Frequently Asked Questions:
Feel free to browse the categories below.
The art and practice of foretelling future events by the observation of omens in sand, dirt, or ashes.
In Tibetan Buddhism, this is a tantric empowerment and form of esoteric transmission that confers the blessings of a lineage to an adherent. A practical example: to work successful magic within the mandala of a specific deity, abhisheka is often very close to a necessity.
The original, and likely correct, transliteration for Abraxas. See Abraxas for further clarification.
In concentration meditation, this refers to the various states found in the samatha jhanas whereby the locus of focus narrows solely on the object of observation. Attainment of absorption concentration is causally preceded by access concentration which is itself preceded by the monkey mind state of awareness associated with mundane consciousness.
Though there are smaller "abysses", as discussed in the article on Da'ath, the Abyss, as a proper noun, usually refers to the gulf in conscious experience between the Non-Dual (i.e. the Causal Plane) and the dualistic worlds (i.e. the lower three of the Four Worlds). This gulf can seem like an impossible experiential gap to cross to the dualistic mind associated with mundane consciousness and hence is aptly named.
In concentration meditation, this refers to the state preceding access to the samatha jhanas whereby the locus of focus has narrowed considerably from the monkey mind state of awareness associated with mundane consciousness and has started to settle rather effortlessly on the object of concentration. Precedes access to absorption concentration.
A form of divination by means of sharp or pointed objects such as needles or pins.
A rather advanced initiatory grade in a given esoteric or occult organization. What this grade means and what is required to be proclaimed an adept varies from tradition to tradition and from paradigm to paradigm.
A way of referring to one who adheres, or practices, a particular system of magic or who follows a particular paradigm. This term is generally not used on this site outside of systems that have strong teacher-follower or worshipped-worshipper roles due to the more servile connotations evoked.
A form of divination by interpreting random patterns formed by the sprinkling of salt.
Traditionally this was the innermost sanctuary of a Greek temple. Refers to the holiest layers of self and spirituality as well as to the innermost levels of the Temple.
A wide-ranging form of divination by the observation of the sky and atmospheric conditions.
A generic, nebulous term that usually refers to the conscious aspects of reality that crystallize some of the discrete forms that we tend to think of as "conscious" or "alive". In general this is related to the Fifth Element which is Spirit.
The Enochian Aethyrs. Essentially there are thirty planes which describe and subset reality according to the Enochian system of magic. These can be called and worked with through initiations and pathworking. This is not an area of magic that is familiar to the author of this site and will not be explored much more; it does have a reputation and power preceding it though. Caveat emptor.
Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. Renown sixteenth-century polymath and occult scholar who wrote the seminal work: Three Books of Occult Philosophy through which much of contemporary Hermetic works and sigils are sourced.
Also transliterated as "Ein". "Nothing". The primordial Void – Non-Experience – out of which Source Consciousness ultimately emerged. Refers to the most liminal of the Veils of Negative Existence.
Also transliterated as "Ein Sof". "Limitlessness". A further characterization of the Ain – the Void of Non-Experience – that ascribes a sense of vastness and potentiality to the Ain and that indicates a demarcation between the emergence of the characteristics of the Ain Soph Aur from the Ain. Refers to one of the Veils of Negative Existence.
Also transliterated as "Ein Sof Ohr". A further characterization of the Ain Soph – the Limitless Potentiality of the Ain – that attempts to put language around the sense of Light and Presence that ultimately is characterized by the emergence of Kether ("Source Consciousness"): the crystallization of the root of experiential awareness. Refers to one of the Veils of Negative Existence.
The "Third Eye" chakra that is linked to precognition, visions, and divinatory revelation. Located between the eyes and toward the front of the head.
A form of collective memory that can be tapped into via symbolic resonance and is associated mainly with archetypes on the Mental Plane and their Astral counterparts (the visualizations through which they are accessed).
Also called "Storehouse Consciousness". In Buddhist philosophy this is a primordial state of awareness and potentiality from which all other seeds of causality and karma flow. It has been described as "the last barrier to complete enlightenment" and hence, if we are speaking Kabbalistically, is associated with the path between Kether and the Veils of Negative Existence.
A process of transmutation. In respect to the occult sciences this refers to inner alchemy, the process of changing the lead of mechanistic, habitual personality into the gold of the solar personality and even to shift clarity of perception into the Causal.
Probably the most infamous occultist of the modern era, Crowley is a seminal figure in Western occultism and is most famous for the philosophical movement, Thelema, that he started and the many libers he published.
