This blog is using many uncommon words related to Paganism, Wicca, Druidry or to the metaphysical realm. I also included the more common terms, only to complete the glossary. I’m proud to say that this glossary is probably the biggest and the most complete you’ll find on Internet. You are more than welcome if you want to share missing words to me or if you want to correct some information. Enjoy!
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Abalone Shell: Abalone is a common name for any of a group of small to very large edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae. The shells of abalones have a low, open spiral structure, and are characterized by several open respiratory pores in a row near the shell’s outer edge. The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of Nacre (mother-of-pearl), which in many species is highly iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong, changeable colors. The shells of abalone are occasionally used in New Age smudging ceremonies to catch falling ash. They have also been used as incense burners.
Aboriginal Shamanism: Shamanism practiced by the indigenous peoples within the boundaries of present-day Canada. They comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
Abrahamic Religions: Monotheistic religions of West Asian origin, emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him. They comprise one of the major divisions in comparative religion, along with Indian and East Asian religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are the largest Abrahamic religions.
Absent Healing: A form of faith healing that involves the projection of positive healing energy to an ill person by a healer who is not present at the time of the healing.
Acolyte: Beginner or novice in many magickal orders. Sometimes used to denote the lowest rank in the group.
Acorn: One’s acorn is the energy pattern or guide (“daimon”) that determine his destiny, seen in defining moment, usually in retrospect.
Activism: Doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests.
Adder Stone: An adder stone is a type of stone, usually glassy, with a naturally occurring hole through it. Adder stones were believed to have magickal powers such as protection against eye diseases or evil charms, preventing nightmares, curing whooping cough, the ability to see through fairy or witch disguises and traps if looked at through the middle of the stone, and of course recovery from snakebite. According to popular conception, a true adder stone will float in water. Adder stone was held in high esteem amongst the Druids. It was one of their distinguishing badges, and was accounted to possess the most extraordinary virtues. There is a passage in Pliny’s Natural History, book xix, minutely describing the nature and the properties of this amulet.
Adept: One who has achieved the highest levels of attainment in an esoteric tradition and who has demonstrated conscious and complete mastery of self and elements within the chosen path. In many traditions, it is believed that Adepts serve as guides to influence the spiritual growth of mankind, for they are the most skilled in Esoteric Wisdom and in the meanings and teachings of life. Also used to describe the second degree in most traditions of Wicca.
Adept-at-Hand: A term used to describe an Adept, either male or female, who fills the role of Handmaiden and who prefers this term.
Adjuration: A command used to constrain a spirit to consistent visible appearance or truthful answers to ones questions. The term comes from the Latin “adjurare”, meaning, “to swear. An adjuration may call upon divine names or higher spirits to enforce the will of the user.
Adoration: The next step up from a devotional, the adoration usually elicits an emotional response in the worshipper.
Aeromancy: Divination conducted by interpreting atmospheric conditions. Alternate spellings include Arologie, Aeriology and Aërology.
Affirmation: Statement designed to bring about positive change in oneself or one’s environment. It should always be stated as if the desired outcome either has already occurred or is in the process of occurring, not as something that will come about in the future.
Afterlife: In philosophy, religion, mythology, and fiction, the afterlife (also referred to as life after death or the Hereafter) is the concept of a realm, or the realm itself (whether physical or transcendental), in which an essential part of an individual’s identity or consciousness continues to exist after the death of the body in the individual’s lifetime.
Afterworld: The world of the dead, the place where human souls go to after death. Also called Summerland.
Agarbatti: Incense in the form of joss stick. The incense paste is rolled or molded around a bamboo stick. The bamboo method originated in India, and is distinct from the Nepal/Tibet and Japanese methods of stick making in which a bamboo stick is not used. Though the method is also used in the west, particularly in America, it is strongly associated with India. Other main forms of incense are cones and logs and Benzoin resin, which are incense paste formed into pyramid shapes or log shapes, and then dried.
Agnosticism: Doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge. In religion, related to a person who doesn’t hold a position about the belief of the existence of god(s).
Aiguillette: Knotted loop of thread, also called a ligature, which witches were said to use to cause impotence, and perhaps even castration, in men; barrenness in women; and general discontent in marriage. The aiguillette also served to bind couples in illicit amatory relationships.
Air: One of the four ancient elements, which corresponds to the East Watchtower of the magick circle.
Air Signs: In astrology, the three signs of the zodiac attributed to the element of Air: Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra.
Ajna: Third Eye or Psychic Center Chakra (Indigo). Located between and slightly above the eyebrows. Related to the center of psychic powers and can produce psychic effects.
Akasha: The fifth element; the power of the Universe. The omnipresent power that permeates the universe. It is the energy out of which the elements formed.
Akashic Records: Records kept on the Astral plane of each and every human life and all our past lives. It is believed you can access these records to look into you past lives and the future.
Alchemy: Ancestor to modern Chemistry, Alchemy was concerned with the processes of the transmutation and purification or distillation of the soul or spirit, as well as of physical materials and chemicals used to represent or symbolize spiritual transformation. Most often associated with Hermeticism.
Aldebaran: One of the four stars with their modern and ancient Persian. Aldebaran (Tishstar) associations are: Taurus, Vernal Equinox (Watcher of the East).
All, The: The energy-force that “runs” the universe. Many Wiccans believe that our “All” is the same as other religions’ Gods.
Allopathic: Western medicine or a Western doctor (MD).
All Father: A popular term used by many Pagans as a title for the male aspect of Divinity.
All Hallows’ Eve: Halloween. Sometimes refers to Samhain.
All Mother: A popular term used by many Pagans as a title for the female aspect of Divinity.
Ally: A benevolent spirit or substance; a helper.
Altar: A surface, usually flat, that is set aside exclusively for magickal workings and is used as a focus of power; A table that serves as a center of worship or ritual. An altar can be natural or man-made, temporary or permanent, simple or complicated. An altar should suit your particular needs and reflect your own personality.
Altar Cloth: A cloth which is used to cover the altar either to protect its surface or to add to the solemnity of the ritual. Some prefer to leave the altar bare and put the ritual tools directly onto the surface, but this depends on one’s preferences. The altar cloth, if used, usually varies in colors so the practitioner will often have several altar cloths for different occasions.
Alter: To alter something is to change it in some way. Not to be confused with Altar.
Amulet: A magickally charged object that deflects specific, usually negative energies. Generally used as protection.
An: “An” is an archaic word meaning “if”. The word is found in the most popular version of the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do what you will”.
Anahata: Heart Chakra (Green). Located in the center of the chest, over the heart. Related to psychic touch (Clairsentience), Element of Air.
Anaphrodisiac: A substance, such as camphor, that reduces sexual desires.
Ancestors: The Mighty Dead. Refers to ghosts and spirits of dead humans.
Ancestral Worship: Veneration of the dead.
Ancient Ones: The Old Ones; Name encompassing all Gods and Goddess and/or the Ancestors. Used to refer to a group or all Pagan deities including all aspects of the Goddess and the God.
Anglo-Saxon Futhorc: Runes used by the early Anglo-Saxons as an alphabet in their writing. The characters are known collectively as the futhorc. The Futhorc was a development from the 24-character elder Futhark. Since the futhorc runes are thought to have first been used in Frisia before the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain, they have also been called Anglo-Frisian runes. They were likely used from the 5th century onward, recording Old English and Old Frisian.
Anglo-Saxon Tradition: A tradition following the Germanic myths and lore followed by the Anglo-Saxons between the fifth and eighth centuries BCE. This is a variant of the Heathenism.
Anima Mundi: Concept of a “world soul” connecting all living organisms on the planet.
Anima: The buried feminine elements in a man’s psyche.
Animal Spirit: Power Animal; Animal Totem.
Animal Totem: An Animal Totem is an important symbolic object used by a person to get in touch with specific qualities found within an animal which the person needs, connects with, or feels a deep affinity toward. Wiccans usually uses the term Power Animal.
Animism: The spiritual belief that everything in nature, animate and inanimate—such as animals, plants, and inanimate objects—possess a spiritual essence/soul.
Ankh: An ancient Egyptian symbol resembling a cross with a loop at the top. Also called the crux ansata or looped cross. Egyptian hieroglyph for “life” and “cosmic knowledge”. Widely used as an occult symbol of the Life Principle.
Anointing Oil: A skin-safe, scented oil that is dabbed on the body (at chosen pulse points or on the forehead) in order to purify and individual mentally and spiritually. Anointing a candle is a very important step in Candle Magick.
Antares: One of the four stars with their modern and ancient Persian. Regulus (Haptokring) associations are: Leo, Summer Solstice (Watcher of the North).
Aos Sí: Daoine Sídhe; The Nature Spirits of the Irish Mythology.
Aphorism: A sparsely worded saying. (i.e. “As above, So below”).
Aphrodisiac: Substance that generates sexual excitement.
Apostasy: A total desertion of or departure from one’s religion.
Apotropaic Magick: A type of magick intended to “turn away” harm or evil influences, as in deflecting misfortune or averting the evil eye. “Apotropaic” observances may also be practiced out of vague superstition or out of tradition, as in good luck charm (perhaps some token on a charm bracelet), amulets, or gestures such as fingers crossed or knocking on wood.
Apparition: The appearance of a phantom seen in a dream or trance or waking state as the result of astral projection.
Aquarius: The 11th sign of the zodiac (21 January – 19 February). It is symbolized by the Water Bearer, is an Air sign, and is ruled by Uranus.
Aquarius, Age of: In popular culture, the Age of Aquarius refers to the advent of the New Age movement in the 1960s and 1970s. The Age of Aquarius is also an astrological term denoting either the current or forthcoming astrological age, depending on the method of calculation. Astrologers maintain that an astrological age is a product of the earth’s slow precessional rotation and lasts for 2,160 years, on average (26,000 year period of precession / 12 zodiac signs = 2,160 years).
Arcana: The two halves of a Tarot deck. The Major Arcana are 22 cards depicting dominant occurrences or “trumps”. The Minor Arcana (or Lesser Arcana) is made up of 56 suit or “court” cards.
Archdruid: The Archdruid is the title used by the presiding official of a Gorsedd. In the Druidic tradition of Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF), the Archdruid is the highest position.
Archetype: Usually used in describing a deity, an archetype is an energy pattern that encompasses many gods; Used to define a model of a person that stands as a symbol of a collection of traits. As an example, a warrior could be considered an archetype of all that is brave and strong and honorable. A priestess might be seen as an archetype of wisdom and intuition. In goddess-centric belief systems, the triune archetype of Maiden/Mother/Crone is often invoked to represent youth, middle age, and cronehood.
Ardaynes: Ancient laws governing the practice of Covens, passed from initiate to initiate as part of the Book of Shadows. Also called the Wiccan Laws, the Virtues, the Craft Laws, the Old Laws, the Ardanes, the Ordains or simply The Laws.
Aries: The 1st sign of the zodiac (21 March – 20 April). It is symbolized by the Ram, is a Fire sign, and is ruled by Mars.
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the practice of using naturally distilled essences of plants to promote the health and well-being of your body, mind, and emotions. Aromatherapy uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering one’s mood, cognitive, psychological or physical wellbeing.
Aromatic Herb: A plant used for aromatherapy.
Art and Craft: A cute expression meaning Wicca or Witchcraft.
Ásatrú: Type of Heathenism (Germanic Neopaganism), an ethnic religion, specifically focused on honoring Germanic deities in the pre-Christian religion of Scandinavia and paganism of greater Germania. Some adherents will use “Odinism” as synonymous with Ásatrú, others will reject an equivalence between the two terms, whilst others use it synonymously, interchangeably, and also debunk those that have a conviction the two are completely separate.
Ásatrúar: Practitioner of Ásatrú.
Ascension: The process of bringing one’s life into balance with the Higher Self.
ASMR: Autonomous sensory meridian response.
Aspect: A form, facet, or persona of Deity.
Aspecting: The next step up from an evocation, where one is breadth apart, from the entity they have evoked; Any advanced magickal activity in which a practitioner manifests a particular aspect of the Goddess or God, in thought, feelings, behavior, appearance, etc.; Often as a direct result of a “Drawing Down”. Often a minor variation of this phenomena occurs with the selection of a Magickal Name, of Craft Name.
Asperge: To ritually sprinkle with water or saltwater as a symbolic cleansing or blessing. Can be done with fingers, wand, branch, or other tool, or with an aspergillum made specifically for this purpose.
Asperger: A bundle of herbs used to sprinkle water for purification.
Asperging: The act of sprinkling water for purification purposes during or preceding Ritual.
Aspersion: Same as Asperge. Sprinkling with consecrated water for the purpose of purification.
Aspirant: Neophyte; Someone who has joined a Coven and has taken her/his Coven Oath, but has yet to take the First Degree Initiation.
Astral Body: Representation of person or things found in astral plane
Astral Plane: The nonphysical, spiritual plane. The plane that interpenetrates and reflects our physical plane, but operates on a higher frequency. Magickal workings are done in the Astral plane to effect the physical plane. When casting a circle you do soon the Astral Plane to protect you on both the Astra and Physical planes. The Druids refer to the Astral Plane as the “joint realm”, or the “joining of realms”. Through the “joint realm” one can catch glimpses of or commune with beings from different levels of reality. The Astral Realm is seen to overlie all the levels of reality, thereby “joining” the realms. However, the dangers of travelling in the Astral Realm can be great, as one may not understand much of what occurs while visiting. The Druids see the Astral as a rather unreliable source of information, and therefore often prefer to seek elsewhere for guidance. Druids far more often seek the guidance of the souls resting in the Otherworld, for these souls are experienced in the knowledge of our world and some souls are closer to advancing to the next realm.
Astral Projection: The act of separating the consciousness from the physical body and moving it at will, sometimes in a dream state, sometimes not.
Astral Temple: A location created by ceremonial magicians (and some other occultists) for the purpose of performing ritual in places where it is not possible to perform a physical ritual.
Astral Travel: Also known as Out-of-Body experience, Astral Travel occurs when one’s consciousness leaves the body and travels through space, time and other spiritual realms and levels.
Astrology: The science of the celestial bodies. Astrology may be considered to have been the first true science, and is a sort of transcendental metaphysics. A form of divination based on the ancient adage, “As above, so below”. Most often associated with Hermeticism.
Athame: A double-bladed, black-handled knife used to direct energy. It is not used to cut anything on the physical plane.
Atheism: Doctrine or belief that there is no God; Disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
Attunement: An activity which brings the mind, emotion and psyche of an individual into harmony.
Augury: A divination based on the appearance and behavior of animals. An omen or prediction; a foreboding; a prophecy. The practice of divining by bird signs is called Ornithomancy.
Aura: The energy field, or fluid, which emanating from and surrounding every being, whether human, animal, plant or mineral.
Automatic Writing: Form of divination where the channeler uses a pen, paper and an altered state of consciousness to receive messages.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): It is a neologism for a perceptual phenomenon characterized as a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or cognitive stimuli. The nature and classification of the ASMR phenomenon is still controversial, with much anecdotal evidence of the phenomenon but little or no scientific explanation or verified data.
Autumn Equinox: Mabon.
Avatar: An advanced soul, who returns to a physical body to teach less evolved souls.
Awareness: The state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness.
Awen: The Awen is a not genuine symbol of ancient Druidry, but associated with several modern groups. The emblem was probably conceived by the eighteenth century poet Iolo Morganwg, and reproduced in his book of purported Druidic philosophy. Awen is a Welsh and Cornish word for “(poetic) inspiration”. In the Welsh tradition, Awen is the inspiration of the poet bards; or, in its personification, Awen is the inspirational muse of creative artists in general: the inspired individual (often, but not limited to being, a poet or a soothsayer) is described as an awenydd. Awen is a Celtic symbol, which is represented by three rays that are vertically parallel to each other. The Awen, also known as the symbol of three rays, was a symbol of the balance between male and female energies. The first and last rays signified the powers of the male and female entities respectively. The middle ray signified the balance and equality between the two entities. Most of the experts of Celtic symbolism have interpreted that the Awen is a symbol that implies the balance between two opposing powers in the universe, which is very important for its smooth functioning. These symbols, and many more, were present around the Celtic islands long before the nations of Scotland or Ireland came into existence. The use of motifs pertaining to nature, in the art forms and symbolism of the ancient Celtic people, continues even today and remind us of their mystical, yet artistic culture.
Awl: Burin. A Witch tool consisting of a slim metal shaft with a handle. It is used to inscribe designs and words on candles.
Axis Mundi: Axis of the World. An imaginary or magickally invoked pole, often represented by the Tree of life, that links a place or person to the realms of Sky (Upper World), Land (Midworld) and Sea (Underworld).
Backyard Magick: making magick using ingredients and elements from your own backyard, like dirt, stones, sticks and plants.
Balefire: A fire, usually outdoors, lit for magickal purposes.
Bane: Bad, evil, destructive. That which destroys life.
Banish: To send off; to drive away or release a spirit or energy.
Bard: The poets, singers, storytellers and artists of the Celts. The composer of verses; keeper of the lore. Based on an earlier Celtic term meaning “praise”, it contemptuously referred to a traveling musician. This evolved in different cultures. By the Middle Ages, in Ireland and Wales, it meant a poet or musician hired to create songs that praised the lord who hired them. They also composed and sang songs praising warriors. Later, the term bard came to mean a romantic poet. In the 1700 and 1800 there was a Celtic Revival that associated bards with the Druids. In this context a bard was a musician, a poet, and a story teller as part of the Druidic priesthood.
BCE: Before Common Era. Alternate dating method corresponding to B.C., or Before Christ.
Beings: Being is an extremely broad concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence. The three beings venerated by the modern Druids and Wiccans are generally the Deities, the Ancestors and the Nature Spirits.
Bell: A ritual tool used to announce the beginning and the end of a ritual, which is thought to have the power of protection.
Bell, Book, and Candle: Originally a form of excommunication from the Catholic Church instituted in the late ninth century CE. It included the ringing of a bell, the closing of the Bible, and the snuffing of a candle. In 1950, a romantic comedy play by this name was produced. It was made into a movie in 1958. Part of the plot is that if a Witch falls in love she loses her supernatural powers. Curiously, some modern Witches have used the phrase to indicate the closing of a ritual.
Beltane: The Sabbat celebrated May 1 celebrating the marriage of the Goddess and God.
Beltane Cake: Towards the close of the entertainment of Beltane, the person who officiated as master of the feast produced a large cake baked with eggs and scalloped round the edge, called am bonnach bea-tine (“the Beltane cake”). It was divided into a number of pieces, and distributed in great form to the company. There was one particular piece which whoever got was called cailleach beal-tine (“the Beltane carline”), a term of great reproach. Upon his being known, part of the company laid hold of him and made a show of putting him into the fire; but the majority interposing, he was rescued. And in some places they laid him flat on the ground, making as if they would quarter him. Afterwards, he was pelted with egg-shells, and retained the odious appellation during the whole year. And while the feast was fresh in people’s memory, they affected to speak of the cailleach beal-tine as dead.
Besom: A Witch’s broom usually made from birch and willow used to purify spaces. Over which a couple jump during a handfasting or used to “sweep” away bad energy. It is never used to actually sweep the floor it instead sweeps negativity away. Just as a broom is used to sweep dirt away, a besom is used to cleanse an area as a type of banishing. Traditionally, a besom is made of a fairly straight stick, often an ash wood branch, with many twigs, frequently of willow, tied to the end. Unlike a modern broom where the brush tends to be narrow and wide, the brush of a besom tends to be circular. The besom is also used in some handfasting rituals with the couple jumping over the besom.
Between the Worlds: The concept of being in a place that is not a place, a time that is not a time. May refers to the Magickal Circle or the Sacred Space.
Bi-Location: A type of astral projection during which you maintain awareness of your present surroundings.
Big Blue Book: Common nickname for Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft.
Binding: A spell which generally involves tying knots in cords or a similar action, aimed at restricting energy or actions.
Bindrunes: A powerful magickal talisman, normally made from wood or metal, and inscribed with two or more different rune symbols which are combined into an aesthetically pleasing way.
Biophilia Hypothesis: The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems.
Black Book: This seems to be the original term used by Witches for the handwritten book for Witches to record their ideas and practices. Gerald Gardner seems to have introduced the expression “Book of Shadows” as a replacement for Black Book.
Black Handled Knife: Athame.
Black Magick: Traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magick for evil and selfish purposes. With respect to the left-hand path and right-hand path dichotomy, black magick is the malicious, negative, left-hand counterpart of benevolent white magick. In modern times, some find that the definition of “black magic” has been convoluted by people who define magick or ritualistic practices that they disapprove of as “black magic”. In some traditions, workings done with negative intent are referred to as “dark magick”. However, bear in mind that not all Pagan traditions divide magick into such simplistic categories as “black” or “white”.
Black Moon: When there are two New Moons in one calendar month, the second is called a Black Moon.
Black Ointment: Salve.
Blackthorn Stick: Shillelagh.
Blanking Out: Cleansing.
Blessed Be: Blessing and statement of affirmation. Traditional greeting, and to say “Blessed be” to someone indicates that you wish good and positive things upon them. In ritual, it is used to mean “let this be blessed”. Sometimes it is used with an officiating member stating it followed by the participants repeating it in a call-and-response fashion.
Blessed Water: Consecrated Water.
Blood of the Moon: The menstrual cycle. If the woman’s menstrual circle occurs over a New or Full Moon it is known as the Blood of the Moon or Moon Blood. A woman so attuned is more powerful than during other times of the month.
Blót: The most common ritual within Ásatrú. In its simplest form a blót is making a sacrifice to the Gods. In the old days this was done by feasting on an animal consecrated to the Gods and then slaughtered. As we are no longer farmers and our needs are simpler today, the most common blót is an offering of mead or other alcoholic beverage to the deities.
Blue Moon: When there are two Full Moons in one calendar month, the second is called a Blue Moon.
Bodhrán: An Irish frame drum ranging from 25 to 65 cm (10 to 26 in) in diameter, with most drums measuring 35 to 45 cm (14 to 18 in). The sides of the drum are 9 to 20 cm (3 1⁄2 to 8 in) deep. A goatskin head is tacked to one side (synthetic heads or other animal skins are sometimes used). The other side is open-ended for one hand to be placed against the inside of the drum head to control the pitch and timbre. One or two crossbars, sometimes removable, may be inside the frame, but this is increasingly rare on modern instruments. Some professional modern Bodhráns integrate mechanical tuning systems similar to those used on drums found in drum kits. It is usually with a hex key that the Bodhrán skins are tightened or loosened depending on the atmospheric conditions.
Bodkin: A pointed tool originally used in sewing and later by printers. During the Inquisition, bodkins similar in design to an ice pick were used to “detect” Witches. Supposedly, when a Witch sold her soul in a pact with the Devil, the Devil would mark her with a spot, somewhere on the body, that became insensitive to pain. Inquisitors would insert the bodkin repeatedly all over the body. The pain would be so intense, that eventually the victim’s mind would just stop responding, and thus prove that the spot was real, leading to further torture (confessions were often only accepted during torture). The time taken during this inquiry could be extensive, so some industrious Inquisitors (who were, in some instances, paid not for their time, but by the number of Witches they uncovered) created a fake bodkin where the spring-loaded needle would recede into the handle, giving the impression that the bodkin was being inserted into the body when it was not. It also “showed” that the spot didn’t bleed.
Bokor: In the religion of Vodou, they are sorcerers or houngan (priests) or mambo (priestesses) for hire who are said to ‘serve the loa with both hands’, meaning that they practice both dark magick and light magick. Their black magick includes the creation of zombies and the creation of ‘ouangas’, talismans that house spirits. The name Bokor can also refer to the leader of the Makaya division of Vodou (which originated in the Congo region) and Bokor also refers to the highest initiation rank in Dominican Vudú.
Boline/Bolline: A white-handled knife used to do work in the physical realm such as harvest herbs, inscribe candles and trim wicks. The Working knife.
Bonfire: A large fire built in the open air.
Book of Days: Alternate name for what is traditionally called Book of Shadows.
Book of Illuminations: Alternate name for what is traditionally called Book of Shadows.
Book of Light: Alternate name for what is traditionally called Book of Shadows.
Book of Memory: Alternate name for what is traditionally called Book of Shadows.
Book of Shadows (BOS): A workbook for Witches. This is a journal to record your activities and thoughts as you develop and learn. It is an excellent way of marking your progress. It is a place where to keep all your notes, spells, rituals and workings. Entries are handwritten. Sometimes referred to as a Grimoire. This has been replaced by computer folders and disks in some cases.
Book of Wisdom: Akashic Records.
Boomerang Effect: A popular name for the well-known occult principle that a psychic attack which comes up against a stronger defense rebounds threefold (though this is metaphorical) on the attacker.
Boon: A favor. Specifically, a request of the Goddess to grant a gift.
Bracelet: A symbol used in some Wiccan traditions. It is a metal band worn on the wrist and engraved with the Witch’s Name and Degree. Men wear one of gold and the women wear one of silver. Some traditions have both men and women wearing it on the left wrist. In some traditions the man wears it on his right wrist.
Bright Blessings: Common closing to letters and emails.
British Traditional Wicca (BTW): A term used in the United States of America to designate the original Wiccan Traditions. Europeans uses Traditional Wicca (TW) instead.
Broom Closet: To be in the broom closet is to not identify as Wiccan or Pagan. Wiccan term adapted from QUILTBAG (Queer/Questioning, Undecided, Intersex, Lesbian, Transgender/Transsexual, Bisexual, Allied/Asexual, Gay/Genderqueer) rights movement.
Broomlore: Information concerning magickal brooms.
Buddhism: Nontheistic religion or philosophy that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha, commonly known as the Buddha (“the awakened one”). According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern part of the Indian subcontinent sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering through the elimination of ignorance and craving. Buddhists believe that this is accomplished through the direct understanding and perception of dependent origination and the Four Noble Truths.
Burin: A tool similar to an awl having a handle with a metal rod sharpened to a point used to inscribe. Used by some Pagans to inscribe symbols and magickal words on amulets, etc.
Burning Times: A term used by some Witches for the period of persecution (Reformation and Inquisition) in the Middle Ages and later. Erroneously applied to the period of the witch-hunts, or even to the entire Christian period up until modern times. Based on the myth that the Church was hunting members of the Old Religion. Many of the accused, if not most of them, were not involved in any Witchcraft practices. The number of people so tortured and killed during this period is controversial, with “experts” giving totals ranging from under 100,000 to millions.
Cairn: A pillar of rocks. Usually 9 or 11.
Cakes and Ale/Cakes and Wine: Feasting, Blessings. Wiccan ritual meal consumed during Circle. May be nearly any combination of a liquid (not necessarily ale or even alcoholic; may be mead, wine, tea, or juice as well) and a small snack or piece of bread. Many Wiccans do this, although theological reasons given for it vary.
Call: Another term for Invoking; It is the act of invoking divine forces.
Calling, The: Refers to the moment someone is “divinely called” to learn, study and practice Wicca; The Calling refers to the perception peoples have when they are suddenly drawn into Wicca or Paganism. This is the Calling from the Goddess, the Earth Mother.
Calling the Quarters: Verbal or symbolic acknowledgment of the four Elements (Earth, Air, Fire Water) in a ritual environment.
Cancer: The 4th sign in the zodiac (22 June – 22 July). It is symbolized by the Crab, is a Water sign, and is ruled by the Moon.
Candidate: Someone who wants to join a coven, about whom Coveners have yet to make up their minds.
Candle Magick: A form of sympathetic magick that uses different colored candles to represent the people and things at which its spells are directed.
Candlemaking: The manufacture of candles.
Capricorn: The 10th sign of the zodiac (22 December – 20 January). Symbolized by the Goat, is an Earth sign, and is ruled by the Saturn.
Cardinal Points/Cardinal Directions: North, South, East, and West, marked in the Georgian Tradition by candles of green, red, yellow, and blue, respectively. The Circle is drawn to connect these four points.
