Alternative Religions: Most Popular Articles
In Western society, the triangle most often has highly Christian meanings when used in a religious context. Because the Christian God is a trinity - Father, Son and Holy Ghost united in a single godhead – he is commonly represented by a triangle. As a three-sided polygon, the triangle represents the number three, which is meaningful to many groups. As such, triangles and other symbols made of three parts may be used to present such concepts as past, present, and future or spirit, mind and body. . Page 3.
An introduction to Rastafari, including basic beliefs and practices.
The cross is most well known in its Christian context as a symbol of sacrifice and salvation in reference to Jesus's death by crucifixion upon a cross. However, the cross has numerous other religious meanings as well, most of which have to do with being groups of four, corresponding to the four points on the cross. Page 4.
Circles commonly represent unity, wholeness, and infinity. Without beginning or end, without sides or corners, the circle is also associated with the number one.
Deism is not a specific religion but rather a particular perspective on the nature of God. Deists believe that a creator god does exist, but that after the motions of the universe were set in place he retreated, having no further interaction with the created universe or the beings within it.
While the Church of Satan encourages individuality and the gratification of desires, it does not suggest that all actions are acceptable. The Nine Satanic Sins, published by Anton LaVey in 1987, target nine characteristics Satanists should avoid.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context. Here we address the square. Page 5.
The Eye of Horus symbol originates in Egypt but appears in a variety of more modern contexts, particularly within neopagan, new age, and occult circles.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context.
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.
The ankh symbol originated in Egypt more than 4000 years ago. At the very least, it referenced life, particularly eternal life, although it appears in many contexts and may have additional meanings. Besides being an artistic symbol, the ankh also appears in Egyptian hieroglyphs, where it also means eternal life.
The five-pointed star, also commonly called a pentagram, has been in use for thousands of years by a variety of cultures. Most uses of the pentagram in Western society today descend from Western occult traditions. Page 6.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context. Here we discuss spirals. Page 2.
Seven-pointed stars are known as heptagrams or septagrams. There are two different configurations for heptagrams, the acute heptagram, shown here, and the obtuse heptagram. In addition, the heptagon – a seven-sided polygon – can also represent the same things as a heptagram. Page 7.
The Greeks proposed the existence of five basic elements. Of these, four were the physical elements – fire, air, water and earth – of which the entire world is composed. Alchemists eventually associated four triangular symbols to represent these elements. In traditional Western occult theory, the elements are hierarchical - spirit, fire, air, water and earth – with the first elements being more spiritual and perfect and the last elements being more material and base.
Anton LaVey compiled the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth in 1967, two years before the publication of the Satanic Bible. It was originally meant for circulation only among members of the Church of Satan as it was considered
These statements are the opening words of the Satanic Bible, published in 1969 and written by Anton LaVey. They are basic principles guiding LaVeyan Satanists.
Seven-pointed stars are known as heptagrams or septagrams. There are two different configurations for heptagrams, the obtuse heptagram, shown here, and the acute heptagram. In addition, the heptagon – a seven-sided polygon – can also represent the same things as a heptagram. Page 8.
While Luciferians and Satanists both employ terms commonly associated with the Devil, they are not the same. Learn the similarities and differences between the two groups, as well as what they generally believe.
An introduction to Zoroastrianism, including basic beliefs and practices.
The heptagram can represent the seven days of the week. In Judeo-Christian context, it can therefore be a symbol of completion, as the universe was wholly created within the seven-day week. In addition, the each day of the week is associated with one of the planets. . Page 9.
The six pointed star, the hexagram, has shown up in multiple cultures over thousands of years, bearing a variety of different meanings. Most commonly associated today with Judaism, it certainly has other applications and meanings. Page 10.
The unicursal hexagram is a specific form of the six pointed star that does not require the pen to be lifted from the paper. It is most commonly associated with the religion of Thelema. Page 11.
Vodou (Also spelled Vodoun, Voodoo, and several other variants) is a syncretic religion combining Roman Catholicism and native African religion, particularly the religion of the Dahomey region of Africa (the modern day nation of Benin). It is primarily found in Haiti, New Orleans, and other locations within the Caribbean.
An introduction to LaVeyan Satanism, including basic beliefs and practices.
An introduction to Jedi Religion or Jediism, including basic beliefs and practices.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context. Page 12.
Spirals are less often found in established iconographies, but they nevertheless have a long history dating back to neolithic times that influence the way people way see spirals in religious and spiritual contexts today.
