A Study of Gothic Subculture

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Updated 3-12-2009
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Occult Definitions

For additional definitions, consult books on the occult.

Occult: (Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary) Of or pertaining to various magical arts and practices, as astrology, alchemy, etc.; Beyond human understanding; Mysterious, not divulged or disclosed, secret; To become hidden or concealed from view.

Magic: (American Heritage Dictionary) The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or to control events in nature.

Magic(k): The spelling format popularized by famous sorcerer Aliester Crowley. This spelling is used by occult practitioners to separate supernatural magic from stage illusion.

White Magic: Magic used for a benevolent cause.

Black Magic: A form of psychic assault. The motivation behind the spell is malice; the purpose is to control the mind or body of another.

[I got an e-mail with this correction so I thought I'd throw it in:

White Magic: Typically draws energy directly from the caster and usually only directly affects the caster. It tends to use "lighter" energy, but this does not necessarily make it benevolent.

Black Magic: Tends to draw power from external sources, whether this be from the surrounding landscape or another person. Its effects are usually to some external means. Black Magik is typically considered to be more powerful than white, but its use also comes with more consequences. It can be used for both "good" and "malice". The "color" of magic really has no bearing on the ethics of it's use.]

Ritualistic Magic: An attempt to control powerful, supernatural forces through the use of ceremonies.

Ritual or Ceremonial Magic: Magic usually practiced by a group (two or more persons) and using:

  1. Chanting or incantations (spells)
  2. Ceremonial dress (robes)
  3. Potions
  4. Gestures
  5. Special signs or symbols
  6. Ceremonial artifacts
  7. Mimicry or imitation
  8. Anything that will create a state of emotional or mental intoxication.

Concept of Stored Energy: Every object or creature is a natural storehouse of energy that a magician can tap into and use to facilitate, empower or energize his spells.

Transmission of Qualities: The belief that the qualities of objects or creatures can be magically transmitted.

Sympathetic Magic: The belief that if one has a part of his enemy, or intended lover, he can harm, or attract, that person more easily through that part because it contains some of the essence of the person.