual where a group of people known as “sitters” get together with a person (the “medium”) who has powers to communicate with non-physical entities for the purpose of communicating with spirits, usually of the dead. Also known in some areas as a “sitting” or a “circle.”

Although there is a long history of this sort of activity, it became popular in the West in the mid-19th century as part of a religion known as Spiritualism or Spiritism. Many occultists of the period were involved with this movement, and some occult groups looked askance at it. Two fake spiritualists, Mr. and Mrs. “Horos,” tricked the head of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, into believing in them, and this episode ended up making the Golden Dawn public in an embarrassing way.

After the massive deaths of WWI and the flu epidemic that followed, the desire to contact the dead achieved a fever pitch. Many scientists in other fields were involved, as was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and possibly Abraham Lincoln.

Whenever such an interest grows, there are people who take advantage of it, and the history of séances and Spiritualism, unfortunately, has many darker and fraudulent markers. When the famous magician Houdini needed to put some fire under his flagging career, he started exposing fake mediums, a practice some conjurors continue to this day.

Spiritualism and the séance are still practiced today, albeit in smaller numbers. Many of the practices were absorbed into New Thought, the New Age movement, and various occult traditions and orders.


Secular
Non-religious. Not part of any particular religion or spiritual practice.


Seeker

A person who is still looking for a spiritual and/or magickal path to follow. 




Self-dedication

The practice of some people (usually self-trained but sometimes simply  not accepted into a coven) wherein they dedicate themselves to the Goddess or a particular Wiccan or Pagan tradition. Some books have rituals for doing this while some people create their own ritual for this purpose. Others simply declare themselves to be a Witch. Many Solitary and Eclectic Pagans consider this a valid introduction to Paganism and would accept a person who performed such a dedication as a fellow Pagan. Many, if not most members of covens or initiates into a traditional coven might look askance at such a practice and either not accept such a person as a Witch or require further evidence (such as knowledge and skill) before such a person is accepted.




Self-initiation

Similar to a self-dedication, the practice of initiating oneself into a particular magickal, Pagan, or other spiritual path. Since initiation into a system usually requires someone who has previously been initiated performing the ritual for another, many members of structured groups do not accept self-initiation. 




Shadow Work

A practice based on the Jungian psychological concept of The Shadow, the idea that each of us have some very hidden aspects of the self, aspects that most people might consider dangerous or negative. There are many techniques for the actual practice of Shadow Work; however, the basic concept is to use reflections provided by the people, situations and things that we draw to us as we untangle things we cannot see on our own.




Sine Qua Non

A Latin phrase that means, "without which not." In other words, an essential or the essential element. 




So Mote It Be
An ancient phrase that means “so must it be.” Originally used in Freemasonic rituals, it has been adopted for use in modern Wiccan and ceremonial magick rites where it functions as an ending or “seal” (to keep in the power) of a section of a ritual or of the entire ritual. This is similar to the use of “amen” at the end of prayers.


Solar Plexus
Technically called the Celiac Plexus, it is an area in the abdomen that has a large collection of nervous tissue second only to that of the brain. In some spiritual traditions it is referred to as the “second” brain. In the Tantric, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions it is associated with the third major chakra, known as the Navel Chakra or Solar Plexus Chakra.

If struck suddenly and with power, it can result in a spasm of the large muscle of the diaphragm. This can cause difficulty in breathing and is commonly called “having the wind knocked out of you.” Spiritually, it is also the source of personal energy (“having a fire in the belly”) and a sense of knowing without having specific knowledge about something (“I have a gut feeling about it”).


Solar Plexus
A large plexus of sympathetic nerves located behind the abdomen. Associated with the third chakra, manipura.


Song of Solomon

See The Song of Songs.




Soul
According to some spiritual traditions, the true self. The soul is said to “inhabit” the body. Others consider it the spiritual principle that is embodied in humans.


Speaking in Tongues

See Glossolalia.




Spirituality
The property of being more focused on the spirit or soul and its development. Often, people focused on spiritual development show less interest in the physical world.


Stupa
A Buddhist religious structure originally built to house sacred relics. It is notable for being a large dome with a square base and a spire that can have various degrees of complexity. It is believed that some of the spires may be modeled on the shape of Vimana, UFOs or space ships described ancient Indian books.


Survival

The belief that the soul or personality survives physical death and can communicate with the living or even reincarnate.