Cartomancer: A practitioner of cartomancy.
Cartomancy: Fortune-telling or divination using a deck of cards. Forms of cartomancy appeared soon after playing cards were first introduced into Europe in the 14th century. Practitioners of cartomancy are generally known as cartomancers, card readers, or simply readers.
Casting a Circle: Also called “Closing the Circle”. Creating a mental magickal sphere that encircles one’s ritual/working space. The circle enhances one’s ability to focus, raise power, and contain that power until the person directing the ritual is ready to release the energy. The reverse process, which ends a Wiccan ritual, is called “Releasing the Circle” or “Opening the Circle”.
Casting Cloth: Layout cloth with appropriate markings, used for tossing the ogham fews (or for runes).
Cauldron: A cast-iron, three-legged pot used to make brews, hold fires, burn incense, holds candles. Represents the Self and is a point of transformation.
CE: Common Era. Alternate dating method corresponding to A.D., Anno Domini, or the Year of our Lord. This is becoming more and more standard in academic works as Westerners begin to more freely acknowledge that they share this planet with more than four billion non-Christians who really do not care when Jesus was born.
Celtic: For many people, the term “Celtic” is a homogenized one, popularly used to apply to cultural groups located in the British Isles and Ireland. However, from an anthropological standpoint, the term “Celtic” is actually fairly complex. Rather than meaning just people of Irish or English background, Celtic is used by scholars to define a specific set of language groups, originating both in the British Isles and in the mainland of Europe.
Celtic Cross (Ireland Symbol): The most famous of the Celtic symbols is the Celtic cross. This religious symbol of the Celts bore a heavy influence on the Christian cross. There are numerous interpretations with regards to the symbolism of the Celtic cross. One theory that seems to have Pagan origins states that the shape of the cross was derived from the Sun symbol. It was a cross surrounded by the wheel of the Sun, with its central stone representing the Sun itself, while the four blank quarters represented the shadows cast by the sun. It has also been suggested that the cross represents the eternity of life. It signifies the union between heaven and earth, with its vertical axis representing heaven and its horizontal axis, the earth. Celtic crosses are often decorated with carvings of other Celtic symbols such as the spirals and other floral and faunal designs. Such kinds of decorative motifs on the crosses lend a deeper meaning to their symbolism.
Celtic Festivals: Those are the Sabbats or Fire festivals known as Beltane, Imbolc Lughnasadh and Samhain.
Celtic Knot: A Celtic knot is not a defined symbol. On the contrary, graphical representations of a variety of knotted motifs can be seen adorning various artifacts, manuscripts, and monuments of the ancient Celts. There is very little documented evidence shedding light on the reasons behind introducing this motif in Celtic art. Nevertheless, owing to the widespread occurrence of the motif, it can be inferred that it may have been an important Celtic symbol. One interpretation is that a knot has neither a beginning nor an end. So, in spiritual terms, it refers to the infinity of the universe and the timelessness of the human spirit. It also represents the cycle of creation and destruction that goes on endlessly. The knotted motifs can be found on various items such as clothing, home decor and jewelry and, in the ancient times, may have stood for luck, continuity and longevity.
Celtic Neoshamanism: A modern spiritual tradition that combines elements from Celtic myth and legend with Michael Harner’s core shamanism. Proponents of Celtic Shamanism believe that its practices allow a deeper spiritual connection to those with a northern European heritage.
Celtic Reconstructionism: A movement to reconstruct traditions from Celtic cultures based upon proven historic source material rather than a reliance on occult or Neopagan traditions.
Celtic Reiki: Celtic Reiki is one of many modern Reiki modalities of energy healing. Celtic Reiki combines the healing energy of Japanese Reiki and the healing energy British trees. Like traditional Reiki, it involves a course of study and attunements. Although there is no documentation to prove it, some suspect the trees made their healing knowledge available to the ancient Druids, which is why they taught and practiced their arts inside the sacred groves of trees.
Celtic Tradition: A tradition following the Celtic myths and lore. These traditions can be Celtic at large or specific to a pantheon, like Irish, Welsh, or Gallic.
Celtic Wicca: Modern tradition of Wicca that incorporates some elements of Celtic mythology.
Censer: An incense holder/burner
Centering: A meditation exercise designed to produce feelings of total calm and oneness with the universe. As its name suggests, it’s aligning the body and its Chakras for maximum energy flow. It should be preceded by grounding. Centering reinforces your connection to yourself.
Ceremonial Magician: Magickal practitioners who stress exact performance of complex rituals involving systems of correspondences.
Ceremonial Magick: Broad term used in the context of Hermeticism or Western esotericism to encompass a wide variety of long, elaborate, and complex rituals of magick. It is named as such because the works included are characterized by ceremony and myriad necessary accessories to aid the practitioner. It can be seen as an extension of ritual magick, and in most cases synonymous with it. Popularized by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, it draws on such schools of philosophical and occult thought as Hermetic Qabalah, Enochian magick, Thelema, OTO, and the magick of various grimoires. Involves the use of elaborate rituals, dramatic invocations of the spirit, and mystic sacraments.
Chakras: Seven major points of energy in the body. Each is usually associated with a color. These vortexes are: Sahasrara – Crown Chakra (Purple or Clear), Ajna – Third Eye or Psychic Center (Indigo), Vishuddha – Throat Chakra (Blue), Anahata – Heart Chakra (Green), Manipura – Solar Plexus (Yellow), Svadhisthana – Sacral or Sexual Chakra (Orange), Muladhara – Root Chakra (Red). Smaller vortexes are located in the hands and feet, as well.
Chalice: A blessed cup used in ritual to hold the drink or saltwater. It represents the Goddess. It is a symbol of potential and is also used in the symbolic Great Rite.
Changer: Magician, Witch, Wiccan. A changer is someone who has the ability to change or transform the course of events by magick.
Channeling: The spontaneous or induced act of communicating with or serving as a channel for spirits while in a trancelike state of consciousness.
Chant/Chanting: The rhythmic repetition of sounds or syllables which is often used for magickal and devotional purposes. The chants are usually connected with the goal of the magickal/devotional work. Chanting functions by “hypnotizing” the brain; it starts to chant automatically after a certain period of time thus enabling the practitioner to focus on the goal without thinking about the words being said too much.
Chaos Magick: A postmodern magickal tradition which emphasizes the pragmatic use of belief systems and the creation of new and unorthodox methods. Chaos magick is often highly individualistic and borrows liberally from other belief systems, due to chaos magick having a central belief that belief is a tool. Some common sources of inspiration include such diverse areas as science fiction, scientific theories, traditional ceremonial magick, neoshamanism, eastern philosophy, world religions, and individual experimentation.
Chaplet: Also known as Corolla; A crown for the head usually made of flowers and worn at Beltane.
Charge of the Goddess: The Traditional words of the Goddess to her followers, or “hidden children”. Normally delivered by the High Priestess at every coven Circle during Full Moon rituals.
Charge: To infuse an object with personal power. Charging is an act of magick.
Charging: To infuse an object with power or your intend. Also known as Programming.
Charm: A talisman meant to be carried, or worn as jewelry.
Chiromancy: One of the oldest known forms of divination, Chiromancy, also known as Palmistry, uses the lines in the palm of the hand to predict characteristics and life patterns for an individual.
Chromotherapy: Method of harmonization and assistance to the natural cure of the diseases by the colors. The colors correspond to vibrations having speeds, wavelengths, different rhythms. They exert a physical, psychic and emotional influence of which we are generally not conscious and make it possible our vital energy to largely reach a state facilitating the auto-cure.
Chthonic: Related to the Underworld. It means “in, under, or beneath the earth”, “subterranean”. The translation of meaning discusses deities or spirits of the underworld, especially in Greek religion.
Church: Wiccan churches are a type of organization found within some groups of Wicca, particularly in North America. While in Europe Wicca is most often organized into independent covens, in the United States some covens choose to combine to form a “church”. Churches are often formed from hive covens.
Cingulum: In the various forms of British Traditional Wicca, cords, known as cingulum, or singulum (which literally translates as “girdle” or “belt”), are worn about the waist by adherents. These are often given to a Wiccan upon their initiation, and worn at each subsequent ritual. Traditionally they are nine feet in length (nine being three times three, the magickal number), and are used to measure the circumference of the magick circle so that it can be set up correctly. In many traditions of Wicca, the color of a person’s cingulum indicates what rank of initiation they are. Wiccan High Priest Raymond Buckland has said that the cingulum should not be worn, but kept especially for spellcraft.
Circle (1): A sphere constructed during ritual or Spellworking to contain energy and/or act as a barrier to keep out negative energy. “Casting the Circle” or “Closing the Circle” is done at the beginning of the ritual, while the “Releasing the Circle” or “Opening the Circle” is done at the end.
Circle (2): An informal group, usually for public rituals, formed by Wiccans and curious people. A public circle is usually held for festivals (Sabbats) and Pagan Pride activities for demonstrations. A circle can also be held by Wiccans before forming an official Coven together.
Circle (3): A synecdoche for Wiccan ritual.
Circling: Casting or drawing the Sacred Circle, setting the perimeter and establishing a boundary to protect the work being done therein.
Claddagh (Ireland Symbol): A Claddagh symbol consists of two hands holding on to a heart which has a crown on its top. The hands in the symbol represents friendship, the heart depicts love and crown shows loyalty. A person who is giving this symbol to someone, is committing his love, friendship and loyalty to that person. Therefore, this symbol is often used as one of the Celtic ring designs and commonly seen engraved on wedding rings. The lore behind this Celtic symbol for love is of a young fisherman who was captured by the pirates and sold in Africa as a slave. Though he was believed to be dead by the villagers, his lover did not think so and waited for him. Years went by and one day the man managed to escape from bondage and returned home to his beloved. He etched the Claddagh symbol on a ring and gifted to his girl in return for her faith in him.
Clairalience: Psychic taste. A metaphysical sense that relates to perceive odors.
Clairaudience: Psychic hearing. A metaphysical sense that relates to hearing, either by mental or physical means. It is likened to having a mental inner ear. It is the ability to receive messages from your Spirit Guides in thought form.
Claircognizance: A metaphysical sense where you know something to be correct but may be unable to back up your statement with fact or how you came into that information. Being able to “feel” or “Know” messages. Also called the power of Prophecy.
Clairsentience: Psychic touch. A metaphysical sense that relates to recurring physical and emotional feelings. This is known as clear feeling and signifies Divine guidance. Sometimes a Clairsentient person can perceive smells, taste or touch.
Clairvoyance: Psychic sight. A metaphysical sense that means seeing a mental image within your 3rd eye. It is also known as your 6th sense or spiritual sight.
Clan: Any number of covens who have agreed to follow the same kinds of rules, which spring from one central governing source. A clan has a single leader, and within the democratic clan governing system he or she had the power to veto proposals or actions of the group. “Clan” or “Sept” are used by Celtic Wiccan to describe a Circle or a Coven.
Cleansing: The act of removing any negative or unwanted energy, vibrations or images from an object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.
Closing the Circle: Casting the Circle.
Collective Unconsciousness: Akashic Records.
Compact: A set of written rules for a Coven, ritually sworn to or signed by all members, covering all important aspects of coven life. It spells out precisely what is allowed and not allowed.
Compersion: Means “joy in another’s joy in another”, invented by the polyamory community to mean the opposite of jealousy.
Concentration: Ability to give your attention or thought to a single object or activity.
Cone of Power: The energy that is raised in a Magick Circle. It is done by chanting, singing, drumming, walking etc. The energy is focused on a goal, and then built up and then sent out through the top of the circle into the Astral to work it’s power.
Congregant: A Wiccan or Pagan who simply follows the religion. For a congregant, it is enough to go to the occasional public Esbat and Sabbat celebration; to have a personal practice that doesn’t include any deep commitments.
Conjuration: The act of evoking spirits by means of formulas or words of power; Evocation.
Connection: Association; Relationship. Wiccans are generally connected with nature, with the God and the Goddess, and also with other people in a positive and uplifting way.
Conscious Mind: The analytical, materially-based, rational half of our consciousness. The mind at work when we compute our taxes, theorize or struggle with ideas.
Consecrated Water: Blessed, purified water for use in ritual. Salt or an herb may be added to the water as part of its ritual purification process. Also known as Holy water and Blessed Water.
Consecration: The ritual of purifying items and/or self to be used in the circle.
Continental Germanic Tradition: A tradition following the Germanic myths and lore, practiced in parts of Central Europe during the 6th to 8th centuries, a period of Christianization. This is a variant of the Heathenism.
Convert: One who has been converted, as to a religion or opinion.
Convert, To: To cause to adopt a different religion.
Cookbook of Shadows: Specific Grimoire or Book of Shadows used in Kitchen Magick. The most basic include a list of common recipe ingredients such as herbs, fruits, vegetables, and other staples, and the attributes associated with them. It can be organized by spell type, ingredients, cooking method, or a variety of other ways. It usually include a section for notes and for writing your own spells.
Cookbook Witch: A derogatory term applied to a Solitary Witch or a self-formed coven of Wiccans who base their magick not on thorough training, but on simply following any popular book of spells. They may simply collect the materials for the spell that are listed in the book and then follow the instructions, going so far as to read the book during the casting of the spell. This is similar to following a recipe from a cookbook, which is the source of this term.
Cord: A rope or string used as a badge of rank in some Wiccan traditions. The color of the cord indicates the Degree of the Witch within the tradition. In some systems this is also known as the “measure”.
Corn Baba: Corn Dolly.
Corn Dolly: A dolly made from corn husks (some books I have read say that American “Corn” is actually wheat). A symbol of the Goddess, especially at Beltane and a symbol of the God at Mabon.
Corn: In Europe and among some Pagans, any cereal grains such as wheat, barley, rye, etc., but excluding maize. Curiously, in the US it refers to maize and excludes other grains.
Corona: The white ring around the Full Moon. It’s caused by the light from the moon being refracted through water present in the atmosphere, most often seen on a clear winters night. The ring has a rainbow effect if it’s clear enough, but most often all we see is the white ring rather than the full spectrum of color.
Correspondence: An item that has a magickal association. Correspondences include: days, planets, moon phases, herbs, oils, colors, gemstones, Zodiac signs, hours, etc.
Corrguinigh: “Sorcerer” in Irish.
Cosmic Two-by-Four: A humorous Pagan term meaning a whop in the head from the gods for having acted stupidly.
Cosmology: The study of the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe. Physical cosmology is the scholarly and scientific study of the origin, evolution, large-scale structures and dynamics, and ultimate fate of the universe, as well as the scientific laws that govern these realities. Religious or mythological cosmology is a body of beliefs based on mythological, religious, and esoteric literature and traditions of creation and eschatology. The Celtic Cosmology define the world as three realms: the Sky (Upper World), the Land (Middle World) and the Sea (Underworld).
Coven: An organized group of Witches, led by a High priestess and/or a High Priest who meet regularly for worship and fellowship. The traditional membership is Thirteen, but in fact most covens number considerably less. Three is the minimum in the Georgian Tradition. Members of a coven are referred to as Coveners or Priests and Priestesses.
Coven Oath: Oath of Secrecy.
Covendom: The area served by a covenstead and inhabited by members of the coven.
Covener/Covenor: Any member of a Coven who has taken her/his Coven Oath, from Aspirant to High Priest/High Priestess.
Covenmate: Someone who is in a ritual or coven with you; a peer.
Covenmeet: Meeting in a Coven.
Covenstead: The regular home or meeting place of a coven. Usually the home of the High Priestess or High Priest.
Cowan: A non-Wiccan; Someone who has not been initiated. May or may not be used derogatorily. Impolite term for outsider. The term is borrowed from Masons. Not often used today amongst most Witches. In today’s time, the word is amusingly replaced by “mundane” or even “muggle”, a word from the Harry Potter book series.
Coyote Energy: Trickster energies. Named for the American Indian Trickster, Coyote, who tricks man into learning what he needs to learn. Applies to one who constantly jokes and clowns. Also applies to the concept of “Holy Fool” in many traditions.
Craft: Alternate name for Wicca or Witchcraft. Erroneously thought to be short for witchcraft, this term is actually Masonic in origin, as in the craft of masonry that Masons were originally employed within. Many witches and Wiccans continue to refer to their practices as the Craft.
Craft Name: Many Wiccans adopt a religious name, both to symbolize one’s self-created identity as a Pagan and to separate one’s Pagan persona from legal names and mundane activities.
Craft of the Wise: Wicca.
Creatrix: A female creator. Often related to the Mother aspect of the Goddess.
Creideamh Sí: Irish term for “Fairy Faith”, a collection of beliefs and practices observed by those who wish to keep good relationships with the Daoine Sídhe and avoid angering them. The custom of offering milk and traditional foods – such as baked goods, apples or berries – to the Daoine Sídhe have survived through the Christian era into the present day in parts of Ireland, Scotland and the Diaspora. Those who maintain some degree of belief in the Daoine Sídhe also are aware to leave their sacred places alone and protect them from damage through road or housing construction.
Crescent Moon: Sacred symbol of the Goddess. Used for Sabbats, women’s healings and invocations.
Crescent’s Knife: A blade shaped like a crescent moon, with a long tang going into the attached handle. Often used to harvest herbs and other sacred items. May also acts as the Bolline when the handle is white.
Crone (1): The aspect of the Goddess represented by the old woman. Symbolized by the waning moon, the carrion crow, the cauldron, the color black. Her Sabbats are Mabon and Samhain. She represents preservation, reflection upon the inner nature, wisdom gained from experience.
Crone (2): Older, wise woman in a Pagan community. The image of a Witch found in many folk tales is actually that of the Crone. The age is necessary to show the wisdom she has acquired. Physical malformations such as the stooped stance and the infamous nose wart indicate the work she has done for the community as well as her skill as a healer.
Crone’s Sickle: Sometimes describe the last slender crescent of the waning moon, which occurs a few days before the new moon.
Croning: A rite of passage for women. The transitory rite a Wiccan may experience when reaching old age, typically after menopause or around retirement.
Cross Initiation: In most covens, the process leading to membership and initiation requires a period of study and practice, often a year and a day. Sometimes, to honor leaders of different covens or help establish friendly bonds between them, initiations will be given without such training. That is, a Witch of tradition 1 initiates into that tradition a Witch from tradition 2. In turn, the Witch from tradition 2 initiates into that tradition the Witch from tradition 1. Theologically, this allows covens to work with the specific deities of the other coven. It also allows a High Priest or High Priestess to officiate at another coven. This can be valuable if the person regularly working in this role becomes ill, leaves the coven, or dies.
Crossing Over: One of many names for a Wiccan funeral, which celebrates the life of the deceased and gives the mourners opportunity to express grief and seek healing together.
Crossing the Bridge: Requiem. A Wiccan rite of passage performed at the death of a loved one. Corresponds to the concept of a funeral. Different Wiccan groups have various Crossing the Bridge rituals, ranging from focusing on a spiral dance – representing the spiral of life – to a re-enactment of the famous goddess descending to the underworld and returning. Will often include a celebratory aspect with feasting, drinking, storytelling, and dance in honor of the deceased.
Crossing: Old term for Hexing; Cursing.
Cross-Quarter Days: The Sabbats falling between the solstices and equinoxes: Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. They begin the seasons and are also called the Greater Sabbats or Major Sabbats. They are named after Celtic festivals, although celebrations may vary significantly from their original forms, purpose and meaning.
Crystal: A solid body having a characteristic internal structure and enclosed by symmetrically arranged plane surfaces, intersecting at definite and characteristic angles.
Crystal Ball: A ball is made of quartz (you can tell if it is true quartz by its cold feel and the inclusion of irregularities). It is used for divination.
Crystal Children: Indigo Children.
Crystal Magick: Using crystals and stones for magick, meditation and self-improvement. Lithotherapy is a form of Crystal Magick.
Crystal-Gazing: Method for seeing visions achieved through trance induction by means of gazing at a crystal. Also known as crystal-seeing, crystallism, crystallomancy, gastromancy, and spheromancy.
Culdees: The Culdees were members of ascetic Christian monastic and eremitical communities of Ireland, Scotland, and England in the Middle Ages. The word /Culdees” derives from the Irish term “Céli Dé”, meaning “Companions of God”.
Culinary Herb: A plant used for food.
Cult: A particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
Cultural Appropriation: The appropriation of one culture’s practice and belief system by another, but without the true cultural context. For example, Wiccans who integrate totem animals, vision quests, and sweat lodge sessions as an homage to Native Americans – but who are not Native Americans themselves, and do not understand the usage of those practices on a cultural level because of it – could arguably be accused of cultural appropriation. Some see it as homage – a way to pay tribute to another group by adoption their music, dress, or religion as one’s own.
Curse: Purposely directing negative energy at someone. Wiccans do not do this, as it goes against the rules of three.
Daemon: A guardian spirit who communicates inspiration and advice. Same as a “guardian angel”.
Dagyde: Derived from the Greek word dagos, meaning “doll”, a dagyde is a doll similar to the famous Voodoo doll. The doll represents a person who is going to be the subject of a magickal ritual or spell. Needles or pins or even thorns are inserted in various places of the doll (a form of sympathetic magick) to indicate where magickal energy, for good or ill, is to be sent. Pagans define the terms as “Witches’ needles and pins”.
Daoine Sídhe: Aos Sí; The Nature Spirits of the Irish Mythology.
Dark Arts: Black Magick.
Dark Moon: Period of the month when the moon is not visible. Also called the New Moon, although that designation would seem more appropriate to the first sight of the waxing moon. Representative of the Goddess as the One Who Transforms in her aspect of Tomb and Womb.
Dark One: A term used by Pagans to refer to the male horned god (often in His form as the bringer of death leading to rebirth) or surprisingly the female goddess in Her aspect of the Crone, representing wisdom derived from experience and age. Some major religions equate their deity with light exclusively, leading to the conclusion that anything dark must be evil, Satanic, etc. As a result, the term has also been used in a derogatory fashion toward Pagan deities.
Dark Power: Generally negative energies drawn from the Dark Aspects of the Goddess and the God.
Daughter Coven: The term is used for a Coven which has been formed by a member of the original Coven, and hence is directly descended from the Mother Coven. Under certain circumstances, members of a coven may wish to form another coven. This second coven is considered a daughter coven. Usually the day-to-day workings of the daughter coven are independent of the mother coven, but the mother coven has ultimate authority. There are several reasons for having a daughter coven. It may be that space limitations of the mother coven’s covenstead make this a necessity. It may be that there are personality differences. It may be that a couple has achieved High Priest and High Priestess rank and wishes to form their own group. Initiation into a daughter coven is the same as initiation into the parent coven. Sometimes, parent and daughter covens will have rituals together on the major Sabbats.
Days of Power: Sabbats; Days triggered by astrological occurrences, your birthday, Blood of the Moon, and your dedication/initiation anniversary.
Dearinth: The Dearinth symbol was designed by Oberon Zell (Then known as Otter Zell) as an emblem to represent his Church of All Worlds, a Neopagan religious group based on the spiritual themes in Robert Heinlein’s novel Stranger in a Strange Land. The symbol is based on ancient labyrinth designs, and incorporates the images of the Wiccan/Neopagan Goddess and the Horned God. The nine concentric rings symbolize the nine levels of initiation in the Church.
Dedicant: The first year or the beginning level student who often has made a pledge to study her/his Path for a specific period of time, usually for a year and a day.
Dedicating: The act of dedicating yourself or an object for a specific purpose.
Dedication (1): The dedication of a Witch is a ritual where the individual accepts the Craft as their path in life and is “reborn” as a child of the Goddess and God; Self-Dedication is a private declaration of religious intent between you and the gods. Some authors erroneously refer to this as self-initiation.
Dedication (2): Dedication is repeated use of an object, previously charged, for the same purpose. This can happen by charging the same piece over and over again, or by using a specific dedication ritual (or both).
Deep Ecology: A contemporary ecological and environmental philosophy characterized by its advocacy of the inherent worth of living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs, and advocacy for a radical restructuring of modern human societies in accordance with such ideas.
Deepening: The feeling of an energy pattern or spiritual belief becoming much more strong in a person. A spiritual deepening is a feeling of being in a state of grace, and our beliefs and convictions seems to fill us with power and love.
Deflection: Defuse general malevolence and ill will of others. A mirror is most commonly used in a deflection ritual to either return or deflect evil intent.
Degree: In some traditions of Wicca, a degree system is used to show the stages of learning. After a designated learning period (usually a year and a day at the minimum) a Wiccan may be initiated into the level of First Degree. A Wiccan who has reached the Third Degree may become a High Priest or High Priestess and form his or her own coven.
Deism: A theological/philosophical position that combines the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge with the conclusion that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a single creator of the universe.
Deities: A group of Gods and/or Goddesses. The Gods are real, not as persons, but as vehicles of power. Briefly, it may be explained that the personification of a particular type of cosmic power in the form of a God or Goddess, carried out by believers and worshippers over many centuries, builds that God-form or Magickal Image into a potent reality on the Inner Planes, and makes it a means by which that type of cosmic power may be contacted.
Deities of Polytheism: The deities of polytheism are often portrayed as complex personages of greater or lesser status, with individual skills, needs, desires and histories; in many ways similar to humans (anthropomorphic) in their personality traits, but with additional individual powers, abilities, knowledge or perceptions. Polytheism cannot be cleanly separated from the animist beliefs prevalent in most folk religions. The gods of polytheism are in many cases the highest order of a continuum of supernatural beings or spirits, which may include ancestors, demons, wights and others. In some cases these spirits are divided into celestial or chthonic classes, and belief in the existence of all these beings does not imply that all are worshipped.
Deity: A supreme or divine being; God or Goddess.
Déjà Vu: A French term which means “already seen” and which is used in parapsychology to refer to those moments which a person feels they have experienced before i.e. which they have already experienced/seen/heard. This phenomenon is actually very common. In Paganism, it is connected with the belief in reincarnation (so these experiences actually happened in a previous life and that we remember them). The feeling of déjà vu can last anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or over, but it is almost never possible to define precisely when they first occurred and whether they happened in reality or not (it may sometimes seem that they previously occurred in a dream, in which case one has to question the divinatory functions of dreams).
Deosil: The direction the sun travels in the sky. Moving in a clockwise direction. Deosil symbolizes things that are growing or increasing, or proceeding forwards. Most Wiccans cast a Circle deosil and open it widdershins, for example. Also called “Clockwise” or “Sunwise”.
Descent of the Goddess: Piece of mythology and ritual drama originating within British Traditional Wicca. Similar to the myth of Inanna’s descent to the Underworld; told as a story of rebirth.
Devas: Devas are energies, or spirit forms, that create patterns of reality on higher levels of existence. Anything created naturally or by humans has a deva.
Devic Kingdom: The Kingdom of inner Earth is set up much the same as the human kingdom, a hierarchy of beings based on service and spiritual attainment. The members of the Devic kingdom are the keepers of The Flame of wisdom for our planet, the human kingdom the keepers of the flame of Love and the Angelic kingdom the keepers of the flame of Power. In the Devic kingdom, the least evolved forms are the Elementals, they correspond to the elements, Air, Fire, Water, Earth. The elementals are better known as Sylphs, Salamanders, Undines and Gnomes.
Devic Realm: Devic Kingdom.
Devoking: Thanking the Beings; We say farewell to the Goddess, the God and the entities present at the end of a ritual, this is sometimes called “Devoking”. The opposite of “Invoking”.
Devotional: Prayers that are focused on how much you love your chosen deity. They are usually spoken directly to them.
Devotional Wicca: Practice of Wicca centered around personal and communal devotion to the Mother Goddess and Father God. It is essentially monastic in flavor; most adherents are priestesses and priests, or are in training to become such. Members take vows, focus their attentions on prayer, meditation, study, and the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. It is called “Devotional” because it requires a great deal of devotion to follow–more than what most traditions ask for.
Dharmic Religion: Indian Religions.
