KARMA      In Indian philosophy, the influence of an individual's past actions on his future lives or reincarnations. It is based on the conviction that the present life is only one in a chain of lives. The accumulated moral energy of a person's life, good or bad, determines his or her character, class status, and disposition in the next life. The process is automatic, and no interference by the gods is possible.      KINDRED SPIRIT      An individual with the same beliefs, attitudes or feelings as oneself.       KINETIC ENERGY       Is the energy expended to put a dormant object in motion. Once an object is in motion it possesses kinetic energy.     KIRILIAN PHOTOGRAPHY      High-voltage, high frequency photography used to photograph the aura or ‘bioenergetic emissions’ of parts of the body or even plants, as in the much-published photograph demonstrating that a leaf continues to emit a pattern of leaf-shaped light even though part of the leaf has been cut away. In 1979 the technique was popularized in the West as a diagnostic tool by parapsychologist and author Thelma Moss (The Body Electric). However, the interpretation of the ‘corona- discharge image’ has been the subject of a good deal of controversy, which does not stop it attracting long lines at psychic events.     LAYING ON OF HANDS      A form of healing practice that involves the healer placing his or her hands near the body of a sick person.     LEVITATION      The phenomenon or ability of a person or thing to rise into the air and float in apparent defiance of gravity by apparently supernatural means.     LEY LINES      Ley lines, or Leys, are alignments of ancient sites stretching across the landscape. Ancient sites or holy places may be situated in a straight line ranging from two to several miles in length. A ley may be identified simply by an aligned placing of marker sites, or it might be visible on the ground for all or part of its length by the remnants of an old straight track. Were 're-discovered' by a man called Alfred Watkins (1855-1935), on the 30th of June 1921.     LIGHT ANOMALY / ORBS      A spherical ball of light, often white, yellow, green or blue, caught on video or camera. Orbs are often associated with spirit activity. However, they are a source of great controversy amongst paranormal researchers, as they are often caused naturally by light reflecting off of dust, lint, moisture, pollen, or other reflective material.      LILY DALE      One of the oldest camp organizations of American Spiritualism. It was established in 1880 as the Cassadaga Free Lake Association situated in beautiful countryside in the Chautauqua hills, scarcely two hours drive from the city of Buffalo. In 1906 the site was renamed Lily Dale. For many years it became a focal point for world famous lecturers and mediums, including its share of fraudulent mediums, demonstrating every variety of phenomena.     LOCH NESS MONSTER Reports of a mysterious creature in Loch Ness, Scotland go back to around the 6th century, but the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, nicknamed "Nessie," got a boost in the early 1930s with several reported sightings and alleged photographic evidence. In 1934 an English surgeon named R. Kenneth Wilson took what is perhaps the most famous photo (sometimes called the "Surgeon's Photo"), supposedly showing a head and neck above the water and indicating a very large creature. Since then there have been thousands of reported sightings and countless attempts to find and photograph the "monster," despite repeated assurances by scientists that no such creature exists.   LOST TIME        Occurs when a person becomes aware that it is later than his or her memory of events indicates "it should be". For example, a person taking a drive that normally takes one hour, and seemingly did, arrives at the destination three hours after starting. It is often reported in alien abduction cases and is presented as evidence of such with one being returned to earth after a period of time has elapsed.     LUCID DREAMS      Preferred modern term for "dreaming true," indicating the experience of dreaming with the awareness that one is dreaming. The condition is often associated with out-of-the-body travel, as it often happens that some incongruity in a dream stimulates the dreamer to conclude "Why, I must be dreaming!" and this awareness sometimes precedes an out- of-the-body event.   LYCANTHROPY      In folklore, the change of a human into the appearance and characteristics of an animal. Ancient belief in lycanthropy were widespread, and still exist in parts of the world. Certain African tribes have their “leopardmen” and the like, and literatures all over the world have tales of men changing to animals. One of the most widely held of these superstitions is the belief in the werewolf (a person who either willingly or unwillingly changes into a wolf, eats human flesh or drinks human blood, then returns to his natural form).     MAGIC       Use of means (such as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces. It constitutes the core of many religious systems and plays a central social role in many non-literate cultures. Magic is often distinguished from religion as being more impersonal and mechanical and emphasizing technique.     MAGIC CIRCLE      An important part of ceremonial magic was the drawing of a magic circle around the magician to protect him from the malice of evil spirits that he might invoke to perform his will. The circle was symbolic of a sphere that was believed to surround the magician. It both isolated him from the chaos outside and held in the magical power that he raised.     MAGNETOMETER      A device used to measure the intensity and direction of a magnetic field. Magnetometers may be classified as either scalar or vector instruments. A scalar magnetometer measures the strength of the total magnetic field, whereas a vector magnetometer measures one or more vector components of the magnetic field.     