Vocabulary of Occult Terms

Vocabulary of Occult Terms (A to J) by Manly P. Hall

In Occult by Chris A. Parker1 Comment

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This is a vocabulary of occult terms that I found through my study in “The All seen eye” magazine from 1927, edited by Manly Hall. I believe it would be very useful to every student of the occult sciences.

Written for the Purpose of Mitigating the Confusion Created by the Building of the Tower of Babylon.

From The Secret Symbols of The Rosicrucians, by Franz Hartmann, M. D. “Omnia ab Uno” is one of the mottoes of the Rosicrucians. It expresses the idea that the All has been evolved from One; or, in other words, that God is one and indivisible, and that the multifarious activities of life which we see in the universe are merely various forms of manifestations of God; or, to express it more correctly, of the creative Power, the Light and substance of Life, which emanated from the eternal cause of all existence in the beginning of our day of creation, and which has been called the Logos, the Verbum or Word, the Christ.

As the Universal One manifested itself, it assumed various aspects. and it therefore appears as a great variety of powers and as innumerable forms of various substances, although all powers and substances are essentially and fundamentally one. The various terms used in occult science are consequently not intended to describe powers and principles radically different from each other, but merely the various aspects of the one universal principle; and as the aspect of things changes according to the point of view from which they are considered, consequently a name applied to a power, if considered from one point of view, may not be applicable if the same principle is considered from another point of view. Likewise, the four sides of a pyramid originate in one point and end in one, each side appearing to have a distinct individuality of its own. The higher we rise towards the summit, the more does this differentiation disappear, and the more does the Unity of all things and their identity with each other become apparent, until all difference is again absolved in the ultimate One. He who knows the One knows All; he who believes to know many things knows nothing. The One is the starting-point for all occult science. (Take the test: Test your Knowledge in Occult Sciences – Quiz)

ALPHA AND OMEGA. -The Beginning and End of all things; i. e., the beginning and end of all manifestation of activity and life in the Cosmos; the logos or Christ. See logos.

ADAM. -Primal man in his aspect as a spiritual power, containing the male and female elements. The spiritual principle, constituting humanity, before it became differentiated in matter and assumed gross material forms.

  • THE CELESTIAL ADAM. -The divine man-forming power in its original state of purity as an image of the Creator.
  • THE TERRESTRIAL ADAM. -Adam after his “fall” i. e. the original man having become the distorted image of God by having lost his original purity in consequence of disobedience to the law and desertion of the straight line of the universal divine will. This disobedience is illustrated by the allegory of the “eating of the apple in paradise” the “snake” which tempted Adam and Eve is the illusion of self, causing man to imagine to be something different from the universal God, and thus creating within him personal desires.

ADONAI. -God in his aspect as the Summum Bonum in nature; i. e. the Light of the Logos having become manifested in nature.

AER. -Air, Pneuma, Soul, a universal and invisible principle. See Elements.

ALCHEMY. -The science of guiding the invisible processes of Life for the purpose of attaining certain results on the material, astral or spiritual plane. Alchemy is not only a science, but an art, for the power to exercise it must be acquired; a man must first come into possession of certain powers before he can be taught to employ them; he must know what “Life” is, and learn to control the life-processes within his own organism before he can guide and control such processes in other organisms. Chemistry is not Alchemy. The former deals with so-called dead substances, the latter with the principle of life. The composition or decomposition of a chemical substance is a chemical process; the growth of a tree or an animal, an alchemical process. The highest Alchemy is the evolution of a divine and immortal being out of a mortal semi-animal man. Note : -The Song of Solomon describes alchemical processes.

ANGELS. – Conscious spiritual powers acting within the realm of the Soul, i. e. certain individualized spiritual states of the universal consciousness.

ANIMA. -See Soul.

ANIMATO. -Animation. (Alch.) The act of infusing life into a thing or of causing its own latent life-principle to become active. See life.

ANTIMONY. -(Alch.) A symbol representing the element of the Earth in its gross material aspect; primordial matter, also represented as the insatiable Wulf, the destroyer of forms.