Dhoop: Incense in the form of cone. Dhoops are an extruded incense, lacking a core bamboo stick. Many dhoops have very concentrated scents and put out a lot of smoke when burned. The most well-known dhoop is probably Chandan Dhoop. It contains a high percentage of sandalwood.
Diana’s Bow: In many traditions, this is the term used for the slender crescent just a few days out from the new moon, as it looks a bit like a bow.
Diana’s Crown: A relatively simple crescent moon, usually positioned with the points up, mounted a circle and worn as a crown. Usually made of silver, it is a symbol worn by a High Priestess of a coven to indicate her rank and position.
Dianism: Dianic Wicca.
Dirk: Ritual knife of the Scottish tradition.
Dis-ease: Hyphenated variation of the word “disease”. The term dis-ease is used by individuals and healing communities who are aligned with wellness, choosing not to empower health issues by focusing on a particular ailment. The intent is to place emphasis on the natural state of “ease” being imbalanced or disrupted.
Disk of Shadows: A Technopagan play on the term “Book of Shadows”, a Wiccan practitioner’s book of magickal and spiritual rituals, rites, information, and knowledge that would be copied by hand from the one used by the practitioner’s teacher or coven. In the computer age, some practitioners now store this information on a computer disk rather than in a book. Hence, a “Disk of Shadows”. When kept on removable media from earlier computers it was known as a “Floppy Disk of Shadows”.
Divination: To foretell events of the future or recount the distant past or clarify the now by using tools or actions such as Tarot cards, dreams, runes, astrology, pendulums, meditation, etc; The magickal art of using tools and symbols to gather information from the Collective Unconsciousness
Divine: A broader term than Deity, the Divine encompasses both the Goddess and the God and includes those aspects which do not have a gender or a name.
Divine Power: The un-manifested, pure energy that exists within the Goddess and God. The universal life force that has created everything in existence, the ultimate source of all things. Compare with Earth Power and Personal Power.
Divining: The use of Divination (i.e. “He was Divining using his Tarot cards).
Dogma: An official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc., as of a church.
Dolmen: Derived from the Breton phrase taol maen, meaning “stone table”, a structure of three or more large upright stones covered by a flat stone called a “table”. Originally found as part of ancient burial tombs, eventually some became seen as “doorways” through which one might pass into another reality, or as a spiritual marker, as in the famous Stonehenge monument. Also known by the Welsh term, “cromlech”.
Dowse: To search for a source of water or minerals by walking about while holding a divining/dowsing rod.
Dowsing: The use of a pendulum or forked stick to find the actual location of a person, place, thing, or element. This method has been known to become individualistic with people. Objects such as stones on the back of the hand, a tall glass of water (water dowsing), parallel steel wires and dried leaves or petals.
Draíodóir: “Witch” in Irish.
Draoi: “Druid” in Irish.
Drawing Down: Invocation.
Drawing Down the Moon: A ritual done during the Full Moon where the High Priestess invokes the Goddess into her, in a form of ritual embodiment or playing the role of an avatar; A ritual in which the Goddess is drawn into the body of the High Priestess. Traditionally the rite is performed by the High Priest, leaving the High Priestess open to receive the Goddess. A new expression, “Drawing Down the Sun”, is sometimes used to describe a ritual wherein the God is drawn into the body of the High Priest. Thus invoked, the Goddess or God can communicate with practitioners and enjoy the experience of having a physical body.
Drawing Down the Sun: Used for High Priest to invoke the God in some groups. A ritual added to many Pagan traditions to match that of Drawing Down the Moon. In this ritual, usually performed by a High Priestess, the God of the tradition is invoked into the High Priest. In this embodied form, the God may make oracular statements to the assembled people and enjoy the experience of having a physical body.
Dreamcatcher: In some Native American cultures, a dreamcatcher is a handmade object based on a willow hoop, on which is woven a loose net or web. The dreamcatcher is then decorated with sacred items such as feathers and beads. The “dream-catcher”, hung above the bed, is used as a charm to protect sleeping people, usually children, from nightmares. Dreamcatchers originated with the Ojibwe people and were later adopted by neighboring nations through intermarriage and trade.
Dreamtime: An Aboriginal Shamanic concept of multiple realities wherein the world of dreams (dreamtime) is as valid and real as our ordinary world. In ordinary waking consciousness, we experience time as a linear flow from past through present to future. During dreams, these divisions are transcended and time is best understood as the “eternal now”, thus allowing for dream premonitions or even deliberate programmed dreams to reveal specific future happenings.
Dreamwalker: In shamanism, a dreamwalker is someone who works with dreams and travels to other worlds for the purpose of gaining information that can help the shaman, another person, several people, or the entire group/tribe. It involves lucid dreaming: being aware that you are dreaming while you are dreaming. Some dreamwalkers are able to enter the dreams of others to give them needed advice or spiritual assistance.
Dreamwork: The work we do in recording, analyzing, and interpreting our dreams.
Dressing: Putting some herbs mixed with oil on spell items such as candles as part of a ritual consecration to prepare the object to attract and direct the energy of a spell to accomplish a goal.
Druid: Pre-Roman spiritual leaders of Europe, there is much speculation and relatively little factual documentation about them. They seem to have been involved with divination, incantations, healing, magick, advising royalty, carrying history in song. Druidry was an oral tradition, hence the minimal documentation. The philosophers, teachers, counselors, judges, arbitrators and magicians of the Celts. The advisors; authorities of worship, law and ceremony. A member of the priestly caste of ancient Celtic England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The Druids were the wise men and women who worked as teachers, healers and advisors to Kings and common people alike. Modern Druids are sometimes called Neo-Druids.
Druid Moon: Esbats.
Druid Stones: The Druid Stones are, in the south of England, pillars of gray sandstone scattered over the chalk downs. In other countries, they can be found in the form of circles, or in detached pillars like Stonehenge.
Druidcraft: A spiritual practice embracing elements of both Druidry and Wicca, developed by Philip Carr-Gomm, the Chief Druid of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. It is also the title of a book written about the same topic by Philip Carr-Gomm.
Druidess: Female Druid.
Druidic Sigil: The so-called Druid sigil is the identifying symbol of one of the earliest Druid reconstruction organizations, Reformed Druids of North America. It is strictly a modern symbol, having no root in historic Druidry. It originated in the sixties, but the inspiration behind the design is unknown- the most likely origin is from heraldic designs, which often featured wreaths of oak leaves.
Druidic Wicca: Druidcraft.
Druidism: The old religion of the Druids.
Druidry: A Neopagan religion based at least partially on old Celtic traditions; Neo-Druidism.
Dryad: Tree Nymph, Tree Faery or Tree Spirit. In Greek “drys” signifies “oak”. Thus, dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, though the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general. These were the hamadryads who were an integral part of their trees, such that if the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well.
Duality: The opposite of polarity. When used as a religious term, it separates two opposites such as good and evil and places those characteristics into two completely separate God-forms.
Dúiles: Celtic Elements often compared to the Chakras. To the Celts, the body was composed of many elements known as “dúile”. The neach (“living being”) or duine (“person”) was composed of nine dúile (“elements”). Each of these elements had its corresponding cosmic element in the “Bith” or Cosmos. A Celt’s Spirit was centered within the house of his body.
Dumb Supper: Once popular in parts of Ireland and Great Britain, the Dumb Supper is a meal eaten in silence with empty chairs and plates of food set at the dinner table for our beloved dead. It is used as a ritual of respectful remembrance and can be a very moving experience. Today, Wiccans and Pagans hold Dumb Suppers as part of their Samhain celebrations, making it a very enchanted evening with their Ancestors. One that they will cherish for years to come.
Duotheism: The belief in a matched pair of divine entities.
Dweller of the Threshold: Guardian of the Threshold.
Earth: One of the four elements which corresponds to the North Watchtower or the magickal circle.
Earth Magick: The energy that exists within stones, herbs, flames, wind, and other natural objects.
Earth Plane: Metaphor for your normal waking consciousness, for the everyday, solid world we live in.
Earth Power: Energy that exists within nature and all on Earth. Earth Power comes from our planet and natural items such as stones, trees, and flowers. Compare with Divine Power and Personal Power.
Earth Signs: In astrology, the three signs of the zodiac attributed to the element of Earth: Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo.
Earth Tides: The pulling of the energies of the Wheel of the Year, which can often be felt by travelers of all kinds of earth-based paths. It is the overwhelming, yet somehow subtle feeling of being presently in a seasonal energy pattern that is a click or two ahead of where you are on the Wheel at the current time.
Earth-Based Belief System (EBBS): Earth-Based Religion.
Earth-Based Religion: Earth-Based Religion or nature worship is a system of religion based on the veneration of natural phenomena. It covers any religion that worships the earth, nature, or fertility gods and goddesses, such as the various forms of goddess worship or matriarchal religion. Also most Indian religions can be included in earth religion. Some find a connection between earth-worship and the Gaia hypothesis. Earth religions are also formulated to allow one to utilize the knowledge of preserving the earth.
Earth-Centered Religion: Earth-Based Religion. Neo-Paganism is an Earth-Centered religion. The center here refers to the place which is most sacred. This is often expressed in theological terms of immanence or pantheism.
Earthing: To send excess energy into the Earth.
Ebb: The flowing back of the tide as the water returns to the sea; A point of decline.
Eclectic: Non-traditional; Usually means not adhering to any established tradition or set of practices, creating one’s own path and potentially drawing on a wide range of sources, mixing and matching as one sees fit. A term used to describe certain Pagans or their “traditions” that freely borrow and use the spiritual beliefs and philosophy, as well as magickal methods, from a variety of sources. In the past, people generally had to adapt themselves to fit into a chosen spiritual tradition. Instances where people attempted to change the status quo often resulted in mutual denunciations and even wars. Eclectic Witchcraft and Eclectic Wicca allow practitioners to create a path that suits them, even combining traditions that seemed mutually exclusive.
Eclecticism: Conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases.
Eclipse: When one heavenly body obscures another for a short period of time, creating a temporary veil or shadow.
Ecological Footprint: A measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems, the amount of natural capital used each year. The footprint of a region can be contrasted with the natural resources it generates.
Ecopsychology: Studies the relationship between human beings and the natural world through ecological and psychological principles.
Ecstasy: The trance-state or transcendence of self-awareness central to Shamanistic and Charismatic religious. This state may be induced through ingestion of psychotropic (hallucinogenic) plants or chemicals, meditation, dance, chanting, drumming, or any of a number of other aids to ecstatic practice. Those in an ecstatic state often make prophetic utterances, meaningless, of course, unless those listening can understand them.
Ego: Conscious part of the human psyche.
Egregore: An occult concept representing a “thought form” or “collective group mind”, an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people.
Eight-Spoked Wheel: Wheel of the Year.
Eke-Name: Same as Craft Name; One’s sacred and secret name, used only with the divine and/or with fellow worshippers.
Elder: A Witch (especially in Gardnerian Wicca) of a rank who helps govern a coven. Some covens require you to be the leader of a coven for nine years before you can be considered to be an elder. If the HP or HPS steps down, they become an Elder. Also, someone of high stature for a long period among a Wiccan community. Older and wiser person. Amongst Witches and Wiccans these would be third-degree and second-degree members of a coven.
Elder Futhark: The oldest form of the runic alphabets. It was a writing system used by Germanic tribes for the northwestern and Migration period dialects. Its inscriptions are found on artifacts (including jewelry, amulets, tools, weapons, and runestones) from the 2nd to 8th centuries. In Scandinavia, from the late 8th century, the script was simplified to the Younger Futhark, while the Anglo-Saxons and Frisians extended the Futhark which eventually became the Anglo-Saxon futhorc. Unlike the Anglo-Saxon and Younger Futharks, which remained in use during the Early and High Middle Ages, respectively, knowledge of how to read the Elder Futhark was forgotten until 1865, when it was deciphered by Norwegian scholar Sophus Bugge.
Eldering: The transitory rite a Wiccan may experience when reaching old age, typically after menopause (if applicable) or around retirement. “Eldering” is usually used for men, and “Croning” for women.
Elementals: The personification of the nature elements of Air (Sylph), Earth (Gnome), Fire (Salamander) and Water Undine). The fifth element is Spirit which brings the other elements together. These Elementals are traditionally also the “Guardians of the Watchtowers” to the North, East, South and West. These elements are regarded as the construction fiber of all that is real in the physical universe. For Grecco-Romans they are the four Winds, and for Ceremonials they are the four Archangels.
Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Witches believe also in a fifth element: Self, Spirit or Akasha.
Elevation: An elevation, in Wicca, is when an Initiate (first degree adept) receive her/his second and her/his third degrees. The first degree is the Initiation, de second degree is an Elevation, and the third degree is another Elevation.
Elitism: The attitude or behavior of a person or group who regard themselves as belonging to an elite.
Elixir: Elixirs are made by placing charged crystals in liquids and allowing the energy to flow to that liquid for a time. The crystal is the removed and the liquid taken orally. A Dry Elixir can be obtained by not actually immerse the stone in the water so you can take advantage of the stone’s energy in a subtle way, and can be drink without the risk of intoxicating yourself with any toxicity.
Elven Star: A seven pointed star, is associated with practitioners of Fairy (also Feri, Faerie, etc)., a Celtic-tinged Wicca. The Elven Star is used interchangeably with or in place of the pentagram in Faery/Feri traditions in Witchcraft. Most often, the points are ascribed various correspondences, including seven symbolic directions (the four cardinal directions, plus above, below, and within), seven magickal elements (the four alchemical elements plus magick, light and life), or seven magickal places (sun, moon, sea, sky, wood, wind, and spirit/interconnection). Also known as Fairy Star or septagram.
Empath: One who literally feels the emotions and passions of another. Someone who is an empath needs to learn basic shielding techniques – otherwise, they can find themselves feeling drained and exhausted after absorbing the energies of others.
Empathy: Ability to sense the feelings and emotions of others, without their telling us, verbally, what they are thinking and feeling.
Empowering: Also called “charging”. This means to fill an object with divine energy for a specific magickal purpose or manifestation.
Enchant: “Sing to”. Magickally speaking, a procedure whereby herbs are aligned with your magickal need prior to their use.
Enchantment: Spell; A magickal object that must be kept absolutely secret and hidden from all human eyes and affects a hidden aura. They must be charmed first. Gems and magickal writing are good items to use.
Energy: Source of power which resides within everything which makes it what it is. It can be described as a vibration, sensation and in many cases a feeling of static in the air to those sensitive to it. It is like electricity, you cannot see it, but it does exist. No-one has yet found a reliable way of measuring the energy in all objects.
Enlightenment: The state of being enlightened, to give intellectual or spiritual light to; instruct; impart knowledge to.
Ephemeris: Astrological tables showing where each planet is at any given time. An ephemeris will also show the phase of the moon, as well as retrograde planets.
Equal-Armed Cross: The original Celtic Cross. A cross symbol with equally sized arms representing the elements.
Equinox: When day and night are equal in length. They are celebrated (in the northern hemisphere) as the Sabbats of Ostara (March 19-20) and Mabon (September 22-23).
Esbat: The celebration of the moon phases, mainly the Full or New Moon. The word is found in a single witch-trial document involving a torture-induced confession. In Basque. It may have been a corruption of Sabbat. The modern usage is based on the writings of Margaret Murray. Rituals performed by Pagans, Witches, and Wiccans at the full moon. Unlike the eight Sabbats that are associated with devotional rituals based on Solar myths, the Esbat is not strictly devotional. It is where practitioners come together to work magick and discuss the needs of their group.
Esoteric: Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest, or an enlightened inner circle. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application; often with mystical or religious connotations.
Esotericism: The tendency to promote or desire the esoteric.
Esotericist: One who appreciates, promotes or desires the esoteric.
Esoterism: The inward forms of faith and religion; transcendence, mystic experience, and internal realizations of the Divine.
Essence: Similar to Elixir, but meant to be kept for storage. A stone left in water for a period of time intended for long-term storage. A preservative is added, such as vodka or vinegar, since essences often contain herbs and essential oils.
Essential Oil: A high-grade oil made from an herb, having all characteristic odors or flavors from the plant in question.
Ether: Also Known as “Aether”. An intangible material substance as opposed to a spiritual substance. It often refers to an unseen vaporous substance, as well as the occult counterpart of an atmosphere. Sometimes called “Spirit”
Etheric: Composed of Ether.
Etheric Body: That part of the body which exists in the Etheric plane between Astral and Physical.
Etheric Plane: The level of energy existence between the physical and astral planes.
Evil Eye: A belief exists that some people possess the “evil eye”, that is that they are able to curse or negatively affect someone just by looking at them. It is believed that this person doesn’t even have to be aware that they have the evil eye.
Evocation/Evoke: Calling up spirits, deities or other magickal entities and draw their energies into your circle for support or assistance.
Exorcism: A ritual intended to banish a connection with a being, force, spirit, entity, etc., perceived as being inside a person. It is designed to sever the connection between the victim of the “possession” and the undesirable energy inhabiting him or her.
Eye of Horus: An ancient Egyptian symbol which depicts the divine eye of the God Horus, representing both the solar and lunar energies.
Faery/Faerie: Nature Spirits; One of a class of supernatural beings, generally conceived as having a diminutive human form and possessing magickal powers with which they intervene in human affairs. “Fairy” is the standard modern spelling, and “Faerie” is a pseudo-archaism. However, in some contexts there is now a semantic distinction between the two spellings. In particular, fairy tales and the associated idea of fairies typically refer to the genre of folk stories printed by the Brothers Grimm, then sweetened and popularized for children audiences. Faerie stories, on the other hand, are stories about the fae: otherworldly, unpredictable, and dangerous creatures who appear in the folk-tales and myths of England and Ireland.
Faery Burgh: Mound of earth which covers a faery colony’s underground home.
Faery Faith: A collection of beliefs and practices observed by those who wish to keep good relationships with the Nature Spirits and avoid angering them.
Faery Ring: A fairy ring, also known as Fairy Circle, Elf Circle, Elf Ring or Pixie Ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. The rings may grow to over 10 meters (33 ft) in diameter, and they become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground. Fairy rings are the subject of much folklore and myth worldwide, particularly in Western Europe.
Faery Wicca: An umbrella term that refers to any tradition of modern Wicca that places an emphasis on the Fey (gnomes, elves, faeries, sprites, etc)., their lore, and their relation to the natural world.
Faggot: A bundle of small pieces of wood used to start a fire. Several bundles were placed around larger pieces of wood used to burn Witches and heretics who had been tied to a stake. Today it is a pejorative term used against homosexual males. Although it has been claimed that this is because gay men were burned to start the fires that burned Witches, there is no evidence to support this. It is more likely that its use in this way is derived from its meaning as an “old and unpleasant woman”, possibly a shortening of the epithet “faggot-gatherer” used to describe some old, poor women.
Fair Folk: Faery.
Fairy Cavalcade: Wild Hunt.
Fairycraft: Fairy Witchcraft.
Familiar (1): A Witch’s pet animal which has been trained to be a magickal helper. According to ancient lore, a spirit from the Otherworld was believed to dwell within the physical body of an animal or creature. The traditional vessels for such spirits were the cat, mouse, ferret, hare, bat, snake, hound, or bird, particularly a raven or an owl. The lore surrounding the Familiar spirit indicates that a Witch received one following initiation into the Witches’ sect.
Familiar (2): The “Magickal Childe” created through Sex Magick.
Family Tradition: A system in which the Old Ways have been preserved through superstitions, practices or folkways among members of the same bloodline. It refers to a Wiccan or Witchcraft tradition that is centered around the beliefs and practices of a single family as opposed to a tradition that is centered around individual personalities or a coven.
Fam-Trad: Short for “Family Tradition”.
Fascination: A mental effort to control another animal or person’s mind. Also known as “Mind-Bending”. Often considered unethical.
Fealty: In feudal societies, an oath of allegiance sworn to a ruling lord in exchange for protection. In Gardnerian Witchcraft, giving loyalty to a High Priest or High Priestess usually based upon respect for that person’s position.
Feasting: Cakes and Ale, or Cakes and Wine.
Feminism: Doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
Feminist Witches: A movement that began in the 1970s primarily by women who only acknowledge a Goddess and not a God. There are only a few basic strains, and in some cases they are an outgrowth of a political focus rather than a spiritual focus. Many feminist or Dianic Witchcraft covens only allow women as members. Some groups, who may be considered extreme in their politics and/or sociology, eschew the terms “woman” and “women” because these words include “man” and “men”, preferring to use alternate spellings such as “wimmin” or “womyn”, etc.
Feng Shui: The Chinese art or practice of creating harmonious surroundings that enhance the balance of yin and yang, as in arranging furniture or determining the setting of a house.
Fertility: Most ancient religions (and especially those that are labeled as Pagan) celebrated fertility in every aspect – the fertility of the land which gave crops, the fertility of animals which ensured meat for the people and human fertility without none of us would exist.
Fetch: A name of one’s astral body. The self, primal and subconscious, being the source of dreams, desires, and drives both instinctual and physical. The name derives from the fetch of Irish folklore. Sometimes, the word also means “Summoner”.
Fetish: A symbolic material object believed to possess the power to protect or ward off evil.
Fews: Term to describe the Ogham letters.
Fir Bolg: In medieval Irish Christian pseudo-history, the Fir Bolg are the fourth group of people to settle in Ireland. They are descended from the Muintir Nemid, an earlier group who abandoned Ireland and went to different parts of Europe. The leader of the group was Nemed. Those who went to Greece become the Fir Bolg and eventually return to the now-uninhabited Ireland. After ruling it for some time, they are overthrown by the invading Tuatha Dé Danann. Most scholars regard the tale as myth rather than history.
Fire: One of the four elements. Corresponds to the South Watchtower.
Fire Festivals: Those are the Sabbats or the Celtic festivals known as Beltane, Imbolc Lughnasadh and Samhain.
Fire Signs: In astrology, the three signs of the zodiac attributed to Fire: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
Fith-Faith: A small image of someone made in either wax or clay. It is used in spellcasting and other forms of magick. The fifth-faith is similar in many ways to the so-called voodoo doll. Traditionally pins, needles, or nails are driven into the image to direct magickal energy or personal willpower into it so as to manifest a desired effect. Such an act is believed to be transferred to the person represented by the image of the fifth-faith.
Five-Fold Kiss/Five-Fold Salute: The Witches’ ritual salute, with kisses; In Wiccan initiation rituals and other magickal practices, a pattern of kisses applied to an initiate or witch. There are several different versions in common use at present. One involves kisses on both feet, both knees, and the genitals, forming a pentagram. Another expands the pentagram, and places kisses on the head, hands, and feet. Still another places the kisses on feet, knees, genitals, breasts, and lips. In many traditions, the Five-Fold Kiss is given by a woman to a man or by a man to a woman, but not by people of the same gender to one another. The popular version is (1) on each foot, (2) on each knee, (3) above the pubic hair, (4) on each breast, and (5) on the lips. It is really 8 kisses in all. It is only used within the Circle, but the words that go with it are the origin of “Blessed Be”.
Fixing: Dedicating an object, like a candle, to the purpose for which it will be used.
Flags, Flax, Fodder and Frig: Old Celtic blessing. An old Saxon blessing that has been adopted by many Pagans and Witches. Frig is the Norse name of the goddess also known as Freya, goddess of the home and hearth. Its meaning is: “May you always have a home to live in, clothing to wear, food to eat, and someone to love”. Also known as “FFFF” or “4F”.
Flow: To move along in a stream.
Flower of Life: Name given to a geometric pattern consisting of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles. The pattern has been found as historic artifacts. In the 1990s this pattern was adopted and named by New Age author Drunvalo Melchizedek who coined the name ‘Flower of Life’. Since then this pattern has found a wide range of usage in popular culture, in fashion, jewelry, tattoos and decorative products. The Vesica Piscis and the Triquetra are basic components of the Flower of Life. It is considered by some to be a symbol of sacred geometry, said to contain ancient, religious value depicting the fundamental forms of space and time. In this sense, it is a visual expression of the connections life weaves through all sentient beings, believed to contain a type of Akashic Record of basic information of all living things. In New Age thought, the Flower of Life has provided what is considered to be deep spiritual meaning and forms of enlightenment to those who have studied it as sacred geometry. There are groups of people all over the world who derive particular beliefs and forms of meditation based (at least in part) on the Flower of Life.
Fluffy Bunny/Fluffbunny: In general, this is a derogatory term used to apply to members of the Pagan community who insist that they know everything they need to know, often makes blanket statements about what “real Pagans” do and don’t do, and flat-out refuses to acknowledge that people who think differently from them can be Pagan too. Another definition is to design someone who claims to be a Pagan/Wiccan while in fact he doesn’t know much about it. It is also referred as a Wiccan who does not take Wicca seriously; who is only a member as a fashion statement or for attention. In general, the epithet “fluffy” is applied to portrayals of Wicca that have been watered down to make it palatable for mass (or teen) consumption.
Fluid Condenser: A medium through which spiritual “fluid” or movement of energy of life can be “condensed” or strengthened, and stored much as a pressurized tank is used to store propane gas. As such, they can be thought of a focusing or intensifying the flow of magickal energy from an object, like a wand.
Flying Ointment: A sort of cream or lotion used by a Witch to facilitate astral travel. These mixtures may contain potent psychotropic agents, and hence are seldom used. They are far too dangerous for experimentation. Ingredients used have included Belladonna, Henbane, Mandrake, Wormwood, etc. It was a formula supposedly used by Witches to “fly” to rituals. Today, it is generally assumed that the formula was psychoactive and caused the hallucination of flying rather than inducing a physical flight. The formula was put in code, and one of the ingredients, cooking fat, was unfortunately described as coming from an “unbaptized baby”, often leading to attacks on supposed Witches. Psychoactive ingredients may have included belladonna and mandrake. The ointment was rubbed on the skin rather than swallowed; however some have suggested that it was quickly absorbed by going through the membranes of a female Witch’s genitals. Beside the sensation of flying, the ointment might also cause feelings of transformations such as becoming an animal or participating in orgiastic rites.
Focus: The use of the term focus should not be confused with the meaning of the word in optics. In magickal terminology, the meaning is metaphoric – as when we say that our attention is focused.
Foliate: Name of an image found on a number of early churches that resembles a human face made of leaves. The faces were often horned or had antlers, or leaves in the shape of antlers, to symbolize the Horned God known as The Green Man.
Folk Magick: The Practice of projecting personal power, as well as the energies within natural objects such as herbs, and crystals, to bring about needed changes.
Folk Religion: Popular belief. Consists of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of a religion, but outside of official doctrine and practices. Folk religion has been defined as the totality of all those views and practices of religion that exist among the people apart from and alongside the strictly theological and liturgical forms of the official religion.
Folklore: Traditional sayings, cures, faerie tales, and folk wisdom of a particular locale which is separate from their mythology.
Fomalhaut: One of the four stars with their modern and ancient Persian. Fomalhaut (Vanant) associations are: Aquarius, Winter Solstice (Watcher of the South).
Fomorian: A supernatural race in Irish mythology. They are often portrayed as hostile and monstrous beings who come from the sea or underground. Later, they were portrayed as giants and sea raiders. They are enemies of Ireland’s first settlers and opponents of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the other supernatural race in Irish mythology. However, their relationship with the Tuath Dé is complex and some of their members intermarry and have children. The Fomorians are like the powers of chaos, ever latent and hostile to cosmic order. The Fomorians have thus been likened to the Jötnar of Norse mythology.
Fool’s Journey: In Tarot, the Fool’s Journey is a metaphor for the journey through life. Each major arcana card stands for a stage on that journey – an experience that a person must incorporate to realize his wholeness.
Forbidden Arts: In Renaissance magick, the seven forbidden arts, were Pyromancy, Necromancy, Geomancy, Aeromancy, Hydromancy, Chiromancy (Palmistry), and Scapulimancy (Spatulamancy).
Forn Siðr: Type of Heathenism.