A form of divination of foretelling future events by means of flour.
A form of divination by means of sounds and noises.
The Greek conception of amrita: the nectar of immortality. See Amrita.
A form of divination by means of walking.
The nectar of immortality. In various traditions, especially Buddhist, there is an alchemical process that the mind and body engage in to clarify awareness and to transform perceptions of reality and encourage realization. This refers to the result of such practices. Amrita is not just a metaphor though: there are shifts in the mind-body complex that occur through practices that unlock and allow certain energies to flow and certain patterning to fall away.
From the Latin "amuletum". This often refers to a protective charm worn on the body, usually around the neck. But this is a modern distinction that not everyone makes. On this site, generally, an amulet will be an object, natural or manmade, that is worn on the body to manifest a result or to produce some sort of effect. Thus it is physical materia for magical workings. Often this is protective, but it need not be. Contrast with Talismans, which on this site are thought of as stationary (e.g. on an altar) or carried on the person (as opposed to worn).
Refers to the aspects of reality that are cohering and constructive to consciousness.
"No-Self". One of the Three Characteristics. Refers to the fact that the root of experiential awareness is fundamentally devoid of self-identity entirely. Non-Experience lies at the root of experience.
Derived from the Latin for "messenger", this term means different things in different traditions. From the perspective of the Kabbalah there are orders of angels: levels of consciousness with a sense of "self-identity" that guide and interact hierarchically with humanity and other conscious forms.
In the Kabbalistic paradigm, these are the legions of consciousnesses associated with a particular Sephirah and which are under the dominion of a particular Sephirah's archangel. These are the workhorses of each Sephirah's energy and are linked to the Yetziratic aspect of each Sephirah.
The study of angels.
"Impermanence". One of the Three Characteristics. Refers to the fact that all experience is fundamentally fleeting.
Mainly a Christian conception of a being that is antithetical to the aims of The Christ. In respect to personal gnosis this is viewed as a stage of human evolution whereupon solar consciousness is eschewed and the deeper roots of ?causal reality are forgotten entirely. Such a stage loses the connection to the Source and can be doomed to self-destruction or extensive and pervasive suffering.
A term that describes what are fundamental aspects of conscious experience; primordial forms that establish meaning within the mind and from around which other forms have a tendency to agglutinate. These are powers that drive desire and intent and are the foundations upon which the need for complex experience arises. The archetype that is "love" or the archetype that is "acceptance" are examples of this concept residing at a more fundamental layer of dualistic reality but which are, nonetheless, emergent from the Non-Dual. The concept of archetypes is one of the more complicated topics to broach and is an area of active research. Most of the material on this site discusses the permutations of archetypes that emerge from the barest roots of experiential existence and how these drive the complex forms that we associate with our physical world, but it is difficult to reduce this concept to an adequate definition.
The main consciousness that the aspirant can call to and work with that is associated with a particular Sephirah and which is linked to the Briatic aspect of that Sephirah. Typically the archangel is viewed as the most powerful aspect of that Sephirah that can be worked with, while the God Name refers to the purest, most primordial manifestation of that Sephirah's energy.
A title of nobility or rulership usually associated with certain deities or hierarchies thereof.
Depending on the paradigm and tradition this can take on different meanings. Generally refers to an entity purposefully constructed by the practitioner's imagination and will, but in some traditions there is a distinction between this and an artificial spirit where an artificial elemental is loaded with particular combinations of elemental energy and patterned for a specific purpose. See also Artificial Spirit.
An entity, usually, purposefully constructed and constrained by the practitioner's imagination and will. This is often done in order to accomplish some specific goal or objective.
A category of the dead that have crystallized and maintained a sense of their living self-identity in such a manner that others can interact with and call upon it. Generally this refers to beings of sufficiently high levels of realization that have decided to maintain a form in more subtle levels of reality in order to teach or inspire beings at denser levels of manifestation.
One of the higher realms in Norse mythology. Ruled by the god Odin.
The practitioner. The one who works within a magical paradigm to gain knowledge and influence their world. The term "aspirant" is preferred because it more accurately models what is occurring: one who "aspires" to understand reality. This process of knowledge and power acquisition occurs most often through an initiatory journey.
An entity constructed through the willpower and imagination of the practitioner in order to accomplish a specific goal. The difference between this and an artificial spirit is more a matter of semantics and scope. Generally astral constructs have goals related to the Astral Plane and are viewed in terms of their effects on that layer of reality. See also Artificial Spirit.
