“[…] Looking at what we see as ‘occultism’ today is not same way in the past. Historically speaking, the subjects that are included in occultism, such as astrology, magic, alchemy, qabalah, and the like, were not excluded or pushed to the periphery of society and not distrusted like they are today. In fact, they were integral parts of how society investigated the world around them and were technologies used to discern the hidden aspects of the universe. Occultism, per se, is a modern concept-it arose in the later 19th century. In the past the occult was seen as integral part of the world. After all, the word occult means ‘hidden.’ When astrologers investigated the charts, they were attempting to see the hidden or occult influences and determining causes deriving from the celestial sphere; when alchemists experimented with matter, they were attempting to determine the hidden or occult properties of matter; when qabalists, Christian, Arabic, or Jewish alike, explored the qabalah, they were seeking to understand the hidden influences of the divine and how they manifested in our world. In essence, they were all seeking to understand the hidden aspects of reality; the things people did not see operating on a day-to-day basis.
Today, because of the influence of science and other societal structures, many of the early ways of investigating the hidden world have been determined as invalid and excluded. These formerly accepted practices, such as astrology, have been determined to be worthless, or at most, for occasional amusement and not anything to be taken seriously. Those still searching for the occult side of things do not always agree and still give validity to such techniques. Other times the technique or practice transforms, such as alchemy. It evolved into modern chemistry on one hand, and symbolic alchemy on another; the latter being employed by magicians mapping certain processes and Jungian psychologists. Regardless of the technique, the salient point remains, there are hidden forces at work in the world around us and in us and occultism is the process by which these processes are investigated and exposed.”
February 20, 2008 at 1:20 am