Si Valetis, Valeo
Whether you study with us, or someone else, you will need to know certain words and terms which make up the language of magicians, alchemists, Gnostics, and students of The Western Mystery Tradition.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and we will be adding to it as time allows. In other words, it will be a “living document,” in as much as a document can live digitally.
Enjoy your ABC’s.
A PRIORI: (Logic) A Priori knowledge is comprehension which can be established independently of experience or reasoning from experience. Examples of A Priori truths: Boys are male, 1+1=2, etc. Analytic truths are A Priori. See RATIONALISM.
A POSTERIORI: (Logic) The opposite of A Piori. A Posteriori knowledge can be established only by experience or reasoning from experience. Example: There are nine planets in the solar system. Empirical is a synonym for A Posteriori. See EMPIRICISM.
ABLUTION: (Religious usage) A spiritual washing with water. In the process of Ablution one faces one’s emotions and then lets them go so that innocence and purity can be restored.
ABRAMELIN: (Magic) The main character in “The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.” A medieval grimoire in three parts translated and edited by S. L. Macgregor Mathers and popularized by Aleister Crowley.
ABRAMELIN OPERATION: (Magic) A magical operation described in “The Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage” for the purpose of achieving Knowledge and Conversation from the Holy Guardian Angel requiring a strict six-month period of isolation, meditation and asceticism. It is said that a person that completes this operation can compel the compliance all demons.
ABRAMELIN OIL: (Magic) A holy oil mentioned in “The Book of Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage” popularized by Aleister Crowley and used by Thelemites in magical ritual. It consists of 4 parts cinnamon oil, 2 parts oil of myrrh, 1-part galangal oil, and half its weight olive oil. NOTE: True cinnamon and galangal oil are caustic enough to melt plastic. Handle with care and store in glass containers. Not to be used for massage or sexual lubrication.
ABRASAX: (Gnostic) A Gnostic symbol of a being of light. Usually depicted as a man with a chicken’s head. It is often incorrectly spelled Abraxas partly due to some confusion on behalf of Latin translators. Among the early Gnostics, Abrasax appears to have had various meanings. Basilides gave this title to Almighty God and claimed that the numerical value of its letters gave the sum of 365, because the Abrasax is enclosed in the solar cycle. Sometimes the number 365 signifies the series of the heavens and corresponds to the year. The name is believed to have been used as a substitute for the unpronounceable name of God of the Jews: YHVH.
ADAM KADMON: (Qabalah) The primordial Atziluthic Man. A predecessor to the Adam of Genesis. He is the first of four likenesses of God to manifest. Adam Kadmon possesses everything that is needed to achieve Divine reflection. He is the observer and the observed and possesses a will, intellect, emotion, and capacity for action. He represents the fifth and highest World, providing the makings for the lower four.
ADEPT: (Religious, mystical) An Adept may loosely be described as someone who is an expert in magic. To Christian mystics, an adept is a person that has united with God; to the Buddhist it is a person that has transcended the processes of Birth, Life and Death; to the Hindu, it is a person that has attained the Godhead. To adherents of Thelema, an adept is an individual that has come to the awareness of his own truth and therefore divine nature and achieved Knowledge and Conversation with his or her Holy Guardian Angel. The name is often used to define grades in the various magical organizations. In the Golden Dawn and A.’.A.’., the term is used to describe a person initiated into a grade represented by the sephiroth Tiphareth, in the center of the Tree of Life. This station is said to represent Christ Consciousness. In the Golden Dawn, Adepts are expected to unite their lower and higher Self in order to gain control over their nature and manifest their “True Will.” In the A.’.A.’. an Adept is a person who has allegedly achieved Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel. It is unfortunate that the name “adept” is used in these grades, since more often than not those degrees have little to do with actual spiritual attainment, thereby devaluing the meaning of the word to something rather mundane.
AEON: (Gnostic) These are the emanations from Bythos. The word not only refers to the “worlds” of emanation, but to the personalities as well. Sophia, Logos, and the other high principles are Aeons. So the Prime Source is not anthropomorphic but as it spills forth into the field of time it becomes more recognizable, at least in a mythological fashion. (Thelemic use) A period of time marking various jumps in human evolution usually assigned to Egyptian deities. According to popular belief there have been three Aeons: The Aeon of Isis, Osiris, and the current aeon being that of Horus.