Also Yetzirah. One of the Four Worlds as part of the Kabbalistic map of reality. A realm of reality situated between the Physical and Mental Planes that serves as the abode of the imagination. This is the foundation upon which the capacity to visualize exists and is where the ability to express many emotional archetypes originates. The most "real" aspects of experiences of astral projection, visionary journeys, and dreams tend to be found in this layer. See also Astral Projection.
The ability to firmly focus one's awareness within a form (sheath) envisioned in the Astral Plane. Through practice this allows for exploring the realm of individual and collective imagination lucidly and persistently. See also Astral Plane.
A temple and base of operations created through the willpower and imaginative faculties of the practitioner. Such a structure exists on the Astral Plane and through consistent practice and persistent reinforcement the structure can take on qualities of physicality that belie the usually fluid and transient nature of the Astral. This allows for such a place to be used for rituals and as a point to safely begin the exploration of other planes.
See Astral Construct.
Refers to either an astral construct used as a guardian or to the creation of a simulacrum that can remotely explore parts of the Astral while one is physically awake and conscious and upon reintegration bring forth visions and information on the targeted location.
African Traditional Religions. Refers to the, often shamanic or spirtualistic, practices and traditions used in Africa or which were brought to the West and integrated within the diaspora's culture. Generally Hoodoo is the most well-known and modern example of an ATR.
Although the connotations of the word "attainment" are frowned upon, it is still a word commonly used to denote reaching, stabilizing, and abiding within certain advanced meditative states and stages and within certain initiatory experiences.
The process of moving the mind toward a specific archetype's symbolism and meaning. In planetary magic, for example, to attune oneself to a planetary sphere (i.e. a Sephirah of the Kabbalah) is to focus and suffuse oneself within the symbolism and meaning behind that sphere in order to integrate or undergo its lessons in one's life. Only through this process can magic be woven from within that paradigm as to work magic with that archetype you need to understand that archetype, how it works, and its relation to mind.
A form of divination based upon the movement of birds.
The presence of a particular form that extends beyond the physical representation thereof.
A sense of presence. A sense of an observer. This is the root quality that determines a self.
See Rear Channel.
A body lock. A contraction of a specific area in the physical-etheric body that is an important part Hatha Yoga and other practices involving the development of the mind, body, and breath. There are three bandha: Mula Bandha ("Root Lock"), Uddiyana Bandha ("Abdomen Lock"), and Jalandhara Bandha ("Chin Lock") that work in concert in rhythmic breathing practices to become Maha Bandha ("Great Lock"). Mastering the bandhas is a key component of certain etheric and alchemical practices as well as great for the overall health of the mind and body, but is not something that will be covered extensively on this site. There are many other resources to learn about them as well as other physical techniques involving the breath and body.
A goal in magical practice that seeks to remove an influence or person from one's life or space. Banishing techniques in the context of planetary magic are best done under the auspices of Saturn, sometimes Mars, and often, the Moon. Several preliminary rites also are considering banishings because they remove negative influences from the psyche and area.
In certain Buddhist traditions, a bardo is a transitional state of consciousness after death in which rebirths are worked out. There are actually specific practices that can be cultivated to work out the details of rebirths and how to deal with the liminal state immediately after the death of the physical body.
A polite particle used to refer to Buddhist monastics in the Theravadan Buddhist tradition. It is used in a gender-neutral manner but translates as "Venerable Sir" from Pali.
Also Bhikku. An ordained male monastic in Buddhism.
Also Bhikkuni. An ordained female monastic in Buddhism.
The Big Bang
A cosmological event that marked the expansion of the spacetime of the Universe from the Singularity. In the occult sciences this appears to mirror the creation of phenomenal reality from noumenal reality and mirrors the coital union of Chokmah and Binah as they gave rise to dualistic consciousness.
Translated as "Understanding" in Hebrew. The third Sephirah of the Kabbalah. It is representative of Primordial Form: the receptive, feminine, yin energy that characterizes reality and which constrains, demarcates, and bounds the lower Sephiroth on the Pillar of Severity. Along with Kether and Chokmah, Binah is associated with the Supernal Triad and the Causal Plane (i.e the First World) and is the Mother of Form and Womb through which dualistic reality emerges through its coital union with Chokmah. Associated with the sphere of Saturn in the planetary magic paradigm.
A goal in magical practice that, most often, seeks to prevent someone from harming oneself or others (in however broad or narrow a context that might be). It can also be used to "gum up" situations: usually not one's own. Binding techniques in the context of planetary magic are best done under the auspices of Saturn.
