GLOSSARY: Chapter I - Basic Terms and Definitions
Age of Aquarius
A 2000 year long era of enlightenment, joy, accomplishment, intellect, brotherly peace, and closeness to God. Supposed period is 1904-2160. The preceding age is Age of Pisces, an age characterized by disillusionment and skepticism.
In Hinduism and Buddhism, the all-pervasive space of universe. The akasha permeates everything in the universe and is the vehicle for all life and sound; it is considered the "breath of life." It forms the anima mundi (the world soul which allows divine thought to manifest in matter) and constitutes the soul of humankind. It produces mesmeric, magnetic operations of nature. Other interpretations are "sidereal light" of the Rosicrucians, the "astral light" of French occultist Eliphas Levi, the "Odic force" of German physicist Baron Karl von Reichenbach, and the Hebrew "ruah" of wind, breath, air in motion, and spirit.
In Theosphy, the master records of everything that has ever occurred since the beginning of the universe. Said to exist as impressions in the astral plane, they provide a dossier of sorts for souls who wish to examine their spiritual progress through many lifetimes.
Some psychics say they consult t he Records either through clairvoyance or out-of-body travel to receive information about past history or lives, described as tuning into an astral television set, or tuning into a radio broadcast, or visiting an enormous library and looking up information on books.
An ancient art of transition and the precursor of modern chemistry and metallurgy. Symbollically, a mytical art for the transformation of consciousness.
As a mystical art, it draws on various spiritual traditions, including the Hermetica, Gnosticism, Islam, the Kabbalah, Taoism, and yoga. The belief is that all things can be reduced to matter through dissolving and combining, and transmitting to something more desirable (joining of opposites.) A common tool is the philosopher's stone which served as the "elixir of lie", a means to immortality.
Jung believed in using alchemy to transform the soul. He saw alchemy as a spiritual process of redemption involving the union and transformation of Lumen Dei, the light of the Godhead, and Lumen naturae, the light of nature.
Altered States of Conciousness
Any of a variety of states characterized by a radical shift in the pattern of consciousness from one's "normal" waking state. The term was coined by parapsychologist Charles T Tart.
States of consciousness - ordinary and altered - take place in four levels of brain-wave activity: 1) beta = waking consciousness; 2) alpha = material from subconscious is accessible, usually during meditation, hypnosis; 3) theta = light sleep, state of unconsciousness in which one is unaware of what is going on around oneself; 4) delta = deep sleep.
Object, inscription, drawing, or symbol believed to be imbued with a supernormal or magical power to protect against disease, evil spirits, the evil eye, bewitchment, infertility, impotence, bad luck and a host of other calamities and misfortunes.
Amulets are usually natural objects that have an eye-catching color, an unusual shape, etc. and is used as a means of defense. They are worn on the body, especially around the neck, in the form of jewelry or a charm, which is a magical phrase, rhyme, prayer inscribed on paper, parchment or an object. Common are the Eye of Horus of ancient Egypt, which guarded health and protected against evil spirits, garlic to ward off vampires, and Chinese peach wood and iron to ward off demons.
The apparent ability of animals to experience clairvoyance, precognition, telepathy, and psychokinesis (PK.)
Five basic types of animal psi are: 1) the ability to sense impending danger (oftentimes animals accompany psychics to haunted houses, etc.); 2) the ability to sense at a distance the death of, or harm to, a beloved human or fellow animal; 3) the ability to sense the impending return of a master; 4) the ability to find the way home; 4) the ability to "psi trail."
An offshoot of parapsychology that assumes the existence of psychic abilities and seeks ways to apply them to mainstream life. 1980s American parapsychologist Jeffrey Mishlove borrowed the term from science fiction literature. Layman's terms equate to intuition, hunches, and gut instict.
A Sanskrit term for retreat or center of spiritual study. A Spartan daily discipline is usually followed, which may include yoga, a vegetarian diet, meditation, etc.
An envelope of vital energy, which apparently radiates from everything in nature: minerals, plants, animals, and humans. The aura is not visible to normal vision, but may be seen by clairvoyance as a halo of light. Then it often appears as a multi-colored mist that fades off into space with no definite boundary, leaving sparks, rays, and streamers.
