Spiritist Vocabulary
(Some passages  were taken from "The book on Mediums" by A Kardec)


IMPORTANT: Names in italic are listed in the vocabulary.

SB - "The Spirits´ Book" by Allan Kardec. Followed by a string like Q034 for example, it refers to question 34.
BM - "The Book on Mediums" by Allan Kardec.

Death - the process of liberation of the spirit from the material body. After death, the spirit preserves its individuality, that is, all the psychological features that characterized it as  the living person before. It is important to emphasize that death starts with the ending of physical process in the material body and not as an initiative of the spirit.
Disembodied Spirits - the general name given to the spirit in its original state, meaning a spirit without a body (here understood as the material body). It is also used to designate the community of spiritist living close to the Earth surface that is strongly related to the incarnated society.

Embodied spirit - a synonym for incarnate spirit. The state of a spirit during a reincarnation.

Erraticity- the state of errant spirits, that is, disembodied spirits, during the interval between two material existences.

 Incarnate spirit -a spirit with a material body, living on Earth or in other planets. Opposite of disembodied spirit.

 Sematology(semá in greek, signal) - a language of signals. Name given to the communication of spirits by the movement of inert bodies.

Spirit - In the restricted sense of Spiritism, "spirits are intelligent beings of creation, populating the Universe outside the material world and constituing the invisible world". They do not belong to a special creation, but they are the souls of those who lived on Earth or in other planets (spheres) and who leaved their material envelope.

Spiritism - in a simplified definition, it is the set of beliefs or principles founded upon the existence of spirits and their manifestation. The name was coined by Allan Kardec.

Spiritist - a believer in Spiritism. There are several categories of spiritists. A good spiritist is defined by the quality of his works and acts toward other people no matter their origin or condition.

Spiritualism- as opposed to materialism (academical definition): Belief in the existence of the spiritual (non material) counterpart of a being. According to this meaning Spiritualism is the base of all religions. As a religion: English name given  to the movement initiated in the XIX century founded on spirit manifestation. Contrary to Spiritism, the Spiritualism movement does not accepted reincarnation as a natural way of spirit evolution. Spiritualism has however many common points to Spiritism. Differences between the cultural environments where they have develop (French and British)  contributed to separate the two movements. Historically, except in the case of reincarnation, they do not differ in essence. Also, present day Spiritualism has recognized the importance of reincarnation as a fundamental principle.

Spiritualist - in a restricted sense, a believer in Spiritualism.

Material body - as the name suggests, the material part of an incarnate spirit.

Materialization - name given to the psychic phenomenon produced by materialization mediums. During a materialization, a spirit acquires a pseudo-body and makes itself materially visible. Not only spirits can be materialized, but also ordinary objects (the transport of objects to a closed environment occurs by means of materialization).

Materialization mediums - an exceptional category of mediums who auxiliate spirits in their materialization and in the transport of objects.

Medium - A person who serves as an intermediary between spirits and people.

Mediumship - the faculty of mediums. Also called channelling in some places. There is a large number of types of mediumships which the interested reader can found in "The mediums´ book" by Allan Kardec.

Perispirit - (perí in greek, or surrounding) name given to the semi-material body of the spirit. It has material properties that can be perceived by mediums. In incarnate spirits, it is the link or intermediary body between the spirit and the material body. In disembodied spirits, it constitutes the fluidic body.

Pneumatography - name given to a rare type of mediumship in which  written communication of spirits are obtained by direct writing.

Psychic phenomenon - a general name given to a class of phenomena produced by mediums. They can be divided into physical and intellectual effects. They generally involve the influence of disembodied spirits.

Psycography - name given to a special type of mediums (writting mediums) who write under the guidance or influence of the spirits.

Physical effects - name given to material manifestation of the spirits such as movement of inert bodies, noises, appearences, smells or materializations. See also intelectual effects.

Reincarnation - return of the spirit to the material body for the sake of spiritual improvement. According to SB-Q167 the purpose of reincarnation is "purification, to redress previous mistakes, and effect human progress. Without reincarnation, there would be no justice". Reincarnation is a mechanism of spirit evolution.

 Tiptology (tuptós in greek, beat) - a language of beats. Another name given to a kind of spirit communication systems using beats or other noises.

Xenoglossy - name given to a type of mediumship in which communication of spirits are given in a  languages unknown to the medium. The communication can be written or spoken.