MAJESTIC-12      A secret US government group allegedly formed following The Roswell Incident to consider issues involving UFOs and ETs.     MALEVOLENT SPIRITS       Spirit entities capable of performing evil or malicious acts against humans.     MASS HYSTERIA      Uncontrollable fear or other psychological agitation experienced simultaneously by a group of people. Mass hysteria is often used to explain paranormal phenomena experienced simultaneously my multiple people.     MATRIXING      The tendency of the human mind to take complex sensory inputs (most often sight but also smell, touch, taste and sound) and interpret them into something more familiar. For instance, recognizing shapes in clouds is an example of matrixing.     MEDITATION      Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.     MEDIUM      An individual qualified in some special manner to form a link between the living and the dead. The essential qualification of a medium is a unique sensitiveness that enables the medium to be readily "controlled" by spirits. Mediums thus stand in contrast to sensitives or psychics, terms applicable to psychically gifted individuals who are not controlled by spirits of the dead.                                                                          MEN IN BLACK (MIB)      The mysterious and sinister visitors who are supposed to have silenced flying saucer investigator Albert K. Bender, as described in the book They Knew Too Much about Flying Saucers by Gray Barker (1956). They have since become part of flying saucer mythology, with claimed visitations to other UFO investigators and contactees. Some investigators preferred to believe that they were government officials, possibly from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), determined to suppress information on the reality of UFOs. For most, the Men in Black myth became but a form in which paranoid fears could be expressed within the UFO community.     MISPERCEPTION      An experience where an object is misinterpreted by your senses. It is thought to be one of the commonest natural explanations for apparent paranormal phenomena     MIST       A wispy, fog or smoke-like substance (literally a mist!) that appears in some photographs, that is often associated with paranormal activity, including the manifestation of entities. Like orbs, mists are often caused by natural phenomena and photographic errors, and are often refuted as evidence.     MOTHMAN      Winged humanoid creature reported in West Virginia from November 1966 to December 1967, along with strange lights, apparitions of men in black, and other occult phenomena supposedly connected with UFOs. These phenomena culminated on December 15, 1967, with the collapse of the Silver Bridge across the Ohio River at Point Pleasant. The name "Mothman" was the inspiration of a newspaper editor, who derived it from the Batman comic book hero, then the subject of a popular television series.     MUFON (MUTUAL UFO NETWORK)       One of the largest and most influential UFO investigation organizations. MUFON was founded as the Midwest UFO Network in 1969 at Quincy, Illinois, by Walter H. Andrus, Jr., formerly a member of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization. In 1975 Andrus moved the headquarters to Texas, where it is currently headquartered.     MYSTICISM      The practice of putting oneself into, and remaining in, direct relation with God, the Absolute, or any unifying principle of life. Mysticism is inseparably linked with religion.     NAZCA LINES      Are lines which were constructed in southwestern Peru by the Nasca culture around 1,500 - 2000 years ago.  The lines depict a number of mammals and birds including: a monkey, hummingbird, and a man.  There are also many other geometric figures called 'geoglyphs' which include, spirals and zigzags.  The lines were made by etching the surface of the dessert by the removal of surface pebbles to reveal the much lighter sand beneath. Some experts have suggested that the figures served a ceremonial or religious function, others suggested the lines may be some form of astronomical calendar. However, recently, a team from UMass (The University of Massachusetts), after performing some scientific tests, have begun to theorize that some of the lines at least mark the location of underground water.     NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE This phenomenon is usually experienced when someone is really close to death. Often persons who have experienced a near death experience report a feeling of having left their physical body, moving through a darkness or tunnel, encountering the presences of deceased loved ones, and sometimes other entities which have been likened to both God and the Devil. Often an all embracing and describable light or menacing darkness is reported. On the whole most persons report that a near death experience is quite joyful, although there have been some reports to the contrary. Some experience the feeling of looking at their body as they hover over it. In certain cases people can report in detail what was going on around them while they were classed as dead.   NECROMANCY      The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future. However, since the Renaissance, necromancy has come to be associated more broadly with black magic and demon-summoning in general, sometimes losing its earlier, more specialized meaning.     NEW AGE      A term popularized in the 1980s to describe a wide-ranging set of beliefs and practices that are an outgrowth of the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s in the United States. Adherents of the New Age movement believe that a spiritual era is dawning in which individuals and society will be transformed. The movement encompasses a wide range of ideas, including personal spiritual growth and self-realization, holistic medicine (including the use of crystals for healing), reincarnation, astrology, and the mystical energies said to be induced by pyramids.     