The body does have a magnetic field - a biofield, as it is called - but it is far too weak to account for the light-emitting aura. It's been theorized that the aura might actually be a form of light vibrating at frequencies beyond the normal range of vision, caused by some yet-to-be-discovered light-emitting diodes embedded in living organisms. Shortly before WWI, Dr. Walter J. Kilner, who was in charge of electrotherapy at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, discovered that an apparent human aura could be made visible if viewed through an apparatus containing a coal-tar dye called dicyanin, which made ultraviolet light visible. Kilner also noticed that weak, depleted auras suck off the auric energy of healthy, vigorous auras around them.
The aura can be divided into three parts: 1) the etheric double, a transparent dark space, narrow and often obliterated by the second bad; 2) the inner aura, fairly constant in size and the densest portion; and 3) the outer aura, inconstant in size, which often appears blended into the inner aura. Clairvoyants see the aura as a psychic screen for the projection of information concerning the past, present, and future.
Stems from the Hindu belief of a human incarnation of the Divine who functions as a mediator between people and God. The western program was conceived around 1986 by Harry Palmer of New York, a Scientologist who had become disillusioned with Scientology's teachings. Palmer built the training around the concept that people experience and are what they believe. The program is intended to be an experiential re-engineering of consciousness to free people from their own self-imposed limitations.
A univeral symbol of messengers to the gods and carriers of souls to heaven. The ancient Egyptians equated the hawk with the soul of Horus and the pharoah. The Hindus associate birds with higher states of being. The Aztecs believed that the dead were reborn as colibris, the birds of their patron god, Huitzilopchtli. In trance, shamans assume the shape of birds in order to leave the body and soar through the universe. Among some Native Americans, birds personify the wind and rain.
A wand entwined by two snakes and topped by wings or a winged helmet which symbolizes spiritual enlightenment and higher wisdom. In ancient mythology, Hermes carries this magical wand as he escorts souls to the underworld.
Vortices that penetrate teh body and the body's aura, Chakras are believed to play a vital role in physical, mental, and emotional health and in spiritual development. They are invisible to ordinary sight but may be perceived clairvoyantly.
The universal life force is said to enter the aura through the Chakra at the top of the head, and is filtered down to the other Chakras, each of which transforms the energy into usable form for the functions it governs.
Curing ceremonies of Native Americans of the Southwest, especially the Navajo, who practice the art in its highest form. Chantways last from one to nine days and invoke supernatural powers to cure the physical and psychical ailments.
The perception of current objects, events or people that may not be discerned through the normal senses. The seeing may manifest in internal or external visions, or a sense of images.
This phenomenon is experienced in different ways and degrees. In its simplest form, clairvoyance is the internal seeing of symbolic images, which must be interpreted according to a person's own system of meanings. In its highest form, clairvoyance is the viewing of nonphysical planes, the astral, etheric, and spiritual worlds and the beings that inhabit them, and the auric fields surrounding all things in nature. Most clairvoyant experiences fall between the two.
Various forms include: X-Ray clairvoyance (ability to see through opaque objects); medical (see disease in beings); traveling (see current events, people and objects that are not nearby); spatial (vision that transcends time and space such as in archaeology and crime detection); dream (dreaming of an event that is happening simultaneously); astral (perception of the astral and etheric planes, and the elementals, demons, devas, and other beings that inhabit them); spiritual (see higher planes and angelic beings.)
Concept of psychiatrist Carl G. Jung that refers to the memories of mental patterns that are experienced and shared by a large number, if not all, humans. Likewise, most members of a single culture may have a more specific collective unconscious, while sharing also in the more universal patterns. This term is synonumous with "universal unconscious."
The unconscious memory of information learned through normal channels. It is one explanation for memories of past lives and communication with the dead.
ESP (ExtraSensory Perception)
A so-called "sixth sense", in which sensory information is perceived through means beyond the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. ESP brings a person information about the present, past, or future. It seems to originate in a second or alternate reality.
Research in quantum physics points to the existence of a second, non-material universe, forcing many to accept the possibility that an extrasensory force exists in another reality which intersects and integrates with the physical world.
An ancient and nearly universal belief that certain individuals possess the supernatural power to wreak disaster, calamity, illness, and even death with a glance or lingering look.
The oldest records of the evil eye date back to about 3000 BC in the cuneiform texts of the Sumerians and Assyrians. The Babylonians believed in it, as did the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans.
Eye of Horus
One of the most common amulets of ancient Egypt. The highly stylized eye of the falcon-headed solar and sky god Horus (Latin version of Hor) is associated with regeneration, health and prosperity.
