Abyss On the Tree of Life (the Sephiroth of the qabalah), the Abyss is the gulf separating the top three Sephiroth (the Supernal Triad) from the lower seven. It is the division between the noumenal and the phenomenal. Crossing the Abyss is considered the supreme achievement of the adept.
The ancients pictured the Abyss as an endless burning desert. Thus gimel, the Hebrew letter of the path which crosses the Abyss, is symbolized by the camel, the ship of the desert. See Cthulhu Mythos; Daath.
Acetum Philosophorum An alchemical term. A synonym for virgins milk, mercurial water, philosophical vinegar, sophic hydor. See Lac Virginis.
Adam Kadom (HEB) The heavenly man. The archetypical mold or macrocosmic pattern for the human soul (the macrocosmos).
Adept A term usually used to signify an initiate who has reached the highest degree of attainment in the material world, with conscious and complete mastery of the self and the chosen path. Many schools teach that adepts are exerting a guiding influence over the development of mankind. See Ascended Master; Master.
Adjuration From the Latin adjurare, to swear. A command to a spirit, usually involving use of divine names. In exorcism, the spirit is forced to leave. However, many medieval grimoires describe adjurations used to constrain a spirit to consistent visible appearance and truthfulness.
The adjuration appears most often in magickal systems using structured hierarchical systems. Humanity is considered (in these systems) to be able to command or bind all the lower spirits by divine right. See Divine Names; Exorcism.
Adonai (HEB) Literally Lord. Traditionally substituted for Tetragrammaton when reading silently or aloud to preserve the ineffable name from desecration. See Divine Name; Tetragrammaton.
Aeon (GRK) Either an indefinite or infinite period of time. The Gnostics used the word to represent eternal manifestation emanating from God. See Age: Kalpa; Yuga.
Aeromancy A form of divination by use of the stars.
Aes Hermets An alchemical term for Mercury. Described as the thing containing the thing contained. Also called the Green Lion or the Head of the Raven.
Aethnici Igneous spirits. Fire elementals, sometimes described as live spherical coals or globes.
Affenicum A word for soul. See Soul; Spirit.
Age A common occult doctrine equating lengthy periods of time with levels of development of racial consciousness. Aleister Crowley divided time into the Aeons of Isis, Osiris, and Horus. These ages are typified by matriarchal paganism, patriarchal sacrifice god religions, and hermaphroditic synthesis, respectively. Other examples of this include the Zodiacal ages (such as the present Age of Aquarius), planetary chakras, and the four worlds of the Hopi Indians. See Aeon; Kalpa; Yuga.
AGLA (HEB) A name of God used in the quabalah. AGLA is an acronym for the Hebrew phrase Ateh Gibor le-Olam Adonai, or Thou art mighty forever, O Lord. See Divine Name; Notariqon.
Agnishwattas (SKT) Inner teachers, or solar-spiritual-intellectual traits, which guide the individual towards awareness of Godhead. See Augoeides.
Ahankara (SKT) The part of the mind which is responsible for identity, or I-ness. That which enables us to consider ideas in the mind as entities. Indeed, the ahankara is that which enables each of us to think of ourselves as I. The ahankara is considered part of the antahkarana, or Whole Mind. See Antahkarana.
Ain (ARB) The divine essence of Allah. The word also means self and an eye. Also Hebrew word for nothing.
Aiq Bekar (HEB) The quabalah of nine chambers. A chart used to convert Hebrew letters to numerical values. This is often practiced in talismanic magick and, of course, numerology. The use of the Aiq Bekar is considered to be part of temurah. See Gematria; Temurah.
Aisling A Celtic Irish word meaning "dream" or "vision".
Ajna Chakra (SKT) Located above and behind the eyes, the anja chakra (or brow center) is said to be the center of spiritual perception (knowledge above and beyond the senses). The anja lotus has only two petals, bearing the letters ha and ksha. One petal is attributed to the Sun and the other to the Moon. The ida and pingala nadis cross at the anja chakra. Supposedly, the opening and development of this chakra results in knowledge of the heavenly world (loka) ruled by Indra. After this, the voice of the spiritual guru may be heard everywhere. Another consequence is the emergence of the sixth sense. See Chakra; Granthi; Ida; Pingala; Third Eye.