A quick guide to symbols associated with a variety of alternative religions, organized by religious group. The collection includes symbols from the Baha'i Faith, Zoroastrianism, the occult, Vodou (or Voodoo) and alchemy.
The Eye of Providence is a realistic eye depicted within a triangle, cloud, or burst of light and represents divine presence or approval. It has appeared in many different locations over the centuries, from the stained glass of churches to the seals of various cities to the Great Seal of the United States.
Vodou religious practices commonly include appealing to the lwa, or spirits, and inviting them to temporarily take possession of human bodies. Vodou symbols known as veves are employed when appealing to the lwa, with each lwa having its own veve.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context. Here we discuss the 12-sided dodekagram. Page 16.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context. Here we address the enneagram. Page 13.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context. Here, the Baha'i use a particular form of nine-pointed star. Page 14.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context. Here we depict a decagram. Page 15.
The history of Lucifer is a complicated one. The Biblical use of the word has created associations with Satan that were not originally intended. As such, Satanists and Luciferians are separate practices and see their respective figures differently.
The smoking of ganja (marijuana) and the wearing of dreadlocks are two of the most known things about Rastas. But why do they do it? Each of these actions has specific meaning and purpose within the Rastafari Movement.
The following list discusses the "Infernal Names" of the Satanic Bible of LaVeyan Satanism that have
Legba is the gatekeeper to the spirit world, Vilokan. Rituals begin with a prayer to Legba to open those gates so that participants can gain access to the other lwas. Legba is also strongly associated with the sun and is seen as a life-giver, transferring the power of Bondye to the material world and all that lives within it. This further strengthens his role as the bridge between realms. Page 7.
in a culture that primarily does not believe in magic, all magical beliefs are frequently grouped into a single pile and treated as if all followed a single coherent system, had the same goals, and attracted the same people. In fact, there's a wide variety of different magical practices in existence, and there can be some fundamental differences between them.
Religions can be broken down into a number of broad categories based on general purposes and views of divinity. Here is a brief overview of some of these categories and how they are used in other articles on the Alternative Religion Guide Site.
LaVeyan Satanism allegorically employs the names of dozens of demonic beings. Out of all those names, four are considered the most important of demons, the crown princes of Hell. They are Satan, Lucifer, Belial and Leviathan. These four figures correspond to the four cardinal points and the four elements, creating a Satanic framework for a common occult practice.
Deciphering Eliphas Levi's Baphomet of Mendes, a popular 19th century occult image still used by a variety of occult traditions today.
Monotheistic deities tend to much more closely resemble each other than do polytheistic deities, precisely because of the nature of monotheism requires they gods to be grand and all-encompassing. Many monotheists even accept that their monotheistic deity is the same deity that is being worshiped by monotheists of different religions.
Because basic geometric shapes are so simplistic in construction, they are found all over the world with a wide variety of uses and meanings. However, there are a variety of meanings that are more commonly ascribed to these shapes, particular when used in a religious or magical context. Here we discuss the dodekagon, the polygon version of the dodekagram, a 12-sided star. Page 17.
Learn about how to seek membership in Satanic organizations as well whether membership is even necessary for seekers.
An overview on the types of Satanism and Luciferianism, including links to more information on these different forms.
Xenu is considered by many critics to be Scientology's dirty little secret. Scientologists are reticent to publicly discuss or even acknowledge the existence of Xenu. Learn about Scientology's vision of creation and how Xenu affected human development.
Non-trinitarianism is a Christian belief in which God is indivisible, rather than being comprised of the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Non-trinitarians believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent God. They views of Jesus vary considerably, including, but not limited to, acknowledging him merely as a mortal and viewing him as a perfect but not divine creation of God.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Rumor, conspiracy
Tarot readings are a form of divination giving insight into the influences surrounding person or issue. The skill is seem by some as entirely personal, while others view it as a reflection of a universal consciousness or directed by particular gods or spirits.
For many people, the word occult is practically synonymous with Satanism. Not only is that a relatively recent phenomena, but it's not grounded in any fact. While Satanists do often participate in occult practices, they are a tiny fraction of occultists. Learn how this misleading connection developed.
Today's New Age movement has risen to prominence over approximately the last 40 years. However, the term itself has 19th century antecedents, most notably its use within Theosophy, which teaches many beliefs held in common with today's New Agers. The New Age is commonly understood to be the astrological Age of Aquarius.