Fortunate Isles: The Irish Otherworld is divided in smaller Realms, sometimes called the Fortunate Isles. In the Fortunate Isles, also called the Isles (or Islands) of the Blessed (occasionally rendered as Isles of the Blest), heroes and other favored mortals in Greek Mythology and Celtic Mythology were received by the gods into a winterless blissful paradise.
Fundie: Term meaning “Fundamentalist”. Any person who claims that they know the only right way, spiritually, is a Fundie. These are people that are rigid in their beliefs, have produced laws and doctrines (as opposed to the Rede, which is advice, and Principles, which are guidelines) in order to remain rigid in their beliefs, and are intolerant of other views on Wicca, even going so far as to accuse others of “religious rape”. They also take any opportunity to argue what they know instead of teach it, and don’t seem to be open to learning anything that may teach them something new and different.
Futhark: Runes. The letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialized purposes thereafter. The three best-known runic alphabets are the Elder Futhark (around 150-800 CE), the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc (400-1100 CE), and the Younger Futhark (800-1100 CE).
Futhorc: Word usually used to described the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc.
Gaia/Gaea: Earth Mother; Personification of the Earth in the Greek mythology.
Gaia Hypothesis: The Gaia hypothesis proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain the conditions for life on the planet. Topics of interest include how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms affect the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other environmental variables that affect the habitability of Earth.
Galdr: Specific magickal discipline involving verbal magick and the chanting of runes.
Gallic Tradition: A tradition following the Gaulish myths and lore. This is a sub-category of the Celtic tradition.
Garb: Ritual clothing.
Garter: Commonly known as a tie to hold up the stockings, in some Witchcraft traditions it is also a sign of authority held by the high priestess of a coven. It may also indicate that the person is the source or “queen” of several covens that have “hived off” from the original coven.
Geas: In Irish folklore, it is an obligation or prohibition magickally imposed on a person.
Gemini: The 3rd sign of the zodiac (22 May – 21 June). Symbolized by the Twins, is an Air sign, and is ruled by Mercury.
Geode: Geological secondary structures which occur in certain sedimentary and volcanic rocks. They are themselves of sedimentary origin formed by chemical precipitation. Geodes are essentially hollow, vaguely spheroid to oblate masses of mineral matter. In magick, geodes represent the womb of the earth.
Geomancy: The art of reading the earth’s energy and aligning yourself and your works to take best advantage of it.
Germanic Runes: Elder Futhark.
Germanic Tradition: Heathenism.
Glamour: Glamour originally was a term applied to a magickal-occult spell that was cast on somebody to make them see something the spell-caster wished them to see, when in fact it was not what it seemed to be. In the late 19th century terminology, a non-magickal item used to help create a more attractive appearance gradually became known as ‘a glamour’. Today, glamour is the impression of attraction or fascination that a particularly luxurious or elegant appearance creates, an impression which is better than the reality.
Glyph: A powerful magickal symbol representing the name and sometimes the date of birth of a person.
Gnome: One of the earth associated entities or elementals.
Gnosticism: Modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the material world – which they viewed as created by the demiurge – and embraced the spiritual world. Gnosticism is primarily defined in a Christian context. In the past, some scholars thought that Gnosticism predated Christianity and included pre-Christian religious beliefs and spiritual practices argued to be common to early Christianity, Neo-Platonism, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, and Zoroastrianism (especially Zurvanism).
Go with the Flow: To not attempt to exert a large amount of influence on the course of events, whether a specific series of events or events in general.
Goat God: An ancient form of the male aspect of divinity now commonly called the Horned God. The Goat God was worshiped where the goat was a main source of food. He survived as the Greek deity Pan.
God/Goddess: Blanket titles for the universal male and female energy celebrated by the Witches. Together, their combined power equals The All. The male and female aspects of the Divine.
God Posture: In Wiccan practice, a position taken when invoking the God. It is essentially identical with the Golden Dawn Sign of Osiris Slain—legs and ankles together, body erect, and arms folded across the chest. The head may be bowed to represent the God as the dying Harvest God, or raised to represent the God reborn.
Goddess Movement: The Goddess movement includes spiritual beliefs or practices (chiefly neo-pagan) which has emerged predominantly in North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand in the 1970s. The movement grew as a reaction to perceptions of predominant organized religion as male-dominated, and makes use of goddess worship and a focus on gender and femininity. The Goddess movement is a widespread, non-centralized trend in Neopaganism, and therefore has no centralized tenets of belief. Practices vary widely, from the name and number of goddesses worshipped to the specific rituals and rites used to do so. Some, such as Dianic Wicca, exclusively worship female deities, while others do not.
Goddess Posture: In Wiccan practice, a position taken when invoking the Goddess, especially when drawing down the moon. It consists of standing with legs spread wide apart, body straight, and arms raised up at an angle so that the limbs form an X.
Goddess Spirituality/Goddess Worship: Pagan religions in which the feminine aspect is dominant. Not necessarily Wiccan.
Godliness/Godly: Conforming to the laws and wishes of the Divine; devout; pious.
Goëtia: There are two different types of magick, according to Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s Apology, completely opposite of each other. The first is Goëtia, black magick reliant upon an alliance with evil spirits (i.e., demons). The second is Theurgy, divine magick reliant upon an alliance with divine spirits (i.e., angels, archangels, gods). Most often associated with Hermeticism.
Golden Age: New Age.
Golden Dawn: An occult Order founded in London in 1887 by three Rosicrucian’s, which became a major influence in Western ritual magick.
Good Folk: Nature Spirits.
Goodswarden: A name given to the Witch who is assigned to keep a coven’s tools and supplies safe between meetings.
Gorsedd: A gorsedd (plural gorseddau), is a community or coming together of modern-day bards. The word is of Welsh origin, meaning “throne”. It is often spelled gorsedh in Cornwall and goursez in Brittany, reflecting the spellings in the Cornish and Breton languages, respectively.
Grain Dolly: Figure usually woven at Imbolc from dried sheaves of grain collected at the previous harvest. The dolly is traditionally burned at Yule and a new one made the following Imbolc.
Grapevine Dance: Spiral Dance.
Gray Magick: The terms “white magic” and “black magic” have grown deep roots in contemporary society, whereas the term “gray magic” is somewhat new. According to some, the area of gray magick covers a whole specter of magickal workings which are neither completely good (“white”) or completely bad (“black”). Yet, both the good and bad aspects of magick are relative and depend on many factors. This is why the area of gray magick is much broader than many people think.
Great Rite: Symbolic or actual sexual act performed as part of a ritual as the means of raising energy; also known as “Sacred Marriage”. Symbolized by the lowering of the athame into the chalice.
Great Wheel: Life. We go around the Wheel of the Year annually; around the Great Wheel once per lifetime. In the larger sense, the life of a person, or a planet.
Greater Sabbat: Major Sabbat or Cross-Quarter holiday: Beltane, Imbolc, Lughnasadh and Samhain.
Green Art: Green Witchcraft.
Green Magick: Magick that emphasizes the agriculture and the use of herbs for healing. Often referred to Herb Magick.
Green Man: Another name for the God, as in his kingdom of the forest; The Lord as ruler of the forest. He is frequently shown in the form of a foliate mask.
Green Witch: A nickname for a Witch who is skilled in the art of herbs. Green witches usually practice a traditional form of witchcraft in which the earth, trees, herbs, plants and flowers are consulted for their medicinal and magickal value. They will grow their own herbs or Wildcraft them, and are very good at making herbal remedies.
Green Witchcraft: The practice of nature-based and earth oriented witchcraft, drawing on the folklore, folk religion and folk magick of ancient cultures as they connected to the forest.
Grimoire: A spellbook. A work book containing ritual formulae, information and magickal properties of natural objects and preparation of ritual equipment. Some people call their spell, ritual and magickal information books “Books of Shadows” and the herbal information a “Herbal Grimoire”. Other people call the whole lot a “Book of Shadows”, or the whole lot a “Grimoire”.
Gris-Gris: A small bag containing charms, herbs, stones, and other items to draw energy, luck, love, or prosperity to the wearer. A voodoo amulet originating in Africa which is believed to protect the wearer from evil or brings luck, and in some West African countries is used as a method of birth control.
Grock: In Gardnerian Witchcraft, to watch a person while they are eating in the hope that they will offer you a place at the table with them.
Grounding: Releasing excess energy. To focus back into the physical after Magickal and Psychic workings. A meditation exercise that allows one to draw or send energy into the Earth. Grounding reinforces your inherent connection to the Earth, the natural world.
Grove: A Druid group. Essentially the same as a Coven; The word “Grove” is more common in Druidic Traditions than in Wiccan Traditions. In the Druidic tradition of Ár nDraíocht Féin, A grove generally refers to a local congregation. An ADF Protogrove is a newly formed, probationary congregation. A protogrove is required to hold a minimum of 8 public events a year, be they public rituals, public study group meetings or some other form of public group events. A protogrove must have at least one ADF member of at least 6 months and over the age of 18. An ADF Provisionally Chartered Grove is an established local congregation with at least 3 ADF members over the age of 18. A Fully Chartered Grove is an established local congregation more than 2 years old with at least 9 ADF members over the age of 18 and at least one member holding valid clergy credentials. Both provisionally chartered and chartered groves are required to hold a minimum of 8 public or semi-public rituals a year on the day of, or within a week to either side of, the 8 high days established by ADF. A provisionally chartered grove must perform some sort of community service quarterly and must have at least one business meeting per month.
Guardian (1): Another name for Elemental.
Guardian (2): A term that might describe the second priestess in a Coven, as well as the person who feels the call to watch over rituals instead of running them.
Guardian of the Threshold: A menacing figure that is described by a number of esoteric teachers. The term “Guardian of the Threshold”, often called “Dweller on the Threshold” indicates a spectral image which is supposed to manifest itself as soon as the student of the spirit ascends upon the path into the higher worlds of knowledge.
Hag (1): The Crone aspect of the Goddess, often representing Winter.
Hag (2): An old-woman Witch.
Hag Stone: Holey Stone.
Hallow: To hallow is “to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate”. The adjective form hallowed, means holy, consecrated, sacred, or revered. The noun form hallow is a synonym of the word sacred. Some important and powerful objects in legends could be referred to as “hallows” because of their function and symbolism. The Tuatha Dé Danann in Ireland possessed the Four Treasures of Ireland which could be interpreted as “hallows”: the Spear of Lugh, Stone of Lia Fáil, the Sword of Light of Nuada, and The Dagda’s Cauldron. Earlier Welsh tradition, as recorded in Trioedd Ynys Prydain, also refers to Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain. Symbolically, these could also be interpreted as “hallows”, although they are not actually described as such in the medieval Welsh texts.
Hallow Keeper: The Hallow Keepers is a system of roles for participation in Druidic Ár nDraíocht Féin group rituals. It makes it easy to remember who is in charge of what (and takes some pressure off the host/officiant if it’s usually just one person doing everything). The Well Keeper is in charge of water purification, Well Hallow opening and closing, offerings given to the Well, Ancestor invocations and their offerings, and thanking Ancestors at the end of ritual, the waters of life; filling cup, blessing it, passing it around the circle. The Tree Keeper is in charge of the Two Powers meditation, Earth Mother prayer, Tree Hallow opening and closing, offerings given to the Tree, Nature Spirit invocations and their offerings, and thanking Nature Spirits at the end of ritual. The Fire Keeper is in charge of lighting the Fire and keeping it burning safely, fire/incense purification, Fire Hallow opening and closing, offerings given to the Fire, Patron of Occasion invocations and their offerings, and thanking Patrons at the end of ritual.
Halloween: October 31. Also called the Eve of Samhain by the Wiccan and Pagan communities. This holiday is widely celebrated by people of all faiths with costume parties and trick-or-treating. But this night also marks the Wiccan new year (Samhain). In the wheel of the year, Samhain is the night when the God dies and leaves the Goddess alone until Yule, when he is born again. Halloween/Samhain is a time when the doors between the worlds are said to open, stirring up much ghostly and otherworldly activity.
Hamadryad: A particular type of Dryad, which are a particular type of nymph. Hamadryads are born bonded to a certain tree. Some believe that hamadryads are the actual tree, while normal dryads are simply the entities, or spirits, of the trees. If the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For that reason, dryads and the gods punished any mortals who harmed trees.
Hand, Projective: The hand from which the energy is emitting (right hand for right-handed people)
Hand, Receptive: The hand from which the energy is receiving (left hand for right-handed people)
Hand, Strong: Based on the handedness of the person, the hand that serve to write, by example.
Hand, Weak: Based on the handedness of the person, the hand that do not serve to write, by example.
Hand of Glory: A magickal device used supposedly used by Witches. It consisted of a severed hand from a dead person, usually that of an executed criminal. It would rest on the wrist with the fingers pointed up. Candles were placed between the fingers and lit. This would supposedly freeze someone and prevent him or her from moving.
Handfasting: A Pagan or Wiccan wedding. Couples are “handfasted” together for a specified number of days/years (Usually a year and a day) After which a “handparting” may take place if they wish to part or another handfasting for another period of time. Some people have a registered Marriage Celebrant perform the Handfasting so that it will be a legally binding marriage in the eyes of the law.
Handparting: A pagan form of divorce. The couple who had been handfasted are now released. The Pagan version of marriage, the handfasting, was traditionally for a limited time. When the time was up, the couple could retake their vows or go their separate ways. Hence, no equivalent of divorce was needed. However, some Pagans have desired to speed this process up or mark the end of a relationship, resulting in the creation of handparting rituals.
Hard Polytheism: A central, main division in polytheism is between soft polytheism and hard polytheism. Hard polytheism is the belief that gods are distinct, separate, real divine beings, rather than psychological archetypes or personifications of natural forces. Hard polytheists reject the idea that “all gods are one god”. Hard polytheists do not necessarily consider the gods of all cultures as being equally real, a theological position formally known as integrational polytheism or omnitheism.
Hare: A large number of Pagan civilizations believed the hare to be a sacred animal. Hares are often connected to the goddess Eostre who is celebrated on the spring equinox. It is from this ancient symbolism of the hare and its fertility that the Easter bunny was born. The hare is a also a symbol of good luck, which is why a rabbit’s foot is still thought to bring luck today.
Harp (Ireland Symbol): The Irish symbolism has been closely associated with an ancient musical instrument, the harp. The harp in question is Dagda’s harp, which is known to resonate the most melodious music. Season would progress in harmony at the sound of this harp. As the legend goes, this harp was stolen by Dagda’s enemy and was left to be covered in dust on a dilapidated wall. On Dagda’s calling, the harp flew back into its rightful owner’s hands. This legend has made the harp a symbol of loyalty and mysticism. The rich ornamental work on the harp has made it represent lyrical majesty and pride.
Harvest: The process of gathering mature crops from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper. The harvest marks the end of the growing season, or the growing cycle for a particular crop, and social importance of this event makes it the focus of seasonal celebrations such as a harvest festival, found in many religions.
Harvest Festivals: Those are the festivals known as Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain.
Healer: Someone who purports to aid recovery from ill health.
Healing: Witchcraft goes way back to the wise people of the villages (both men and women) which specialized in healing. Some witches still practice the old methods our ancestors used; these are herb healing and hands-on healing (a method of energetic healing). In any case, any witch must ask the patient for their permission to heal beforehand because every person has a right to free will; enforced healing would take away this right and is in no way in conformity with pagan ethics.
Healing Magick: Form of magick practiced to cure diseases, to relieve aches and pains, to promote tissue regeneration, to restore vitality and fertility, etc. Throughout history, healers have been the folk doctors, nurses and midwives—especially in rural and primitive communities without access to officially licensed physicians and pharmacists.
Hearth-Keeper: During a ritual, the one in charge to keep the fire lit.
Heathen (1): Members of several Germanic and Norse traditions, such as Ásatrú and Odinism, prefer this term to the more general Pagan.
Heathen (2): A non-city dweller. A person of the heath, an uncultivated area usually filled with wild grasses and herbs. As Christianity and schools first took root in cities, the term became associated with Pagans and people who did not have a city education or manners.
Heathenism: The contemporary revival of historical Germanic paganism, therefore it is also frequently known as Germanic Neopaganism. Precursor movements appeared in the early 20th century in Germany and Austria. A second wave of revival began in the early 1970s. Also called Heathenry, or Germanic Heathenry.
Hecate’s Wheel: A symbol used by some traditions of Wicca. It seems to be most popular amongst feminist traditions, and represents the three aspects of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone. This labyrinth-like symbol has origins in Greek legend, where Hecate was known as a guardian of the crossroads before she evolved into a goddess of magick and sorcery.
Hedge Witch: Solitary Witch whose practices incorporate large amounts of natural magick, herb lore, and similar subjects, and who generally do not claim a connection with any particular tradition. The term “hedge” signified the boundary of the village and represents the boundary that exists between this world and the spiritual realm.
Hellenic Tradition: A tradition following the Ancient Greek myths and lore.
Henotheism: The belief in and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be served. The term was originally coined by Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling (1775-1854) to depict early stages of monotheism.
Herb: Virtually any plant used in magick. It can also refers to any part of a plant or a tree, like the seeds, flowers, leaves, vines, etc.
Herb Magick: The practice of directing energies found within plants to create needed change. Sometimes called Green Magick.
Herbalism: Art of using herbs to facilitate human needs both magickally and medicinally.
Hereditary Witch: Someone who has passed the skills of witchcraft down through his family. Sometimes, the immediate parents may not be practitioners and the link is through a grandparent, aunt, etc.
Hermeticism: Philosophical and magickal studies associated with master teacher Hermes Trismegestus, or Triple Great Hermes. The three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe are Alchemy, Astrology and Theurgy.
Hex: Curse. A Hex is a curse that doesn’t last for a long time, it is a one-shot negative spell. A common saying that is hotly debated is the philosophy that “A witch who cannot hex, cannot heal”. This is especially true of the Wiccan community, in which our religious ethics dictate what appears (on the surface, at least) to be very clear directives about our behavior and intents when working magick. The word “hex” often has negative connotations. The word dates back to the early 1800’s and simply meant “doing Witchcraft on someone”.
Hexagram: Also known as the Star of David, this is a six pointed star formed from two equilateral triangles of same size.
Hexcraft: Pow-Wow Magick.
High Days: Sabbats; Usually Celtic Sabbats or Fire Festivals.
High Magick: Ceremonial Magick. Historically, the “educated” forms of magick: alchemy, astrology, numerology, Kabbalah, etc. These forms of magick were considered to be spiritually enlightening, allowing the practitioner to grow closer to God.
High Priest (HP): Male leader of coven; Someone who achieved the third degree, whether he runs a coven or not. Representative of God.
High Priestess (HPS): Female leader of coven; Someone who achieved the third degree, whether she runs a coven or not. Representative of Goddess.
Higher Self: The part of one’s spirit that is in direct contact with the divine. It corresponds to Freud’s superego. It communicates with the Conscious Self in dreams, meditation, etc. It can be seen as a personification of the transcendental, or spiritual, self.
Hinduism: Dominant religion, or way of life, in South Asia, most notably in India and Nepal. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is a family of linked religious cultures bound by shared concepts, recognizable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites and the questioning of authority. It includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism among others, each with an interwoven diversity of beliefs and practices.
Hive Coven: When a coven has grown too large to be manageable, it may split, or “hive”. In Wicca this may also occur when a newly made High Priest or High Priestess, also called 3rd Degree ordination, leaves to start their own coven.
Hiving Off: This is the term used when two or more members leave a coven to shape another coven known as a Sister Coven or a Daughter Coven.
Holey Stone: Stones with natural holes in i.e. made by nature by crashing together along a sea bed with water rushing past and then through them creating the holes. Holey stones have been used for thousands of years for three main purposes: Healing, Protection and to see Fairies. Also known as Odin Stone, Hag Stone, Witch Stone.
Holistic: Holistic is connected to holism, which focuses on the total entity and the interdependence of the diverse parts of this totality. Holistic has to do with the healing systems that are considered alternative like homeopathy and Ayurveda that deal with the human body as an interconnected whole. Holistic medicine attempts to treat both the mind and the body. Holistic ecology views humans and the environment as a single system.
Holly King: In the folklore of many parts of Europe, including the British Isles, the God of the Waning Year, the Summer King. At the Summer Solstice he “slays” his twin, the Oak King. The Holly King rules from Midsummer to Yule.
Holy Tides: Sabbats.
Holy Water: Consecrated Water.
Hooded One: An aspect of the God, represented by The Green Man, The Oak King and The Holly King, Lord of Vegetation, Lord of the Green-Wood. He who is hooded-in-the-green.
Hoodoo: Refers to a form of folk magick and rootwork that evolved from African practices and beliefs. Modern Hoodoo also includes some Native American botanical knowledge as well as European folklore. There is also, in some forms of Hoodoo, a veneration of the ancestors. However, it’s important to note that despite the use of magick and ancestor worship, Hoodoo is not a Pagan tradition at all, many practitioners are in fact Christian, and some even use the Psalms as a basis for magick. Also known as “conjure”, “rootworking”, “root doctoring”, or “working the root”.
Horned Crown: The Crown of the High Priest in some Wiccan traditions, it is worn to symbolize his position. It generally very simple with attached horns or antlers and is worn only during rituals.
Horned God: Generally seen by Wiccans as the male consort of the Goddess; male deity with stag horns rising from His head. The supreme male aspect of the Divine and consort of the Goddess. An aspect of the God, he represents fertility and protection of the herd. Some of his names are Cernunnos (Gallic), Pan (Greek), Faunus (Roman), Herne (English) and Pashupati (Indian).
Horoscope: In astrology, a chart of the heavenly bodies that shows the relative positions of the planets at a certain moment in time. With the exact time and place of a birth, an astrologer can cast a horoscope from which to define the subject’s character and advise them on future courses of action.
HP: The shortened version of High Priest. The Male leader of a Coven.
HPS: Shortened version of High Priestess. The Female leader of a Coven.
Hydromancy: Method of divination by means of water, including the color, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool.
I Ching: The Chinese Book of Changes, this is an ancient text describing divination using patterns made by casting coins or yarrow stalks.
Idol: An object intended to represent a god or spirit. An idol is usually frequently blessed and consecrated in such a way that the being represented is requested to inhabit the representation, thus giving it divine or Magickal power.
Image Magick: A primitive but potent form of magick which works on the basic principle that like produces like.
Imbolc: The Sabbat marking The Festival of Lights celebrated Feb. 1. It celebrates the first stirrings of spring and the recovery of the Goddess from giving birth.
Immanence: The belief that all beings are sacred, have a spirit.
Immanent: An immanent deity has a distinct form, whether human or animal, and exists in the world rather than outside it. These Gods love, hate, have petty rivalries and grand schemes-in other words, they have lives. In a purely immanent pantheon, humans are often viewed as incidental to the intrigues of the gods, and we can be swept up into their dramas whether we will or no.
Immram: Voyage, often referring to a psychic or spirit journey. An immram is a class of Old Irish tales concerning a hero’s sea journey to the Otherworld. Written in the Christian era and essentially Christian in aspect, they preserve elements of Irish mythology. The immrama are identifiable by their focus on the exploits of the heroes during their search for the Otherworld, located in these cases in the islands far to the west of Ireland. The hero sets out on his voyage for the sake of adventure or to fulfill his destiny, and generally stops on other fantastic islands before reaching his destination. He may or may not be able to return home again. The Immrama are generally confused with a similar Irish genre, the Echtrae or “adventure”. Both types of story involve a hero’s journey to an Otherworld, whether a Christian paradise, a fairyland, the land of the gods or a utopia.
Incantation: A ritual recitation of a prayer or spell, usually rhymed, to produce a magickal effect.
Incantatrix: An archaic term for a woman who works spells through incantations; a Witch.
Incarnation: A lifetime. Based on reincarnation beliefs, one lifetime of many lives.
Incense: Ritual burning of herbs, oils, or other aromatic items to scent the air during acts of magick and ritual, and to better help the witch attune to the goal of the working.
Indian Religions: Religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. These religions are also classified as Eastern religions. Although Indian religions are connected through the history of India, they constitute a wide range of religious communities, and are not confined to the Indian subcontinent. Also termed as Dharmic faiths or religions.
Indigo Children: According to a pseudoscientific New Age concept, they are children who are believed to possess special, unusual, and sometimes supernatural traits or abilities. The idea is based on concepts developed in the 1970s by Nancy Ann Tappe and further developed by Jan Tober and Lee Carroll. The concept of indigo children gained popular interest with the publication of a series of books in the late 1990s and the release of several films in the following decade. A variety of books, conferences and related materials have been created surrounding belief in the idea of indigo children and their nature and abilities. The interpretations of these beliefs range from their being the next stage in human evolution, in some cases possessing paranormal abilities such as telepathy, to the belief that they are more empathetic and creative than their peers.
Infusion: An herbal tea. A liquid produced by soaking herbs in hot water.
Initiate (1): The first degree of initiation. Refer to one who has approached occult studies through systematic training in the mysteries, either through a Coven or other (usually secret) organization.
Initiate (2): Someone who has gained, through experience, a deep secret or inner knowledge. Sometimes this one is referred to as “self initiated” in Solitary Wicca.
Initiation: The process by which a Witch is admitted into a coven.
Initiatory Gate: An Initiatory Rite of Passage. Also a term referring to the moment, place, and energy within a Rite of Passage when the exact moment of initiation takes place. In some ROPs, there is an actual physical gate the candidate must traverse in order to be initiated.
Inner Court: The rituals and worship only available to those who have been initiated into the First Degree or higher.
Inner Planes: Other levels of being and consciousness than the physical or the “normal” Ego-consciousness.
Insta-Witch: A derogatory term for a person who reads a book on Witchcraft and “instantly” becomes an expert, even going so far as to start a coven. Their lack of knowledge and training often results in questionable ideas and religious incompatibilities. Also known as “IROB”.
Intent: Your goal or purpose. You focus on this before doing a spell or ritual, in the hope of making it happen.
Intentional Community: People who choose to live together, pool resources, and work toward a common goal.
Intuition: Ability to just know things without being told. Many intuitive make excellent Tarot card readers, because this skill gives them an advantage when reading cards for a client. This is sometimes referred to as clairsentience. Of all the psychic abilities, intuition may well be the most common.
Invocation/Invoke: Calling up spirits, deities or other magickal entities and draw their energies into your body. Invocation is a method of establishing conscious ties with those aspects of the Goddess and God that dwells within us.
IROB: Acronym for “I Read One Book”. A description of people who have little knowledge or training but set themselves up as experts. Also known as “Insta-Witch”.
Isles of the Blessed: Fortunate Isles.
Jack-o’-Lantern: A carved pumpkin, or turnip, associated with the holidays of Halloween/Samhain and named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called Will-o’-the-wisp or Jack-o’-Lantern. In a Jack-o’-Lantern, the top of the pumpkin is cut off to form a lid and the inside flesh then scooped out; an image, usually a monstrous or comical face, is carved out of the pumpkin’s rind to expose the hollow interior.
Jewelry: Generically, any type of external decorative devices, usually made from metals, gems, shells, and other stones. In some Wiccan traditions, the term specifically refers to the Crown, Bracelet, Necklace, and Cord worn by a practitioner during ritual work.
Jew-itch: Name coined by some Pagans of Jewish origin who are actively seeking out the pagan roots of their birth religion.
Joss Stick: Incense in a stick form.
Journal Ritual: This is an easy alternative to traditional rituals. It is a form of ritual practiced when you can’t perform one traditional ritual due to limited space or because someone around you isn’t a Pagan/Wiccan. The technique is to write out the whole ritual from casting the circle to ritual work to the closing of the circle and ending of the ritual. You can also draw what you would want your altar to look like too. The energy and the intent put in this work are believed to be everything you need to perform a ritual.
Journaling: The act to conceal experiences by writing in a Book of Shadows or a Tarot Journal, by example.
Kabbala/Kabbalah: An ancient Jewish system for spiritual knowledge; occult theosophy of rabbinical origin; magickal system including the Tree of Life and gemetria; also Kabala, Cabala, Cabbala, or Qabbalah). Often used in Ceremonial Magick.
