Glossary – S


Sahasrara Chakra

The crown chakra. From Wikipedia: Sahasrara is positioned above the head or at the top of it and it has 1000 petals which are arranged in 20 layers each of them with 50 petals. Sahasrara chakra symbolizes detachment from illusion; an essential element in obtaining supramental higher consciousness of the truth that one is all and all is one. Often referred as thousand-petaled lotus, it is said to be the most subtle chakra in the system, relating to pure consciousness, and it is from this chakra that all the other chakras emanate. When a yogi is able to raise his or her kundalini, energy of consciousness, up to this point, the state of Samadhi, or union with God, is experienced. It is often related to the pineal gland and the violet color.


Satanism

Satanism comprises a number of related beliefs and social phenomena. They share the feature of symbolism, veneration or admiration of Satan (or similar figures). Generally, those Satanists who believe in the Judeo-Christian concept of Satan are linked into the belief system of today’s Judeo-Christian religion, as they believe in the same theology presented in the Hebrew bible. Satan, also called Lucifer in many Christian religions, first appeared in the Hebrew Bible and was an Angel who challenged the religious faith of humans and the rule of Yahweh. In the Book of Job he is called “the Satan” (meaning “the accuser”) and acted as the prosecutor in God’s court. A character named “Satan” was described as the cosmic enemy of the Lord and temptor of Jesus within many of the Gospels of early Christians. It was further developed in scope and power as the bringer of Armageddon and Apocalypse as featured within the Book of Revelation.

Although Religious Satanism began in 1966 with the founding of the Church of Satan, there was also a late seventeenth century French moral panic against alleged satanism during the Poison Affair (1675-1682), which occurred during the reign of Louis XIV and dealt with accusations of widespread poisonings, infanticide and forgery, presided over by an alleged satanic social network, which had no actual substance but reflected the aforementioned pre-Enlightenment popular religious anxieties.

Modern Satanist groups (those which appeared after the 1960s) are widely diverse, but two major trends which can be seen are Theistic Satanism and Atheistic Satanism. Theistic Satanists venerate Satan as a supernatural deity. In contrast, Atheistic Satanists consider themselves atheists and regard Satan as merely symbolic of certain human traits. This categorization of Satanism (which could be categorized in other ways, for example “Traditional” versus “Modern”), is not necessarily adopted by Satanists themselves, who usually would not specify which type of Satanism they adhere to. Some Satanists believe in God in the sense of a Prime Mover but, like Atheistic Satanists, still worship themselves, due to the deist belief that God plays no part in mortal lives.

LaVeyan Satanism — Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in 1966 and his writings were the foundation of LaVeyan Satanism.

LaVeyan Satanism is a religion founded in 1966 by Anton Szandor LaVey. Its teachings are based on individualism, self-indulgence, and “eye for an eye” morality. Unlike Theistic Satanists, LaVeyan Satanists are atheists and agnostics who regard Satan as a symbol of man’s inherent nature. According to religioustolerance.org, LaVeyan Satanism is a “small religious group that is unrelated to any other faith, and whose members feel free to satisfy their urges responsibly, exhibit kindness to their friends, and attack their enemies”. Its beliefs were first detailed in The Satanic Bible and it is overseen by the Church of Satan.

Symbolic Satanism — Symbolic Satanism (sometimes called Modern Satanism) is the observance and practice of Satanic religious beliefs, philosophies, customs and rituals. In this interpretation of Satanism, the Satanist does not worship Satan in the theistic sense, but is an adversary to all spiritual creeds and religions, espousing hedonism, materialism, Randian Objectivism, antinomianism, rational egoism, suitheism, individualism, Nietzschean and some Crowleyan philosophy and anti-theism.