An opaque mirror or piece of glass (often concave or flat) used as a tool for scrying into. Also a popular series on Netflix that deals with the potential horrors of AI and transhumanism.
A Sanskrit and Pali term used in Buddhism to refer to the fundamental understanding about the nature of causality. Etymologically it refers to an "awakening" and can sometimes be synonomously viewed as the understanding inculcated by the spiritual journey toward enlightenment. Can also refer to the Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha supposedly attained full enlightenment.
Refers to the "awakened mind", a stage of awareness that has blossomed through contact with enlightenment. This stage is characterized by a drive to awaken and assist all other beings on the path toward self-realization.
Without delving too deeply into Buddhist philosophy, a Bodhisattva can be thought of as a being that has attained at least some level of enlightenment and has made the compassionate decision to continue causally in the phenomenal world in order to help raise all other beings from states of suffering toward realization and to help elevate and evolve society for the betterment of all beings.
Although this can mean different things to specific Buddhist traditions, it is used on this site to refer to the vow made to all permutations of "self" as part of the decision to engage in the actitivies of a Bodhisattva.
Generally refers to Siddhartha Gautama, whose explorations of mind and teachings helped establish the philosophical and spiritual system of Buddhism which established a path for all beings to untangle the causal nature of suffering and reach enlightenment. Although he is referred to as "The Buddha", all beings can reach full enlightenment and perfect the clarity of self-nature and hence become a buddha and reach a state of Buddhahood.
A philosophy and religion that encompasses a variety of traditions and practices but which has at its core the principles taught by the Buddha that lead to clarifying the nature of the self, liberating the idea of self from suffering, and reaching full enlightenment.
Refers to the aspects of reality that are entropic and eroding to consciousness.
The process through which the diversity of dualistic experiences emerges that characterize consciousness. The Kabbalah is one system that attempts to describe the causal process of conscious emanation amid similar maps that depict this ontological stacking of "selves". The Causal Plane is considered outside of the realm of causality because dualistic experience emerges from the Causal: the actual existence of dualistic experience is predicated on a non-duality of experience. This is a complex topic and active area of research that heavily determines the current form and subjective nature of consciousness. See also Samsara and Karma.
Causal Feedback Loop
A new method of inference proposed on this site that uses experience with causality and the nested layer of self-ness as a basis for further probing and understanding the nature of reality and for developing hypotheses that are falsifiable and testable. As an example, I causally infer that the etiology of certain neurodegenerative diseases can often be linked to how the mind is moved in the moment-to-moment over time and through the encoded accumulations thereof (i.e. genetics).
Also Atzilut. One of the Four Worlds as part of the Kabbalistic map of reality. The realm of reality closest to Truth. Subject-object distinctions disappear at this level and experience is only through One: a state referred to as the Non-Dual in Eastern traditions and God in more Western traditions. The other three worlds emanate from the Causal. There is no causal projection. Attuning to the Causal is Union With God.
The process of stabilizing the awareness within one's self-identity. This mostly refers to the ability to collect and constrain the locus of focus to one's physical body and identity and is often a precursor to more advanced energetic, meditative, and ritualistic workings. Many centering practices begin with stillness within an asana and involve a coordination of the breath with gesture, subtle movement, visualization, and vibration.
See Central Channel.
In the etheric body, this is the main channel that runs vertically down the physical body. It is related to the spine and central nervous system and establishes a central conduit for the movement of awareness as it snaps to and coheres around the primary chakras.
This refers less to a specific paradigm and more to a broad approach to Western magic and spirituality that involves the usage of moderately complex to elaborate ceremony and rituals with the appropriate symbolic trappings, attire, and tools. Much of the magic on this site can be approached ceremonially, especially the practices involving planetary magic.
"Causal Feedback Loop". The mechanism through which consciousness came into being from non-experience, evolved in complexity and diverged in form, and filtered back to the cusp of non-experience to ensure its own evolution. This mirrors the evolution and lifecycle of the Universe and is likely intricately related to cosmology. Jason Miller coined this abbrevation from the concept of a "Creation Feedback Loop". I have mistakenly called it a "Causal Feedback Loop", but honestly prefer that term over the original as it highlights the importance of causality in the creation of reality.
The Four Angels associated with the Singularity that is Kether. These are the Four Rivers that lead to Eden and the Four Rivers that lead to the Underworld. The angelic order of Kether, these are the movements away from and to Source Consciousness that are responsible for the immensity of the workings of the Universe and the fate of all: because all that exists is causally emergent from Kether.
