related to Ancient Religion

allegory: story describing a subject in veiled form, under the guise of a similar subject. More self-conscious than myth.

anthropomorphism: belief that deities have human form.

ascetic: one who practices rigorous self-discipline and self-denial.

astrology: belief in the effects of the motion of heavenly bodies on human character and destiny.

augury: divination; foretelling the future through the study of signs or omens.

auspices: in Latin, auspicium; method of divination, especially from birds, to determine the favor or displeasure of the gods.

chthonic: dwelling in or beneath the earth; used in reference to the gods of the underworld

cosmogony: account of the origin of the universe.

cosmology: account of the structure and operation of the universe.

deify: to make a god of.

determinism: theory that human action is not free but determined, or decided, by external forces acting on the will (also called fatalism).

divination: prediction by supernatural means of future events; interpretation of past occurrences (includes interpretation of dreams, prophecy, auspices, augury).

dualism: theory recognizing two independent principles--e.g mind and matter, good ans evil--in the universe.

ecstasy: state of being beyond all reason and self control; mystic, prophetic, or poetic trance.

epiphany: a manifestation, disclosure, or appearance, especially of some divine or superhuman being.

eschatology: doctrine of the four last things; death, judgement, heaven, and hell.ritual: rites of passage, acts of propitiation, sacrifice, fertility rites

fetishism: worship of or reverence for inanimate objects such as lumps of wood or stones which were believed to contain supernatural powers.

genius: in Roman religion, the guardian spirit of every man, his inborn power; the genius of the paterfamilias (head of the family) was honored in the household cult (each woman's attendant spirit was called juno).

gnostic: possessing special knowledge of spiritual mysteries.

mana: a mysterious magical power or influence which is attached to certain persons or to inanimate objects.

metempsychosis: transmigration of the soul, especially the passage or the soul of the a human being or animal into a new body of the same or a different species.

monotheism: doctrine that there is only one God.

mystery: in theology, a religious truth known only through divine revelation; a secret religious rite to which only initiates are admitted.

mysticism: theory asserting the possibility of attaining knowledge, especially direct knowledge of the divine, and of spiritual truth, through immediate intuition or spiritual insight.

numen: (pl. numina): spirit with power to help or harm, but without personality. (sometimes called animism)

orgy: (adj. orgiastic): esoteric religious ritual performed in honor of a god or a goddess, characterized by wild singing, dancing, and drinking; later, wild, drunken, licentious revelry or festivity.

pantheism: belief that god equals the totality of nature.

pantheon: the totality of deities of any people.

polytheism: belief in or worship of many gods.

proselyte: a convent from one opinion, party, or religious sect to another. (verb: to proselytize)

ritual: rites of passage, acts of propitiation, sacrifice, fertility rites

shaman: priest or medicine man who has power to influence the unseen world of gods, demons, and ancestral spirits by being in direct communication with them.

syncretism: mixing together; combining of religious beliefs from different cults; the sense that all gods and goddess are differing manifestations on the One.

tabu (or taboo): the system or act of setting apart a person or thing as accursed or sacred; interdiction or prohibition of the use of certain things or words or acts.

taurobolium: sacrifice of a bull; ceremony of initiation or consecration in which the recipient is "baptized" in the bull's blood as a symbol of renewed life.

totemism: origin of humans from animals and hence worship of animals

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