Kabbalist: one who practices Kabbalah
Karma: Divine justice. For every action there is a reaction. A good action will bring good, a bad one will bring bad; the force generated by a person’s actions thought to determine the nature of one’s next incarnation.
Kemetic Tradition: A tradition following the Egyptian myths and lore.
Ken/Kenning: All-encompassing sensation of “knowing” something with a certitude and acceptance that what is kenned, is: keen, instinctive insight. A kenning is a poetic metaphor. For example, the fishes’ bath means the sea. A word or phrase used by druids, bards, and poets to describe in highly symbolic language people, places, or things. “The Plain of Tethra” is a kenning for the ocean. “The Cattle of the Plain of Tethra” is a kenning for fish and “The Man who tends the Plain of Tethra” is a kenning for a fisherman.
Kern: Name for the Stag-horned God of the forest. Father of the Hooded One. Symbol of the waxing power of Nature.
Key of Solomon: The Key of Solomon (Latin: Clavicula Salomonis) is a grimoire incorrectly attributed to King Solomon. It probably dates back to the 14th or 15th century Italian Renaissance. It presents a typical example of Renaissance magick. It is possible that the Key of Solomon inspired later works, particularly the 17th-century grimoire also known as Clavicula Salomonis Regis, The Lesser Key of Solomon or Lemegeton, although there are many differences between the books.
Kirfane: Boline. Spelled in a variety of ways, it is a white-hilted knife used by Witches for cutting.
Kitchen Magick (1): A type of magick or Witchcraft that focuses on down-to-earth practicality. Often practiced by suburban Pagans, it uses household items rather than expensive, rare, or unusual ritual tools.
Kitchen Magick (2):The term is also used to define magickal cooking.
Kitchen Witch: They are usually healers, respected highly and once they are past their 40’s tend to take on a “Wise Woman” role as they have an abundance of knowledge and are admired for it. They work with plants, stones, flowers, trees, the elemental people, the gnomes and the fairies.
Knife: The magickal knife is known as Athame; the working knife are known as Boline and Sickle.
Kundalini: The serpent that weaves in and out between our chakras as it rises on the liberating current or plunges downward on the manifested current. Neither current is better, they both have their purposes. The Kundalini is described as being “coiled” at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. In modern commentaries, Kundalini has been called an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force, or mother energy or intelligence of complete maturation.
Labrys: From Crete, a double-headed ax which symbolizes the Goddess in her Lunar aspect.
Lady: Title of honor for the Goddess.
Land of Faery: In some Wiccan traditions, an expression that equates either to the Summerland or astral planes.
Land: “Talamh” in Irish; The Land presents the universe we are used to. Sometimes called Middle World or Midworld (“Mide” in Irish).
Landmarks: A term used in some Wiccan traditions that refers to certain signs that a person is ready to follow the path of Wicca.
Lapidary: A person who cuts, polishes, or engraves gems. An artist or artisan who forms stone, minerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochons, engraved gems, including cameos, and faceted designs. The primary techniques employed are cutting, grinding, and polishing. Carving is an important, but specialised technique.
Law of Attraction: Name given to the maxim “like attracts like” which in New Thought philosophy is used to sum up the idea that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life.
Law of Responsibility: Although less popular today, many earlier Wiccan traditions established sets of rules or laws by which the coven operates. The Law of Responsibility, accepted by many covens, says that if you harm another, you must make restitution to that person.
Law of Return or Threefold Law: Idea that the intent or “energy” a Wiccan sends out (in spells, prayers, and everyday life) will be returned to that person with three times as much force. Even for Wiccans who do not believe in a literal threefold return, is sometimes used to express the idea that everything is connected.
Left-Brain Function: Anything related to logical, mathematical and analytical functions. The left hemisphere of the brain controls the right side of the body.
Left-Hand Path: Use of magick of self-gain and/or evil. Often refers to Black Magick, Sorcery, Satanism.
Lenormand: Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand was a French professional fortune-teller of considerable fame during the Napoleonic era. In France Lenormand is considered the greatest cartomancer of all time, highly influential on the wave of French cartomancy that began in the late 18th century. After her death her name was used on several cartomancy decks including a deck of 36 illustrated cards known as the Petit Lenormand or simply Lenormand cards still used extensively today. The 36 card Lenormand deck is modeled on a deck of cards published c1799 as part of Das Spiel der Hoffnung (The Game of Hope), a game of chance designed by Johann Kaspar Hechtel of Nuremberg.
Leo: The 5th sign of the zodiac (23 July – 22 August). Symbolized by the lion, is a Fire sign, and is ruled by the Sun.
Leprechaun: A type of fairy in Irish folklore. Like other Irish fairies, leprechauns may be derived from the Tuatha Dé Danann.
Lesser Sabbat: Minor Sabbat or Quarter holiday: Yule, Ostara, Midsummer and Mabon.
Leviathan Cross: A symbol for the alchemical element Sulfur, (Brimstone) which is spiritually analogous to the human soul. Alchemically, sulfur has the qualities of masculine, hot and dry. Combined with Mercury (feminine, cool and moist), the pair were considered the parents of all metals. Alchemical drawings often portray Sulfur as the sun. (In some views, sulfur and salt are the parents of Mercury) The symbol of sulfur is often used as an identifying symbol by Satanists, due to sulfur’s historical association with the devil.
Ley Lines: The term Ley lines has two meanings. The older is that there are ancient, straight trackways in the British landscape, the newer is that there are spiritual and mystical alignments of land forms. These are lines of unseen energy that cross the earth. When the lines intersect, an energy vortex is formed. Ancient mystical sites are said to be built on such vortex points, and they attract non-physical entities. Homes or buildings near these points are more likely to be haunted than are other locations.
Libation: A form of offering in which a liquid is poured on an idol, a symbolic figure of a deity, or on the ground. This offering can contain some (usually soluble and biodegradable) solids when being poured on the ground. Often in the form of bread and wine. Generically, any sort of alcoholic beverage. In Wicca, Witchcraft, and other forms of Paganism, a pouring out of a consecrated liquid, usually water or wine, to honor a deity. The liquid is usually poured on the ground or on the altar. It may also refer to such pouring in honor of a deceased person.
Libra: The 7th sign in the zodiac (24 September – 23 October). Symbolized by the Scales, is an Air sign, and is ruled by Venus.
Light Catcher: Suncatcher.
Light Power: Generally positive energies drawn from the Light Aspects of the Goddess and the God.
Light Worker: Someone who wants to see healing in the world on a large scale, considers themselves able to detect subtle healing energy, and has had some kind of a mystical awakening in their lives, be it current or a past life.
Liminal Deity: A liminal deity is a god or goddess in mythology who presides over thresholds, gates, or doorways; “a crosser of boundaries”.
Lineage: Sequence of initiators that can be traced back to a founding figure such as Gardner or Sanders. Line of teaching passed on by initiated Traditional priests and priestesses
Lingam: A stylized phallic symbol of the masculine cosmic principle
Litha: Midsummer. It has been claimed as the original Pagan name for this festival, but no evidence has been presented to back this up. The actual origin of the term appears to be J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings; in the calendar Tolkien devised for the fictional race of Hobbits, midsummer’s day is named Lithe.
Lithotherapy: From the Greek lithos (stone), lithotherapy is a gentle form of therapy that uses stones and crystals to balance and realign the body. Lithotherapy uses natural energy minerals, applied to the diseased organ or chakra (energy centers of the body) corresponding releases its magnetism. The stones carry the energy in the body. The energy of the stones is related to their chemical composition, their color (Chromotherapy) and their shape. It is possible to capture the energy released by various minerals, simply by touching them or bringing them to itself.
Llewellyn Craft: Pejorative term to designate the practice of beginners Wiccans that start their practices based on books published by Llewellyn. It is somewhat related to the term Wiccanate.
Local Spirits: Faeries, Nature Spirits.
Lord of the Dance: The God. The Lord of the Dance encompasses many characters of the Celtic myth structure. He shows both the sensual and powerful natures of the Green Lord. He also shows a gentle, caring nature as the protector of the Fey.
Lord: Title of honor for the God.
Lords of the Watchtowers: In some Wiccan traditions, a name used to describe the Guardians of the Four Quarters. Sometimes they are also called the Mighty Ones.
Lore: Knowledge, handed down from generation to generation. Originally oral tradition.
Low Magick: Folk magick, generally practical (as opposed to spiritually enlightening) in nature. Historically, the largely sympathetic magick practiced by the peasant class.
Lower World: The realm of the Sea.
Lucid Dreaming: A type of dream in which the dreamer is aware she/he is dreaming and can usually control her/his action in a rational logic. This is the term used to describe the phenomenon of becoming consciously aware during sleep, realizing that you’re in the midst of a dream.
Lughnasadh: A Sabbat held Aug. 1 to celebrate the first harvest.
Lunar Eclipse: Emblem of the Goddess in her dark aspect as Crone, Tomb/Womb, and Transformer.
Lustration: A ritual purification using water. This includes the ritual bath taken by a Witch before entering a Sacred Circle, as well as the baptism of Christians and others. Cleansing and purification, especially in a spiritual sense, are properties of Elemental Water.
Mabon: The Sabbat held on the Autumn Equinox (September 22-23) to celebrate the end of harvest.
Macrocosm: The Cosmos as a whole, in relation to the Microcosm, its detailed manifestation (human in particular); The world around us.
Magh Mór: The Irish Upper World; The realm of the Sky (Neamh).
Magic: The accepted term for “stage magic” or “cheating the eye” tricks.
Magician: Any person who practices magick. Neither magick nor Magicians have to have any connection to any religion (although this is possible). Magick as such does not have to be connected to any form of higher power nor does a magickal ritual have to include a celebration or work with the Divine.
Magick: The accepted term for the control of natural forces or energies to achieve positive goals. Magick is the craft of shaping, the craft of the wise. The science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will; The act of focusing the energies of the Universe to effect needed change on the mundane plane; reflection; contemplation. The movement of natural (yet subtle) energies to manifest positive, needed change. Magick is the process of rousing energy, giving it purpose (through visualization), and releasing it to create a change. This is a natural (not supernatural) practice. The “k” was added by Aleister Crowley to differentiate from the stage arts of trickery or “cheating the eye” performance arts. Many Wiccans, however, still use “Magic” instead of “Magick”.
Magickal Name: Same as Craft Name.
Magickal System: The basic set of guidelines relating to the worship of specific Gods and Goddesses or cultural traditions.
Magus: In some Traditions, a second-degree or third degree male witch. A male occult adept.
Magye/Magyque: Rarely used French translation of the words “Magick” and “Magickal” with a “k”. “Magic” is translated in French by “Magie” (noun) and “Magical” by “Magique” (adverb) while “Magick” and “Magickal” are sometimes translated by “Magye” and “Magyque”.
Maiden (1): Youngest aspect of the Triple Goddess. Represented by the waxing moon, colors white and blue. Her Sabbats are Imbolc and Ostara. She represents innovation, vitality of renewal, new beginnings, new ventures.
Maiden (2): Female assistant to High Priestess in some traditions
Majic/Majick: Alternate spellings for Magick, but not accepted by all.
Major Sabbat: Cross-Quarter Days or Greater Sabbat: Beltane, Imbolc, Lughnasadh and Samhain.
Makko: Makko is the term used for the bark of a particular tree, the tabu no ki tree. It’s bark is naturally combustible, burns evenly and smoothly and has excellent water soluble binding properties while adding little or no scent to an incense mixture. All of which makes makko an ideal base for binding incense recipes together and form into sticks and cones.
Male Mysteries: Pagan study which attempts to reclaim the power and mystery of the old Gods for today’s Pagan males.
Maleficia: Malicious acts attributed to Witches and sorcerers who had made a pact with the Devil.
Malkin: Obsolete term for a Witch’s familiar, especially a cat.
Malleus Maleficarum: “The Witches Hammer” or “Hammer of Witches”. Witch-hunting manual written by the German friars Heinrich Kramer and Jakob Sprenger, first published in 1486. The most popular of all the Witch-hunting manuals of early modern Europe, the Malleus provided a detailed account of official Catholic beliefs about Witches, their actions and motives, and the proper methods for identifying them and obtaining confessions through torture.
Mandala: A drawing or written symbol that holds power. A spiritual and ritual symbol in Indian religions, representing the universe. The basic form of most mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point.
Manifest: A manifest deity exists in everything, around everything, and as everything. Nothing is outside of or away from the Divine; everything is sacred. Deity can’t be pigeonholed into inside or outside the universe; Deity is the universe. As such, Deity is both inside and outside; not wholly immanent, not wholly transcendent, yet more that both: manifest.
Manipura: Solar Plexus Chakra (Yellow). Located at the navel center. Related to emotions and psychic sight (Clairvoyance), Element of Fire.
Männerbund: In Celtic Ireland, bands of youthful warrior-hunters, living on the borders of civilized society and indulging in lawless activities for a time before inheriting property and taking their places as members of settled, landed communities.
Mantra: Mantra means a sacred utterance, numinous sound, or a syllable, word, phonemes, or group of words believed by some to have psychological and spiritual power. A mantra may or may not have syntactic structure or literal meaning; the spiritual value of a mantra comes when it is audible, visible, or present in thought.
Master: Third Degree of initiation.
Matriarchal: A term used to refer to societies in which women hold the most key positions in government, and where lineage is traced through the female. Generally, a matriarchal society would also focus its religious view on a goddess concept over a god concept. In some cases, the latter may not even appear in the religious structure of matriarchal religion.
Matriarchy: A line of descent that is traceable through the women’s side of the family. It is used to affirm a time when power and rule passed down from mother to daughter.
Matrifocal: Term used to denote pre-patriarchal life when family clans centered around and lived near or on clan matriarch. Used to indicate ancient societies that focused primarily upon goddess worship. In matrifocal society the iconography of goddess images and symbols are more abundant that those related to the worship of a god. Matrifocal differs from matriarchal in several ways. For example, in a matrifocal society, family lineage may or may not be traced through the female line. In a matriarchal society, by contrast, it would be uncommon for lineage not to be traced through the women. Matrifocal societies also do not necessarily discriminate against men concerning their involvement in religious rites, tribal positions, and general status within the clan.
Matron: A reference to the Goddess (or Goddesses) one feels closest to and is guided by. A spiritual guide.
May Day: Beltane.
May Eve: Eve of Beltane.
Maypole: Sexual symbol of Beltane representing the phallus. Maypole dancing is a favorite Beltane activity for Pagans on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Ribbons are affixed to a tall pole, then interwoven by all participants.
Mead: An alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops.
Measure: The physical measurement of a person taken during a Wiccan initiation and marked by knots on a cord. This may include both your height and girth, or the distance between finger tips when your arms are spread out. It is said to link the person to the coven.
Medical Hexing: Occurs when a doctor gives a patient a negative diagnosis, such as “you’ll dead in a year” or “there is no cure, you will have this condition forever”, and the patient believe it to the extent that it becomes true. That term was invented by Dr. Andrew Weil, a popular author and physician.
Medicinal Herb: A plant used for healing.
Medicine Man: A term used, often disparagingly, for a shaman, spiritual leader, or healer in a pre-industrialized culture.
Meditation: Mental, stress-relieving exercise used to draw body, mind, and spirit into one; Reflection, contemplation. Turning inward toward the self, or outward toward Deity or nature. A quiet time in which the practitioner may either dwell upon particular thoughts or symbols, or allow them to come unbidden.
Medium: Someone who speaks, in one way or another, to the dead.
Mediumship: The practice of certain people, known as mediums, to purportedly mediate communication between spirits of the dead and living human beings.
Megalith: A huge stone structure or monument. Stonehenge is the best known example of this.
Menhir: A standing stone probably lifted by early peoples for religious, spiritual or magickal reasons.
Mercury Retrograde: When a planet is retrograde, it simply means that the planet is moving so slowly that it appears to be going backwards. When the Mercury in particular is retrograde, communications tend to go wonky, so it’s generally held that it’s best to avoid doing magick, signing contracts, or trying to communicate about sensitive issues during that time. Mercury retrograde happen every three months, for a period of about three weeks.
Merry Meet (MM): A common greeting used by some Wiccans and Pagans.
Merry Part (MP): Said in parting occasionally, meaning “Goodbye”, used by some Wiccans and Pagans.
Mesopaganism: The term Mesopagan was first put forth by Isaac-Bonewits in an attempt to categorize modern Paganism. According to Bonewits, Mesopagan religions are those that developed from Paleopagan or native Pagan religions that were influenced by Monotheistic, Dualistic or Nontheistic philosophies. These include all synchretic religions including Christo-Paganism, many Afro-Diasporic faiths, such as Voodoo, Santería and Candomble, and Sikhism as well as many occult traditions including Thelema, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy and Spiritualism and many modern Witchcraft traditions, including many Wiccan denominations. Also, some Satanic traditions could fall into this category.
Messenger of the Gods: A title used in Gardnerian Witchcraft. For privacy, knowledge of the location of other covens and their members was limited to a coven’s priest, priestess, and messenger of the gods. That person was responsible for carrying communications between covens.
Metaphysics: Beyond the physical, the study of the occult or unseen.
Metempsychosis: Transmigration at death of the soul of a human being or animal into a new body of the same or a different species; Reincarnation.
Microcosm: The world within us. The opposite of Macrocosm.
Middle World: The realm of the Land.
Mide: The Irish Middle World; The realm of the Land (Talamh).
Midsummer: A Sabbat held on the Summer Solstice (June 20-21) that celebrates the longest day of the year.
Midwinter: A name for Yule, the winter solstice used by some Celtic Pagans. This is because the Celtic winter began at Samhain and ended at Beltane with the winter solstice at the midpoint.
Midworld: The realm of the Land.
Mighty Ones: Ancestors; Are thought to be either spiritually evolved beings, once human, or spiritual entities created by or charged by the Goddess and God to protect the Earth. Beings, deities or presences often Invoked during Wiccan ceremony to witness or guard the rituals. The word is also used to designates the Lords of the Watchtowers or the Guardians of the Quarters.
Mindstream: In Buddhist philosophy, this is the moment-to-moment continuum of awareness which provides a continuity from one life to another.
Minor Sabbat: Quarter Days or Lesser Sabbat: The Solstices and the Equinoxes; Yule, Ostara, Midsummer and Mabon.
Mitote: The cacophony of voices we tend to hear in our heads, which tend to obscure the inner, still voice of wisdom.
Mojo (1): A magick charm, talisman, or spell. Magick power.
Mojo (2): The modern meaning of mojo is more about sex appeal, self-confidence or talent.
Mojo Bag: A small leather or flannel bag filled with a variety of magickal items and carried or worn as a charm to attract or dispel certain influences.
Monolith: A large standing stone found individually and not in a group.
Monotheism: Belief in one supreme deity who has no other forms and/of displays no other aspects.
Moon: The planetary ruler of Cancer. The Moon holds dominion over emotions, instinctive reactions and personality. It is the second most important planet next to the Sun.
Moon Blood: Blood of the Moon.
Moon Child: A person born under the sign of Cancer.
Moon Crown: In some Wiccan traditions, the crown worn by a coven’s High Priestess. They are usually rather simple, often not more than a silver band with a silver crescent moon at the forehead, usually with the points up. Sometimes they show a full moon with a crescent moon, points out, at either side. Some are adorned with gems.
Moon Tides: The energies of the moon and her cycles, felt and used by Wiccans.
Moon Void of Course: An astrological term for when the Moon leaves one aspect but has not yet entered the next sign. This stage lasts from a few hours to a few days. It is best to avoid any magick workings during this period (you will have trouble drawing energy and will be force to use your own) as well as avoiding making major decisions or planning important events.
Moot: The name given to a meeting, usually of Neo-Pagans.
Mother: The aspect of the Goddess representing motherhood, mid-life, and fertility. She is represented by the full moon, the egg, the colors red and green. She represents birthing, nurturing, bringing things to their fullness, protection, caring and sustaining.
Mother Coven: The Coven that a High Priestess came from and/or the Coven from which a new Coven descends.
Mother Earth: Earth Mother. Both terms can be used, but “Earth Mother” is popular amongst Wiccans.
Muggle: Cowan. “Muggle” is the word created by J.K. Rowling to define a person who possesses no magickal skills or abilities in her Harry Potter book series.
Muir: The Irish realm of the Sea; The Underworld (Tir Andomain).
Muladhara: Root Chakra (Red). Located at the base of the spine, at the perineum Related to psychic smell, Element of Earth.
Multiverse: The multiverse is the hypothetical set of infinite or finite possible universes that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them.
Mummer: A person who wears a mask or fantastic costume while merrymaking or taking part in a pantomime, especially during festive seasons.
Mumming: To act as a mummer.
Mundane: The ordinary, the everyday. A commonplace or worldly thing or concept. The opposite of spiritual. Some Pagans who are “closeted” (do not let most people know they are Pagan) may refer to their spiritual life as opposed to their mundane, worldly life. Some describe non-Pagans as “Mundanes” or “Cowan” much as in the way outsiders are called “Muggles” in the Harry Potter books.
Mundane Plane: The physical plane on which we exist.
Mundanely Known As: Refers to a person’s formal, check-cashing name rather than a craft name or nickname. Because some people use their legal name only for cashing checks, Pagans often know each other primarily or solely by craft name.
Mystery Religion: Wicca and Witchcraft are often referred to as mystery religions. When this is said of a spiritual path, it implies that some kind of initiation is involved as well as the transfer of some secret knowledge which is known only to initiates, along with secret rituals and other secret practices.
Myth: Cycles Body of lore about any land or people that makes up their mythology.
Mythology: The collected myths of a group of people, their body of stories which they tell to explain nature, history, and customs. The term is also used to describe the study of such myths.
Mythos: A story or set of stories relevant to or having a significant truth or meaning for a particular culture, religion, society, or other group. Anything delivered by word of mouth: a word, speech, conversation, or similar; a story, tale, or legend, especially a poetic tale. A tale, story, or narrative, usually verbally transmitted, or otherwise recorded into the written form from an alleged secondary source.
Nadir: The direction pointing directly below a particular location; that is, it is one of two vertical directions at a specified location, orthogonal to a horizontal flat surface there. Since the concept of being below is itself somewhat vague, scientists define the nadir in more rigorous terms. Specifically, in astronomy, geophysics and related sciences (e.g., meteorology), the nadir at a given point is the local vertical direction pointing in the direction of the force of gravity at that location. The direction opposite of the Nadir is the Zenith.
Namaste: Sometimes spoken as Namaskar, Namaskaram or Vanakkam. It is a respectful form of greeting in Hindu custom, found on the Indian Subcontinent and among the Indian diaspora. Translated roughly, it means “I bow to the God within you”, or “The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you” – a knowing that we are all made from the same One Divine Consciousness.
Natal Chart: As astrological chart; a mathematically calculated “picture” of the sky at the date and time of one’s birth.
Nature Spirits: Supernatural race including fairies and elves. They are known as the Aos Sí and the Daoine Sídhe in the Irish Mythology.
Nature Worship: Any of a variety of religious, spiritual and devotional practices that focus on the worship of natural phenomenon which are attributed to the continuation of the life process. A nature deity can be in charge of nature, the biosphere, the cosmos, or the universe. Nature worship is often considered the primitive source of modern religious beliefs and can be found in theism, panentheism, pantheism, deism, polytheism, animism, totemism, shamanism, and paganism. Common to most forms of nature worship is a spiritual focus on the individual’s connection and influence on some aspects of the natural world and reverence towards it.
Nature-Based Religion: Earth-Based Religion.
Naturism: Nudism. Cultural and political movement practicing, advocating and defending social nudity, most but not all of which takes place on private property. The term may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family and/or social nudism. The participation to a Pagan ritual while naked is called being Skyclad.
Neamh: The Irish realm of the Sky; The Upper World (Magh Mór).
Necromancy: An ancient form of Spiritualism. A form of Magick involving the body or spirit of a dead person. Generally a tool for summoning the spirits of the dead for purposes of divination.
Needfire: A ceremonial fire kindled at dawn on major Wiccan holidays. It was traditionally used to light all other household fires.
Negativity: An energy that creates or draws negative feelings or circumstances.
Nemeton: A Nemeton was a sacred space of ancient Celtic religion. Nemeta appear to have been primarily situated in natural areas, and, as they often utilized trees, they are often interpreted as sacred groves. However, other evidence suggests that the word implied a wider variety of ritual spaces, such as shrines and temples.
Neo-Druid: “New Druids”. Practitioners of Druidry, usually simply referred as Druids.
Neolithic: Literally “of the new stone” and referring to the “new stone age” that began around 10,000 BCE and continued to about 6,500 BCE. It was during this period when humans effectively began to use complex stone tools. Some say this is when Pagan spiritual beliefs first appeared.
Neopagan/Neo-Pagan: “New Pagan”. People practicing a form of Neopaganism. Neo-Pagan is an inclusive term. It includes many Wiccans, Witches, Druids, Shamans, animists, Goddess worshipers, religious humanists, and others.
Neopaganism/Neo-Paganism: An umbrella term, referring to modern-day practices which aim to revive nature religions, Goddess-worship and/or mystery traditions; The modern form of Paganism. Isaac Bonewits divided paganism into three sub-classes: Paleopaganism, Mesopaganism, and Neopaganism. Neo-Paganism is distinguished from other forms of Paganisms by the centrality of the belief that nature is sacred, and for this reason is often called an “Earth Religion” or “Nature Religion”.
Neophyte: Postulant, a newcomer to the coven, awaiting initiation.
Neoshamanism: Refers to “new”‘ forms of shamanism, or methods of seeking visions or healing. Neoshamanism comprises an eclectic range of beliefs and practices that involve attempts to attain altered states and communicate with a spirit world. Neoshamanic systems may not resemble traditional forms of shamanism. Some have been invented by individual practitioners, though many borrow or gain inspiration from a variety of different Indigenous cultures. In particular, indigenous cultures of the Americas have been influential.
NeoWicca: Means “New Wicca”. Typically used when we want to distinguish between the two original traditional forms of Wicca (Gardnerian and Alexandrian) and all other forms of Wicca. Much of the publicly available material labeled as Wicca in books and on websites is in fact considered NeoWiccan, simply because Gardnerian and Alexandrian material is generally oathbound, and is not made available for public consumption. Related terms are “Wicca-Lite”, Llewellyn Wicca”, “Wicca 101” and “Wiccanate”.
New Age: A modern spiritualism movement, followers of which believe we create our own reality. The mixing of metaphysical practices with a structured religion.
New Moon: Lunar phase symbolizing the Goddess in her aspect of Crone; Dark Lady, and Wisdom.
New Religion: A euphemism for Christianity, commonly used in the Pagan community.
New Thought: Spiritual movement which developed in the United States in the 19th century, following the teachings of Phineas Quimby. The concept of New Thought (sometimes known as “Higher Thought”) promotes the ideas that Infinite Intelligence, or God, is everywhere, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and “right thinking” has a healing effect.
Noble Ones: Nature Spirits.
Norse Tradition: A tradition following the Norsemen (Scandinavians) myths and lore, specifically during the Viking Age. This is a variant of the Heathenism.
Numerology: An ancient method of divination that analyzes the symbolism of numbers and ascribes a numerical value to the letters of the alphabet. A common use when choosing a Craft name or Coven name. Also used for divining future and fate.
Nursery Rhyme: Cute doggerel or poems supposedly written for the amusement of children. Much Pagan lore was hidden in these ditties during the years of witch persecutions.
Nurturing: To feed and protect. Nurturing our spirituality is to nourish and protect ourselves.
Oak King: In the folklore of many parts of Europe, including the British Isles, the God of the Waxing Year, the Winter King. At the Winter Solstice he “slays” his twin, the Holly King. The Oak King rules from Yule to Midsummer.
Oath of Secrecy: It is normal in most mystery religions for that which forms the “mystery” part of it to be kept a secret. So the details of the rituals and other works of the group can be kept secret from those not involved, each initiate (the person being initiated) takes an oath of secrecy before the other practitioners (usually during a ritual).
