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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In its broadest sense, an Adept is a magical Master—an initiate who has worked through many years of learning and experience to become a teacher and Elder. Medieval magicians and alchemists applied the term to any master of their sciences.

The Theosophists say that Adepts control forces in both the physical and spiritual realms, that they are able to prolong their lives by many years, if not centuries, and that their knowledge far exceeds that of normal human beings. Adepts are also referred to as Mahatmas, Rahats, Rishis, and as the Great White Brotherhood.

In Witchcraft, the term "Elder" is preferred and there is no connotation of having lived an extraordinary number of years in this lifetime. There is, however, a belief among many Wiccans that the position does come after many lifetimes spent in the Craft (reincarnation being one of the tenets of Wicca). An Adept is usually one who teaches others, and will often work one on one with a neophyte Witch, bringing the person to the point of Initiation and, not infrequently, beyond that.

"Adept" is not an official title in Witchcraft; it is an appellation earned but not bestowed.

Francis Barrett, in The Magus (1801), states: "To be an adept is possible. . . to be an adept, according to God's will, is no contemptible calling."

A Solitary Wiccan may well consider himor herself an Adept, and be so considered by others. This is especially true if the Witch is an expert in a particular field, such as herbology, astrology, or divination.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The author adeptly captures his feelings of betrayal and anger towards his father, and also the tremendous impact that this huge revelation has on Cisco's own sense of self as he struggles to even admit to himself his gnawing fear: if my father is gay, and I am so much like him, am I gay too?
And that is a sign that David Moyes is learning lessons as adeptly as his team has been putting them into practice this season.
In her highly readable, though vitriolic column, she adeptly played the part of the working class, no-nonsense Lancastrian (who lived in some style in Dorset and London, married to the son of Air Marshal Sir Patrick Lee Potter).
Lillard adeptly trades his usual comedy patter for pathos.
Fisher's sharp prose also adeptly describes the lay of Harlem itself: "It must be explained that of Manhattan's two most famous streets, neither Broadway nor Fifth Avenue reaches Harlem in proper guise.
Nicky Barmby is also now the favourite to start on the left flank on his return to the squad, a position he filled adeptly in Sven-Goran Eriksson's opening match against Spain.
This book adeptly explores important issues in the social history of late colonial Mexico City in clear and concise terms, and is a pleasure to read.
The judges told Carillion that communication of the switch from Tarmac Construction to Carillion was 'a thoroughly professional operation in open communication, well planned and adeptly executed.'
Some first ladies have coped with the dilemma less adeptly than others, and Betty Ford gets a particularly harsh review.
Oftentimes, it is the sponsor who has adeptly disguised his default until the hour of reckoning.
Normally, white cells stay on the bloodstream's main highways, avoiding the narrow capillaries that red blood cells so adeptly squeeze through.
Although JAB has adeptly managed its balance sheet in the face of elevated credit and geopolitical risks-aided by a prudent regulatory and supervisory framework-CI Ratings notes that the Bank's FSR is increasingly pressured by Jordan's Sovereign Rating and Outlook.