A DICTIONARY OF THE OCCULT

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B
Babalon Also known as The Scarlet Woman, Babalon is a goddess found in the mystical system of Thelema.  In her most abstract form, she represents the female sexual impulse and the liberated woman, although she can also be identified with Mother Earth, in her most fertile sense.
Baphomet Supposedly the legendary God of the Knights Templar, the Baphomet was first drawn by the Ritual magician Eliphas Lévi.  Some are of the opinion that the name derives from the Arabic 'Mahomet', while others believe it is a Kabbalistic cipher for Sophia, the Goddess of Wisdom.
Baton See Wand.
Beelzebub One of the oldest and most famous demonic figures, Beelzebub (also known as Beelzebuth and Baalzebub (Ba'al-zebub), had command over disease, his role being to tempt man.  Beelzebub is regarded as the representative of the fallen gods, often referred to as the Devil.  In Matthew Chapter 12, verse 24 we read But when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils."
Bell 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.
Beltane (Beltaine) A Spring fertility festival held on 30 April in Wiccan and other Neopagan traditions to celebrate the joining of the powers of the Goddess and the God to cause creation.
Besom A witch's broomstick (upon which she apparently 'flew' to Sabbats with her familiar - normally a cat), which is used to sweep away any negative energies from a 'sacred space' prior to the casting of a circle there.  See also magical Rite for 'casting a circle'.
Bible Code (The) A book was published in 1997 which changed the way the world looked at prediction.  This book was The Bible Code written by Michael Drosnin (which was followed by The Bible Code 2: The Countdown in 2002).  In The Bible Code, Drosnin tells us of a code that exists within the Holy Bible (written 3000 years ago) which predicts events that (in retrospect) have already happened, are happening now, and are still to happen.  The Code was deciphered by an Israeli mathematician (Dr Eliyahu Rips), using a computer-programmed 'skip sequence', which, after eliminating all spaces between words, then looked for key words encoded in the text.  Book 2 opens with the predicted destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York on 11 September 2001.  A third book, The Bible Code: The Quest was scheduled to be released in October 2007.  It was eventually released in October 2010 under a new subtitle of Saving the World.  The whole concept of a code hidden within the text of the Bible is by no means new.  Sir Isaac Newton, also convinced of its existence, was still searching for a Bible Code when he died.
Binah Binah is the third Sphere (Sephirah) of divine emanation according to Kabbalah.  The word Binah means understanding.  See also The Sephiroth.
Black Arts The term Black Arts refers to any Black Magick operations such as Necromancy, Sorcery, Witchcraft,Satanism etc., or any variation of such.
Black Magick Magick performed with the intent to harm someone or property, or to force someone to act against his or her will.  It is supposedly avoided and even spurned by Wiccans, as well as most Satanists and Ritual Magicians.
Black Mass The Black Mass was a way of lampooning the Catholic Mass, practiced occasionally by wealthy opponents of the Church in the 'Dark Ages'.  'Black Masses' used to be performed by priests to curse enemies, but this practice was condemned by the church.  During the witch trials of the Spanish Inquisition, witches were accused of this practice, but it is considered highly unlikely that it was practiced by commoners.  So, contrary to popular belief, it is not a standard practice in ancient or modern witchcraft.  Similarly, traditional (as opposed to secular) Satanists have been accused of conducting rituals which are specifically aimed at attacking Christian beliefs and practices (particularly the Roman Catholic Church), rituals in which they recite the Lord's Prayer backwards, or desecrate and use the host and wine stolen from a cathedral!  This is pure fiction which can be traced back to the Inquisition and to books written during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.  Examples of traditional Satanism are extremely rare, and testimonies of 'alleged former Satanists' and Satanic Ritual abuse have long since been discredited.
Boneyard A term used in Cleromancy, when all the dominoes have been turned face-down and shuffled, the collection/set of randomised tiles is referred to as the "boneyard".  The sitter draws tiles from the boneyard to form his/her spread.
Book of Changes The Book of Changes is also known as I Ching, an ancient sacred book of the Chinese.  It is one of the earliest works of Chinese literature, and one of the classics of Confucianism traditionally used for divination.  It consists of combinations of broken lines representing yin and yang, the interaction between which brings into effect all changes in the universe.
Book of Shadows Gerald Gardner coined the term Book of Shadows as a substitute for Grimoire.  In Wiccan tradition, the Book of Shadows is the book in which a coven or a solitary witch secretly keeps a record of spells and rituals.  Most such books were hand written and elaborately decorated, although many today are created on computers.
Briah Kabbalists believe the manifestation of our material world was caused by the immanent activity of God on four different planes, or in four worlds, simultaneously.  The 2nd World, the World of Creation, is called Briah.  It is here where the Merkabah takes form.  It is also in this world that the highest ranking angels and the pure spirits of all those who are truly pious reside.
Brujo Pronounced broo-hoe,this is Spanish for wizard.  In Mexico, it often describes people who use folk magic, but due to the impact of Christianity, it has now developed a negative connotation for many people.

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