Glossary

The following is a glossary of how I use terms, in an esoteric or occult context. It should be noted that the presence of a term below does not indicate the presence of that it describes within my practice, nor does it imply support or opposition to what it describes. I intend no value or virtue ascription to these terms, merely a glossary of how I use them and what I mean when I use them. It is of course incomplete and will be expanded with time, and represents my use, not any type of official use.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Abacomancy (n) – Divination by observing dust. See omens (n).

Aeromancy (n) – Divination by observing air, or more precisely, observing clouds, storms, falling rain, falling snow, wind, etc. This includes not just observing with sight but with hearing, as listening to the wind is aeromancy as well. See omens (n).

Alectryomancy (n) – Divination by the behavior or roosters. See omens (n).

Altar (n) – An object on which offerings or sacrifices are placed or made, either for worship, for pacts and agreements, or for gifting or assistance. See offering (n), sacrifice (n), worship (n), pact (n).

Amulet (n)
1. An object that holds the power of a working, or that the result of the working is tied to. See charm (n) 2. See also talisman (n) 1, talisman (n) 2, seal (n).
2. A permanent object that holds the power, typically carved or cast. In contrast to a charm which is typically less permanent. See amulet (n) 1. See also charm (n) 2.

Arachnomancy (n) – Divination by observing the movement or webs of spiders. See omens (n).

Arithmancy (n) – Divination using numbers. Also called numerology. See omens (n).

Astral Projection (n) – A type of spirit sending where a portion of the soul travels out from the person’s body, either through our world, or through what is referred to as the astral plane. The person doing astral projection is conscious of what they are experiencing, though not always aware that they are doing astral projection.

Augury – Divination by observing the flight of birds. Also sometimes used for natural omens in general. See omens (n).

B

Bibliomancy (n) – Divination by opening a book randomly, often a Bible or other holy book. See omens (n).

C

Cartomancy (n) – Divination using cards. On of the most common forms is the Tarot. See omens (n).

Catoptromancy (n) – Divination by using a mirror. See scrying (n) and omens (n).

Chapel (n) – See temple (n).

Charm (n)
1. The influence over a person or thing that causes their attitude or relationship to another thing or person from what it would naturally have been. See witch (1).
2. A small object that a glamour or charm is tied to in some manner. A type of amulet, often temporary and constructed rather than carved or cast. See amulet (n) 1, charm (n) 1, glamour (n) 1, glamour (n) 2. See also amulet (n) 2, talisman (n) 1, talisman (n) 2, and seal (n).

Charm (v) – To change the attitude of someone or something toward another person or thing, or relationship with that person or thing. See charm (n) 1, charm (n) 2, witch (v) 1.

Chiromancy (n) – Divination by observing the palms of the hands. Also called palmistry. See omens (n).

Communications (n) – Divinations that involve contact with a spirit or entity to find out information they know, rather than learning information from patterns. These include oracles, prophecy, necromancy, and sciomancy.

Cross (v) – To move, either physically or spiritually, from what is thought of as the real world to other worlds or realms that are not normally experienced by most humans.

Cult (n) – A unified and tightly defined set of practices and beliefs. Not to be confused with the way it is often used in current speech, for a controlling and destructive group. A cult is monolithic in both belief and in practices. See practice, belief, religious cult. See also religion (n).

D

Divination (n) – The receiving of information from a means beyond the ordinary senses. I divide divination into two many categories, omens and communications. Omens are divination by observation of patterns. Communications are divinations by contact with a spirit or other entity in order to obtain information they know.

Divining Rod (n) – See witching rod (n).

Dowse (v) – To determine the location of an object, typically using a rod or other item. See omens (n), witch (v) 2.

E

Element (n) – Any object that either represents a spirit or is a talisman or relic tied to the spirit. See talisman (n) 1, talisman (n) 2, relic (n).

Esoteric (adj) – Internal knowledge, knowledge limited in audience, inner knowledge, inner court knowledge. See also occult (adj), exoteric (adj).

Exoteric (adj) – Public knowledge, widely known information, knowledge available to anyone, outer court knowledge. See also occult (adj), esoteric (adj).