A Sanskrit term meaning "wheel". The major ones are centers of experiential agglutinization in the etheric body and the summation of which act as lenses through which the breadth and depth of conscious experience is determined. Each major chakra is along (or slightly offset from) the Central Channel and helps anchor non-dual consciousness into a dualistic form akin to nailing spirit to the cross of matter.
The process of intentionally drawing a spirit or entity into oneself in order to obtain or discern information. Contrast with Invocation and Possession. Can also refer to the mediation of currents in various ritualistic and meditative contexts.
Usually used in reference to The Unmanifest and The Veils of Negative Existence. Can also indicate the gap known as The Abyss which separates phenomenal (dualistic) from noumenal (non-dualistic) reality as well as deities attributed qualities of both The Abyss and The Unmanifest.
Not a paradigm, but more of an approach to Western magic that emphasizes the flexibility of belief systems and the hacking of the fundamentals of consciousness in order to work will and affect reality. Four areas of practice notably characterizing some types of chaos magic are the application of sigils, the creation of unorthodox thoughtforms, the shifting of paradigms (sometimes even to the point of ludicrousness), and the usage of alternate methods of trance inductiuon and consciousness shifting (i.e. entheogenic journeying).
Translated as "Mercy" in Hebrew. The fourth Sephirah of the Kabbalah. It is representative of the first emanation of dualistic force: the expansive, vivifying, yang energy that characterizes phenomenal reality and which fills and enriches the lower Sephiroth on the Pillar of Mercy. Along with Geburah and Tiphereth, Chesed is associated with the Ethical Triad and the Mental Plane (i.e the Second World) and is the raw joy and vivacity of dualistic reality that emerged from the Causal. Associated with the sphere of Jupiter in the planetary magic paradigm.
Translated as "Wisdom" in Hebrew. The second Sephirah of the Kabbalah. It is representative of Primordial Force: the active, masculine, yang energy that characterizes reality and which vivifies the lower Sephiroth on the Pillar of Mercy. Along with Kether and Binah, Chokmah is associated with the Supernal Triad and the Causal Plane (i.e the First World) and is the Big Bang which gives rise to the emergence of dualistic reality through its coital union with Binah.
From the Greek meaning "Anointed One", this is a title in Christianity referring to their savior and redeemer: Jesus of Nazareth. In certain gnostic traditions the allegory reflected in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ is at play in the hearts of individuals and is a Solar rite that gives rise to the actualization of Solar Consciousness.
A religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, that emphasizes his role as redeemer and savior for all of humanity and his mediation of the role of divinity in the lives of people.
Shorthand for the preliminary rite, "The Calling of the Sevenths to Induce Equilibrium". This is a rite initially found in the P.G.M. that balances the planetary energies within the psyche, centers the mind, and establishes the beginning of the authority to start on a more intricate ritual or working (e.g. a planetary invocation).
See Samatha Meditation.
In Hoodoo and ATRs these are powders imbued with herbs and materia designed to bring about certain effects when applied to mojo bags or links. These primarily are laid out where a target will come into contact with them in order to effect or otherwise influence them.
See Mojo Bag.
A fundamental property of the universe upon which all other movements of force and arrangements of form are derived. Consciousness is the fundamental unit of experience. Non-dual consciousness originates from non-experience and causally subsets into the plethora of experiential forms that characterizes our dualistic world.
The process of anointing and blessing something in order to activate it and unleash its purpose on the world. Typically when consecrating a talisman, one already has the physical materia in place and has patterned the talisman with the appropriate intent. The final act is to consecrate the talisman thus finalizing its purpose and activating the intent toward accomplishing a specific goal. This is an act of ritualistic magic.
See Svasthithana Chakra.
An aspect of a particular archetype or current that distinctly qualifies or otherwise identifies it. A correspondence of the Venusian current, for instance, could be growth and nurture. Thus surrounding a Venusian altar with flowers would resonate with that sphere.
While cosmology refers more to astrophysical models of the origin of the Universe, cosmogony refers to the philosophical and mythological ideas regarding the Universe's birth, evolution, and ultimate fate.
The sixteen face cards of the Minor Arcana of the Tarot. With the four elemental suits there are four face cards in each suit that are the courts of the suit. Although the exact name and role varies they are generally classified as follows in order of increasing dominion over the suit: Princess/Page/Jack, Prince/Knight, Queen, and King.
A gathering or group of witches. Can be either an informal group or a dedicated sisterhood.
In terms of etheric practices, this refers to visualizing and solidifying structures on the etheric body for either aesthetic or functional reasons. Sometimes these structures assist in the application of will and in furthering magical goals. Can also refer to the creation of talismans, amulets, and other materia in furtherance of such goals.
