Occultism isn’t as evil as a lot of the people unfamiliar with this topic used to believe. There are multiple meanings and possible paths to follow, but occult is often considered as a dark practice. However, this topic is more sophisticated than its enemies can imagine.
It is hard to find the proper definition of occultism. According to the dictionary, Merriam-Webster occultism is „belief in or study of the action or influence of supernatural or supernormal powers”. However, as the practice shows it is much deeper. Occultism is the study of hidden wisdom, knowledge not available to many. It involves subjects like magic, spiritualism, astrology, numerology, and many others. Explaining the word ”occult” is difficult because there are numerous definitions. Actually, every person might have a little bit different way of understanding it.
The word „occult” usually means everything that is not claimed by any of the major religions. One of the most important questions about occultism is related to religious elements. Occultism often correlates with the religious aspects such as Neopaganism, Satanism, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, etc. Occultism is also practiced with beautiful gemstone, astrology or the elementals. However, it has become more associated with black magic and other dark practices. For centuries the monotheistic religions dominated a lot of areas of the world. Especially Christianity sentenced thousands of innocent people to death due to the accusation of the witchcraft, However, in the 15th and 16th centuries the movement related to occultism started to get stronger, and with time it became a strong rival of Christianity.
The beginning of the 20th century brought the world the most famous modern occultist Aleister Crowley and his Thelma. The day when he appeared on the stage of occultism has changed everything. This visionary man created some of the most important books related to occultism, uplifted everything that people believed about this path.
Occultism is full of mystical symbols. Many of them have bad fame, but there are numerous symbols and tools that support the practice. Not all of them are dark and dangerous. Many of them come from the ancient religions, for example, Ankh, the Ancient Egyptian symbol for eternal life, now is associated with Kemetism and neo-paganism. Symbols traditionally related to Nordic, Egyptian, Celtic, Greek, Roman beliefs became elements of modern occult rituals. Moreover, in occultic practices appear a lot of symbols related to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. Well known in Island Nazar, the Middle Eastern talisman to ward off the evil eye, protects followers of the path. Traditionally Thelema, which is a system of discipline for physical, mental and spiritual training, uses symbolism dated back to the ancient times.
Currently, there are still dozens of organizations related to occult practices. Some of the most important among them are Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), Rosicrucians (Order of the Rose Cross), Society of the Inner Light, Servants of the Light, Temple of Set, Theosophical Society. All of them developed an individual system of symbols based on occultic traditions and unique practice.
The entire collection of the books about occultism would have been perhaps the largest library in the world. The number of publications made since the ancient times is impressive. People who want to explore the paths related to occultism including: clairvoyance, clairaudience, automatic writing, astrology, divination, cartomancy, palmistry, phrenology, numerology, crystal gazing, tea leaf reading, astral projection, Ouija boards, mind-reading, auras, numerology, ghosts, haunted houses, vampirism, lycanthropy, communicating with elemental forces, reincarnation, witchcraft, etc.
Traditionally occultism is the study of hidden knowledge. This in and of itself can be interpreted several ways, according to ThoughtCo:
„Knowledge kept from the wider population, offered only to initiates after proper preparation. Reasons for this commonly include the belief that such knowledge is dangerous to the unprepared, and that revealing sacred knowledge to the common populace profanes that knowledge.
Knowledge disguised by God for only the select few to comprehend. Multiple Renaissance occultists, for example, wrote of the Book of Nature, that is to say, the physical universe. Within this book are clues and messages, left by God, which can be found and deciphered by those both educated and worthy.
Knowledge of realms, energies, or abilities not recognized by the general populace. The most common use of the term occult in this way is in relation to the practice of magic. In a wider sense, anything supernatural or paranormal might be included.”
It is difficult to suggest the top list of the books you have to read. The truth is that occultism became popularly as a part of many fiction books. One of the largest and the most impressive collection of books was in hands of Nazis. When in 1960 the book titled “Le Matin des Magiciens” described their practices to the world, occultism found a lot of new followers. Sometimes it is hard to forecast which book will become the one that changes peoples lives.