Casual or adolescent satanism — In this context, adolescents use satanic symbols like the inverted pentagram, the trappings of the black mass, or demonic imagery to provide the impression of satanism. This is a liminal experience, intended to shock susceptible individuals and does not imply actual interest, or even belief, in the rites, symbolism, and philosophies of the various forms of satanist religious practice cited above. (Definition: Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)


Saturn (astrology)

Saturn is the planet of concentration, permanence, tangible rewards, tenacity, ambition, and productivity. This taskmaster planet also rules caution, delay, constriction, limitation, responsibility, rules and regulations, pain, fear, authority, discipline, control and denial. Before you say, “Ugh!”, consider this: Without Saturn, we would see little or no progress. We live in a tangible world, and Saturn urges us to deal with reality. Without Saturn we would have no gumption, no standards, or controls, no structure‹just chaos. Saturn grabs us by the collar and forces us to confront reality. When Saturn touches a specific area in your chart, that area experiences a kind of slow-down, or freeze. Saturn is cold and icy. This planet is also considered heavy or leaden. Saturn, the Great Teacher planet, brings maturity and teaches us the value of patience and sacrifice. Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn. It rules the base structure of everything, from teeth and bones to the organizational hierarchy of a company. It governs historical, artistic, or archeological artifacts. It takes 29 years to circle the zodiac, and stays in each sign for two and a half years. (Definition: Astrology Zone, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)


Scrying

Scrying (also called crystal gazing, crystal seeing, seeing, or peeping) is a magic practice that involves seeing things psychically in a [physical] medium, usually for purposes of obtaining spiritual visions and more rarely for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The media used are most commonly reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. Scrying has been used in many cultures as a means of divining the past, present, or future. Depending on the culture and practice, the visions that come when one stares into the media are thought to come from God, spirits, the psychic mind, the devil, or the subconscious. Although scrying is most commonly done with a crystal ball, it may also be performed using any smooth surface, such as a bowl of liquid, a pond, or a crystal. (Definition: Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)

I’d like to add to the above that not all scrying is done via tools such as crystal balls or mirrors. Scrying is possible, perhaps even easier, without the use of these tools. It involves seeing with the mind’s eye or subtle senses, and oftentimes trying to learn to scry with a tool is more difficult, as the practitioner may believe that he is supposed to physically see images within the tool. In my experience, this is rarely the case, and a practitioner who seeks actual images may block or dismiss images received psychically.


Sephirah

The singular term for the individual spheres on the Qabalistic tree of life.


Sephiroth

The plural or collective term for the spheres on the tree of life.


Shade

While terminology regarding spirits is varied and rather arbitrary, I define a shade as the shell of a person who has passed on, containing his or her memories, personality, and so forth. A shade is inanimate, but can be tapped by a medium and operated by an spirit who takes a notion, giving it the semblance of life and giving the impression that one is actually speaking to the departed. This shade is the type of ghost that is most commonly seen in cases of mediumship, such as that done by the infamous John Edward. Sometimes the spirit using the shade is helpful, and at other times it is unhelpful or even malevolent. When an inexperienced person uses a Ouija board to talk to his or her dead relatives, it is usually a shade that they end up talking to — operated by a spirit who may or may not think it is helping, but that in reality is only perpetuating a lie.

This is not to say that the departed spirits of the dead cannot ever be reached; however, it is rare and unlikely to occur unless that departed spirit has a vested interest in communicating. Examples of vested interest can include spirits who assimilate their life experiences (via something such as “crossing the Abyss“) and returns to serve as a spirit guide to a loved one or a stranger, or spirits who, for whatever reason, choose to actively remain in the material sphere of influence (more accurately called a “ghost“).


Shakti

From Sanskrit shak — “to be able,” meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that move through the entire universe. Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as “The Great Divine Mother” in Hinduism. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.

Not only is the Shakti responsible for creation, it is also the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force. Shakti exists in a state of svatantrya, dependence on no-one, being interdependent with the entire universe.

