The word ‘esoteric’ comes from the Greek word esōterikós which means ‘inner’. It dates back to the 1650′s and is also associated with ‘belonging to an inner circle’. According to Lucian, the division of teachings into exoteric (outer) and esoteric (inner) knowledge, originated with Aristotle. Hidden knowledge is sometimes called ancient knowledge. It is commonly understood though, that all religions, all myths, all beliefs, all popular heroic legends of all peoples and all countries are based on the recognition of the existence sometime and somewhere of a knowledge far superior to the knowledge which we possess or can possess, unless you belong to an organization or group of people, to whom this ‘secret’ knowledge is shared.
Examples of the idea of hidden knowledge can be found in legends and stories, such as that of the legend of the ‘Holy Grail’. The Holy Grail, the cup from which Christ drank (or the platter from which Christ ate) at the Last Supper and in which Joseph of Arimathea collected Christ’s blood, was according to a medieval legend brought to England.
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The word Occult, for many conjures up a vision of dark forces or participants in supernatural activity of a dubious nature. Where in reality the word Occult taken from the Latin word ‘Occultus’ simply means ‘hidden’ or ‘secret’. It also means a knowledge of the paranormal, esoteric ritual and words of power. Because many dark magic practices were often carried out in secret, the word Occult came to define this type of activity. But, in truth it represents so much more then that. Many spiritual principles come under the ‘umbrella’ term of the word occult.
While many of these principals are still kept under a cloak of mystery, the true nature of it’s roots, lies in paganism and nature based philosophies, which are now more well known, and thus, less frightening to the general public. Occult practices are ancient and modern as well. Many occult practices and occult power is passed from person to person, and these teachings are not widely available for public view, and so this tends to lend to the word occult, an aura of mystery. Over time there have been many secret or occult societies from the Rosicrucians to the Knights Templars and the Illuminati to name but a few.
Read More: The Occult