NICAP      The National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (or NICAP) was a civilian unidentified flying object research group active in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s. Though NICAP was a non-profit organization, the group faced collapse many times in its existence, due in no small part to financial ineptitude among the group’s directors. Only for a few years in the 1960’s when the organization's membership spiked dramatically was NICAP on firm financial ground.     NIGHT TERRORS       These are surmised to be caused by incomplete arousal from slow-wave sleep. Images that flit through the brain can be interpreted as terrifying events and objects, which may have given rise to the phenomenon of bedroom visitors such as incubi and succubi, or the ‘Old Hag’ figure, and also the feeling that someone is sitting on the end of the bed. This can be linked to the condition of sleep paralysis, in which the incompletely awake experiencer is aware of their surroundings, while other sensations from the dream world still impinge on them, and they are unable to move their body until the condition wears off and full consciousness returns.     NOSTRADAMUS      Nostradamus was a French physician and astrologer who dabbled in prophecy. His volume Centuries, a big set of vague and often cataclysmic predictions set in quatrains, made quite a sensation in his day. (Charles IX even made him court physician.) A few people continue to believe that Nostradamus really could predict events of the future, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in September of 2001. In truth, there is no real proof that Nostradamus could accurately predict the future, and many of the circulating "predictions" attributed to Nostradamus were not even written by him at all.     NUMEROLOGY      Use of numbers to interpret a person's character or divine the future. It is based on the assertion by Pythagoras that all things can be expressed in numerical terms because they are ultimately reducible to numbers. Using a method analogous to that of the Greek and Hebrew alphabets (in which each letter also represented a number), modern numerology attaches a series of digits to an inquirer's name and uses these, along with the date of birth, to reveal the person's true nature and prospects.   OCCAM’S RAZOR      A principal of always preferring the simplest explanation of events to any other. The principal of Occam's razor is attributed to William of Occam, although there were philosophers before him that had previously employed its use. The principal states: "a person should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything, or that the person should not make more assumptions than the minimum needed. This principle is often called the principle of parsimony."   OCCULT      This is something that either deals with or relates to supernatural influences or phenomena. It is can be something that is only available to those persons that have been initiated and it is usually something that is hidden away or concealed. Often it is something that lies beyond the realm of human comprehension and is inscrutable and mysterious. When thinking of the occult it tends to conjure up images of priests hidden away practicing some form of black art or black magic. The occult is definitely synonymous with the supernatural, mysterious and mystical.     OOBE (OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE)      Probably one of the most reported and documented forms of astral projection. It is thought to be when a person's consciousness leaves the physical body. Out of body experiences are often associated with accidents or anesthesia. An example of this is the case where a patient on an operating table will report being able to see and hear the entire operation including the surgeons, from a vantage point above the table. Here the consciousness is said to have left the physical body, but will remain close.     ORB      A photographed anomaly that theoretically represents the “spirit” of a deceased person. It will appear as a ball of light on film though is some cases; they are not seen at the time of the photo. Since there are many reasonable circumstances (dust, snow, rain, insects, reflection, lens flare, etc.) orbs still remain a highly controversial subject.     OUIJA BOARD      Refers to a flat surface with letters, numbers or phrases used to communicate with paranormal entities. An object such as a glass or wooden pointer ( planchette ) is placed on the board during a Ouija session. It took its name from the French and German words for ‘yes’. Two or more people then typically place one finger on top of the planchette, and as questions to any "paranormal" entities that may wish to communicate with them. The planchette allegedly moves via paranormal intervention in response to the questions asked by the living participants. Many paranormal researchers and spiritualists advise against the use of Ouija boards, claiming that it invites unwanted (even dangerous) entities into the realm of the living. However, skeptics argue that the movement of the planchette is simply the result of subconscious movements by the participants.      OLD HAG SYNDROME      The Old Hag often crops up as one of the expressions of Night Terrors, that feeling that something heavy is sitting on you while you’re lying in bed, paralyzing you. The Old Hag as an archetype represents the Crone, the third stage in the life of a woman after Maiden and Mother, the third aspect of the Triple Goddess of ancient belief. As she is the closest to death, she has become more feared than the others, although she is also closest to the renewal that follows death. Although age makes her wise, she has been turned into the wicked witch of fairytale in patriarchal societies and could do with an image makeover to restore the positive side of her symbolism.
previous previous
next next