Oathbound: When something is oathbound, it simply means that it is information which may not be revealed to people who have not been initiated into a particular tradition. What information is oathbound will vary from one tradition to the next.
OBE: Out-of-Body experience; Astral Travel.
Occult: Literal meaning is “hidden” and is broadly applied to a wide range of metaphysical topics which lie outside the accepted realm of mainstream theologies. Today, the word is often used as a semi-derogatory term for anything which is not understood and is therefore feared.
Occultism: The science or study of hidden truth. During Medieval times, researchers, including the forerunners of modern science, used the term to include the search for the unknown. Today, more properly, the term refers to the science of Universal Nature, or the study of our link to the Divine.
Occultist: One who practices and or studies a variety of occult subjects.
Odic Force: There is a specific type of energy that many occultists call the Odic (pronounced Oh-dek) Force. It is believed to be the underlying principle of metaphysical nature, behind the physical forces of electricity and magnetism (as well as light and heat). In metaphysical terms Od (pronounced like the word owed) is the very fabric of the universe and is present in all things to varying degrees.
Odin Stone: Holey Stone.
Odinism: Type of Heathenism (Germanic Neopaganism), an ethnic religion, specifically focused on honoring Germanic deities in the pre-Christian religion of Scandinavia and paganism of greater Germania. Some adherents will use “Odinism” as synonymous with Ásatrú, others will reject an equivalence between the two terms, whilst others use it synonymously, interchangeably, and also debunk those that have a conviction the two are completely separate.
Offering: Same as Sacrifice. Many Pagans and Wiccans make sacrifices to their gods. An offering may be anything given from the heart – time, love, trust, dedication – or it can be a material object such as stones, coins, jewelry, or food.
Ogham: The ancient magickal alphabet of the Celtic people. It was composed of a set of 20 letters known as “fews”. The letters were made of short vertical and/or diagonal lines drawn next to or across a horizontal line. A Celtic method of communication and of Magick, the Ogham was a form of coded language that could be used for secret communication, divination and a multitude of other uses.
Oil: Liquids made from herbs.
Old Gods: A term for the Pagan Gods worshipped in earlier times and still worshipped today.
Old Horney: One of the many nicknames for the Horned God found in numerous Pagan traditions. In many Wiccan traditions, the Goddess is always treated with respect. The God, while respected, often appears as a trickster and thus gets these more familiar names. Today it also indicates that Wicca is a fertility religion and the God is ready for sexual activity.
Old One: An aspect of the God represented by The Sage. It is the most human of the forms.
Old Ones: The Ancient Ones; Name encompassing all Gods and Goddess and/or the Ancestors. Used to refer to a group or all Pagan deities including all aspects of the Goddess and the God.
Old Religion: A euphemism for Paganism/Witchcraft/Wicca, commonly used in the Pagan community. While history has shown us there is no “one” Old Religion, many of us refer to our religion as such, for simplicity in referring to the Earth-based religions of our ancestors.
Om: A sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Dharmic religions. It is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. In Hinduism, Om is a spiritual symbol (pratima) referring to Atman (soul, self within) and Brahman (ultimate reality, entirety of the universe, truth, divine, supreme spirit, cosmic principles, knowledge).
Omen: Describe the message from the Divine during a ritual while using a divinatory method.
Oming: Meditation using the sacred sound Om.
Omnitheism: The belief that all religions contain a core recognition of the same God. The belief that every entity is a God.
Omphalos: Sacred stone artifact. An Omphalos stone was said to allow direct communication with the gods. According to the ancient Greeks, Zeus sent out two eagles to fly across the world to meet at its center, the “navel” of the world. Omphalos stones used to denote this point were erected in several areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea; the most famous of those was at the oracle at Delphi. It is also the name of the stone given to Cronus in Zeus’ place in Greek Mythology.
Once-Born: Non-Wiccan (derogatory). Used by some Wiccans – at the beginning of Wicca’s modern growth – for Christians. It was to refute the Christian claim that they were “born again” and used to indicate that Christians want to get off the natural cycle of reincarnation and that this life is their first incarnation. This is in distinction to Pagans who have the advanced knowledge and development of multiple incarnations and lifetimes.
Oneiromancy: Form of divination based upon dreams; it is a system of dream interpretation that uses dreams to predict the future. The Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist who developed the field of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung, focused this idea and formed theories, experiments, and terminology around oneiromancy.
Online Coven: With the rise of the internet as a platform for collaborative discussion and media dissemination, it became popular for adherents and practitioners of Wicca to establish (often paid subscription-based) “online covens” which remotely teach tradition-specific crafts to students in a similar method of education as non-religious virtual online schools.
Opening the Circle: Releasing the Circle.
Oracle: Often, when one has invoked a deity, they “stand back” and allow the Divine to speak through them, or using their voice. This is known as “Performing Oracle”.
Ordain: To invest with ministerial or sacerdotal functions; confer holy orders upon.
Orgonite: Mixture of catalyzed fiberglass resin with metal shavings, particles or powders, poured into molds. It is said to attract aetheric energy similarly to Reich’s accumulators. Some people also add a couple of crystals to the mixture for their ability to make the energy more coherent or to enhance the working the orgonite. Thus orgonite basically is a substance which functions as a self-driven, continuously-operating, highly efficient energy transmutation device, drawing in negative life energy and transmuting it into positive energy. The resin in orgonite shrinks during the curing process, permanently squeezing the quartz crystal inside which creates a well-known piezoelectric effect inside the crystal, meaning its end-points become polarized electrically, this apparently causes it to function more effectively as a positive energy generator. Although crystals improve the function of orgonite, they are not necessary for the orgonite to work.
Orlog: Orlog is the Old Norse for cycle of fate, or for the unalterable destiny of the world. Orlog encompasses all, including the gods. One aspect of Orlog is the “Ragnarok”. Orlog is the collective wyrd of the world as a whole, whereas “wyrd” is more individual.
Ornithomancy: An Ancient Greek practice of reading omens from the actions of birds, equivalent to the Augury employed by the ancient Romans. In Ancient Greek (ornis “bird” and manteia “divination”), meaning “to take omens from the flight and cries of birds”).
Orthodoxy: Adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion. In the Christian sense the term means “conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church”.
Orthopraxy: Correct conduct, both ethical and liturgical, as opposed to faith or grace etc. This contrasts with orthodoxy, which emphasizes correct belief, and ritualism, the use of rituals. While orthodoxies make use of codified beliefs, in the form of creeds, and ritualism more narrowly centers on the strict adherence to prescribed rites or rituals, orthopraxy is focused on issues of family, cultural integrity, the transmission of tradition, sacrificial offerings, concerns of purity, ethical systems, and the enforcement thereof. Typically, traditional or folk religions (paganism, animism) are more concerned with orthopraxy than orthodoxy, and some argue that equating the term “faith” with “religion” presents a Christian-biased notion of what the primary characteristic of religion is. In the case of Hinduism orthopraxy and ritualism are mixed to the point that they become a single identity.
Ostara: A Sabbat of marking the Spring Equinox (March 19-20) and the return of the Sun and the fertility of the Earth.
Otherworld: An Sí; The supernatural parallel world of Irish, Scottish and Manx mythology and folklore encompassing the three Realms of Sky, Land and Sea. This is not the same as the Astral Plane.
Ouija: Spirit Board. The name “Ouija” is a registered trademark for Parker Brothers’ William Fuld Spirit Board Set.
Outer Court: The set of rituals and observances that non-initiates and guests may observe or participate in. A type of degree wherein a person can start learning about Wicca from a coven without actually being initiated into that coven.
Outlier: A Menhir that is outside a stone circle. There are several potential explanations for these stones. Some say they are related to Ley Lines. Others say they are used for making some sort of sightings.
Out-of-Body Experience (OBE): Astral Travel.
Overworld: The realm of the Sky.
Pagan: Latin for “Country dweller”. According to the Dictionary it is used to describe any religion which isn’t Christian, Muslim or Jewish based. When capitalized, it is a nebulous term including a number of modern religions influenced by older practices; General term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanistic, and polytheistic Earth-based religions. Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and magickal systems. All Wiccans are Pagans. When not capitalized, pagan simply means non-Christian or non-Judeo-Christian and is frequently (although not nearly always) at least mildly derogatory.
Pagan Standard Time (PST): Practice often found in Pagan communities of people showing up anywhere from 20-45 minutes late for everything. Considered rude by anyone who’s trying to organize event or host a ritual. While people joke about PST, those who continually show up late may find themselves no longer invited to attend events, workshops or celebrations.
Pagan Umbrella: Neo-Paganism is one form of contemporary Paganism grouped under what is sometimes called the Pagan Umbrella.
Paganing: Wiccaning; A term used by some Pagans who are not Wiccans. Presentation of an infant to the Circle and to the Gods. A type of baptism.
Paganism: Term developed among the Christian community of southern Europe during late antiquity to describe religions other than their own, Judaism, or Islam, the three Abrahamic religions. Throughout Christendom it continued to be used, typically in a derogatory sense. In the nineteenth century it was re-adopted as a self-descriptor by members of various artistic groups inspired by the ancient world. In the twentieth century it came to be applied as a self-description by practitioners of contemporary pagan, or neo-pagan religious movements. Means “Nature worshipping religion”. The modern definition is one who practices a polytheistic, nature-based, magick-embracing religion.
Paleopaganism: Paleopaganism is a subdivision of Paganism put forth by the modern Druid scholar Isaac Bonewits. According to Bonewits, Paleopaganism describes any native cultural polytheistic or animist traditions including those were, or still are practiced by native Africans, Americans, Australians and Asians. According to this definition, Hinduism, Taoism and Shinto are all Paleopagan religions because they are rooted in ancient native tradition and remain relatively unpolluted by foreign influence.
Panentheism: Belief system which posits that the divine – whether as a single God, number of gods, or other form of “cosmic animating force” – interpenetrates every part of the universe and extends, timelessly (and, presumably, spacelessly) beyond it. Unlike pantheism, which holds that the divine and the universe are identical, panentheism maintains a distinction between the divine and non-divine and the significance of both. Also known as Monistic Monotheism.
Panentheist: One who combines the tenets of theism and pantheism, believing that divinity is both immanent and transcendent. Otherwise known as having one’s cake and eating it too.
Pantheism: Belief in or worship of more than one god belonging to more than one pantheon. Belief that the Universe (or Nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent god. Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god.
Pantheon: A grouping of deities associated with a particular culture or time. A cultural “family” of gods and goddesses.
Parting of the Ways: A description of a person leaving a coven under positive terms. This may be due to a person moving or because he or she doesn’t get along with a person in the coven. There may be a ritual to mark this parting. The person who parts is still considered a member of the tradition, just not a member of a specific coven.
Partnership: Two Witches who works together; Frequently, but not always, a couple who are partner in daily life too.
Party Pagan: A person who goes to Pagan events not for the spiritual aspects, but because there is often a party at the conclusion of a ritual. At festivals, a Party Pagan does not go to any workshops or rituals, but does go to dances and performances. Party Pagans are not really interested in the spiritual aspects of Paganism, but will wear signs of Paganism (clothes, jewelry, etc). to fit in and attract others Pagans for friendship, romance, sex, etc.
Past-Life Regression: Technique that uses hypnosis to recover what practitioners believe are memories of past lives or incarnations, though others regard them as fantasies or delusions or a type of confabulation. Past life regression is typically undertaken either in pursuit of a spiritual experience, or in a psychotherapeutic setting.
Path: Refers to one’s spiritual path.
Pathwork Focus: The focus on what may (or may not) be our spiritual gifts.
Pathworking: Activities we can do to help us tune in to the energies of the time, season, and lessons at hand; Using astral projection, bi-location, or dream time to accomplish a specific goal. Also called “Vision Questing”. Originally the process of astrally or mentally projecting up and around the paths of the Kabalistic Tree of Life in order to gain information, instructions, meet entities there, and ask favors of those entities. More recently, some popular writers have described any visualized journey as pathworking, and this has become the popular meaning of the term. Some occultists now refer to the original concept as Kabalistic pathworking.
Patriarchal: Term used to apply to the world since the matrifocal clans that worshipped Goddesses were supplanted by codified religions that honor all-male deity(s).
Patristic: Referring to a religion focused upon the worship of a god or gods, but without the negative, limiting and controlling aspects often found in such religions. People using this term may use “patriarchal” to mean related to a god(s)-centered faith that does have negative qualities.
Patron: A reference to the God (or Gods) one feels closest to and is guided by. A spiritual guide.
Pendulum: A divination device consisting of a string attached to a heavy object whose movement determines the answer. It is a tool which contacts the psychic mind.
Pentacle: The Pentacle or Paten disc is an altar consecration tool with a sigil or magickal symbol engraved or inscribed upon it. The most common symbol of the disc is the pentagram inscribed in a circle, commonly called a pentacle, although some other symbols may be used such as the Triquetra. The prime magickal symbol of The Craft. A five-point star within a circle with each point representing an element and the fifth representing the Self or Akasha. It is a symbol of protection and power.
Pentagram: A five-pointed star. Each point represents an element : Earth, Air, Fire, Water and the fifth element, Ether or Spirit. It is the symbol of the horned God when turned upside down( nose, ears and horns make up the points). It is not the symbol of Satanism, as some believe. It is a symbol of protection, and many Wiccans and Pagans wear one as a symbol of their religion and for protection. It can be scribed into or drawn on objects to protect them. The upside down (inverted) version is a “banishing” pentagram, and the right way up, the “invoking” pentagram.
Pentalpha: A pentacle with a powerful magickal design.
Perfect Love and Perfect Trust: The notion that you are safe within the circle of your coven’s practices. To stand in a circle with someone is to share an intimate – and often vulnerable – space with them, and it can only be done effectively with someone whom you trust implicitly. By that same token, if we are able to love our coven brothers or sisters, we are able to trust them with our safety and our lives. During the Burning Times, persecution was most strongly directed against Coven members. The strictest secrecy became necessary as any member of a Coven could betray the rest to torture and death. “Perfect love and perfect love” were more than empty words.
Peripheral Pagans: Participants of public celebrations, but not considered pagans. Their beliefs are not all that different from those of a practicing Witch, but they don’t actively pursue a Pagan lifestyle.
Persona: The “comforting cloak” of the Ego; the self-image which the Ego builds up to reassure itself and to present to the world.
Personal Power: The energy you raise within yourself. The life force within us. We absorb energy from the sun and from foods we eat, and we release it during the everyday activities of our existence. It originates within the Goddess and God. We first absorb it from our biological mother within the womb, and later from food, water, the Moon and Sun, and other natural objects. Compare with Divine Power and Earth Power.
Personal Revelation: Unverified Personal Gnosis.
Petition Magick: The act of making a request to a Higher Power, usually on paper. Part prayer, part spell, petitioning is a relatively simple yet powerful form of spiritual magick.
Petroglyph: A drawing or carving on rock, made by a member of a prehistoric people.
Phallic: Of, relating to, or resembling a phallus.
Phallus: An image of the male reproductive organ, especially that carried in procession in ancient festivals of Dionysus, or Bacchus, symbolizing the generative power in nature.
Phases of the Moon: The stages of the Moon (new, waxing, full, waning) as it journeys around Earth. One complete orbit of the Moon around the Earth is called a lunar cycle and takes 28 days There are 13 lunar cycles per year.
Philter/Philtre: Archaic term for an herbal aphrodisiac or love potion.
Pictish Witchcraft: Scottish Witchcraft that attunes itself to all aspects of nature: animal, vegetable, and mineral. It is a solitary form of the Craft and mainly magickal in nature with little religion.
Pisces: The 12th sign in the zodiac (20 February – 20 March). Symbolized by the Two Fishes, is a Water sign and is ruled by Jupiter and Neptune.
Plainchant/Plainsong: A body of chants used in the liturgies of the Western Church. Though the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Western Church did not split until long after the origin of plainsong, Byzantine chants are generally not classified as plainsong.
Planes: The various levels of being and activity: Spiritual, Mental, Astral, Etheric and Physical.
Planetary Hour: Also called a magickal hour. Divisions of night and day that are guided by astrological influences and the energies of the various planets.
Plant Magick: Herb Magick.
Polarity: The term given to those energies which balance everything in the world. These energies consist of equal, opposite energies like Yin and Yang, dark and light, sun and moon, etc. These energies exist in everything.
Polyamory: Means “Many Loves”. A term used for people who feel they can love romantically more than one person at a time. Polyamory is not to be confusing with swinging, which is focused more on recreational sex with good friends; polyamory on the other hand is more focused on loving relationships that may or may not be sexual.
Polyandry: Involves marriage that includes more than two partners and can fall under the broader category of polyamory. More specifically, it is a form of polygamy whereby a woman takes two or more husbands at the same time.
Polyfidelity: A form of polyamory where all members are considered equal partners and agree to be sexually active only with other members of the group. The term originated in the Kerista Village commune in San Francisco which practiced polyfidelity from 1971 to 1991. The community expected all of its members, within bounds of gender and sexual orientation, to be sexually active with all other members, and for exclusive relationships not to be formed. However, this aspect of polyfidelity is not always expected today.
Polytheism: Belief in or worship of more than one god; Belief in the existence of many unrelated deities each with their own dominion and interests who have no spiritual or familial relationships to one another. A central, main division in polytheism is between soft polytheism and hard polytheism. Hard polytheism is the belief that gods are distinct, separate, real divine beings, rather than psychological archetypes or personifications of natural forces. Hard polytheists reject the idea that “all gods are one god”. Hard polytheists do not necessarily consider the gods of all cultures as being equally real, a theological position formally known as integrational polytheism or omnitheism. This is contrasted with Soft polytheism, which holds that gods may be aspects of only one god, that the pantheons of other cultures are representative of one single pantheon, psychological archetypes or personifications of natural forces.
Polytheist: One who believes in the existence of multiple Gods, Goddesses, and/or other divine entities. This includes duotheism, the belief in a matched pair of divine entities.
Poppet: A doll to represent a person. It is used in a healing spell, love spells, Hexes, etc. It can be wrapped in a ribbon or similar in a binding spell, it may be tied to another poppet for a love binding spell, there are different uses for poppets in different spells. Can be made from cloth, wax, clay etc.
Positivity: An energy that creates or draws positive feelings or circumstances.
Possession: A state in which one’s own personality has been replaced by another, generally discarnate, being. While this is sometimes invited, and even actively sought, it also can be totally involuntary.
Posture of Power: A gesture or series of gestures that speak to the energy of the lesson.
Potion: An herbal tea or brew used in many magickal or healing rituals.
Power: The ability or capacity to act or do something effectively. Magick Power is the ability to act or do something effectively in using magick. Personal Power is the life force within us. We absorb energy from the sun and from foods we eat, and we release it during the everyday activities of our existence. Earth Power comes from our planet and natural items such as stones, trees, and flowers. Divine Power is the universal life force that has created everything in existence.
Power Animal: The term used by Wiccans to designate a Animal Totem, without falling in the Cultural Appropriation issue.
Pow-Wow: A term used for the type of folk magick based on 400 year old Elite German Witchcraft and indigenous to the Dutch Country of Pennsylvania. Also known as Hexcraft.
Prana: The vital force of the Cosmos as it operates on the Etheric level; it permeates this and other solar systems, and every living organism is charged with a concentration of it.
Prayer: A formalized way of having a dialogue with your gods. It is conversation, an exchange of love and energy, most often in words but also through song, art, or any creative endeavor. Prayer is any time you talk to the Goddess or the God, whether to express gratitude, joy, desire, or grief. It is a way to open yourself to the Divine. It is communion, not command, and involves both speaking and listening.
Prayer Beads: In many magickal traditions and religious paths, the use of beads can be a meditative and magickal exercise. The Pagan Prayer Beads are usually used as a devotional tool that honors the elements, the changing seasons, and the phases of the moon or to pays tribute to a deity.
Precognition: Psychic awareness of future events.
Priapic Wand: A type of wand in Pagan practices which was named after a Greed fertility god called Priapus. He was supposed to resemble a faun and was almost always depicted with an erection.
Pricking: A technique used by Witchfinders. They used a device called a bodkin (it looks like an icepick) to stab a suspected Witch repeatedly in order to find a “Devil’s Mark”, indicating that the person was a Witch.
Priest/Priestess: Someone who studied for a year and a day, who has been initiated into Wicca, either in a solitary ritual with just her/his personal gods, or in a group rite.
Priesthood: In Wicca, as in many other modern Pagan religions, the priesthood is accessible to anyone. There are no mandates stating that Wiccan clergy must be male or female. Because Wicca acknowledges the polarity of the masculine and feminine, either men or women may become priests. Any person who wishes to learn and study may advance into a position in the ministry within Wicca. Within most covens and traditions, leaders are called either High Priestess or High Priest, although in some they are known as Arch Priest/Priestess or may use the title Lord or Lady.
Principal Ones: Spirits of the Akashic Records.
Profession: One of the most important ceremonies in Ásatrú. To Profess one’s belief in and kinship to the Gods should be an important turning point in one’s life and the beginning of a new understanding of the self. Profession is, however, a very simple and rather short ceremony. Ásatrúars usually profess people during a regular meeting, but either before or after the blót offering.
Projection: Ability to send out energy. The psychological mechanism of subconsciously crediting (or discrediting) another person with qualities or shortcomings which are in fact elements of one’s own psyche.
Projective Hand: Your dominate hand. This is the hand you use to send out and direct energy. Opposite to Receptive hand, which receives energy.
Proper Person: In Alexandrian Wicca, a designation one must receive from a coven in order to be considered for initiation. A Proper Person has right motivations, maturity and ethics, amongst other qualifications.
Prophecy: This is the ability to see into the future via intuition or a “sending” from a guide or deity. In some traditions, it is believed that every being contains in its own inner nature the complete pattern of the Macrocosm, the Divine Plan, and that some are able to attune themselves well enough so that they may sense patterns as they affect themselves or others. Prophecy differs from Divination in that it does not involve or require tools or omens.
Proselytise: To convert or attempt to convert as a proselyte; recruit. Wiccans in general doesn’t try to persuade other people to join their religion.
Protogrove: In the Druidic tradition of Ár nDraíocht Féin, a Protogrove is a newly formed, probationary congregation. A protogrove is required to hold a minimum of 8 public events a year, be they public rituals, public study group meetings or some other form of public group events. A protogrove must have at least one ADF member of at least 6 months and over the age of 18.
Psyche: The total non-physical make-up of a human being.
Psychic: A person who claims to use extrasensory perception (ESP) to identify information hidden from the normal senses. The word “psychic” is also used as an adjective to describe such abilities.
Psychic Awareness: Psychism; The act of being consciously psychic, in which the psychic mind and the conscious mind are linked and working in harmony.
Psychic Mind: The subconscious or unconscious mind, in which we receive psychic impulses. The psychic mind is at work when we sleep, dream and meditate. It is our direct link with the Divine, and with the larger, nonphysical world around us.
Psychic Vampire: Individual who feeds off the energy of others. Some traditions use the phrase “energy vampire” to describe these individuals. While this is sometimes deliberate, some psychic vampires may not be aware that they are doing it.
Psychism: The act of being consciously psychic. When your conscious mind and your psychic mind are linked in perfect harmony. Also known as “Psychic Awareness”.
Psychometry: Divination by holding an object belonging to another person. A form of extra-sensory perception characterized by the claimed ability to make relevant associations from an object of unknown history by making physical contact with that object. Supporters assert that an object may have an energy field that transfers knowledge regarding that object’s history.
Psychopomp: Creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to provide safe passage. Literally meaning the “guide of souls”.
Purgings: Lesser exorcisms that cleanse and turn away negativity or impediments, absorb negativity to be buried for grounding, and dissipate negative energies.
Purpose: The reason behind a ritual. The three main purposes in ritual are Invocation (to gain something), Banishing (to get rid of something) or Celebration (to commemorate an event).
Purse Warden: In some Wiccan traditions, the person in a coven responsible for collecting, safekeeping, and distribution of any money that the coven may have. Some have pointed out that Wiccan traditions generally do not pass a collection plate, thus questioning the value of such a role. However, many covens collect dues and gratefully accept donations given by those who attend public rituals in order to help pay for consumables (incense, candles, etc.) and the costs of upkeep of the covenstead.
Pyromancy: Art of divination by means of fire. Due to the importance of fire in society from the earliest of times, it is quite likely that pyromancy was one of the earlier forms of divination. It is said that in Greek society, virgins at the Temple of Athena in Athens regularly practiced pyromancy. It is also possible that followers of Hephaestus, the Greek god of fire and the forge, practiced pyromancy.
Quarter: A direction used in a magickal circle: East, South, West, or North. Each quarter represents specific elements and qualities (North is Earth and grounding, for example).
Quarters of the Moon: Astronomical measurement of the Moon’s cycle as it journeys around the Earth. The first and second quarters encompass the stages from New to Full Moon, while the third and fourth quarters represent the journey back from Full to New.
Quarters Sabbats: These are the four Lesser Sabbats: Vernal Equinox (Ostara), Summer Solstice (Midsummer), Autumnal Equinox (Mabon), and Winter Solstice (Yule).
Querent: In divination, the person who ask questions of the reader.
Quincunx: This symbol is considered to be the most important emblem in alchemy as it represents the transformation of base metals into gold which is the eventual ambition of alchemy. It denotes the atomic structure of the metals in their formation period. Spiritually it means attaining the highest level of enlightenment and being god-like.
Radiesthesia: Paranormal or parapsychological ability to detect “radiation” within the human body. According to the theory, all human bodies give off unique or characteristic “radiations” as do all other physical bodies or objects. Such radiations are often termed an “aura”. A practitioner of radiesthesia can detect the interplay of these radiations. Thus radiesthesia is cited as the explanation of such phenomena as dowsing by rods and pendulums in order to locate buried substances, diagnose illnesses, and the like.
Radionics: Alternative medicine that claims disease can be diagnosed and treated with a kind of energy similar to radio waves. The concept behind radionics originated in the early 1900s with Albert Abrams (1864-1924), who became a millionaire by leasing radionic machines which he designed himself. Radionics contradicts some principles of physics and biology and so is commonly considered pseudoscience. The United States Food and Drug Administration does not recognize any legitimate medical uses for such devices.
Ragnarok: Doom or destiny of the gods. The Northern version of the end of the world. In occult terms it implies the end of an era.
Raith: Elemental energy; also called Etheric Substance or Ectoplasm by some occultists.
Rapport: A type of psychic “energy exchange”, often at a subconscious level. Conscious examples include the relationship between Priest and student, psychiatrist and patient, or hypnotist and subject. One may also find oneself in rapport with Spirits or elementals, a state which frequently aids greatly in Magickal works.
Receptive Hand: Your less dominate hand (if you are right handed, it would be your left hand). This is the hand that energy will flow in through. This is the hand that will sense energy.
Rede: The Basic tenet of witchcraft. “To advise or counsel”. The Wiccan Rede is a passage of advise for a Wiccan. “An it harm none, do what thou will”.
Regression: Past life regression is a technique that uses hypnosis to recover what practitioners believe are memories of past lives or incarnations, though others regard them as fantasies or delusions or a type of confabulation. Past life regression is typically undertaken either in pursuit of a spiritual experience, or in a psychotherapeutic setting. Most advocates loosely adhere to beliefs about reincarnation, though religious traditions that incorporate reincarnation generally do not include the idea of repressed memories of past lives.
Regulus: One of the four stars with their modern and ancient Persian. Regulus (Haptokring) associations are: Leo, Summer Solstice (Watcher of the North).
Reiki: A type of hands-on healing, with roots in Tibetan mysticism, which offers much to modern people. This is one of the few healing modalities which does not use the practitioner’s own energy for healing.
Reincarnation: The doctrine of rebirth to allow the evolution of the soul.
Relaxation: Ability to release the muscular tension, mental and emotional stress.