AESTHETICS: (Philosophy) A branch of philosophy that concerns itself with beauty and art. Some of the central questions in aesthetics include: What is art? What sorts of things possess aesthetic significance? Is the aesthetic experience rational or emotional? What is the relationship between an artist, his work and his critics?
AIMA: (Qabalah) Hebrew Great mother. One of the Parzufim represented by Binah.
AIN: (Qabalah) Hebrew Literally, “no thing.” Some texts suggest that this is the condition of being that is God. Or to put it another way, God is absolute nothingness or negative existence. No thing that can be understood. Ain represents the first Veil of Negative Existence.
AIN SOF: (Qabalah) Hebrew “Without end.” A reference to God who is everywhere and in all things. If Ain is the number 0, then Ain Sof is the number 1 and represents creation as it is about to manifest. Because Ain Sof represents a pre-existent state and is infinite, it can have no attributes. Ain Sof represents the second Veil of Negative Existence.
AIN SOF AUR: (Qabalah) Hebrew “Limitless Light.” The third Veil of Negative Existence, from which all things are manifest.
AION: (Gnostic) see OUROBOROS
AIR: (Alchemy) One of the Four Elements of alchemy believed to carry the archetypal properties of spirit into the visible world. It is linked to the process of Separation and corresponds to the metal Iron.
ALCHEMY: (Alchemy) From the Arabic “al-kimia.” The Mediaeval origins of Chemistry. The preparation of the Stone or Elixir. The word originates with the Coptic “khem” which allude to the fertile black soil of the Nile. It is an esoteric term referring to the First Matter, the One Thing through which all creation manifests according to Hermes. Alchemy is the Work of nature that perfects matter. In modern times, Alchemy and its terminology have become a language used is Jungian Analytical Psychology to explain spiritual phenomena. Some schools of thought hold that Alchemy is a metaphor for Sex Magic.
ALESTERIAN: (From the author’s personal lexicon) See CROWLEYITE.
ALKAHEST: (Alchemy) In alchemy, a mysterious power that facilities alchemical transformation. Otherwise known as the “universal solvent” to indicate its capacity to reduce all physical matter to its basic quintessence. Alkahest is used to transmute metals to their purest form, which was gold. In physical terms, this meant creating or revealing the Astral Body.
AGAPE: (Ecclesiastic) Greek. Unconditional love. Godly love. The love feast of the primitive Christians, being a meal partaken of in connection with the communion. Originally a Hebrew funerary ceremony during which wine and milk were poured into the earth over the grave, and food was passed in to the corpse through a hole in the tomb.
AGNOIA: (Gnostic) Literally “ignorance” or the act of not paying attention.
AGNOSIA: (Gnostic) The state of not having insight or Gnosis. This is also the root for the word “agnostic” also meaning a person who does not have Gnosis.
AGNOSTIC: (Gnostic) Someone who claims that they do not know or are unable to know whether God exists.
AKASHA: (Yoga, Theosophy) Sanskrit for space or sky. Madame Blavatsky popularized the word in her Theosophical writings. It is synonymous to the Ether of the alchemists and Levi’s “Astral Light” and that mysterious “Fifth Element” or “Quintessence.” It is very similar to the Thelemic concept of Hadit. Akasha is the substance from which thoughts are created.
AKASHIC RECORD: (Yoga, Theosophy) A term invented and popularized by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The idea is that the Akasha is a thought substance which can be imprinted by experience, making it possible to retrieve otherwise inaccessible information from the past, such as a person’s past life. This is remarkably close idea to the concept of Jung’s Universal Unconscious and may in fact be a reference to the same phenomena.
ALB: (Ecclesiastic) Latin “albus” – meaning white. A long linen tunic commonly worn since about the four century AD: now worn mostly by priests.
ALEMBIC: (Alchemy) In alchemy, the top part of a still. Often used to refer to a complete still. An instrument used for distillation.
ALLOGENES: (Gnostic) A term used by the Gnostics to identify themselves and their relation to the physical world. Literally means “alien.” The Gnostic identifies with the Spirit; thus he is “alien” to the physical world.
ALTAR: (Ecclesiastic) The elevated foundation on which all religious-spiritual work is performed. A working area used for religious ceremonies such as sacrifices or the preparing of the Eucharist.
