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November/December 2016 / Gift Guide Issue

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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Buddhism


Buddhism: A spiritual tradition based on the teachings and beliefs attributed to Gautama Siddhartha, known as the Buddha, who is believed to have lived in the 6th century b.c.e. Although people not familiar with this philosophy believe Buddha is considered a god, this is not so. In fact, the term Buddha simply means “enlightened one.” Since Buddhism is not about a specific deity, it is debatable to claim that Buddhism is a religion unless it is considered a non-theistic religion. Buddhism was a response to the strict rules of Hinduism and has many beliefs in common with Hinduism. The goal of Buddhist practices is to avoid pain and suffering by not having attachments to things in this world. The result of this would be to eliminate the need to incarnate and no longer face suffering in the physical world. Some who achieve this level, however, choose to return and teach others. They are known as Bodhisatvas.


Meditation is: An emptying of the mind of all thoughts and "chatter" often by concentration only on the slow inhalation and exhalation of breath and is characterized by slow alpha and theta waves. It induces relaxation and a "clean slate" ...
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Enduring Beyond Oppression - The Truth About Vodou
Vodou is a religion born in slavery, which blends together a number of traditional African beliefs with elements from other faiths, notably Catholicism, the religion of the slave-owners, with which it has always been an uncomfortable bed-fellow. It ...
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Celtic Religion
Druidism can be used synonymously with the phrases Celtic religion and Celtic magic. In order to enter into this magico-religious system, a familiarity with mythology is necessary. Celtic mythology is best represented in the Irish Book of Invasions ...
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New Age
A phrase adapted by certain occult writers to describe: A belief in a new level of consciousness coincident with the Aquarian Age. A social movement of diverse spiritual and political elements directed toward the transformation of individuals ...
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The History of the Golden Dawn
The story of the Golden Dawn, like that of any human organization, is replete with high points and low points—with human achievements and human failings. There is no need for us to try to whitewash or sugarcoat the faults of some of the individuals ...
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Witchcraft: Death and Resurrection
Soon the leaders of the new religion, determined to wield absolute control over all aspects of human life, sought to stamp out such crimes of heresy as foretelling the future, psychic healing, spiritualism, the creation of protective amulets and ...
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Who Were the Druids?
To mention the word Druid is to evoke images of ancient wizards and wonder-workers from old Irish sagas, Welsh legends, Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Scottish folktales. If you have read about the Druids, you’ve probably retained one of their many images ...
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The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
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