Aka The aka is envisioned as a cord between the astral body and the physical body. This concept is probably derived from the biblical reference of a "silver cord" believed to connect the body and the soul.
Akasa or Akasha (SKT) The most subtle of the elements. It is equivalent to ether or astral substance. It is the stuff of pattern. It might be said that akasha is the form of Lewis Browns treatise on symbol and existence, The Law of Form.
Akasic Records (The Akasic Library) The concept that all the memories and experiences of every being are imbedded (formed) in the substance of the ether. Some people are said to be able to read these records to receive true information. See Spirit.
Alchemical Marriage A metaphor for the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, the reconciliation of the conscious and the subconscious selves.
The Father (equivalent to atma (SKT) and the Sephirah Kether) and the Mother, the Celestial Shekinah (equivalent to the Sephirah Binah), beget the Son, who is the Augoeides (the Self-Glittering One). In some systems the Son is equivalent to the Holy Guardian Angel. He is attributed to the Sephirah Tiphareth (though he is really the aggregate or interaction of the surrounding six Sephiroth).
The Son marries the unredeemed virgin (who is the Nepheah, or subconscious). The Unredeemed Virgin is a title of the Sephirah Malkuth, the material world. See Augoeides; Great Work; Holy Guardian Angel; True Will.
Alchemy The process of the transmutation and purification (distillation) of the soul via the discipline of purifying and combining physical materials and chemicals which are symbolic of spiritual transformations. Success supposedly resulted in fabled products such as the Philosophers Stone, an admirable metaphor for the illuminated mind. While usually referring to the practices of medieval and Renaissance Europeans, alchemy was also practiced in various forms in Arabia and China. Taoist alchemy in China had highly developed systems of internal and external alchemy. It was thought that through a combination of the two alchemies the perfected man could attain immortality. See Hermeticism; Lapis Philosophorum; Philosophers Stone; Spagyric Art; Wai Tai.
Alembroth An alchemical term for Salt of Mercury, or Philosophical Salt. Also, Salt of Art, or Key of Art. See Mercury; Principia Chymia.
Aleph (HEB) An Aleph is a point (microcosmos) that somehow contains or reflects the entire universe (macrocosmos). Supposedly, someone standing at one of these points could hear or see anything or perhaps everything at once. There is a short story by Luis Borges, which has a good description of an Aleph. Aleph is also the name of the first letter (A) of the Hebrew alphabet.
Alexandrian Tradition The Alexandrian Tradition is based upon the teachings of Alex Sanders.
Alignment Synchronization. This may be of mental and spiritual vibrations with a god, goddess, or an astronomical body. Often the complete balance and centering of the chakras is referred to as an alignment.
Allah (ARB) Literally The One. The Islamic name of God. It is forbidden to create any pictorial representation of Allah, but artists are allowed to produce geometric designs that incorporate the letters of His name.
Alocohoph or Alicosoph An alchemical term for the earthy form of spirit.
Altar A small working area and/or shrine. This is where most ritual and spell work is performed. An altar area is consecrated and dedicated.
Amulet An object made of wood, metal, clay or paper that has been charged with personal energies through ritual or meditation. They are often used to ward off a specific force or person.
An An alchemical term for the Father, or Sulfur. See Ansir; Ansirarto.
Anahata Chakra (SKT) The Heart Center. This is the chakra of social awareness, higher love, and wisdom (buddhi). The anahata lotus is described as having 12 petals of gold (some say deep red). It is sometimes called the seat of prana. Within the anahata chakra (or sometimes just below it) is said to be another, smaller chakra having eight petals. Consciousness is placed in this center to meditate upon the ishtadevata or guru. See Chakra; Guru.
Angas (SKT) The eight limbs of yoga. These are yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (postures for meditation), pranayama (breath control for meditation), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (contemplation). See Yoga.
Angel A personification of what we consider good or holy, In the philosophy of the quabalah, angels are thought of as aspects or parts of God, each having a specific purpose and dominion. The names of nearly all Hebrew angels will contain the suffixes -el (μΰ) or -iah (δι), which mean of God.
Aniada The Fruits and Powers of Heaven. The astral and celestial potencies, which, by thought, judgment, and imagination, promote longevity and even eternal life. See Augoeides; Agnishwattas; Aniadum; Aniadus; Holy Guardian Angel.
Aniaum The microcosm, or subtle body. See Aniada; Aniadus.
