Theosophy and science

Some scientists, according to Blavatsky, were more prone to spiritual, and she "selectively approved" them. "The positive side of Descartes' work" was supposedly his faith in the "magnetic doctrine" and alchemy, although he was a "worshipper of matter." She was admired by Kepler's method, "combining scientific and esoteric thought." She gave also some excerpts from Newton's most "speculative" works, where he supports a "spiritualized" approach to gravity. Thus, according to her words, these "greatest scientists" rediscovered the esoteric knowledge already available to "Western occultists including Paracelsus... kabbalists and alchemists."


Later, a new source of criticism came from Occultist movements such as the Theosophical Society, a competing new religion, which saw the Spiritist explanations as too simple or even naïve. During the interwar period a new form of criticism of Spiritism developed. René Guénon's influential book The Spiritist Fallacy criticized both the more general concepts of Spiritualism, which he considered to be a superficial mix of moralism and spiritual materialism, as well as Spiritism's specific contributions, such as its belief in what he saw as a post-Cartesian, modernist concept of reincarnation distinct from and opposed to its two western predecessors, metempsychosis and transmigration.

Adam Possamai

The second area of scholarly innovation is found in Possamai's work on New Age spirituality. On the basis of both field research in alternative spirituality festivals and new theoretical approaches, Possamai has contested the scholarly status quo in the interpretation and classification of New Age spirituality. His field research demonstrates that very few practitioners of what scholars call New Age, actually accept the term. He argues that the term New Age is imprecise and the previous scholarly conceptualisations of New Age are either limited or misleading.


A number of religious studies scholars have described LaVey's Satanism as a form of "self-religion" or "self-spirituality", with religious studies scholar Amina Olander Lap arguing that it should be seen as being both part of the "prosperity wing" of the self-spirituality New Age movement and a form of the Human Potential Movement. The anthropologist Jean La Fontaine described it as having "both elitist and anarchist elements", also citing one occult bookshop owner who referred to the Church's approach as "anarchistic hedonism".

The New Church (Swedenborgian)

SwedenborgianNew ChurchSwedenborgianism
The New Church (or Swedenborgianism) is the name for several historically-related Christian denominations which developed as a new religious movement, influenced by the writings of scientist and Swedish Lutheran theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). According to Swedenborg, he received a new revelation from Jesus Christ in visions he experienced over a period of at least twenty-five years. He predicted in his writings that God would replace the traditional Christian Church, establishing a New Church which would worship God as Jesus Christ. According to New Church doctrine, each person must cooperate in repentance, reformation, and regeneration.

Benjamin Creme

Transmission: A Meditation for the New Age. Tara Center, 1983. Creme, Benjamin (ed.). A Master Speaks. Share International Foundation, 1985. Creme, Benjamin. Maitreya's Mission. 3 vols. Share International Foundation, 1986, 1993, 1997. Creme, Benjamin. The Ageless Wisdom Teaching: An Introduction to Humanity's Spiritual Legacy. Share International Foundation, 1996. Creme, Benjamin. The Great Approach: New Light and Life for Humanity. Share International Foundation, 2001. Creme, Benjamin. The Art of Co-operation. Share International Foundation, 2002. Creme, Benjamin (ed.). Maitreya's Teachings — The Laws of Life. Share International Foundation, 2005. Creme, Benjamin.

Transcendence (religion)

In Jewish Kabbalistic cosmology, God is described as the "Ein Sof" (literally, without end) as reference to God's divine simplicity and essential unknowability. The emanation of creation from the Ein Sof is explained through a process of filtering. In the Kabbalistic creation myth referred to as the "breaking of the vessels," filtering was necessary because otherwise this intense, simple essence would have overwhelmed and made impossible the emergence of any distinct creations. Each filter, described as a vessel, captured the emanation of this creative force until it was overwhelmed and broken by the intensity of God's simple essence.