F

Fetch (v) – To send part of the soul out to do a task, sometimes to retrieve an object or information, sometimes to send a message or do something to something. The different between fetching and other types of spirit sendings like astral projection is that the fetcher typically is not consciously aware of what the fetching body is doing during the fetching.

G

Geise (n) – A requirement placed by the culture or someone other than the person requiring them to complete some action or do some task. Like an oath that requires action but from an outside party or the culture. See also oath (n) and taboo (n).

Geloscopy (n) – Divination of a person’s character by their laughter. See omens (n).

Geomancy (n) – Divination from signs from the earth. This can be based on landslides or earthquakes but most often refers to an East Asian practice involving casting of rods with one or two stripes on them and determining information based on how they land. The belief is that the earth effects who they land, hence the translation into English. See omens (n).

Glamour (n)
1. What is seen or otherwise observed when something or someone is glamoured to obscure or occult its true form. See witch (v) 1.
2. A spell or rite to cause a glamour (1) to obscure or occult the true form of something, any working that changes what is observed while not changing the actual thing it is worked on, or that changes the perception of the observer rather than the object being observed. See glamour (n) 1, witch (v) 1.

Glamour (v) – To obscure or occult the true form of something or change the perception of the observer to the same result. See glamour (n) 1, glamour (n) 2, witch (v) 1, charm (n) 2.

Guise (n) – The form a spirit either exists in physically or appears as to those encountering it. May be different to different observers.

Gyromancy (n) – Divination by dizziness, basically, having someone walk around in a circle becoming dizzy until they fall down, then using where they landed in the circle to get information. Gyro meaning circle. See omens (n).

H

Hareride (v) – A practice similar to astral projection, but involving riding an animal instead of free movement, experiencing the world as that animal, and potentially directing it. This is not limited to just hares, though that is a common animal to work with.

High Magic (n) – A term referring to magical, occult, or esoteric practices that are of a more structured, ritualistic, ceremonial, or hierarchal nature. These often include proscribed shapes to work within, prescribed words and actions, prescribed clothing, the working with hierarchies of spirits, and teaching and authority in a structured and prescribed manner. Often the goals of High Magic are more cerebral or non-material, dealing more with power or large change than mundane day to day need. See also Low Magic (n).

I

Icon (n) – An object that represents a spirit, place, or event, but is not tied to what it represents. It is often used as a meditative aid or focus of intent. An icon is in contrast to a talisman, amulet, or charm, as the icon contains no power in and of itself, but is only used as a focus. See also amulet (n) 1, amulet (n) 2, charm (n) 2, talisman (n) 1, talisman (n) 2, and seal (n).

Intentional omens (n) – Omens that are intentionally elicited. Basically, when the diviner takes action to discover the omen, like drawing cards, casting lots, opening a book, walking using a divining rod or witching rod. See omens (n).

J

Journey (v) – To cross or perform astral projection. The actual travel either in our world/universe separate from the body, or into other worlds or realms or whatever. You experience things through your own ability to understand, but the experiences and interactions are external, not mental or subconscious constructs.

K

L

Lecanomancy (n) – Divination by observing a basin of water. See omens and scrying.

Low Magic (n) – A term referring to magical, occult, or esoteric practices that are of a more informal, ab libbed, or folk based. Practices that are more adapted to the need and time than prescribed and followed to the letter, tending to be passed down in a more informal way of teaching, and tending to address day to day and mundane needs. See also High Magic (n).

M

Myomancy (n) – Divination by observing mice. See omens (n).

Mysteries (n) – In proper terms, the Mystery Cults or Mystery Schools of Rome and Greece, and any later group that follow the same general concept. In general terms, the things Mystery Cults and their successors pass on, and the techniques used to pass those. Literally, this is mysteria in Greek, meaning here a secret rite or teaching. The hallmarks of a mystery cult or school is the requirement of initiation for participation, and the requirement on an initiate not to share anything of what is done in secret. When I use the term, “the Mysteries”, it is referring to the secret rites and teachings, and implies something that can be understood only through experiencing it, so sharing it in words fails anyway even when it isn’t kept secret.

Myth (n) – a specific story within the mythos that is not historically provable but has distinct meaning and application within its context and is treated as a true story based on the truth it reveals. See mythos (n) and mythology (n).

