- Oct 2018
What is your view of occultism, freemasonry, tarot cards, psychics, LaVeyanism, etcetera?
But to answer the question:
Esotericism (the deepest strand of occultism) is a wonderful part of all religion and in some cases has sparked it's own 'religions'.
Freemasonry - is an esoteric Initiatory order influenced by the Temple of Soloman is (like many Occult traditions) inspired by ancient Egypt and the Bible (so you could call it Christian-based)
Tarot Cards - are divination (like the Taoist I-Ching, rolling dice and so forth). I don't have much use for them myself and depending on the tradition in question, their purpose and significance will change. Some believe they are supernatural, others believe they are psychological/archetypal tools (in a Jungian manner of synchronicity)
Psychics - are kind of in the New Thought/New Age area, not my expertise but I can't say I have a positive view of them (I think they're just scammers)
LaVey - was a man after attention, I don't like Satanism and I don't have any superstitions either. It's atheism intended to offend the more sensitive type of Christians. None of what he had to say was original or benefits me in any way. Plus, he started the whole perversion of the use of the Hindu term "Left Hand Path", into an ideological slang for 'I think for myself and don't bow to no god'
Now continuing past your list:
Eliphas Levi - Fantastic Christian occultist who brought many tools and revived the whole Western occult tradition (which was pretty dull at the time), not alot else to say. He was a very pious Christian, which is very ironic when he is the one who drew the most famous depiction of Baphomet (which was later hijacked by Satanists)
Blavatsky/Theosophy - was a important figure in bringing together the Western and Eastern religious and spiritual tradition. She had the notion of uniting science, religion and philosophy. Many of her ideas where right on point but consequently many of them where a bit inaccurate. Her classics "The Secret Doctrine" and "The Voice Of The Silence" are both great and offer much thought to complex connections between symbology etc within religions, and the path to attainment, respectively.
Crowley/Thelema - Like Blavatsky, he did a lot to unite the Western and Eastern spiritual and religious worlds. His body of work is a great resource and the scripture he received from an angel "Liber AL Vel Legis" is a stunning text that outlines many Hindu and Kabbalistic principles of existence and God. He's quite a misunderstood figure (by his followers too) that was a genius but also not quite the best guy around either. He is often portrayed (and even claimed by) as a Satanist but his work (aside from his controversies) is quite contrary. He belongs in the category of Hermetic/Gnostic/trans-Hindu/post-Theosophy.
Essentially his whole work is a revival of three things: Vedic Magic, Tantra and the Ancient Mystery Religions.
Getting less in-detail, the Occult world is huge.
Hinduism and Christianity, within semantic consideration - would be considered "Occult", or at least "esoteric" and "mystic".
In my religion of Islam, we've got Sufism (which sometimes shares Occult aspects) and various Gnostic branches of Shia. Even Taoism has Magical traditions.
Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Persia, Maya, all have major influences on strands of Occultism.
Really, after a while you realize you are looking at the underside - or the clockwork behind many religions.
Other aspects associated with Modern Occultism (like Wicca and Neo-Paganism) are more debatable to whether they are truly "Occult" and Wicca (or "Witchcraft") isn't usually taken seriously in Occult communities.
Horror, demon-summoning, ritual sacrifice and so forth is another topic and not part of the same general conversation (but is all part of the same fold of religion/spirituality/occultism/magic/mysticism)