The main aspect of belief in the occult revolves around knowledge of the supernatural. Occult beliefs vary widely and may comprise beliefs in magic, astrology, witchcraft, spirituality and numerology. There is often a religious aspect to these studies which includes ideas from Satanism, Gnosticism, Thelema and Neopaganism. Though the word "occult" means "knowledge" or "truth," due to its use and connection with subjects such as witchcraft and alchemy it now has a negative connotation.Continue Reading
The study of the occult involves manipulating the natural world, often for the practitioner's own benefit. Several aspects of the beliefs are common across all human societies. These include alchemy, witchcraft, divination and magic. Generally, occult practices are not considered evil or harmful except where they violate moral laws. Because the occult deals with the paranormal which operates on another plane, the training of mind and spirit is an important aspect of occult beliefs and often revolves around the use of chanting or an object to gain focus and insight.
Studies and interest in the occult have waxed and waned throughout history with revivals in the 15th century and again in the 18th. Though the study of the occult is not considered a science, it has influenced many artists, poets and writers throughout history including Aleister Crowley, William Butler Yeats and Wassily Kandinsky.Learn more about Religion