Santeria is an African Diaspora religion centered in Cuba. It recognizes a collection of deities known as orishas with whom human beings can interact. Santeria has gained notoriety for its practice of animal sacrifice, which provides blood to the orishas. Developed by slaves of Catholic masters, Santeria also commonly equates its orishas with Catholic saints, and believers in Santeria might also attend Catholic mass.
The Eye of Horus is an ancient symbol originating in Egypt. However, in modern times it has evolved into a similar symbol set within a triangle. Page 6.
The pentagram has represented many diverse meanings over the centuries. Since at least the Renaissance, one of its associations is with the five elements. Traditionally, there is a hierarchy among the elements ranging from the most spiritual and rarefied to the least spiritual and most material. This hierarchy determines the placement of elements around the pentagram. Page 7.
While the swastika is almost entirely associated in the West today with the Nazis, the symbol actually has a long history across the globe representing concepts very different from those given by the Nazis.
Satan appears within multiple belief systems. Unfortunately, there is a common presumption that all of these Satanic figures must indeed be the same being, despite the fact that each religion has its own very unique perspective and description of him.
Satanic Ritual Abuse, or SRA, is essentially a myth. While self-styled Satanists occasionally commit brutal crimes, these are the result of disturbed individuals whose beliefs often have little in common with mainline Satanists.
Water is the element of emotion and the unconscious, as opposed to the conscious intellectualism of air. Water is one of two elements that have a physical existence that can interact with all of the physical senses. Water is still considered less material (and thus superior) to earth because possesses more motion and activity than earth. . Page 3.
The Baphomet Pentagram is the official, copyrighted symbol of the Church of Satan. While similar images existed previous to the Church, which didn't form until 1966, this precise image is of relatively new construction. It is featured here with the Church's permission. Page 2.
The history and meaning of the Faravahar symbol, incorporating a human figure emerging from within a winged disk, now associated with Zoroastrianism as well as Persian culture.
Shinto, roughly meaning. Alternative Religions.
19th century occultist Eliphas Levi constructed this pentagram. It is commonly interpreted as a symbol of mankind, as many pentagrams are. However, it is a symbol of many things that unite in the existence of mankind, as is evidence by the variety of additional symbols involved. Page 3.
Golden Dawn direction: Above, Below, Within Golden Dawn color: Violet, Orange, White The element of spirit
Earth is the element of stability, groundedness, fertility, materiality, potential and stillness. Earth can also be an element of beginnings and endings, or death and rebirth, as life comes from the ground and then decomposes back into earth after death. Page 4.
The hexagram has possessed a variety of meanings over the last several thousand years. It shows up in Hindu artwork, occult works, Kabbalistic sources, and it is the modern symbol of the Jewish faith. There are two forms of the hexagram. The first is of two interlocking triangles. The second is a unicursal figure.
Octagrams – eight pointed stars – show up in a variety of different cultures, and modern users of the symbol borrow liberally from these sources.
Air is the element of intelligence, creativity, and beginnings. Largely intangible and without permanent form, air is an active, masculine element, superior to the more material elements of water and earth. . Page 2.
Ogoun was originally associated with fire, blacksmithing and metalworking. His focus has transformed over the years to include power, warriors, and politics. He particularly likes the machete, which is a common offering in preparation of a possession, and machetes are sometimes featured in his veves. Page 3.
Religions are generally defined by one of two things: belief or practice, or the concepts of orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
Addressing the modern connections between Satanism and Halloween in popular culture, which is largely divorced from the historical Halloween and its connections with Catholicism and folklore.
Opponents of the Church of Scientology commonly label it as a dangerous cult. Let's see how it actually stacks up.
Magicians can use a variety of methods for producing energy for their workings. Sex is one such method, and the result is commonly referred to as sex magic.
Syncretism is the process of combining multiple beliefs into one system. Sometimes the result is a completely new religion. Sometimes the result is one religion embracing new ideas or practices from another religion or the surrounding culture. All religions experience some degree of syncretism, but some religions intrinsically depend upon it for its foundational beliefs.
The Native American Church is a fusion of traditional Native American beliefs and Christianity. Central to its practices is the use of the drug peyote, which comes from a particular cactus plant.
Damballah-Wedo is depicted as a serpent or snake. His veves reflect this aspect of him. When he possesses a human, he does not speak but instead only hisses and whistles. Page 2.
