Portal:Occult

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Introduction

The term occult (from the Latin word occultus "clandestine, hidden, secret") is "knowledge of the hidden". In common English usage, occult refers to "knowledge of the paranormal", as opposed to "knowledge of the measurable", usually referred to as science. The term is sometimes taken to mean knowledge that "is meant only for certain people" or that "must be kept hidden", but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that extends beyond pure reason and the physical sciences. The terms esoteric and arcane can also be used to describe the occult, in addition to their meanings unrelated to the supernatural.

The term occult sciences was used in the sixteenth century to refer to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic. The term occultism emerged in nineteenth-century France, where it came to be associated with various French esoteric groups connected to Éliphas Lévi and Papus, and in 1875 was introduced into the English language by the esotericist Helena Blavatsky. Throughout the twentieth century, the term was used idiosyncratically by a range of different authors, but by the twenty-first century was commonly employed—including by academic scholars of esotericism—to refer to a range of esoteric currents that developed in the mid-nineteenth century and their descendants. "Occultism" is thus often used to categorise such esoteric traditions as Spiritualism, Theosophy, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and New Age.


Selected article

Neoplatonism is a term used to designate a strand of Platonic philosophy that began with Plotinus in the third century AD against the background of Hellenistic philosophy and religion. The term does not encapsulate a set of ideas as much as it encapsulates a chain of thinkers which began with Ammonious Saccas and his student Plotinus (c. 204/5 – 270 AD) and which stretches to the sixth century AD. Even though Neoplatonism primarily circumscribes the thinkers who are now labeled Neoplatonists and not their ideas, there are some ideas that are common to Neoplatonic systems, for example, the monistic idea that all of reality can be derived from a single principle, "the One". The term is a modern historiographical term, and the thinkers to whom it is now applied did not use it to describe themselves.

After Plotinus there were three distinct periods in the history of Neoplatonism: the work of his student Porphyry; that of Iamblichus and his school in Syria; and the period in the fifth and sixth centuries, when the Academies in Alexandria and Athens flourished. The work of Proclus (412-485) had a lasting influence in the dissemination of Neoplatonism after the closing of the Platonic Academy in Athens by Justinian I in AD 529.

Neoplatonism had an enduring influence on the subsequent history of philosophy. In the Middle Ages, Neoplatonic ideas were studied and discussed by Islamic, Christian, and Jewish thinkers. In the Islamic cultural sphere, Neoplatonic texts were available in Arabic translations, and notable thinkers such as al-Farabi, Solomon ibn Gabirol (Avicebron), Avicenna, and Moses Maimonides incorporated neoplatonic elements into their own thinking. Latin translations of late ancient neoplatonic texts were first available in the Christian West in the ninth century, and became influential from the twelfth century onward. Thomas Aquinas had direct access to works by Proclus, Simplicius and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, and he knew about other Neoplatonists, such as Plotinus and Porphyry, through secondhand sources. The mystic Meister Eckhart (c. 1260 – c. 1328) was also influenced by Neoplatonism, propagating a contemplative way of life which points to the Godhead beyond the nameable God.


Selected picture

Yggdrasil.jpg
Credit: Oluf Bagge

A painting of Yggdrasil by Oluf Olufsen

 

The World Tree is a motif present in several religions, particularly Indo-European religions. The world tree is represented as a colossal tree which supports the heavens, thereby connecting the heavens, the earth, and, through its roots, the underground.

Specific World Trees include Yggdrasil (or Irminsul) in Norse mythology, the Oak in Slavic and Finnish mythology, and in Hinduism, a banyan tree.

Selected biography

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Russian: Еле́на Петро́вна Блава́тская) (12 August [O.S. 31 July] 1831 – 8 May 1891), an occultist and author, developed the spiritual philosophy of Theosophy, which she intended would express the universal religion of mankind.She co-founded the Theosophical Society, which gained her an international following. Born Helena von Hahn to aristocratic Russo-German parentage in Ekaterinoslav, Russian-controlled Ukraine, Blavatsky traveled widely around the Russian Empire as a child. Largely self-educated, she developing an interest in Western esotericism during her teenage years. According to her later claims, in 1849 she embarked on a series of world travels, visiting Europe, the Americas, and India. She alleged that during this period she encountered a group of spiritual adepts, the "Masters of the Ancient Wisdom", who sent her to Shigatse, Tibet, where they trained her to develop her own psychic powers.

Magick

The chaos star (called a 'chaosphere' by some practitioners) is the most popular symbol of chaos magic. Many variants exist.

Chaos magic is a form of ritual magic with which practitioners claim they can shape reality.

Although there are a few techniques unique to chaos magic (such as some forms of sigil magic), practices can be highly individualistic, borrowing liberally from other belief systems; in this light, chaos magic acts as a metabelief. Some common sources of inspiration and techniques include ceremonial magic, chaos theory, science fiction, OBEs, and divination.

