abacomancy: A method of divination using patterns of dust. In some cases the dust in remains of the recently deceased.

Abaddon: The name of the demon in Revelations 9.11, known as the angel of the bottomless pit.

abductee: Someone who claims to have had an abduction experience, in particular, abduction by extraterrestrials.

Abigor: The name of a demon who has the power to see into the future and provide military aid.

abominable snowman: AKA Yeti, a tall ape-like creature said to inhabit the Himalayan Mountains. The North American version is the Bigfoot.

abracadabra: Originally a Kabbalistic charm. In modern times used as a popular magical incantation.

abrasax: A mystical word linked to the solar cycle. It expresses the number 365 gematrically.

Achor: Cyrenean name for Beelzebub.

acupressure: A variation of Acupuncture that works by applying pressure to certain points on the body.

acupuncture: An alternative medicine discipline that works by stimulating certain points of the body with thin needles.

Adamastor: The name of a spirit inhabiting the Cape of Good Hope, which prophesises doom for those sailing beyond the cape towards India.

adept: A person skilled in the ways of the occult.

adjuration: A formula used by conjurers and exorcists dealing with evil spirits. The spirit is commanded in the name of the Christian God to obey the conjurer/exorcist.

adytum: A Greek word describing the holiest part of a temple. In occultism it describes the holiest area of an initiation centre.

aeromancy: The art of predicting the future by observing atmospheric events such as wind and cloud formations. AKA Austromancy.

aetites: A stone said to be found in the throat or stomach of an eagle, that can provide protection during childbirth.

agate: A stone said to give the bearer magical assistance such as the power of invisibility, as well as protection in battle.

Agathodemon: A benevolent spirit with a serpent's body and human head, worshipped by ancient Egyptians.

Age of Aquarius: A period of two thousand years beginning when the Sun enters the zodiac sign of Aquarius (some time between 1904 and 2160). This age is supposed to be associated with love, peace and enlightenment.

akasha: In Buddhism and Hinduism, the aether or force that exists everywhere and binds the Universe together.

Alastor: A demon in Roman mythology, the evil genius of a house.

Alberich: In Scandinavian mythology, the King of the Dwarves.

alchemy: An ancient proto-science involving the study of transmutating metals, in particular, turning base metals into gold. Alchemy is also symbolic of human transformation into higher states of existence.

alectromancy: The art of divination by using a cock or hen. The bird is placed in the centre of a circle surrounded by letters. The bird indicates letters which spell out answers to questions.

aleuromancy: The art of divination using flour. In one technique, sentences are written on pieces of paper, rolled up in flour and distributed amongst participants to tell them their future. Another method involves reading the residue left in a flour/water container.

alien: An extraterrestrial being, i.e. from some location other than the earth.

alien abduction: A phenomena in which people claim to have been abducted by aliens, usually an unpleasant experience, often involving painful procedures.

alomancy: The art of divination using salt in a similar way to aleuromancy.

alphitomancy: A method of judging a person's innocence or guilt by feeding them a specially-prepared barley loaf. If the accused suffers from stomach irritation or pain, they are deemed guilty.

amulet: An object used to ward off evil. Amulets can take many forms.

ancient astronauts: Extraterrestrial beings that are said to have visited Earth in the distant past, helping early humans develop culture and technology.

angel: An immortal being who acts as an intermediary or messenger between God and mortals. Although popular culture usually portrays angels as good, they can be good or evil.

Angelical Stone: A stone used for divination by Dr John Dee, astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I. Dee claimed to have been given the stone by the Angels Raphael and Gabriel. The stone is now housed at the British Museum.

animal magnetism: A supposed type of magnetism between living beings. Some claim that this force can be transmitted between people to help with healing. The concept was promoted by Austrian doctor Franz Anton in the late 18th Century.

animal psi: The apparent ability of animals to exhibit psychic powers such as clairvoyance, telepathy and even psychokinesis. Reported examples include the ability to sense impending danger, to sense the proximity of an owner, to sense harm to an owner at a distance, and to navigate unknown territory.

Anima Mundi: An ancient Latin term meaning "The Soul of the World".

anthropomancy: AKA Necromancy, a method of divination by raising the dead or interpreting the movements of a dead person's entrails.

anti-gravity: A hypothetical device or force which is immune to the effects of gravity. Various claims have been made about the invention of such devices but none have ever been reliably demonstrated.

Antichrist: The demon who is predicted to precede the Second Coming of Christ, in Revelation 13.

apparition: A supernatural manifestation of a person (dead or living), animals or objects. Ghosts are apparitions of dead people.

apport: An object or living being that materialises from thin air in the presence of a medium. Often claimed to be a gift from the spirits.

arcanum: Something hidden. The plural arcana refers to the varied knowledge of occult lore. It is also used to describe the 22 picture cards of the tarot card pack.

Archangel: "Senior" angels who are said to guide the spiritual lives of populations of people, rather than individuals who are tended to by angels. In Christianity and Judaism, seven archangels are each assigned one of the seven spheres of Heaven: Gabriel, Raphael, Michael, Uriel, Joophiel, Zadkiel and Samael (Satan).

Area 51: Popular name for part of a secret military base in North America, approximately 95 miles north of Las Vegas, rumoured to be home to research involving extraterrestrial beings and/or technology.

Area 54: Part of Area 51, rumoured to be the location of secret aircraft tests.

Arigó, José (1918-1971): Brazilian psychic surgeon said to be able to cure people with the assistance of the spirit of a deceased German doctor.

Arioch: One of the fallen angels in Milton's Paradise Lost (1667).

ariolater: A person who foretells the future by interpreting omens.

arithmomancy: Similar to numerology, the study of correlations between people, numbers and gods. Promoted by Pythagoras.

Ark of the Covenant: A gold chest said to contain the tablets upon which the Ten Commandments were inscribed.

ascendant: The degree of the Zodiac which is nearest the eastern horizon at the time of a person's birth.

Aset Ka: A spiritual society and metaphysical order of mysteries.

Ashtoreth: The Phoenician goddess of fertility and reproduction.

Asmodeus: A demon who appears in the Apocryphal book of Tobit, as a tormentor of Tobias's fiance.

aspects: In astrology, a large number of angular relationships between planets and other nodal points.

asport: An object or living being that vanishes from a location. Can be considered the opposite of an apport.

astragalomancy: A method of divination by throwing dice or bones.

astral: A vague term usually that usually describes the fabric of the heavens.

astral body: The spiritual version of the physical body, existing in the astral plane.

astral plane: The dimension inhabited by higher spiritual beings, invisible to humans but visited during sleep, trance states and after death.

astral projection / astral travel: Out-of-body experience.

astrology: The study of celestial bodies and their influences on Earthly life.

Atlantis: A mythological continent said to have existed thousands of years ago and inhabited by advanced civilisations. It is said to have been destroyed in an unknown cataclysm.

augur: A diviner or soothsayer.

aura: An apparent envelope of energy that surrounds human individuals. Invisible under normal circumstances but claimed to be seen by psychics and aura photographers (Kirlian Photography).

austromancy: Another word for aeromancy.

automatic writing: The practice of writing text while in a trance or state of altered consciousness. Used by mediums to communicate with the dead.

Avebury: A village in Wiltshire, England. Home of the Avebury Circle, one of the largest man-made prehistoric monuments in Britain.

axinomancy: A method of divination involving an axe; for example, heating the axe in the embers of a fire.