Occult and religious paths are sometimes divided into two categories: the left-hand and right-hand paths. The left-hand path is about the elevation and centrality of the self as well as the rejection of religious authority and societal taboos. The left-hand path focuses on the strength and will of the practitioner, downplaying the need for intercession by any high power (although they may believe a higher power exists). Satanism, Luciferianism and Thelema are all considered left-hand paths.
Zoroastrians strive for purity in their lives, and death is considered the one of the ultimate corrupting influences.
Marijuana, commonly known as ganja among Rastas, is illegal in most countries, including the US. However, as an important part of the Rastafari religion, is ganja smoking protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees religious freedom?
Damballah-Wedo is depicted as a serpent or snake. His veves reflect this aspect of him. When he possesses a human, he does not speak but instead only hisses and whistles. Page 6.
Gran Bwa means "big tree" and he is the master of the forests of Vilokan , the island that is home to
In classical elemental systems, each element has two qualities, and it shares each quality with one other element. Each element is either warm or cold, and this corresponds with a male or female gender. This is a strongly dichotomous system, where male qualities are things like light, warmth and activity, and female qualities are dark, cold, passive and receptive. . Page 6.
These concepts widely held among modern Jedi, although their expect presentations varies from source to source. These teachings address such things as nature of the Force, the Jedi worldview, and ethical behavior.
Legba is the gatekeeper to the spirit world. Rituals begin with a prayer to Legba to open those gates so that participants can gain access to the other lwas. The veves of these other lwas are often drawn intersecting the branches of Legba's veve to represent this. Page 8.
Ceremonial occult systems traditionally depend on systems of correspondences: collections of items that are all associated in some way with the desired goal. While the types of correspondences are nearly endless, associations between elements, seasons, time of day, elements, moon phases and directions have become fairly standardized in the West, and are frequently the basis for additional correspondences. Page 8.
Gnosticism refers to a very wide range of beliefs that is more a collection of beliefs than a relgion. There are two basic components, gnosis and dualism.
The orishas are the gods of Santeria. here we discuss Orunla, Osain, Oshun, Oya and Yemaya.
Jedi Religion is a very non-dogmatic, non-organized religion. As such, there are few if any rules that can be expected to be followed by all believers. However, this also allows for wisdom to be put forth by members of the community for believers to study, accept or reject as they see fit.
The concept of human sacrifice is one of the more abhorrent facets of religion in the minds of most of us. Historically, minority groups have been repeatedly accused of it. Today, it is a common rumor about Satanism. Not only is that concept totally false, multiple aspects of Satanic teaching are completely contrary to the notion of human sacrifice.
The orishas are the gods of Santeria, an African Diaspora religion that developed among the slaves of Cuba.
One of the central complaints of Scientology critics is the vast amount of money required for auditing procedures. How much money is really on the line, and is it money well spent?
Ogoun was originally associated with fire, blacksmithing and metalworking. His focus has transformed over the years to include power, warriors, and politics. He particularly likes the machete, which is a common offering in preparation of a possession, and machetes are sometimes featured in his veves. Page 4.
The Jedi Code is a basic set of beliefs held in common by most modern Jedi. While based on works of fiction, followers find practical and spiritual meaning in its words.
The reality of mass suicide pacts within a small number of religious groups is the source of perhaps the greatest stigma facing new religions. The reality is terrifying, even though they are exceedingly rare. Why would any group think suicide to be the ultimate expression of faith?
Fire is traditionally seen as the most rarefied and spiritual of the physical elements because of its masculine properties (which were superior to female properties), it's lack of physical existence, its production of light, and it's transformative power when it comes in contact with more physical material.
While Egyptian pagan religion died out 2000 years ago, the use of its symbols have remained, showing up in a wide variety of contexts, including modern paganism, Coptic Christianity, and fiction, particularly supernatural fiction. Page 13.
Stanislas de Guaita first published this pentagram in La Clef de la Magie Noire in 1897. It is the first known appearance of the pentagram and goat-head combination and is the primary influence on the Baphomet Pentagram, the official symbol of the modern Church of Satan. Page 4.
The Order of the Luciferian Sword put together its summary of what it means to be a Luciferian.
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, the 72 names reveal the Shemhamforash, a 216-letter name of God.
Theistic Satanism encompasses a variety of related beliefs honoring a figure addresses as Satan or associated with Satan. In contrast to LaVeyan Satanism, which is atheistic and considers Satan merely a symbol for what their faith encourages, theistic Satanists view Satan as an actual being. Theistic Satanism is largely a development of the 20th century.
