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.

Chaos magic

Chaos MagickChaoteoriginally portrayed
It was initially developed in England in the 1970s, drawing heavily from the philosophy of artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare. Sometimes referred to as "success magic" or "results-based magic", chaos magic claims to emphasize the attainment of specific results over the symbolic, ritualistic, theological or otherwise ornamental aspects of other occult traditions. Chaos magic has been described as a union of traditional occult techniques and applied postmodernism – particularly a postmodernist skepticism concerning the existence or knowability of objective truth.

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.

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.

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.

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.

A. E. Waite

Arthur Edward WaiteWaiteA.E. Waite
He wrote occult texts on subjects including divination, esotericism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, and ceremonial magic, Kabbalism and alchemy; he also translated and reissued several important mystical and alchemical works. His works on the Holy Grail, influenced by his friendship with Arthur Machen, were particularly notable. A number of his volumes remain in print, including The Book of Ceremonial Magic (1911), The Holy Kabbalah (1929), A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (1921), and his edited translation of Eliphas Levi's 1896 Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual (1910), having seen reprints in recent years.

Gérard Encausse

PapusGérard Encausse, ''PapusHenri Papus
Encausse was also a member of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn temple in Paris, as well as Memphis-Misraim and probably other esoteric or paramasonic organizations, as well as being an author of several occult books. Outside of his paramasonic and Martinist activities he was also a spiritual student of the French spiritualist healer, Anthelme Nizier Philippe, "Maître Philippe de Lyon". Despite his heavy involvement in occultism and occultist groups, Encausse managed to find time to pursue more conventional academic studies at the University of Paris.

Western culture

WesternWestern civilizationWest
Tendencies that have come to define modern Western societies include the concept of political pluralism, individualism, prominent subcultures or countercultures (such as New Age movements) and increasing cultural syncretism resulting from globalization and human migration. The West as a geographical area is unclear and undefined. More often a country's ideology is what will be used to categorize it as a Western society. There is some disagreement about what nations should or should not be included in the category and at what times. Many parts of the Eastern Roman Empire are considered Western today but were Eastern in the past.

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

Golden DawnThe Golden DawnOrder of the Golden Dawn
Dario Carpaneda (1856 - 1916) Italian occultist and esotericism professor at the University of Lausanne. Paul Foster Case was not an original member of the Golden Dawn, but was a member of the successor organization, Alpha et Omega. He was an American occultist. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), author of Sherlock Holmes, doctor, scientist, and spiritualist. Florence Farr (1860–1917), London stage actress and musician. Robert Felkin (1853–1925), medical missionary, explorer and anthropologist in Central Africa, author. Dion Fortune was not an original member of the Golden Dawn, rather a member of the offshoot Golden Dawn order the Stella Matutina.

Theosophical Society

TheosophicalTheosophyTheosophical Movement
Bowen, (author and teacher of practical occultism) and later still to Bowen's long time student Dorothy Emerson. The current leadership of this group were students of Emerson. The independent Dublin organisation should not be confused with a similarly named group affiliated to Adyar which is based in Belfast but claims an all-Ireland jurisdiction.


physical worldthe universeuniverses
The modern era of physical cosmology began in 1917, when Albert Einstein first applied his general theory of relativity to model the structure and dynamics of the Universe. Chronology of the Universe. Cosmic Calendar (scaled down timeline). Cosmic latte. Cosmos. Detailed logarithmic timeline. Earth's location in the Universe. Esoteric cosmology. False vacuum. Future of an expanding Universe. Galaxy And Mass Assembly survey. Heat death of the universe. History of the Center of the Universe. Illustris project. Multiverse (set theory) (Hyperverse, Megaverse or Omniverse). Non-standard cosmology. Nucleocosmochronology. Rare Earth hypothesis. Religious cosmology. Space and survival.


mediummediumsspirit medium
The practice is associated with several religious-belief systems such as Vodun, Spiritualism, Spiritism, Candomblé, Voodoo, Umbanda and some New Age groups. In Spiritism and Spiritualism the medium has the role of an intermediary between the world of the living and the world of spirit. Mediums claim that they can listen to and relay messages from spirits, or that they can allow a spirit to control their body and speak through it directly or by using automatic writing or drawing.

Western world

WesternWestthe West
Some tendencies that define modern Western societies are the existence of political pluralism, laicism, generalization of middle class, prominent subcultures or countercultures (such as New Age movements), increasing cultural syncretism resulting from globalization and human migration. The modern shape of these societies is strongly based upon the Industrial Revolution and the societies' associated social and environmental problems, such as class and pollution, as well as reactions to them, such as syndicalism and environmentalism. The geopolitical divisions in Europe that created a concept of East and West originated in the ancient tyrannical and imperialistic Graeco-Roman times.

Human Potential Movement

human potentialself-developmentgrowth movement
They themselves came to be called not only "New Age" but also "new religion". The concept of HPM was also used in multi-level marketing through Mind Dynamics, precursor to LGAT. As Elizabeth Puttick writes in the Encyclopedia of New Religions: The human potential movement (HPM) originated in the 1960s as a counter-cultural rebellion against mainstream psychology and organised religion. It is not in itself a religion, new or otherwise, but a psychological philosophy and framework, including a set of values that have made it one of the most significant and influential forces in modern Western society. Abraham Maslow published his concept of a hierarchy of needs in a paper in 1943.

Alternative medicine

holistic healthcomplementary and alternative medicineintegrative medicine
Use of alternative medicine in the west began to rise following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, as part of the rising new age movement of the 1970s. This was due to misleading mass marketing of "alternative medicine" being an effective "alternative" to biomedicine, changing social attitudes about not using chemicals and challenging the establishment and authority of any kind, sensitivity to giving equal measure to beliefs and practices of other cultures (cultural relativism), and growing frustration and desperation by patients about limitations and side effects of science-based medicine.

Age of Aquarius

Aquarian AgeAquariusAge-of-Aquarius
The variations of views among astrologers include: The expression Age of Aquarius in popular culture usually refers to the heyday of the hippie and New Age movements in the 1960s and 1970s. Although more rock than new-age in genre, the 1967 musical Hair, with its opening song "Aquarius" and the memorable line "This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius", brought the Aquarian age concept to the attention of audiences worldwide. However, the song further defines this dawning of the age within the first lines: "When the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars".