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As viewed by Occultists

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Beliefs about the Occult by Occultists and others:

Religious liberals and occultists regard the Occult to be simply a list of mostly unrelated practices and activities. "Occultist" is a very rarely used term that refers to a person active in an occultic activity. It does not exist as an organization. Occult Crime does not exist, any more than Christian, Muslim or Jewish Crime exists. No ritual abuse is committed by occultists. Some Wiccans and other Neopagans do engage in divination. Some individuals who engage in divination use many different techniques. Otherwise, there is little connection among the various occultic activities.

There are many definitions of the Occult; no general consensus exists. Some groups divide the Occult into three branches:

bullet Divination: Various harmless methods of foretelling the future:
bullet Astrology: The concept that one's future is dependent upon the precise location of the sun, moon and planets at the time of birth.
bullet I Ching: an ancient Chinese oracle book which some believe can be used to foretell the future, answer questions, etc. The practitioner generates a number from 1 to 64 by selecting sticks, or casting dice or coins. The oracle book assigns different meanings to each of the possible numbers.
bullet Numerology: the practice of assigning a digit to each letter in a person's name, and deriving a series of numbers which have special significance to the person.
bullet Palm reading: foretelling a person's future by the creases in their palm and shape of their fingers.
bullet Runes: a group of from 16 to 31 (typically 26) letters of an ancient Northern European alphabet. The letters are inscribed on small rocks or pieces of paper or plastic. A group is cast, and the future foretold from the runes that land inverted and not inverted, as well as from their position.
bullet Scrying: a technique of producing visions of the future by gazing into a crystal ball, black mirror, bowl of water, hot coals from a fire, etc.
bullet Tarot cards: fortune telling through the use of a pack of 78 Tarot cards which can be divided into four suites (wands, cups, pentacles and swords). 1 Each suite has number cards (ace to 10), a king, queen, knight and knave. In addition, there are 22 additional cards which form the greater arcana; they include the Chariot, High Priestess, Juggler, Lovers, Moon, Sun, Strength, Death, Devil, etc. The cards are shuffled; a few are dealt and laid in a specific formation (circle, cross, square, etc.). The cards are interpreted according to their inherent meaning, as modified by the significance of their location.
bullet Teacup reading: foretelling the future by the shapes formed by tea leaves after a cup of tea has been consumed
bullet Other methods: Future events have been predicted through the use of dice, dominos, dream interpretation, pendulum movements, playing cards, etc.
bullet Religious and Spiritual Pursuits: These are normally a group of unrelated minority religions:
bullet Eastern religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc.
bullet Syncretistic religions from the Caribbean, such as Santeria and  Vodun.
bullet Satanism.
bullet Wicca, and other Neopagan religions.
bullet Magick: This is a list that includes ceremonial magick and many other schools of practice involving rituals and spells. They are used to change the environment, in order to reach the magician's goals.

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Reference used:

  1. Solandia has many pages showing the great variety of Tarot Cards that are currently available. See:

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Copyright 1995 to 2002 incl. by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 1995-JUN-8
Last update: 2002-OCT-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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