Syncretism

The combination of different—sometimes widely different or even seemingly contradictory—beliefs, concepts, traditions, schools of thought, myths, theology, etc., into a singular system of belief acceptable to followers of the syncretic tradition. Syncretism is often seen in the development of religions over time. Some modern Wiccans have created new traditions that are collections of beliefs from a variety of spiritual paths. This has been a cause for some criticism by those who would claim that such syncretism "lacks authenticity." Syncretism, also known as eclecticism, is also found in fine arts, music, science, and even politics.




Systematic Activation of Consciousness

The Systematic activation of consciousness is done in four steps: concentration, meditation, contemplation and illumination.

"Concentration is the keeping of attention on a certain thing. Meditation implies a concentrated analysis of all relations pertaining to this subject-matter. Contemplation entails the isolation of the problem until one begins to see the idea and can concentrate attention on that single point. If thereby activity ceases, there is a risk of falling asleep or into ordinary trance. If activity can be kept up long enough, illumination comes and the individual will find what he has been seeking."

K 7.17.9 Laurency, H.T. The Knowledge of Reality, 1979, The Henry T. Laurency Publishing Foundation




Talmud
A huge commentary on the Torah.


Tanach
The Jewish Bible, commonly—and antisemitically—referred to as the “Old” Testament.


Tara
The seat of the High King of Ireland where the Lia Fail stood. Also given as Teamhair (pronounced “tah-var”). The spiritual center of Ireland.


Tara

In Tantra, a star goddess who, as one of the ten great goddesses, is a manifestation of Kali. She is also a popular Buddhist Goddess known for protecting us from evil and for her support in overcoming obstacles. 




Tetragrammaton
The Holy Ineffable Name of God, YHVH, Yahweh, Jehovah, etc.; the Name of Four Letters.

The four consonants of YHVH correspond to the four elements, the four worlds, the four suits of the tarot, ad infinitum.


The All

A term used by some people as a title or name for the ultimate source of everything in the universe. This is preferred by some people as “The All” is genderless. Some Pagans use the term to describe the ultimate divinity from whom manifested the male god and female goddess. Others may use the term as a title of the Goddess, Mother Earth, Mother Nature, etc.




The Song of Songs
Also called “The Song of Solomon” in Christian tradition, it ia a book of the Bible. The Sages of the First Century debated whether this series of passionate love poems that never mention God should actually be part of the Biblical canon. The Song of Songs was accepted, however, on the strength of the argument that it is actually an allegory for the love between God and Israel. Since then the text have been a fertile ground for mystical speculation. Rabbi Akiba and his contemporaries evidently had a whole body of mystical traditions concerning this text, starting with the claim that it was given, along with the Torah, at Mount Sinai.


Thealogy

A study, usually spiritual or religious, of the matristic religion. Used by some Pagans in preference to “theology” which, at least linguistically, is focused toward the study of male deities. 




Theism
The belief that one or more deities exist.


Theolepsy

Communion with the deity. According to Burgo Partridge (A History of Orgies, 1958), the Greeks used (among other sexual practices) some SM-type activities in order to achieve the ecstatic state of theolepsy during the festival known as the Dionysia (rites dedicated to the god Dionysus).




Theology

The study of religion. Some people use this term to refer to the study of patriarchal religions like Christianity.

See: Thealogy.




Theosophy
A mystical public society founded in New York in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge. It’s headquarters eventually moved to India. It originally focused on mystical Hindu and Buddhist concepts combined with Neoplatonism, and had as its motto, “There is no religion higher than Truth.”

The original moving force of the society was Blavatsky, and her books, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine became important texts of the society. She felt that The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a challenge to Theosophy, so she founded a more practical or magical group within the Society known as the Esoteric Section, or ES. There were many members of the Golden Dawn within Theosophy.

Upon Blavatsky’s death in 1891 there were schisms in the Society and several branches developed. Woman’s rights activist Annie Besant ruled the branch in India. Mrs. Katherine Tingley founded a group in Point Loma, California, and Rudolph Steiner began a branch in Germany. Other groups formed in England and Los Angeles, and splinter group or societies based on parts of Theosophy developed and continue to evolve.

Many concepts of the New Age are derived from Theosophical teachings.


Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis Theory
If you have one condition (A), and wish to change to a different condition (B), you usually get a mixture of the old and new (AB) rather than the new condition (B) you wanted.


Thirty-One

Aleister Crowley's essential book, The Book of the Law, was originally called Liber Legis. Frater Achad (Carl Stansfeld Jones 1886–1950) wrote a small book entitled Liber 31, which revealed important aspects to Crowley's book, especially with the Hebrew word for "no" (spelled Aleph Lamed) that numerologically totaled 31. Crowley was so impressed that he changed the name of his book to Liber Al vel Legis. Today, many Thelemites (followers of Crowley's tradition), refer to the book as Liber Al.