ALTRUISM: (Philosophy) Actions performed for the sake of others are altruistic. Altruism is the hypothesis that morality involves acting for the sake of others.
ALUDEL: (Alchemy) An earthenware condenser used in the sublimation process in alchemy. It is a symbol for the last stages of transformation. Also known as a Hermetic Vase, or the Philosopher’s Egg.
AMALGAM: (Alchemy) A solid metal formed by the combination of mercury with gold, silver, lead, or other metals. Amalgam is the name for the material dentists use to make metal filings.
AMBO: (Ecclesiastic usage) A lectern. One of the two raised balconies in early Catholic churches from which parts of the service were chanted or read.
AMICE: (Ecclesiastic) A long white cloth worn by priests around the shoulders, underneath the alb.
ANGEL: (General religious/mystical/qabalistic usage) A spiritual being with its own unique substance, traits, and temperament which exists in the World of Yetzirah but can affect events in the physical plane. They often serve as messengers between men and gods. They are impulse driven, highly specialized and always behave within the limits imposed upon them by their function. Some texts claim that prayer can create temporary angels to send the message up through the various planes of existence to a god. In the desert religions, an Angels is a typically benevolent unearthly creature that is believed to act as intermediary between heaven and earth. In alchemy, an Angel is symbolic of Sublimation or the ascension of the volatile principle.
ANIMALS: (Alchemy) Often used in alchemy to denote some principle. Flying animals indicate volatile principles and terrestrial animals, fixed principles. Any time two animals are found, they suggest Sulfur and Mercury or some correlation between the fixed and the volatile.
ANKH: (General religious/mystical usage) An Egyptian cross symbolic of the Life Force and the elevated nature of the spirit (the circle) over the material world (the cross). Predating Christianity, the Ankh is symbolic of crucifixion and the journey of the soul as it rises to be reborn on a higher level.
ANTHROPOS: (Alchemy) Original or Primordial Man. An archetypal idea of the integrated individual in Alchemy, Religion and Gnostic philosophy. The True Man, The True Self who is parallel to God.
ANTIMONY: (Alchemy) A metal that symbolizes the animal nature of man and/or nature. Latin, meaning “anti-monk” for the reason that a handful of monks died from ingesting it. The alchemist Basil Valentine is credited for naming the metal after feeding it to some Benedictine monks. The more fortunate monks became violently sick, and the others died. It is rumored that Basil Valentine administered the antimony to help the monks deal with their animal nature. Coincidentally, the Tincture of Antimony cures venereal diseases. Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge.
ANIMA: (Psychology) A Jungian term meaning the feminine side of man. The anima is the archetype of life. It is a personal and archetypal symbol of the woman in the male psyche. It is an unconscious element embodied a fresh in every male child and is responsible for the apparatus of projection. Starting with the identification of the mother, the anima later matures and is applied to other women: It is a repetitious influence in man’s life. It manifests as mother, daughter, sister, mate, and Goddess.
ANIMUS: (Psychology) The male side of woman. See ANIMA
APOCHRYPHON: (Gnostic) Literally, a “Secret Book.” To the Gnostics, the concept of secrecy was important for a wide variety of obvious reasons.
APOLLO: The Greek god of light, prophecy, music, medicine, and poetry, on occasion identified with the sun or solar awareness.
APOLUTROSIS: (Gnostic) A form of redemption which occurs as a result of initiation which causes Gnosis in the candidate.
APONIA: (Gnostic) Literally “Unreason.” The act of misusing thought.
AQUA FORTIS: (Alchemy) Latin for “strong water” and in alchemy, a reference to nitric acid. Various strengths of Aqua Fortis can be made depending distillation times.
AQUARIUS: (Astrology) The eleventh sign of the zodiac. The sun stays in this sign from about January 20 to February 18. Also known as “The Water Bearer.”
AQUA REGIA: (Alchemy) Latin for “royal water.” In alchemy, a mixture of Aqua Fortis and Spiritus Salis is used to dissolve gold.
AQUA VITAE: (Alchemy) Latin, “living water,” “water with spirit” or “spiritual water.” A watery alcohol concentrated by one or more distillations.
ARARITA: (Qabalah) A notarikon for the Hebrew phrase: Achad Resh Achudohtoh Resh Yechidotoh Temurahtoh Resh. A word of power created by members of the Golden Dawn for use in ritual. Literally, “One is His beginning, one principle is His individuality, His permutation is one.”