AQUA. -(Alch.) Water. See Elements.

AQUILA. -(Alch.) Eagle, the emblem of Jupiter; the symbol of the Spiritual Soul.

ARCANUM. -(Alch.) Secret. A mystery which is not within everybody’s grasp; a certain knowledge which requires a certain amount of development to be comprehended. It also means certain secrets which are not to be divulged to the vulgar, who would be likely to misuse that knowledge.

ARCHAEUS. -The great invisible storehouse of Nature, wherein the characters of all things are contained and preserved. To one aspect it represents the Astral Light; in another, Primordial Matter.

ARGENTUM. -(Alch.) Silver. Symbolized by the Moon.

ASTRAL BODY. -A semi-material substance, forming-so to say-the denser parts of the soul, which connect the latter with the physical body. Each thing in which the principle of life exists, from minerals up to man, has an astral body, being the ethereal counterpart of the external visible form.

ASTRAL LIGHT. -The Light of Nature. The Memory, or universal storehouse of nature, in which the characters of all things that ever existed are preserved. He who can see the images existing in the Astral Light can read the history of all past events, and prophesy the future.

AZOTH. -(Alch.) The universal creative principle of life.

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BABYLON. -Humanity in her unregenerated state, the world of fashion, superficiality, animality and intellectuality without spirituality. The world of superficial Knowledge, self-conceit, and ignorance, living in externals, and being attached to illusions.

BEAST. -(False prophet, Babylonian whore, etc.) Animality, sensuality, and selfishness; but especially intellectuality without spirituality, Knowledge without love, scientific ignorance, skepticism, arrogance, materialism, brutality. The Antichrist, i. e. false prophets, who are putting man’s authority in the place of the universal truth, who degrade religion into sectarianism, and prostitute divine things for selfish purposes,-idolatry, bigotry, superstition, priestcraft, cunning, false logic, etc.

BIBLE. – The “sacred books” of the “Christians,” containing a great deal of ancient wisdom clothed in fables and allegories, and describing many occult processes in the shape of personifications of powers and historical events believed to have taken place among the Jews. Some of the events described in these books seem to have actually taken place on the external plane, while other are merely figurative; and it appears to be at present impossible to determine in the Bible the exact line between fiction and history.

BLOOD. -(Alch.) The vehicle for the principle of Life; the seat of the Will.

BODY. -Matter in a certain state of density, exhibiting a form. A body may be visible or invisible, corporeal or ethereal.

CABALA. -The science which teaches the relations existing between the visible and invisible side of nature; i. e. the character of things and their forms in regard to weight, number, and measure. It is the knowledge of the laws of harmony which exist in the universe. (Take the test: Test Your Knowledge in Kabbalah-Quiz)

CAPUT MORTUUM.-(Alch.) Refuse. Dead matter.

CARITAS. -Spiritual Love, benevolence, charity.

CELESTIAL. -A spiritual, divine state; a state of perfection.

CHAOS. -The universal matrix or storehouse of nature. See Archaeus.

CHIMIA. -Chemistry. Sometimes the term refers to the Chemistry of Life, Alchemy.

CHRIST. -Spiritual consciousness, Life and Light. The divine element in humanity, which if it manifests itself in man, becomes the personal Christ in the individual man. “Christ” means, therefore, an internal spiritual living and conscious power or principle, identical in its nature with the Logos, with which the highest spiritual attributes of each human being will become ultimately united if that human being has developed any such Christlike attributes. This principle is in itself of a threefold nature, but it appears to be useless to speculate about its attributes, as they will be comprehensible only to him who realizes its presence within himself. See logos.