The Hebrew word Al has spiritual meanings in Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic. In Hebrew it is added to the names of some angels to signify they are of God. In the Kabalah it is one of the names of God. It is also used by Muslims as in their name of God, "Allah." As a result, some say it is a way to express the underlying unity of all religions.

Besides changing the title of his book, Crowley came to believe that Frater Achad was his magickal child as predicted in that book. Unfortunately, Achad wrote a book on the Tree of Life that completely rearranged the paths and their corresponding Tarot associations. Crowley objected to this and disowned Achad as his "son."




Thirty-Two

One of the tricks to understanding discussions about the Kabalistic Tree of Life is realizing that there are many ways to approach it. From just looking at it, many people think it has ten Sephiroth and 22 paths. However, some writers refer to the Sephiroth as paths themselves, thus making 32 the total number of paths on the Tree. 32 is also:

A) The number of teeth in the average adult human mouth

B) The number of joints in a pair of human hands

C) The number of bones in the human spine

D) The numerological value of the Hebrew word Ararita, an important word in the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram

E) The age of Jesus at His crucifixion

F) The number of degrees in Scottish Rite Freemasonry

G) The number of pairs of hexagrams in the I Ching




Three-fold Nature

An imprecise expression that refers to the idea that everyone or every thing is composed of three parts. It’s hazy because there are different interpretations of the three. To some it means the physical body, the mind and the soul [who you are]. To others it means body, mind, and spirit [the energy that animates the body and mind].




Transcendent

A spiritual belief that God (or Gods) exist outside of the physical world and that humans cannot have a direct interaction with the deity or deities. To communicate with a transcendent deity requires some sort of intermediary. The opposite belief is that of an immanent deity or deities. See: Immanent.




Transmigration of Souls

The belief that after physical death, the soul of a person can migrate to another body, such as that of a newborn child, animal, or even an object that is not generally considered to be alive.




Transubstantiation
The part of the Roman Catholic Mass ritual where, believers feel, the wafer and wine become the actual body and blood of Jesus. Some Protestant sects believe that the effect is not actual, but metaphorical. This is known as consubstantiation.


Treta Yuga
In the Tantric and Hindu concept of time, one of the four enormous repeating cycles.


Trishul
(Also Trishula) A three-pointed spear or trident especially carried by, and representative of, the Hindu deity Shiva.


Tunnel of Light
  1. In some Wiccan traditions, the expression describing the doorway into the Summerland that appears when you die.
  2. An experience many people who have had a near death experience describe as a pathway leading to heaven. Some people report seeing a spiritual entity such as an angel or their idea of Jesus within that tunnel. 



Umbanda

A religion found primarily in Brazil that combines African religions with Roman Catholicism and Spiritism, as well as indigenous lore. Although based on earlier traditions, its beginning is credited to the medium Zélio Fernandino de Moraes in Rio de Janeiro at the start of the Twentieth Century.




Unmanifest
  1. A description of a ritual where the result has not yet become part of the physical plane.
  2. Anything that is thought of but not made physical.
  3. When used with the article “The,” (The Unmanifest), the unknown source of existence.



Veil of Unknowing

The boundary between the manifest physical universe and the unmanifest, unknowable source of all. 




Vévé
A symbol drawn on the ground in Voodoo ceremonies as a talisman or device to attract the Loas or Gods.


Visualization
Using the imagination to create an image “in” the mind.


Vodou
Vodou is an animistic Caribbean spiritual tradition, most usually associated with Haiti, which traces its lineage to the shamans of ancient Africa. It blends together (through a process known as "syncretisation") a number of traditional African beliefs with elements from other faiths, most notably Catholicism (the religion of the French slave traders who took the shamans of Africa to the Caribbean New World), but also those of the indigenous Haitian Taino and Arawak people and the European pre-Christian pagans who also came to settle there.

Vodou believes in one creator-God called Gran Met ("Great Master") and a pantheon of lesser deities known as the Lwa. These entities, as well as the spirits of the ancestors ('zanset yo') are directly available to man through the mechanism of possession, a trance-like state where a person is taken over by one of these spirits so it may dispense healing, advice, or wisdom to the community faithful, who are known as Vodouissants.

The shaman-priest of Vodou is known as the Houngan and the priestess as the Mambo. Often accomplished healers, magicians, and leaf doctors (herbalists), these spiritual leaders are also experts on the nature, desires, and ways of interacting with the spirits, as well as therapists, counselors, and doctors for their community.