ARCANA: Pre-existing powers that have the potential of transmuting, changing, and restoring. In alchemy, the “One Mind.” Synonymous with the secret workings of the mind of God and/or the Greek “logos.” In the Tarot, the arcana manifest as symbolic drawings that the reader must work out through meditation. In the Qabalah the arcana manifest as the obscure properties of the Hebrew letters and their relation to the Tree of Life. In the I Ching, the arcana appear in the form of sixty-four trigrams. In alchemy, the arcana are hidden everywhere, particularly in chemical compounds, metals and the transmutation of one thing into another.
ARCHIGENITOR: (Gnostic) The “first begetter”. A Greek reference to Yaldabaoth.
ARCHON: (Gnostic) Literally “Ruler.” Refers to the creators and governing forces in the material world. The Demiurge is an archon, as are his offspring: the angels.
ARGUMENT: (Logic) Piece of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to conclusion. Kinds include INDUCTIVE and DEDUCTIVE.
ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY: (Logic) In an argument from analogy we take two things that are similar in some observed ways and infer from this similarity that they are similar in other unobserved ways. If the observed similarity is not relevant to the posited unobserved similarity, then this is a form of FALLACY.
ARICH ANPIN: (Qabalah) Hebrew “Long face.” Corresponding to Kether, the first Sephiroth on the tree of Life.
ARIES: (Astrology) The first sign of the zodiac which the sun enters at the vernal equinox. The sun is in this sign from about March 21 to April 19. Also known as “The Ram.”
ASSIAH: (Qabalah) Hebrew the physical world. Also known as the Vale of Tears, the World of Action or the World of Senses. It is mentioned in Genesis in reference to a four-headed river that flows out of Eden.
ASSMOSIS: (From the author’s personal lexicon) The process by which some people seem to absorb success and advancement from the asses they kiss.
ASTRAL PROJECTION: (Qabalah, Magick) The deliberate act of experiencing consciousness outside or separate from one’s physical body. Synonymous to other terms such as “Lucid Dreaming,” “Out of Body Experience” and “Traveling in the Spirit Vision.”
ASTROLOGY: A practical application of the theorem: “As Above, So Below.” It is based on the idea that the position of the planets can affect a person’s personality, and temperament, and ultimately their life. In our time Astrology it is mainly a method of Divination.
ATHANOR: (Alchemy) From the Arabic word meaning oven (al-tannur), the athanor is a brick andor clay furnace in the shape of a tower with a domed roof used by the alchemists. Sometimes described as an incubator for its ability to maintain constant temperatures, the athanor alludes to the processes of the human body involving heat and digestion. In Alchemical drawings, mountains and hollow trees are synonymous with the athanor.
ATHEIST: (General) Someone who does not believe in God.
ATZILUTH: (Qabalah) Hebrew the state of pure Will. Also known as the World of Proximity and the World of Emanations.
AURUM SOLIS: (Magical Institution) Founded in 1897, Aurum Solis was popularized by the writings of Osborne Phillips and Melitta Denning. The basic principles of the organization are based on Neoplatonism, the Greek Mysteries, and the Hermetic Qabalah, and covers similar areas as the Order of The Golden Dawn in their own, unique style. Admittance to Aurum Solis may only be achieved by invitation.
AUTOGENES: (Gnostic) The self-generated man. Is it a citation to the first Aeon or the guiding light (usually the Logos, but sometimes Barbelos).
AZOTH: Like the Aleph and Tau of the Hebrews, or Alpha and Omega of the Greeks, Azoth is formed from the first and last letters of the English alphabet, which correspond to the beginning and end of all things. Azoth is the spirit of God in all things. Some might even say it is synonymous with the Thelemite’s concept of Hadit. In alchemy, mercury is believed to carry traces of this supreme spirit.
BALSAM: (Alchemy) A resinous semi-solid compound that encapsulates the quintessence of liquid medicines or perfumes. According to Paracelsus balsam inhibits decomposition. Mercury was considered the balsam agent of the metals because it had similar qualities as a solid and a liquid.
BARBELOS: (Gnostic) A very confusing concept due to plethora of ways it has been used. It is masculine gender but is used to stand for Sophia as a woman who is “the first male virgin.” Sophia has hermaphroditic associations. It is the highest or lowest form of Sophia depending on the myth, with Zoe being its counter-charge.
