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What is esotericism?

The meaning of esotericism

Esotericism is related to the 'inner world' or 'that which is hidden'; it is the opposite of exotericism, which deals with 'the world out there' or 'that which is in public'.

Esotericism encompasses a diverse range of philosophical denominations and societies. Esotericism is aimed at achieving knowledge, which can be gained by learning and applying certain methods. At the core of it is the development of the individual self and its place in the universe.

Esotericism doesn't encompass astrology. Esoteric astrology does exist, though. Astrologers practicing it also look at esoteric levels within astrology. This kind of astrology doesn't only look at the level of personality, but also at the soul and consciousness.

Esotericism, another language

The esoteric aspects of astrology throw light on another aspect of human existence. Esotericism represents the invisible, that what cannot be directly perceived by our senses. It is connected to inner strength. At the centre of esotericism are the soul and consciousness. Consciousness means: being conscious about who you are.
Because esotericism deals with the soul it is very difficult to describe in words. The concepts are not taken from our normal level of consciousness and everyday vocabulary.
That's the reason why, throughout the ages this knowledge has been passed on through symbols. By means of interpreting symbols which appeal to our emotions, they can however be translated.

Expressing knowledge through imagery and symbols in stead of through ‘everyday language’ can be a source of much miscommunication. Even when they are literally translated certain statements may lose their validity.


A good and well-known example of esotericism and astrology are the tarot cards. You can decide for yourself how would like to express a certain symbol.
Esotericism isn't that much about contemplating other, non-material things, but rather about thinking differently about things that already exist.

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