- 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.
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
- 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
- Yantra: (Sanskrit.,
- 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
- 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
- Yi King:
- Alternative form of the
- 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
- 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
- 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
Sanskrit. verbal root, meaning
- 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
- Yogini: (often
- 1) One who practices
yoga. 2) One who has attained perfection through yogic
- 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
"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
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
- Zen : (Japanese-
- 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)
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
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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.