A collective term for the various doctrines, theories, ideas,
and principles believed to underlie and hold together the practices
of magic, and related topics such as alchemy, demonology,
ghosts, poltergeists, prediction, psychic powers, spells,
and Spiritualism. The term ‘‘the occult’’ is often used synonymously
with ‘‘occultism.’’ The term is most frequently used by
those who oppose the existence of magic or the work of its practitioners.
It is sometimes viewed as a derogatory label, and
many involved in occultism have preferred other labels such as
New Age.