Astral projection

astral travelastralastrally project
American Harold Klemp, the current Spiritual Leader of Eckankar practices and teaches Soul Travel, as did his predecessors, through contemplative techniques known as the Spiritual Exercises of ECK (Divine Spirit). In occult traditions, practices range from inducing trance states to the mental construction of a second body, called the Body of Light in Aleister Crowley's writings, through visualization and controlled breathing, followed by the transfer of consciousness to the secondary body by a mental act of will. There is no known scientific evidence that astral projection as an objective phenomenon exists.

Helena Blavatsky

Madame BlavatskyBlavatskyH. P. Blavatsky
Blavatsky's Theosophy has been described as representing "a major factor in the modern revival" of Western esotericism. Godwin deemed there to be "no more important figure in modern times" within the Western esoteric tradition than Blavatsky. For Johnson, Blavatsky was "a central figure in the nineteenth-century occult revival". Lachman claimed that "practically all modern occultism and esotericism" can trace its origins back to her influence.

Guru–shishya tradition

paramparaguru-shishya traditionshishya
A formal recognition of this relationship, generally in a structured initiation ceremony where the guru accepts the initiate as a shishya and also accepts responsibility for the spiritual well-being and progress of the new shishya. Sometimes this initiation process will include the conveying of specific esoteric wisdom and/or meditation techniques. Gurudakshina, where the shishya gives a gift to the guru as a token of gratitude, often the only monetary or otherwise fee that the student ever gives. Such tokens can be as simple as a piece of fruit or as serious as a thumb, as in the case of Ekalavya and his guru Dronacharya. Guru – the immediate guru.

Absolute (philosophy)

Absolutethe Absoluteultimate reality
Religious aspects of Nazism: Occultism in Nazism, Esoteric Nazism, and Positive Christianity — Gottgläubig. Raëlism — Everything In Everything, see Raëlian beliefs and practices. Perennial philosophy: Unitarian Universalism — generally Conceptions of God. Kongo religion — Nzambi a Mpungu, Kengue. Fon people: Dahomean religion — Nana Buluku, see Fon creation myth. West African Vodun — Bondye. Akan religion — Anansi Kokuroku. Haitian Vodou — Bondye, Gran Maître, Damballa. Kapauku Papuans — Ugatame. Itelmen religion — Kutka and Chachy, Dusdaechschitsh. The Heikum of South Africa — Xamaba. The Bassari people in Togo — Unumbotte. Serer religion — Roog, see Serer creation myth.

Druidry (modern)

Druidry has been described as a religion, a new religious movement, a "spiritual movement", and as a nature religion. It has been described as a form of contemporary Paganism, and on the contemporary Pagan spectrum between reconstructionism and eclecticism, Druidry sits on the latter end. Various Druidic groups also display New Age and neo-shamanic influences. The Druidic community has been characterised as a neo-tribe, for it is disembedded and its membership is elective. Druidry has been described as a form of Celtic spirituality, or "Celtic-Based Spirituality". Scholar of religion Marion Bowman described Druidry as the "Celtic spirituality" par excellence.


age and green politics, alternative media, meditation, yoga, sufi dancing, I Ching, tarot cards, alchemy, massage, sweat lodge, nutrition, alternative medicine, astrology, prayer and chanting, clairvoyance, meditation, spiritual healing, naturopathy, acupuncture, t'ai chi, herbalism, natural remedies, reflexology, iridology and osteopathy.

Caroline Myss

Myss, C.
(In 2008, she wrote the foreword to Kübler-Ross's revised version of "On Life After Death". ) She started giving medical intuitive readings in 1982 and co-founded a small New Age publishing company, Stillpoint Publishing in Walpole, New Hampshire, where she also worked as an editor in 1983. Next she began consulting with holistic doctors, which in 1984, led to her extensive collaboration with C. Norman Shealy, physician and founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, with whom she later co-authored AIDS: Passageway to Transformation, in 1987, followed by The Creation of Health: The Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Responses that Promote Health and Healing, in 1988.

