Absent Sitter: The word "sitter" refers to a person having a reading of some kind, be it in astrology or the Tarot or through a psychic medium. An absent sitter is someone who has a reading done about them without being present.
Akashic Records: In Jungian psychology, the collective unconscious. That part of the Earth's aura on which impressions of every person who ever lived, including their thoughts and feelings; every event, no matter how minor; and all possible concepts are completely and permanently impressed. Many clairvoyants who tune into the past, including a lot of psychic detectives, read the Akashic records in order to get their information.
Alchemy: The science of creating perfection, whether involving substances on the material plane or, on a higher level, the soul of a living being. An alchemist working with base metals concentrates on transmuting them to their purest and highest possible form: gold. When working with the human body, the alchemist aspired to draw upon the ideal body that exists on the Astral Plane, to create or reveal a flawless body on Earth. Some alchemists extended this aspiration towards purifying the human soul. The word alchemy is derived from the Arabic "al-kimia," which in turn developed from the Coptic "khem" that describes the fertile black soil of the Nile delta. Esoterically, this is an oblique reference to the dark mystery of the primordial Universe (the Khem), from which all creation came into being. Alchemy, then, is a human effort to duplicate the work of the Divine, thus refining this tangled substance, whether it be manifest as metal, human health, the cosmos, or the souls of living beings.
Allegorical: An allegory is a story, often told in poetic form, in which the characters and other components have a meaning for a different context outside the story. For example, the allegorical meaning of a Tarot card refers to events and circumstances of the sitter.
Altar: A small table or other area where sacred objects are displayed, including religious symbols such as crosses, holy water, statues or pictures of gods, saints, avatars or gurus, Bibles and other sacred books, or anything that inspires the individual to concentrate on the spiritual rather than the physical. Items are often laid out for meditation and contemplation. Altars range from the very large (as in big cathedrals and temples) to the very small (little foldaway altars designed for travel that fit into a suitcase). The larger generally consist of items considered sacred by one specific school of thought, while the smaller ones are designed by and for specific individuals and their own approach to the Path.
Altered State of Consciousness: This term refers to any state of the human mind that is different from the normal waking state. Examples of altered states of consciousness are dreams, out-of-body experiences, premonitions, euphoria, or psychosis. Generally, an altered state of consciousness is characterized by losing one's sense of identification with one's body. Sometimes, an altered state occurs spontaneously, for example, during a feverish illness, or is triggered by a traumatic experience such as sleep deprivation or sensory overload. Some people use various methods, such as prayer and meditation, to induce altered states in order to access and enhance their psychic abilities in a self-induced trance. Certain psychotropic drugs are also used to induce changes in consciousness.
Amulet: A talisman designed to be worn, usually in the form of a necklace, bracelet, brooch, and sometimes even a belt buckle. Talismans are usually designed for one specific purpose or individual. A necklace comprised of a gold chain and a diamond pendant, even though the wearer may not be aware of it, is an amulet combining the esoteric effect of the diamond (protection, inspiration, love, purity, clarity of thought, and courage, with the esoteric effect of the gold (healing, spirituality, understanding). Talismans can also be made of simpler materials. An amulet composed of a leather thong harnesses the energy and power of the animal whose skin it was made from - and if you tie a feather to it, you channel the ability of the bird to soar into the higher realms.
Angel Cards: Among others, there are three popular decks of cards used for giving readings. They are the Angel's Oracle, the Angel's Tarot, and Healing with the Angels. Each embraces a different concept. The idea behind them, however, is the same. When a reader uses these cards, he or she is appealing to the angels for advice or guidance, or both, for the client. Some angel card decks are designed to reveal which angel, or which type of angel, is actually channeling the message.
Angel Messages: People who receive messages from the angels can get them in one of many different ways. First of all, they can appear in dreams. Secondly, they can work through a psychic reader - or they can manipulate such tools as rune stones or Tarot cards. Or, for the highly evolved, they can actually appear in their own angelic forms. Angel messages can impart valuable advice, spiritual instruction, comfort, or, in extreme cases, warnings.
Angels: Messengers from God. Angels were created at the beginning of time. They don't die, and never will until the end of the present Universe. Angels are ageless and sexless, although they can take male or female forms when necessary - or they can take the forms of animals. Their purpose on earth is to bring messages from the Absolute to all earthly life forms, and provide aid and assistance when necessary. Contrary to popular belief, human beings do NOT become angels when they die. They become transcendent human beings. Angels are a totally different life form.
Animal psi: Animal psi refers to the apparently paranormal abilities our pets and other animals display. Sensing a dangerous situation developing, knowing even at a distance when a human being is in danger, sensing the owner's arrival, and finding the way back home through unfamiliar territory are just some examples of how animal psi can manifest. Science doesn't officially acknowledge the existence of such powers in animals, probably because they're even more difficult to measure than in humans. But in esoteric circles and among most pet owners, there's hardly any doubt that animal psi exists.
Animal Totem: An animal that serves as a spirit guide to either a tribe or group, or to an individual. Animal totems enable a person to get in touch with specific qualities found in an animal to which the individual is attracted or feels a deep kinship. Often the nature of the animal represents a trait that the person lacks. For example, someone whose nature is timid and fearful may require the aggressiveness, anger, and even viciousness of Badger in order to get through life without being made into a victim. Yet a foolhardy person who has a way of courting danger may have Rabbit as his totem. Rabbits are known primarily for their fear and timidity - and thus this type of person really needs a good strong dose of "rabbit medicine" in order to keep himself from getting himself trampled. In times of great stress, a person can call on his animal totem to give him or her whatever is needed to get through the crisis.
Subjective experience or objective phenomena of an unexplainable nature. Anomalous experiences can range from ESP to out-of-body or alien-abduction experiences. Anomalous phenomena include apparitions, hauntings, "bleeding" statues, etc. The cognitive sciences group remote viewing, clairvoyance, and ESP under the term "anomalous cognition." Interaction with matter in which all known physical mechanisms are absent is called "anomalous perturbation."
Ankh: An ancient Egyptian symbol for life, composed of a circle set atop a T-cross formation. The origins of the ankh are lost in the shadows of antiquity. It is possible that the symbol may have been taken from a knot, which had been endowed with some specific religious or mythical significance. Some believe that it represents the life-giving elements of air and water. It was often shown being held to the lips of the pharaoh as a symbol of the "breath of life." Ritual vessels which held the water used in religious ceremonies were often either emblazoned with ankhs or actually shaped into the likeness of an ankh. When Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in the 1920's, the explorers discovered a gilded mirror case in the shape of an ankh.
Arcane: This term refers to something that is known or understood only by few. In esotericism, the term refers to something that is kept within and can only be understood by a group of enlightened initiates. As a noun, it also refers to a compilation of esoteric philosophical theories.
Astral Plane: In this Solar System, there are five major planes of consciousness. The first is the physical, material, or earthly plane on which we and any other physical life forms in this Solar System make our home. The second is the emotional or astral plane, which is a plane of existence that bears a striking resemblance to the earthly plane. The lower levels of the astral plane (sometimes called the etheric plane) are where we find ghosts, unevolved spirits, the souls of those who died suddenly or violently, and, according to some sensitives, the spirits of those whose bodies are being kept alive by artificial means. The higher astral planes are where the more evolved souls rest and regather their resources, and sometimes study with Masters in order to prepare for their next incarnation. The planes beyond the astral are the mental, the Buddhic, the Atmic, and the plane of full solar consciousness.
Astral Projection: Popularly known as the "out-of-body experience." When the body is unconscious, whether from sleep or from accident or illness, the person's astral Self can leave the body and travel just about anywhere in the Universe. The soul is attached to the body by what appears to be a silver cord. If the silver cord breaks, it is said, the person dies. This only happens, however, when the person is near death to begin with. The best-known books on astral projection are those written by Robert A. Monroe.
Astro-Dice: A set of three dice: one featuring the planets, one featuring the twelve signs of the zodiac, and one featuring the twelve houses of the astrological chart. The game involves asking a question and then throwing the dice. One die reveals what is happening (the planet), another how it feels to you (the sign) and the third which area of your life is being affected (the house). From the three different factors, the question is deemed to be answered.
Astrology: The science of mapping the positions of the planets, the twelve signs of the zodiac that contain them, and the twelve mathematically-calculated houses of the horoscope at the exact moment of birth in order to discern the lifetime potential of the individual involved. The process can be continued through progressing the planets in order to discern the possibilities of events and personal development unfolding after birth. The earliest evidence of astrological thought dates back to a carving of the phases of the Moon dating from about 25,000 B.C. There are a number of different schools of astrology, among them natal astrology, which marks the development of an individual; mundane astrology, which marks the unfolding of world events; event astrology, used for planning important events such as weddings, job changes, the opening of businesses, and even presidential inaugurations. A new school of astrology, only developed in the past few decades, is heliocentric astrology, which places the Sun instead of the Earth at the center of the chart. The most recent type of astrology, fired by recent discoveries in quantum physics and cosmology, is galactic astrology, which embraces the concept that the life of a human being is inseparable from the life of one's planet, the life of one's star, and the life of one's galaxy.
Astronomy: Astronomy has two main branches. Observational astronomy works with the data collected by telescopes positioned on Earth or in space to develop a clearer picture of the Universe in which we live. Theoretical astronomy develops theories about certain phenomena occurring in space, for example, the course of a comet or undiscovered planet, which it then tries to prove using the data observational astronomy provides.
Astrophysics: Astrophysics is a branch of astronomy that studies the physical properties of the Universe and its contents. In doing so, it applies all techniques of physics, including mechanics, electromagnetics, quantum mechanics, and atomic and molecular physics. Astrophysicists are trying to explain things such as black holes or pulsating stars as well as the origin of our Universe.
Atlantis: An ancient continent first mentioned by Plato, which is believed to have been located along the mid-Atlantic ridge in the Atlantic Ocean and which underwent vast geologic upheavals that resulted in its sinking beneath the ocean in roughly 10,000 BC. The Canary Islands and the Azores are said to be the highest mountain ranges of that continent. While much evidence has been discovered supporting the theory of Atlantis having been located in the Atlantic, some archaeologists believe that they have discovered evidence indicating that it actually was located in the Mediterranean Sea. Still, most confirmed Atlantis researchers insist that Plato was right, and continue to search in the Atlantic. However, if in fact Atlantis did sink as long ago as 10,000 BC, it's unlikely that much more will be found. Too much has happened to the ocean floor during those millennia to obscure the evidence.
Augury: Generally, augury refers to the practice of divining the future, mainly through reading signs and omens. More specifically, it refers to predicting future developments from the appearance and behavior of animals, which is also called "zoomancy." The term derives from the Latin word "augur," which was the official title of governmental diviners in ancient Rome. Their task was to divine the future of the Roman state from the flight of birds, cloud patterns, or thunder and lightning, and they read the entrails of sacrificial animals. Sometimes, the word "augury" is also used for the prediction itself.
