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What is the Occult?

The occult is a group of supernatural beliefs and practises that are usually not part of religion or science. These include things like mysticism, spirituality, and magic. It can also be used to talk about things that aren’t real, like extrasensory perception and parapsychology. The term “occult sciences” was used in 16th-century Europe to refer to things like astrology, alchemy, and natural magic, which aren’t true today but were used in the past. The term “occultism” came into use in 19th-century France, where it was used to describe groups of French esotericists who were linked to Éliphas Lévi and Papus. In 1875, the esotericist Helena Blavatsky used the term in English. Throughout the 20th century, the term was used by a wide range of different authors. By the 21st century, it was used to refer to a wide range of esoteric trends that started in the mid-19th century and their descendants. Occultism is used to group esoteric traditions like Spiritualism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and the New Age into groups. The use of the term as a nominalized adjective has grown a lot since the late twentieth century. In that same time, the occult and culture were combined to make the new word occulture.

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