The occult

I. Introduction: The term occult comes from the Latin word "occultus," meaning hidden or secret. In popular culture, the occult is often associated with supernatural or paranormal practices, such as witchcraft, magic, and divination. This can include practices such as astrology, alchemy, and various forms of divination, as well as belief in spirits, ghosts, the elements,  and other supernatural entities. It also encompasses a wide range of spiritual and religious beliefs and practices that fall outside of mainstream organized religion.  The number of symbols associated with the occult is far too long to go into, some examples of this secret knowledge include the horned god, the tripple goddess symbol, sacred geometry, commonly used wicca or esoteric symbols including the skull, the rose, the hamsa or hand of fatima and an endless list of magically charged images.

Examples of occult knowledge can include:

  1. Esoteric knowledge of spiritual or mystical practices and beliefs, such as meditation, yoga, and various forms of energy work.

  2. Knowledge of magic and spellwork, including the use of herbs, crystals, and other tools for ritual and ceremonial practices.

  3. Knowledge of divination methods, such as tarot reading, astrology, and scrying, used to gain insight into the future or hidden knowledge.

  4. Knowledge of alchemy, including the transformation of base metals into gold, and the creation of elixirs for spiritual and physical healing.

  5. Understanding of ceremonial magic and the use of ritual to invoke and communicate with spirits and other supernatural entities.

  6. Knowledge of the Kabbalah, an ancient Jewish system of mysticism that explores the nature of God and the universe.

  7. The Hermetica, a collection of texts attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, an ancient Egyptian god of wisdom, which deals with occult and mystical teachings.

  8. Knowledge of astral projection and lucid dreaming, used to explore the astral plane and gain access to hidden realms of knowledge and experience.

It's important to note that the validity and authenticity of many of these practices and beliefs varies widely and some of them are considered pseudoscience or superstition by many experts. The history of magic is full of references to the term occultism but the forms of occultism or the forms of esotericism are many, and the same thing can carry different meanings for different groups. The study of esotericism goes through many esoteric currents and a wide variety of answers one finds can be more confusing than illuminating.

II. Historical Origins of the Occult:

Occult practices have been present in human societies for thousands of years, with evidence of magic and divination dating back to Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The use of magic and divination in these ancient cultures was often associated with religious practices and the belief in the power of gods and goddesses. The occult has also been present in various forms in different cultures and religions throughout history, such as shamanism, alchemy, and astrology.

horned god

III. The Occult in the Middle Ages: During the Middle Ages, the occult saw a resurgence of interest, with the rise of alchemy and the development of grimoires, books containing instructions for magic spells and rituals. The Catholic Church viewed the occult as heretical and persecuted practitioners, leading to the development of secret societies and the dissemination of occult knowledge through underground channels. In ancient times esoteric traditions hid knowledge in cryptic messages that required skillful synthesis to decode, in Christian traditions the same holds true which lends the term occult a bit of flexibility. Think of the term occult simply as hidden knowledge, whether in Christian tradition or esoteric practices.

IV. The Occult in the Renaissance:

The Renaissance saw a renewed interest in the occult, with figures such as Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola seeking to reconcile occult practices with Christian theology. The development of printing technology also allowed for the widespread dissemination of occult texts, leading to the rise of secret societies such as the Rosicrucians and Freemasons.

V. The Occult in the Modern Era: In the 18th and 19th centuries, the rise of spiritualism saw figures such as Allan Kardec and Emma Hardinge Britten promoting the idea of communicating with the dead through mediumship. The late 19th and early 20th centuries also saw the rise of various occult movements, such as Theosophy and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which aimed to revive ancient wisdom and mystical practices.

VI. The Occult and Psychology: Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung both had an interest in the occult, with Jung viewing it as a manifestation of the unconscious mind. Contemporary psychology has also explored the psychological benefits of certain occult practices, such as meditation and mindfulness.

VII. The Occult and Science: The scientific method has been used to investigate claims of the paranormal and supernatural, with many being debunked as hoaxes or explainable through natural causes. However, some scientists argue that certain phenomena, such as psychic abilities, may not be fully explainable by current scientific understanding.

tree of life

VIII. Different Forms of Occult Practices:

The occult encompasses a wide range of practices, including magic, the manipulation of natural forces to achieve a desired outcome; divination, the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or hidden knowledge through various methods such as tarot reading, astrology, and scrying; spirituality, the belief in and connection to a higher power or spiritual realm; and esotericism, the study of hidden knowledge and the pursuit of spiritual or mystical enlightenment.

IX. Criticism of the Occult: Critics of the occult argue that it is based on superstition and lacks a scientific basis. Others warn of the potential danger of certain occult practices, such as black magic and satanic worship.

as above so below

X. The Occult in Popular Culture

  • The occult has been a recurring theme in literature, film, and television, with works such as H.P. Lovecraft's "Cthulhu Mythos" and the Harry Potter series drawing inspiration from occult practices and ideas.
  • The occult has also been associated with various subcultures, such as goth and metal, and has been a source

XI. The Occult and Politics

  • Throughout history, the occult has been associated with political movements and secret societies, such as the Illuminati and the New World Order.
  • Some conspiracy theories suggest that powerful individuals and organizations are using occult practices and knowledge for nefarious purposes.

XII. The Occult and Conspiracy Theories

  • The occult has often been linked to various conspiracy theories, such as the belief in secret societies controlling the world and hidden knowledge being used to manipulate and control individuals.
  • While some conspiracy theories are based on factual evidence, many have been debunked as baseless and lacking in credible evidence.

XIII. The Occult and Mental Health

  • Some critics argue that involvement in the occult can lead to negative mental health effects, such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
  • Others argue that certain occult practices, such as meditation and mindfulness, can have positive effects on mental well-being.

XIV. The Occult and Society

  • The occult has often been viewed with suspicion and fear by mainstream society, leading to persecution and marginalization of practitioners.
  • In recent years, there has been a growing acceptance and openness towards occult practices and ideas, with many individuals finding empowerment and spiritual fulfillment through their involvement in the occult.

eye of providence

XV. Conclusion

  • The occult encompasses a wide range of practices and beliefs that have been present in human societies for thousands of years.
  • While it has often been viewed with suspicion and fear by mainstream society, the occult has also been a source of inspiration, empowerment, and spiritual fulfillment for many individuals. It is important to approach the subject with an open mind, and critically examine the evidence, both for and against the various claims made by the proponents and critics of the occult.

Older Post Newer Post