Note: -The misconception of the original meaning of the term “Christ” (Kristos) has been the cause of many bloody wars and of the most cruel religious persecutions. Upon such a misconception are still based the claims of certain “Christian” sects. “Christ”‘ originally signifies a universal spiritual principle, the “Crown of the Astral-Light,” coexistent from all eternity with the “Father,” i. e. the Divine source from which it emanated in the beginning. This principle is said to have on many occasions penetrated with its light certain human beings, incarnated itself in them, and thus produced great heroes, reformers, or Avatars. Those who cannot rise up to the sublimity of this conception look upon “Christ” as being merely a historical person, who in some incomprehensible manner took upon himself the sins of the world. There have been so many clerical dogmas and misconceptions heaped around this term, that it appears to be impossible to throw any light upon this matter, unless we call to our aid the sacred books of the Hindus and compare the doctrines of Krishna with those of Christ.

COAGULATIO. -(Alch.) Coagulation. The act of some fluid or ethereal substance assuming a state of corporeal density.

COMBINATIO. -(Alch.) Combination. The act of combining certain visible or invisible things.

CONJUNCTO.-(Alch.) Conjunction. The act of two or more things joining together or coming into harmonious relationship with each other.

CORPUS. -(Alch.) Body. Matter is a state of corporeal density. The vehicle of a power.

CREATION. -The external, visible manifestation of an internal, invisible power. The production of a visible form out of invisible, formless substance. The calling into existence of a form.

Note:-The term “creation” has often been misrepresented as meaning a creation of something out of nothing; but we know of no passage in the Bible which might justify such an irrational definition. The only persons who believe that something can come from nothing are certain self-styled “scientists,” who imagine that life and consciousness are products of the mechanical activity of the body; which is identical with saying that something superior can be produced by something inferior; in other words, by something which according to all known laws of nature is not able to produce it.

CROSS. -A symbol expressing various ideas, but especially the creative power of Life in a spiritual aspect, acting within the Macrocosm of nature and within the Microcosm of man. It also represents Spirit and Matter ascending and descending. The perpendicular beam represents Spirit, the horizontal bar the animal or earthly principle, being penetrated by the divine Spirit. Universal, as well as individual man, may be symbolized by a Cross. Man’s animal body is a Cross, or instrument of torture for the soul. By means of his battle with the lower elements of his constitution, his divine nature becomes developed. By means of his physical body, man is nailed to the plane of suffering appertaining to terrestrial existence. The animal elements are to die upon that Cross, and the spiritual man is to be resurrected to become united with the Christ. “Death upon the Cross” represents the giving up of one’s own personality and the entering into eternal and universal life. The inscription sometimes found at the top of the Cross consisting of the letters I, N, R, I, means, in its esoteric sense, Igne Natura Renovatus Integra; that is to say: By the (divine) Fire (of Love) all Nature becomes renewed. The golden Cross represents spiritual Life, illuminated by Wisdom. It is the symbol of immortality.

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DEUS.– God.

DEVIL. -The principle of Evil, the antithesis of the principle or cause of Good, in the same sense as Darkness is the antithesis of Light. God, being the cause of all powers and principles, is also the cause of the “Devil,” but not its direct cause; for as evil is nothing else but perverted good, likewise the power called Devil is, so to say, the reaction of God, or the cause which perverts good into evil. The devil may be said to be the dark, and consequently inferior counterpart of God; consequently, like God, a Trinity of thought, word, and its manifestation.

EARTH. -See Elements.

EAGLE. -(Alch.) The spiritual Soul. “The Gluten of the White Eagle.”­ – pure spiritual love, the fiery substance of the spiritual Soul.

ELEMENTA.-(Alch.) Elements. Universal and (to us) invisible principles, the causes of all visible phenomena, whether they are an earthly (material), watery (liquid), airy (gaseous), or fiery (ethereal) nature. (Further reading: A Brief Primer on The Four Elements Throughout Mystic Tradition)

There are consequently four “Elements,” namely: ­

  1. Earth, representing primordial matter, an invisible ethereal substance, forming the basis of all external corporeal appearances.
  2. Water, referring to the realm of the Soul, the connecting link between spirit and matter. It also represents Thought.
  3. Fire, representing the realm of the Spirit or Life.
  4. Air, alluding to Space or Form. It is not. strictly speaking, an “Element.”