Releasing the Circle: Also called “Opening the Circle”. At the end of a ritual, this is the act of dissolving the mental magickal sphere that encircle one’s ritual/working space. At the beginning of the ritual, it is called “Casting the Circle” or “Closing the Circle.
Religion: An organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that aim to explain the meaning of life, the origin of life, or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people may derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle.
Religion of Clergy: Wicca is often referred to as a religion of clergy because after initiation, we have no “go between” standing in the way of our connection to our personal gods, we are our own priests and priestesses.
Religious Rape: Term used by some fundamentalists, or Fundie, specifically to describes the actions of people who include the gods and goddesses of ancient religions in their Wiccan practice.
Remedial Herb: Medicinal Herb.
Renaissance Magick: Hermeticism and Neo-Platonic varieties of ceremonial magick between the 15th and 16th century.
Requiem: A Wiccan funeral. Also known as “Crossing Over”.
Resonate: Things or practices that causes a vibration or a reaction within us.
Retribution: Something that is requited/re-compensated. In the concept of karma, this refers to the rewards and/or punishments a person receives in a lifetime as a result of one’s actions in a previous life. Wiccans believe that everything they do in one lifetime comes back to them in that same lifetime (and not in another as Hindus and Buddhists believe).
Retrograde: When a planet, from the viewpoint of Earth, appears to be moving backward through space. When Mercury goes retrograde, it is a time for difficulty with communication, travel and electronics.
Reverence: Feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.
Right Action: The right thing to do; the action that will best serve us on our spiritual paths.
Right-Brain Function: Anything related to imagination and creativity. The right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body.
Right-Hand Path: Used to describe those who follow the positive laws of any path, including the Rede.
Rite: A small piece of ritual which although complete in itself is not generally performed on its own, such as the Rite of Cakes and Wine. A series of rites put together make a ritual.
Rite of Passage (ROP): Anytime a person undergoes a major life change that is ritualized, it is called a Rite of Passage. The typical Rites of Passage in a Wiccan’s life are: Wiccaning (a baby blessing), Moon Rites (celebrates a young girl’s first blood), Young men’s rites (celebrate the passage to manhood), Dedication, Initiation (the first degree), Handfasting (marriage), Adept Initiation (the second degree), Master Initiation (the third degree), Elderhood or Croning (a sort of retirement), and Crossing or Requiem (death or memorial services).
Ritual: A religious or magickal ceremony, characterized by formalized actions and words; A ceremony to mark the Sabbats, Esbats, dedications or for magickal workings and to unite with the Deities. A series of rites put together make a ritual.
Ritual Ceremony: A specific form of movement, a manipulation of objects or inner processes designed to produce desired effects. In religion ritual is geared toward union with the Divine. In magickal works it produces a specific state of consciousness that allows the magician to move energy toward needed goals.
Ritual Consciousness: A specific, alternate state of awareness necessary to the successful practice of magick. This state is achieved through the use of visualization and ritual. The conscious mind becomes attuned with the psychic mind, a state in which the magician senses energies, gives them purpose, and releases them toward a specific goal. It is a heightening of senses, an expanded awareness of the nonphysical world, a linking with nature and with Deity.
Ritual Magick: Ceremonial Magick. High Magick, magick focusing on spiritual realm.
Ritual Tools: General name for magickal tools used by a witch or magician. They vary by tradition and usually represent one of the elements. Also “Ceremonial Tools”.
Roman Tradition: A tradition following the Ancient Rome myths and lore.
Root Doctorine: Hoodoo.
Rule of Three: A Wiccan belief that whatever you send out from yourself will come back threefold.
Runes: The symbols or letters which have remained from old Teutonic, Nordic and Anglo-Saxon alphabets used in divination and magick. Some of these letters may have entire meanings or concepts associated to them. Combinations are sometimes used for magickal power and are called Bindrunes. The three best-known runic alphabets are the Elder Futhark (around 150-800 CE), the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc (400-1100 CE), and the Younger Futhark (800-1100 CE).
Runology: The study of the runic alphabets, runic inscriptions, runestones, and their history. Runology forms a specialized branch of Germanic linguistics.
Sabbat: A Witchcraft ceremony of honor acknowledging the eight segments of the Wiccan year and the cycle of the seasons. There are 2 solstice celebrations, 2 Equinox celebrations and some celebrations to mark season changes. Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain. The 4 major Sabbats are feminine Sabbats: Beltane, Imbolc, Lughnasadh and Samhain. The 4 Lesser Sabbats are masculine Sabbats: The Solstices and the Equinoxes.
Sachet: A small bag often filled with perfumed powder or other scented material, such as dried herbs and flowers.
Sacred: Devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; Consecrated.
Sacred Charge: Someone who one is responsible for spiritually; one who is inviolable under our wing.
Sacred Cord: Like a knotwork spell of a Witch’s lifetime spiritual Path, to date. It is sometimes worn doubled and knotted, sometimes thrice round, with some to hang down, and sometimes a different way altogether. The cord typically also holds the Witch’s sacred blade(s).
Sacred Hills: Sacred Hills are found in Europe, like Silbury Hill, a prehistoric artificial chalk mound near Avebury in the English county of Wiltshire.
Sacred Marriage: The Great Rite.
Sacred Space: A cleansed and consecrated area used for ritual/magickal proposes. A sacred space can be created anywhere, if done properly.
Sacrifice: Same as Offering. Many Pagans and Wiccans make sacrifices to their gods. An offering may be anything given from the heart – time, love, trust, dedication – or it can be a material object such as stones, coins, jewelry, or food.
Sagittarius: The 9th sign of the zodiac (23 November – 21 December). Symbolized by the Centaur Archer, is a Fire sign and is ruled by Jupiter.
Sahasrara: Crown Chakra (Purple or Clear). Located atop the head (pineal gland). Related to astral projection and enlightenment.
Salad Bar: The Salad Bar mentality of spirituality is the tendency to grab the things we like and discard the things that don’t appeal to us but that ultimately might be more important to us.
Salamander: The traditional name for an Elemental spirit of the nature of the Fire element.
Salt: Used in many magickal procedures, including Wiccan, as a kind of spiritual antiseptic, or purifying symbol.
Salt-Water: A mix of water and salt (preferably sea salt) used in purification and ritual bath.
Salve: Medical ointment used to soothe the surface of the body. Black Ointment, or Ichthyol Salve, also called Drawing Salve has been traditionally used to treat minor skin problems such as sebaceous cysts, boils, ingrown toenails and splinters. The main ingredients are often Ichthammol, phenyl alcohol, or arnica montana, and may contain herbs such as Echinacea or calendula. The name comes from archaic belief that an irritant can “draw out” evil humors.
Samhain: The Sabbat marking the Witches’ New Year on Nov. 1, which observes the symbolic death of the God as he passes into the Land of the Young.
Satanism: LaVeyan Satanism is a religious philosophy founded in 1966 by Anton LaVey, codified in The Satanic Bible and overseen by the Church of Satan. Its core beliefs and philosophies are based on individualism, Epicureanism, secularism, egoism, and self-deification, and propagates a worldview of naturalism, materialism, Social Darwinism, Lex Talionis, and an amoral universe. Satanism is not associated with Witchcraft or Wicca. However, confusion is possible due to the fact that the degree system of that philosophy contain a title of “Witch/Warlock” for the second Degree.
Scandinavian Runes: Younger Futhark.
Scapulimancy: Practice of divination by use of scapulae (shoulder blades). In the context of the oracle bones of ancient China, which chiefly utilized both scapulae and the plastrons of turtle, scapulimancy is sometimes used in a very broad sense to jointly refer to both scapulimancy and plastromancy (similar divination using plastrons). However, the term osteomancy might be more appropriate, referring to divination using bones. Also known as Spatulamancy.
Scorpio: The 8th sign of the zodiac (24 October – 22 November). Symbolized by the Scorpion, is a Water sign and is ruled by Mars and Pluto.
Scourge: A whip, used in rituals by Traditional Witches (being those who practice Gardnerian or Alexandrian, or variants of those forms of Wicca). It is not used much (if at all) today.
Scry, To: To gaze at or into an object. Commonly a Crystal Ball, Bowl of water, Mirror or a candle flame. (Called Scrying)
Scrying: The action to gaze into or at an object for divination purposes.
Scrying Mirror: A mirror used for divination purposes that is painted black.
Sea: “Muir” in Irish; The sea is the mystery, the portion of the human world most alien to human-kind. Sometimes called Underworld or Lower World (“Tir Andomain” in Irish).
Séance: A meeting at which people attempt to make contact with the dead, especially through the agency of a medium.
Sect: A body of persons adhering to a particular religious faith; a religious denomination. A group regarded as heretical or as deviating from a generally accepted religious tradition.
Seeker: A person who is just called to an earth-based spiritual path, but who hasn’t made a decision as to which path she/he will follow. Someone who is still seeking, exploring all the options.
Seer: The prophets, healers and diviner of the Celts. The guardians and interpreters of the mysteries.
Seership: The attributes or function of a seer; The office or quality of a seer.
Seidr: Meaning literally seething. Seidr is the name of a variety of magickal and shamanic practices such as sorcery and divination and “soul journeys”.
Self-Aggrandizement: An act undertaken to increase your own power and influence or to draw attention to your own importance. The action or process of promoting oneself as being powerful or important.
Self-Dedication: The rite of dedication to the Craft by a solitary practitioner, usually held at the beginning of the spiritual journey.
Self-Initiation: While some books suggest that Solitaries perform a self-initiation ceremony, the modern community generally accepts that this is a nonsensical term, as initiation is something distinctly performed upon another in Covens. The term Solitaries now use is dedication. However, some consider the Self-Dedication as a rite to perform at the beginning of the spiritual journey, while the self-Initiation comes after the first Year and a Day study period.
Sept: “Sept” or “Clan” are used by Celtic Wiccan to describe a Circle or a Coven.
Serch Bythol (Ireland Symbol): Celtic symbol meaning Everlasting Love. This symbol is denoted by knots and two Triquetra/Trinity. The Trinity is a three cornered knot representing the mind, body and spirit in its three corners. It is a symbol that embodies eternal life and when placed side by side, it creates an endless, graceful flow of lines. Hence, the unification of the two symbols signifies the merging of the body, mind and spirit bonded in a circle showing eternal love. This icon is not as well known as the Claddagh but just as significant.
Sex Magick: The use of the energy raised through cultivating, containing or redirecting sexual energy. Sexual activity, especially in ritual settings, may be used to raise Magickal energy. This can range from the earliest fertility celebrations, through the traditional Beltane rituals, to some of the amazingly sophisticated and acrobatic rituals practiced by Tantric Yogis. Some traditions lean more heavily on Sex Magick than others, though many others make at least symbolic use (i.e., Athame and Chalice).
Shadow: The buried, unconscious elements of the human psyche; everything except the Ego and the Persona.
Shaman: Person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing. Someone who obtains their contact with divinity and the earth through the use of substances which induce altered states of consciousness. Also known as Medicine Man.
Shamaness: Female Shaman.
Shamanic Journeying: The inner art of traveling to the invisible worlds beyond ordinary reality to retrieve information for change in every area of our lives from spirituality and health to work and relationships.
Shamanism: Practice that involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world. The practice of shamans, usually ritualistic or magickal in nature, sometimes religious.
Shamrock (Ireland Symbol): Shamrock or the three-leaf white clover is the national symbol of Ireland. Since ancient times, this plant has been considered sacred by the natives. Legend has it that when St. Patrick came to the shores of Ireland to spread the message of Christianity, he used the leaves of this plant to explain the concept of holy trinity to the island-dwellers. It symbolizes God the Father, God the Son as represented by Christ, and God the Holy Spirit. However, there is another version of symbolism associated with it. It is also said to represent faith, love and hope. Therefore, this design is popular in wedding jewelry. Both bride and groom carry or wear this symbol on their wedding day in order to bring good luck to their new life.
Sheela na gig: Sheela na gigs are figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva. They are architectural grotesques found on churches, castles, and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Great Britain, sometimes together with male figures. Such carvings are said to ward off death and evil. Other grotesques, such as gargoyles and hunky punks, were frequently part of church decorations all over Europe. They often are positioned over doors or windows, presumably to protect these openings.
Shillelagh: A wooden walking stick and club or cudgel, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob at the top, that is associated with Ireland and Irish folklore. Also called a “Blackthorn Stick”.
Shining Ones: The Deities; The Shining Ones appear in many myths and cultures by different names and descriptions, but always as gods or creational forces of light.
Shrine: Shrines are, in many cases, much larger than the simple altar – it may take up an entire room, a hillside, or the bank of a river. In many Pagan traditions, practitioners choose to have a shrine to the deity of their path or a household god. This is a place that serves as a focus, a place of pause.
Sickle: A working knife; Boline; Crescent Knife. Used for harvesting and wildcrafting.
Sidereal Year: A sidereal year is the time taken by the Earth to orbit the Sun once with respect to the fixed stars. Hence it is also the time taken for the Sun to return to the same position with respect to the fixed stars after apparently travelling once around the ecliptic. It equals 365.25636 SI days for the J2000.0 epoch. The sidereal year differs from the tropical year, the time interval between vernal equinoxes in successive years, due to the precession of the equinoxes. The sidereal year is 20 min 24.5 s longer than the mean tropical year at J2000.0 (365.242189 days), and is 19 min 57.8 s longer than the average year of the Gregorian calendar (it is the tropical year that is approximated by the average Gregorian year of 365.2425 days).
Sidhe: Gaelic for “Fairy”.
Sigil: In Ceremonial Magick, an image that symbolizes a specific spirit, deity, angel or supernatural being. A magickally oriented seal, sign, glyph (sculptured character or symbol) or other device used in a magickal working. The most powerful sigils are those that you create yourself.
Silver Cord: The connection between the soul or spirit and the physical body. When one is traveling out of the physical body during Astral Travel, it is this cord of light energy which one follows back to the body when it is time to return. There is a very real danger of becoming lost in the other world if the Silver Cord becomes too tenuous or is severed in one way or another.
Simple Feast: It is the ritual meal shared with the Goddess and God.
Singing Bowl: Type of bell, specifically classified as a standing bell. Rather than hanging inverted or attached to a handle, singing bowls sit with the bottom surface resting, and the rim of singing bowls vibrates to produce sound characterized by a fundamental frequency (first harmonic) and usually two audible harmonic overtones (second and third harmonic). Singing bowls are used worldwide for meditation, music, relaxation, and personal well-being. Also known as Tibetan Singing Bowls, Rin Gongs, Himalayan Bowls or Suzu Gongs.
Sister Coven: A Coven that is part of other Coven from the same Tradition. When a coven becomes too large to be easily manageable, it may divide into two or more smaller sister covens. They are considered equal and friendly and may attend each other’s rituals. Note that this is different from a daughter coven that “hives off” from a mother coven. Generally, the coven that keeps the original High Priestess maintains the original name while the other coven adopts a new name.
Sky: “Neamh” in Irish; The Sky contains gods-creators of spiritual and informational levels of reality, spiritual teachers of mankind. Sometimes called Upper World or Overworld (“Magh Mór” in Irish).
Sky Father: Used in many Shamanistic Native American belief systems. It assigns deification to the sky as a male entity. Commonly used in conjunction with the Earth Mother.
Skyclad: Naked; Ritual nakedness. “Clad only from the sky”. Some include not wearing jewelry, hair adornments and makeup as being skyclad. Many people believe that when you perform rituals naked you are free from restrictions and falsehood. Some say magick is more powerful when performed in this way. Required in some Traditions and almost always occurs in closed groups. Considered deeply spiritual, not sexual.
Slachdan: Wand of power used by The Cailleach. Cailleach’s white rod, made of birch, bramble, willow or broom, is a Druidic rod which gives Her power over the weather and the elements.
Sleepcasting: Performing magick in the dream world to affect the real world. This can be practiced during lucid dreaming.
Smooring: A Scots word usually translated as “smothering”, but perhaps more accurately “subduing”. This was a process by which the fire was dampened down so it would not need tending, and therefore could be left safely alight during the night. In Ireland, it was said that the Good Folk would be displeased if they arrived at a house during the night to find that there was no fire for them.
Smudge Stick: An herbal wand used for smudging or cleansing, usually made of sage.
Smudging: The use of smoke to cleanse and purify a person or an area so that Magickal rites or healing work can be performed without hindrance from negative spirits. In many Native American traditions, the primary herbs are sage and sweet grass.
Snuffer: A dome-shaped object, often at the end of a stick or wand, used to extinguish a candle flame.
So Mote It Be: A popular Witch expression meaning “As I will, so it will be”. “Mote” is Middle English for “shall” or “must” here. Used as a statement of affirmation, much like “amen”.
Soft Polytheism: A central, main division in polytheism is between soft polytheism and hard polytheism. Soft polytheism is the belief that gods may be aspects of only one god, that the pantheons of other cultures are representative of one single pantheon, psychological archetypes or personifications of natural forces.
Solar Eclipse: Emblem of the God in his aspects of Dark Lord, Lord of Shadows, Death, Chaos, Resurrection, Hunter, and Leader of the Wild Hunt.
Solitaire: A term used by some Pagans to describe their practices as not being involved with other people. Someone who primarily practices alone. Many Wiccans today are eclectic solitaries who may attend open rituals at Sabbats. While this is probably a linguistic error (sounding more like a card game for one than a Wiccan practitioner) for what should be a Solitary Witch or Wiccan), it has been popularized by many practitioners.
Solstice: Marks the longest day (Summer Solstice) and the longest night (Winter Solstice), when day and night are at their most extreme lengths. They are held (in the northern hemisphere) as the Sabbats of Yule (December 21-22) and Midsummer (June 20-21. The word solstice comes from the Latin: sol for “sun”, and stitium meaning “to stand still”.
Sophia: Sophia is a central idea in Hellenistic philosophy and religion, Platonism, Gnosticism, Orthodox Christianity, Esoteric Christianity, as well as Christian mysticism. Sophiology is a philosophical concept regarding wisdom, as well as a theological concept regarding the wisdom of the biblical God. Sophia is honored as a goddess of wisdom by Gnostics, as well as by some Neopagan, New Age, and Goddess spirituality groups. In Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity, Sophia, or rather Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), is an expression of understanding for the second person of the Holy Trinity, (as in the dedication of the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople) as well as in the Old Testament, as seen in the Book of Proverbs 9:1, but not an angel or goddess.
Sophiology: Philosophical concept regarding wisdom, as well as a theological concept regarding the wisdom of God. Sophiology has roots in Hellenistic tradition and Platonism. Sophia had a major role in almost every sect of Gnostic Christianity.
Sorcerer: Wizard, usually practicing black magick.
Sorcery: The art, practices, or spells of a person who is supposed to exercise supernatural powers through the aid of evil spirits; black magick.
Soul Mask: A mask made while both the subject and the artist are in trance, which reveals symbols and colors significant to the subject’s spiritual Path.
Soul Mates: People who have incarnated once or many times before, who have a strong bond to each other. It is generally held we all have twenty or thirty of these people, sometimes referred to as our “tribe”.
Soul: Spiritual essence of a living being. The soul, in many religious, philosophical and mythological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a living thing. The cloak in which a Spirit is housed during its Reincarnations. While the Spirit is fully self-aware, it is part of, and in direct connection with, the Divine. The Soul is continually evolving until it achieves its final full awareness.
Soul Retrieval: Anyone who’s had a trauma, from a shamanic point of view, may have had some loss of their soul. By soul we mean the spiritual essence essential throughout one’s life as we describe life in our culture, which is from conception or birth to the time of death. The techniques for healing soul loss are soul-retrieval techniques, and one of the classic shamanic methods is to go searching for that lost portion of the soul and restore it.
Speaking Stick: Tool used in some coven to facilitate communication. A stick or other object that is passed around the circle during ritual. Only the person holding the speaking stick should be talking during this time.
Speculum: Any light-reflecting, shiny or sparkly surface (liquid or solid) that can provide a focus for the attention of the one using the speculum for the purpose of scrying.
Spell: A spell is a set of actions and/or words designed to bring about a specific magickal intent. An act that may use a variety of aids (herbs, string, candles, etc). to help a Witch to focus energy on his or her desire. A spell is a symbolic act done in an altered state of consciousness, in order to cause a desired change. To cast a spell is to project energy through a symbol. A spell is a creative act, fusing our desire and will and vision with the Divine energy within/around us to reach a specific goal. Magick is dependent on our relationship with the Divine.
Spellbook: A grimoire; a book of spells. Most often these are just notes and do not have details of the underlying principles that allow the spells to function.
Spellcaster: One who casts spells; a magician; a sorcerer; a witch.
Spellcasting: The casting of magickal spells.
Spellcraft: The ability, knowledge and wisdom to know when, as well as how, to perform spells.
Spellcrafting: The action of using spellcraft, making spells.
Spellwork: Any magickal practice involving creating or casting spells, especially new enchantments or spells which are intricate or complex. The formula or formulation of one or more spells or enchantments; the individual parts constituting such a formulation; the inner workings or structure of a spell.
Spiral: A sacred ancient symbol of coming into being. It is connected to the cycle of death and rebirth. The single spiral is one of the most common symbols of the Celtic culture, which can be seen on a myriad of artifacts and on their monuments. This symbol stood for the radiation of ethereal energy. There are, however, many different interpretations of it. Some of the most prominent ones include balance, direction, initiation, progress, connection, expansion, awareness and all-round development. Actually, a spiral may mean different things when seen from different perspectives. If we look at it as a line spiraling inwards, it may stand for the journey of the self from outer materialistic world to the inner cosmic world. On the other hand, if we look at it as a line spiraling outwards, it may mean the expansion of the consciousness of the self that begins at the core and spreads outwards, encompassing learning and experiences. A spiral, thus represents the processes of both, creation and self-realization.
Spiral (Double): Much like the single spiral, the double spiral is also an important symbol in Celtic mythology. It is represented by two spirals formed by a clockwise movement at the two points of a line, but in opposite directions. Thus, while one spiral opens in an upward direction, the other opens in a downward direction. However, some variations of the symbol can be found. The double spiral stands for the fact that there are always two completely opposite activities going on in the universe, at any given point in time. The two opposing spirals emerging from a single line signify that though the two activities have completely contradicting cycles, there is always a balance between them. Cycles such as birth and death, creation and destruction occur alongside each other and are thus, represented by the double spiral. Another theory states that the double spiral represents the equinoxes, the days when the day and night are of equal duration.
Spiral (Triple): The triple spiral, also known as the spiral of life, found wide usage in the artistic expressions of the ancient Celts. Its representations have been found in abundance at the Bronze Age sites in Ireland. The ancient Celts believed that life, in all forms, moved consistently in cycles which were ongoing and eternal in nature. It was also believed that every activity related to life and death happened in three distinct phases, each of which was equally important for maintaining balance of nature. These three eternal cycles were represented by the triple spiral. So, in short, this symbol stood for all the processes that take place between life and death. Another theory says that the three spirals in the symbol stand for the three Realms, and the interconnection between them.
Spiral Dance: Also called the Grapevine Dance and the Weaver’s Dance. This is a tradition group dance practiced in Neopaganism in the United States, especially in feminist Wicca and the associated Reclaiming movement. It is designed to emphasize community and rebirth, and is also used to raise power in a ritual.
Spirit (1): The fifth of the magickal elements.
Spirit (2): An animating or vital principle within all living beings.
Spirit (3): A discarnate entity, such as a ghost or apparition.
Spirit Guide: A Spirit, either of an animal, a human or a deity that works with an individual for the purpose of protection and guidance. These spirits have become (or have been created to be) allies or servants of a Shaman, Mage or Witch.
Spirit of the Stones: The elemental energies naturally inherent at the four directions of the magickal circle. They are linked with the elements.
Spiritism: The doctrine or practice of Spiritualism.
Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR): Popular phrase used to self-identify a life stance of spirituality that rejects traditional organized religion as the sole or most valuable means of furthering spiritual growth.
Spiritual Essence: Soul.
Spiritual Name: The same as Craft Name; Usually for Pagans not necessarily into Wicca or Witchcraft.
Spiritual Orgasm: Transcendent Orgasm.
Spiritual Warrior: One who pursues her/his spiritual Path with conviction and purpose.
Spiritualism: The belief that the spirits of the deceased are able to communicate with the living through a person known as a medium or by other means.
Spirituality: There is no single, widely-agreed definition of spirituality. Surveys of the definition of the term, as used in scholarly research, show a broad range of definitions, with very limited similitude. In modern times the emphasis is on subjective experience. It may denote almost any kind of meaningful activity or blissful experience. It still denotes a process of transformation, but in a context separate from organized religious institutions, termed “spiritual but not religious”. Some suggest that modern spirituality is a blend of humanistic psychology, mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions.
Splitting the Coven: A friendly division wherein some members of a relatively large coven leave that coven to form their own coven. This resulting covens are generally considered “sister” covens. Compare this to hiving which results in a mother coven and daughter coven(s).
Spring Equinox: Ostara.
Staff: Ritual tool which corresponds to the wand.
Stang: Ritual tool from Pagan Rome which resembles a two-pronged trident. Often used in place of the wand or circle.
Star Children: Indigo Children.
Starseeds: Indigo Children
Statue: Used symbolically to represent a number of things during Wiccan rituals.
Stonehenge: Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England, about 2 miles (3 km) west of Amesbury and 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.
Stones: Used to symbolically represent any number of different things that a Wiccan might want during their magick workings.
Strega: Italian witch, generally not considered Wiccan.
Stregheria: Italian American Witchcraft. Stregheria is sometimes referred to as La Vecchia Religione (“the Old Religion”). The word stregheria is an archaic Italian word for “witchcraft”, the most used and modern Italian word being stregoneria.
Subconscious Mind: Part of the mind which functions below the levers we are able to access in the course of a normal working day. This area stores symbolic knowledge, dreams, the most minute details of every experience ever had by a person.
Substitution: In Wicca, it exists lists with specific substitutions for several common and unusual herbs. A general guideline is that: Rosemary can be safely used for any other herb. Rose for any flower. Frankincense or Copal for any gum resin. Tobacco for any poisonous herb. However, it is also said than one cannot substitute more than three component in a ritual, recipe or magickal working.
Sumbel: In Ásatrú, one of the most common celebrations noted in Nordic tales. The Sumbel is a ritual drinking celebration. This was a more mundane and social sort of ritual than the blot, but of no less importance. When Beowulf came to Hrothgar, the first thing they did was to drink at a ritual sumbel. This was a way of establishing Beowulf’s identity and what his intent was, and doing so in a sacred and traditional manner.
Summer Solstice: Midsummer.
Summerland: The Pagan Land of the Dead; A spiritualist word for the Heaven which souls enter after death. Often used by believers in Reincarnation to denote the astral stage of rest after physical death.
Summoner (1): The male officer of the coven who corresponds to the Maiden. He is the assistant High Priest.
Summoner (2): A person (according to the Witches’ lore) who, during the time of the Inquisition, secretly notified Witches as to when and where the rituals would take place. This person also scouted out new possible members among the village folks. He is sometimes known as the man in black.
Sun: The symbol of the Horned God, the sun is an ancient symbol of yang energy and the masculine forces of nature.
Sun Sign: The sign of the zodiac that a person is born under.
Suncatcher: Small, reflective glass or nacre piece that is hung indoors at windows to “catch the light” from a nearby source. A suncatcher is like the optical equivalent of a wind chime. Some designs are simple and abstract with perhaps some mobile-like chained elements, while more complex designs often evoke plants or animals. Many designs combine suncatchers with wind chimes. It is believed that suncatchers were first made by the Southwestern Native-Americans. Also known as Light Catcher.
Supernal: Of or relating to the sky or the heavens; celestial.
Supernatural: Which is not subject to the laws of physics or, more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature.
Svadhisthana: Sacral or Sexual Chakra (Orange). Located at the lower abdomen, above and behind the genitals. Related to psychic taste (Clairalience), Element of Water.
