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Pagan Basically, a heathen, i.e. someone who does not acknowledge your god as you see him/her.  Also, a practitioner of an Earth Religion, stemming from the Latin paganus, a country dweller.
Palmistry Also known as 'chiromancy' or 'cheiromancy', palmistry is a form of divination used to evaluate people's characters or foretell their future through the study of the palms of their hands.
Paranormal This relates to phenomena beyond the range of normal human experience or scientific explanation.
Parapsychology The investigation and study of the evidence for psychological phenomena, such as telepathy, clairvoyance and psychokinesis (see below), which are inexplicable by natural laws.  See also Society for Psychological Research.
Partsuf Singular of Partsufim.
Partsufim Also known as the countenances, this is a theory foreign to the Sefer Yetzirah, but fairly well developed in 'The Greater Assembly' of the Sefer Zohar.  Much of the theory of the countenances, as it is now, was worked out by Isaac Luria who began with the material to be found in the Zohar.  The Partsufim are the Macroprosopus (Kether), the Father (Chokmah), the Mother (Binah), the Microprosopus (the six Sephiroth from Chesed to Yesod, inclusive) and the Shekhinah.
Pathworking Pathworking is a magical technique closely associated with the Kabbalah.  It is traditionally a type of visionary experience associated with one of the paths of the Tree of Life, although its meaning has been extended to cover any type of semi-guided visualisation on a specific magical idea.  Pathworking usually follows a structure and may vary from a guided visualisation (where a scene is set and the events described by one person while they are visualised by the remainder of the group) to the visualisation of a specific symbol, or the intonation of a mantra with further visions being allowed to enter the mind of their own accord.  Pathworking is one of the methods used to further the understanding of particular magical ideas.
Peace Sign See Symbols used in Occultism.
Pentacle 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.  A Pentacle is a pentagram within a circle, the ritual altar tool used by Wiccans, Neopagans, and a variety of ritual magicians to represent the element of earth.  The term 'pentacle' has also been used as a generic term for any magical seal enclosed within a circle.  Pentacles is also a suit in the Tarot.
Pentagram A five pointed star commonly associated with Wicca, Ritual Magick, Satanism, and Freemasonry.  However, it was not until the twentieth century that the pentagram became associated with Satanism, probably due to misinterpretation of symbols used by ceremonial magicians.  The pentagram has a long and complex history as a religious symbol.  See also Symbols used in Occultism.
Philosopher's Stone A term used in Alchemy, also known as the 'Powder of Projection', a mysterious 'law/theory' having the power to transmute base metals into gold.  In Theosophy it symbolises the transmutation of the base animal nature of man into the divine.
Philosophy The word philosophy derives from a combination of the Greek words 'philos' meaning love and 'sophia' meaning wisdom.  It is the use of reason and argument in seeking truth and knowledge of reality, especially of the causes and nature of things and of the principles governing existence, the material universe, perception of physical phenomena, and human behaviour.  It can also be defined as the love of wisdom or knowledge; a study of the processes governing thought, conduct and ultimate reality.
Phrenology Phrenology is a theory (now discredited as a pseudoscience) which claims to be able to determine character, personality traits, and criminality on the basis of the shape of the head.
Pisces Pisces, the Fishes, is a water sign and the twelfth and last sign of the zodiac.  Pisces is ruled by the planet Neptune.
PK See Psychokinesis below.
Planchette Prior to the Ouija Board, a small basket with a pencil attached to one end was used to get 'written words' from the spirit world.  This evolved into a heart-shaped planchette, which had two rotating casters as legs, plus a pencil at its tip which formed the third leg.
Planetary Symbols See Other Symbols.
Pluto A small planet and the 9th from the sun.  Pluto was the god of the underworld in Roman mythology, synonymous with the Greek god Hades.  Astrologically, Pluto rules Scorpio.
Poltergeist A German word which translates into 'noisy or mischievous ghost'.  It is a term for a supposed spirit or ghost that manifests by moving and influencing inanimate objects other than through visible means or vocalisation, normally in the presence of a child or adolescent.
Powder of Projection See Philosopher's Stone above.
Precognition A term applied to having knowledge of something that has not yet happened, to see into the future, especially by ESP (clairvoyance).
Psi See ESP.
Psychic This widely used word, which can be both an adjective and a noun, means of the soul or mind.  It is the quality of being attuned to or adept at interpreting the more subtle psychic, or soul, faculties and energies.  One who is so attuned, such as a medium or an accomplished Yogi.  Psychic faculties include such extra-sensory perception as clairvoyance, clairaudience, retrocognition and psychometry (see below) amongst others.
Psychokinesis Psychokinesis, or PK, is the more commonly used term today for what in the past was known as telekinesis.  It is a term used in parapsychology (see above) to describe the ability to influence an inanimate physical object just by thinking about it (mind over matter), i.e. by exercising psychic powers.  The term 'remote influencing' is now also used extensively.
Psychology The scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes and how they affect an individual's or a group's physical and mental state.  Its goal is to describe, understand, predict, and modify behaviour (where necessary).
Psychometry This is the ability to glean information about a person or a place just by touching or holding a physical object that is somehow 'linked' to that person or place.
Pyromancy From the Greek 'pyros' (fire) and 'manteia' (divination), pyromancy is the art of divination by means of fire.

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