Ordo Templi Orientis Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) ('Order of the Temple of the East' or 'Order of Oriental Templars') is an international fraternal and religious organization founded at the beginning of the 20th century. English author and occultist Aleister Crowley has become the best-known member of the order. Originally it was intended to be modelled after and associated with European Freemasonry, such as Masonic Templar organizations, but under the leadership of Aleister Crowley, O.T.O. was reorganized around the Law of Thelema as its central religious principle. This Law—expressed as "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law" and "Love is the law, love under will"—was promulgated in 1904 with the writing of The Book of the Law. Similar to many secret societies, O.T.O. membership is based on an initiatory system with a series of degree ceremonies that use ritual drama to establish fraternal bonds and impart spiritual and philosophical teachings. History Origins Structure
Hermeticism Not to be confused with Hermit. Hermeticism, also called Hermetism, is a religious and philosophical/esoteric tradition based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus ("Thrice Great"). These writings have greatly influenced the Western esoteric tradition and were considered to be of great importance during both the Renaissance and the Reformation. The tradition claims descent from a prisca theologia, a doctrine that affirms the existence of a single, true theology that is present in all religions and that was given by God to man in antiquity. Many Christian writers, including Lactantius, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, Campanella, Sir Thomas Browne, and Emerson, considered Hermes Trismegistus to be a wise pagan prophet who foresaw the coming of Christianity. History Late Antiquity Renaissance Philosophy Prisca theologia "As above, so below."
Illuminati History The Owl of Minerva perched on a book was an emblem used by the Bavarian Illuminati in their "Minerval" degree. The Illuminati movement was founded on May 1, 1776 in Ingolstadt, Upper Bavaria as the Order of the Illuminati, and had an initial membership of five. The founder was the Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt (d. 1830), who was the first lay professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt. The Order was made up of freethinkers as an offshoot of the Enlightenment and seems to have been modelled on the Freemasons. Illuminati members took a vow of secrecy and pledged obedience to their superiors. Fundamental changes occurred in the wake of the acceptance of Adolph Freiherr Knigge into the order. In 1777, Karl Theodor became ruler of Bavaria. Barruel and Robison The works of Robison and Barruel made their way to the United States, and across New England, Reverend Jedidiah Morse and others gave sermons against the Illuminati. Modern Illuminati Popular culture Novels
Wicca This pentacle, worn as a pendant, depicts a pentagram, or five-pointed star, used as a symbol of Wicca by many adherents. Wicca is a diverse religion with no central authority or figure defining it. It is divided into various lineages and denominations, referred to as traditions, each with its own organisational structure and level of centralisation. Due to its decentralized nature, there is some disagreement over what actually constitutes Wicca. Some traditions, collectively referred to as British Traditional Wicca, strictly follow the initiatory lineage of Gardner and consider the term Wicca to apply only to such lineaged traditions, while other eclectic traditions do not. Terminology Application of the word Wicca has given rise to "a great deal of disagreement and infighting". Beliefs Beliefs vary markedly between different traditions and individual practitioners. Theology Duotheism The God and the Goddess Pantheism, polytheism and animism Afterlife
Age of Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (or simply the Enlightenment, or Age of Reason) is an era from the 1650s to the 1780s in which cultural and intellectual forces in Western Europe emphasized reason, analysis and individualism rather than traditional lines of authority. It was promoted by philosophes and local thinkers in urban coffeehouses, salons and masonic lodges. It challenged the authority of institutions that were deeply rooted in society, such as the Catholic Church; there was much talk of ways to reform society with toleration, science and skepticism. New ideas and beliefs spread around the continent and were fostered by an increase in literacy due to a departure from solely religious texts. Publications include Encyclopédie (1751–72) that was edited by Denis Diderot and (until 1759) Jean le Rond d'Alembert. Some 25,000 copies of the 35 volume encyclopedia were sold, half of them outside France. Use of the term If there is something you know, communicate it. Time span
Western esotericism Western esotericism (also Western hermetic tradition, Western mysticism, Western inner tradition, Western occult tradition, and Western mystery tradition) is a broad spectrum of spiritual traditions found in Western society, or refers to the collection of the mystical, esoteric knowledge of the Western world. This often includes, but is not limited to, philosophy, meditation, herbalism, alchemy, astrology, divination, and various forms of ritual magic. The tradition has no one source or unifying text, nor does it hold any specific dogma, instead placing emphasis on spiritual "knowledge" or gnosis and the rejection of blind faith. Although the protosciences were widespread in the ancient world, the rise of modern science was born from occult varieties of Western Esotericism reinterpreted in the "Age of Enlightenment" and is documented within the field known as the History of science. Definition As a category, Western esotericism has been defined in various ways. History
