Occult

occultismoccultistoccultiststhe occultsecret knowledgeOccult scienceoccult practicesoccult sciencesOccult knowledgeoccult philosophy
The term occult sciences was used in the 16th century to refer to astrology, alchemy, and natural magic.wikipedia
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Magnetism

magneticmagneticsmagnetic properties
Occult qualities are properties that have no known rational explanation; in the Middle Ages, for example, magnetism was considered an occult quality.

Aether (classical element)

aetheretherquintessence
Aether (classical element) is another such element.

William Wynn Westcott

W. W. WestcottW. Wynn WestcottWestcott, William Wynn
In the English-speaking world, prominent figures in the development of occultism included Helena Blavatsky and other figures associated with her Theosophical Society, senior figures in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn like William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell Mathers, as well as other individuals such as Paschal Beverly Randolph, Emma Hardinge Britten, Arthur Edward Waite, and—in the early twentieth century—Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, and Israel Regardie.

Emma Hardinge Britten

Emma Hardinge
In the English-speaking world, prominent figures in the development of occultism included Helena Blavatsky and other figures associated with her Theosophical Society, senior figures in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn like William Wynn Westcott and Samuel Liddell Mathers, as well as other individuals such as Paschal Beverly Randolph, Emma Hardinge Britten, Arthur Edward Waite, and—in the early twentieth century—Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, and Israel Regardie.

Austria-Hungary

Austro-Hungarian EmpireAustro-HungarianAustria–Hungary
By the end of the nineteenth century, occultist ideas had also spread into other parts of Europe, such as Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.

Antoine Faivre

Faivre
The scholar of esotericism Antoine Faivre noted that rather than outright accepting "the triumph of scientism", occultists sought "an alternative solution", trying to integrate "scientific progress or modernity" with "a global vision that will serve to make the vacuousness of materialism more apparent".

Disenchantment

enchanteddisenchanteddisenchanted world
Hanegraaff remarked that occultism was "essentially an attempt to adapt esotericism" to the "disenchanted world", a post-Enlightenment society in which growing scientific discovery had eradicated the "dimension of irreducible mystery" previously present.

Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke

Goodrick-Clarke, NicholasGoodrick-ClarkeN. Goodrick-Clarke
According to historian of esotericism Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, occultist groups typically seek "proofs and demonstrations by recourse to scientific tests or terminology".

Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais

LamennaisFélicité Robert de LamennaisFélicité de Lamennais
In his work about Lévi, the German historian Julian Strube has argued that the occultist wish for a "synthesis" of religion, science, and philosophy directly resulted from the context of contemporary socialism and progressive Catholicism.

July Monarchy

FranceKingdom of FranceFrench Kingdom
Indeed, the emergence of both modern esotericism and socialism in July Monarchy France have been inherently intertwined.

Christianity

ChristianChristiansChristian faith
Another feature of occultists is that—unlike earlier esotericists—they often openly distanced themselves from Christianity, in some cases (like that of Crowley) even adopting explicitly anti-Christian stances.

Secularization

secularisationsecularizedsecularised
This reflected how pervasive the influence of secularisation had been on all areas of European society.

Hinduism

HinduHindusHindu culture
In rejecting Christianity, these occultists sometimes turned towards pre-Christian belief systems and embraced forms of Modern Paganism, while others instead took influence from the religions of Asia, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.

Buddhism

BuddhistBuddhistsBuddhadharma
In rejecting Christianity, these occultists sometimes turned towards pre-Christian belief systems and embraced forms of Modern Paganism, while others instead took influence from the religions of Asia, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.

Human Potential Movement

human potentialself-developmentgrowth movement
Another characteristic of these occultists was the emphasis that they placed on "the spiritual realization of the individual", an idea that would strongly influence the twentieth-century New Age and Human Potential Movement.

Yoga

yogicyogiYog
This spiritual realization was encouraged both through traditional Western 'occult sciences' like alchemy and ceremonial magic, but by the start of the twentieth century had also begun to include practices drawn from non-Western contexts, such as yoga.

Rudolf Steiner

SteinerDr. Rudolf SteinerSteiner, Rudolf
For instance, occultists like François-Charles Barlet and Rudolf Steiner were also theosophers, adhering to the ideas of the early modern Christian thinker Jakob Bohme, and seeking to integrate ideas from Bohmian theosophy and occultism.

Christian theosophy

Theosophytheosophisttheosophical
For instance, occultists like François-Charles Barlet and Rudolf Steiner were also theosophers, adhering to the ideas of the early modern Christian thinker Jakob Bohme, and seeking to integrate ideas from Bohmian theosophy and occultism.

Jakob Böhme

BehmenistBehmenismBehmenists
For instance, occultists like François-Charles Barlet and Rudolf Steiner were also theosophers, adhering to the ideas of the early modern Christian thinker Jakob Bohme, and seeking to integrate ideas from Bohmian theosophy and occultism.

French language

FrenchfrancophoneFrench-language
The earliest known usage of the term "occultism" is in the French language, as l'occultisme.

Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie

Dogme et rituelTranscendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual
The French esotericist Éliphas Lévi then used the term in his influential book on ritual magic, Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, first published in 1856.

Charles Fourier

FourierFourieristFrançois Marie Charles Fourier
In 1853, the Freemasonic author Jean-Marie Ragon had already used occultisme in his popular work Maçonnerie occulte, relating it to earlier practices that, since the Renaissance, had been termed "occult sciences" or "occult philosophy"—but also to the recent socialist teachings of Charles Fourier.

Theodor W. Adorno

Theodor AdornoAdornoTheodore Adorno
Some writers, such as the German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno in his "Theses Against Occultism", employed the term as a broad synonym for irrationality.

Irrationality

irrationalirrationalismirrational thinking
Some writers, such as the German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno in his "Theses Against Occultism", employed the term as a broad synonym for irrationality.

Traditionalist School

TraditionalistTraditionalismTraditional School
A different division was used by the Traditionalist author René Guénon, who used esotericism to describe what he believed was the Traditionalist, inner teaching at the heart of most religions, while occultism was used pejoratively to describe new religions and movements that he disapproved of, such as Spiritualism, Theosophy, and various secret societies.