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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Soul

DEFINITIONS

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.


ARTICLES

Vodou - An African Shamanic Tradition
At first sight, shamanism and Vodou - what Hollywood has introduced into the popular imagination as "voodoo" - seem to have little in common. The former seems based on peaceful co-existence with nature and the elements, while the latter, in so far ...
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Meditation
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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Shamanic Healing Through Soul Retrieval
Soul retrieval – a contemporary therapeutic practice rooted in the ancient spiritual tradition of shamanism - is attracting significant attention in the modern world as the holistic healthcare movement continues to gather force. Shamans believe ...
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The Astral World
The word "astral" comes from the Greek word meaning "related to a star" and it originally described the heavens of the Greeks and the abode of their gods. The concept of the astral world expanded in time to refer to what the ancients called ...
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Four Divisions of the Soul
As pictured on the Tree of Life, these levels are: Neschmah, which is itself divided into three parts Yechidah (the superego), centered in Kether, is our Divine Self Chia, centered in Chokmah, is our True Will Neschamah, centered in Binah, is ...
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Magic Provides an Alternative Viewpoint
Where in the world is magic? It is not in science, which denies the reality and value of anything not amenable to the scientific method. It is not in religion. The Church has historically looked upon magic as devilish, and in modern times regards it ...
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Ayahuasca – the Vine of Souls, the Medicine of Love
Shamanic healing often employs plants to good effect, though it is rarely about herbalism, per se. Indeed, most shamans are explicit that the pharmacological properties of the plants they employ are of far less importance than the spirit which is ...
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The Shamanic Journey
Regardless of other specialities - which may include plant medicine, divination, or healing rituals - the key approach of all shamans both ancient and modern is the shamanic journey. This is a special state of trance consciousness that enables ...
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Animals of the Spirit Worlds
The Spirit Animal One’s personal animal guide is called the spirit animal or medicine animal. In shamanism, the spirit animal is the psychopomp: the escort of souls to the spirit world. It is the embodiment of the collective animal ...
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Transmigration
There are many misconceptions about reincarnation, and one of the most common is that people reincarnate as animals or insects. This belief is called transmigration. Of the 75% of the world’s population which believe in reincarnation, only a tiny ...
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"She is indeed more splendid than the sun, she outshines all the constellations; compared with light, she takes first place, for light must yield to night…" —The Book of Wisdom 7:29-30 When we speak of the darkness of our nature we immediately turn our mind towards the shadow of our being—that is, all those emotional states... read this article
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