The state of being jinxed. Bad luck, ill health, and general malaise can characterize such a state and one can be crossed either intentionally or unintentionally. See also Cursing.
The Thelemic name for the process of unraveling self-nature from dualistic identity to non-dualistic identity. This involves crossing certain Rings-Pass-Not that are established in the psyche of the aspirant and that help evaporate the illusion of duality. See also The Abyss and Da'ath for further elaboration on this.
See Sahasrara Chakra.
The universe created by author H.P. Lovecraft that engendered and amplified several common tropes in relation to existential horror and which influenced a host of derivative works and even magical paradigms. The Simon Necronomicon, for instance, is inspired in part by Lovecraftian horror and the Cthulu Mythos.
A thread of symbolic resonance. By attuning to a current, one's reality is both sculpted by that current and the energy of that current can be used to influence and change reality. Currents are typically built upon more fundamental archetypes and hence are an emergent structure that usually exist starting around the lower Mental Plane and extending into the Astral Plane where visualization can access and work with them more easily.
The process of casting curses, which are an intent to mess up or make difficult the life of another or, in more exigent circumstances, to maim, injure, or kill. Generally these should be a last resort. Why is described in terms of Martial magic (which itself will link to the Saturnian reasons why). See also Crossed.
Translated as "Knowledge" in Hebrew. The "hidden" eleventh Sephirah of the Kabbalah. It is described as "hidden" because it is not so much a true Sephirah as it is a function of the state change that occurs between certain, more-or-less, stable stages of conscious experience. It is representative of the convergent-emergent singularity through which consciousness flips between the individual stages of the Four Worlds and especially through which it flips between a dualistic lens and the lens of the Non-Dual. In Kabbalistic terminology, this latter process is representative of the Da'ath between Atzilut and Briah and the state change from Briatic consciousness to Atzilutic consciousness is referred to as Crossing the Abyss.
Also "Daemon" and "Demon". From the Ancient Greek for "god" or "power". On this site a daimon is an entity that influences reality either on behalf of the aspirant's will or in spite of it. Generally they can be conjured and worked with to effect magic. See also Demon.
A small drum used in Tibetan Buddhist practices. Some forms of it are made from human skulls.
Also "Dantien". In Qi Gong and Chinese spiritual practices, the Dantian are essentially the three major chakras along the Central Channel: the Lower Dantian, the Middle Dantian, and the Upper Dantian.
An earthen or metal tablet with engraved names on it. A type of curse common in the Greco-Roman world. The names of the targets, descriptions of the effects of the curse, and various profanity could be engraved upon the tablet and the tablet then buried to bring about the effects of the curse.
On this site a deity refers to an entity that is worshipped or which, at the very least, has or has had a cult of personality or influence around it with established traditions.
On this site we use this spelling variant of daimon to refer to a rather influential class of sub-lunar (generally) spirits or entities that either afflict humanity or, more likely, can be called upon or worked with as part of a grimoiric system like the Goetia of the Lemegeton.
An being in Buddhist tradition that entails a higher level of understanding and power than human consciousness. Associated with minor gods in other systems and can be considered an evolved form of humanity's current state.
Also "Dhamma". Refers in Buddhism and Hinduism to a sense of cosmic law and order that one's life should be guided by. In Buddhism it also refers to the teachings of the Buddha.
Not to be confused with a plane of reality, on this site a dimension refers to the spatio-temporal characteristics of experience and not necessarily to any qualia imparted to those experiences themselves. The first dimension being the Point, the second being the Line, and the third being the forms we encounter as human that have three spatial aspects to them: a length, width, and height (and hence...volume). The human experience is also characterized by the fourth dimension: time. Therefore humans are four-dimensional creatures. But spacetime is a single property and a continuum in actuality, so the reality of the situation is quite a bit more complicated. So, on this site, the idea of dimensions isn't really discussed as most of what makes consciousness interesting is explained using the concept of planes. Even when we need to discuss alternate realities and probabilistic worlds, the concept of four dimensions (from the human lens at least) seem to hold true.
A process through which one attempts to gain insight into a situation or tries to answer a question through ritualistic or symbolic means. Cartomancy is one such form of divination that is especially used in modern practice. The Tarot is an application of that. But there are other forms of divination as well including augury and runecasting. How and why this works will be discussed in a future article or section.
