Glossary – T


Taoism

Refers to a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions that have influenced East Asia for more than two millennia, and have had a notable influence on the western world since the 19th century. The word Tao (or Dao, depending on the romanization scheme), literally translated as “path” or “way”, although in Chinese folk religion and philosophy it carries more abstract meanings. Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility, while Taoist thought generally focuses on nature, the relationship between humanity and the cosmos, health and longevity, and wu wei (action through inaction), which is thought to produce harmony with the universe. Reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals are also common in popular Taoism. Organized Taoism distinguishes its ritual activity from that of the folk religion, which some professional Taoists (Daoshi) view as debased. Chinese alchemy (including Neidan), astrology, cuisine, several Chinese martial arts, Chinese traditional medicine, feng shui, immortality, and many styles of qigong breath training disciplines have been intertwined with Taoism throughout history. (Wikipedia, fetched 1 Feb 2010)


Tarot

The seventy eight card tarot deck used by esotericists has two distinct parts:

  • The Major Arcana (greater secrets), or trump cards, consists of twenty two cards without suits; The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress, The Emperor, The Hierophant, The Lovers, The Chariot, Strength, The Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower, The Star, The Moon, The Sun, Judgement, and The World.
     
  • The Minor Arcana (lesser secrets) consists of fifty six cards, divided into four suits of fourteen cards each; ten numbered cards and four court cards. The court cards are the King, Queen, Knight and Jack, in each of the four tarot suits. The traditional Italian tarot suits are swords, batons/wands, coins and cups; in modern tarot decks, however, the batons suit is often called wands, rods or staves, while the coins suit is often called pentacles or disks.
     
  • The terms “major arcana” and “minor arcana” were first used by Jean Baptiste Pitois (also known as Paul Christian), and are never used in relation to Tarot card games. Tarot is often used in conjunction with the study of the Hermetic Qabalah. In these decks all the cards are illustrated in accordance with Qabalistic principles, most being under the influence of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and bearing illustrated scenes on all the suit cards. The images on the ‘Rider-Waite’ deck were drawn by artist Pamela Colman Smith, to the instructions of Christian mystic and occultist Arthur Edward Waite, and were originally published by the Rider Company in 1910. This deck is considered a simple, user friendly one but nevertheless its imagery, especially in the Major Arcana, is complex and replete with esoteric symbolism. The subjects of the Major Arcana are based on those of the earliest decks, but have been significantly modified to reflect Waite and Smith’s view of tarot. (Definition: Wikipedia, fetched 1 Feb 2010)


    Telepathy

    (from the Greek, tele meaning “distant” and patheia meaning “to be affected by”), is the ostensible transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five senses. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, specifically to replace the earlier expression thought-transference. A person who is able to make use of telepathy is said to be able to read the thoughts and stored information in the brain of others. Telepathy, along with psychokinesis forms the main branches of parapsychological research, and many studies seeking to detect, understand, utilize telepathy have been done within the field.

    Among the reasons the concept has not been accepted by the scientific community is that there is no accepted mechanism by which telepathy can work. As well, there is no definition which unambiguously distinguishes it from a number of other related concepts such as clairvoyance. (Definition: Wikipedia, fetched 1 Feb 2010)


    Thelema

    Thelema is the religion founded by Aleister Crowley after his membership in the Golden Dawn. Based on hermetic and Qabalistic principles, Thelema espouses that if a person follows their true will, they will find the momentum of the Universe behind them and will not encounter insurmountable conflict. The theory states that “every man and every woman is a star,” and stars in their orbits do not collide unless either you are seeking to exert your will over another or another is seeking to exert their will over you. Other tenets include the Holy Guardian Angel along with intricate views on compassion, finding one’s destiny, and so on.

    (Begin Wikipedia def.) Thelema is a philosophy or religion based on the dictum, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. … Love is the law, love under will,” as presented in Aleister Crowley’s The Book of the Law: Liber Al Vel Legis. The word is the English transliteration of the Koine Greek noun Θέλημα: “will”, from the verb Θη&#955ω: to will, wish, purpose.

    Crowley developed the belief system of Thelema following a series of experiences in 1904. He claimed to have arrived at the central credo of his religion primarily via a non-corporeal being, Aiwass, which dictated The Book of the Law to him during this time, although he acknowledged that earlier writers had influenced his system. This book contains both the phrase “Do what thou wilt” and the word Thelema in Greek, which Crowley took for the name of the philosophical, mystical and religious system which he subsequently developed. This system includes ideas from occultism, Yoga, and both Eastern and Western mysticism (especially the Qabalah). The Book of the Law formed part of the official syllabus of the A∴A∴, a magical order led by Crowley. Crowley referred to Thelema as the Word of the Law. He believed it formed the spiritual principle for a new aeon of humanity.

