Spiritual evolution

Metaphysical cosmology. Esoteric cosmology. Evolution (philosophy). Hindu idealism. Ietsism. Involution (metaphysics). Plane (cosmology). Religious cosmology. The Celestine Prophecy.

Subtle body

subtle bodiesLinga Shariraastral self
Samael Aun Weor, The Esoteric Course of Alchemical Kabbalah. Thelema Press. (1969) 2007. Steiner, Rudolf, Theosophy: An introduction to the supersensible knowledge of the world and the destination of man. London: Rudolf Steiner Press. (1904) 1970. —, Occult science – An Outline. Trans. George and Mary Adams. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1909, 1969. Heindel, Max, The Rosicrucian Mysteries (Chapter IV: The Constitution of Man: Vital Body - Desire Body - Mind), 1911, ISBN: 0-911274-86-3. Crowley, Aleister (1997). Magick (Book 4) 2nd ed. York Beach, Maine. : Samuel Weiser. Crowley, Aleister (1982). Magick Without Tears. Phoenix, AZ : Falcon Press. Thelemapedia. (2004). Body of Light.

Theosophy (Blavatskian)

Scholars have also classified Theosophy as a form of Western esotericism. Campbell for instance referred to it as "an esoteric religious tradition", while the historian Joy Dixon called it an "esoteric religion". More specifically, it is considered a form of occultism. Along with other groups like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society has been seen as part of an "occult revival" that took place in Western countries during the late nineteenth century. The historian of religion Wouter Hanegraaff noted that Theosophy helped to establish the "essential foundations for much of twentieth-century esotericism".


During the occult revival of the early 19th century, alchemy received new attention as an occult science. The esoteric or occultist school, which arose during the 19th century, held (and continues to hold) the view that the substances and operations mentioned in alchemical literature are to be interpreted in a spiritual sense, and it downplays the role of the alchemy as a practical tradition or protoscience.


During the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618–907), Chinese Esoteric Buddhism was introduced from India and Chan Buddhism (Zen) became a major religion. Chan continued to grow in the Song Dynasty (960–1279) and it was during this era that it strongly influenced Korean Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism. Pure Land Buddhism also became popular during this period and was often practiced together with Chan. It was also during the Song that the entire Chinese canon was printed using over 130,000 wooden printing blocks. During the Indian period of Esoteric Buddhism (from the 8th century onwards), Buddhism spread from India to Tibet and Mongolia.

Religious studies

religionstudy of religionRS
Common issues considered by the (Western) philosophy of religion are the existence of God, belief and rationality, cosmology, and logical inferences of logical consistency from sacred texts. Although philosophy has long been used in evaluation of religious claims (e.g. Augustine and Pelagius's debate concerning original sin), the rise of scholasticism in the 11th century, which represented "the search for order in intellectual life" (Russell, 170), more fully integrated the Western philosophical tradition (with the introduction of translations of Aristotle) in religious study. There is some amount of overlap between subcategories of religious studies and the discipline itself.

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.

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.

List of New Age topics

This article contains a list of New Age topics that are too extensive to include in its main article New Age; further information may be found at. Baqaa. Destiny. Esoteric cosmology. Esotericism. Fanaa. Hierology. Integral (spirituality). Integral Theory. Karma. Multi-dimensionality. Mythology. Natural order (philosophy). Spirituality. Synchronicity. Syncretism. Transcendence (philosophy). Vedas. Western esotericism. Buddhism. Zen. Hinduism. Neopaganism. Postmodernism. Science. Theosophy. Transpersonal psychology. Universalism. Alice Bailey. Edgar Cayce. George Gurdjieff. Carl Jung. Rudolf Steiner. A. H. Almaas. Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi. Lee Carroll. Carlos Castaneda. Deepak Chopra.

Glossary of spirituality terms

Plane (cosmology): In metaphysics and esoteric cosmology, a plane of existence (sometimes called simply a plane, dimension, vibrating plane, or an inner, invisible, spiritual, supraphysical world or egg) is a theoretical region of space and/or consciousness beyond the known physical universe, or the region containing the universe itself. Many esoteric teachings (e.g., theosophy and rosicrucianism) propound the idea of a whole series of subtle planes or worlds or dimensions which, from a center, interpenetrate themselves and the physical planet in which we live, the solar systems, and all the physical structures of the universe.