There is a fifth element, which is the spiritual Quint-essence (the Mercury) of all things. Each element may be considered from a variety of aspects. Each element constitutes, so to say, a world of its own, with its own inhabitants, the “elementary spirits of nature;” and by a combination of those elements under various conditions, an endless variety of forms is produced.

ELOHIM. -The light of the Logos in its aspect as a spiritual power or influence, whose presence may be felt as it penetrates the soul and body of the worshipper in his moments of spiritual exaltation. This Light, having been the cause and beginning of creation, the term Elohim also expresses its aspect as the creative power of the universe.

EVA. -Eve. The female or generative power in nature; the eternal mother of all, an ever-immaculate virgin; because she has no connection with any external god, but contains the fructifying spiritual principal (the Holy Ghost) within her own self.

The celestial Eve represents Theo-Sophia, divine Wisdom, or Nature in her spiritual aspect.

The terrestrial Eve represent Nature in a more material aspect, as the womb or matrix out of which forms are continually evolved, and into which they are reabsorbed.

Note: – Prirnordial man was a bisexual spiritual being; the separation of sex took place in consequence of the differentiation of spirit in matter. Man is still to a certain extent bisexual; because each male human being contains female, and each female being male elements. Sex is merely an attribute of the external form; the spiritual man who inhabits the outward form has no particular sex.

EVIL. -The antithesis of Good, i. e. the reaction of good against itself, or good perverted. There can be no absolute Evil, because such a thing would destroy itself.

EX CENTRO IN CENTRUM. -Everything originates from one centre and returns to that centre. FAITH. -Spiritual knowledge. A power by which the spirit may feel the existence of truths which transcend external sensual perception. “Faith” should never be confounded with “Belief;” the latter being merely a controvertible opinion about something of which nothing is known. Faith rests upon direct perception; Belief, upon intellectual speculation.

FATHER.-(Trinity.) The divine and incomprehensible Fire, from which emanated the Light (the Son). We cannot conceive of “the Father” except as the incomprehensible Absolute, the Cause of all existence, the Centre of Life, becoming comprehensible only when he manifests himself as the “Son.” In the same sense, a geometrical point is merely an abstraction and incomprehensible and must expand into a circle before it can become an object of our imagination.

FIAT. -The active expression of the ‘Will and Thought of the Great First Cause by which God manifested himself in the act of creation; in other words, the energy by which he threw the Light which created the universe into an objective existence. The outbreathing of Brahm at the beginning of a Manvantara. Fiat Lux, -Let there be Light!

FIDES. -See Faith.

FIRE. -An internal activity whose manifestations are heat and light. This activity differs in character according to the plane on which it manifests itself. “Fire” on the spiritual plane represents Love or Hate; on the astral plane it represents Desire and Passion; on the physical plane, Combustion. It is the purifying element, and in a certain aspect identical with “Life.” See Elements. (Further reading: A Brief Primer on The Four Elements Throughout Mystic Tradition)

FIRMAMENT. -Realm. Space in its various aspects. The physical and mental horizon. That which limits the physical or mental perception. The sky.

FIXATIO. -(Alch.) Fixation. The act of rendering a volatile substance (for instance a thought) fixed. The act of rendering the impermanent permanent.

FOUNDATION. -The Real. The basis or center of things, in contradistinction to their phenomenal illusive and transient appearance. We may look upon all things as having a common basis, which in each manifests certain attributes. We may know the attributes of things, but not the thing itself.

GLUTEN. -Adhesion. Spiritual Substance. See Eagle.

GOD. -The eternal, omnipresent, self-existent Cause of all things, in its aspect as the Cause of all Good. The meaning of the term “God’ differs according to the standpoint from which we view it; but in its highest meaning it is necessarily beyond the intellectual comprehension of imperfect man; because the imperfect cannot conceive the perfect; nor the finite the infinite. In one aspect everything that exists is God, and nothing can possibly exist which is not God; for it is the One Life, and in every being has its life and existence. God is the only eternal Reality, unknowable to man; all that we know of him are his manifestations. In one aspect God is looked upon as the spiritual central Sun of the Cosmos, Whose rays and substance penetrate the universe with life, light. and power. God being the Absolute, cannot have any conceivable relative attributes; because as nothing exists but himself, he stands in relation to no thing, and is therefore non-existent from a relative point of view. We cannot possibly form any conception of the unmanifested Absolute; but as soon as the latter becomes manifest, it appears as a Trinity of Thought, Word, and Revelation, i. e. as the “Father,” the “Son,” and the “Holy Ghost.”

