The ability to speak in an unlearned and unheard foreign language. It is associated with past-life recall, states of trance or hypnosis and mediumship.  The phenomenon is very rare. Many so-called instances turn out to be cases where the foreign language has been learned at some stage and then forgotten. When xenoglossia does occur, cases where individuals recite foreign words and phrases without understanding their meaning are far more common than cases where an individual can actually converse intelligently in the supposedly unknown language. See Glossolalia.
Divination by studying the first stranger to be found or who appears.


Yahweh :
According to many scholars, a possible spelling of the Hebrew letters YHVH - i.e. Jehovah.
Alternative name for the Sacred Name movement
1) A sacrificial fire ritual in which Vedic mantras are recited while wood, fruit, grain, oil, yogurt, and ghee are poured into the fire as an offering to the Lord. 2) Any work or spiritual practice that is offered as worship to God.
The Hindu god of death, also the five Hindu moral commandments
See Yin and Yang
Yantra: (Sanskrit., "instrument," "device")
A geometrical diagram used in Tantric ritual and worship and for magical and occult purposes. Yantras symbolize the cosmos and its creative dynamism, the Shakti.
The ritual skullcap worn by Jewish men.
One rendering of the name of God as written in Hebrew, i.e. JHVH (See Jehovah)
Also known as hydromancy and hydrascopy, it is one of various different methods of predicting the future by means of water or rain. One technique supposedly involved a basin full of water which, at the command of the diviner, is activated by spirits in order to vibrate to a point where it appears to boil and give off meaningful sounds.

Methods of disturbing water (by means of suspended rings or by means of pebbles being dropped into the bowl) are also described as legitimate hydromantic techniques, and some diviners are supposed to read from the reflections on the surface or from the color of water, as well as from the movement of water in fountains or the pattern of ripples formed after an object is cast into the pool. Some of these techniques are Lecanomancy, Pegomancy, Eromanty andCastronomancy.

A traditional Jewish academy for talmudic study. The term is also used for a Jewish primary or secondary school that teaches secular as well as religious subjects.
The Tibetan name for the Abominable Snowman, a humanlike monster whose tracks have been discovered in the frigid lands of perpetual snow in the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, and Tibet. According to locals, the Yeti is but one of several unidentified creatures that inhabit the highlands of southern Asia.
The Norse tree which held up the world and the heavens; its roots led to the underworld. It provided the complex network of the universe.
Yi King: 
Alternative form of the term I Ching.
The common language of Ashkenazi Jews in Europe from medieval to modern times. Its vocabulary and structure are derived primarily from German, with elements from Hebrew, Slavic, and romance languages.  The majority of the world's native Yiddish speakers died in the Holocaust
Taoist terms referring to the active and passive principles of the universe. Yin refers to the female or [in-active] negative force; Yang to the male or active force. These two polar forces continually interplay with each other. Both are necessary and both must be harmonized for proper function. This Yin and Yang also flow through the human body so that a balance is required to maintain health. 
The primeval being of Scandinavian mythology, father of all the giants. He was nourished by the four milky streams, which flowed from the cow Audhumla. The sons of Bor — Odin, Vili and Ve — slew Ymir and all the frost giants were drowned in his blood, which formed the world's lakes and seas. His bones and flesh became the mountains and the land, and his skull became the vault of heaven. A race of dwarfs  grew within his carcass.
Yod: (Hebrew Yodh)
1) The 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet which looks something like the letter "Y". 2)something expressing or containing,  metaphysically, the  meanings of the yod. i.e.  the pointing hand, and the number 10, the musical note F, and the color yellow-green, Virgo in the zodiac, response, the union of opposites, touch, the intelligence of Will, and, on the Tree of Life, the path connecting Chesed to Tiphareth. 3) In astrology, it is a "Y"-shaped aspect. made up of three planets. two of these planets are 60 degrees from each other, forming a sextile, and both are quincunx  to a 3rd planet. It forms an elongated triangle when looking at the aspect wheel.