Mythos (n) – a group or system of closely related myths that are self contained (interpret themselves, much like a system of axioms in mathematics from which the given system can be derived without going outside) and complete for the context in which they function. See myth (n) and mythology (n).

Mythology (n) – the study of myths, and in the context of the mythos here defined, the study of the mythos itself in its entirety for the purpose of understanding the truth in the individual myths and how they interrelate, what the overall narrative is saying, and why each element is important. See myth (n) and mythos (n).

N

Natural Omens (n) – Omens that are based on observations of things happening around you without artificially doing actions to illicit the omen. Basically, observation without interaction, as opposed to intentional omens, where action is done to connect to the omen. See omens (n).

Necromancy (n) – From nekros meaning dead body and manteia meaning divination or oracle. Literally, this is divination using an exhumed corpse, but, in expansion, divination from the spirits of the dead. Necromancy is a type of divination which attempts to receive specific information or specific guidance from the dead, either from the body of the dead and the soul parts that hang on it, or from the spirit that has left the body after death. Technically, sciomancy is communication with the spirit and necromancy is communication with the corpse, but I normally use necromancy for both.

O

Oath (n) – A spoken unviolatable statement outlining what you will do or not do, say or not say. See also taboo (n) and geise (n).

Offering (n) – Anything given to a spirit without asking for anything in particular in return, often in the process of developing or strengthening the relationship, and usually not of a nature that is hard for the one giving the offering. See sacrifice (n) 2. See also sacrifice (n) 1.

Omens (n) – Divination based on observation of patterns. In it’s purest form, omens are the observation of occurrences around us, like a bird call, an eclipse, a sudden rain storm, a rainbow, an animal running by, dropping an object, and understanding deeper meaning that are behind them. I would call these natural omens. This includes such practices as augury, scrying, pegomancy, lecanomancy, geloscopy, ophiomancy, arachnomancy, myomancy, alectryomancy, abacomancy, aeromancy, and chiromancy. Expanding, any method of divination wherein you attempt to produce something to observe, I would call intentional omens. These are the forms of divination most discussed, including arithmancy, gyromancy, geomancy, catoptromancy, bibliomancy, cartomancy, water witching, and rhabdomancy. There is bleed over between these two, and many of these can be argued to be the other type.

Ophiomancy (n) – Divination by observing the movement of snakes. See omens (n).

Oracle (n) – A type of prophecy, and often used interchangeably. Typically, an oracle refers to the place or mouthpiece. Someone goes to an oracle to receive a message from the spirit of that oracle, usually a divine spirit. Prophecy tends to imply the spirit giving a message to be taken to the person receiving it. But there’s bleed over.

P

Pact (n) – A sworn oath between two parties, human or spirit, outlining the responsibility of each party in regards to the other. See oath (n).

Pathwork (n) – Prescripted or mapped out meditations, occurring within the mind or soul, meant to demonstrate ideas that have to be experienced but can’t be explained. The mental equivalent of a pilgrimage to take part on the Mysteries in Roman or Greek times. The words and meditations form the route for the one in trance, bringing them to the right place inside. Creative visualizations combined with trance.

Pegomancy (n) – Divination by observing the movement of water in a fountain or spring. See scrying (n) and omens (n).

Practice (n) – Any set of actions commonly enacted within a set contextual system of principles. The implementation of the principles underlying that system. A religion is a type of practice delineated from other types based on the element of worship. See principle (n), religion (n), worship (n).

Principle (n) – An underlying truth that can be used to develop practices. See practice (n).

Prophecy (n) – A message from a spirit, usually a divine spirit, to a human through a human messenger. Also see omen and divination.

Q

R

Relic (n) – An object that is part of the physical remains of the physical guise of a spirit that is no longer physical. A type of talisman. See talisman (n) 1, talisman (n) 2, guise (n).

Religion (n) – a loose grouping of practices related to the worship of specific deities/spirits with a loose shared understanding. See practice and worship. See also cult.

Religious Cult (n) – A cult that is related to worship of specific deities/spirits. See religion (n) and cult (n).

Remote Viewing (n) – The practice of sending a portion of the soul to a remote location, not traveling there over distance like astral projection, in order to observe that remote location.

Rhabdomancy (n) – Divination using rods, sticks, or wands. This is not to be confused with water witching or similar practices. Rhabdomancy is standing up or casting of rods, sticks, or wands and divining based on how they land. See also geomancy and omens.