Note :-Innumerable people have been killed because they differed in regard to their opinions how the term “God” should be defined; but it is obvious that a Cause which is beyond all human conception is also beyond any possible correct definition, and that, therefore, all theological disputations about the nature of God are absurd and useless.

GOD. -A human being in whom divine powers have become active. An Adept.

GOOD. -Everything conducive to a purpose in view is relatively good; but only that which leads to permanent happiness is permanent Good. Everything, therefore, which ennobles and elevates mankind may be called good, while that which degrades is evil. Supreme Good is that which establishes real and permanent happiness.

GOLD. -(Alch.) An emblem of perfection upon the terrestrial plane, as the Sun is a symbol of perfection on the superterrestrial plane. There is a considerable amount of historical evidence that the ancient Rosicrucians possessed the power to transmute base metals into gold by alchemical means, by causing it to grow out of its own “seed,” and it is claimed that persons possessing such powers exist even today.

GRACE. -A spiritual power emanating from the Logos. It should not be confounded with “favor” or “partiality.” It is a spiritual influence comparable to the light of the sun, which shines everywhere, but for which not all things are equally receptive.

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HEAVEN. -A state of happiness and contentment. Man can only be perfectly happy when he forgets his own self. “Heaven” refers to a spiritual state, free from the bonds of matter.

HELL. -The antithesis of Heaven; a state of misery and discontent. A person suffers when he is conscious of his own personality and its imperfections. Each being suffers when it is surrounded by conditions which are not adapted to its welfare; consequently, the soul of man surrounded by evil elements suffers until the elements of evil are expelled from his organization. The state in which the divine and consequently pure spirit is still connected with an impure soul, seeking to throw off the impurities of the latter is called Purgatory (Kama loca). When this has taken place, the consciousness of the disembodied entity will be centered in his spiritual organization, and he will be happy; but if the consciousness has been centered in the impure soul, and remains with the latter, the soul will be unhappy and in a state of Hell. The latter takes place especially in such cases where people of great intellectual powers, but with evil tendencies, perform knowingly and purposely evil acts.

HOLY GHOST.-(Trinity.) The Light of the manifested Logos, representing the body and substance of Christ. The Spirit of Truth, coming from the Father and Son.

HOMO. – Man.

HOPE. -Spiritual hope is a state of spiritual consciousness, resulting from the perception of a certain truth, and based upon a conviction that a certain desire will be realized. This kind of hope should not be confused with the hope which rests merely upon opinion, formed by logical conclusions or caused by uncertain promises.

HYLE. -The universal primordial invisible principle of matter, containing the germs of everything that is to come into objective existence. See Archaeus.

IGNIS. -Fire.

ILLUSION. – AII that refers to Form and outward appearance. All that is of a phenomenal character, transient and impermanent; in contradistinction to the Real and Permanent.

JEHOVAH.Jod-He-Vah.- God manifest, in his aspect as the creative, transforming, and regenerating power of the universe. The self-existent, universal God.

JERUSALEM. -Humanity in its spiritual condition. The soul in a state of purity.

JESUS.-The divine man. Each man’s spiritual Ego. Each person’s personal god or Atman. The redeeming principle in Man, with which man may hope to become united during his life. Jesus of Nazareth is believed to have been an Adept; i, e. a pure and great man, teacher and reformer, in whom the Logos has taken form; in other words, a human being in whom the Christ-principle has incarnated itself.

JUPITER. -The Supreme God. Jehovah.

NEXT: Vocabulary of Occult Terms (K to Z)

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Source: “The All-seeing Eye” Magazine (1927) By Manly P. Hall
Featured Image By Photo by Romain Vignes on Unsplash

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