Aura: The electromagnetic field that surrounds every living being. People with keen psychic abilities often can see auras. The auric field around human beings is shaped like a gigantic egg, with the narrow part of the egg at the head area and the widest part at the feet. An aura can be any one of the seven colors of the rainbow, and some experts say that there can also be a few in-between colors, such as pink. Most people have a fixed inner aura color that remains constant, depending on their personality and basic nature. However, there are many layers to the aura, and the color of the outer aura changes temporarily with the individual's mood.
Aura Colors: The colors contained in the aura which reveal the basic nature of the soul, the emotions, or, in auric healing, the nature of any dysfunctions taking place in the physical body. Inner Aura: RED: Vitality, energy, strength, creativity, passion. ORANGE: Freedom, individualism, wisdom, healing, transmutation. YELLOW: Intelligence, motivation, joy, the life force, self-confidence. GREEN: Strength, balance, harmony, life, growth on all levels. BLUE: Spirituality, meditation, rising consciousness, peace, altruism. INDIGO: Physical and higher vision, enlightenment, oneness, serenity, devotion. VIOLET: Stimulation, purification, inspiration, high ideals, God consciousness.Outer Aura: RED: Sexual passion, attraction, anger, frustration, physical and mental vitality. Related health problems: Anemia, iron deficiency, chronic fatigue syndrome, paralysis, and colds. ORANGE: New ideas, tolerance, cheerfulness, futility, lack of purpose. Related health problems: Asthma, bronchitis, kidney troubles, spleen dysfunctions, epilepsy. YELLOW: Courage or lack of it, curiosity, knowledge, self-confidence or the lack of it, communication. Related health problems: Heartburn, indigestion, liver problems, diabetes, exhaustion. GREEN: Prosperity consciousness, health, strength, generosity or miserliness, jealousy. Related health problems: Heart problems, high blood pressure, ulcers, cancer, influenza. BLUE: Comfort, interest in science, loyalty or the lack of it, inner peace or the lack of it, truthfulness or the lack of it. Related health problems: Sore throats, thyroid troubles, goiter, fevers and epilepsy. INDIGO: Comprehension, understanding or the lack of it; the ability to listen; withdrawal from the world, humanitarianism. Related health problems: Eye problems, hearing loss, pneumonia, cerebral palsy, and inner ear troubles. VIOLET: Artistic talent, creativity, hypersensitivity, alienation, the Highest Wisdom. Related health problems: Nervous and mental disorders, headaches, kidney and liver troubles, meningitis.Other Colors and their influence: WHITE: Purity, protection, luminosity, the all-seeing eye, clarity. Related health problems. None. White is a color of healing. PINK: Love, affection, the desire to do well, or the lack of it. Related health problems: None known. GRAY: Fear, paranoia, survival instinct or the lack of it. Related health problems: Anything that can be exacerbated by fear. BROWN: Brown is the color of illness, and the deeper the shade, the more serious the illness. If even the slightest tinge of brown appears in a person's aura, that person needs to see a doctor immediately. BLACK: If black appears in a person's aura, that person doesn't have long to live.
Aura Reading: A reading given by a skilled clairvoyant, or aura specialist, in which the person's personality, possible future, and level of health and spiritual development are determined depending on what colors are dominant in the individual's inner and outer auras.
Automatism: Spontaneous verbal or motor behavior performed unconsciously. In spiritism, it refers to the techniques of automatic writing or painting. A trance medium or even an ordinary person in an altered state of consciousness transfers communications from the spirit world to paper or canvas. One famous example was the English medium Rosemary Brown. Through automatic piano playing, she received musical inspiration from the spirit of late composer Franz Liszt, who also introduced her to other famous composers in the spirit world.
Autoscopy: This term refers to the anomalous experience of seeing oneself or the world from a point of view outside the body while being awake. Neuroscience suspects that this is due to a malfunction between human sensory and cognitive mechanisms but has no proof for this theory yet.
Balancing: A term used by psychic and energy healers. According to this concept, illness is the result of the imbalance of the humors and energies of the body. Even serious illnesses can be healed if the humors and energies that created the condition are balanced. As with any other type of healing, however, serious illnesses need to be treated early in their development. Otherwise, more radical procedures than balancing are vital. Yet balancing can still help if combined with allopathic treatment. There are several different ethods of balancing. The shamanic method, herbal or homeopathic treatments, Reiki, and the Radiance Method are just a few examples. Some people use one only, some prefer to combine them. In most cases, they all seem to work, so it's up to the individual to choose the right one for him or her.
Basic technique: In an esoteric context, this term refers to the different forms of divination, meditation, and so forth. For example, astrology's basic technique is to calculate the positions of the planets, depict them in a circle or square, and attach certain meanings to the configuration. The basic technique of Tarot is to make a choice from 78 cards, lay them out in a certain pattern, and interpret their meaning.
Billet reading: Billet reading is often used in magicians' or mediums' performances to demonstrate their psychic or mind-reading skills. The performer tries to read a message in a sealed envelope. This stunt is often performed fraudulently: the performer may have an accomplice in the audience or may secretly open the envelope beforehand. Billet reading has also been used in psychic research experiments.
Bilocation: Bilocation is the ability to be in two places at the same time. It has been attributed to many saints and mystics in the past, for example, St. Anthony of Padua or Padre Pio. The theory is that the bilocator is able to project a so-called "etheric double" to a different location than that of his or her physical body. There are many witness reports documenting this phenomenon, but modern science currently appears to have little interest in researching it.
Biofeedback: This still-disputed form of alternative medicine that was developed in the 1960s involves "feeding" the patient data concerning biological functions that were previously assumed to be regulated automatically by the nervous system. The patient is made aware of breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, glandular secretion, or muscle tension and is taught techniques to influence these functions at will. Biofeedback is increasingly used to treat hyperactivity and hypertension, and there are a growing number of biofeedback machines available on the market. Some people also use this method to monitor their progress in learning, meditation, or self-development.
Book test: A stunt performed by many stage magicians and some mediums to prove their mind-reading abilities. A spectator is asked to open a book at any page and to concentrate on the first, last, longest, or any word on that page. The magician or medium then endeavors to decipher the word through alleged mind reading. The fact that there are hundreds of book test kits available to stage magicians should be seen as a hint that this is a mere parlor trick for entertainment purposes.
Cabalistic: Having a secret or hidden and often sacred meaning. Cabalistic practices include prayer, meditation, or even magical rituals.
Candles: Candles of all kinds are, like cards, used for meditation, magic, or during rituals. They are preferred over other sources of light such as electric lamps because the light is softer and easier on the eyes, and also because of the tradition surrounding them. Candle burning is simple because the candle alone is the only requirement, and no other ceremonial object is necessary. However, one can choose to supplement the candle with flowers, images, or other artifacts if he or she so chooses. The size and shape of the candles one uses is unimportant, but their colors are. For example, if one is meditating for health or prosperity, green is the true color; if for love, pink is preferable. See Aura Colors.
Cards: Ever since the invention of paper, cards have been used for learning, for meditation focusing, and also for games. Some believe that it is only recently that cards have been used for divination, but we don't really know that for sure. The most popular card system for divination and for meditation is the Tarot, and some decks, based on specific cultures and/or mythologies, are also valuable learning materials. Other card systems include a number of oracles - the I Ching cards, the Faeries' Oracle, the Druidic Animal Oracle, Goddesses of the New Light, and the Medicine Cards - not to mention ordinary playing cards. These, like the Tarot, can be used for divination, for learning, and for meditation focus. See Divination.
Cayce, Edgar (1877-1945): One of the most famous of twentieth-century psychics, Cayce was the first known channel that could dictate diets, drugs, herbal concoctions and poultices, and other healing methods while in a trace. He cured a lot of people, and careful records have been kept of his ideas in order to enable people today to cure themselves using the same techniques that helped others many decades ago. By accident, in one of his medical readings he mentioned that the patient "was once a monk," and this fired interest in reincarnation. As a result, he gave thousands of what he called "life readings," and many of the case details in question were checked out and verified historically. Cayce was not a happy man, however. His Christian upbringing caused him to constantly question the truth and the advisability of what he was doing, plus he was unable to control his smoking, drinking, and bad diet, which bothered him. He worked too many hours reading for people because he wanted to help them, but in the end he burned himself out. He died - exhausted and weak - in 1945 at the age of 67. Now, however, he is believed to be back in the person of David Wilcock, a 32-year-old mystic who channels metaphysical information in almost the same way Cayce did.
Celestial: The word is generally used as an adjective meaning "of the heavens." The Sun, Moon, planets, and stars are called celestial bodies. Angels, saints, and spirits are often referred to as celestial beings or celestials.
Cellular Memory: A theory proposing that human body cells, as well as the brain, contain keys to our personalities, tastes and histories. This means that at the physical level of a single cell, the body records all our life experiences, and thus lays the groundwork for the future. Illness, blindness and other physical problems as well as psychological conditions may result, but that isn't all that can happen. Cellular memory affects just about everything we might do in life, often in a very dysfunctional way. Therapists use Cellular Memory Release (CMR), a specialized form of kinesiology, to access the healing energy contained in all of us and thus start the healing process that will set everything right.
Chakra: One of the eight energy centers placed at various points along the spine of any living vertebrate. In human beings, the root chakra is posited at the base of the spine, and is related to the survival instinct and body consciousness. The sacral chakra is located in the groin area, and is associated with creativity, emotions and sexuality - as well as for gratification of pleasures. The power chakra is located at the solar plexus, and is associated with our own personal power, ego and will. The heart chakra is located, obviously, at the heart, and is associated with love, compassion, and self-acceptance. The throat chakra is located at the throat, and rules communication, speech, and creativity. The third eye chakra is located between the eyebrows and is associated with sight of all kinds, including both physical and psychic vision. The crown chakra is located at the top of the head and is associated with knowledge, wisdom, and higher awareness. The eighth chakra, or alta major center, is located at the base of the skull, where the skull connects with the spinal cord. This is the most powerful chakra of all, associated with the final ascendant of the entity to God consciousness, or enlightenment.
Chamalongo: An African form of divination using coconut shells, believed to reveal how the divine forces work in our lives, and how well we are attaining our life's purpose. The shells also uncover ways for us to channel those forces in ways that benefit us, and also to remove any blocks in the attainment of our destiny.
Channeling: A phenomenon that occurs when a disembodied entity speaks through a living human being. Such an entity can be an angel (usually Michael or Gabriel), an Ascended Master (e.g. Ramtha or Lazaris), or simply a wise and aware human being who has departed this earth (e.g. Matthew Ward). Usually these human beings are very psychic and already in touch with the other worlds, but sometimes they have a familial or other close connection with the entity in question and thus have been chosen to be that entity's channel. The entity being channeled can use speech, automatic writing, or, in rare cases, tools such as Ouija boards. It is important, however, that the channeler become well acquainted with the entity being channeled before conveying that entity's message to others.
Channel Medium: A sensitive and often very psychic person who has been chosen by a specific otherworldly entity to take that entity's message to other living human beings.
Cipher test: A code word or number a person intends to use after their death to verify that spiritual life continues after the physical existence has ended.