In Shaktism, Shakti is worshiped as the Supreme Being. However, in other Hindu traditions of Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Shakti embodies the active feminine energy Prakriti of Purusha, who is Vishnu in Vaishnavism or Shiva in Shaivism. Vishnu’s female counterpart is called Lakshmi, with Parvati being the female half of Shiva. (Definition: Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)


Shaktipat

Shaktipat is a Sanskrit word in the Hindu spiritual tradition that refers to the act of the spiritual energy of kundalini being conferred on a disciple or student, by a guru or spiritual teacher in whom it is already active. Shakti translates as “spiritual energy” and “pat” as “descent (to fall down).” Shaktipat can be intermediated by the spiritually enlightened master either by transmission of sacred word or mantra, a look, a thought or by touch. The touch is usually given to the ajna chakra or third eye of the disciple. Shaktipat can be transmitted in person or at a distance, through an object such as a flower or fruit, or via telephone or letter. (Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)

Shaktipat activation or manipulation of kundalini in the recipient may be felt as an intense tingling on the surface of the skin that does not dissipate until the area is rubbed. This may be felt directly upon a chakra (not limited to the seven well-known chakras aligned with the spine), or anywhere on the body that the nadis travel. It can be conveyed with a kiss, for instance.


Shiva

Shiva (meaning “Auspicious one”), is a major Hindu deity, and one aspect of Trimurti. In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the Supreme God. In the Smarta tradition, he is regarded as one of the five primary forms of God. Followers of Hinduism who focus their worship upon Shiva are called Shaivites or Shaivas. Shaivism, along with Vaisnava traditions that focus on Vishnu and Sakta traditions that focus on the goddess Shakti are three of the most influential denominations in Hinduism.

Shiva is usually worshiped in the abstract form of Shiva linga. In images, he is generally represented as immersed in deep meditation or dancing the Tandava upon Maya, the demon of ignorance in his manifestation of Nataraja, the lord of the dance.

In major Hindu denominations, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva represent the three primary aspects of the divine, and are collectively known as the Trimurti. In this school of religious thought, Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu is the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva is the destroyer or transformer. (Definition: Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)


Shushumna

One of the nadis that channel kundalini energy through the body. From Wikipedia: Sushumna Nadi connects the base chakra to the crown chakra. It is very important in Yoga and Tantra in general. In Raja Yoga or Yoga of Patanjali, when the mind is quieted through Yama, Niyama, Asana and Pranayama the important state of Pratyahara begins. A person entering this state never complains of Dispersion of Mind. This is characterized by observing the movements/jerks in Sushumna, the central canal in the subtle body. The movements indicate the flow of Prana through the central canal and in the process, the sushumna makes the way for the ascent of Kundalini.


Spirit

“Spirit” is one of those very generic words that confuse people. :) In my personal definition, a spirit is an autonomous, incorporeal (non-physical) being. The word encompasses both those who’ve never incarnated into this reality and those who’ve been here and gone.


Spirit Companion

Coined by Sheta Kaey ™1999. Often abbreviated “SC,” a spirit companion is similar to what Donald Tyson has termed familiar spirits, meaning discarnate entities that attach or associate themselves to a particular person or persons for the purpose of aiding them or sharing a relationship with them. I coined the term in 2001, when I formed my Yahoo!Group for purposes of meeting others experiencing this phenomenon. The term “spirit companion” has come to include spirit guides, spirit lovers, or any other constant incorporeal companion, but I originally sought individuals whose companions were lovers, friends, and teachers of deep, profound lessons.

I first met Donald Tyson in 1999 and I am mentioned in his books Sexual Alchemy: Magical Intercourse with Spirits, Familiar Spirits and Soul Flight: Astral Projection and the Magical Universe, though not by name as that’s not how Don operates. I am now seen as an authority in the subculture surrounding the phenomenon, and as a spearhead of the growing state of awareness.


Spirit Guide

A spirit guide is, quite simply, a spirit who guides a person, whether that guidance be as simple as a prompt to carry an umbrella on a sunny day, a directive to move to a new home or city, or a fully interactive relationship leading the person to their highest potential. Learning to hear a spirit guide is a matter of listening to that small, still voice within, which may then progress to more interaction and conscious contact.


