AN ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY OF THELEMA & THE OCCULT

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C
Cabala See Kabbalah.
Cake of Light The name of the Eucharistic host found within Thelemic Ritual.  It contains meal, honey, and oil for the base ingredients, and is usually cooked in the shape of a small, flat wafer.
Cancer Cancer, the Crab, is a water sign and the fourth sign of the zodiac.  Cancer is ruled by the Moon.
Candomblé An African religion, practiced chiefly in Brazil, which came from Africa via priests and followers who were taken as slaves between 1549 and 1850.  Although originally confined to the slave population, banned by the Catholic Church, and even criminalised by some governments, for about 2 million Brazilians (1.5% of the population) Candomblé is their established religion.
Capricorn Capricorn, the Goat, is an earth sign and the tenth sign of the zodiac.  Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn.
Cardinal Points The four major points on a compass, i.e. North, South, East and West.  When a circle is drawn around these points, they form the Quarters.
Cartomancy A form of fortune-telling or divination using a standard deck of playing cards, cartomancy has been practised since playing cards first came into use in Europe in the 14th century, although some practitioners claim its origins date back to Egyptian times, the art being derived from wisdom given to the ancient Egyptians by the god of writing, Thoth.
Cauldron The cauldron is a symbol of rebirth, the hearth, of abundance and of well- being.  Ancient Celtic tales tell of cauldrons from which no one ever went away from hungry and cauldrons that, when the dead were thrown into them, would bring the dead back to life.  These days, cauldrons represent the female aspect of divinity, the womb, and are used thusly in conjunction with rods, wands, swords and athames (depending on their size and the tradition) in symbolic representation of The Great Rite.
Celtic Cross The Celtic Cross originates from a pre-Christian variation of the Solar Cross, examples dating back as far as 5000 BC.  Its actual origins are uncertain, but it was known to be an early symbol of the 'sun god' Taranis, whose attributes were a lightning bolt and a solar wheel.  The name Taranis derives from the Celtic, or possibly Indo-European root 'taran', meaning 'thunderer' or 'thunder'.  The association of Taranis with the sun is known only from Caesar who describes him as 'the fire of the skies', (the sun), and the 'fire of the air', (lightning) and his voice 'thunder'.   After the Celtic people had been converted to Christianity, the Celtic Cross became an emblem of the Celtic Christian Church.  Irish legend tells us that the cross was introduced to Ireland by St. Columba, which explains why it is sometimes referred to as Columba's Cross, or the Ionic Cross, after his monastery on the Isle of Iona.
Ceremonial Magick Ceremonial Magick is often referred to as Ritual or High Magick.  It is a form of spiritual practice performed with the intention of achieving a personal spiritual transformation, or union with the Divine (God), through specially designed ceremonies or rituals.  The general distinction between ritual and ceremony is that a ritual is something that is done, while a ceremony is the way in which that something is done.  However, in general usage, these two terms are usually employed together.
Chakra A centre of energy located in the subtle body where the subtle nerve channels converge like the spokes of a wheel; six major chakras lie within the central channel.  When awakened, Kundalini shakti flows upward from the base of the spine through these six centres to the seventh chakra, the sahasrara.
Chalice A magical weapon is any instrument used to bring about intentional change.  In practice, magical weapons are usually specific, consecrated items used within ceremonial ritual.  There is no hard and fast rule for what constitutes or does not constitute a magical weapon.  If a magician considers it to be a weapon, then a weapon it is.  However, there does exist a set of magical weapons with particular uses and symbolic meanings.  Some such common weapons/tools include the dagger/sword, wand/baton, cup/chalice, pentacle/disk, holy oil, lamp and bell.  See Magical Weapons.  The ritual chalice originated in the Catholic Mass, where wine is ritually transformed into the blood of Christ.  It is a tool used in Ceremonial/Ritual Magick and Wiccan ceremonies.  It relates to 'cups' in the Tarot deck, and the watery signs of the zodiac.
Channeler See Medium.
Chaos Magick A type of Ritual Magick based on the work of Austin Osman Spare (1886 - 1956), in which the use of Sigils for magical purposes is central to the theme.  The term itself was coined by Peter Carroll (with Ray Sherwin, co-founder with Carroll of the Illuminates of Thanateros) in his book Liber Null.  Shortly after the well-documented Ice Magick Wars, Carroll published Liber Kaos and retired from active participation in the Order.
Chela A Buddhist term for novice.
Cherub In Christian tradition, the four Cherubim are associated with the four evangelists of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but the Cherubim were originally the ancient protectors of the Mesopotamian Tree of Life, usually depicted supporting the thrones of deities and kings.  They are the four winged creatures described in the visions of Ezekiel, each winged creature bearing four faces, those of a lion, a bull, an eagle, and a human head.  In Ritual or Ceremonial Magick, the four kerubim are the living energy of the Tetragrammaton.
Chesed Chesed is the fourth Sphere (Sephirah) of divine emanation according to Kabbalah.  The word Chesed means mercy.  Chesed is the first of the manifest Sephiroth.  See also The Sephiroth.
