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Alternative Religions: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Triangles
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
An introduction to Rastafari, including basic beliefs and practices.
Circles
Circles commonly represent unity, wholeness, and infinity. Without beginning or end, without sides or corners, the circle is also associated with the number one.
Why Are Zodiac Signs Paired with Elements?
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.
Crosses
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.
What Is the Ancient Egyptian Symbol Called the...
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.
Geometric Shapes
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.
What Do Deists Believe?
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.
9 Sins Satanists Should Avoid
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.
What Egyptian Symbol Represents Eternal Life?
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.
Elemental Symbols
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.
11 Things the Church of Satan Believes
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
Squares
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.
What Is the World’s Oldest Monotheistic...
An introduction to Zoroastrianism, including basic beliefs and practices.
How Do Luciferians Differ from Satanists?
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.
What Are the 9 Satanic Statements?
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.
What Do Spirals Symbolize in Religion and...
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.
Spirals
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.
What Does the Eye of Providence Symbolize?
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 Veves
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.
Who Are the Luciferians and How Do They View...
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.
Satanic Infernal Names of Biblical and Hebraic...
The following list discusses the "Infernal Names" of the Satanic Bible of LaVeyan Satanism that have
A Beginner's Guide to Voodoo
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.
Who Are the Crown Princes of Hell in LaVeyan...
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.
Why do Rastas Smoke Ganja and Wear Dreadlocks?
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.
Heptagrams / Septagrams
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.
5 Types of Magic Defined
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.
A Beginner's Guide to LaVeyan Satanism
An introduction to LaVeyan Satanism, including basic beliefs and practices.
Pentagram - Five-Pointed Star
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.
Where Does the Occult Symbol Baphomet Come From?
Deciphering Eliphas Levi's Baphomet of Mendes, a popular 19th century occult image still used by a variety of occult traditions today.
A Complete Guide to Alternative Religious Symbols
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 Swastika Didn't Always Mean What You Think...
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.
How Does One Actually Convert to Satanism?
Learn about how to seek membership in Satanic organizations as well whether membership is even necessary for seekers.
Religion Basics: What Are the 5 Main Belief...
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.
A Beginner's Guide to the Western Occult...
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How Do Tarot Cards and Readings Work
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.
Why the Hexagram Is a Powerful Religious Symbol
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.
A Beginner's Guide to Xenu and the Scientology...
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.
Who is Satan?
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.
LaVeyan Satanism, Theistic Satanism and...
An overview on the types of Satanism and Luciferianism, including links to more information on these different forms.
Jedi Religion (Jediism)
An introduction to Jedi Religion or Jediism, including basic beliefs and practices.
Papa Legba
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.
Official Raelian Symbol - Hexagram and Swastika
Official symbol of the Raelian Movement.
Is Ganja Legal for Rastas in the United States?
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?
Unicursal Hexagram
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.
Obtuse Heptagram
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.
Octagrams - Eight-Pointed Stars
Octagrams – eight pointed stars – show up in a variety of different cultures, and modern users of the symbol borrow liberally from these sources.
Raelian Movement
An introduction to the new religious movement and atheistic religion, including origins, basic beliefs and practices.
Eye of Horus within Triangle
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.
Elemental Pentagram
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.
Left-Hand and Right-Hand Paths
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.
Monotheistic Religions
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.
Baphomet Pentagram
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 Orishas – Orunla, Osain, Oshun, Oya,...
The orishas are the gods of Santeria. here we discuss Orunla, Osain, Oshun, Oya and Yemaya.
Hexagram
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.
Shinto - Traditional Religion of Japan
Shinto, roughly meaning. Alternative Religions.
Is Scientology a Cult?
Opponents of the Church of Scientology commonly label it as a dangerous cult. Let's see how it actually stacks up.
Basic Teachings of the Jedi
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.
Water
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.
Do You Know the Four Truths of the Jedi Code?
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.
Heptagram Correspondences - Days of the Week...
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.
Enneagram - Fourth Way
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.
Human Sacrifice - Facts and Fallacies of "Human...
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
The orishas are the gods of Santeria, an African Diaspora religion that developed among the slaves of Cuba.
Why is the Occult so Associated with Satanism?
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.
Is Freemasonry a Religion?
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.
What is Sex Magic?
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.
Why Is Scientology So Expensive?
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?
Triquetra
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?
What is the New Age?
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.
Eliphas Levi's Pentagram
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.
Air
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.
Zoroastrian Funerals
Zoroastrians strive for purity in their lives, and death is considered the one of the ultimate corrupting influences.
33 Jedi Teachings to Live By
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.
Syncretism - What is Syncretism?
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.
Ogoun
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.
Chaos Magic
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.
Damballah-Wedo
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.
Enneagram of Overlapping Triangles
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.
Spirit
Golden Dawn direction: Above, Below, Within Golden Dawn color: Violet, Orange, White The element of spirit
Gnosticism
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 – Aganyu, Babalu-Aye, Chango...
Followers of Santeria honor a variety of beings known as orishas. Here we discuss Aganyu, Babalu-Aye, Chango and Eleggua.
What is Theistic Satanism?
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.
Eye of Ra
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.
Paths of the Western Occult Tradition
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.
Earth
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.
What Does the Winged Symbol of Zoroastrianism...
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.
Fire
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.
What Are the Principles of Luciferianism?
The Order of the Luciferian Sword put together its summary of what it means to be a Luciferian.
Elemental Correspondences
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.
Occult Symbols
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.
Elemental Qualities
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.
Scientology
An introduction to Scientology, including basic beliefs and practices.