    Despite the frequent assumption that “Do what thou Wilt” is solely an exhortation to hedonism or licentiousness, Thelema as it was formulated by Crowley is a path of spiritual development based on seeking and putting into practice one’s True Will, or destiny, the soul’s Will rather than the ego’s desires. (End Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)


    Theoricus

    The Golden Dawn Theoricus grade is the third of the Golden Dawn system and moves the Zelator to the ninth sephirah of the Tree of Life, Yesod. The word Theoricus is from the Greek word for “beholder” and describes a person that knows theory, but not practice. This grade is represented by the numerical symbol 2=9.

    The primary distinction between the Zelator grade and the Theoricus grade is that the initial step in Malkuth is complete and the aspirant has the appropriate foundation to proceed. This grade focuses on the element of air and rises to approach the ethereal aspects of the Golden Dawn system. (Definition: Mystic Wikia, fetched 1 Feb 2010).


    Theosophy

    Theosophy is a doctrine of religious philosophy and metaphysics. Theosophy holds that all religions are attempts by the “Spiritual Hierarchy” to help humanity in evolving to greater perfection, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth. The founding members, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–91), Henry Steel Olcott (1832–1907), and William Quan Judge (1851–96), established the Theosophical Society in 1875.

    Theosophists believe that religion, philosophy, science, the arts, commerce, and philanthropy, among other “virtues,” lead people ever closer to “the Absolute.” Planets, solar systems, galaxies, and the cosmos itself are regarded as conscious entities, fulfilling their own evolutionary paths. The spiritual units of consciousness in the universe are the Monads, which may manifest as angels, human beings or in various other forms. According to Blavatsky, the Monad is the reincarnating unit of the human soul, consisting of the two highest of the seven constituent parts of the human soul. All beings, regardless of stature or complexity, are informed by such a Monad.

    Theosophical writings propose that human civilizations, like all other parts of the universe, develop cyclically through seven stages. Blavatsky posited that the whole humanity, and indeed every reincarnating human monad, evolves through a series of seven “Root Races”. Thus in the first age, humans were pure spirit; in the second age, they were sexless beings inhabiting the now lost continent of Hyperborea; in the third age the giant Lemurians were informed by spiritual impulses endowing them with human consciousness and sexual reproduction. Modern humans finally developed on the continent of Atlantis. Since Atlantis was the nadir of the cycle, the present fifth age is a time of reawakening humanity’s psychic gifts. The term psychic here really means the realization of the permeability of consciousness as it had not been known earlier in evolution, although sensed by some more sensitive individuals of our species.

    Most of present day humanity belongs to the fifth rootrace, the Aryans, which originally developed on Atlantis. The older races will eventually die out, as the fifth rootrace in time will be replaced by the more advanced peoples of the sixth root race which is set to develop on the reemerging Lemurian continent.

    Blavatsky claimed that “The occult doctrine admits of no such divisions as the Aryan and the Semite, accepting even the Turanian with ample reservations. The Semites, especially the Arabs, are later Aryans — degenerate in spirituality and perfected in materiality.” However, this statement was not made in a spirit of attacking any ethnicity. In fact, the main purpose of the Theosophical Society was “To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour,” and the Society’s membership actually includes members of all nations, races and religions. (Definition: Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)


    Third Eye

    The third eye (also known as the inner eye) is a mystical and esoteric concept referring in part to the ajna (brow) chakra in certain Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. It is also spoken of as the gate that leads within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. In New Age spirituality, the third eye may alternately symbolize a state of enlightenment or the evocation of mental images having deeply personal spiritual or psychological significance. The third eye is often associated with visions, clairvoyance (which includes the ability to observe chakras and auras), precognition, and out-of-body experiences, and people who have allegedly developed the capacity to utilize their third eyes are sometimes known as seers. (Definition: Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)


    Thought Bubbles

    Coined by Sheta Kaey, the term thought bubbles refers to a form of nonverbal communication practiced by spirits in the earlier training of a human in spirit contact. Thought bubbles are packets of information mentally lobbed at a person, who then catches it (this is metaphoric), opens it and assimilates the included information. The information usually contains sensory information, emotions, and impressions, and is often practiced when a spirit is visiting a distant physical location or person. It allows the human partner to receive the impressions the the spirit has perceived at that location, and can convey everything from the temperature or weather, any other spirits perceived, and physical descriptions (conveyed as images or feelings) of the locations and individuals present. In this way, the spirit can aid the human partner in remote viewing, or can share his/her “diagnosis” of a situation concerning the visited party.


