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The word occult owes its origin to Latin word occultus which means hidden or paranormal knowledge that cannot be discovered through our five physical senses. It also refers to the study of deeper spiritual phenomena that transcends rational knowledge of the physical sciences.  The term is almost interchangeable with paranormal and esoteric.

The knowledge of occult is used in subjects like magic, astrology, palmistry, rod and pendulum, telepathy, alchemy, ESP, numerology, tarot reading, crystal gazing, dowsing or any other pursuit that is used for divination.
Occult is deeply associated with witchcraft and magic. It is used to control our lives and lives of others by using rituals, charms or spells which are permeated with supernatural powers. The powers of the occult should not be used for evil designs as it may boomerang upon the practitioner.

According to McCall Magazine, the explosive popularity of the occult can be gauged from the fact that there are around 10,000 astrologers in the USA and around 40 million people who have horoscopes.