A DICTIONARY OF THE OCCULT

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O
OBE Not just an abbreviation for the Order of the British Empire, but an Out of Body Experience.  Also called Astral Projection, this is a phenomenon in which a living person's spirit/soul can leave its body, travel on the astral plane to other spiritual worlds, and then return safely back to its body.
Occult This word derives from the Latin 'occultus', meaning hidden or secret, in this instance meaning the 'hidden' or 'secret' knowledge of the paranormal, as opposed to knowledge of that which is measurable (normal).  The term is often taken to mean knowledge that is meant only for a certain few, or knowledge that must remain hidden, but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality extending beyond reason and science.
Occult Symbols Many symbols used in occultism, e.g. the Pentagram, are thousands of years old.  In the world of the occultist, symbols are used in Ceremonial or Ritual Magick according to their purpose.  See Symbols Used in Occultism.
Oil of Abremelin A ceremonial, magical oil blended according to the recipe found in Mathers' translation of The Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage (free download available), consisting of one part myrrh, two parts cinnamon, a half-part galangal (a root with a hot ginger/pepper taste used primarily as a seasoning in Thai cooking), and half the total weight of the best olive oil.
Old Religion (The) See Witchcraft/Wicca
Omen An unexpected sudden occurrence or any phenomenon which can be interpreted as either a sign of good luck or one of misfortune.
Oracle A person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion; an infallible authority, usually spiritual in nature.  In the ancient world many sites became known as oracles having gained a reputation for the dispensing of oracular wisdom, as did the oracular utterances themselves, whose name is derived from the Latin verb 'orare', meaning to speak.
Orphic Egg The Orphic Egg, often called the Cosmic Egg, is represented as an egg surrounded by a coiled serpent, symbolising the belief in the Greek Orphic religion that the universe originated from within a silver egg.
Ostara Ostara, the Spring equinox, is one of the eight Sabbats or holidays in the Neopagan festival calendar.  It is held on or near 21st March to celebrate the return of life and growth to the earth.
Ouija Board This is a small board, simple in design, on which the letters of the alphabet are inscribed along with the numbers 0 to 9; some may also bear the words 'YES', 'NO', 'GOOD BYE' and 'MAYBE'.  The Ouija board is used to try to establish contact with the souls of the departed.  Participants sit around a table, the focal point being the board in the centre of the table.  They place their hands on a 'pointer' or 'inverted glass', then, should contact be made, the pointer or glass will move around the board spelling out answers to questions put to the spirit.  See also Planchette.
Ouroborus Ouroborus is a Greek word meaning tail swallower, thus is usually circular in shape and depicted in the form of a snake swallowing its tail.  The Ouroborus had its origins in ancient Egypt as a symbol of the sun, and represented the travels of the sun disk.
Out of Body Experience See OBE above.

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