    Tiphareth

    Tiphareth is the six sephirah in the Qabalastic Tree of Life, located in the center of the tree on the path of Equilibrium (the middle pillar). It’s English name is “Beauty,” and it serves as the sphere of attainment of Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. While most people reach Yesod and consider themselves enlightened or having reached “heaven,” Tiphareth resides beyond the veil separating Yesod from the rest of the tree, and it is essentially the gateway to spiritual attainment. Its planet is the Sun, and it is here that one finds the sacrificed and resurrected gods, such as Jesus Christ.

    (Begin Wikipedia quote) Tiphareth is the force that integrates the sephiroth of Chesed (“Compassion”) and Geburah (“Overpowering”). These two forces are, respectively, expansive (giving) and restrictive (receiving). Either of them without the other could not manifest the flow of Divine energy; they must be balanced in perfect proportion (by sharing), and this is the role of Tiphareth, wherein the conflicting forces are harmonized, and creation flowers forth.

    Tiphareth is the middle of the tree. Five sephiroth surround it: above are Chesed at the right (south) and Geburah at the left (north), and below are Netzach at the right, Hod at the left, and Yesod directly below. In the standard tree, Tiphareth has eight paths, leading (counterclockwise) to Kether (through Da’ath), Binah, Geburah, Hod, Yesod, Netsach, Chesed, and Chokmah. (End Wikipedia. Retrieved 1 Feb 2010.)

    Tiphareth’s vice is Pride, and its virtue is Devotion to the Great Work. Its spiritual experience is the Vision of the Harmony of Things, and the Mysteries of the Crucifixion.


    Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life, or Etz haChayim in Hebrew, is a mystical symbol used in the Kabbalah of esoteric Judaism [and its hermetic derivative] to describe the path to HaShem and the manner in which He created the world ex nihilo (out of nothing). The Kabbalists developed this concept into a full model of reality, using the tree to depict a map of Creation.

    Kabbalists believe the Tree of Life to be a diagrammatic representation of the process by which the Universe came into being. On the Tree of Life, the beginning of the Universe is placed at a space above the first Sephirah, named Kether (“crown” in English). It is not always pictured in reproductions of the Tree of Life, but is referred to universally as Ain Soph Aur (Ain — Without, Soph — End, Aur — Light). To the Kabbalists, it symbolizes that point beyond which our comprehension of the origins of Being cannot go; it is considered to be an infinite nothingness out of which the first ‘thing’ (thought of in science and the Kabbalah to be energy) exploded to create a Universe of multiple things. Kabbalists also do not envision time and space as pre-existing, and place them at the next three stages on the Tree of Life. First is Kether, or the Crown in English, which is thought of as the product of the contraction of Ain Soph Aur into a singularity of infinite energy or limitless light. In the Kabbalah, it is the primordial energy out of which all things are created. The next stage is Chokmah, or Wisdom, which is considered to be a stage at which the infinitely hot and contracted singularity expanded forth into space and time. It is often thought of as pure dynamic energy of an infinite intensity forever propelled forth at a speed faster than light. It is considered to be the primordial masculine energy, which is also referred to in Chinese Taoist philosophy as Yang. Next comes Binah, or Understanding, which is thought of as the primordial feminine energy, the Supernal Mother of the Universe which receives the energy of Chokmah, cooling and nourishing it into the multitudinous forms present throughout the whole cosmos. It is also seen as the beginning of Time itself. It is analogous to the Chinese concept of Yin, which together with Yang are considered to be the basis of all of Creation. There are many parallels between Taoist philosophy and the Kabbalistic conceptions of the Tree of Life. (Definition: Wikipedia, retrieved 1 Feb. 2010)


    True Will

    True Will is a tenet of Thelema as well as a reference to Thelema (“Will” in Greek) itself, referring to one’s soul will (i.e. to follow one’s destiny) rather than to one’s momentary whim for ego gratification (Mystic Wikia). The phrases in Thelema “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” and “Love is the Law, Love under Will” refer to the True Will. This is also the will referred to in the Wiccan Rede: “An’ it harm none, do as ye will.”


    Tyson, Donald

    Donald Tyson is a Canadian occult author with an extensive body of work. Titles include spirit companion-related books such as Sexual Alchemy: Magical Intercourse with Spirits, Familiar Spirits and Soul Flight: Astral Projection and the Magical Universe, as well as general occult works including The Magician’s Workbook, a recent version of the Necronomicon, Enochian Magic for Beginners, and many other works.

    I met Don via email in 1999 when a friend, aware of my relationship with Meridjet, told me about a book he had hear Tyson was writing. After a couple of email exchanges, our correspondence fell off until a couple of years later, when he helped populate my Spirit Companion Yahoo!Group by sending people my way. We started chatting on a daily basis and became quite close for a couple of years. I still consider him a good friend (and I’m fairly certain he considers me one as well), and feel I probably know him better than any other friend he’s ever had. He was married in January 2008. He still writes, but not as frequently.

    I recommend the Soul Flight book in particular.


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