Circle: Esoterically, the circle has many meanings and powers. Essentially, it's a symbol of the spirit, the All-One, and in this function forms part of astrological and magical glyphs. For example, the circular spirit shape with the cross of matter inside it is a symbol for the Earth. People form a circle to symbolize unity and equality while magicians and witches draw a circle around themselves for protection.
Chiromancy: An ancient name for palmistry. See Palmistry.
Clairaudience: A form of channeling. Usually clairaudience is defined as the perception of messages in thought forms from an entity that exists in another realm. The person receiving these messages "hears" the messages in their mind. Though words or songs may actually be heard the same way one "hears" a phrase or song running through their heads, the thought itself may be all that's transmitted. For the budding clairaudient: Be sure you share the messages obtained through clairaudience only with people who understand. Clairaudience is often confused with schizophrenia. See Channeling.
Clairsentience: Also known as Psychometry. The ability to touch or hold an object, stand in a specific place, and/or touch the body of a person and sense the energy encircling that person, place or thing. Energies can be light or heavy, joyful or foreboding, tough or gentle, peaceful or angry, good or evil, and are judged by the emotional impact on the clairsentient. A clairsentient or clairsentient medium is an empathic person who is able to experience and translate all kinds of energies. When picking up on negative emotions, a clairsentient may feel sick, while a positive experience may feel like sheer joy, or feeling safe and secure. The messages are usually more complicated than that alone, and can be of great assistance when one must make significant decisions in life.
Clairvoyance: Literally, "clear sight." The psychic ability or power to acquire information, or to see objects, animals or people, in spite of any distance involved, and, in the case of a person or animal, to judge its present condition or emotional state. The clairvoyant can also pick up on past or future events. Clairvoyance is often used as a general term encompassing phenomena such as telepathy, second sight, prophetic visions, and dreams.
Clairvoyant: A psychic with the ability to use clairvoyance.
Coffee Grounds: Like tea leaves, coffee grounds remaining in the bottom of a person's cup after the coffee has been consumed can be read to judge the individual's immediate future. The shape of the coffee grounds, as well as how they are distributed throughout the cup, serve as focuses for the reader's psychic abilities.
Cold reading: The term has two different meanings. Among astrologers, it refers to a horoscope reading given without preparation or for an absent client. Generally, however, the term refers to an astrological, psychic, Tarot, or other divinatory reading of a fraudulent nature. The reader tries to elicit as much information as possible about the client by watching body language, outer appearance, and facial expression or by asking suggestive questions. There are various techniques to obtain information about the client's background, beliefs, life history, or ways of thinking. One example is the so-called shotgun reading. The reader bombards the client with a barrage of questions and statements, hoping that one will hit the nail on the head. When that has been accomplished, the reading continues along the lines of the already-established facts and quickly moves away from obviously wrong statements the reader has made.
Collective unconscious: The collective unconscious contains that which has been passed on to us, the collected memories of our family, tribe, nation, or race. At this deepest level of our psyche, archetypal energy patterns are at work, which we share with all human beings. For example, everyone has a mother and father; everyone is born naked and will die eventually. The deeper the layer, the more impact it can have when rising to the surface as a driving force in our lives. When activated, the collective unconscious can bring about mass movements by driving large numbers of people to the same conclusions and actions.
Colorgenics: An area of study associating colors with specific feelings. According to practitioners of colorgenics, colors have a very strong influence not only on our feelings, but on ourselves. Blue is calming, while red is exciting and stimulating. Yellow is an upbeat color that boosts our love of life. Green grounds us and makes us feel connected with the earth. Violet awakens love and kindness. See Aura Colors.
Color Therapy: Psychic and energy healers often work with color. The premise is that if we concentrate our thoughts on certain colors, we can cause the energy associated with those colors to reach the parts of the body that need healing. White light is believed to be cleansing and can balance the body's entire system. Yellow arouses the mental faculties and generates a positive attitude, and thus can combat depression. Green, which has a calming and restful effect, can alleviate cardiovascular conditions. Pink is said to create smooth skin and youthfulness. Some healers shine colored lights on their clients so as to both assist the person's own concentration and to add a little extra oomph to the effect. Color meditations, wherein the individual simply meditates on the colors and the parts of the body they want to heal, are also popular.
Comparison Astrology: Also called Synastry. An astrological practice designed to discern whether or not two people are compatible by analyzing the connections between the Natal Chart of one and the Natal Chart of another. The connections indicate whether the two people would make good business partners, friends, creative partners, or marital partners. The analysis can explain strengths in the relationship as well as differences, and can also help to suggest ways to resolve those differences, in just about any relationship.
Contact Mind Reading: The same as mind reading, but the reader and the subject are in the same room or even touching.
Cosmic Consciousness: The term was coined by Canadian psychiatrist R. M. Bucke in the late 19th century. It was picked up by the '60s hippie counterculture that was increasingly influenced by Eastern traditions. Cosmic consciousness refers to the view that the Universe is a living organism of which every living being is part. Each "cell" of this organism is connected to all others. This is conducive to experiences of egolessness and oneness. Nonviolence is one of the consequences of this mental and spiritual stance as hurting any part of the organism simultaneously hurts all others, including oneself.
Cowry Shell Divination: Also called Diloggun. An African form of divination, which makes use of cowry shells that have been blessed and sanctified through ritual. They are believed to reveal the will of the Orishas (Angelic spirits) and also to disclose the will of the Divine through the intervention of the diviner or priest, as well as the path the individual is destined to follow.
Crop Circle: A name given to huge geometric patterns, usually circular in nature, appearing in fields of ripe grain overnight, with no known creator. The patterns are formed by the flattening of the grain plants in the field. Until recently, most of the crop circles have appeared in England. There have been records of crop circles for centuries, though it seems as if it's only been in the past two decades that they have appeared in vast numbers, all over the world. Some are very complex and quite beautiful. The grains seem to have suffered no damage from the flattening process and are still edible and nourishing. No one knows for sure who creates the crop circles, though theories range from aliens to Earth spirits to hoaxers. There are a few admitted hoaxers, some of whom claim to be responsible for all the crop circles, but even the skeptics admit that it would be impossible to credit them with all the crop circles. There are too many of them appearing these days - and too far apart - for all the admitted hoaxers to have produced them all. The general rule of thumb is that any crop circle that has actually damaged the grain is a hoax, while those in which the grain is still undamaged are true crop circles.
Crossover Reading: A type of reading wherein the reader uses at least two and sometimes more disciplines in order to give the client every advantage. Many readers use astrology, clairvoyance and Tarot all in one reading, and other disciplines often combined with these are numerology, palmistry, and the runes.
Cryptomnesia: Cryptomnesia refers to unconsciously gathered memories that rise to the surface without being recognized for what they are. For example, a person could have heard a piece of music or glanced at writing without paying attention at the time. Later, the same music or writing are remembered but mistaken for one's own idea and inspiration.
Crystal Ball: A ball made usually of quartz crystal that enables certain psychics to focus their clairvoyance and come up with visions or the answers to a client's question. Some clairvoyants report actually seeing visions within the crystal. This is another type of discipline that can be incorporated into a crossover reading.
Crystal Healing: It is believed that crystals carry a high level of innate power and can be used to augment energy-healing methods such as Reiki, Chi Gong, polarity balancing and therapeutic touch or healing touch. Energy healing work can be instantaneous if the healer is skilled and in tune with the infinite, and if the patient is receptive and believes in both the healer and in the methods he or she uses. Yet most of us still have a modicum of doubt or fear, and thus it often helps to use crystals both to give the patient a sense of security and to help focus the energy generated by the healer. The usual method of doing this is to place crystals or gemstones of the right color and energy at the corresponding chakra points on the patient's body. This cleanses and energizes the chakras, and also sends an intensified level of energy to the parts of the body that require healing. This includes the mind and the psyche.
Deathbed Experience: Dying people often report visions of relatives, angels, or religious figures appearing by their bed, sometimes long before actual death occurs. In some cases, even loved ones present at the time share these visions. They are often dismissed as wishful thinking or the last flare-up of a dying brain. But the similarities of these visions across all cultures and ages suggest that there is more to deathbed experiences than pure imagination.
Dejà Vu: Dejà Vu refers to the feeling of repeating an experience when it is impossible to have had this experience before. Neuropsychology explains it with a misfiring of the nerve connections in the brain, which leads the brain to believe there's a repetition. In parapsychology, however, the phenomenon is associated with visionary abilities or resurfacing past-life experiences.
Dice Test: A test used for research on psychokinesis, the ability to influence or move matter solely through mind force. The subject tries to influence the roll of the dice to produce given numbers.
Diloggun: See Cowry Shell Divination.
Direct Voice: Direct Voice, also known as "Direct Independent Voice," refers to a voice manifesting in a given space without any obvious physical or logical source. The phenomenon is associated with spiritist s?ances, during which the medium appears to control the voice.
Discarnate Entity: A discarnate entity is a being that exists without a physical body, such as spirits, ghosts, angels, or demons. The lack of physical expression tools is said to drive some of these entities to possess the bodies of incarnate beings, including humans, animals, and even plants.
Displacement: In parapsychological research, the word refers to test results that are below average regarding the set task but above average with regard to another objective. For example, a remote viewer may not get any results at the target location but could meanwhile be extremely accurate about events in another place.
Dissociation: A mental process during which certain memories are compartmentalized and suppressed. The memory of a traumatic experience may be too painful to remember, so it may be stored in a virtually inaccessible area of the psyche to protect everyday consciousness from its devastating effects. This can lead to such mental disorders as dissociative amnesia. The main symptom of dissociation is that subjects feel cut off from their emotional responses or their self. In some cases, dissociation goes so far that the subject develops two different sets of memories and even two different identities to go with them. Hypnosis appears to be a gentle way of bringing buried memories to the surface to work through them.
Divination: Seeing the future, involving any discipline - astrology, tarot cards, clairvoyance, numerology, channeling, or any other method.
Dowsing: A technique in which a specialized psychic - called the dowser - uses a rod, stick, pendulum or other tool to locate such things as underground water, hidden metals, buried treasure, oil, or sometimes lost persons or objects. Even though this ancient practice is not based upon any known scientific laws, the fact that so many dowsers succeed has led to theorizing and scientific experiments, some of which support the idea. Research, however, is continuing.
Dream Interpretation: A practice that analyzes the symbols appearing in dreams in order to sort out a problem, put the dreamer in touch with his or her inner self, discern repressed thoughts, diagnose possible illnesses, unscramble a warning, or foretell the future. The practice of dream interpretation goes all the way back to ancient times. Perhaps the most well-known interpreter of dreams was the Hebrew patriarch Joseph.
Dream: The images, stories, and emotions that come to us when we're sleeping. They are like a movie running in our own brain, premiering for us alone, and can range from the vague to the elaborately detailed, from the serious to the ludicrous, from the hilarious to the frightening. Since ancient times, they have been viewed as messages from the Divine. See Dream Interpretation.