Doctrine of Signatures
A Hermetic principle that essentially states: the form of an object determines the archetypes it represents. This works through symbolic resonance. When applied to materia for usage in talismanic magic, for instance, this means that the form of the materia determines how it should be used. For example, star anise is a wonderful Lunar herb because it is shaped like a star. Form determines function.
A concept in the etheric anatomy of Tibetan Buddhism referring to areas of energy accumulation and dispersement. The idea of winds, channels, and drops is more subtle and nuanced than the generic idea of the etheric body of chakras and channels explored on this site so this is a concept broached only briefly at the moment.
Conscious experiences that characterize the lower three of the Four Worlds are dualistic. In these stages of awareness there is a distinction between the subject observing and the object of observation: a discernment at the root of all experience outside of the Causal Plane. Contrasted with Non-Duality. See also Phenomenal Reality.
"Suffering". One of the Three Characteristics. Refers to the fact that conscious experience inherently involves a sense of dissatisfaction.
Soddag Valloo. An unleavened cake made of flour and water that was traditionally associated with visions of future love but is now also prepared as part of a dumb supper.
A ritualistic approach to making contact with the deceased: especially ancestors and loved ones. Involves complete silence, walking and preparing things backwards, and a meal set for the deceased. A form of necromancy.
In Hermetic theory and elemental magic this is the element associated with the archetypes of solidity, stasis, and cohesion. It is frequently viewed as a glue manifesting the cohesion of the other three elemental aspects. Its Hermetic correspondences are coolness and dryness.
In Hermetic astrology and planetary magic this is the zeroth sphere, the starting point for our exploration of the Cosmos, and the tenth from the perspective of the Heavens. Associated with the archetypes of solidity, physicality, and total manifestation. Resonates with the Kabbalistic sphere of Malkuth.
Considered a transcendental chakra that is linked to one's connection with their planet and the solidity and stability of their form. Located below the Muladhara Chakra around the point of contact between the feet and the Earth and extending beneath the perineal terminal of the Central Channel.
Using physical materia (especially soil) from a particular place to strengthen a link for a spell or talisman. Earthing is a technique for adding potency to magic by way of a spatiotemporal connection. In the case of soil, it is a spatiotemporal connection that is linked intrinsically to the nature of the location itself and symbolically resonates with manifestation and physicality: further boosting the chances of success.
A modern approach to spirituality that emphasises traditional pagan ideas regarding reality and consciousness but which also combines traditions and practices based upon the beliefs and experiences of the practitioner.
The Biblical land of perfection at the cusp of creation. On this site we consider it an allegory for the state of non-duality: before the Fall into dualistic suffering occurred based on the quest of consciousness to cleave Itself and diversify experience.
A sense of self-identity and presence that believes itself to be distinct and real. This is an illusion. Although self seems to exist even at the level of the Causal, when discussing self in terms of ego we generally are referring to dualistic self: that is self in the lower three of the Four Worlds.
An experience, usually entheogenically-generated, that disintegrates the usual ego associated with mundane consciousness and that challenges definitions of self. This experience can include glimpses into Causal consciousness that are usually difficult to integrate or understand as well as intense fears and feelings of self-destruction as the "self" approaches the Abyss.
In modern chemistry, these are fundamental building blocks of matter. Types of atoms determined by the number of protons in the nucleus. In the occult sciences an element is a fundamental building block of reality; it is a way to classify experiences as well as matter. The classifications for elements and their correspondences differ between traditions and systems. On this site an element is one of the four classical elements of Western Hermetic theory (Fire, Air, Water, and Earth) and each is associated with a particular plane in the Four Worlds model as well as one of four sub-planes within each of those planes. Each classical element also corresponds to a state of matter and a quality of physical reality. The elements are a rather complicated topic to broach sufficiently so click the title to view the actual page that goes into details on these and the magic involving them.
Traditionally an entity associated with a particular element. Each of the four classical elements of Hermetic theory has its own "main" elemental: these are salamanders for Fire, sylphs for Air, undines for Water, and gnomes for Earth.
A paradigm or approach to practical magic through which one works to attune oneself to the archetypes of the four classical elements and through which one works to influence reality through their lessons and powers.
The process of emergence that characterizes consciousness and the evolution of the self. Kabbalah is one such system that attempts to map the emanation of consciousness: from non-experience to non-dualistic consciousness to increasinly variegated permutations of dualistic consciousness.
