I have the wonderful luck of being able to provide several services to Llewellyn. As you may know, I write some books, I’m an acquisition editor, and I write this blog. What you might not know is that I’m also the editor of Llewellyn’s free, online encyclopedia. As the editor of the encyclopedia, my work involves tracking down terms that are associated with occultism, spirituality, the paranormal, and more. Then, I have to assure myself the definition of a term is accurate. Only when this is done do I actually place it in the encyclopedia.

The encyclopedia was already started when I became the editor and made my first set of new entries in 2005. Today I made my 50th set of entries, adding almost 190 new terms. By my estimates we now have over 4,500 terms in the encyclopedia. However, this does not give the full breadth of the encyclopedia as many of the terms have multiple definitions or longer articles associated with them. We believe that our encyclopedia is either one of the largest or the largest encyclopedia in this category available on the internet.

When you come across a word associated with occultism, spirituality, the paranormal, new age topics, etc., we hope—I hope—you’ll use the encyclopedia to look up the word’s meaning. We are so grateful for the support the community has given us that we’re doing this as a free service for the community. There are no gimmicks or charges; it’s really free. You can go to the encyclopedia’s home page and enter any term. Or if you have a bit of free time you can explore the many categories and hyperlinks that go from one word to another. It’s intriguing, enlightening, and entertaining.

For example, have you ever heard of an anaretic degree? It’s a name for the 29th of the 30 degrees that make up each zodiacal sign. You can find out the astrological meaning by clicking on the term’s hyperlink at the start of this paragraph.

Or did you know that graveyard dust, sometimes called for in magickal recipes, wasn’t traditionally accepted literally? It was actually a code name for the common herb mullein. Using coded names (so outsiders wouldn’t learn the real secrets) for herbs has a history of at least 2,000 years. In retrospect, some of the code choices, such as baby’s blood for strawberry juice, were not optimal.

Although I try hard to find as many terms as possible to enter into the encyclopedia, I’m always open to getting more. If you find any terms that aren’t included, please sent them to me: DonK@Llewellyn.com. Include the term, a brief definition, and your source. If we use it you will get credit for it.


Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...