Earthquake Effect: The term refers to the long-term disorders, such as post-traumatic disorders, anxiety, depression, and nightmares, arising from the experience of a natural or manmade disaster. Research has brought to light that the effects can be delayed, vary in severity over time, and can last as for a long time. However, an earthquake effect can also have positive connotations. The realization that life is transitory can turn around the subject's approach to life. Time and life altogether become precious, leading the individual to practice unconditional love.
Ecstasy: A state of rapture accompanied by overwhelming emotions of an elated nature.
Ectoplasm: In parapsychology, ectoplasm is a visible substance sometimes produced by trance mediums during their communication with the spirits of the deceased. It's usually a slimy substance that is regarded as a kind of primordial matter. The term can also refer to material or etheric substances forming the "bodies" of spirits or ghosts.
Electroencephalography: This is a diagnostic procedure during which electrodes fixed to the scalp measure the electrical currents produced by brain activity. The resulting patterns are either drawn on paper or displayed on a computer screen. Electroencephalograms (EEGs) are used in diagnosing seizure disorders, brain damage, or sleeping disorders. In parapsychological research, they provide insight regarding the changes occurring in brain activity during trance or meditative states.
Electronic Voice Phenomena: This refers to sections of static sounds received on the radio or television set that seem to contain spoken words. Some people even encounter this phenomenon while playing recorded music, especially backward. Parapsychologists often associate these phenomena with ghosts or spirits trying to convey a message, involuntary psychokinesis exerted by living persons, or even aliens trying to make contact.
Elongation: In astrology, elongation refers to the distance of a planet from the Sun. Because the planets have elliptical orbits, their elongation varies. Mercury's greatest elongation is 23 degrees from the Sun while Venus's greatest elongation is 46 degrees. The term can also refer to the distance between a celestial body and its satellite. For example, the Earth's satellite, the Moon, is at its shortest elongation every 19 years. We then observe the so-called "lunar standstill," a period during which the Moon appears exceptionally large.
Empath: A person who has the ability to sense and/or understand emotions from another person or animal, which includes stimulation to any or all of the five senses, as well as the sixth sense, without being verbally informed and/or without palpable visual clues. Many empaths are able to tune into people in places far away from them.
Empathic Dream Interpretation: A method of dream analysis through the use of empathy. The analyst tunes into the individual's emotions and interprets the symbols in the dream in light of the dreamer's current emotional state. For example, if the dreamer is currently uneasy because of fear or some other sort of upset, the interpretation will reflect that upset. Many dream psychologists combine both the classic sort of dream interpretation with the empathic method.
Energetics: A method of holistic healing based on the principle that energy of all kinds, from subatomic to organic, has a significant influence on the well-being of the total organism. The theory is that for every physical manifestation in the body, there is an energetic correspondence. Every life form has an individual energetic constitution different from that of any other. It derives from the interaction of the being's genetic background, unique physiology, nutritional and environmental circumstances, psycho-emotional influences, and subtle physical and karmic conditions, in addition to further systems and connections which we don't yet know about. The observations and resulting traditions go back to ancient times. The alchemists were aware of the principles behind energetics. Healing through energetics draws on all levels of the person's consciousness - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual - to enable him or her to release energy blockages that can cause illness, psychological problems, or emotional upset.
Esoteric: This adjective refers to profound knowledge and hidden wisdom that cannot be understood by the average mind and is therefore confined to or reserved for a select group of people only.
ESP (Extrasensory Perception): The ability to pick up on thoughts, emotions, events, locations, and illnesses that aren't readily apparent on a visual, auditory, or other sensory level. Telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and other phenomena such as channeling or automatic writing are often classified under the category of ESP. See Clairaudience; Clairvoyance; Empath; Telepathy.
Evocation: Evocation refers to the act of creation through will power or magical means.
Experimental Parapsychology: This branch of parapsychology concerns itself with the empirical study of ESP experiences and phenomena.
Exorcism: A ritual used when a person is possessed by a disembodied entity to cast that entity out of the person's body and thus heal the person. Though there are other practitioners that perform exorcisms, the best-known rites of exorcism are those practiced by the Roman Catholic Church.
Extradimensional: The term refers to beings or phenomena that originate in a dimension other than that of life on Earth.
Extraterrestrial: This term refers to beings, objects, or phenomena originating in a different place than our planet. Although it is usually used to refer to beings from other planets, every star or planet we perceive in the night sky is, in fact, extraterrestrial.
False Awakening: A false awakening is a dream in which the dreamer believes he or she has woken up. The experience usually appears completely real to the dreamer, who generally proceeds to perform everyday tasks in the dream. False awakenings often precede or follow lucid dreams.
Fate Line: In chiromancy or palmistry, the line that determines a person's life path, which is usually placed in the middle of the palm. Strong fate lines reflect a person who settles into his chosen life path at a young age, while weak fate lines indicate people who never really find their true calling. Long fate lines indicate people who continue to follow their chosen course well into old age. Sometimes the fate line is missing; this means that the individual lacks stability. Often alcoholics and drug addicts lack a fate line. See Chiromancy, Palmistry.
Faraday Cage: The Faraday Cage is named after physicist Michael Faraday, who built one in 1836. It is a completely closed area or a mesh cage built from strongly conducting material. This outer shield protects the inside of the cage from electromagnetic charges, which are distributed evenly over the surface instead of penetrating the inner space. Practical, modern-day examples are the microwave oven, where the electromagnetic charge is kept from leaking out, or an elevator, where cell phones won't get a signal. Experiments placing mediums or clairvoyants in a Faraday Cage have shown that their performance is reduced in this environment. That is a reason why some people with ESP gifts refuse to live in modern concrete buildings, which are reinforced with steel bars that form a Faraday Cage.
Feng Shui: Literally, "the forces of the universe." A method of interior design incorporating these natural forces in order to raise our quality of life. Few are aware that we are being bombarded daily by electromagnetic fields that we cannot see or feel. The use of Feng Shui in arranging the furniture, appliances, artwork, and other household objects in our homes channels these electromagnetic energies into compatible layouts that can prevent clashes between the energies, and thus will enable us to take control of our lives and attain our goals. Feng Shui methods concentrate on prosperity, relationships, helpful people, new knowledge, family, children, fame and career success.
Focal Person: In parapsychology, a focal person is someone who is at the center of poltergeist activity.
Forced-choice Test: An assessment in which the subject has to choose from various possible answers to the test questions, either true/false or multiple-choice. This way of testing a person's knowledge or skills offers the advantage of an easy evaluation, often with a point system.
Foretell: To pronounce a prediction.
Foresee: To "see" future events unfolding before the inner eye. Foreseeing is often coupled with foretelling.
Feyness: Feyness describes a person with magical qualities, psychic abilities, or a fairy-like appearance. Sometimes it refers to a person acting as if under a spell.
Fortean Phenomena: Named after Charles Hoy Fort, an American writer who collected data of strange incidents, Fortean phenomena are occurrences for which science has no viable explanation.
Fortune Telling: The activity of predicting a person's future, their "fortune," through one or more forms of divination or by psychic means.
Free-response Test: In contrast to the forced-choice test, a free-response test leaves the subject free to answer the questions in whichever manner they like. Obviously, the test results are more difficult to calculate than in a forced-choice test.
Ganzfeld: Ganzfeld (from German, "the whole field") is used in parapsychological research. Ganzfeld experiments use sensory deprivation to stimulate and test a subject's ESP. The so-called Ganzfeld effect occurs, for example, when the subject stares at an undifferentiated field of color for a while. The brain stops registering the unchanging input and starts producing its own images.
General Extrasensory Perception: General Extrasensory Perception (GESP) refers to any kind of ESP that cannot be clearly defined as telepathy, clairvoyance, or any other ESP category.
Geomancy: An ancient form of divination in which handfuls of soil or other materials taken from the earth were sprinkled on the ground, or when arbitrary markings were scratched into the earth or sand, to generate an assortment of dotted patterns, which could then be "read" by a seer.
Ghost: (1) The spirit of a person, who has died on the material plane, yet does not move on to the higher realms. Ghosts sometimes stay behind because (a) they have died suddenly and/or violently and don't know they're dead; (b) feel too attached to places where they were happy; and/or (c) are still looking or waiting for people who have also died, but have moved on. (2) An image or imprint on the ethers of a traumatic and violent event, which keeps repeating itself again and again, like a video tape. (3) A person who has died and moved on to the higher planes, yet comes back to warn or otherwise look after someone whom they loved who is now in trouble. See Spirit, Haunting.
Glossolalia: The term was first used by Frederic William Farrar, a British theological writer, in 1879. It means to speak in tongues. Glossolalia often is part of religious practice and has two manifestations: either as undefined, language-like but incomprehensible utterances or as speaking in a comprehensible foreign language the subject was unfamiliar with before.The bible contains several mentions of glossolalia as a symptom and consequence of religious rebirth and baptism. Used by many different religious communities throughout the centuries, the practice of glossolalia was revived in the early 20th century, especially in Los Angeles and in the Pentecostal movement that originated in Topeka, Kansas.
Goat: The term was coined in the 1940s and refers to a person who does not believe in parapsychological phenomena, even when faced with evidence or despite scoring in an ESP test.
God-realization, God Consciousness: The point in the evolution of living earthly beings where they attain the state of total and continuous awareness that they are one with God. God-realized beings don't always pass immediately to the Higher Realms, however. Often they remain in earthly incarnation for a while in order to assist others along the path to God-realization. In extreme cases, these God-realized beings take on the role of the Bodhisattva, a being who does not move on to total union with God until every being on a certain planet has reached God-realization.
Graphology: The technique of interpreting one's handwriting in order to discern personality characteristics.
Guide: In parapsychology, the term can refer to a so-called spirit guide, usually an entity that hovers around the medium and helps him or her to find the sought-after information. However, one doesn't need to be a full-fledged medium to have a spirit guide. In many ordinary people's lives, deceased friends or relatives appear as guides to give advice in difficult times, whether through dreams or paranormal phenomena. Sometimes, guided imagery also uses the image of a guide, really addressing the subject's inner teacher.
Guided Imagery: Guided imagery, also called guided visualization, is used for stress relief, relaxation, and self-analysis. A taped or live voice leads the listener through an imagined experience, often a journey or walk. The listener is encouraged to let corresponding images arise in his or her mind. These images can have a soothing, calming effect or can be examined as to the "messages" from the listener's unconscious they may contain. Guided imagery is an important part of Jungian analysis.
Hallucination: A hallucination is a sensual perception without a stimulus to cause that perception. Perceiving them while awake and as events outside the self, the subject usually takes such perceptions for real. They may occur as part of a mental disorder or as symptoms of certain diseases. Certain drugs can also cause hallucinations.
Hands: Many techniques of healing and divination are dependent on the use of the hands. Palmistry, massage, Reiki healing, shamanic healing, acupressure, and other disciplines are dependent on skilled use of the hands. The main benefits of these disciplines are said to be the release and proper channeling of the body's energies, but many psychologists feel that there are great benefits to be derived just from a gentle touch.