Cheth The eighth letter of the Sacred Alphabet.  It literally means fence, has the phonetic value of Ch, and has a numerical value of 8.  It is further attributed to the Planet Mercury and the Tarot Trump The Chariot.
Chiromancy / Cheiromancy See Palmistry.
Chokmah Chokmah is the second Sphere (Sephirah) of divine emanation according to Kabbalah.  The word Chokmah means wisdom.  See also The Sephiroth.
Choronzon The serpent Choronzon is the 'dweller' in the Abyss, the final great obstacle between the magician and true enlightenment.  Choronzon is known as the 'Demon of Dispersion', and described by Crowley as "a temporary personification of the raving and inconsistent forces that occupy the Abyss".  The name Choronzon has been popularised by Aleister Crowley, but it first occurred in the Enochian records of John Dee, where he is synonymous with the serpent of the garden.
Circe Also, Kirke.  Also called Aeaea.  In Classical Mythology the enchantress represented by Homer as turning the companions of Odysseus into swine by means of a magic drink.  Also a dangerously or irresistibly fascinating woman.
Circle Used in Ritual Magick and Wicca, the circle is the sacred space defined prior to performing a Magical Ritual.  In Ritual Magick the circle is used to create a protected space for the magician, normally during evocation of a spirit; a Wiccan/Neo-pagan circle is used to define a ritual space to protect those within from negative influences.  Casting the circle refers to the ritual creation of the magical circle, usually with a consecrated knife or sword.
Clairaudience A French word meaning 'clear hearing' and describing the ability to hear sounds removed from our natural hearing conditions or the environment.  Parapsychology refers to clairaudience as extra-sensory information received as sound.  To someone experiencing this, it is as if another person’s voice is being heard orally.  The sound, however, is not audible and the physical ear does not receive it.  It is closely allied to clairvoyance but the impressions are heard rather than seen.  Consequently, it could be likened to hearing with the spiritual ear or mental hearing.
Clairvoyance A French word meaning 'clear seeing'.  It is a paranormal mode of perception in which visual images are presented to the conscious mind.  The perception may be of objects, people and/or scenes from the present, past or future.  The clairvoyant experience may be spontaneous or induced through meditation, scrying or other methods of divination.
Cleromancy Divination by sortilege with dice, sometimes used synonymously with sortilege.
Coin See Pentacle.
Cold Reading Cold reading is a technique used by interrogators, hypnotists, psychics, graphologists, palmists, astrologers etc., to convince another person that they know more about them than they actually do.  The 'cold reader' will make several vague statements and observe the subject's reactions.  He/she will then refine the original statements according to those reactions.
Collective Unconscious Originally coined by Carl Jung, the 'collective unconscious' is a term used in analytical psychology.  Jung distinguished the 'collective unconscious' from the 'personal unconscious' specific to each human being, but Freud did not distinguish between an 'individual psychology' and a 'collective psychology'.  It is a product of ancestral experience containing such concepts as science, religion, and morality.  The collective unconscious could be considered a reservoir of the experiences of our species.
Consecration Consecration is an equally important magical operation, essentially the dedication, usually of a ritual instrument or space, to a specific purpose: "The ritual here in question should summarise the situation, and devote the particular arrangement to its purpose by invoking the appropriate forces.  Let it be well remembered that each object is bound by the Oaths of its original consecration as such.  Thus, if an object has already been made sacred to Jupiter, it cannot be used in an operation of Venus."
Cosmic Egg See Orphic Egg.
Countenances See Partsufim.
Coven The word coven was used specifically to denote groups of witches in the seventeenth century, but now also refers to a modern Wiccan magical group.  A coven usually comprises thirteen members, including a Priest and Priestess.  Hmmm .... who recalls the fact that Jesus Christ had twelve disciples?  And what part did Mary Magdalene play?
Covenstead A normal meeting place for a coven of witches.
Craft See Witchcraft.
Cross of Nero The Cross of Nero is now more commonly known as the Peace Sign, although many who see it are completely unaware of its origin or even how it came to symbolise 'peace'.  The Cross of Nero is an inverted cross, broken at the anchor of the cross and enclosed in a circle, representing Nero's vision.  Nero believed there would be world peace without Christianity, as a consequence of which thousands of Christians were martyred under his rule.  This symbol is also known as 'The Dead Man's Rune', and can be seen on the tombstones of some of Adolf Hitler's SS troops.  The Cross of Nero did not come to symbolise peace until the late 1960s / early 1970s during The Cold War (a period of tension and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union and their allies from the end of WWII until approximately 1990) when 'flower-power', created by the 'hippie movement', was at its height.  It was often worn as a necklace and could be found as graffiti on walls throughout the country.  The ‘hippies’ also painted their individual forms of transport, old Volkswagen Dormobiles in particular, in bright colours and flowers, but more significantly with the peace symbol.
Cup See Chalice above.

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