BARDO: Tibetan – often referred to as the intermediate state between death and rebirth, but sometimes is just considered to be a state of consciousness.
BASILISK: (Gnostic) A wingless, serpentine alchemical creature with the head of a bird and the body of a dragon said to be hatched from the egg of a hermaphroditic cock and nursed by a serpent. The Basilisk represents mammalian embryology, the repeating cycles or phases within the egg or womb. Much like Baphomet, the Basilisk represents the union of our higher and lower natures.
BATHS: (Alchemy) In alchemy baths symbolize the process of Dissolution in which the metals are cleansed and purified.
BEZOAR: (Alchemy) Hard clumps of undigested food or solid balls of hair sometimes found in the intestines. During the preparation of mummies Egyptian priests discovered bezoars and believed the hard balls to be magical pills formed by the large intestines. In alchemy, any compounds that clump together into a ball as soon as they are mixed (like sulfur aureum and red mercuric oxide) is called a Benzoar.
BEGGING THE QUESTION: (Logic) Flawed reasoning in which one needs already to have established the conclusion in order to be entitled to assert one of the premises offered in support of the conclusion one is trying to establish. Consequently, the argument assumes the truth of the very point one is trying to prove. (Joe did not steal this money because he is not a thief). Compare with CIRCULAR ARGUMENT.
BHAKTI YOGA: (Yoga) Gives mastery over love and leads to the control of the powers of divine love. Devotional Yoga.
BIRDS: (Alchemy) In alchemy, birds ascending suggest the volatilization of compounds or their sublimation. Descending birds indicate the fixation of compounds or their condensation and precipitation. Frequently, birds are shown both ascending and descending to indicate the process of Distillation.
BETULAH: (Qabalah) Hebrew A virgin.
BAIN MARIE: (Alchemy) Named after the Jewish alchemist Maria Prophethissa, the Bain Marie is a warm alchemical bath in the form of a double boiler: a container of water is floated over a simmering cauldron. It is representative of emotionally focused contemplation used in the process of Delusion.
BLACK PHASE: (Alchemy) See MELANOSIS.
BOULE: (Gnostic) The Will of God that in turn leads to the Word (Logos) of God.
BOOK OF GOSPELS: (Ecclesiastic) Or “Black Book.” A book containing all the church’s readings for the year. It can be ceremonially carried into the temple as part of the entrance procession or put in a special place before the celebration begins.
BRIAH: (Qabalah) Hebrew “The World of Creation.” The world of ideas.
BRIMSTONE: (Alchemy) See SULFUR.
BUILDERS OF THE ADYTUM: (Magical Institution) A magical order with its roots in Hebrew and Christian mysticism founded by Paul Foster Case in 1921 after having allegedly met with one of The Masters known as Rakocsi in a New York hotel room. Similarly fashioned after the Golden Dawn but with a strong emphasis on the Tarot and a system of called “The Cube of Space.”
CADUCEUS: (Greek mythology, Yoga, Alchemy) The staff of Hermes, the Messenger of the Gods and professor of alchemy. Entwined by two serpents representing the solar and lunar forces. In yoga, the serpents represent Ida and Pingala, while the staff itself is Sushumna. The symbol suggests the method by which to obtain the Philosopher’s Stone, which corresponds to the golden ball with wings at the very top of the caduceus.
CALCINATION: (Alchemy) The first operation in alchemical transformation. A process in which a substance is subjected to high temperature causing a loss of moisture, reduction or oxidation, and the decomposition of carbonates and other compounds. It is denoted by the symbol for the first sign of the zodiac, Aries.
CANCER: (Astrology) The fourth sign of the zodiac. The sun is in this sign from about June 21 to July 22. Also known as “The Crab.”
CAPRICORN: (Astrology) The tenth sign of the zodiac. The sun stays in this sign from about December 22 to January 19. Also known as “The Goat.”
CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE: (Philosophy) In Immanuel Kant’s ethical system, an unconditional moral law that applies to all rational beings and is independent of any personal motive or desire.
CERATION: (Alchemy) The alchemical Fermentation process in which a waxy substance (the ferment) flows from the putrefied matter. This substance is forerunner of the Stone.