Aniadus The virtue or efficacy of things. Life force. See Aniada; Aniadum; Prana.
Ansir An alchemical term for the Son, or Mercury. See An; Ansirarto.
Ansirarto An alchemical term for Salt, sometimes related to the Holy Ghost in the Trinity. See An; Ansir.
Antahkarana (SKT) The Internal Organ or Instrument. The Vedantic term for the Whole Mind, which exists between the Self (the atma) and the external instrument, the physical body. The antahkarana can be said to contain and synthesize the four functions of mind:
Ahankara The part of the mind which gives identity to ideas in the mind. This includes the idea of oneself, the quality of being I.
Buddhi The part of the mind which evaluates ideas and related facts.
Manas The part of the mind which compares, classifies, and catalogues ideas and images in the mind.
Chitta The pat of the mind which is directly involved in the world. It collects and stores mental images and the basic sensation of experiences. Chitta is sometimes called the Lower Mind.
Aqua Permanens An alchemical term meaning Imperishable or Enduring Water. The philosophical solution of two perfect metallic bodies. Sol and Luna dissolved and united. Celestial Water. Mercury of the Philosophers. The Dragons Tail. See Mercury.
Aquastor A simulacrum, or astral double. See Simulacrum.
Aquila Philosophorum An alchemical term. The Eagle of the Philosophers. The Mercury of Metals. It is described as a metallic nature reduced to its first matter. See Hyle; Materia; Prima.
Ararita (HEB) An acronym for the Hebrew phrase Achdotho Rosh Ichudo Temurahzo Echad, which means: :One is His beginning, one is His individuality, His permutation is one. Ararita is frequently used as a name of God. See Divine Name; Notariqon.
Archaeus The Divider of the Elements. That which individuates and orders each thing in its place, genus, species, etc. The astral mold or seed. See Archeus.
Archates (Archallem) The Pillars of the Earth. The great and secret power of God, which sustains and supports the universe.
Archtype In the psychological models of Jung an archtype is an idea, mode of thought, or god form that has crystallized from the inherited experiences of the species, the collective unconscious. Some people use this term to designate the original astral form or mold of a phenomenon. See Archaeus.
Archeus The Ascending Spirit. The power which individuates all things (the One Substance) from iliaster. See Archaeus; Iliaster.
Arthurian Tradition A Welsh tradition of paganism based on the lore of King Arthur (the "Once and Future King"), Merlin the Magician, and Guinevere.
Asana (SKT) Sitting (or) posture. The physical positions of yoga practice, Asana also means to be able to sit without disturbing the mind with the motions of the body. Asana is attained by the removal of effort and the correct attitude of the mind. Asana is one of the eight angas or limbs of yoga. See Angas.
Asatru The modern aspect of worshipping the old Norse gods.
Ascended Master This is a very pervasive occult doctrine. Ascension occurs when a saint, master, or adept attains bodiless consciousness (transcendental illumination) and chooses to teach from some other plane by way of dreams, visions, or synchronicity instead of reincarnating in the material world. There are persistent legends of groups of illuminated ones who secretly guide the evolution of humanity. Such groups are known variously as the Secret Chiefs, the Nine Unknown Men, the Council, the Invisible College, and the Great White Lodge. Supposedly, this contact with higher intelligences is the hallmark of the living order or lodge on the material plane. The leadership of many churches and organizations claim to be privy to this type of exalted guidance. One of the most famous examples of transmitted doctrine The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley, reputedly received from an emissary of the Secret Chiefs called Aiwass. The Oahspe (Kosmon Bible) is another example of a received text. See Adept; Maggid; Master.
Aspecting An advanced magical practice that is most common in a coven rather than solitary. In this operation the practitioner attempts to manifest an aspect of the Goddess or the God. An example of this is in the ritual of Drawing Down the Moon. It is in various religions such as Vodou, where the priest or priestess allows himself or herself to be possessed by the deity.
Asperger A consecrated bundle of fresh herbs either carrying dew or dowsed with spring water, used to as a tool to sprinkle the water during ritual purification.
Astral Planes Subjectively real places said to consist of many levels of material density or vibrational rate which relate to states of awareness. Some define the astral plane as the lowest part of the interface between individual and noumenal reality. Changes made on the lower astral may be totally subjective, whereas changes made on the higher planes are thought to affect the objective world. The lower astral could be said to be the normal world of dreams. See Planes.