Handwriting: Analysis of an individual's handwriting, specifically the details of how the letters are formed, that enables the analyst to deduce specific personality traits. The factors most often considered are pen pressure, the slant of the writing, and the way the letters are formed. For example: Large, sweeping capital letters are usually considered a sign of an outgoing and joyful nature, while tiny handwriting often reveals a poor self-image. Heavy pen pressure is believed by some to reveal a dominating nature.
Haunting: A phenomenon occurring when, for one reason or another, the spirit of a dead person or animal does NOT move on to the higher planes, but remains in a place where he or she feels comfortable, was happy, or isn't ready to leave yet. See Ghost, Spirit.
Head line: In palmistry, or chiromancy, the head line runs horizontally from the middle of the palm to the heart line. The head line reveals how a person thinks, though it does not measure intelligence. See Chiromancy, Palmistry.
Heart line: In palmistry, or chiromancy, the heart line is the line that stretches from the side of the hand directly under the little finger to the area between the middle and index fingers. The heart line reveals how a person relates to other people, particularly romantic partners. See Chiromancy, Palmistry.
Hellstromism: Hellstromism is named after Axel Hellstrom, a stage magician, who performed extraordinary feats of mentalism and developed his own system of mnemonic aids. Hellstromism utilizes this system to stimulate telepathic abilities. The term is used referring to contact mind reading.
Higher Self: The God-Self, that part of every living being that is immortal and has, to some degree, attained God Consciousness. While the Higher Self possesses a greater degree of wisdom and knowledge than the human self, it has not yet returned to the Absolute, and thus is still evolving. Therefore, when one acquires the ability to tune into his or her own Higher Self, it must be borne in mind that even the Higher Self at times misses the mark.
Horoscope: A horoscope is a two-dimensional depiction of star and planet positions as seen, three-dimensionally, at a given time and from a given place on Earth. Astrology assumes that the planet positions at the beginning of a life, event, or process can implicate the eventual outcome. Various branches of astrology use different forms of horoscopes. Vedic astrology uses square-shaped depictions while Western astrology uses a circular image. In the vernacular, to read one's horoscope often means to read the forecast for the Sun Sign.
Holistic: A holistic approach - to living, teaching, or healing - emphasizes the importance of a complete organism or system and the interdependence of its parts. For example, holistic healing methods recognize and work with the connection between body and mind and also consider the patient's physical and social environment in diagnosis and treatment.
Hot Reading: This term has two different meanings. Astrologers use it in reference to a reading that has been prepared or in which the subject is present. Generally, however, the term refers to a psychic reading prior to which the reader has gathered as much information as possible about the sitter.
Hyperesthesia: The term refers to an abnormally increased sensitivity to sensual stimuli. For example, optic hyperesthesia is an abnormal sensitivity of the eye to light while tactile hyperesthesia refers to an oversensitivity of the skin to touch.
Hypnagogic Imagery: Images seen during the drowsy period preceding sleep often accompanied by sleep paralysis. Almost resembling hallucinations, these images can be very vivid and may be interpreted as ESP by the subject, whether rightly so or not.
Hypnopompic Imagery: Images seen during the period between sleep and wakefulness. While waking up, the subject may experience sensations that may resemble ESP phenomena or can be mistaken for real-life experiences.
Hypnosis: An induced sleeplike state enabling the therapist to tap into the deepest recesses of the subject's mind. The source of any traumas from the past can thus be uncovered that could be affecting the subject in a negative way - thereby facilitating the release of trauma and freeing the subject from any obstacles the past trauma could be throwing in his or her way. Hypnosis is often used to explore the subject's past-life history and its effects on the present life, to harness the power of the mind in healing illness and injury, and also to access the individual's superconscious, or God-Self, and attain insights on how the person should approach life, relationships, and other matters in a more enlightened way.
Hypnotic Trance: A trance state induced through hypnosis in which the subject follows the hypnotist's suggestions. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't possible without the compliance of the subject.
I ching: An ancient Chinese oracle. Dating back approximately 4,000 years, the I Ching is both the oldest known book in the world and the earliest surviving method for intuitive decision-making. It is usually presented in the form of a book, sometimes illustrated with sketches and charts, and is accessed by throwing stalks or coins. There are a number of different translations of the I Ching in book form, as well as a beautifully illustrated card deck and several websites. The oracle itself consists of 64 chapters illustrating universal principles, and tossing the stalks or coins indicates which principles are working in the individual's life at present.
Imagery: A set of mental pictures or images. Further specification denotes the specific context of such a set, for example, dream imagery or guided imagery.
Incantation: A spell or verbal charm used in religious or magical rituals. They vary from culture to culture, tradition to tradition, and as to what end is sought by the ritual. Often they are sung, or recited while music plays in the background. The power, it is believed, lies not only in the appeal to whatever deity the worshipper calls upon, but in the mind of the worshipper himself. Because he is thinking the incantation; saying the incantation; and hearing the incantation - and in rituals where the incantation is read, also seeing the incantation - its power is reinforced; thus it is more likely that the worshipper's desires will be fulfilled.
Incorporeal: Incorporeal means "without a body." Angels, demons, spirits, and the like are incorporeal and sometimes choose to inhabit other living bodies on Earth.
Incorruptibility: The term incorruptibility refers to a body that doesn't decompose after death, a phenomenon often occurring in the bodies of saints. One famous example is Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes, who died in 1879. Upon exhumation, her body was found entirely intact and is now on display.
Indirect Voice: This term refers to a phenomenon often occurring during mediumistic s?ances. A spirit entity uses the vocal apparatus of the medium to convey its messages.
Invocation: The term refers to the summoning of spirit entities often by means of a specific song, prayer, or formula.
Insight: In parapsychology, the term refers to the process of grasping the hidden meaning of an event or process. An insight often precedes a breakthrough.
Intuitive: A person who can pick up on the thoughts and feelings of other life forms, as well as signals of nature. While all psychics are intuitives, not all intuitives are psychics. Psychics tend to get more specific detail, while intuitives work primarily with emotions. Intuitives are also often healers. They can prove invaluable in cases where there's no discernible cause for pain or discomfort because they can sense what exactly is going on and thus are in a better position to know what the healer should focus on.
Kabbalah: An ancient esoteric tradition believed to have been given to Moses directly from Yahweh at Mount Sinai. Kabbalah is also referred to as Jewish mysticism, or esoteric Judaism. The source of Kabbalistic philosophy is the Sefir-na-Zohar, an ancient book of twenty-three volumes which expounds at length upon the nature of the Divine, Creation, the origin and fate of the soul, and the responsibilities of human beings. The Zohar also contains detailed descriptions of basic philosophies, meditations, and devotional, mystical and magical rituals. In the beginning, this wisdom was revealed only to a secret inner circle, but is now available to all - Jews and non-Jews alike - through books, videos, workshops, and other sources. The main symbols associated with Kabbalah are the figures of Adam Kadmon, the Universal Man, and the Tree of Life.
Karma: Literally, "action." Karma is a word describing the belief among ancient religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Kabbalism and many pagan sects, which basically states that "what goes around, comes around," from incarnation to incarnation. This philosophy is stated in the Christian Bible as, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap... He who kills with the sword must die by the sword." According to modern esoteric philosophy, karma can be "good" karma, or it can be "bad karma," and there are many forms of both. One, of course, is boomerang karma, which means that if in one life, you blind somebody, in the next, you may be born blind or be made blind in the course of that lifetime. Another form of karma is symbolic karma. A good example of this type of karma is the case of a man who was a soldier in one past life and shed a lot of blood, and then in a future life he was plagued by anemia. An example of good karma includes the story of a nun who used her hands to faithfully care for the sick, and then in a future life was born as a woman with exceptionally beautiful hands. Karma is a much more complex phenomenon than can be outlined briefly. There are many fine books out on the subject.
Kirlian Photography: A photographic process that appears to capture the auras, or biofields, of persons or objects depicted in the photograph. Invented by Seymon Kirlian, an amateur inventor and electrician from Krasnodar, Russia, the aura effect is produced by photographing people, animals, or objects in the midst of a high-frequency, high-voltage, low-amperage electrical field, which reveals colorful and glowing exudations called auras, or biofields. Though it has been known and experimented with since the 1930's, it is still controversial. Some who have worked with it believe it reveals a physical form of psychic energy; others believe it shows the etheric body. Some believe that more study of this phenomenon can enable humanity to obtain important insights in psychology, psychic healing, and medicine.
Kola Nut Readings: An African divinatory tradition which is used to obtain knowledge and guidance from one or more specific nature spirits.
Kundalini: In the Yogic belief system, the kundalini is the "serpent power," concentrated life energy. It is usually depicted as a snake rolled up at the bottom of the spine. Through various exercises and meditations, the kundalini can be awakened and brought to climb up the spine, connecting the various chakras or energy centers. This has to be done very carefully as a sudden and uncontrolled activation of the kundalini can have detrimental effects on the physical or mental health of the subject not unlike a short circuit in an overloaded electrical system. However, if awakened in the right manner, kundalini power is said to bring enlightenment and eternal life.
Levitation: Levitation is the process of lifting a person or object up into the air by paranormal means.
Life line: In palmistry, or chiromancy, the life line is the line that stretches from the base of the palm to an area just above the thumb. Generally, the rule is that the longer the life line, the longer the person will live, but a short thick life line indicates not only long life, but robust health. Events in the individual's life are judged by circles, squares, stars, grids, and other lines that cross the life line. See Chiromancy, Palmistry.
Life Review: Seeing one's life flash by before death occurs. This phenomenon has been well-documented by people who have had near-death experiences or who were revived after being declared clinically dead. Modern science has no sufficient explanation as of yet.
Lucid Dreaming: Being aware of the fact that one is dreaming establishes a lucid dream. There are certain techniques and exercises that promote the ability to have lucid dreams. It's a common misconception to assume that lucid dreaming entails taking control of the dream action. This is merely another level of lucid dreaming.
Lucidity: The word describes a clear and understanding state of mind.In a psychic context, lucidity is a collective term referring to all ESP faculties.
Luminous Phenomena: This term refers to two different kinds of phenomena: first, the occurrence of light displays often witnessed by religious congregations; second, luminous phenomena often occur during spiritist s?ances. Sometimes, a spirit presence manifests as a glowing light within the room. At other times, the medium's body or clothes appear to be illuminated from within.
Lycanthropy: Lycanthropy is the ability to change from a human to a wolf shape that is ascribed to the so-called "werewolves." Clinical lycanthropy is a mental condition in which the subject wrongly believes he or she has undergone this transformation.
Major Arcana: The twenty-two Tarot trumps, starting with The Fool and climaxing with The World. Drawn upon ancient archetypes and compiled into a system in the Middle Ages, the Major Arcana illustrate various individuals, concepts, and life situations that most people will have to encounter at some point in their lives. In a Tarot reading, the trumps are generally related to the most important life events - those involving humanity, the world and its life forms, customs, laws, and other major sociological issues. It used to be believed that the Tarot deck developed first, and then the trumps gradually were dropped from the game pack. Now, however, Tarot scholars believe that the Major Arcana, with all their esoteric and religious symbols, developed separately from the game pack, and were joined into one deck around 1400.