Yoga (from  Sanskrit. verbal root, meaning  "discipline," )
Any number of physical or spiritual disciplines arising in India. An Eastern philosophy involving spiritual discipline using various techniques to experience union with a Supreme Being. Many yogic paths exist and include work on the physical body as in Hatha yoga, which uses breathing exercises and sustained physical postures to gain physical and mental control over the body; Bhakti, the yoga of devotion and love using the heart as a vehicle for transcendence; and other types of yoga specific to a path or teacher including Iyengar, Jnana, Karma, Kripalu, Kriya, Kundalini, Raja, Siddha and  Tantra yoga
Yogachara: (Sanskrit., "the practice of yoga")
A major school of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy concerned with the practice of meditation and discipline that leads to the attainment of Buddhahood. Adherents of the school are called Yogacharins ("practitioners of yoga") or Vijnanavadins ("those who hold the doctrine of consciousness").   The school traces its origin to Asanga and Vasubandhu (fourth or fifth century) and, through these two brothers, to the Bodhisattva Maitreya. While many of the fundamental texts of the school are attributed to one or another of these three figures, the question of authorship is highly problematic.   The most distinctive doctrine of the school is the claim that the world consists of nothing but mind. This doctrine has been interpreted as a form of Buddhist idealism in which one denies the reality of the external world but affirms the reality of the mind itself. Yogacharins generally have a more positive attitude toward the nature of ultimate reality than many of their Mahayana opponents. They often compare reality to the ocean, gold, or space and argue that the distinctions of ordinary experience are "adventitious" or temporary defilements of a pure, underlying substance.   Yogachara texts were translated into Chinese as early as the sixth century, and the school achieved considerable popularity in China under the leadership of the great scholar-monk Hsuan-tsang (602-664), who traveled to India, studied with Yogachara masters, and promulgated their teaching in China. The school he founded was eventually eclipsed by other, indigenous Chinese schools, but the Yogachara approach to the fundamental doctrines of the Mahayana continued to have deep influence on Chinese and Japanese speculation about the nature of reality
Yogananda, Paramahansa:  (1893-1952)
Founder of the Self-realization Fellowship and the one given credit for introducing yoga to the U.S.  
1) One who practices yoga. 2) One who has attained perfection through yogic practices.
Yogini:  (often feminine)
1) One who practices yoga. 2) One who has attained perfection through yogic practices
Yom Kippur:: (Hebrew, "day of atonement")
The most solemn day of the Jewish year (10 Tishri), which ends the ten-day period of repentance that Rosh Hashanah begins. Virtually the entire day is spent in the synagogue petitioning God to pardon sins and bestow life for the coming year. No food or drink is consumed from sundown to sundown
Yoni: (Sanskrit, "place of issue," secondarily "womb-chamber")
1) The female genitals 2) In Vedic philosophy, "the source" of creation, identified with brahman. 3) In Hinduism, the emblem of feminine cosmic creativity (Sanskrit. Shakti), the highest symbol of Devi, consort of Shiva, corresponding to his lingam.  Shaiva temples have a circular yoni-pedestal for the lingam. In meditational diagrams, especially Tantric, the yoni is a triangle with downward apex.
The pagan winter sabbat. Also called Winter Solstice.
Yule Log:
The traditional log burned at Christmas ceremonies which most likely came from a pagan tradition for Yule celebration.




Zarathushtra:(c. 628 - 551 BC)
Religious teacher and prophet in ancient Persia.  According to legend, he was born in NW Persia and  received enlightenment by the Daitya river at age 30.  There he received a vision of Vohu Manah (“Good Thought”) who took him into the presence of lord Ahura-Mazda. Lord Mazda taught Zoroaster the “true religion,” rejecting magick and idol worship and promoting belief in heaven, hell, a devil (Angra-Mainyu) and one true god.
Zem Zem:
The sacred well near the Kaaba at Mecca. According to Arab tradition, this is the very well that was shown to Hagar when Ishmael was perishing of thirst.
Zen : (Japanese- "meditation"}
A branch of Mahayana Buddhism believed to have originated in India from the teachings of a Buddhist master, Bodhidharma, about 600 BC, but traced back by advocates to the Buddha himself.  Practitioners seek satori (sudden illumination enabling bliss and harmony), which cannot be explained but only experienced.  Techniques include zazen (sitting meditation techniques) and koans, which are short riddles or sayings.  The koans (which number about 1700) are not designed to have cognitive answers but to promote the experience of Zen
The sacred writings of Zoroaster that formed the basis of the religion that prevailed in Persia from the 6th century BC to the 7th century AD. Avesta means the lore, or sacred writings, and Zend, the commentary. Hence the application of Zend to the ancient Iranian language in which the Zend-Avesta is written.
The west wind.
Originally an Indo-European sky god, the most powerful of the Greek gods, the ruler of heaven and earth, lord of the sky, god of thunder and lightning, king of the gods, and known to the Romans as Jupiter, is usually depicted as a great bearded figure carrying a thunderbolt. He obtained his power by overthrowing his father Cronus and the Titans and rules from Mt. Olympus.. Notorious for his affairs with human women, Zeus often changed his appearance to seduce them, despite his marriage to Hera. He fathered many other gods with the Titans and other goddesses. The twins Apollo and Artemis were his children by a Titan named Leto. She had given birth to them on the island of Delos, where Hera had chased her in a fit of jealousy.  Zeus' favorite daughter was Athena, goddess of wisdom. She had sprung from his head fully grown and fully armed, wearing a shining helmet and a glimmering robe. Zeus's son Hephaestus had split open his father's head with an axe so that Athena could leap out. When it was time to man to be created, Zeus gave this important work to Prometheus and Epimetheus, the two Titans who had helped him in his battle against Cronus and the other Titans. Zeus also gave them the task of providing men and animals gifts that would insure their survival.
