A DICTIONARY OF THE OCCULT

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C
Cabala See Kabbalah.
Cake of Light The name of the Eucharistic host found within Thelemic Ritual.  It contains meal, honey, and oil for the base ingredients, and is usually cooked in the shape of a small, flat wafer.
Cancer Cancer, the Crab, is a water sign and the fourth sign of the Zodiac.  Cancer is ruled by the Moon.
Candomblé An African religion, practiced chiefly in Brazil, which came from Africa via African priests and followers who were taken as slaves between 1549 and 1850.  Although originally confined to the slave population, banned by the Catholic Church, and even criminalised by some governments, for about 2 million Brazilians (1.5% of the population) Candomblé is their established religion.
Capricorn Capricorn, the Goat, is an earth sign and the tenth sign of the Zodiac.  Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn.
Cardinal Points The four major points on a compass, i.e. North, South, East and West.  When a circle is drawn around these points, they form the Quarters.
Cartomancy A form of fortune-telling or divination using a standard deck of playing cards, cartomancy has been practised since playing cards first came into use in Europe in the 14th century, although some practitioners claim its origins date back to Egyptian times, the art being derived from wisdom given to the ancient Egyptians by the god of writing, Thoth.
Celtic Cross See Symbols Used in Occultism.
Ceremonial Magick Ceremonial Magick is often referred to as Ritual or High Magick.  It is a form of spiritual practice performed with the intention of achieving a personal spiritual transformation, or union with the Divine (God), through specially designed ceremonies or rituals.
Chakra A centre of energy located in the subtle body where the subtle nerve channels converge like the spokes of a wheel; six major chakras lie within the central channel.  When awakened, Kundalini shakti flows upward from the base of the spine through these six centres to the seventh chakra, the sahasrara (the thousand-petalled spiritual energy centre at the crown of the head).
Chalice A magical weapon is any instrument used to bring about intentional change.  In practice, magical weapons are usually specific, consecrated items used within ceremonial ritual.  There is no hard and fast rule for what constitutes or does not constitute a magical weapon.  If a magician considers it to be a weapon, then a weapon it is.  However, there does exist a set of magical weapons with particular uses and symbolic meanings.  Some such common weapons/tools include the dagger/sword, wand/baton, cup/chalice, pentacle/disk, holy oil, lamp and bell.  See magical Weapons.  The ritual chalice originated in the Catholic Mass, where wine is ritually transformed into the blood of Christ.  It is a tool used in Ceremonial/Ritual Magick and Wiccan ceremonies.  It relates to 'cups' in the Tarot deck, and the watery signs of the Zodiac.
Channeler See Medium.
Chaos Magick A type of Ritual Magick based on the work of Austin Osman Spare (1886 - 1956), in which the use of Sigils for magical purposes is central to the theme.  The term itself was coined by Peter Carroll (with Ray Sherwin, co-founder with Carroll of the Illuminates of Thanateros) in his book Liber Null.  Shortly after the well-documented Ice Magick Wars, Carroll published Liber Kaos and retired from active participation in the Order.
Cherub In Christian tradition, the four Cherubim are associated with the four evangelists of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but the Cherubim were originally the ancient protectors of the Mesopotamian Tree of Life, usually depicted supporting the thrones of deities and kings.  They are the four winged creatures described in the visions of Ezekiel, each winged creature bearing four faces, those of a lion, a bull, an eagle, and a human head.  In Ritual or Ceremonial Magick, the four kerubim are the living energy of the Tetragrammaton.
Chesed Chesed is the fourth Sphere (Sephirah) of divine emanation according to Kabbalah.  The word Chesed means mercy.  Chesed is the first of the manifest Sephiroth.  See also The Sephiroth.
Chiromancy / Cheiromancy See Palmistry.
Chokmah Chokmah is the second Sphere (Sephirah) of divine emanation according to Kabbalah.  The word Chokmah means wisdom.  See also The Sephiroth.
Choronzon The serpent Choronzon is the 'dweller' in the Abyss, the final great obstacle between the magician and true enlightenment.  Choronzon is known as the 'Demon of Dispersion', and described by Crowley as "a temporary personification of the raving and inconsistent forces that occupy the Abyss."  The name Choronzon has been popularised by Aleister Crowley, but it first occurred in the Enochian records of John Dee, where he is synonymous with the serpent of the garden.  See also Oath of the Abyss for further details.
Circle Used in Ritual Magick and Wicca, the circle is the sacred space defined prior to performing a Magical Ritual.  In Ritual Magick the circle is used to create a protected space for the magician, normally during evocation of a spirit; a Wiccan/Neopagan circle is used to define a ritual space to protect those within from negative influences.  Casting the circle refers to the ritual creation of the magical circle, usually with a consecrated knife or sword.
Clairaudience A French word meaning 'clear hearing' and describing the ability to hear sounds removed from our natural hearing conditions or the environment.  Parapsychology refers to clairaudience as extra-sensory information received as sound.  To someone experiencing this, it is as if another person’s voice is being heard orally.  The sound, however, is not audible and the physical ear does not receive it.  It is closely allied to clairvoyance but the impressions are heard rather than seen.  Consequently, it could be likened to hearing with the spiritual ear or mental hearing.
Clairvoyance This is a French word meaning 'clear seeing'.  It is a paranormal mode of perception in which visual images are presented to the conscious mind.  The perception may be of objects, people and/or scenes from the present, past or future.  The clairvoyant experience may be spontaneous or induced through meditation, scrying or other methods of divination.
Cleromancy Divination by sortilege with dice, sometimes used synonymously with Sortilege (divination by casting or drawing lots).
Coin See Pentacle.
Cold Reading Cold reading is a technique used by interrogators, hypnotists, psychics, graphologists, palmists, astrologers etc., to convince another person that they know more about them than they actually do.  The 'cold reader' will make several vague statements and observe the subject's reactions.  He/she will then refine the original statements according to those reactions.
Collective Unconscious Originally coined by Carl Jung, the 'collective unconscious' is a term used in analytical psychology.  Jung distinguished the 'collective unconscious' from the 'personal unconscious' specific to each human being, but Freud did not distinguish between an 'individual psychology' and a 'collective psychology'.  It is a product of ancestral experience containing such concepts as science, religion, and morality.  The collective unconscious could be considered a reservoir of the experiences of our species.
Cosmic Egg See Orphic Egg.
Countenances See Partsufim.
Coven The word coven was used specifically to denote groups of witches in the seventeenth century, but now also refers to a modern Wiccan magical group.  A coven usually comprises thirteen members, including a Priest and Priestess.  Funny .... I seem to remember that Jesus Christ had twelve disciples!  And what part did Mary Magdalene play in it?
Covenstead A normal meeting place for a coven (see above) of witches.
Craft See Witchcraft.
Cross of Nero See Symbols Used in Occultism.
Cup See Chalice above.

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