Macro-PK: In the term Macro-PK, "PK" stands for psychokinetics, the movement of objects by psychic means. Macro-PK refers to psychokinetic phenomena that can be detected with the naked eye.
Micro-PK: In the term Micro-PK, "PK" stands for psychokinetics, the movement of objects by psychic means. Micro-PK refers to such movements that are so small or subtle that they demand special ways of detecting and measuring them, for example, through statistics.
Minor Arcana: The fifty-six Tarot cards outside of the Major Arcana, including the Court Cards, and categorized in terms of the four suits and numbered from one (Ace) to ten. The Minor Arcana descended from the original game pack, which is believed to have arisen in China, where paper was invented, in about 800 A.D. The idea of playing cards entered Europe from China via India and via the Middle East in medieval times. There are a number of records from the late fourteenth century that refer to an Arabic card game called "naib." When the game pack was combined with the Major Arcana and the practice of card divination became widespread, the Minor Arcana began to represent events in the course of the life of the individual. This continues to be the practice even today.
Medium: Now more popularly called a Channel. See Channeling. A person whose mind can pierce the veil between this world and the next, and talk to the dead, though some mediums also claim to talk to angels and Ascended Masters. Mediums are most often called upon by people who wish to seek guidance or comfort from friends, relatives, or, in some cases, spiritual leaders who have passed on. Often mediums are consulted in order to clear haunted buildings of spirits who are earthbound - who either aren't ready to leave the earth or don't know that they are dead. In a few cases, there have been murder victims who have helped to solve their own murders through mediums.
Medium via Guides: A medium who does not communicate directly with the dead, but who works through a guide. A guide is a spirit who has passed on but who remains close to the earthly plane in order to assist humanity along the way. When working with a medium, the guide communicates with the departed spirit and then acts as a go-between in getting messages from that spirit to the medium.
Mesmerism: Mesmerism is named after the 18th-century German doctor Franz Anton Mesmer and refers to what he called "animal magnetism" and its uses. According to Mesmer's theories, life energy flows through thousands of channels in the human body. Any illness is a symptom of this flow being obstructed. Healing occurs through a boost of life energy conveyed from one person to another through what Mesmer called the "fluidum." Mesmer's work was examined by a commission of scientists lead by Benjamin Franklin and duly dismissed as nonsense since the fluidum could not be measured. However, Mesmer's theories gave rise to the development of hypnotism.
Metamorphosis: Mainly used in biology, the term means "transformation." In parapsychology, it refers to the changes in people or objects brought about by psychokinetic or magical means.
Metaphoric: A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses a term or phrase to describe something else. Dreams often use metaphoric images in illustration of psychological processes and states of the soul.
Metaphysics: The term literally means "beyond physics" or "transphysical science." Metaphysics, although hard to outline exactly, touch on ontology, psychology, cosmology, and theology. Students of the subject therefore have to possess widespread knowledge of one or more of those subjects.
Mind Reading: Also called "telepathy," mind reading is the process of discerning another person's thoughts or mental processes through ESP.
Mnemonist: The term refers to a person with an exceptional ability to memorize facts and figures.
Morphic Resonance: The term was coined by biologist Rupert Sheldrake, whose theories revolutionized the relationship between science and spirituality. According to Sheldrake, the whole Universe is one living organism, the parts of which are in constant communication with each other. They do so via so-called "morphogenetic fields," a kind of energetic memory bank that surrounds every plant or animal species, every stone, and even planets and stars. In his description, a morphogenetic field is much like what theology refers to as the soul. The sum of all memories stored in the morphogenetic field of a species determines the future evolution of that species. This process is called morphic resonance. It establishes a non-genetic form of heredity that deals with form, behavior, and organization.
Mystic: A mystic is a practitioner of mysticism. Because mystics handle a different frame of reference than the ordinary person, their writings and poetry are often difficult to understand. One of the basic mystical insights is that this world is but an illusion and that our daily concerns are mere distractions from the truth and ultimate reality that lie behind the web of outer appearances.
Mysticism: The term refers to the pursuit of achieving direct knowledge of ultimate truth or union with the divine, either through insight or, at a later stage, through experience. Almost every religion carries a mystical subdivision that devises certain meditations and other techniques to achieve the "unio mystica," the mystical union with divinity, in order to find enlightenment and salvation from earthly suffering.
Near-Death Experience: An experience where a person either comes close to death, or actually dies, and then returns to the body. Many people who have gone through this report hearing and seeing things in the room while they were supposedly dead - and in some cases they actually had been declared brain-dead before they returned to their bodies. Others report etheric spiritual experiences such as passing through a tunnel of light and being greeted by dead friends, relatives, or pets, or by angels or spiritual leaders such as Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, or the Buddha. Though most so-called scientists dismiss such experiences as the last gasp of a dying brain, some impressive experiments strongly indicate that near-death experiences, or NDE's, are real. See Body Mind Spirit by Charles T. Tart, MD.
Numbers: It is said that all things stem from numbers, and the discoveries of modern science bear out that conclusion. It is not known when the human animal first discovered the science of numbers, but ancient rock carvings strongly indicates that numbers were known and understood as early as 35,000 years ago, and perhaps even earlier. Numbers were considered magical until the dawn of the Age of Reason, and in some cultures still are. The science of numerology is only one outgrowth of the original magical tradition. Astrology uses so many numbers that in the Middle Ages, it was considered nothing more than applied mathematics, as was music. In recent times, another form of numbers considered significant is the number that appears at the top of every Tarot card.
Numerology: The study of numbers and their occult meanings. The science of numerology is based on the premise that the full name a person was given at birth, as well as the day, month, and year that person was born, exert a strong influence on character, personality and events occurring during the course of your lifetime. There are two well-known systems of numerology. The older is the Chaldean system, which dates back to ancient Babylonia and is often called mystic numerology because it concentrates more on the occult or mystical rather than the mundane. It makes use of the numbers 1 through 8, and concentrates on the name by which the individual is most well known. The name of the inventor of this system has been lost in the sands of time. The Pythagorean system is more widely used than the Chaldean, having been invented around 600 BC possibly by the father of mathematics, Pythagoras. This system uses the numbers 1 through 9, derived from the full name given at birth, and concentrates on worldly matters more than on the occult. Some modern numerologists use only one system, some use both, and others combine them.
Numinous: A numinous place could be an ancient temple or a place in nature where a divine presence can be felt. "The numinous" generally refers to a spiritual or divine sphere or power that pervades and shines through everything and is often experienced as a sense of alignment and unity with nature.
Newspaper test: The newspaper test is a method of ascertaining the validity of psychic forecasting and of messages received from the spirit world. The medium or its spirit guide is asked to forecast an event that will be discussed in the papers shortly afterwards.
Occam's Razor: Named after William of Ockham, a 14th-century English friar, Occam's Razor is a philosophical principle of keeping things as simple as possible. In scientific research, Ockham demanded the elimination of assumptions. But his main point was this: if two explanations for a given phenomenon or two different solutions to a problem seem to be equally valid, then the simpler one is to be preferred.
Occultism: Occultism involves the belief that behind everyday reality, there are hidden powers and entities at work. Likewise, occultism refers to the knowledge and study of teachings as to how to access these realms and work with their energies and forces.
Omen: An event taking place in the natural world that is said to presage a far more important event in the life of the observer, for better or for worse. An omen can be a dream, a cloud, a rainstorm, the sudden perception of a plant or flower, the appearance of an animal or bird, or a natural event such as a falling stone. Whether the omen is good or bad depends on the tradition in which the observer has been raised.
Omen, Bad Luck: Omens that augur stressful events in the life of the observer, or which serve as warnings. Some bad luck omens include sudden storms, the moon surrounded by a ring, the appearance of ravens, crows, or other carrion birds, having a stone fall nearby or thrown at you, and seeing a tree fall. These are not universal symbols, however; it is important to note that events considered bad omens vary between cultures.
Omen, Good Luck: Omens that augur fortunate events in the life of the observer: seeing the sun breaking through the clouds after a storm; a star twinkling between the horns of the New Moon; the sudden appearance of any strong or friendly animal; ripples in a clear lake; colored fish; the first robin in spring; and the spotting of a butterfly, dove, or swan. As with the bad luck omens, events considered good luck omens vary between cultures.
One-Ahead Principle: The term refers to a procedure in mentalist performances. Answers are revealed in a sequence, where one answer provides the mentalist with the next clue. This procedure is used in serious as well as in fraudulent ways.
Oracle: Originally, the word referred to a temple dedicated to one of the gods or goddesses who grant their priests and priestesses the gift of prophecy. One such oracle was the Apollo temple in Delphi, where priestesses prophesied under the influence of vapors emanating from a sacred pool. Nowadays, the term may refer to the person making a prophecy or to the divining technique itself, such as the oracle of the Tarot or the I Ching oracle.
Orphic: The word is used as a synonym for the words mystical, occult, or oracular.
Other Side, The: See Astral Plane. The next level of existence above the physical, where living beings still involved with the cycle of reincarnation and evolution study, rest, and learn in preparation for their next incarnation. The term "other side" comes from the idea that a "veil" clouds the perception of the Astral Plane by earthly beings, and that only Masters, competent yogis, extremely gifted psychics, and those who have passed on can see through to "the Other Side of the Veil."
Out-of-Body Experience: This term refers to the experience of leaving one's body and looking at it from an external perspective. These usually short and fleeting episodes can be triggered by shock, trauma, or sudden psychological or spiritual insights. Victims of accidents and patients undergoing surgery often report out-of-body experiences. If undergone while awake and in company, onlookers often describe the subject looking like they were dead and had left their body. Some people consciously develop their ability to leave their physical shell voluntarily and to travel further away than just hovering above it. This is then called "astral traveling."
Palmistry: The science of determining personality characteristics and the overall life potential of a human being by reading the lines and other characteristics of their hands. The left hand is said to reflect the individual's potential, while the right hand shows what the person does with that potential. When giving a reading, a palmist reads the shape of the hands and fingers, the length of the fingers, AND the lines. Palmistry may have been invented as early as prehistoric times; the vast number of handprints on the walls of caves demonstrate that at the very least, early humans were fascinated by the hands. Information on palmistry and its methods have been found in ancient Vedic scripts, the Bible, and ancient Greek manuscripts. Aristotle is said to have discovered a treatise on palmistry on an altar to the Greek God Hermes. See Chiromancy, Fate Line, Head Line, Heart Line and Life Line.
Paranormal: Literally, "outside the normal." An adjective that describes anything that cannot be explained in light of present knowledge, including ghosts, extrasensory perception, dowsing, astral projection, etc.
Parapsychology: The scientific study of the paranormal, especially extrasensory perception. Many major universities now have separate departments devoted to the study of parapsychology. Perhaps the best known scientific experiments of ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance, and so on, were done in the early part of the twentieth century by Dr. Joseph Rhine and his wife Louisa at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA. The most recent experiments, however, using tighter controls than any ever used in any experiment, are covered by Dr. Dean Radin in The Conscious Universe and Dr. Gary Schwartz in The Afterlife Experiments.
