God

supreme beingLordCreator
An example of syncretism is the New Age movement. Jews and Christians believe that humans are created in the likeness of God, and are the center, crown and key to God's creation, stewards for God, supreme over everything else God had made ; for this reason, humans are in Christianity called the "Children of God". During the early Parthian Empire, Ahura Mazda was visually represented for worship. This practice ended during the beginning of the Sassanid empire. Zoroastrian iconoclasm, which can be traced to the end of the Parthian period and the beginning of the Sassanid, eventually put an end to the use of all images of Ahura Mazda in worship.

Astrology

astrologerastrologicalastrologers
Along with tarot divination, astrology is one of the core studies of Western esotericism, and as such has influenced systems of magical belief not only among Western esotericists and Hermeticists, but also belief systems such as Wicca that have borrowed from or been influenced by the Western esoteric tradition. Tanya Luhrmann has said that "all magicians know something about astrology," and refers to a table of correspondences in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance, organised by planet, as an example of the astrological lore studied by magicians. The earliest Vedic text on astronomy is the Vedanga Jyotisha; Vedic thought later came to include astrology as well.

Rudolf Steiner

SteinerSteiner, RudolfDr. Rudolf Steiner
Central principles of his understanding include: In Steiner's esoteric cosmology, the spiritual development of humanity is interwoven in and inseparable from the cosmological development of the universe. Continuing the evolution that led to humanity being born out of the natural world, the Christ being brings an impulse enabling human consciousness of the forces that act creatively, but unconsciously, in nature. Steiner's views of Christianity diverge from conventional Christian thought in key places, and include gnostic elements. However, unlike many gnostics, Steiner affirms the unique and actual physical Incarnation of Christ in Jesus at the beginning of the Christian era.

Yoga

yogicyogitantric
Previously, the Roman Catholic Church, and some other Christian organizations have expressed concerns and disapproval with respect to some eastern and New Age practices that include yoga and meditation. In 1989 and 2003, the Vatican issued two documents: Aspects of Christian meditation and "A Christian reflection on the New Age," that were mostly critical of eastern and New Age practices. The 2003 document was published as a 90-page handbook detailing the Vatican's position.

Paganism

paganpagansheathen
This group includes aboriginal Americans as well as Aboriginal Australians, Viking Age Norse paganism and New Age spirituality. Influences include: Spiritualism, and the many Afro-Diasporic faiths like Haitian Vodou, Santería and Espiritu religion. Isaac Bonewits includes British Traditional Wicca in this subdivision. Neopaganism: A movement by modern people to revive nature-revering/living, pre-Christian religions or other nature-based spiritual paths, frequently also incorporating contemporary liberal values at odds with ancient paganism. This definition may include groups such as Wicca, Neo-Druidism, Heathenry, and Slavic Native Faith.

Karma

karmickammakarmas
Karma (कर्म, ; kamma) means action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering.

Spiritualism

spiritualistspiritualistsspiritual
Today, among these unorganised circles, spiritualism is similar to the new age movement. However, theosophy with its inclusion of Eastern religion, astrology, ritual magic and reincarnation is an example of a closer precursor of the 20th century new age movement. Today's syncretic spiritualists are quite heterogeneous in their beliefs regarding issues such as reincarnation or the existence of God. Some appropriate new age and neo-pagan beliefs, while others call themselves "Christian spiritualists", continuing with the tradition of cautiously incorporating spiritualist experiences into their Christian faith.

Afterlife

life after deathhereafterafterlives
Heaven, the heavens, seven heavens, pure lands, Tian, Jannah, Valhalla, or the Summerland, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, angels, jinn, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, and earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive.

David Spangler

Spangler has often been miscast as a new-age channeler due in part to the "transmissions" received while living at the intentional community at Findhorn, Scotland in the 1970s, which became the core of his first book Revelation: The Birth of a New Age. In hindsight it can be seen that Spangler's ideas were at that time transitional between the earlier theosophical esotericism represented by Alice Bailey and an emerging worldview that is more postmodern, less obscure, and less metaphysical than theosophy. Spangler himself reports that it took him some years to develop a language in which to communicate clearly the insights and experiences he had been having since childhood.

Middle Ages

medievalmediaevalmedieval period
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages (or medieval period) lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Catholic Church

CatholicRoman CatholicRoman Catholicism
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within Rome, Italy.

Religion

religiousreligionsreligious beliefs
In general the scientific method gains knowledge by testing hypotheses to develop theories through elucidation of facts or evaluation by experiments and thus only answers cosmological questions about the universe that can be observed and measured. It develops theories of the world which best fit physically observed evidence. All scientific knowledge is subject to later refinement, or even rejection, in the face of additional evidence.

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.

Anthroposophy

anthroposophistanthroposophicalanthroposophic
Esotericism in Germany and Austria. Pneumatosophy. Psychosophy. Rudolf Steiner Archive (Steiner's works online). Steiner's complete works in German. Rudolf Steiner Handbook (PDF, 56 MB). Goetheanum. General Anthroposophical Society. Anthroposophical Society in America. Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain. Anthroposophical Initiatives in India. Anthroposophical Society in Australia. Anthroposophical Society in New Zealand.

Qi

kichich'i
Esoteric healing. Livity (spiritual concept). Orgone. Prana. Reiki. Pneuma. Geist. Mana. Spirit. Article by Bing YeYoung "A Philosophical and Cultural Interpretation of Qi". The Skeptics Dictionary. Qi Encyclopedia.

Spirit

spiritsspirit worldspiritual being
Kabbalists regard nephesh as one of the five parts of the Jewish soul, where nephesh (animal) refers to the physical being and its animal instincts. Similarly, Scandinavian, Baltic, and Slavic languages, as well as Chinese (气 qi), use the words for breath to express concepts similar to "the spirit". An incorporeal but ubiquitous, non-quantifiable substance or energy present individually in all living things. Unlike the concept of souls (often regarded as eternal and sometimes believed to pre-exist the body) a spirit develops and grows as an integral aspect of a living being. A daemon, sprite, or ghost.

Benjamin Creme

MaitreyaChrist
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.

Prayer

prayprayerspraying
Practitioners of Theurgy and Western esotericism may practice a form of ritual which utilizes both pre-sanctioned prayers and names of God, and prayers "from the heart" that, when combined, allows the participant to ascend spiritually, and in some instances, induce a trance in which God or other spiritual beings may be realized. Very similar to Hermetic Qabalah, and orthodox Kabbalah, it is believed that prayer can influence both the physical and non-physical worlds.

Astral projection

astral travelastralastrally project
The idea of the astral figured prominently in the work of the nineteenth-century French occultist Eliphas Levi, whence it was adopted and developed further by Theosophy, and used afterwards by other esoteric movements. Carrington, Muldoon, Peterson, and Williams claim that the subtle body is attached to the physical body by means of a psychic silver cord. The final chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes is often cited in this respect: "Before the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be shattered at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern."