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Dictionary of Spiritual Terms – S

spiritual dictionary Dictionary of Spiritual Terms - S Dictionary of Spiritual Terms - S pic1Scrying: A form of divination by gazing into something, usually a reflective surface.

Seance: A meeting in which participants attempt to receive messages from spirits of the dead.

Sect: The word comes from the Latin root word, meaning ‘to cut into parts’.

A sect, in its more general sense, is a a group that broke off of (or was thrown out of) another larger group for some specific reason.

Such groups are usually small, but that’s not always the case. Anglicans were a Roman Catholic sect, Methodists were an Anglican sect, Nazarenes were a Methodist sect. Christianity was a Jewish sect. The term should not be used after the group has established its own clear identity and place in the society over time. Thus the above examples were sects, but no longer are.

In the social sciences, the term ‘sect’ has a more specific meaning. It’s applied to a group that rejects the established social order to form its own community built upon specific principles or persons.

‘Sectarian’ means that the matter is of concern mostly to those who are either part of the sect or of the group it split from. To others, a ‘sectarian’ matter can be unimportant or puzzling.

Set: Also known as Seth, Seti. The ancient egyptian god of darkness and evil. Known for murdering his brother, but was also revered as a protector of Egypt. Set was one of the earliest Egyptian deities, a god of the night often identified with the northern stars. He was variously hailed as a source of strength, and a protector, especially from the serpent Apep. Within Egyptian theology, there are conflicting opinions regarding Set’s strength and warlike resolution. At first, pictures of a god with two heads- that of Set, as the god of darkness, and that of his brother Horus, god of light, appeared. At first this was a symbol of harmony, the union of polarities. However, later, it was regarded as a symbol of the conflict between dark and light. Set is depicted as being untamed and wild looking with white skin and fiery red hair.

Shaman: Among tribal peoples, a magician, medium, or healer who owes his powers to mystical communion with the spirit world. Characteristically, a shaman goes into auto-hypnotic trances, during which he contacts spirits. Shamans are found among the Siberians, Eskimos, Native American tribes, in S.E. Asia, and in Oceania.

Shamanism: The religion of the ancient peoples of northern Europe and Asia, generally characterised by the ability of the Shaman to communicate with the spirit world. Major facets of Shamanism are animism, possession, prophecy/revelations, shapeshifting, and soul travel.

Shapeshifting: A very esoteric practice involving changing the human form. This can be practiced while on the astral plane, this alone is a great accomplishment. It is said that one can also shapeshift on the physical plane, though documented proof of this is nonexistent.

Shinto: A system of beliefs and attitudes held by most Japanese about themselves, their families, clans, and ruling powers. The word means the way of kami, and kami refers to superior powers, either natural or divine. The kami are believed to be the source of human life and existence. The kami reveal truth and give guidance to live in accordance with it. Shinto does not have regular weekly services. Devotees can visit the shrines anytime they choose.

Shiva: Hindu. Represents the aspect of the Supreme Being which continuously dissolves and recreates. Shiva is both a creator and a destroyer, he is associated with both the changes of the seasons and the balance and constant conflict of good and evil. This is the cycle of the universe; birth-death-rebirth. He is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, along with Brahma and Vishnu. He is also a god of mercy and compassion and protects man from evil.

Silver Cord: The cord between the astral body and the physical body. Also known as the astral cord

Soul: Part of the spark of God that is you – (refer to – Monad)

Spirit: An entity which is free of a physical body.

Spiritual: Spiritual means that which relates to spirit or ‘soul’ and that which is intangible as opposed to physical matter. It can also mean relating to sacred things, generally the church or religion. Spiritual can also refer to your mind and / or emotions being of a high or refined quality.

Spiritism / Spiritualism: A belief that the human soul survives death and can communicate with the living through a medium sensitive to its’ vibrations. The communication may be psychic, as in clairvoyance or trance speaking, or physical, as in automatic writing or ectoplasmic materializations.

Spiritual / Shamanic Healing: Practitioners who regard themselves as conductors of healing energy or sources from the spiritual realm. Both may call upon spiritual helpers such as power animals, angels, inner teachers, the client’s Higher Self, or other spiritual forces. Both forms of healing can be used for a range of emotional and physical illnesses.

Sri Yantra: A particular mandala,

Synchronicity: Meaningful coincidences, ‘designed’ to alert one’s attention and/or suggest a course of action.

Psychologist and spiritualist Carl Jung first coined the term after experiencing a peculiar event. Jung and a friend were in England having a discussion about spiritual symbols in ancient Egypt when out of nowhere, a scarab beetle walked across the table. Synchronicity flies in the face of probablitity and forms strong evidence of the interconnectedness of existance and divine intelligence.