Past Lives: Many cultures all over the world have, for millennia, accepted the notion that we have lived before, and, after we die, will live again, reborn in different bodies. The concept was popularized in the 19th and early 20th centuries by sensitives such as Mme. H. P. Blavatsky and the psychic Edgar Cayce. In the later decades of the 20th century, much research was done by historians, psychologists and psychiatrists, and other researchers, and a significant amount of evidence was uncovered that supports the idea. Now physicists and cosmologists - who historically have been skeptical of the idea of any sort of afterlife - have, because of their observations of subatomic particles in the science of quantum physics, started to rethink the idea of past lives. See Karma; Reincarnation.
Pendulum: A divination practice used to answer YES or NO questions. The diviner hangs a pendulum, usually a necklace with a crystal hanging from it, holds it still, asks the pendulum a YES or NO question, then gently lets go of it. If the pendulum swings from front to back, the answer is YES, and if it swings from left to right, the answer is NO.
Pet Psychic: A clairvoyant whose specialty is telepathic communication with animals. The first pet psychic that attained a high level of renown was Fred Kimball, who displayed an uncanny level of accuracy when communicating with cats, dogs and horses about their families, their homes, and their communities. Two current pet psychics who are rapidly becoming known for their work are Sonya Fitzpatrick of England, who has her own TV show on the Animal Planet channel, and Penelope Smith of northern California, who has published several books on the subject of animal communication.
Phenomenology: Phenomenology is a system or study of subjectively perceived appearances as opposed to objective reality. German philosopher Edmund Husserl founded a philosophical movement based on this principle. ESP phenomenology, for example, studies the various ways individuals achieve and perceive paranormal phenomena.
Phrenology: Phrenology attempts to read a person's personality traits from irregularities in the structure of the skull bone. It is based on the assumption that certain parts of the brain contain specific parts of the personality and develop in size according to the subject's mental makeup. The skull is believed to form bumps and grooves to accommodate these shapes, which can then be measured, allowing conclusions about the person's propensities. Although phrenology was very popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, modern science dismisses it as nonsensical.
Physical Medium: A physical medium is a person who can not only connect to the spirit world but also is able to produce physical phenomena such as moving objects through paranormal means, direct voices, or outpours of ectoplasm.
Plant psi: In biology, the term refers to the mechanisms involved in a plant's assimilation of water. In parapsychology, it refers to ESP phenomena exhibited by plants.
Poltergeist: Literally, "noisy ghost." Whenever strange physical phenomena occur, such as objects flying through the air for no apparent reason, windows becoming blackened by an indefinable substance, or lights going on and off with no human hand controlling them, this is known as "poltergeist phenomena." Usually, parapsychologists consider poltergeist phenomena less the work of actual ghosts than the frustrated psychic energy of unhappy children or younger adolescents. The story of the Amityville Horror was considered poltergeist phenomena until it was revealed to be a hoax.
Possession: The taking over of the body of a living person by a demon, angel, or departed soul, for whatever purpose. Channelers often leave themselves open to possession, at least for a limited amount of time, whenever they allow their spirit guides to speak through them. Demonic possession is rare, but there are those who believe that some forms of insanity are actually cases of this phenomenon. The Roman Catholic Church has a rite for the exorcism of demons from the bodies of human beings, but it is rarely used.
Prediction: A prediction is the mention or description of a future situation or event.
Preexistence: Within the framework or reincarnation theories, the term refers to a previous life or to the stage preceding incarnation.
Premonition: A powerful intuitive feeling that something momentous and important is going to happen. The individual experiencing a premonition does not necessarily have to be psychic, or clairvoyant, or even a lesser intuitive. It is believed that important events sometimes send powerful emanations back into the past, which if believed could enable the people involved to prepare either for the best or for the worst. The vast number of letters and phone calls to the White Star ocean line on the day before the launch of the Titanic, or to the White House in Washington, DC in the last few days before President Kennedy left for Dallas, were NOT from actual psychics, but from ordinary people who simply had an overwhelming feeling of oncoming tragedy.
Presage: As a noun, the term refers to an omen or a premonition, an indication of a future event. As a verb, it means to have a premonition, to portend, or to predict.
Prescient: Describes a person who possesses some kind of foreknowledge
Presence: In psychism, the term refers to the feeling or impression that a spirit entity is present.
Prognosticate: To forecast by interpreting signs and omens.
Prophecy: A prophecy is a prediction claimed to be inspired by divine influence.
Psi: There are two kinds of psi. Psi-gamma pertains to paranormal perception and psi-kappa to paranormal action. The term is commonly used as a synonym for "psychic" or "ESP."
Psyche: Depending on the context, it may refer to the mind, the self, or the soul. In psychology, it pertains to the sum total of inner forces or drives that determine a person's thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Psychic: From Greek "psyche," meaning soul. An individual with exceptional gifts for telepathy, clairvoyance, mediumship or prophecy. A sensitive who can intuit and reveal the future, or facts, thoughts, and feelings unknown to him or her. In the past, most people have been skeptical or even hostile in their opinions about psychics, but psychics are now being vindicated by carefully controlled scientific experiments. See Parapsychology.
Psychic Surgery: Psychic surgery is practiced in various indigenous cultures, but mainly in the Philippines and Brazil. A spiritual healer apparently penetrates the skin of the patient with his bare hands, removing spiritual as well as physical contaminations. Modern science dismisses the practice as fraudulent.
Psychometry: In psychism, psychometry refers to the practice of elucidating information about the subject of a reading by holding a photograph or personal item of that person.
Radiesthesia: The term has various meanings. It refers to a theory that assumes the existence of measurable low-frequency radiation emanating from every living organism. Certain patterns found in the measurements are believed to indicate the organism's state of health or illness. Secondly, the term refers to the paranormal or psychic ability to detect such radiation. In this context, radiesthesia is often offered as an explanation for the aura phenomenon.
Radionics: The use of instruments to detect, measure, or influence certain frequencies of radiation emanating from living organisms. This is mainly done for the purpose of medical diagnosis and treatment. Not yet officially recognized, radionics appear to defy common concepts of both physics and biology. Practitioners believe that radionics simply make use of natural laws that mainstream science has yet to discover and understand. In colloquial language, dowsing is often wrongly grouped under radionics, because it makes use of a device called dowsing rod. Dowsing, however, is used to detect water, oil, or minerals while radionics concentrate on monitoring and treating the human body.
Random: In parapsychology, researchers trying to prove whether ESP existed introduced computer-generated random elements into their test series. Comparing random strings of answers with other random strings produced results far below the expected probability. On the other hand, results above that value are continuously produced by human test subjects. Modern science dismisses this as a result of cheating.
Raudive Voices: Raudive voices are named after Konstantin Raudive, a Latvian psychiatrist and student of Jung. Raudive recorded voices of deceased persons on magnetic tapes. Embedded in what appears to be white noise, the recordings clearly contain voices uttering distinct words. Raudive devoted the last ten years of his life to the research on what he called Electronic Voice Phenomenon.
Reading: A consultation with an astrologer, Tarot reader, psychic, or medium that involves looking into the client's past, present, and future, as well as the client's psychological situation and motivations, in order to provide insight and guidance.
Rebirthing: A technique of healing which involves taking the individual back to the moment of birth and reexperiencing birth trauma. The practice makes use of conscious breathwork, balancing inhaling and exhaling, in order to fill the body with oxygen and thus release toxins from the cells, tissues and muscles, and also mental and emotional blockages, which keep them from living life fully. Oftentimes the breathwork alone is enough to ensure an intense shift in consciousness and releases much of the trauma and negative behavior patterns.
Regression: This term describes the return to a previous and perhaps less mature state of being or consciousness. The theory of reincarnation has given rise to various regression techniques aimed at leading the subject's consciousness back to previous lifetimes. This can be achieved through meditation, hypnosis, or guided imagery. In astrology, the term relates to the periodical retrograde motion of the planets.
Reiki: One of the more widely known methods of energy healing, involving the direct channeling of the Universal life force, called chi by the Chinese mystics, into a client's aura with the intention of healing any illness or other malaise that the client may be experiencing. It is not the only school of energy healing (there are, among others, also Chi Gong, Pranic Healing, and Polarity Balancing) - but it is by far the simplest. If someone wants to become a Reiki healer, he or she must receive attunements from an initiated Reiki master. Then, whenever the healer wants to perform a healing, he simply puts his hands on the client's body, visualizes chi flowing from the Universe through his hands and into the client's aura. Reiki is believed to be an ancient Tibetan healing method that was lost for many years until it was rediscovered around the turn of the 20th century in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui.
Reincarnation: Reincarnation refers to the repeated embodiment of the human soul in a string of existences. As a principle, reincarnation is part of various Eastern philosophies and religions, determining their rituals and other practices. Western science still dismisses reincarnation as unable to be proved.
Remote Viewing: The term refers to a trainable process involving the use of psi, looking into events taking place in another location or a different time than the viewer's. Remote viewing is often described as a controlled shift of awareness toward a target area or time performed in normal waking state. The ability to use remote viewing along a timeline suggests the simultaneous existence of past, present, and future, which carries vast implications for our cosmology. Various governments have successfully experimented with remote viewing for espionage purposes.
Retroactive: Influencing or applying to a period prior to enactment. In psychism, the term refers to retrodiction, the ability to prophesy about the past. This involves a speculation about earlier unknown events, which would then explain subsequent and already-known effects. It is not to be confused with postdiction, prophesy after the fact, which is a big point of contention among the critics of supernatural theories.
Retrocognition: The term refers to a type of clairvoyance involving the gathering of information from the past.
Runes: An ancient Germanic alphabet dating from roughly 200 BC, believed to have been derived from the Roman or Greek alphabet. Yet, to think of the runes as just another writing system is not only limiting, but also inaccurate. The ancient Teutons inculcated into these letters symbolic meanings drawn from their tribal culture and religion that were kept secret from other peoples. The very word "rune" means "mystery" in a number of Indo-European languages. In ancient times, when the runes were used for divination or spells, they were cut into the branches of fruit-bearing trees, and for this reason it is even now considered best to write or carve them only on natural materials. Nowadays, rune oracles can be found with the symbols cut into crystals or small pieces of wood, and there are also card decks featuring the runes.
Séance (or Seance): A session with a medium (see Medium) involving at least one participant and sometimes more than a dozen, for the purpose of contacting dead friends and relatives. Some mediums make use of magical rituals to invoke the dead, while others don't bother. The noted medium George Anderson prefers just to sit, talk, and draw pictures. Near-Death Experience (NDE - see Near-Death Experience) researcher Raymond Moody, MD, has a giant mirror in which he asks his subjects to gaze, and most of them have reported making some kind of contact with departed loved ones through the mirror. Generally, researchers report that the more elaborate and affected the ritual, the less likely the medium is to be on the level. Scientific experiments with not only double-blind, but triple-blind safeguards strongly indicate that there are actually mediums out there who do communicate with the dead. See The Afterlife Experiments by Gary E. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Seer: Traditional term for someone who possesses "second sight," the ability of clairvoyance and precognition.
