This list should serve as a refresher course for those of us who have been on the spiritual path for awhile. However, for those of you who are just beginning to break away from mainstream “what you see is what you get” thinking, this list is going to be a nice, basic primer on the most common mystical terms you are going to come across.
Astral projection is a type of out-of-body experience, or OBE. All beings have basically two ‘bodies,’ which are the physical and the astral.
The astral body is sort of like your spirit or soul. Beliefs in astral projection are rooted in various forms of spirituality, and particularly the concept of the afterlife.
The philosophy of OBE’s are therefore based on the idea that when the physical body dies, one lives on in a spirit form, and that this spirit form can be released from its physical trappings while one is still alive through the use of forms of meditation.
The word in French basically means ‘clear seeing.’ It is a type of extrasensory perception, which is the idea that humans have more than the five known physical senses.
Someone who is clairvoyant has the psychic gift of being able to gather information without direct observation. It is closely related to the concept of remote viewing.
There are other ‘psychic senses’ also related to clairvoyance. They are: clairaudience (hearing), clairgustance (tasting), clairalience (smelling), claircognizance (knowing), and clairsentience (touching/feeling).
Divination is the use of ritual to achieve knowledge about something. One who is divining information uses signs, omens, events, or contact with a higher being to ascertain this knowledge. Fortune telling is a type of divination, and the I Ching is an influential ancient Chinese book that is widely used.
This is the six pointed star found in a wide array of religious and spiritual traditions across all cultures and historical reference points.
It is unknown why this symbol can be found in such a diversity of traditions, but its existence gives credence to the idea that all of these faiths and practices at one time had a common origin.
Kundalini, in yoga, is a basic primal ‘mother energy’ located at the base of the spine. It is commonly visualized as a coiled serpent. There are many ways of ‘awakening’ this serpent and reaching enlightenment through the use of asanas, meditation, mantras, and pranayama.
A magic circle is a sacred space marked out by a practitioner of ritual magic that protects them, forms a spiritual location, or both. A magic circle can be literally drawn or simply visualized.
The New Age is the term applied to an eclectic array of spiritual ideas and beliefs that helped the Western world toward a paradigm shift in spirituality, starting sometime in the 1970′s and continuing today.
Influences for this movement range from UFO cults in the 1950′s to the 1960s counterculture to the Human Potential Movement. Basically, this encompassed a shift in the idea of the divine from a singular deity to a universal spirit that exists in all things, including humans.
This is a form of holistic medicine with its roots in 1920′s Japanese Buddhism. It is a technique of channeling energy into one’s hands, and then using it in order to achieve a hands-on healing.
This Hindu tradition of beliefs has its roots in ancient India. The full ideas are elaborated in the Tantric Texts, but in a basic sense, Tantra is the channeling of the divine energy of ‘god’ or ‘great spirit’ into the human body.
Wicca is a contemporary religious movement. One of the primary aspects that sets this apart from other spiritual beliefs is dualism, that is, a belief in the male and female sides of divinity. Wicca draws on ancient pagan techniques for its ritualistic spiritual practice.