Dodekagram
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.
Decagram/Dekagram
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.
Agwe
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.
Baha'i Enneagram
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.
Dodekagram - Overlapping Hexagons
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.
Pentagrams
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.
Orthopraxy vs. Orthodoxy
Religions are generally defined by one of two things: belief or practice, or the concepts of orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
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, the 72 names reveal the Shemhamforash, a 216-letter name of God.
What the Elohim Has to Do with the Raelian...
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 Is Auditing?
Explore the basic principles behind the Scientology practice of auditing, including why members participate, expected results of the practice, and external criticisms of it.
Eight Poor Reasons to Become a Satanist
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.
The Tetragrammaton - The Unpronounceable Name...
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.
Peyote and the Native American Church
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.
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.
Thelema
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.
What is the Satanic Panic?
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.
Faravahar - Zoroastrian Symbol
Ancient Persian symbol associated with important personages now commonly viewed as a symbol of Zoroastrianism. It depicts a figure surrounded by the light of glory and is used by some as a representation of the human soul. Page 2.
Planetary Magical Squares
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.
Tree of Life
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.
White Magic and Black Magic
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.
How Prevalent is Satanic Ritual Abuse?
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.
Samael Lilith Pentagram
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.
Sigillum Dei Aemeth
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.
Papa Legba, Image 2
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.
Ital Cooking
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.
Are Voodoo Dolls Real?
Popular culture depicts the. Alternative Religions.
Sexuality in the Raelian Movement
The Raelians are known in part of their very public embracing of sexuality and denouncing those who attempt to stifle and control it. However, being open about sex does not make one a sex addict, despite some people's impression of the Raelians. how do Raelians really approach sex?
Gran Bwa
Gran Bwa means "big tree" and he is the master of the forests of Vilokan , the island that is home to
The Rosy Cross or Rose Cross
The Rosy Cross or Rose Cross, a complex symbol used by a variety of modern occult groups to represent a vast and complex array of meanings.
Satanic Views of Life and Death
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.
Lee Thompson Young, Suicide, and Yoruba Religion
The death of actor Lee Thompson Young has brought the indigenous religion of the Yoruba people into the spotlight. Could there be any connection between his tragic death and his religion?
Damballah-Wedo, Image 2
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.
Magic Square of Jupiter
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.
Satanism FAQ
For many, the term "Satanism" brings to mind many unpleasant thoughts and images. Urban legends are full
How the Peoples Temple Became Known as a...
The Peoples Temple is one of the most well known suicide cults, killing over 900 people in Jonestown in 1978. But before it became a symbol of religion gone wrong, it was a charitable organization that provided for the poor and embraced the disenfranchised.
Squaring the Circle
Squaring the circle commonly means doing the impossible. The idea of squaring the circle has been a mathematical puzzle for thousands of years. It is also used in alchemical illustrations.
Is Halloween Satanic?
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.
Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction is based on the idea of "like attracts like." In modern beliefs, this most often
Planetary Sigils and Symbols
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.
Complicated Polygons and Stars - Enneagram,...
As shapes becomes more complex, we see them used less often and in more specific contexts. Here we mention the enneagram (9-sided), decagram (10-sided), endekagram (11-sided), and dodekagram (12-sided).
Beliefs and Practices of Scientologists...
An overview of Scientology beliefs concerning what happens to us after we die and how they commonly reflect these beliefs through funeral services.
Aleister Crowley, Thelemic Prophet
A highly controversial figure in his own time, Aleister Crowley is now considered highly influential in occult circles. Besides being held as a prophet within the religion of Thelema, his numerous writings on magic and religion are still widely read.
Bondye, the Good God of Vodou
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.
Magic Square of Saturn
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.
Taboos in a Religious Context
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.
Black Sun
The Black Sun design originates from a floor design at Wewelsburg Castle, which was renovated by Heinrich Himmler during the Third Reich. It draws influence from older Germanic symbols of similar design.
Sigillum Dei Aemeth Supplementary Images
These are supplementary images for the article on the construction and meaning of John Dee's Sigillum Dei Aemeth.
Rada, Petro and Ghede Lwa in Vodou
In New World Vodoun, the spirits (or lwa) with whom believers interact are divided into three main families, Rada, Petro, and Ghede. Lwa can be viewed as forces of nature, but they also have personalities and personal mythologies.
Magic Square of the Sun (Sol)
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.
As Above So Below
Few phrases have become as synonymous with occultism as “as above, so below” and various versions of
Nine-Pointed Star
The nine-pointed star, or enneagram, is the symbol most commonly associated with the Baha'i Faith today. Page 2.
Ogoun,Image 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 4.
Alchemy
Alchemy is a term applied in many different contexts. In the West, it has a strong theological and philosophical component and is commonly labeled as occult. It is a metaphysical understanding of the world, interweaving the study of the physical world with understanding the spiritual one.
The Jedi Creed
The Jedi Creed is a basic set of beliefs held in common by many modern Jedi. While based on works of fiction, followers find practical and spiritual meaning in its words.
Purity and Fire in Zoroastrianism
Ritual purity is central to Zoroastrian practices. Of the six main purifying agents in Zoroastrianism, fire is by far the most potent and revered. Considerable effort is made to keep temple fires uncontaminated in order for them to bestow their purity upon others.
Rastafari Texts
While Rastafari is heavily influenced by Judeo-Christian beliefs, it developed largely as a racial movement among the blacks of Jamaica which looked to Africa and Ethiopia as the Promised Land. As such, the texts commonly embraced by Rastas look to Ethiopian culture and other Afrocentric works.

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