An introduction to the new religious movement and atheistic religion, including origins, basic beliefs and practices.
The pentagram, or five-pointed star, has been in existence for thousands of years. Over that time, it has had many meanings, uses, and depictions associated with it.
The following is a partial list of paths within the Western Occult Tradition. Many occultists follow practices involving aspects of multiple paths. This makes generalizing about the occult extremely difficult and is the reason I find it more helpful to describe individual occult paths.
In the Western Occult Tradition, each planet has traditionally been associated with a series of numbers and particular organizations of those numbers. One such method of numerological arrangement is the magic square. Page 4.
The triquetra shows up in a variety of different contexts, many of which re largely unconnected. What do various groups associated with this three-pointed symbol?
The tetragrammaton is the four-letter name of God, considered by many to be too holy to verbally pronounce. It is commonly used to represent God in occult illustrations. Page 3.
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.
While Egyptian pagan religion died out 2000 years ago, the use of its symbols have remained, showing up in a wide variety of contexts, including modern paganism, Coptic Christianity, and fiction, particularly supernatural fiction. Page 7.
In the Western Occult Tradition, each planet has traditionally been associated with a series of numbers and particular organizations of those numbers. One such method of numerological arrangement is the magic square. Page 5.
Symbols commonly associated with occult beliefs, particularly Western occult beliefs. Occult principles are almost by definition impossible to directly explain with words. As such, occultists regularly employ graphic symbols as well as allegory to communicate beliefs to others.
Some people, when speaking of magic, divide its uses into two categories: white magic and black magic. The definition of these terms, however, is highly subjective, varying from location to location, across time periods, and even person to person. Essentially, white magic is magic that the speaker considers to be acceptable magic, while black magic is that which is unacceptable, and the limits of acceptable and unacceptable are defined by culture. Plenty of magicians avoid using either term because of their subjectivity.
The Freemasons are a fraternal order dating back at least four centuries and have likely roots in medieval mason guilds. Questions abound today as to what exactly Freemasons do, believe, and expect from members, thanks in part to hoaxes, gossip, misunderstanding and a distrust of anything that offers even the notion of secrecy.
Agwe is a Voodoo water spirit, and is of particular interest to seafaring people such as fishermen. As such, his veve represents a boat. When he arrives in possession of a performer, he is met with wet sponges and towels to keep him cool and moist while on land during the ceremony. Care has to be taken to keep the possessed from jumping into the water, which is where Agwe prefers to be.
While Egyptian pagan religion died out 2000 years ago, the use of its symbols have remained, showing up in a wide variety of contexts, including modern paganism, Coptic Christianity, and fiction, particularly supernatural fiction.
Followers of Santeria honor a variety of beings known as orishas. Here we discuss Aganyu, Babalu-Aye, Chango and Eleggua.
In the Western Occult Tradition, each planet has traditionally been associated with a series of numbers and particular organizations of those numbers. One such method of numerological arrangement is the magic square. Page 6.
Chaos magic is, perhaps the hardest type of magic to explain because definition is the antithesis of chaos. In short, chaos magic is magic that does not conform to any rules.
Ital cooking is a healthy approach to food that evolved out of the Rastafari Movement. It rejects a variety of things considered impure or unhealthy including preservatives and artificial flavorings. Many also avoid oils and meat, focusing on fruits and vegetables.
In the Western Occult Tradition, each planet has traditionally been associated with a series of numbers and particular organizations of those numbers. One such method of numerological arrangement is the magic square. Page 2.
LaVeyan Satanists accept no beliefs in an afterlife. Each person comes into existence at birth and disappears at death. The period in-between – one lifetime – is the sum total of existence. Life is therefore something to be enjoyed to its fullest. Satanists are encouraged to embrace whatever it is that they enjoy, living full, sensual, self-indulgent lives.
The nine-pointed star, or enneagram, is the symbol most commonly associated with the Baha'i Faith today. Page 2.
One ultimately joins a religion because they believe in that religion. That religion may certainly also be seen as able to help believers get through life. However, religions such as Satanism are often seen as quick cheats through life - a position serious Satanists absolutely reject. Here are some bad reasons to get involved in Satanism.
An introduction to Scientology, including basic beliefs and practices.
Zoroastrians celebrate a variety of holidays. Some of them celebrate points in time such as Naw-Ruz, which is their new year or celebrate solar events such as the winter solstice. Other holidays are dedicated to particular spirits or mark historic events, notably the death of their founder, Zoroaster.