Chaos magic is not necessarily syncretic; that is to say, practitioners do not always try to fit together these different ideas so that they make sense. Rather, they temporarily assume the truth of parts of particular systems in order to accomplish their goals. Although chaos magicians differ widely, they often sympathize with the psychonaut counterculture (Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson are particularly influential) and chaotic aspects of particular religions (including Taoism and Discordianism), and a number of chaos magic techniques rely on humor and the absurd.

Did you know...

...that the O.T.O. was described by Crowley as the "first of the great Old Æon orders to accept The Book of the Law"..

...that the word occult comes from the Latin word occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to "knowledge of the hidden"...

Quotes

Occult topics

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Articles

Occult Organisations

Rosae Crucis Ancient Mystical Order of the Rose Cross, Builders of the Adytum, Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, FUDOFSI, FUDOSI, Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, Mystical Order of the Temple of the Rosy Cross, Order of the Temple of the Rosy Cross, Rosicrucian, Rosicrucian Fellowship, Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship. Societas Rosicruciana

Golden Dawn Alpha et Omega, Fraternity of the Inner Light, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

Thelemic and O.T.O. Abbey of Thelema, Argenteum Astrum, Fraternitas Saturni, Ordo Templi Orientis, Ordo Templi Orientis (Typhonian)

Satanic and Left-hand Path Church of Satan, Temple of Set, Order of Nine Angles

Chaos Magick Illuminates of Thanateros, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth

Miscellaneous Church of the Universal Bond, Servants of the Light, Theosophical Society


Occult Literature

Thelemic Texts 777 and other Qabalistic writings, The Book of Lies, The Book of Thoth, The Book of the Law, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend, The Equinox, Holy Books of Thelema, Simon Iff, Konx om Pax, The Law is for All, Liber Aleph, Little Essays Toward Truth, Magick (Book 4), Magick Without Tears, Moonchild, The Vision and the Voice, Works of Aleister Crowley

Grimoires Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches, Arbatel de magia veterum, The Lesser Key of Solomon, Black Pullet, Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, Goetia, The Grand Grimoire, Pietro d'Abano, Key of Solomon, Kybalion, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, The Magus, Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, Secretum Secretorum, Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, The Sworn Book of Honorius, Testament of Solomon, The Perfect Matrimony

Satanism The Church of Satan, The Devil's Notebook, The Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, The Satanic Witch

Miscellaneous The Secret Doctrine, Necronomicon, Simon Necronomicon, Isis Unveiled, Malleus Maleficarum, To Ride A Silver Broomstick, Voodoo and Obeahs, A Witch Alone


Occult Terms and Traditions


Magical techniques Astral projection, Automatic writing, Banishing, Bibliomancy, Black magic, Cartomancy, Ceremonial magic, Chaos magic, Cleromancy, Consecration, Curse, Divination, Dowsing, Elemental magick, Evocation, Enochian, Galdr, Gematria, Geomancy, Gyromancy, Invocation, Literomancy, Magic circle, Magical formula, Mantra, Meditation, Necromancy, Prayer, Rhabdomancy, Runic divination, Scrying, Seid, Sex magic, Spell, Thaumaturgy, Theurgy, Trance, Witchcraft, Yoga

Philosophical and Meta-physical Concepts Astrological age, Astrological aspect, Classical planets in Western alchemy, Astrology and the classical elements, Baphomet, Body of light, Chakra, Classical element, Collective unconscious, 8-Circuit Model of Consciousness, Elemental, Familiar spirit Esoteric cosmology, Geomantic figures, Goetia, Hadit, Holy Guardian Angel, Kundalini, Nuit, Obeah and Wanga, Psionics, Reality hacking, Seven Rays, Spirit, Table of correspondences, True Will

Occult schools Alchemy, Anthroposophy, Astrology, Astrology and numerology, Nazi mysticism, Druidism, Feri Tradition, Hermeticism, Hoodoo, Hermetic Qabalah, Mysticism, Neo-druidism, Neopaganism, Obeah, Pow-wow, Psychonautics, Quantum mysticism, Rosicrucianism, Santería, Satanism, Tantra, Tarot divination, Thelema, Thelemic mysticism, Theosophy, Wicca, Zos Kia Cultus

Magical and Ceremonial Tools and Fetishes Abramelin oil, Athame, Chalice, Gand, Grimoire, Juju, Mathers table, Mojo, Ouija, sigil, Talisman

Magical Ranks Adept, Ascended master, Augur, Initiation, Secret Chiefs, Volva

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Music

Therion is a Swedish symphonic metal band. It takes its name from the Greek word therion (θηρίον), which means beast, in reference to the "beast" of the Christian Book of Revelation. However, the band's name itself originates from the Celtic Frost album To Mega Therion. Therion was founded by Christofer Johnsson in 1987. Beginning as a death metal band, they later turned to combining orchestral elements with their metal music, employing heavy use of choirs and classical musicians, not only as additions to but also as integral parts of the composition.

Therion's music takes its themes from different mythologies and is based on concepts ranging from occultism, magic and ancient traditions and writings. The majority of their lyrics are written by Thomas Karlsson, head and founder of the magical order Dragon Rouge, of which Johnsson is a member. The band has seen many changes in line-up and style throughout its history.

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