AN ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY OF THELEMA & THE OCCULT

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N
Necromancy Communication with the dead, believed to be a repulsive practice in many cultures.  The spirits of the dead are sought because they can supposedly access information beyond that available to the living.
Necronomicon Said to have been written in Damascus in 730 AD by the 'Mad Arab' Abdul Alhazred, it is reputed to be the most evil of the Black Magick grimoires.  However, many others claim it was originally conceived by the horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890 – 1937) as a background for his story The Hound.
Nefesh The Zohar tells us that the grossest and lowest element of the three divisions of the soul, known as Nefesh, is the only grade capable of committing sin.  When Kabbalists speak of man’s vital principle, they refer to the Nefesh.  In Kabbalistic theory, a soul can be compared with a chain with one end connected to the brain and the other to a certain spiritual source.  There are five levels of the soul similar to the five links in a chain, each one parallel to the spiritual sphere where it exists: Nefesh (soul), Ruach (spirit), Neshamah (breath), Chayah (life) and Yechidah (singularity).  However, Kabbalists only relate to the three lower links as they currently have no real understanding of the top two.  The three they know of are Nefesh, Ruah and Neshamah.  The Nefesh is the spiritual existence which resides in the body and keeps the physical metabolism working and the person alive, i.e. the meaning of Nefesh is "life," particularly animal life.  Here the soul is a kind of material principle of vitality, which is separable from the inert substance of the body.  Nefesh also may refer to mental states, in particular to strong emotions or physical cravings.
Neo-Paganism Neo-paganism is either: the modern practice and adaptation of an ancient religion, or a new religion based on either ancient or new religious concepts, but usually based on a combination of these.  Neo-paganism simply means modern or contemporary paganism of which there are several varieties, although they do tend to share many characteristics.
Neo-platonism / Neoplatonism The modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy which took shape in the 3rd century AD, founded by Plotinus (205–270 AD), a major Greek philosopher, and based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists.
Neptune The eighth planet from the sun, Neptune was named after the Roman god of the sea, its counterpart in Greek mythology being Poseidon.  Astrologically, Neptune rules Pisces.
Neshamah The Zohar tells us that the Neshamah is the highest of the three grades of the soul, and even when it is not consciously realised it dominates the path that a man’s life takes.  Kabbalists say that a man cannot know the Neshamah until he dies, and yet they also tell us that the perfect devotee may come to know her.  In Kabbalistic theory, a soul can be compared with a chain with one end connected to the brain and the other to a certain spiritual source.  There are five levels of the soul similar to the five links in a chain, each one parallel to the spiritual sphere where it exists: Nefesh (soul), Ruach (spirit), Neshamah (breath), Chayah (life) and Yechidah (singularity).  However, Kabbalists only relate to the three lower links as they currently have no real understanding of the top two.  The three they know of are Nefesh, Ruah and Neshamah.  The Neshamah is the spiritual existence which pulls man towards God, to the performance of good deeds, to be pious and humble and to seek knowledge and achievement in spiritual fields.  The Neshamah resides around the head, and is the highest degree of the soul in the Kabbalistic system.
Netzach Netzach is the seventh Sphere (Sephirah) of divine emanation according to Kabbalah.  The word Netzach means victory.  See also Sephiroth.
Notarikon Notarikon is a methodology whereby deeper meanings are sought in words or phrases by taking the first or last letters of those words or phrases to make new words.
Nu / Nuit / Nut Usually depicted nude, her body made of stars arching over the world, she is the Egyptian Goddess of the sky who swallowed the sun each evening and gave birth to it each morning.  In Thelemic practice, Nut revealed herself to Aleister Crowley in her manifestation as Nuit (see the Book of the Law).
Numerology Numerology is used to analyse a person’s character.  It is a system of divination where words, names and numbers are reduced to single digits which correspond with certain occult characteristics that influence one’s life.
Nun The fourteenth letter of the Sacred Alphabet.  It literally means fish, has the phonetic value of N, and has a numerical value of 50.  It is further attributed to the Zodiacal sign Scorpio and the Tarot Trump Death.  When the letter Nun is placed at the end of a word it is given a different character and a numerical value of 700.

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