As an amulet, the Eye has three versions: a left eye, a right eye, and two eyes. The eye is constructed in fractional parts, with 1/64 missing, a piece Thoth added by magic. The symbol of modern pharmacies and prescriptions is derived from three pieces of the Eye. (Looks like a combined Rx) A variation of the Eye is the all-seeing eye or the mystical eye in the Great Seal of the United States, most commonly seen on the dollar bill.
An ancient and complex Chinese art that combines mysticism, science, and superstition to determine health, luck, and prosperity according to natural landscapes and the placement of dwellings, buildings and graves. It is still actively practiced in various forms in China and other Pacific countries such as Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The term translates as "wind" and "water." Its fundamental concept is that in order to be healthy and prosper, one must be in harmony with the earth and receive the benefit of ch'i, the universal principle, which exists in all things and flows through the earth and nature. The flow of ch'i and the yin-yang balance are often affected by contours of the landscape, the presence or absence of water and vegetations, the weather conditions, and the sitings and shapes of buildings and the placement of furnishings in them.
Crucial to good feng shui is the presence of protective mountains of certain shapes, especially those evocative of dragons; the proximity of life-giving water (also associated with money), especially streams or rivers that flow neither too fast nor too slow; and the presence of rich, green treets and vegetation. The Chinese believe that the best ch'i winds and meanders along natural contours, thus there is an aversion to straight roads in modern construction. Ideally, houses, palaces, and tombs should face South and be located near yang energies of strength, and be protected at the rear by yin energies. Associations with the cardinal points are: north=business; east=good family life; south=fame; west=children's fame.
A theory first put forward in the early 1970s by British biologist James E. Lovelock, that states the Earth is a self-regulating mechanism whereby: 1) the amount of methane and oxygen in the earth's atmosphere has remained nearly constant for hundreds of millions of years, despite the fact that methane and oxygen interact to destroy each other; 2) the oceans have contained approximately 3.4 percent saltl and 3) the planet has sustained a fairly constant surface temperature, despite the fact that the sun is now radiating 25 percent more heat than it did 3.5 billion years ago when life on the planet first appeared. A homeostasis seemed to be at work.
Spiritual mystery that is a pagan story which became Christianized and merged with Arthurian legend, but retained much of its pagan imagery and symbolism. The Grail is a gateway to Paradise, a point of contact with a supernatural and spiritual realm. It possesses unlimited healing power and makes possible a direct apprehension of the Divine.
The Grail quest is a search for truth and the real Self, and may be seen as a paradigm of the modern spiritual journey to restore the Waste Land and become whole again.
The supposed end of the materialistic world, which occurred on August 16 and 17th, 1987 according to interpretations of astrological configurations, Native American myth, and Mesoamerican calendars and prophecies. The Convergence was largely the idea of Jose Arguelles, an American art historian who, in 1983, connected astrological configurations to chronological forecasts and to his research of Mayan cosmology and calendar.
The manifestation of inexplicable phenomena attributed to the presence of ghosts or spirits.
Researchers emply three basic techniques to investigate a haunting: description, experimentation, and detection. Description involves taking eyewitness accounts. Experimentation involves bringing a psychic to the site to corroborate the eyewitness accounts or provide new information. Psychic readings are unreliable, as telepathy and ESP can't be ruled out, and often information is giving which cannot be historically verified. Detection involves the observation or recording of phenomena.
In 1929, English psychical researcher Harry Price put together a ghost hunter's kit that included felt overshoes, steel tape measurers, a thermometer, a still camera, a remote-control movie camera, fingerprinting equipment, a telescope, and a portable telephone. Equipment used today resemble those first used by Price.
In Hinduism, the present age lasting 432,000 years and characterized by degeneration, violence, ignorance, sorrow, materialism, waning religion, chaos and evil.
A powerful occult symbol that looks like a figure eight lying on its side. It signifies eternity, infinity, regeneration, the Holy Spirit, infinite widsom, and higher consciousness. Its serpentine shape has no beginning and no end, and represents the endless spiraling and balancing of opposing forces in the universe.
The ability to affect change in accordance with one's will and by invoking the supernatural. It has three functions and three elements. The functions are to produce, protect and destroy. The elements are spells or incantations; rites or procedures; and the consciousness of the practitioner, who undergoes a purification process that alters his or her state of consciousness.
Legendary Arhurian wizard who has been interpreted in modern times as a Celtic mystic and shaman, and as an archetype of the Trickster and the Magician. In the Western mystery tradition, he and his consort Viviane (the Lady of the Lake) represent Jachin and Boaz, the male and female principles of the cosmos, force and form.