Jack Parsons (rocket engineer)

Jack ParsonsJohn "Jack" Whiteside ParsonsParsons
New Age. Quantum mysticism. Scientology and the occult. UFO religion.

New World Order (conspiracy theory)

New World OrderconspiracyIlluminati
Thus, New Age conspiracy theorists, such as the makers of documentary films like Esoteric Agenda, claim that globalists who plot on behalf of the New World Order are simply misusing occultism for Machiavellian ends, such as adopting 21 December 2012 as the exact date for the establishment of the New World Order for the purpose of taking advantage of the growing 2012 phenomenon, which has its origins in the fringe Mayanist theories of New Age writers José Argüelles, Terence McKenna, and Daniel Pinchbeck. Skeptics argue that the connection of conspiracy theorists and occultists follows from their common fallacious premises. First, any widely accepted belief must necessarily be false.

Esotericism in Germany and Austria

esotericesoteric movement in Germany and Austriaesoteric scene in Germany and Austria
Since the 1980s, mainstream esotericism in German-speaking Europe has been dominated by generic New Age syncretism as it developed in the United States. * Giorgio Galli, Hitler e il nazismo magico, Biblioteca Universale Rizzoli, Italy, published in Rome (2005), pages 301, EAN 978881817006347. Karl Spiesberger. Ludwig Straniak. Wilhelm Wulff. A. Frank Glahn. Karl Maria Wiligut. Carl Reichenbach. Hellmut Wolff. Karl Ernst Krafft. Anna Bramwell. 1985. Blood and Soil: Richard Walther Darré and Hitler's 'Green Party'. Abbotsbrook, England: The Kensal Press. ISBN: 0-946041-33-4. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. 1985.

Outline of spirituality

Involution (esoterism). Ordre Reaux Croix. Universal Life. Surat Shabd Yoga or Sant Mat. Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path. Black art. Black magic. Necromancy. Satanism. Baphomet. Church of Satan. Luciferianism. Philosophical Satanism. Satan. Satanic ritual abuse. Anton LaVey. Vampire. Temple of Set. Aleister Crowley. Magick. Chaos magic. Eliphas Levi. Enochian magic. Goetia. Grimoire. Necronomicon. Hoodoo. Magic. Occultism. Pentagram. Quareia. Ritual magic. Santería. Seid. The Book of Thoth. Thelema. Vodou. Martial arts. List of martial arts. List of martial arts weapons. Neijia. Baguazhang. Xingyiquan. T'ai chi ch'uan. Age of Aquarius. Munay-ki. New Age. List of New Age topics. Qigong.


Another advocate of emanationism was Michael Servetus, who was burned at the stake for his nontrinitarian cosmology. Emanationism is a common teaching found in occult and esoteric writings. According to Owen (2005): Theosophy draws on Neoplatonic emanationism, in particular the concept of separation from and return to the Absolute, and reworks the Eastern concepts of karma and reincarnation to provide an evolutionary theory of both humankind and the universe.

Wouter Hanegraaff

Wouter J. HanegraaffWouter J[acobus] Hanegraaff
From 2002 to 2006 he has been president of the Dutch Society for the Study of Religion, and, from 2005 to 2013, president of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism. In 2006 he was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is now an hononrary member of the ESSWE. His dissertation New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought was published by Brill in 1996. Two years later a USA paperback version was published by State University of New York Press. This work constitutes one of the first non-polemical academic reviews of the New Age movement, presenting an analysis on the basis of its important texts.


The western esoteric tradition is now steeped in Hermeticism. The work of such writers as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who attempted to reconcile Jewish kabbalah and Christian mysticism, brought Hermeticism into a context more easily understood by Europeans during the time of the Renaissance. A few primarily Hermetic occult orders were founded in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. Hermetic magic underwent a 19th-century revival in Western Europe, where it was practiced by groups such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Aurum Solis, and Ragon.


GnosticGnosticsGnostic Christianity
Gnostic ideas found a Jewish variation in the mystical study of Kabbalah. Many core Gnostic ideas reappear in Kabbalah, where they are used for dramatically reinterpreting earlier Jewish sources according to this new system. The Kabbalists originated in 13th-century Provence, which was at that time also the center of the Gnostic Cathars. While some scholars in the middle of the 20th century tried to assume an influence between the Cathar "gnostics" and the origins of the Kabbalah, this assumption has proved to be an incorrect generalization not substantiated by any original texts.