Uncover hidden spiritual meanings

The study of magical, esoteric, or mystical teachings.

The term Occult refers to the hidden knowledge or secrets in all forms of mystery religions and traditions.

The term itself means hidden or secret as it is derived from the Latin word ‘Occultus.’ Often times this word refers to the knowledge of all things paranormal or rather, outside of the standard or ideal way of living. In this the occult describes knowledge or wisdom which is only made available to certain peoples.

There are many magical organizations which are associated with the term Occult because in essence their traditions or beliefs are hidden and secretive or even unknown. Within the bundle of this term or concept are items such as magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception as well as spiritualism, divination and astrology.

Traditions specifically referred to as Occult Traditions are known to be Hermeticism, Wicca, Thelema, Satanism and Neopaganism in general. It has a basis in a religious way of thinking about the world which finds its root all the way back to Medieval times. In the early 15th centuries there was a renewed interest in concepts such as divination and all things interesting, which is why around this time there were so many different forms of divinatory ‘mancies,’ in existence. Necromancy, bibliomancy and the like.

The occult refers to hidden knowledge which in most cases is considered to be a science. The term also means that the knowledge is for a chosen few and not everyone can access it. It is the study of deeper spiritual reality which extends beyond the physical science and pure reasoning. Arcane and esoteric are other words which can be used to describe the word occult. When describing a number of magical organizations, the term is normally used for a number of magical orders and organizations.


Occultism refers to the study of occult practices which include extrasensory perception, alchemy, astrology, magic, religion, spiritualism, and divination. The interpretation of occultism and the concepts behind it can be found in the structures of religion and philosophies such as Gnosticism, Chaos magic, Theosophy, modern paganism, Thelema, and Hermeticism.

Esoteric of The Western Culture

The Esoterism is an intellectual phrase which is used to relate to eccentric movements and ideas that have been developed by the Western society. They are distinct from Judeo-Christian tradition and the rationalism in enlightenment. It has pervaded various forms of western philosophy, pseudoscience, religion, music, art and literature which continue to affect popular culture and intellectual ideas. The idea of Esoterism developed in Europe during the late seventeenth century.

Science and the Occult

Science is the study of the outer characteristic while the occult is normally conceived as the study of the inner nature of things. The inner nature is designated with the term “Will” which mathematics and science which cannot differentiate between the two. Occultism is concerned with the thing in itself while science is concerned with the external relationship or affects only found its explicit nature or its external nature.

Occult And Religion

Some religions have embraced occultism as integral esoteric aspects of the mystical religious experience. This is a practice, especially with the Wicca and other Neopaganism. Other religions like Christianity, disapprove occultism in all or most of its forms. They normally view it as mystical or ghostly, which cannot be achieved through or by God as demarcated by the specific religion making it be an opposing and malevolent entity. While some practices which are considered the occult are found in mainstream religions, thereby confusing or sounding like misuse of the word, it forces the use of esoteric instead of the occult.

The Eastern Mediterranean is where the first cases which were labeled western Esoterism was found and schools of thoughts were built around Hermetism, Late Antiquity, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism. Most intellectuals chose to defuse pagan philosophies and Kabbalah, together with Christianity to come up with esoteric movements such as Christian theosophy. Society, which professed esoteric knowledge like Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry emerged in the 17th century and this lead to the development of initiatory societies. In the 18th century, there came about the new trends of esoteric which were what is best referred to as occultism.

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By Florance Saul
Oct 2, 2012