|Style over substance|
Levitation refers to raising an object against the force of gravity in such a way that it remains suspended without any physical contact. It is quite possible to do this without leaving the realm of physics, the most usual being magnetic levitation, where the force of magnetism is used for this purpose. It is also functionally identical to hovering in flight, which can be done by helicopters and hummingbirds, though the term "levitation" is practically never used in these cases.
In terms of pseudoscience, levitation refers to the ability to manage this raising by the power of the human mind. This has never been demonstrated — much less repeated — under controlled conditions and is consequently a pseudoscience.
From fiction to non-fiction
Earnshaw's theorem is a well established theory stating paramagnetic materials cannot levitate in mid-air in a static enviroment. It was considered for a long time that magnetic-based levitation was impossible, until in 1984; the spin-stabilized magnetic levitation top was patented by Roy M. Harrigan. The theorum wasn't wrong, according to Theodore Gray:
It turns out that Earnshaw's theorem is absolutely correct, but it has a couple of loopholes […] It turns out that precession (the rotation of a spinning object’s axis of spin) creates an island of genuine stability in a way that does not violate Earnshaw's theorem, but that went completely unpredicted by physicists for more than a century.
His theorem only applies to ferromagnetism, the common north/south pole type of magnetism found in most magnets. Diamagnetism is a purely repulsive magnetic force exhibited to varying degrees by all materials in the presence of a magnetic field. Simply drop a chip of graphite, for example, onto a block of magnets and it will float in midair forever.
Harrigan's patent resulted in the creation of a toy called the Levitron, one variety of which can be seen here:
Levitation has been a long-standing element of stage magic with various tricks being based on objects and people seemingly defying gravity. In reality, these tricks uses things like strings or metal poles  to make something look like it's floating.
Solomon's Carpet is an extra-Biblical Hebrew legend that King Solomon had a flying carpet that was 60 miles long by 60 miles wide. Magic carpet legends have also appeared in Arabian (One Thousand and One Nights) and Russian folklore.
Jesus provides the most well known case of levitation in Christianity by walking on water to his disciples.[note 1] He is also mistaken for a spirit at first, which gives another example of a levitating creature in Christianity.[note 2]
- Flying carpet fallacy: a type of false equivalence using orientalism as a device
- Hyperloop: a proposal by Elon Musk to use magnetic levitation for high-speed transport
- The Ig Nobel Prize, which awarded the 2000 prize in physics for magnetic levitation of a frog
- Ionocraft: a type of ionic levitation that uses the Biefeld–Brown effect
- Psychokinesis: how mental levitation is often claimed to work
- Natural Law Party
- Levitation Day - January 4th
- See the Wikipedia article on Levitation.
- See the Wikipedia article on Levitation (paranormal).
- This technically was not levitation per se, since Jesus was still making physical contact with the surface of the water. What makes this similar to levitation is that the surface tension of water is not strong enough to support a human's weight.
- See Matthew 14:22-33.
- Levitation device US patent #4382245
- Ignorance = Maglev = Bliss: For 150 years scientists believed that stable magnetic levitation was impossible. Then Roy Harrigan came along. by Theodore Gray February 1, 2004. "This spinning top, which hovers above a magnetic base, was patented in 1983 by a Vermonter named Roy Harrigan."
- The Levitating Woman – Stage Trick Revealed Rebel Magic
- Solomon: Solomon's Carpet by Emil G. Hirsch et al. (1906) 'Jewish Encyclopedia
- Demonic Possession & Oppression; Exorcism: Roman Catholic beliefs & practices Religious Tolerance
- Fables and Legends of the Quran: Solomon’s Flying Carpet by Sam Shamoun