Guido von List

Guido (von) ListList societyLIST, Guido Karl Anton von
Guido Karl Anton List, better known as Guido von List (5 October 1848 – 17 May 1919), was an Austrian occultist, journalist, playwright, and novelist. He expounded a modern Pagan new religious movement known as Wotanism, which he claimed was the revival of the religion of the ancient German race, and which included an inner set of Ariosophical teachings that he termed Armanism. Born to a wealthy middle-class family in Vienna, List claimed that he abandoned his family's Roman Catholic faith in childhood, instead devoting himself to the pre-Christian god Wotan. Spending much time in the Austrian countryside, he engaged in rowing, hiking, and sketching the landscape.

Anthropology of religion

anthropologist of religionreligionanthropological
Esotericism. Exorcism. Evil. Fertility rite. Fetishism. Genius (mythology). God. Ghost. Greco-Roman mysteries. Heresy. Icon. Immortality. Intercession. Kachina. Magic and religion. Mana. Mask. Miracle. Medicine. Modern paganism. Monotheism. Mother goddess. Mythology. Necromancy. New Age. Occult. Omen. Poles in mythology. Polytheism. Prayer. Principle of contagion. Prophecy. Reincarnation. Religious ecstasy. Ritual. Sacred food as offering. Sacrifice. Shamanism. Spell (paranormal). Supernatural. Supplication. Sympathetic magic. Theism. Totemism. Veneration of the dead. Western esotericism. Anthropological Perspectives on Religion. Archaeology of religion and ritual.

Large-group awareness training

large group awareness training Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT)awareness training
The Vatican has opined on "New Age training courses": In Coon's psychology textbook (Introduction to Psychology) the author references many other studies, which postulate that many of the "claimed benefits" of Large Group Awareness Training actually take the form of "a kind of therapy placebo effect". Jarvis described Large Group Awareness Training as "educationally dubious" in the 2002 book The Theory & Practice of Teaching. Tapper mentions that "some large group-awareness training and psychotherapy groups" exemplify non-religious "cults". Benjamin criticizes LGAT groups for their high prices and spiritual subtleties.

Out-of-body experience

out-of-body experiencesout of bodyextracorporeal
The subtle body theory was also supported by occult writers such as Ralph Shirley (1938), Benjamin Walker (1977) and Douglas Baker (1979). James Baker (1954) wrote that a mental body enters an "intercosmic region" during the OBE. Marilynn Hughes states that the experiences are the projection of the spiritual body from the physical for the purpose of the soul's purification. Robert Crookall in many publications supported the subtle body theory of OBEs. The paranormal interpretation of OBEs has not been supported by all researchers within the study of parapsychology.

Book of Dzyan

Madame Blavatsky claimed to have seen a manuscript of the Book of Dzyan while studying esoteric lore in Tibet. She claimed this and other ancient manuscripts were safeguarded from profane eyes by the initiates of an Occult Brotherhood. The work had originally, according to Blavatsky, been written in the sacred language of Senzar. She wrote Therefore, the rejection of these teachings may be expected, and must be accepted beforehand. No one styling himself a "scholar," in whatever department of exact science, will be permitted to regard these teachings seriously.'' Max Müller and others have been skeptical.

LaVeyan Satanism

SatanismLaVeyan SatanistSatanist
LaVeyan Satanism – which is also sometimes termed "Modern Satanism" and "Rational Satanism" – is classified by scholars of religious studies as a new religious movement. When used, "Rational Satanism" is often employed to distinguish the approach of the LaVeyan Satanists from the "Esoteric Satanism" embraced by groups like the Temple of Set. A number of religious studies scholars have also described it as a form of "self-religion" or "self-spirituality", with religious studies scholar Amina Olander Lap arguing that it should be seen as being both part of the "prosperity wing" of the self-spirituality New Age movement and a form of the Human Potential Movement.

Religion in Russia

Russiacountry's traditional religiondetails
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 there has been a revival and spread of Siberian shamanism, and the emergence of Hindu and new religious movements throughout Russia. There has been an "exponential increase in new religious groups and alternative spiritualities", Eastern religions and Neopaganism, even among self-defined "Christians"—a term which has become a loose descriptor for a variety of eclectic views and practices. Russia has been defined by the scholar Eliot Borenstein as the "Southern California of Europe" because of such a blossoming of new religious movements, and the latter are perceived by the Russian Orthodox Church as competitors in a "war for souls".