Selenology: This term refers to knowledge related to the Moon and is mainly used in astronomy and geology. The word stems from the Greek Moon goddess Selene, sister of Helios, the Sun god.
Sensitive: The ability to sense certain vibrations, energies, or paranormal phenomena. A recipient or reader needs to be sensitive to thoughts, feelings, and other sensations that do not originate in their own psyches.
Sensory Deprivation: The term refers to a technique often used in parapsychological research. To make sure the test subject is not being influenced from outside, he or she is deprived of all sensory stimuli that could affect the outcome of the experiment in question.
Shaman: A person with powerful intuitive, psychic, and sometimes healing and telekinetic abilities who is very much attuned to the forces of nature. Many can predict the weather, communicate telepathically with animals, and sense when the energies are out of balance in the bodies or psyches of living beings. Some believe that the vastness and richness of our herbal pharmacopoeia is owed to the intuition of long-ago shamans who observed the effects of certain plants on animals and began to use the healing herbs to help their fellow tribesmen. The term is traditionally applied to the sorcerers and medicine men or women of primitive tribes, but in recent decades a significant number of Westerners have rebelled against the artificial complexity of modern religion, employment, and medicine, adopted the shamanic practices of yore, and begun calling themselves shamans.
Shamanism: The psychic abilities, rites, rituals, healing methods, and respect for nature and its forces typical of the practices of shamans.
Shape-Shifting: The transformation in form or shape from human to animal and vice versa, also known as transmogration or morphing. Scientifically and medically, the process has been declared impossible, but it's nonetheless the subject of myths and legends in various cultures. Examples are werewolves and vampires. Some pagan gods were said to transform humans or themselves into plants or animals.
Sheep: This term refers to groups of participants in ESP tests. "Sheep" produce higher scores while "goats" stay below the expected probability.
Shell: One of the many natural objects used for divination. See Chamalongo, Cowry Shell Divination, and Kola Nut Readings.
Silver Thread: See Astral Projection. When a person is having an out-of-body experience, the astral body is said to be connected to the physical body by a silver thread, or cord. It doesn't matter if the person astrally projects across the street or on the other side of the galaxy - the silver cord is always there to enable it to return to the body. If the silver cord breaks for any reason, the soul cannot return to the body, and thus the person dies.
Simultaneous Dream: When the content of one person's dream coincides exactly with the dream content of another person.
Sixth Sense: The term refers to the faculties of ESP beyond the five physical senses. The term covers telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, retrocognition, and psychometry.
Skeptic: The term refers to one who instinctively or habitually doubts and questions commonly accepted conclusions.
Spirit: (1) The divine spark, or God-essence, that drives and animates every life form. The spirit is not to be confused with the soul, however. The spirit is the driving force for one incarnation, one personality, and is primarily of the earth, while the soul's domain is in the higher realms, and the spirit and the human personality represent only one facet of the soul. See Higher Self. (2) A disembodied but still earthbound being who remains on earth rather then move on to the higher planes. (3) The animating essence of any life form, be it human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or force of nature. Some gifted shamans have the ability to communicate with spirits of all kinds.
Spirit Guides: Spirits who have passed on and have attained a high degree of wisdom and spiritual awareness, yet remain close to the earthly plane and its people so as to guide certain individuals along the path to God-realization. Spirit guides, however, are still evolving, and thus should not be regarded as infallible. The best of them know this and make sure that those they guide know it as well.
Spiritual Adviser: A psychic counselor, priest, minister, guru, swami, shaman, or other student of metaphysics and spirituality who can zero in on what's troubling a particular individual and can intuitively sense the best ways for the person to resolve their problems. Spiritual advisers also can instruct Seekers in the best way for them to approach the realm of higher consciousness.
Spiritual Astrologer: An astrological counselor whose specialty is advising clients on the best spiritual path for them as revealed in the Natal Chart, and how best to follow it.
Spiritualism: The term has various meanings. First, it refers to the belief that the dead continue living as spirits and that they are able to communicate with the living, often through a psychic medium. Second, spiritualism refers to a body of doctrines and practices used by those who hold this belief. Third, the term applies to any philosophy, doctrine, or religion emphasizing the spiritual aspect of being.
Super ESP Hypothesis: The Super ESP hypothesis holds that humans are capable of unlimited ESP. This theory is often presented as an alternative to the survival hypothesis. Instead of communicating directly with the physically dead, a medium is said to use Super ESP.
Supernatural: The supernatural refers to factors and phenomena that cannot be perceived through the physical senses or explained by empirical means. Their understanding is often linked to religious, magical, or other mystical practices and experiences. The term also refers to the characteristics of a reality that lies beyond the senses.
Superstition: A belief or practice believed to stem from ignorance, fear of the unknown, or a mistaken concept of causation. Common surviving superstitions based on ancient lore are the idea that knocking on wood will stave off bad luck. This superstition is said to have grown out of the prehistoric idea that friendly spirits dwelt in trees, and if someone was afraid something bad would happen to him, knocking on a tree would let the friendly spirits know that he needed help.
Survival: In psychism, it refers to the hypothesis of survival in spirit form after death. The current scientific establishment dismisses the possibility of a post-mortal existence. However, recent discoveries in genetics indicate that human consciousness exists outside the physical brain, which increases the theoretical likelihood of survival after death.
Synchronicity: The term was coined by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung in the 1920s. He used it to describe "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events," meaning two or more events that appear to be connected in a meaningful way but are causally unrelated. Other synonyms used for synchronicity are "acausal connecting principle," "meaningful coincidence" or "acausal parallelism".
Tarot: A collection of 78 images representing ancient and universal archetypes, as well as situations that might arise in the course of the lifetime of an individual. This collection is arranged in the form of a pack of cards and is used to gain insights into psychology and metaphysics, as well as foretelling the future. The true origins of the Tarot are controversial, having long been lost in antiquity. There are a number of theories, but most scholars agree that its present form originated in the Middle Ages. Until the mid-1900's, there was only one Tarot deck readily available: the Rider-Waite. Now, however, there is a vast number of beautiful and intense Tarot card deck designs available to readers. See Cards.
Tarot Reader: A psychic or intuitive who uses Tarot cards as his or her primary focus when giving a reading. The cards serve as stimuli for the reader's insights and ability to give advice.
Tarot Spread, or Layout: A pattern in which Tarot cards are laid out in order to give a particular type of reading. Usually, each position in the spread is associated with a specific meaning, and the sense of the card placed there is blended with the implication of the position it's in. Popular Tarot spreads include the Celtic Cross, the Three Card Spread, the Tree of Life spread, and the Astrological (Twelve House) Spread.
Tea Leaves: A type of divination using the patterns formed in a cup by tea leaves. Also called tasseomancy, this form of reading is believed to have developed several hundred years ago in England, probably by the Gypsies who live there. To prepare for a reading, the client drinks a cup of tea, leaving a small amount in the bottom of the cup. The cup is then turned upside down on its saucer. The diviner then picks up the cup and studies the designs formed by the tea leaves left in the bottom and on the sides in order to zero in on the client's problems, find ways to resolve them, and also to predict the future.
Telekinesis: Also known as "psychokinesis," the term describes the ability to change or move objects through application of paranormal mental powers. Some new-age followers regard this ability as part of Super ESP, forming a conscious mind-brain-consciousness connection that affects matter on a subatomic level.
Telepathy: The process of communication - without words or gestures - of reading the minds of others. Identical twins, or married couples who have been together for many years, sometimes report being able to communicate telepathically. The more gifted telepaths, however, can read the minds of strangers whom they pass on the street.
Teleportation: The term was coined by American writer Charles Hoy Fort when he discussed the transportation of matter by means of simultaneous de- and re-materialization in a different location. This process has also been referred to as "displacement" or "topological shortcut." The necessary transmission of data would be hindered by the speed limit of light. Exact reproduction could present another technical obstacle. In psychism, psi-teleportation or psychoportation are terms referring to the transport of matter by means of mind power.
Therianthropy: The term describes the metamorphosis of humans into animals. It also refers to beings bearing animal as well as humanlike or godlike characteristics. Examples are mermaids, centaurs, or gods such as jackal-headed Anubis of ancient Egypt or elephant-headed Ganesha of India.
Thought Reading: This mentalist discipline involves an agent or reader attempting to picture a subject's mind content. It is a form of thought transference in reverse direction. The psychic explanation would be a good rapport between reader and subject facilitating the positive reception of thoughts from another mind. Skeptics maintain that thought reading is merely the unconscious reception and interpretation of facial expressions and body language.
Thoughtography: The term describes the ability to produce images on photosensitive material through paranormal projection of one's own thoughts. The process is also called "psychic photography," a term coined by Dr. Jule Eisenbud, who published a case study on Ted Serios in 1967.
Trance: A deep sleeplike state, such as that attained in deep hypnosis. Some psychics or mediums deliberately induce trance states in order to either allow spirit guides or ascended Masters to speak through them, or to leave their bodies through astral projection and explore the Higher Realms in search of advanced knowledge and wisdom.
Transcendental: A transcendental philosophy usually goes beyond the limits of possible expectation or beyond human knowledge. In modern-day language, the term is also used as a synonym for "supernatural," "abstract," "metaphysical," "intuitive," or "surpassing logical grasp." Skeptics use the term to mean "vague," "obscure," or "fantastic."
Trumpet: Conical device used in spiritist seances to produce or amplify direct voice phenomena.
Vatic: This term refers to the foretelling of events.
Veridical: The term refers to verifiable information gained or distributed through paranormal means, also to paranormal experiences that are supported by facts and events.
Vision: The term refers to images perceived of paranormal phenomena or through paranormal means. Examples are foresight, retrocognition, and remote viewing.
Visionary: As an adjective, the term refers to an idea or concept characterized by foresight and vision. As a noun, it refers to someone who is prone to apparitions, visions, revelations, or prophecies ? in other words, a seer.
Wicca: Neo-Pagan religion based on pre-Christian European traditions. Some of its origins trace as far back as 30,000 years and are documented by cave paintings in France, which illustrate the worship of a hunter god and a fertility goddess. A Wicca revival was initiated by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. The Gardnerian tradition emphasizes ritual practices over chants and incantations. It has also given rise to the Alexandrian tradition that is also popular.
White Noise: The term refers to an acoustic phenomenon and describes a noise produced by all frequencies being equally intense within a given bandwidth. White noise is analogous to white light, which contains all color frequencies. White noise is often perceived by psychic mediums as a kind of background from which spirit voices emerge and is also featured in Raudive's Electronic Voice recordings.
Xenoglossy: The term refers to the ability to speak or write in a previously unknown language.
Zener Cards: A set of 25 cards carrying five different simple geometric shapes used to test ESP faculties in laboratory conditions. The symbols were developed by Karl Zener, colleague of Dr. J. B. Rhine, professor of parapsychology at Duke University, who used the cards in early ESP tests.
Zodiac: The word refers to the 360 degrees of the ecliptic circle, which is divided into twelve equal parts, each housing one of the astrological signs from Aries to Pisces. These signs carry the same names as the corresponding constellations but do not spatially coincide with the latter.