An occurence that is perceptible to the senses, transcends the natural course of events and takes place within a religious context.
In the twentieth century, Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity and the uncertainty principle of Werner Heisenberg, a founder of the quantum theory, has led to a less rigidly deterministic scientific model of the universe: If science must acknowledge randomness on the part of the smallest particles or waves of matter, it seems less improbably that other actions also transcend the laws of matter and energy. In addition, psychology seems to indicate that the mind - even the unconscious mind - has greater control of the body than mechanistic theories allows.
The Eleusian mysteries, the most popular and influential of the Greek cults, centered on the rape, abduction, and marriage or death of Kore (Persephone) and her reunion/resurrection with her mother Demeter, the grain goddess. The rites were intimately linked to the cycle of fertility of the Earth.
The Dionysian mysteries, the second most important Hellenistic cult, centered on Dionysus (Bacchus), the Thracian bull-god and ruler of the dead and souls who became the god of the vine and vegetation. The Villa of Mysteries, discovered in the ruins of Pompeii in 1910, includes a room called the Initiation Chamber, which is painted with Dionysian scenes and features Dionysus and his beloved, Ariadne. According to one interpretation of the mysteries, the rites represented the individuation process of the Self, in the transformation of both Dionysus and Ariadne through their sacred marriage.
In the mysteries of Isis and Osiris, the Egyptians observed a mystery play of succession, the death of a pharoah and the succession of another, with a funeral ritual of mummification and burial in which the dead would be mystically joined in the underworld by Osiris. This mystery centered on the death of Osiris and his rebirth in the underworld with the help of Isis, and the birth of Isis' divine son, Horus, whom she held on her lap.
Thought which emphasizes creating one's own reality, that divinity exists within, and that there is a need for renewed recognition of the "feminine" traits such as intuition.
The scientific study of psi and related subjects. Para means "beyond" in Greek, and parapsychology focuses attention on the borders of psychology, essentially the mind-body connection and on the relationship between consciousness and the objects of its awareness.
Magico-spirtual systems in which an adept enters an altered state of consciousness and travels to non-worldly realities in order to heal, divine, communicate with the spirits of the dead, and perform other supernatural feats. They are concerned with protecting the soul and preventing it from eternal wandering.
Shamanism has been described as the "world's oldest profession"; archaeological evidence suggests shamanic techniques are at least 20,000 years old. They were probably the first storytellers, healers, priests, magicians, dramatists, and so on, who explained the world and related it to the cosmos.
Shroud of Turin
A yellow strip of linen bearing bloodstains and the brownish image of the body of a bearded man which, for centuries, was believed to be the shroud in which Jesus was buried.
A soul's ideal counterpart, which must be found for true happiness and fulfillment. The search for the counterpart may consume multiple reincarnations.
The mind-to-mind communication of thoughts, ideas, feelings, sensations, and mental images. The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus advanced wave and corpuscle theories. William Crookes, a 19th century British chemist and physicist, believed telepathy rides on radio-like brain waves. Later in the 20th century, Russian scientist L.L. Vasiliev proposed and electromagnetic theory.
The information comes in different ways: as fragments of thoughts that "something is wrong"; in dreams, visions, hallucinations, and mental images; in clairaudience; and in words that pop into the mind.
A philosophical system that teaches that one can gain knowledge of a transcendent reality through revelation or through practice of the occult tradition. It claims that all religions stem from the same roots of ancient widsom, repeating myths and symbols, and that study of these secrets will lead to truth and spiritual oneness.
Universal Life Force
A vital force or energy that transcends time and space; permeates all things in the universe, and upon which all things depend for health and life. The Hindus call it prana, the Polynesians and Hawaiians mana, the Chinese qi, and the Japanese ki. Hippocrates called it the Vis Medicatrix Naturae, and Galen called it the Pneuma. In various systems it can be controlled and manipulated for improved health, longevity, healing or supernormal physical feats.
Syncretic religion based on ancient African rites and Catholicism. Vodoun has 50 million followers worldwide.
The term "Vodoun" derives from vodu, meaning spirit or deity in the Fon language of Dahomey, now part of Nigeria. It is a product of the slave trade, principally in the Spanish and French colonies in the Caribbean such as Jamaica, Santo Domingo, and Haiti. Although vodoun beliefs concentrate on the positive aspects of religion (healing, growth, good will), it is most known for its darker aspect of black magic and sorcery, two elements that are practiced by many worshippers.