Medical practices that are not widely accepted in the conventional medical profession; examples include acupuncture, homeopathy and Ayurveda.
A neopagan movement with rituals that emphasize the natural world and a firm set of ethics and principles, but which does not believe in gods, the divine or the supernatural.
Various social movements, largely led by Christian groups, against New Religious Movements, particularly against occult and alternative religions.
The occurrence of new religious groups and movements using the internet to share information and grow their organizations.
A neopagan form of religious tradition that is centered on the divine feminine and Goddess worship. Has some overlap with Wicca, in that members follow the Wiccan Rede, but differs in that most Wiccans worship both the masculine and feminine.
A meeting within Wiccan and other occult communities that is timed around the lunar cycle; includes social and business engagements rather than major holy days. See also: sabbat.
The field of knowledge requiring specialized information to understand; Western esotericism is generally considered belief in occult knowledge.
In philosophy, the belief in the interconnectedness of all things into a greater whole. In medicine, the belief in the treatment of the whole person, rather than certain aspects of a disease or other illness.
Modern faith communities that follow the religious beliefs and rituals of ancient Egypt; also called Egyptian neopaganism.
A contemporary variation of the traditional Indian tantric traditions; often associated with New Religious Movements. Characterized by belief that sex can bring participants closer to the divine.
New Religions studies
The academic discipline of studying New Religious Movements; draws from multiple academic fields, including psychology, history and sociology. See also: New Religious Movement.
A metaphysical movement with origins in the 19th century, characterized broadly by interest in mental and spiritual health and healing.
Rule of Three / Threefold Law
A tenet held by some Wiccan practitioners and other followers of the occult; states that whatever energy is put out into the world by a person, that energy will be returned to that person three times.
A gathering in Wiccan traditions for one of the eight major holy days; timed around the solar cycle. See also: esbat.
A pagan festival marking the end of the harvest and the beginning of the winter. Believed to be Celtic pagan in origin, but increasingly observed by neopagans, Wiccans and other occult groups.
A spiritual technique of building an energy field around oneself; believed to protect one’s energy from escaping while guarding the individual from external negative energy.
A practice or ritual of burning certain plants, particularly herbs, to cleanse a space of negative energy.
Belief or philosophical systems that maintain that access to “divine wisdom” may be reached through mystical or spiritual experiences.
A ceremony or ritual performed to undo a baptism, whether originally done as a child or as an adult.
Wheel of the Year
A document in the Wiccan faith that summarizes the faith’s moral system; influential to other occult faiths.
Pagan Norse concept that corresponds to the idea of destiny or fate; an ancient term that has seen recent emergence in neopaganism, including contemporary Germanic neopaganism.