The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #23

The Dictionary of Traditional Magick and Etherical Science #23


A column by Gerald del Campo, The Dictionary of Traditional Magic and Etherical Science features ten author-selected definitions per column. The definitions included in Mr. del Campo’s Dictionary do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators or other contributors of this magazine.


(Alchemy) Mythical creatures which are symbols of elemental fire. In alchemy, a dragon in flames is a symbol of calcination. Several dragons fighting are symbolic of putrefaction. Flying dragons represent the volatile principle, while wingless dragons correspond to the fixed principle. A dragon biting its own tale is synonymous with Ouroboros and implies a fundamental unity of all things.


(Qabalah) Hebrew A legendary being of clay given life by magic.

Messianic awareness

(Qabalah) Hebrew Christ or Tiphareth Consciousness. A new sort of solar awareness which will enable all people to function from a level of collective unconscious, thereby creating effortless harmony.


(Philosophy) The branch of philosophy that studies the arrangement of reality. Central questions in metaphysics include: Can we act freely? What is it for something to exist? How are causes related to their effects? What is time? What is space? How is change possible?

Philosopher’s Stone

(Alchemy) A material believed to have the ability of transmuting base metal into gold. See elixir.


(Yoga) Sanskrit. The solar element in the kundalini, said to reside at the right side of the spine. It has heating qualities and is manipulated by breathing through the right nostril.


(Qabalah) Hebrew “Divine Presence.” The presence of God in matter. Synonymous with the Thelemic concept of Hadit. The bride of Melek, who was separated from her husband by the sin in the Garden of Eden. She is exiled in Malkuth.


(Logic) Skepticism is the claim that knowledge is either impossible or very difficult to obtain. Global skepticism is skepticism about all branches of knowledge. There are also several forms of local skepticism, which involve skepticism about one or more areas of knowledge, e.g., local skepticism about the external world may lead to solipsism.


(Ecclesiastic) A small mark, stain or scar. A birthmark. In the good ol’ days, a permanent brand usually burned into criminals to forever identify them with their crime. (An example would be the mark of Caine) In medicine, any visual indication of disease or abnormality. In psychology, a spot on the skin that bleeds as a symptom of hysteria. In biology, the receptive apex of the pistil of a flower, on which pollen is deposited at pollination. A stigma is most commonly known for its religious connotations. In Christianity, stigmata are sores or wounds corresponding in position to the wounds Jesus suffered at the crucifixion. In Thelemic circles, stigmata are the involuntary twitching and drooling which occur when winning internet flame wars from the safety of one’s computer.


A Chinese school of mysticism and magick that provided much of the foundation for medieval and renaissance ideas of alchemy. Taoism is hard to pin down, precisely for the reason that it is such a rich tradition, containing elements of shamanism, sexual magic, ceremony, divination, astrology and alchemy. There are striking similarities between Taoist occultism and certain elements of the Qabalah. The structure of the Yi King, for example, is derived from two lines known as Yin and Yang. These lines are combined into four double combinations of eight lines, and then into eight “trigram” combinations (24 lines) and from there to 64 “hexagram” combinations (384 lines). 2+8+24+384=418.


(Qabalah) Hebrew An angelic, virtuous person. An adept.

Vale of Tears

(Qabalah) A reference to Assiah, the World of Action. The concept is based on the idea that the soul is hesitant to descend from Yetzirah into Assiah.


(Alchemy) A transitional point or marker in alchemy, suggesting the place between the Black and White phases. A term used by Alexandrian alchemists to illustrate variations of the Fermentation process. Same as Yellow Phase.

Gerald del Campo has authored three books on the subject of Thelema: A Heretic’s Guide to Thelema, New Aeon Magick: Thelema Without Tears, and New Aeon English Qabalah Revealed. He is a photographer, musician and CEO for the Order of Thelemic Knights, the first Thelemic charitable organization. You can visit his blog at and his websites at and Gerald formerly served as Senior Managing Editor of Rending the Veil.

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