Technically, and academically, this is the ability to do work or transfer heat. When discussed in terms of the occult sciences energy still mainly refers to the ability to do work, but what that work is and how it can be measured is currently fuzzily defined and is a matter of active research. For our current purposes this refers to utilizing the properties of archetypes to change both us and our reality. Hence it is a capacity to change, much like the scientific definition, but works through the interconnectedness of all matter across the Four Worlds. This term is also often used in New Age circles to refer to workings with the etheric body.
A type of rite, usually done as part of or after a preliminary rite, designed to move awareness throughout the body and attune to certain archetypes or currents and possibly even load them within the body or sphere of awareness in preparation for more involved ritualistic or meditative undertakings. The Middle Pillar is an example of this kind of rite as is the portion of "The Calling of the Sevenths to Induce Equilibirum" that taps into and loads the body with the seven planetary currents.
The process that consciousness undergoes to unravel the causal nature of suffering, which has its roots in the ability to experience. A fundamental concept in spirituality, the paths that lead there frequently converge and result in the liberation/surrender that is nibbana/nirodha.
A system of magic based on the works of Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley. Claiming contact with angelic beings they transcribed a language (Enochian) to be used to command spirits and invoke the aethyrs (a manner in which reality is classified, akin to the Four Worlds model).
A chemical substance utilized to change consciousness and explore the subtle layers of reality. Usually this refers to those chemicals that would otherwise be called hallucinogens or psychedelics, but not exclusively. Our definition includes both naturally-sourced and articially-derived chemicals. The name literally implies a "generating of divinity within" and entheogenic journeying is a method of self-discovery with much potential waiting to be explored.
The procession of reality and consciousness toward maximum randomness (stochasticity) and ultimate equilibrium. There are some deep mysteries and truths underlying this topic and it is an active area of research, but the connection between consciousness complexity and stochasticity is extremely important in both the creation (anabolism) and recycling (catabolism) of form. Newton's Second Law of Thermodynamics is all about entropy. This is an extremely complex topic scientifically, mathematically, and philosophically and is only slightly broached here. Apologies to actual experts on entropy for any misunderstandings or miscommunications.
In the context of the occult, this qualifies philosophies, practices, and paradigms as intended or likely to be understood by only a small subset of the population. There are quite a few organizations that classify themselves as esoteric, especially in the higher grades of practice (i.e. the Freemasons). On this site while esoteric and occult can be synonomous, "occult" will generally refer to the deeper mysteries of reality while "esoteric" will refer to lesser-known, lesser-studied, and lesser-understood aspects of it.
See Occult Sciences.
A concept in certain religions and spiritual traditions that emphasizes a relationship between a teacher and a student (or a group and its members) in order to preserve certain systems of magic and specific spiritual practices. Over time and over the course of many minds working the system, power is built up through a lineage and the rituals and practices themselves become vital to being able to work within the current being taught. This is a complex idea but, as an example, is found in Tibetan Buddhism when one wants to work with a Tantric deity, they first must receive abhisheka from a lama. Even in Christianity there are lineages that confer the power to bestow appellations and blessings of the Church to others. The idea is that these are more than symbolic gestures; being a part of the lineage and being empowered within that lineage is necessary in many cases to work magic or utilize the practices taught effectively or at all.
The term used to describe the structures (especially the chakras, channels, and nadis) that undergird the physical body and the physical world. In the Four Worlds models the Etheric Plane generally falls between the Physical Plane and the Astral Plane but is not discretely classified in that model due to it acting as more of a veil between the Physical and the Astral than as a layer in and of itself, but other models, such as the Seven Planes Model, do distinguish it as a distinctive layer of reality.
The causal link to conditions of experience or to states of mind or matter. In the context of this site, studying the etiology of disease and suffering is of paramount important as well as understanding the link between the origins and movements of consciousness and the etiology of the human condition.
A perspective based on acute and egregious violations of a moral code. From a deeper philosophical viewpoint there is only evil where this is a separate sense of an observer (i.e. duality). Most processes and phenomena that humanity might find "evil" or "bad" are necessary for the maintenance of the Universe: consider the Martial process of destruction and the Saturnian phenomenon of death.
The calling forth of an entity to a more perceptible and cohesive appearance before the evoker. Usually invocation is viewed as a calling within one's self of a power or entity whereas an evocation is a calling forth outside of oneself, like in a temple or at an altar. But an evocation can also be thought of as a calling forth of a sub-lunar spirit while an invocation can be a calling forth of a more cosmic deity or power such as an archangel, regardless of whether it actually inhabits the body of the summoner. It's a matter of context and the system used.
The procession of consciousness toward an idealized stage based on a system of feedback. Natural selection is one process through which consciousness optimized itself for evolution of form.