S

Sacrifice (n)
1. Anything given to a spirit with the intention of getting something in return.
2, Anything given to a spirit without the intention of getting something in return but has a value, worth, or is hard to obtain or give, such that it is hard on the offerer to give it.

Sanctum (n) – The portion of a larger temple that contains the shrine(s) or altar(s) that is not used for other purposes but is larger than just those portions. See shrine (n) and altar (n).

Sciomancy (n) – Divination by communication or summoning of the spirits of the dead. Literally shadow divination or shade divination. See also necromancy.

Scrying (n) – Divination by gazing, usually into water, a mirror, a glass ball, or something else that is at least partially reflective, or in something moving like fire or smoke or running water. It usually involves seeing visions in the reflection or movement, either visions of a remote place or remote time, or symbolic visions that represent other things.

Seal (n) – An object or symbol used to bind, typically to bind spirits but not always. It can be seen as a trap, catching and holding the spirit or other thing bound. In some cases, it can be used to compel them to follow commands. This is opposed to amulets and talismans. See also amulet (n) 1, talisman (n) 1, talisman (n) 2.

Shrine (n) – An object or place housing relics, elements, or objects that are home to spirits or represent spirits. May contain an altar for sacrifice or offering, but does not function in this way itself. See relic (n) and element (n). See also altar (n), sacrifice (n) 1, offering (n).

Spirit Sending (n) – Any of several different practices that involve part of the soul of the sender leaving his or her body. This can include astral projection, fetching, hareriding, remote viewing, and several other practices. See astral projection (n), fetch (v), hareride (v), remote viewing (n).

T

Taboo (n) – A requirement placed by the culture or someone other than the person forbidding them from doing some action or saying something. Like an oath that forbids action but from an outside party or the culture. See also oath (n) and taboo (n).

Talisman (n)
1. An object similar to an amulet but seen as having innate power rather than having a working tied to it. Often a relic. See also amulet (n) 1, seal (n), relic (n).
2. An object tied to a spirit. The spirit may not be present, but can be contacted or brought to the location of the talisman using the talisman. This is different from a seal with ties the spirit to a place or compels them. A talisman does not compel or trap the spirit tied to it. See also amulet (n) 1, seal (n), relic (n).

Temple (n) – A place or building containing one or more shrines or altars but having space or use that includes things not purely that of a shrine or altar. Can also be called a chapel. See shrine (n) and altar (n).

U

V

W

Water witching (n) – The use of a rod, stick, wand or other such object, or a pair of the same, to determine the location of underground water by walking holding it or them and observing the movement of the rod. It can also be used to find other subterranean objects or features. See omens (n), dowse (v), witching rod (n).

Witch (n)
1. One who witches, or one who does witchcraft. Like other words. A smith does smithcraft. A healer (one who uses leaches) does leechcraft. A woodworker does woodcraft. A king does kingcraft. A camper does campcraft. A priest does priestcraft. A song writer does songcraft. A statesman does statecraft. A book binder does bookcraft. A lover does Lovecraft. See witch (v) and witchcraft (n).
2. The pattern of a witch in the World of the Forms. The current or stream that all witches drink from, sometimes aware they are, sometimes not. The essence of what makes one a witch beyond pure actions. The spirit of the power that flows through a witch and allows change to occur.

Witch (v)
1. To influence or beguile using a charm or glamour.
2. To divine or dowse to discover the location of something. See water witching (n), omens (n).

Witchcraft (n) – The skill or power to create change in the world using methods beyond purely physical, often with the assistance of spirits. The system defined by certain underlying principles and the methods and practices that come out of them within the framework of witching. See principle (n), method (n), practice (n), witch (v).
Witching Rod (n) – Also called a divining rod, a rod, stick, or wand used in water witching. These are often metal or wood, many wooden rods being forked like a capital Y. See dowse (v), witch (v) 2.

Worship (n) – Any practice focused around venerating, appeasing, gaining favour, or exalting a god/spirit in a way or understanding presuming superiority of that god/deity and inferiority of the worshiper, not in the sense of worth but in the sense of servant/master or lord/subject. See religion (n) and practice (n).

X

Y

Z