Astral Projection The ability or practice of traveling out of the physical body in the astral planes.
This is done in a variety of ways ranging from the animal shapes of shamanism to the highly formulated body of light used by the Golden Dawn.
Many people perceive a silver cord connecting the subtle (astral) body with the dense (physical) body.
Astral Substance A spectrum or range of energies which seem to link the material world to the emotional, intellectual, or spiritual planes. See Aura; Chi; Odic Force; Orgone; Prana.
Astral Travel The experience, whether spontaneous or induced, of traveling through the astral realm using the form of an astral body.
Astrology The practice of divining or revealing the future by interpreting the arrangement and alignments of the stars and planets in relation to astrological theory and the zodiac pantheon.
Athame A ritual dagger used in Witchcraft and Neo-paganism. It has a black handle, which is inscribed with symbols. The term athame is derived from medieval grimoires.
Athanor An alchemical oven. See Tan-Tein.
Atma (SKT) Literally breath or soul. In Vedantic philosophy the atma is the one omnipresent universal spirit, without any condition or attribute, because it is all things. The true self.
Attune Harmonic resonance. The results of bringing different energies into harmony.
Aufu (EGY) A name for the physical body. One of the five bodies possessed by human beings.
Augoeides (GRK) The Holy Guardian Angel or Higher Self. The Augoeides could be thought of as the mediator or interface between the individual and God. As you grow and evolve, your Higher Self develops to an equivalent degree.
The word stems from augos (GRK), which means the morning light. The term was first used by Iamblichus in De Mysteriis. It was later used by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the novel Zanoni. See Holy Guardian Angel.
Augury A form of divination based on the interpretation of "signs" or omens.
Aura Bands or layers of astral subatance surrounding and interpenetrating the physical body said by some to constitute a subtle or energy body.
Some people are able to read the auras of other individuals. Most people perceive differing layers or densities, which relate to the physical body, sexual energy, the will, the emotions, and the intellect, eventually shading into the causal field (the unified field sought by particle physicists). See Astral Substance.
Aurum Solis The Aurum Solis, also called the Order of the Sacred Word (OSV), is an initiatory order practicing ceremonial magick in the Western esoteric tradition. It is similar to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in that both orders share Masonic roots, are structured around the quabalisitic Tree of Life, and endeavor to integrate qabalah, alchemy and Enochian magick. The Aurum Solis, however, has also been incorporated many elements of Gnosticism and the Greek mysteries into its rituals. The Aurum Solis is currently active, but membership is by invitation only. See Golden Dawn; Initiate; Initiation.
Auspicious Coincidence Rten-brel (TIB) Pratitya-Samutpada (SKT) Dependant co-origination. The convergence of factors in a given moment. The Tibetan word also has the connotation of auspiciousness. Coincidence gives rise to appropriate situations from the view of sacred outlook. See Sama; Synchronicity.
Avalokittesvara (SKT) Spyan-ras-gzigs-dbang-phyug (TIB) The bodhisattva of compassion. The Dalai Lama is considered to be an incarnation of this bodhisattva, as is the Gyalwa Karmapa. See Avatar; Tulku.
Avatar (SKT) From ava (away) and tarati (he crosses over). The physical incarnation of a diety, angel, demon, or other entity (pattern) whose soul is not in the normal process of evolution and reincarnation. Many people believe that avatars appear at pivotal points in world history when the cyclic course of events requires a change. Jesus Christ may be thought of as a avatar of the Godhead. In formal Hinduism, Krishna is considered the 14th avatar of Vishnu. See Bodhisattva; Tulku.
Axis Mundi The axis of the world, sometimes symbolized by the world tree. It is sometimes symbolized by the Great Spear or staff placed upright in the center of the magick circle. See Merudanda; Sephiroth; Yggdrrasil.
Azoth The Universal Medicine of Alchemy, to which all things are alike. It is said to contain within it self all other medicines. Some consider Azoth to be a living spirit, endowed with a soul.
Azoth is also an alchemical term for the Mercury of any Metallic Body.
In the production of the Philosophers Stone (The Great Work), when the Laton is whitened, it is sometimes called Azoth.
Some consider Azoth to be the watery form of spirit. See Laton.