Henry Cornelius Agrippa's illustration of a man within a pentagram labeled with astrological symbols. It is part of a series of drawings produced by Agrippa depicting the human figure as microcosm, a miniature representation of the wider macrocosm. Page 5.
Discordianism is a modern religion of chaos and irreverence. Some categorize it as a parody religion, although there are many adherents who draw some measure of meaning and philosophy from it's often deliberately ludicrous statements.
Explore the basic principles behind the Scientology practice of auditing, including why members participate, expected results of the practice, and external criticisms of it.
In the Western Occult Tradition, each planet has traditionally been associated with a series of numbers and particular organizations of those numbers. One such method of numerological arrangement is the magic square. Page 7.
The Baha'i Faith offers a variety goals, values, requirements, and prohibitions that influence and direct the behavior of followers. Baha'u'llah himself, a Manifestation of God whose word is considered infallible, dictated prohibitions against a number of things.
Some Satanists, particularly theistic Satanists, use the lightning bolt pentagram. It represents power and life-force descending from Satan into matter. Page 7.
The Tree of Life, called the Etz Chaim in Hebrew, is a common visual depiction of the ten sephirot of Kabbalah. Each sephirot represents an attribute of God through which he manifests his will. The Tree of Life does not represent a single, cleanly definable system. It can be applied to the formation and existence of both the physical world and metaphysical worlds, as well as to one's own soul, state of being, or understanding. . Page 10.
Occultists associate a number of symbols with the planets. These include astrological symbols, which are still in common use today. They also include numerological magic squares, complex seals constructed for those squares, and sigils of the spirits and intelligences associated with each planet.
Spiritualism is a religion, as well as a philosophy and a science, revolving around the continued existence of the soul after death and the ability of humanity to communicate with and learn from these souls as they continue to learn, develop and evolve.
An overview of Scientology beliefs concerning what happens to us after we die and how they commonly reflect these beliefs through funeral services.
Taboos are a basic part of culture. Not nearly all are religious in nature, but there are also a fair number that do exist within the culture's religious context.
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.
Western texts on Shinto commonly translate kami as spirit or god. Neither term works well for the entirety of kami, which span a wide range of supernatural beings, from anthropomorphic
Thelema is a complicated set of magical, mystical and religious beliefs formed in the 20th century by Aleister Crowley. Thelemites might be anything from atheists to polytheists, viewing the involved beings as actual entities or primal archetypes. Today it is embraced by a variety of occult groups including the Ordo Templis Orientis (O.T.O.) and Argenteum Astrum (A:.A:.), the Order of the Silver Star.
For many, the term "Satanism" brings to mind many unpleasant thoughts and images. Urban legends are full
The Satanic Panic was a time period roughly covering the 1980s when many people became growingly concerned about Satanic conspiracies spreading throughout the United States. People were particularly fearful that Satanists were targeting children both physically and psychologically, and they warned that unwary souls might fall under the sway of Satanic influences if they did not remain vigilant.
A variety of faiths claim Halloween (or at least the end of October) as their own or else blame the celebration on someone else. From where does Halloween really come?
In the Western Occult Tradition, each planet has traditionally been associated with a series of numbers and particular organizations of those numbers. One such method of numerological arrangement is the magic square. Page 3.
The Pythagoreans used a point-down pentagram symbol to represent themselves, and it was used as an amulet of health by the Greeks. Page 6.
In Vodou, Bondye is the highest principle in the universe and is responsible for both the universal order and human activity. He is the wholeness of the human community and is the origin of all life, which ultimately belongs to him.
Find out about the Elohim, who, according to the Raelian church, are a human-like alien race that created life through scientific processes on Earth.
What do Satanists think about God?
A complete list of religions across the world that involve animal sacrifice would be impossible to compile, as it is still a part of a variety of indigenous practices. Here is a brief overview of some of the minority cultures found in the West that still perform animal sacrifices.
While the nine-pointed star is the symbol most commonly associated with the Baha'i today, it is the haykal - a five pointed star - that Shoghi Effendi declared as the official symbol of the Baha'i faith. Page 9.
The Sigillum Dei Aemeth, or Seal of the Truth of God, is most widely known through the writings and artifacts of John Dee, a 16th century occultist and astrologer in the court of Elizabeth I. While the sigil does appear in older texts of which Dee was probably familiar, he was not happy with them and ultimately gained guidance from angels to construct his version.