Voodoo
Voodoo is both a corruption of the African Fon word 'Vodou' (which means 'spirit' or 'mystery') and now a powerful spiritual tradition in its own right, most associated with New Orleans and the American South.

Voodoo traveled from Africa in the hearts and souls of Africans who were transported to the Americas during the slave trade. There it became blended with the spiritual practices of the indigenous peoples, who often had a shamanic or animistic belief system, and with the Catholic religion of the slave owners. It recognizes one creator-god and a pantheon of angel-like spirits (called Loa) who work on his behalf. The ancestors are a third spiritual force.

All of these spirits may be appealed to for practical help, advice, and support, through prayer, divination, and magic. Herbalism also plays a major role in New Orleans Voodoo, where it is known as Hoodoo or root doctoring, and the Voodoo priest and priestess are often powerful healers, working with herbs and with more spiritual and magical healing tools. Famous names associated with New Orleans Voodoo include Marie Laveau and Dr. John.


Western Tradition
Also described as the Western Mystery Tradition or the Western Magickal Tradition. A term used to describe the underlying similarities found in Western occultism (especially ceremonial magick) and spirituality. Although groups such as The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, The Aurum Solis, and The Ordo Templi Orientis have many different practices and beliefs, they have many underlying similarities, making them all part of the Western Tradition.


Yechidah
The Qabalistic Part of the Soul that represents the quintessential lifeforce and the spark of divinity within each being. The Yechidah is attributed to Kether on the Tree of Life.


Yetziratic World
Kabalistic name for the astral plane.


Yoga

From the Sanskrit “yug” meaning union, yoga means a union between a human and the Divine. There are several different types of yoga. Most people equate it with hatha (Sanskrit “hat” “ha” meaning sun-moon), which involves moving the body into a series of positions known as asanas. Today, many people enjoy hatha yoga for its physical benefits, although when accompanied by certain muscle tension or “locks,” breathing techniques, and visualizations, it can provide more spiritual development. Other types of yoga include:

Karma yoga: The yoga of action. Practitioners do what is right without a focus on the results of their actions.
Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion. Practitioners live in devotion to a deity.
Jnana yoga: The yoga of knowledge. Practitioners become closer to the Divine through the study of spiritual texts.
Tantric yoga: Using Tantric techniques, including mantra, yantra, breathwork, and sexual activity to become closer to the Divine.
Kundalini yoga: Popular name for Laya yoga, the use of visualization and breathwork to generate and move kundalini energy up an energy path associated with the spine, and through the chakras, opening them and resulting in enlightenment.
Raja yoga: The royal yoga. Practitioners use meditation to become closer to the Divine.




Yoga
To yoke. The union of spirit into form. The philosophical path of going within to discover spiritual nature.


Yoga

Sanskrit word meaning “Union, to Yoke”: An Indian system, like Taoism and Western Magick, intended to develop the whole person including the psychic and spiritual bodies. The Sanskrit root not only a implies a linking with cosmic forces but also suggests the harnessing (a yoke is a harness) and control of our own energies. Yoga is a total art and science of living leading to “skill in action.”

The Sanskrit root "yug" gives rise to the following meanings:

I. Yoking, team; vehicle; equipment (of an army).

  1. Performance, employment; occupation.
  2. Use, application, method.
  3. Remedy, cure, wholeness.
  4. Means, device, instrument producing a result.
  5. Spell, magic, dextrous feat.
  6. Opportunity, undertaking, task performed perfectly.
    1. Union, contact with, relationship.
    2. Combination, mixture, bringing together of polarities or complementaries (e.g., arrow with target, key with lock).
    3. Aquisition of, gain, profit (alchemy).
    4. Order, succession, correctness.
    5. Aggregate, sum, conjunction (of stars); constellation.
    6. Fitness, propriety, strenuousness, extertion, endeavor, zeal, assiduity.
    7. Mental concentration, systematic abstraction, system of philosophy.
    8. Unity of soul (Purusha) and Nature (Prakrit) (alchemical marriage).
    9. Connection of a word with its root, etymological meaning of a word, deriving one word from another.

 

Suggested Reading:

Muni: Yoga: The Ultimate Spiritual Path

Mumford & Riddle: Yoga Nidra: Chakra Theory




Yoga

Yoking or union; an Indian spiritual tradition closely related to Tantra. While most Westerners think of Yoga as a form of exercise characterized by various asanas (postures), there are many ways to practice Yoga, and some of them do not involve physical postures at all. It can be useful to think of Yoga as a state of mental stillness, accompanied by a feeling of union or merger with all that is. 





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