Paranormal is more than 'ghosts'
We call ourselves lots of things. Paranormal investigators, paranormal researchers, ghost hunters whatever! For a lot of us, our paranormal research directs us to the spirit world. We look into the concept of the afterlife, hauntings and what is a ghost. It is important thought to acknowledge that the ‘paranormal’ field is actually so much more than just ‘ghosts’.
To understand exactly what is ‘paranormal’ it is important to understand what the word actually means. You obviously have the world ‘normal’ in there. While we don’t like labels and in today’s society it is exceptionally difficult to measure ‘what is normal’, it is a benchmark. The word para means above and beyond. So paranormal can be easily defined as being something above and beyond what is considered to be normal. It means that there are a wide range of categories that fit under this umbrella. Some of these areas include:
This probably makes up what I believe the majority of the paranormal community. I mean if you google the word paranormal, you are given a large list of paranormal teams who do paranormal investigations searching for evidence of the afterlife. The jury is still out. Do Ghosts exists? What is a ghost? What is a haunting? Are spirits people or something else? These are just some of the things we dedicate our time into researching. I don’t need to go into this area into much detail because it is the probably the reason you already read this blog. I know this area is the main reason why I am here.
UFO’s and Extra-terrestrials
Are we alone? Are UFO’s ‘flying saucers’ or aircraft from another planet? Do aliens exist? What do they want?
A lot of researchers dedicate their time to researching this phenomenon. Strange lights in the sky, government coverups and alien abductions are the common things that you think about when you hear this word. It makes a large part of the paranormal community. It does however go so much deeper than just looking at lights in the skies. People from the UFO community tell me there is a cosmic battle happening and that it involves our government which is controlled by a faction called ‘Cabal’. Also known as the illuminati, it is run by the most powerful people in our world and controlled by a reptilian race of Aliens hell bent on us not being able to ascend to our true spiritual self’s. There is talk of off world communities, secret government programs and of course the famous ‘Men In Black’. There is a lot of information to absorb in this world and something that needs to be approached with an open mind. While this is not my chosen area of paranormal, I have been looking more and more into this category. I sometimes think some of the information is pretty out there (even for me), but it is important for me to acknowledge that the people I talk to really feel they have had a certain experience and I have to be respectful of that and their beliefs. The truth is out there!
Does bigfoot exist? In Australia we have ‘Yowies’. What about the mythical Chupacabra? Is there a Loch Ness monster? Cryptozoology covers the search and study of animals who existence is disputed. Big Foot is the prime example here because we have all heard of Big Foot or Yowies in some form. There are videos, photos and accounts of their existence. Quite a lot have been faked adding to the ‘myth’. Do these creatures really exist? This is what this field is searching for. Evidence of their existence. We speculate that these creatures exist, but it has never been substantiated or proven, much like ‘ghosts’ and this is what these researchers are on the hunt for.
This is a study into the human mind and what it is capable of. It is an extension of psychology and again above and beyond what is considered ‘normal’ of the human mind. It looks at areas like telepathy, extra sensory perception, clairvoyance, reincarnation, near death experiences and precognition just to name a few. This area conducts studies and experiments to test the human mind to it’s limits to see if we all have ‘psi’ ability and what it takes to activate it (such as sensory deprivation etc.). It is a fascinating area and a lot of researchers who are looking into the spirit world often look into this field as well as it goes to towards that question, ‘What is a haunting?’ Is it a ghost or is it really us projecting?’
This is the study of demons and the belief structure around demons. A lot of paranormal investigators also study this area as again the question often comes up, ‘Am I being haunted by a ghost, or is it a demon?’. This is a largely religious based field of study and it is important to understand that studying demonology does not qualify a person to perform exorcisms. A demonologist and an exorcist are two completely different areas and should also remain separate.
Divination (astrology, Tarot etc)
It is a practise that has been around since the beginning of time. The practise of seeking knowledge or looking into the future using what is considered to be supernatural means. This covers areas such as Tarot, Runes, Numerology, Astrology, Scrying, Automatic Writing and many other methods related to ‘fortune telling’. A lot of people that practise and research this area have some sort of psychic ability, but it is not limited to those who have this ability. Anyone can research and look into practising these techniques.
This potentially doesn’t even belong in the category of ‘paranormal’, but I have included it here because of it’s connection to spirituality. This works with the concept that there is a higher holistic reality. It is heavily religious based. It is a form of spirituality and how you connect with it. An easy variation of mysticism that people will understand is the practise of Shamanism. It is regarded as a form of mysticism as the spirit realm is accessed through what is referred to as ‘religious ecstasy’ which is the main component of mysticism. Religious Ecstacy is an alterted state of consciousness where a person is very spiritually aware and may experience visions and a form of euphoria. A lot of cultures have special ceremonies that are performed usually associated with dancing, fire and the consumptions of some special ‘herbs’
Occult and Magic
This is the study of practices that include magic, alchemy and also has a relation to astrology, divination and spirituality. It is commonly associated with witchcraft and rituals and is tied with Wicca, Kabbalah and Satanism. It is actually quite a large and detailed area worth of it’s own post which I will cover at a later date. What you will find interesting however is that a lot of people involved in the paranormal are also ‘closet witches’ so there is definitely a close association with magic and the paranormal.
This relates to things like Gods, Goddess, Muses, Monsters, Fairies, Gnomes and all the things that ‘myths’ are made of. There often have very old and religious roots and often relate to a particular culture such as Greek or Roman mythology.
While there are usual suspects included in the paranormal list, there are a wide range of items that I know I consider to be a part of paranormal research. You could also add things like conspiracy theory, quantim psychics and a range of other topics. Whether or not it makes it qualify to be included on a paranormal list is up for debate, but these are the areas a lot of paranormal researchers look into. As researchers, we look at a lot of different areas and I guess for me, it is the ‘supernatural’ and the unknown that draws me to all of these topics in my research. While to others, all of these categories are considered 'paranormal' because they are outside what we define as normal, to me and to you though, they are our normal, and not para at all!
What areas do you like to research?
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