Secret society "Secret Society Buildings at Yale College", by Alice Donlevy ca. 1880. Pictured are: Psi Upsilon (Beta Chapter), 120 High Street. Left center: Skull & Bones (Russell Trust Association), 64 High Street. Right center: Delta Kappa Epsilon (Phi Chapter), east side of York Street, south of Elm Street. A secret society is a club or organization whose activities, events, and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. Anthropologically and historically, secret societies are deeply interlinked with the concept of the Mannerbund, the all-male "warrior-band" or "warrior-society" of pre-modern cultures (see H. A purported "family tree of secret societies" has been proposed, although it may not be comprehensive. The Thuggee were a secret cult of assassins who worshipped the Hindu goddess Kali. Alan Axelrod, author of the International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders, defines a secret society as an organization that: David V. Politics Revolutions
Adept An adept is an individual identified as having attained a specific level of knowledge, skill, or aptitude in doctrines relevant to a particular author or organization. Etymology The word "adept" is derived from Latin adeptus 'one who has attained' (the secret of transmuting metals). Authors H. Although Madame Blavatsky makes liberal use of the term adept in her works to refer to their minor function as caretaker of ancient occult knowledge. Alice Bailey In Alice Bailey's body of writing she outlines a hierarchy of spiritual evolution and an initiatory path along which an individual may choose to advance. Orders Various occult organizations have steps in which an initiate may ascend in their own magical system. Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn A∴A∴ Aleister Crowley, who formed the A∴A∴, restructured the Golden Dawn system. Temple of Set The Temple of Set calls their steps degrees, and places adept second. Illuminates of Thanateros Notes
Anemia Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. The several kinds of anemia are produced by a variety of underlying causes. It can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few. The three main classes include excessive blood loss (acutely such as a hemorrhage or chronically through low-volume loss), excessive blood cell destruction (hemolysis) or deficient red blood cell production (ineffective hematopoiesis). Of the two major approaches to diagnosis, the "kinetic" approach involves evaluating production, destruction and loss, and the "morphologic" approach groups anemia by red blood cell size. Signs and symptoms Main symptoms that may appear in anemia Anemia goes undetected in many people, and symptoms can be minor or vague. Most commonly, people with anemia report feelings of weakness, or fatigue, general malaise, and sometimes poor concentration. Causes
Left-hand path and right-hand path The Baphomet, from Eliphas Levi's "Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie", 1854, adopted symbol of some "Left-Hand Path" belief systems. The terms Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path refer to a dichotomy between two opposing approaches found in Western esotericism, which itself covers various groups involved in the occult and ceremonial magic. In some definitions, the Left-Hand Path is equated with malicious Black magic and the Right-Hand Path with benevolent White magic.:152 Other occultists have criticised this definition, believing that the Left-Right dichotomy refers merely to different kinds of working, and does not necessarily connote good or bad magical actions.:176 Terminology There is no set accepted definition of what comprises the Left-Hand Path and what comprises the Right. Right-Hand Path The Right-Hand Path is commonly thought to refer to magical or religious groups which adhere to a certain set of characteristics: The occultists Dion Fortune and William G.
Magick One must find out for oneself, and make sure beyond doubt, who one is, what one is, why one is ...Being thus conscious of the proper course to pursue, the next thing is to understand the conditions necessary to following it out. After that, one must eliminate from oneself every element alien or hostile to success, and develop those parts of oneself which are specially needed to control the aforesaid conditions. (Crowley, Magick, Book 4 p.134) Crowley defined Magick as "the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will. Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's conditions. Even so, Crowley recognized that paranormal effects and magical powers have some level of value for the individual: My own experience was very convincing on this point; for one power after another came popping up when it was least wanted, and I saw at once that they represented so many leaks in my boat. There are several ways to view what Magick is. However, he further asserts:
Esotericism Esotericism (or esoterism) signifies the holding of esoteric opinions or beliefs, that is, ideas preserved or understood by a small group of those specially initiated, or of rare or unusual interest. The term derives from the Greek, either from the comparative ἐσώτερος (esôteros), "inner", or from its derived adjective ἐσωτερικός (esôterikos), "pertaining to the innermost". The term can also refer to the academic study of esoteric religious movements and philosophies, or to the study of those religious movements and philosophies whose proponents distinguish their beliefs, practices, and experiences from mainstream exoteric and more dogmatic institutionalized traditions. Although esotericism refers to an exploration of the hidden meanings and symbolism in various philosophical, historical, and religious texts, the texts themselves are often central to mainstream religions. Etymology Definition History Methodology Wouter J. Pierre A. Leo Strauss
Three Books of Occult Philosophy De Occulta Philosophia, Libri tres Three Books of Occult Philosophy (De Occulta Philosophia libri III) is Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's study of occult philosophy, acknowledged as a significant contribution to the Renaissance philosophical discussion concerning the powers of ritual magic and its relationship with religion. The three books deal with Elemental, Celestial and Intellectual magic. The books outline the four elements, astrology, kabbalah, numbers, angels, God's names, the virtues and relationships with each other as well as methods of utilizing these relationships and laws in medicine, scrying, alchemy, ceremonies, origins of what are from the Hebrew, Greek, and Chaldean context. These arguments were common amongst other hermetic philosophers at the time and before. In fact, Agrippa's interpretation of magic is similar to the authors Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Johann Reuchlin's synthesis of magic and religion and emphasize an exploration of nature. See also