It seems most modern American’s view the Occult as something sinister, dark and even evil. The web site, gotquestions.org explains it on their page What is the Occult? as :
hidden, secret and mysterious, particularly pertaining to the supernatural.” Examples of occult practices are astrology, witchcraft (Wicca), the black arts, fortune telling, magic (both black and white), Ouija boards, Tarot cards, spiritism, parapsychology, and Satanism.
Gotquestions goes on to explain that Occult practice begins as harmless fun that sucks the individual into a dark place they can’t return from. And, that Occult practice itself is a quick answer to life’s difficult questions. They then accuse all Occultists as false prophets trying to veer the general public away from the Gospels of Jesus Christ.
Of course, Jesus Christ has Occult literature such as the Gnostic Gospels of Thomas, and other works of Early Christianity from a number of mystical sources. This mystical Christian Tradition again thrived in the Middle Ages with woman like Hildegarde of Binen.
In this light, the Occult is another layer of understanding that can be obtained to acquire a deeper insight into your religion, or any religion, or any form of spirituality; or into a comparative evaluation of the general mystical experience.
So, than what is the Occult?
According to Merriam Websters Online definition:
Occult is a transitive verb that means to shut off from view or exposure
From this perspective, Occult can be applied to just about everyone and everything.
Maybe, you simply closed your bedroom blinds because you didn’t want your neighbors to see you reading a book on Chinese Alchemy. They might accuse you of corrupting the young and burn your house down while you sleep comfortably in your own bed.
I too was taught that the Occult is evil. That the Occult is psychopaths in black robes chanting ancient spells to summon demons powerful enough to harm you. I believed that if I opened up a book labeled Occult. I would be sucked into the text by some Grand Master General of Satan’s Infernal Army and never come back.
I found more good that harm in what I read. The dark evil stuff is only a fractal of the literature of what’s labeled Occult that includes: Alternative History like Atlantis, psychology, mathematics, religion and modern day Theoretical Physics. It also includes puesdo science like Alchemy, Astrology, Numerology and Cyrptozoology.
I’ve even opened up a few dusty Grimories: books of Black Magik like the Greater Keys of Solomon. These texts even warn not to use these for selfish acts, or be prepared to suffer the consequences.
All Occult knowledge can be used for the greater good or for great evil. It depends on the individual’s intentions and understanding of this information.
So, why does such a dark storm cloud hover around something that’s just as much good as evil? If the Occult can drag you through hell, than it can certainly lift you up into heaven.
The Occult is empowering. It deepens our understanding of forces outside our day to day realm; and forces us to reevaluate our selves, our lives and the world around us. This lets the individual openly explore all world knowledge, find wisdom and explore truth; and the natural authority to express it freely.
The very core of all Occult knowledge both religious and secular, is to help the individual better understand themselves.
What’s not more dark and mysterious than the true unseen self repressed by media propaganda, church dogma, school regulations and public superstitions?
This demonic attitude towards the Occult is a demon. It causes greater harm on the public good than the individual could ever do onto themselves; especially when the Occult slays as many demons as it creates.
After reading many books on the Occult, the general idea is to transcend the material world by finding true inner consciousness through the process of sacrifice, death and rebirth for the greater good as the only process upon which one can obtain true insight into the greatest Mysteries of life.
It is a complete surrender of body, mind and soul to the unseen divinity hidden deep within the core of our being. The Occult practices including magic, tarot reading and palm readings are tools of guidance to help us pick up hints or insights into ourselves from these unseen forces present in nature. It is not an easy fix.
I’ve never read an Occult text that proclaimed they had all the answers and it was easy street to the good life. They always proclaim that self discipline, mental balance, the search for pure truth, a positive outlook, Universal Wisdom and having absolute faith in yourself are key to success; beginning first with the mystery of the self before gradually manifesting these thoughts into their physical equivalent.
This is the true essence of the Occult.