Occult is a label given to a number of organizations or orders, and the teachings and practices as taught by them. The name also extends to a large body of literature and spiritual philosophy.
The word ‘occult’ comes from the Latin occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to the ‘knowledge of the secret’ or ‘knowledge of the hidden’ and often popularly meaning ‘knowledge of the supernatural’, as opposed to ‘knowledge of the visible’ or ‘knowledge of the measurable’, usually referred to as science. The modern term’s meaning is often imprecisely translated and used as a term for ‘secret knowledge’ or ‘hidden knowledge’, in the sense of meaning ‘knowledge meant only for certain people’ or ‘knowledge that must be kept hidden’. For most practising occultists, however, it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual “reality” that cannot be understood using pure reason or physical sciences.