CHALICE: (Ecclesiastic) The Chalice is the most holy relic on the altar. It represents a female principle, the womb and body of Our Lady Babalon and within it is the blood of the Saints. In Catholicism, it is the cup that contains the Blood of Christ.
CHASUBLE: (Ecclesiastic) From the Latin “casupula,” meaning little house. Another priestly vestment worn over the alb during services. Its color can be symbolic of the season.
CHIAH: (Qabalah) Hebrew The True Will, the immortal component of the Soul. The creative will which causes one to reach outside ones perceived limitations.
CHERUB: (Qabalah) Hebrew the four powers of the Universe which correspond to the Four Worlds, the four elements, the Four Power of The Sphinx, the four senses, and are generally represented by the four fixed signs of the zodiac. They are elements that manufacture our world by way of unconscious delineation and discrimination. The word “Cherubims” is incorrectly given as a plural form in the King James version of the Bible by adding the English plural termination to the Hebrew plural cherubim instead of to the singular cherub.
CHOIC: “Earthly” same as “hylic.”
CHOKMAH: (Qabalah) Hebrew the second Sephirah on the Tree of Life: “Wisdom.” Often confused with book knowledge, experience or age, Chokmah represents creative inspiration.
CHRISTIANITYS: (From the author’s personal lexicon) A sometimes deadly mental disorder whose characteristics include repeating Bible verses one does not understand. See THELEMITITYS.
CHRESTOS: (Gnostic) Friendly. It is a play on the word Christ (anointed). Both refer to the Logos.
CIRCLE: The circle is symbolic of unity, the One Mind of god. According to St Augustine and a host of others. God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.
CIRCULAR ARGUMENT: (Logic) Flawed reasoning in which it is argued both that A is the case on the grounds that B is the case and that B is the case on the grounds that A is the case. (Consider: That there is a god is reliably stated in our holy book, and we can be sure the holy book is reliable because its divinely inspired.) Compare with BEGGING THE QUESTION.
CALIPH: A civil and religious leader of a Muslim state; a successor of Muhammad.
CASSOCK: (Ecclesiastic) A full-length gown with sleeves and collar worn priests, bishops and helpers.
CENOBITE: (Ecclesiastic) A member of a religious order choosing to dwell within a convent, monastery or a community, as opposed to a hermit, who lives in solitude.
CHAKRAS: Sanskrit. Seven centers of spiritual energy located in the astral body but correspond to the physical body as well according to yoga philosophy. In rare cases, they can sometimes be seen by the naked eyes. The most important Chakras are: Muladhara (4 petal lotus) located at the anus, Svadhishthana (6 petal lotus) at the genital organ, Manipura (10 petal lotus) at navel, Anahata (12 petal lotus) at the heart, Visudha (16 petal lotus) at the throat and Ajna (2 petal lotus) at the space between the eyebrows. The seventh Chakra is known as Sahasrara, which contains a thousand petal lotus. It is located at the top of the head.
CHI: In Taoism, the vital force believed to be inherent in all things. The unhindered flow of Chi and a balance of its negative and positive energies in the body are held to be essential to good health in traditional Chinese medicine. Like the Hindu Prana.
CHILD: (Alchemy) A naked child symbolizes the perfect intelligence, the innocent soul. In alchemy and in magical tomes, the child represents the Union of Opposites. A crowned child or child clothed in purple robes signifies Salt or the Philosopher’s Stone.
CIBORIUM: (Ecclesiastic) A vessel designed for the sole purpose of containing the Eucharist.
CINNABAR: (Alchemy) The red ore of mercury sulfide. Also known as “Dragon’s Blood,” the rocks emit a thick reddish smoke and mercury can be seen oozing from cracks when heated. Cinnabar represents bad or unhealthy habits that must be broken in Calcination to free the pure material with which the alchemist intends to work.
CINCTURE: (Ecclesiastic) Traditionally a rope tied around the waist to act as a belt. Modem cintures are largely ceremonial and color coordinated to indicate rank within the church’s hierarchy.
CLAIRVOYANCE: (Magick, divination) Literally, clear seeing, also known as SKRYING. The astral art of acquiring visions, images and other information. The actual technique used is very similar Astral Projection. Clairvoyance has been taught by numerous magical orders in order to investigate the archetypal nature of magical symbols, or to view real-life locations. It was extensively used in England during WWII to spy on the Nazis.
COHOBATION: (Alchemy) Re-distillation.. The process of re-distilling a distillate.