Spirit Lover

A spirit lover is a spirit who shares an intimate relationship with a human being, though the term is loaded with preconceptions such as incubi and succubi. But in the same way that you would not call a person who coerces you into sex or rapes you a “lover,” in my opinion it is a misnomer to call a coercive spirit a “spirit lover.” Your mileage may vary.


Spiritual Evolution

This is, in essence, the concept that one continues to evolve beyond one’s physical lifetime, but also, for me, includes the idea that we incarnate as a means to further that evolution. Whether one believes in reincarnation or not, our physical lifetime can easily be viewed as a compressed learning experience in a “self-contained classroom,” providing rapid learning in a multitude of situations that otherwise seem to have no clear meaning. Everything that happens to us teaches us something. No one else will ever suffer as simply a means to teach us, because every experience affects everyone it touches. These are not parts of a system of punishment and reward, but only are ways to reach many people at once. And while we may ask ourselves why we or those we love have been put through the anguish of loss, death, disease, and other difficult situations, we can only accept those situations with as much grace as possible, letting them shape us as a sculptor will shape his clay. It’s with this grace and acceptance that we cease to be victims and grow to become more than we could otherwise have been.


Substantial Connection

Substantial connection refers to contact with the spirit companion that “feeds” you. I liken it to an infusion of enzymes that your body drinks in with a feeling of deep satisfaction. When you connect to a companion emotionally, it creates an energy loop that feeds you both without draining either. Just as hugging someone you’ve missed gives you both a feeling of warmth and happiness, this contact provides an element of emotional fulfillment that you can’t gain alone.


Subtle Planes/Bodies

Coined by Sheta Kaey. Less specific, less loaded term for the astral (et al) plane(s), for those who hate the word “astral.” Since Michelle Belanger uses subtle senses, odds are she uses these terms as well, but I don’t know that for certain.


Subtle Senses

Coined by Michelle Belanger and Sheta Kaey† My definition — The astral version of the physical senses, plus empathy and what many call clairsentience (the ability to feel via one’s inner radar what another person is thinking, what they’re like, etc) and any other sense that defies physical analogy. These senses can be active to varying degrees in various individuals, from dead nothing to very impressive, but they can be strengthened in most and possibly all people with regular exercise, just like any other muscle or skill. Anyone with any latent talent who gives sufficient attention to the development of these senses can experience all five physical senses and a range of subtle-only senses with not much effort at all.

— I was told that Michelle Belanger also uses this term. A Google search reveals that she has a book with this phrase in its subtitle. I can only assume she means the same thing, but I did come up with this independently, several years back. I have used my definition because I don’t have hers. I recently contacted Michelle and we are emailing back and forth when time permits; however, we haven’t yet discussed the particular term. I’ll get back to you.


Succubus

Traditionally, a succubus is a female (or acting female) spirit that seduces an unwilling, often sleeping, male human into carnal relations in order to feed off the sexual energy. This act is said to drain the human of his life force, or at the very least to drain him of rest. Succubi and their male counterparts, incubi, are seen in religions such as Christianity as demonic.


Sun

Coming soon!


Supernal Triangle

Coming soon!


Swords

Coming soon!


Synchronicity

Coming soon!


Synchronized Phasewalking Interactive Network (SPIN)

Coined by Sheta Kaey. This is the phenomenon of meeting online in group chats for the purpose of giving limited feedback (in the course of regular discussion) while each member of the group phasewalks to an agreed upon location. I started out using my astral temple, and later expanded to an entire house which Meridjet then moved into (becoming more tangible in the process). I drew a basic map layout of the house and taught several people to phasewalk using it as a gateway. Over the last several years, I’ve never failed to get at least some success from everyone who has seriously attempted it under my instruction — and usually the student is stunned by his or her ability to accomplish this feat. It’s grown into a sort of hobby for many.


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