There's no denying that bits and pieces of the occult have gone mainstream. Almost everyone has seen the movie "The Craft," for generations rockstars were accused of doing all sorts of occult rituals, and for a while, even the mega international beauty retailer Sephora was selling a Witch Starter Kit alongside their lipsticks. A lot of people claim to be witchy because they like wearing black or staying up late, but there is much more to it than that. Occult traditions have spanned the earth for centuries and exist in almost every culture.
From the ancient Taoists of China, who believed in pursuing immortality through the creation of elixirs, to the ancient Egyptians, who mummified and performed rituals on their dead to ensure their souls could pass into the afterlife, there is so much more to the traditions of the occult than watching a movie or putting on a costume. In fact, even the world's major religions have their occult roots and mythology. In Judaism, there is Qabbalah and in the Middle East there is a secretive blend of Islamic, Hindu and Greek esotericism called Druze.
So, are you ready to get truly spooky? Put your knowledge of the occult to the test with this truly esoteric quiz.
This classic deck is used by many Tarot readers and is the one that many beginning readers start with. It was created by illustrator Pamela Colman Smith and the guidance of Mystic A.E. Waite. Originally published in 1910, it has been popular for over a century.
Dream interpretation and symbolism is a big part of occult study across numerous world cultures and religions. One of the most famous examples of this is the biblical story of Joseph, who rose to power in Egypt by correctly interpreting the dreams of the Pharaoh.
Numerology is the study of the occult significance of numbers. It is often used to inform tarot, astrology and divination. Numerology is also concerned with the study of the numerical value of the letters in words, ideas and names.
Astrology is an ancient system which proclaims that the movement of heavenly bodies can predict and influence people and earthly happenings on a deep level. It can be found all over the world in various forms and dates back to at least the 2nd millennium BCE.
Samhain is among the best known of the pagan holidays, which mark the changing of the seasons. The wheel of the year contains all of these festivals. At Samhain, it is believed that the veil between life and death is thin, making it easier to communicate with the dead.
Amethyst is said to have a soothing and relaxing energy which is ideal for those who are stressed or anxious. It can also work with your third eye to help you reflect and find solutions to problems.
The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest, just above the heart. It relates to our ability to accept love from others and give love to others. It is also concerned with our feelings of joy and inner peace.
The famous Victorian British occultist Aleister Crowley preferred to spell magic with "k" when referring to occultism and esotericism. This was because he felt it helped to separate the religious or spiritual practice from stage magicians who perform tricks.
When casting spells, it is important to know exactly what you want and phrase it in a specific and correct way. Also, you want to use positive language. For example, instead of crafting a spell to "not be broke" you would want to focus on "gaining money."
The number three is a powerful number in numerology and mysticism, as it represents completion. This is why in Christianity you have the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In Hinduism the holy triad is the Trimurti, which consists of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer.
People are said to have 7 chakras. They are the crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral and root. Each represents something integral to our physical experience and can be open or closed.
While Voodoo is often considered black magic, it has its own traditions that have little to do with the designations of black and white magic that many westerners use. Particularly in Haitian Voodoo, zombies are prominent. They are corpses brought to life and enslaved by a necromancer.
Aries are born between roughly March 20 and April 20. They are the first sign of the Zodiac. Their element is fire and their ruling planet is Mars. Aries are known for being impulsive and energetic go-getters.
Bloodstone is said to be a stone of both creative and physical energy. It can inspire you whether you want to read a new book, work on creative pursuits, or get stronger in the gym. It stimulates the root chakra.
Kitchen witches often flourish when it comes to caring for plants and using herbs and other natural things to heal. Sometimes aiding yourself or someone else with luck or love can be as simple as cutting up some basil.
Some religious practices, like Catholicism, focus heavily on rituals. They believe in transubstantiation, during which people are believed to eat the body and blood of Christ at mass. Others, like the Druze, believe that prayer and ritual are unnecessary. It all depends on what you believe.
Divination seeks to get insight into future events through supernatural or ritual means. Methods of divination include cartomancy, geomancy,I Ching divination, crystal gazing, futomani, ifa, augury, necromancy and scrying.
Astral projection is when someone projects their non-physical consciousness out of their physical body. When they do this, they can fly or travel quickly, things they could not do in their physical body.
King Solomon is known for his incredible wisdom and knowledge in the Bible. In other texts, this knowledge includes magic. In occult circles, he is known as a powerful sorcerer who used rings and his will to control demons.
Alchemy was the practice of trying to transform common elements into gold or substances which would grant immortality. While as far as we know, no alchemists were successful in that, alchemy may have led to the creation of gunpowder, certain musical instruments and chemistry itself.
The ankh is a symbol of eternal life related to the goddess Isis. It began as an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol that represented the word "life." Today, ankhs are associated with Egyptian neopaganism and modern paganism.
Have you ever wondered what bringing a tree into your house has to do with Christmas? It comes from the Yule Festival, which was observed by many of Europe's Germanic peoples. It was common during Midwinter for people to bring greenery into their homes, which evolved into the Christmas tree.
Trees play a big part in world mythology, religion and philosophy. For example, the Tree of Life is a central symbol of the Kabbalah. In Hinduism, there is the divine tree Kalpavruksham. In Norse mythology, the tree Yggdrasil connects all of the realms of their universe.
Gemini are born between May 21 and June 21. Their element is air and they are ruled by the planet Mercury. Their symbol is the twins, which is fitting for the contradictory nature that Gemini are known to have.
Capricorns are born between Dec. 22 and Jan. 20. Their symbol is the sea goat, their ruling planet is Saturn, and they are associated with the element Earth. Capricorns are often hard workers.
In Western astrology, the four elements used are fire, earth, air, and water. In Chinese astrology and medicine, the five elements that apply are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.
Djinn or Jinn are a general term for supernatural beings, but also refer to a kind of angel and ancient humanoid creatures made from fire. In some places, it was believed that they could possess humans. In the West, they largely refer to tricky wish-granting creatures.
During the age of European colonialism, Europeans labeled almost all of the other beliefs and religions they encountered around the world as devilish, black magic, immoral or below Christianity. This way of thought still underpins a lot of Western cultural values.
Different cultures which utilize different alphabets will sometimes have their own developed system of numerology. In much of the western world, the Latin alphabet is used both every day and in their numerology. The Arabic system of numerology, called the Abjad system, reflects their alphabet.
Black magic is traditionally thought of by practitioners of magic as magic that hurts others or undermines their will. While some consider it to be the direct opposite of white magic, which is purely done for good, in practice these lines are not always so clear.
Jade is a popular stone for its lovely green color, but also for the luck it is said to bring. Jade can calm your mind and bring abundance and prosperity by helping you approach everyday problems in a new way.
The idea of the third eye is probably one of the most well-known in the Western mainstream. It is located in the forehead between the eyes and is tied to our receptiveness to inner and outer wisdom, intuition and imagination.
Beltane began as a Celtic May Dy festival celebrated in Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. It marks the beginning of summer and traditionally involves feasting, lighting bonfires and visiting holy wells.
Necromancy can involve communicating with the dead. This can be by summoning their spirit or their corpse. People do this to get information about the past and future. Necromancy is also concerned with raising the dead to either weaponize or control them.
Chaos magic was largely developed in the 1970s. It is concerned with stripping away ceremony and dogma to focus in on whatever achieves results for the practitioner. Often chaos magicians devise their own systems of prayer, spell casting and worship, if they choose to do all or any of them.