CONCLUSION: (Logic) The part of an argument which states the result which the premises are there to defend.
CONFESSIONAL: (Ecclesiastic) The place where Catholics meet with priests on Sunday to confess the sins they have committed during the week and receive absolution and forgiveness so that they can sin some more.
CONJUNCTION: (Alchemy) Literally, the act of joining. In astrology, a conjunction is when two planets appear in the same sign. Known as the “Fourth Operation” in alchemy, a Conjunction represents the coming together of opposing archetypal forces, such as the Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver or the King and Queen.
CONSEQUENTIALISM: (Philosophy) The doctrine that good consequences is what determines whether an act is right. Utilitarianism and Ethical Egoism are the best-known examples of consequentialist moral positions. The opposite of Consequentialism is Deontology.
CONTINGENT (Logic) Opposite of Necessary. Something is contingent if the outcome could have been different. A contingent truth is a proposition which, though true, might have been false, e.g., Gerald rides a motorcycle.
CONVICTION: a strong belief or faith.
CREED: a statement or declaration of belief.
CREDENCE TABLE: (Ecclesiastic) In Catholicism, a small table made to hold all Mass implements.
COAGULATION: (Alchemy) The last of the seven alchemical steps for transformation. The act of giving shape to something formless
COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS: (Psychology) Oftentimes referred to as Universal Unconscious. A layer of the human psyche accommodating genetic material distinct from the personal unconscious.
COLLECTIVE: (Psychology) Psychic contents of the mind that belong not to one individual but to a society, a people or the human race in general.
COMPENSATION: (Psychology) A psychological term to describe the technique whereby balance is set up within the psyche.
COMPLEX: (Psychology) A psychological term to describe an emotional charged group of ideas or images.
CONGELATION: (Alchemy) In alchemy, a process representing a Conjunction or union of opposing forces symbolized by the constellation Taurus. Intercourse. A mixture in which a liquid is gelled or made semi-solid.
COPE: (Ecclesiastic) In Catholicism or Episcopal functions, a cope is a large cape usually held at the front by a decorative clasp, worn by Bishops and Patriarchs on solemn occasions and celebrations alike. In The Gnostic Church of Alexandria and The Order of Thelemic Knights the outer cope is black and the interior white.
COPPER: (Alchemy, astrology and Qabalah) One of the seven metals of alchemy. Copper is associated with the operation of Conjunction and the element Earth. In Qabalah, Copper is sacred to Netzach, or the planet Venus.
CORPORAL: (Ecclesiastic) From the Latin “corpus” meaning “a body.” A white cloth, on which the chalice and paten are placed during the Mass to catch particles of the Sacrament should any fall from the vessels. Usually placed on the altar before Mass begins.
COUNTER EXAMPLE: (Logic) A method of showing that an Argument is not valid by illustrating how a Premises can be true even when the Conclusion is false.
CROWN: (Alchemy) A symbol of successful completion or achievement. Worn by Kings and Queens, in alchemy the Crown represents the perfection of a metal or a person.
CROWS: (Alchemy) Crows represent the black phases of Calcination and Putrefaction.
CROZIER: (Ecclesiastic) In The Gnostic Church of Alexandria, a staff with a golden cross at the end, carried by the bishop, archbishop or patriarch during mass as a symbol of his or her office. In Catholicism, it is often in the shape of a shepherd’s crook to help hook running sinners before they have had the chance to pass the collection plate.
CROWLEYITE: (From the author’s personal lexicon) See ALEISTERIAN.
CRUCIBLE: (Alchemy) A melting vessel used to liquefy metals in alchemical work. Made of inert materials capable of withstanding great heat. Also called a “Croslet.”
CRUET: (Ecclesiastic) A glass, silver or stainless-steel pitcher that holds water or wine for the Mass.
CUPEL: (Alchemy) Usually, a small vessel made of bone-ash used for heating substances, such as silver and gold, in a current of air.
CURCUBITE: (Alchemy) A glass or earthenware vessel in the shape of a gourd. The lower part of an alchemical still.
CUSTODIA: (Ecclesiastic) An apparatus used to contain the Host for safekeeping.
CYNIC: (From the author’s personal lexicon) A sneering faultfinder; one who disbelieves in the goodness of human motives, and who is given to displaying his disbelief by sneers and sarcasm.