For giving men fire, Prometheus was punished by Zeus, who chained him to a rock in the Caucasus mountains, where a vulture would eat his ever-growing liver for eternity. 
Ziggurat: (Babylonian, something high and holy)
A stepped temple tower, crowned by a shrine, characteristic of ancient Mesopotamia. The Tower of Babel has been identified as a ziggurat.
1)a hill in Jerusalem (variously identified, but probably the Temple Mount). In the Bible, it is the place from which God rules the earth.  2) the Jewish people as a group, or the Jewish homeland as a symbol of Judaism.
A plan or movement of the Jewish people to return from the Diaspora to Palestine. Zionism originated aimed at the re-establishment of a Jewish national homeland and state in Palestine. It is now concerned with the development and support of Israel.
The band of twelve constellations along the plane of the ecliptic through which pass the sun, moon and planets across the sky.  Each constellation, or sign, is attributed symbolic significance and associations that describe or affect various aspects of life on Earth.
A compendium, which shares with the Sepher Yetzirah the reputation of being the oldest extant treatise on the Hebrew cabbala. Tradition assigns its authorship to Rabbi Simeon ben Jochai, A.D. 80, but modern criticism is inclined to believe that a very large portion of the volume is no older than 1280, when it was certainly edited and published by Rabbi Moses de Leon, of Guadalaxara in Spain.   The truth seems to lie in a middle path -  that while Moses de Leon was the first to produce the volume as a whole, yet a large part of some of its constituent tracts consists of traditional dogmas and illustrations, which have come down from the time of Simeon ben Jochai and the Second Temple. There are portions of the doctrines of the Zohar which bear the impress of Chaldee thought and civilization, to which the Jews had been exposed in the Babylonish captivity. Yet on the other hand it may be noticed that the Crusades are mentioned; that a quotation is made from a hymn by Ibn Gebirol, A.D. 1050; that the asserted author, Simeon ben Jochai, is spoken of as more eminent than Moses; that it mentions the vowel-points, which did not come into use until Rabbi Mocha (A.D. 570) introduced them to fix the pronunciation of words as a help to his pupils, and lastly, that it mentions a comet which can be proved by the evidence of the context to have appeared in 1264.
In Haitian and West African folk belief, a soulless corpse reanimated by a Voodoo preist, known as a bocor. A zombie moves listlessly in a trancelike state and does the bidding of the bocor.  The term is apparently derived from Nzambi, a West African deity. Most cultural anthropologists working in Haiti discount stories about zombies. Some researchers, however, claim that the stories are true and that a bocor's victims are administered a powder containing a powerful neurotoxin derived from the puffer fish. The powder is alleged to paralyze the victim into a deathlike state. The bocor later revives the victim. Pharmacologists who have tested samples of the alleged powder found little or no poison in them. Zombie was originally a python god of certain West African tribes, and its worship was carried to the West Indies with the slave trade, and still somewhat survives in Voodoo ceremonies in Haiti and some of the southern states of the USA.
Zone Therapy:
Divination by the appearance and/or behavior of any type of animal. Another type of Zoomancy, often called Theriomancy, consisted of divination by the movement of beasts, or wild animals. Yet another type of  Zoomancy was predictions from the appearance of imaginary or psychic animals, such as unicorns,sea-monsters, or salamanders.
(Greek form of Zarathushtra)
The religion founded by the Iranian-speaking prophet Zarathushtra, Greek Zoroaster, about 600 BC. It is known to its followers by the Pahlavi title, Daena Mazdayasni, "the Good Religion of the Worshipers of Mazdah."  Later followers, however, worshipped Zoroaster in addition to Mazda.  Good Lord Mazda and evil Angra Mainyu are seen as equal in power.  There are presently some 150,000 adherents, the majority living in India in the area of Bombay and in Gujarat.  Many of these Zoroastrians, called Parsis, "Persians," moved to India after the Islamization of Iran, their original homeland.  Today, many live in other parts of the world, including North America.  Versions of Zoroastrianism were made the official religion of the three major pre-Islamic Near Eastern empires of the Iranians, namely that of the Achaemenids, the Parthians, and the Sassanids; under the last the religion was radically unified.  Following the Muslim conquest in the middle of the seventh century, Zoroastrianism was reduced by increasing conversions to Islam. The Turkish and Mongol conquests of Iran saw widespread persecutions, largely reducing the adherents of Zoroastrianism to the desert cities of Kerman and Yazd.
Zwingli, Huldrych: (1484-1531)
Leader of the Swiss Christian Reformation. He is best known for his dispute (1525) with Martin Luther on the status of the Eucharist. Luther maintained the presence of the body of Christ; Zwingli argued for the Eucharist's symbolic nature. These views are summarized in Zwingli's popular work On the Lord's Supper (1526). 
Divination by using weights.