Western Occult Tradition
Occult Cosmology in The Renaissance
Modern occult practices have deep roots in beliefs dating back to the Renaissance and even older periods. While modern occults accept scientific understandings of the universe, including a helio-centric solar system, comprehension of the older earth-centric system and its division of realms can still be useful in modern occult understandings.
Planetary Occult Correspondences
Correspondences form an elaborate foundation for Western occult practices. The concept of higher realms influencing lower realms leads believers to surround themselves in items associated with the desired higher power, often associated most strongly with the seven planets of the ancient world.
The Inner Realm – The Physical or Terrestrial Realm
During the Renaissance, occultists commonly viewed the universe as divided into three realms. The most inner realm is the Physical Realm, which is the one most familiar to our own natures.
The Middle Realm – The Celestial Realm
During the Renaissance, occultists commonly viewed the universe as divided into three realms. The middle realm is the Celestial Realm, where the planets and stars reside and which acts as a bridge between inner and outer realms.
The Outer Realm – The Angelic or Empyrean Realm
During the Renaissance, occultists commonly viewed the universe as divided into three realms. The outer realm is the Angelic Realm, inhabited by spiritual beings able to survive within close proximity to God.
What Does it Mean to Associate a Zodiac Sign with an Element?
The twelve zodiac signs were divided up among the four elements as early as the Renaissance, with three signs associated with each element. However, early associations were by no means consistent. Different sources could provide wildly different groupings.
How are Planets and Elements Connected?
Planets and elements are associated via their qualities: warm/cold and dry/wet. As early as Ptolemy, writing almost 2000 years ago, the planets were being ascribed with the qualities of warm and cold, dry and wet. These same qualities were associated with the four elements, and eventually similarities were used to connect planets with elements.
72 Names of God
The Kabbalah Centre has popularized the concept of the 72 Names of God, each of which consist of three Hebrew letters. Believers sometimes wear specific names of God on their persons to gain the influence of whatever qualities are associated with that name. Other groups attribute the 72 names to angels and, less often, to demons. Together,...
Ten Sephirot of Kabbalah
The ten sephirot represent ten aspects of the divine will in Kababalah. They are commonly depicted in a diagram known as the Tree of Life. Interpretations of both the Tree and the sephirot can vary considerably between sources. Below on general associations for each sephirot.
Gender in Western Occultism
Associating specific traits with gender is a common practice across cultures, even if the traits themselves sometimes vary from culture to culture. Within Western occultism, concepts of gender are important in a wide variety of branches, with some qualities being considered male and others being considered female.
The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus
The Emerald Tablet is purported to be a document of great antiquity and is seen as expressing concepts of alchemy and hermeticism. However, evidence of its contents only dates back about a thousand years: a long time in most people's minds, but not nearly as long ago as some have previously claimed.
Book of Nature
The Book of Nature was understood among Western Christians as a source of knowledge of God the creator, since the natural world was created by God. This belief led to, among other things, renewed interest in what we would today call scientific pursuits.
Alchemical Sulfur, Mercury and Salt
Western alchemy is highly allegorical, often describing spiritual processes in terms of chemical reactions and processes. The most central elements in western alchemy are mercury, sulfur, and salt.
As Above So Below
"As above, so below," is a well known occult term. Besides informing occult beliefs, however, it has historically also been a part of philosophy and theology.
Steps and Basic Processes in Alchemy
Understanding alchemy is incredibly complex because of its allegorical language. It is often described in terms of many different chemical processes, objects and materials. At its most basic, it is broken down into three stages: negredo, albedo, and rubedo.