A DICTIONARY OF THE OCCULT

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Mabon This is the Autumn equinox, celebrating the gathering of the final harvest by Neopagans and Wiccans.  It is one of the eight Sabbats or holidays in the Neopagan festival calendar, and takes place on 1st or 2nd September depending upon tradition.
Macrocosm The greater world or universe, distinguished from the Microcosm (see below) with which it corresponds (as above, so below).
Macumba See Lukumi.
Magi Plural of Magus.
Magician Someone who is skilled in the mysterious and hidden art of magick, with the ability to attain objectives, acquire knowledge, and perform 'works of wonder' using supernatural or non-rational means.  Some of the more modern magicians, such as Aleister Crowley and those who follow the teachings of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or the Ordo Templi Orientis, describe magick in rational terms, using definitions (meanings of words, terms or phrases), postulates (starting assumptions from which other statements are logically derived) and theorems (statements which can be proved on the basis of explicitly stated or previously agreed assumptions).
Magick Magick is usually defined as ritual acts performed with the intent to cause change or to transform the magician or the environment.  The loosest definition of magick is an act of intent or will designed to result in a specific outcome.
Magical Record A magical record is a journal or similar source of documentation containing magical events, experiences, ideas, and any other information that the magician may see fit to add.  Aleister Crowley wrote, "It is absolutely necessary that all experiments should be recorded in detail during, or immediately after their performance.  The more scientific the record is, the better.  Yet the emotions should be noted, as being some of the conditions.  Let then the record be written with sincerity and care; thus with practice it will be found more and more to approximate to the ideal."
Magical Weapons As with magick, a magical weapon is any instrument used to bring about intentional change.  With that said, in practice, magical weapons are usually specific, consecrated items used within Ceremonial/Ritual Magick.  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, disk/coin, holy oil, lamp and bell.  See also Thelema - magical Weapons.
Magus Used to denote an accomplished ritual magician, the plural form being Magi.  The root word of magick and magician, magus is taken from Simon Magus, the name of a first century magician/healer who was reviled by the early Christians.  See also Magician above.
Major Arcana The name given to the 22 'Trump' cards in a Tarot deck.  Arcana is the plural form of the Latin word 'arcanum', which means 'closed' or 'secret'.  See also Minor Arcana below.
Malkuth Malkuth is the tenth and final Sphere (Sephirah) of divine emanation according to Kabbalah, representing the plane of material existence.  The word Malkuth means kingdom.  See also The Sephiroth.
Malleus Maleficarum Translated as The Witches Hammer, this is one of the most important late medieval theological texts against witchcraft.  It was written by two Dominican friars, Jakob Sprenger (1436-1495) and Heinrich Kramer (1430-1505), and filled with detailed descriptions and definitions, as a result of which it quickly became the most authoritative study of witchcraft and the methods of detecting it.  Thus it became the handbook for witchfinders, and served as a guide to the Holy Inquisition for more than a century.
Mandala A sanskrit word meaning ‘section’, a mandala is a symmetrical design used for meditational, or spiritual purposes.  Tibetan Buddhists are known for the mandalas they take months to make from coloured grains of sand, which, when complete, they blow away to demonstrate the impermanence of all things.  See also glyph.
Mantra A chanted sacred mystic syllable, word or verse used in meditation and japa (continuous chanting, i.e. repetition of a mantra) to still the mind, to balance the inner bodies, and to attain other desired aims.  In her book Initiations and Initiates in Tibet, Alexandra David-Neel speaks briefly of the mystical use of the mantra, Aum mani padme hum! (‘The Jewel is in the Lotus!’).  Each of the six syllables refers us to a specific world or universe.  As the practitioner breathes in while repeating the mantra, the worlds come into being within his body, an event he is to visualise.  As he breathes out, they dissolve into nothingness.
Mark of the Beast See Symbols used in Occultism.
Mars The 4th planet from the Sun, named after the Roman god of war, the counterpart to Ares in Greek mythology.  Astrologically, Mars rules Aries.
Martinism A mystical tradition, founded by Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin in 18th century France.  The 20th century saw a revival of some of the practices which pre-date Martinism proper and which directly inspired it.  Martinism is a form of mystical or esoteric Christianity, which sees the figure of Christ as The Repairer who enables individuals to attain an idealised state similar to that in the Garden of Eden prior to the Fall.
Materialisation The unusual or paranormal manifestation or appearance of a spirit as 'matter' (basically, someone who has passed away appearing in bodily form).  It can also refer to the sudden appearance of an apport.
Meditation The practice of inner focus which renders an advanced state of awareness.  It includes a variety of techniques for some individuals that may or may not incorporate spirituality which can calm and soothe as well as provide insight.
Medium In spiritualism, a medium (often called a channeler) or spirit medium is someone who claims the ability to receive messages from spirits, ghosts, or other discorporate entities, or claims to be able to channel such entities, i.e. to write or speak in the voice of these entities rather than in his/her own voice.  This may be in a language completely unknown to the medium, a phenomenon known as xenoglossy.
Mercury The smallest planet in the solar system and the closest to the sun, Mercury was the messenger god in Roman mythology, and the counterpart of Greek Hermes.  Astrologically, Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo.
Merkabah Practical Kabbalism concentrated on the Maaseh Merkabah (The History of the Divine Throne or Chariot).  The Maaseh Merkabah centred on the mystical adoration of the Throne Chariot of God (as described in Ezekiel Chapter 1, verses 26-28).
Microcosm The lesser, physical world, said to parallel the Macrocosm (see above), or greater world (as above, so below).
Minor Arcana The name given to the 4 suits of cards in a Tarot deck.  See also Major Arcana above.
Mishna See Talmud.
Moon The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite, taking 27 days and 8 hours to circle the Earth.  Astrologically, the Moon rules Cancer.
Mystic A term applied to someone who believes in the existence of realities above and beyond the realm of human comprehension.
Mysticism The belief that one can rise above reason to achieve direct union with God or the Divine through meditation and intuition.  In mystical practices, one attempts to merge with God or the Divine through a disciplined quest to achieve enlightenment.  Some forms of mysticism include the Kabbalah, Sufism (Islam), Yoga, and Buddhism.

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