Sword: Larger version of the athame, often owned communally by a coven. Used in British Traditional Wicca by HP/S to cast a circle.
Sylph: An “entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the plane of Air or is associated with the Air Element.
Symbel: This Old Norse term reflects a pagan ritual which had a great religious significance in the culture of the early Germanic people. The ritual was always conducted indoors, usually in a chieftain’s mead hall. Symbel involved a formulaic ritual which was more solemn and serious than mere drinking or celebration. The primary elements of symbel are drinking ale or mead from a drinking horn, speech making (which often included formulaic boasting and oaths), and gift giving. Eating and feasting were specifically excluded from symbel, and no alcohol was set aside for the gods or other deities in the form of a sacrifice.
Symbology: The usage of symbols to represent something in one’s mind.
Sympathetic Magick: Based on the principle that “Like cures like” or “Like attracts like”. Most spells are done this way. Items that have similar qualities can be used to effect each other. e.g. plants are green, growing plants are green, green candles therefore symbolize growth. You use a symbolic representation of the intent, and whatever you do to it, will be reflected on the actual goal. Poppets are sympathetic magick. Sympathetic magick is based on the assumption that a person or thing can be supernaturally affected through its name or an object representing it. It can include superstition, ritual, spirituality, affirmations, visualization, and the use of good-luck charms.
Syncretism: The attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion
Tabar: Ritual robe in some Traditions, which sometimes bear symbols and the name of the practitioner.
Taboo: A prohibited behavior. Taboos generally refer to spiritual rules rather than physical or mundane ones, however this distinction tends to be quite blurred today.
Taglock: Magickal link to an individual. For example, in poppet magick, you would use a taglock inside the doll to identify the person to be targeted by the spell.
Talamh: The Irish realm of the Land; The Middle World (Mide).
Talisman: An object that has been magickally charged and is then carried or kept near the person it was made for to attract something (i.e. money).
Tantra: An Eastern system of spiritual development through sexual energy.
Tarologist: One adept at the art and science of handling the Tarot.
Taromancy: Fortune-telling or divination using a deck of Tarot.
Tarot: A set of 78 cards (22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana), which carry pictures and symbols used for divination. On one knows the specific origin of the cards.
Taurus: The 2nd sign of the zodiac (21 April – 21 May). Symbolized by the Bull, is an Earth sign, and is ruled by Venus.
Technopaganism: An umbrella term that characterizes several different beliefs and practices in Neopaganism (which includes faiths such as Wicca and Neo-Druidism) in reference to the place of technology in Neopagan practice. The use of modern-day devices in magickal ritual. This can include the substitution of technology for traditional magickal tools, such as using their oven for a hearth, keeping a “Disk of Shadows” instead of a “Book of Shadows”, and using a laser pointer as a wand. In other practice, technology is the target of the magickal work, such as the use of stones and other charms to help improve the performance of mundane items or online role-playing avatars. Technopaganism is an emergent trend in Neopagan thought that deals with spiritual and magickal facets of technology and technological society. Associated with this is the use of technological metaphors (most often computer and/or telecommunications metaphors) to describe spiritual phenomena, as well as the use of symbolism from popular culture in spiritual contexts.
Telekinesis: The power of moving physical objects by purely psychic effort.
Telepathy: The ability to receive, read and sent out thoughts.
Thaumaturgy: The use of Magick to make overt changes in the material world; Magick done for practical reasons. Magick to obtain things such as healing, money etc.
Thealogy: Feminist Theology. Term whose first use in the context of feminist analysis of religion and discussion of Goddess is usually credited to Naomi Goldenberg, who used the term in her book Changing of the Gods, published in 1979. It substitutes the Greek feminine prefix “thea-” for the supposedly generic use of the Greek masculine prefix “theo-“. Frequently used to mean analysis of Goddess thought and mysticism, it can also be used more liberally to mean any kind of divine, not just deity divine, as in meditation, ethics, ritual pragmatics.
Theban Alphabet: A script used by some Witches as a secret alphabet. A writing system with unknown origins which first came into publication in the 16th century. It is also known as the Honorian Alphabet or the Runes of Honorius after the legendary magus (Theban is not, however, a runic alphabet), or the Witches’ Alphabet due to its use in modern Wicca and other forms of witchcraft as one of many substitution ciphers to hide magickal writings such as the contents of a Book of Shadows from prying eyes. The Witches’ alphabet was popular in the Craft Community during the 1960s and 1970s, but was gradually replaced by Germanic and Celtic runes sometime in the mid-1980s. A few tradition-minded Wiccan/Witchcraft Traditions still employ this old alphabet.
Theism: Belief in the existence of Gods and Goddesses. Monotheism is the belief in a single God figure and Polytheism is the belief in multiple Gods and Goddesses. Atheism is the non-belief in Gods and Goddesses.
Theist: One who believes in the existence of some divine Being(s), usually transcendent in nature.
Theodism: Type of Heathenism.
Theology: Systematic and rational study of concepts of God and of the nature of religious ideas, but can also mean the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university, seminary, or school of divinity.
Theriolatry: The worshiping of animals
Theurgy: Magick to evolve spiritually. There are two different types of magick, according to Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s Apology, completely opposite of each other. The first is Goëtia, black magick reliant upon an alliance with evil spirits (i.e., demons). The second is Theurgy, divine magick reliant upon an alliance with divine spirits (i.e., angels, archangels, gods). Most often associated with Hermeticism.
Theyn: Old English term for a Pagan priest. The term has evolved over time so that, when used as a boy’s given name, it means “follower”.
Third Eye: The organ of spiritual perception, in the center of the forehead, thought by some to be the Pineal Gland, which is connected to the visual cortex of the brain. One of the higher Chakras.
Thought-Form: When an Adept builds up a mental image, and then solidifies it in astral substance by the force of his or her will, the image so created is called a “Thought-Form”. Once the image is made, the Adept may use it as a vehicle for the consciousness during Astral Travel. When a group, such as a Coven, is highly cohesive, with balanced energy, a thought-form can be created to embody the group’s collective will. These can be especially powerful tools for healing and Magick.
Three Fates: Young, Mature and Elderly. The ancient Greeks believed that many aspects of a person’s life were determined by the three mythical women known as Fates. These were three sister goddesses that appeared in Greek and Roman mythology and were believed to have “spun out” a child’s destiny at birth. They determined when life began, when it ended, and everything in between. At the birth of each man they appeared spinning, measuring, and cutting the thread of life. However not everything was inflexible or pre-determined. A man destined to become a great warrior one day could still choose what he wanted to do on any given day. The gods could simply intervene with decisions that could be helpful or harmful. In a sense, they controlled the metaphorical life of every mortal born.
Three-Fold Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone; goddess with three changing faces
Three-Fold Law: Belief that all actions, good or bad, are returned three times over; Karmic principle that energy that is released is returned three times over.
Thumb Screw: A torture device. Placed tightly around a person’s thumbs (or fingers), the device was cranked tighter, causing intense pain and eventually breaking, then crushing, a victim’s digits in an attempt to obtain a confession. It was one means to “question” a suspected Witch during the Inquisition.
Thurible: An Incense holder that is suspended from a chain that allows you to gently swing it to release the smoke.
Tincture: An alcoholic extract of plant or animal material or solution of such or of a low volatility substance (such as iodine and mercurochrome). To qualify as an alcoholic tincture, the extract should have an ethanol percentage of at least 25–60% (50–120 US proof). Sometimes an alcohol concentration as high as 90% (180 US proof) is used in such a tincture. In herbal medicine, alcoholic tinctures are made with various ethanol concentrations, 25% being the most common.
Tir Andomain: The Irish Underworld; The realm of the Sea (Muir).
Tool: A word much-used in Wicca, including both physical objects used to facilitate Wiccan ritual (censer, wands, candles, salt, water, incense, etc). as well as internal process (visualization and concentration, amongst others). In some forms of magick, this term also refers to crystals, herbs, colors, and other sources of power utilized in spells.
Torc: A Celtic, horseshoe-shaped necklace worn by chiefs and kings to denote their status.
Torture: Any of a wide set of techniques that use mental, emotional, or especially physical pain, often with the intent of obtaining (some would say coercing) the admission of information such as guilt for breaking a law. During the Inquisition, torture was used on people suspected of Witchcraft in order to get them to admit to the “crime”. In some cases, the confession wouldn’t be accepted without torture. During the Inquisition, as now, the definition of what constituted torture (as used by the torturers and those authorizing torture), was extremely limited. It was said that if there were no bones broken, a confession was obtained “without torture”. Yelling, lying, slapping, enforced wakefulness, and denial of food or water, threatening family members, etc., were not legally considered torture. Although the use of torture is popular in fiction, most experts declare that torture is ineffective for obtaining truth as victims will say anything in order to get the pain to stop.
Totem: A symbol that can represent either an individual or a group. It usually serves to identify and unify a family or clan. The Totem will more often than not represent an animal Spirit Guide, and is revered by its people. Wiccans generally uses the term Power Animal.
Totemism: Belief in which each human is thought to have a spiritual connection or a kinship with another physical being, such as an animal or plant, often called a “spirit-being” or “totem”. The totem is thought to interact with a given kin group or an individual and to serve as their emblem or symbol.
Tradition/Trad: A set of practices and teachings, or the group of people who follow them. Sometimes named after founder, as in Gardnerian, sometimes after form or other principles.
Traditional Wicca (TW): A term used to designate the original Wiccan Traditions. Americans uses British Traditional Wicca (BTW) instead.
Traditional Witchcraft: A term used to refer to a variety of contemporary forms of Witchcraft. Pagan studies scholar Ethan Doyle White described it as a broad movement of aligned magico-religious groups who reject any relation to Gardnerianism and the wider Wiccan movement, claiming older, more “traditional” roots. Although typically united by a shared aesthetic rooted in European folklore, the Traditional Craft contains within its ranks a rich and varied array of occult groups, from those who follow a contemporary Pagan path that is suspiciously similar to Wicca to those who adhere to Luciferianism.
Trance: A half-conscious state, seemingly between sleeping and waking, in which ability to function voluntarily may be suspended. A state of complete mental absorption or deep musing. In Spiritualism, a temporary state in which a medium, with suspension of personal consciousness, is controlled by an intelligence from without and used as a means of communication, as from the dead.
Transcendent: Going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding. A transcendent god exists purely outside the world on some heavenly or astral plane. The universe is his puppet show, and he pulls the strings of the marionettes from somewhere far away. A transcendent god is unreachable, faceless, and so huge that our relationship with him is almost always one of awe, fear, and distance.
Transcendent Orgasm: An orgasm obtained during Transcendent Sex. For instance, a person might suddenly be out of body, hovering over the bed, or traveling back in time to a past life, or expanding to include the consciousness of all living creatures. For many people the spiritual awakening that comes through these kinds of transcendent orgasm is life changing. It reorganizes their beliefs about sexuality and their spirituality. In fact, of all life experiences that open the doorway to intensely spiritual experience, sex is the most common and ordinary, which is to say that it is readily available to ordinary people.
Transcendent Sex: Sex that involves altered states that seem to come out of nowhere and overcome one or both lovers. The term transcendent sex comes from the sense of transcending the usual sense of space, time or self that constitute normal, waking consciousness.
Transmigration: The passage of a soul after death into another body; Metempsychosis, Reincarnation.
Tree Hugger: An environmentalist; The term is often used to describe Pagans connected with nature.
Tree of Life: The central glyph or diagram of the Cabala. It consists of ten interconnected spheres of Sephiroth, each representing a category of cosmic being and activity. In Paganism, the Tree of Life is the Axis Mundi, the Axis of the World, connecting the Land (Middle World) with the Sky (Upper World) and the Sea (Underworld).
Trí Dé Dána: Meaning the three gods of Danu, which can also be read as the three gods of dán, or knowledge; Three gods of art who forged the weapons which the Tuath Dé used to battle the Fomorians. Related attributes are personified as their descendants, and Wisdom is the son of all three. For Ecne to be the son of three brothers also recalls the early Celtic practice of fraternal polyandry.
Triangle of Manifestation: A phrase indicating the principle behind magickal manifestation. This basic principle is rooted in the number three. According to metaphysics, in order to manifest something, three components must come together. These components are time, space, and energy. Accordingly, if one selects a space, and a time, and then directs energy there, a manifestation occurs. In ritual and spellcasting this principle can be symbolized through a hand gesture. By holding the hands in front of you with the palms out and bringing the tips of both index fingers together, while at the same time touching the tips of each thumb together, a triangle appears in the opening between the hands. This symbolic hand gesture can be used in ritual while chanting, charging objects, or speaking blessings.
Tribann: Sun symbol in Druidism composed of three converging lines on a high point.
Triformis Goddess: Triple Goddess.
Triformis Worlds: The worlds of Above (Upper World), Middle (Middle World) and Below (Underworld).
Trilithon: A stone arch made from two upright slabs of rock or wood, with one lying atop. Commonly used as an altar.
Trinity Knot: Triquetra.
Triple Goddess: A Goddess trinity having three different aspects and names, usually corresponding to the phases of the moon; One Goddess in all of her three aspects: Maiden, Mother, Crone.
Triquetra: Celtic three-cornered shapes symbol. Originally meant “triangle”. It has come to refer exclusively to a particular more complicated shape formed of three Vesica Piscis, sometimes with an added circle in or around it. Also known as a “Trinity Knot”, the design is used as a religious symbol adapted from Celtic or Gaelic by Christianity. The triquetra was a concept that was very parallel to the triskelion. The triquetra however, was not three-legged. It was a triangular three-cornered figure that came to represent three important aspects of life, spirit, nature and the state of being, which were intertwined in each other. The triquetra was basically used by the Celtic people because it was said to emit cosmic vibrations. Much like the triskelion, there are several opinions about what the three corners of the triquetra might mean. It is a multidimensional symbol with many meanings: Life-Death-Rebirth, Land-Sea-Sky, Thought-Feeling-Emotion, Maiden-Mother-Crone, and the holy trinity after the Christianization of the Celts. More often than not, a circle is drawn around this symbol. This circle signifies the eternal and the infinite. It symbolizes the union of the soul with the divine entity.
Triskelion/Triskele: A motif which invariably has rotational symmetry consisting of three interlocked spirals, three bent human legs, or three bent/curved lines extending from the center of the symbol. The triskelion, was a prominent Celtic symbol that represented the concept of competition and progress. According to one opinion, the triskelion, represents actions, cycles, progress, revolution and competition. So, in short, it was a representation of a sense of advancement and achievement. The three legs, or rather the ‘limbs of the triskelion’, often had several different meanings, some of which include, body, mind and soul father, son and the holy spirit mother, father and child past, present and future power, intellect and love creation, sustenance and destruction It has also been suggested that the three limbs of the triskelion may represent the three mystical worlds of the Celts. The symbol was often used on armors, clothes, as a decorative motif in various tangible visual arts, and also in jewelry.
Triune Deity: A triune god or goddess is simply a deity with three different but connected aspects. An example of this would be Brighid, the Celtic hearth goddess. In addition to being a goddess of the home and domesticity, she is also a goddess of the smith’s fire and artisanship, and of healing and diving inspiration. In Brighid’s case, each of these three aspects are still called Brighid.
Tropical Year: A tropical year (also known as a solar year), for general purposes, is the time that the Sun takes to return to the same position in the cycle of seasons, as seen from Earth; for example, the time from vernal equinox to vernal equinox, or from summer solstice to summer solstice. Because of the precession of the equinoxes, the seasonal cycle does not remain exactly synchronized with the position of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun. As a consequence, the tropical year is about 20 minutes shorter than the time it takes Earth to complete one full orbit around the Sun as measured with respect to the fixed stars (the sidereal year).
Tuath Dé: “People/Tribe of the Gods”; Tuatha Dé Danann.
Tuatha Dé Danann: “People/Tribe of the Goddess Danu”; Deities. A race of supernaturally-gifted people in Irish Mythology.
Tuathal/Tuathail: “Northward”. The Gaelic equivalent of Widdershins.
Turning the Wheel: Passing of the seasons of the Sabbats.
Twin Souls: Said to be extremely rare, twin souls are two people who were once one light and got split apart somehow. Some say we only have three or four lifetimes with our twin soul.
Uncle Bucky’s Big Blue Book: Common nickname for Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft.
Unconscious: That part of the human psyche not directly available to the conscious Ego. It comprises the Collective Unconscious, and the Personal Unconscious.
Uncrossing: Old term for Un-Hexing; Cleansing and clearing the negative energy.
Unction: A ceremonial anointing with oil, often used as a welcoming into a sacred space, or as the symbol of one’s quest for enlightenment. It also is used in rites for the ill or dying, and is often connected with the symbolic “death” of initiation, required before a rebirth into a new life of higher dedication.
Underworld: The realm of the Sea. In various religions, it is a region conceived to be below the surface of the Earth and separate from the world of the living where souls go after death, the world of the dead. In some Pagan traditions the name of the area, metaphorically under the surface of the earth, where the souls of the recently dead go. In some traditions this is a temporary location followed by a location where the souls may spend more time, either permanently or temporarily in anticipation of reincarnation.
Undine: An “entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the plane of Water or is associated with the Water Element. Also known as nymphs, mermaids or oceanides.
Unintentional Dream Incubation: When a person receives a powerful but unrequested meaningful dream, usually as the result of sleeping in a place of power or that is holy.
Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG): Phenomenological concept that an individual’s spiritual insights (or gnosis) may be valid for them without being generalizable to the experience of others. It is primarily a neologism used in polytheistic reconstructionism, to differentiate it from ancient sources of spiritual practices. The term appears to have originally appeared in print in Kaatryn MacMorgan’s book Wicca 333: Advanced Topics in Wiccan Belief, published in March 2003, but seems to have truly originated in German-Scandinavian Reconstructionist groups in the 1970s or 1980s. The same phenomenon has also been referred to as “personal revelation”, or “unverifiable personal gnosis” (in a somewhat derogatory sense).
Upliftment: To lift up, raise, elevate. To improve spiritually.
Upper World: The realm of the Sky.
Vampirism: The draining of psychic energy from one individual by another.
Vanatru: Vanatru (also known as the Vanic Way or the Way of the Vanir) is a path within the religion of Heathenism which has a focus on the Vanir tribe of deities, which includes Freyja and Freyr, and their parents Njörðr and Nerthus.
Vernal Equinox: Spring Equinox; Ostara.
Vesica Piscis: A shape that is the intersection of two circles with the same radius, intersecting in such a way that the center of each circle lies on the perimeter of the other. The accurate geometrical construction is described within the prominent place of the first Proposition, of the first Book of Euclid’s Thirteen Books of Elements (c.300 BCE). The Vesica Piscis has been chosen by Philip Carr-Gomm to represents his concept of Druidcraft because the two circles represents the union of two principles, Druidry and Wicca, combined together to form something unique and different.
Vibration: The rate at which energy moves. The slower the vibration – the denser the matter. The Physical plane has a low vibration, and the Astral plane has a high vibration. As energy goes from a place of low vibration to a place of high vibration it produces heat, as it moves from a place of high vibration to one of low vibration it cools.
Virgin (1): Maiden.
Virgin (2): An imaged expression for independence, especially from men. The woman who is a virgin is her own person.
Virgo: The 6th sign of the zodiac (23 August – 23 September). Symbolized by the Virgin, is an Earth sign and is ruled by Mercury.
Vishuddha: Throat Chakra (Blue). Located at the base of the throat (thyroid). Related to psychic hearing (Clairaudience).
Vision: An altered state of consciousness in which a sacred image is perceived.
Vision Questing: Pathworking; It is the use of astral projection to accomplish a specific goal.
Visualization: The process of forming mental images. The act of visualizing. The ability to see, hear, touch, and taste with the inner senses. Concentrating or imagining something very strongly as a visual image. Forming mental images and being able to “see” them in the physical world.
Voiding the Coven: The stage where a new coven refrains from working magickally with the coven from which it hived off, until its own identity is firmly established.
Voodoo (Dominican): Also known as Dominican Vudú. A syncretic religion of Caribbean origin which developed in the Spanish Empire. Dominican Vudú is composed of three divisions: the Indigenous American Division, whose spirits are of American origin (usually refers to Taíno spirits); the African Division, whose spirits are of African origin (usually Fon and Ewe spirits); and the European Division, whose spirits are of European origin (usually Spaniard and French spirits). The Indigenous American Division is one of the main features that distinguishes Dominican Vudú from other forms of Vodou.
Voodoo (Haitian): Also known as Haitian Vodou. Syncretic religion practiced chiefly in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. Practitioners are called “vodouists” or “servants of the spirits”. Vodouists believe in a distant and unknowable Supreme Creator, Bondye (derived from the French term “Bon Dieu”, meaning “Good God”). As Bondye does not intercede in human affairs, vodouists direct their worship toward spirits subservient to Bondye, called Loa. Every loa is responsible for a particular aspect of life, with the dynamic and changing personalities of each loa reflecting the many possibilities inherent to the aspects of life over which they preside. In order to navigate daily life, vodouists cultivate personal relationships with the loa through the presentation of offerings, the creation of personal altars and devotional objects, and participation in elaborate ceremonies of music, dance, and spirit possession.
Voodoo (Louisiana): Also known as New Orleans Voodoo. Describes a set of spiritual folkways that developed from the traditions of the African diaspora. It is a cultural form of the Afro-American religions developed by enslaved West Africans and the French, Spanish, and Creole populations of the U.S. state of Louisiana. Voodoo is one of many incarnations of African-based spiritual folkways rooted in West African Dahomeyan Vodun. Its liturgical language is Louisiana Creole French, the language of the Louisiana Creole people.
Voodoo (West African): Also known as West African Vodun. Practiced by the Ewe people of eastern and southern Ghana, and southern and central Togo; and the Kabye people, Mina people, and Fon people of southern and central Togo, southern and central Benin. It is also practiced by some Gun (Gbe) people of Lagos and Ogun in southwest Nigeria. It is distinct from the various African traditional religions in the interiors of these countries and is the main source of religions with similar names found among the African Diaspora in the New World such as Haitian Vodou; Puerto Rican Vodú; Cuban Vodú; Dominican Vudú; Brazilian Vodum; and Louisiana Voodoo. All of these closely related faiths are syncretized with Christianity to various degrees and with the traditional beliefs of the Kongo people and Indigenous American traditions.
Vow: A promise; an oath.
Waincraft: Waincraft is a new, emerging tradition that is an offshoot of Vanatru. Waincraft draws its inspiration from various Eurasian mythologies, indigenous European cultures (Basque, Finn, and Saami cultures, among others), modern non-reconstructionist traditions (particularly Feri Witchcraft), ecological psychology and shamanism into a tradition that the author considers to be a form of Feral Paganism.
Wand: A branch or piece of wood used to channel energy, direct a cone of power or to invoke the deities.
Wanderer: Light Worker.
Wandlore: Information concerning magickal wands.
Wandmaking: The art of making a magickal wand.
Waning Moon: The phase of the moon between Full Moon and New Moon. This is the time for performing banishing magick.
Wanna-Be: A person who pretends to be something such as a Wiccan or Witch or magician after reading a few books on the subject or seeing some movies. They often will mix Wicca, Paganism, Pseudo-Native American and New Age concepts into a single composite often filled with inner contradictions. Because a wanna-be is doing this for himself or herself and not trying to show off, a wanna-be is often considered to be a step above the Insta-Witch.
Warding: A word used for the art of protection magick.
Wards: Guardians who permanently, or semi-permanently, watch over one’s home, campsite, family, etc. We “set wards” when we ask these guardians to stay and watch over our space and people.
Warlock: Literally, “oath-breaker”. A derogatory term for someone who has betrayed the craft and/or uses their skill for evil/negative purposes. Contrary to popular belief it is not the term for a male witch who remains just that, a witch. However, it is sometimes used to describe any male practitioner of magick.
Watchtowers: Originally from the Enochian branch of Ceremonial Magick, now incorporated into many Traditions of Wicca, these are the four elemental “directions” or “quarters” (corresponding to the appropriate points on the compass) called to protect the Circle during its establishment. Each of them have a correspondence between the compass point, an element, and (varying amongst different traditions) color associated with them.
Water: One of the four ancient elements that correspond to the West. The spirits of Water are known as Undines.
Water Signs: The three signs of the zodiac attributed to Water: Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio.
Waxing Moon: The phase of the moon from New Moon to Full Moon. This is the time for magick that involves growth and increase.
Way of the Scholarly Elite: Druidry.
Weather Magick: Form of magick practiced to change the weather. Despite these inherent difficulties, Weather Spells are among the most ancient magickal genres. The most successful weather spells are cast by a community in response to a consensus regarding a weather emergency, typically either too much or too little rain. It was believed that one could summon or banish storms by invoking ancient spirits. In essence the storms and winds are spirits.
Weaver’s Dance: Spiral Dance.
Web: A magickal concept that proposes that all things are linked together in some way. Any action will resonate throughout the entire web.
Webweaving: Networking with other magickal people through conversation, in writing, or by computer to gather information to mutually assist each other in their studies and life goals. A term popular among some “techno-pagans”, it describes the process of communicating with other Pagans via electronic means such as through using the Internet. More than just social interaction, webweaving most often has the purpose of gaining information for personal, spiritual, or magickal development.
Well: A Holy Well or a Sacred Well is a spring or other small body of water revered either in a Pagan or Christian context, often both. Holy wells were frequently pagan sacred sites that later became Christianized. They have some significance in the folklore of the area where it is located, whether in the form of a particular name, an associated legend, the attribution of healing qualities to the water through the numinous presence of its guardian spirit or Christian saint, or a ceremony or ritual centered on the well site. In Christian legend, the water is often said to have been made to flow by the action of a saint, a familiar theme especially in the hagiography of Celtic saints. All wells are sacred to the Goddess, as they are doorways to the Underworld and the womb of the Earth.
Wheel of the Year: The cycle of eight Sabbats; One full cycle of the Wiccan year, divided into eight seasons celebrated with the Sabbats (two solstices, two equinoxes and four cross-quarters holidays that falls in between), depicted as a circle as we view time as cyclical, not linear. Also expressed as a mythical cycle of stories about the God and Goddess and the seasons.
White Handled Knife: Boline.
White Magick: Traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magick for good and selfless purposes. With respect to the phi left-hand path and right-hand path, white magick is the benevolent counterpart of malicious black magick. Because of its ties to traditional pagan nature worship, white magick is often also referred to as “natural magic”.
Wholistic: Holistic. Wholistic refers to the whole, a whole item or whole body of a person or thing. The word defines the consideration of the entire structure or makeup, which includes the body, mind and the spirit in the case of a human being.
Wic: Old English word that means “To Bend” or “To Manipulate”.
Wica: Another word for “Wicca”; It was used by Gerard Gardner when initiated by the New Forest Coven and is still used by the Seax-Wica Tradition. Gardner referred to the collective community of Pagan Witches as “the Wica” (with one c).
Wicca: A contemporary Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature and celebration of the Goddess and God. It is thought that this term was originally coined by Selena Fox of the Circle Sanctuary in an effort to describe the modern religion of Witchcraft (as begun by Gerald Gardner in England in the 1950’s). Although pronounced differently, the Modern English term “Wicca” is derived from Middle English wicche, which itself comes from Old English wicca and wicce, the masculine term for wizard/sorcerer and the feminine term for witch, respectively, that was used in Anglo-Saxon England. Some say that “Wicca” means “Wise One” and refers to male Wiccans, while “Wicce” should be used for female Wiccans. Today, the word “Wicca” is largely used as the name of the religion itself while “Wiccan” or “Witch” are words used to describe the practitioners, either males of females. By adopting it for modern usage, Wiccans were both symbolically cementing their connection to the ancient, pre-Christian past, and adopting a self-designation that would be less controversial than “Witchcraft”.
Wicca 101: The term is usually used to describe basic books about Wicca for beginners.
Wicca Craft: Wicca or Witchcraft.
Wicca-Centric: A term to explain the tendency to default the subject of a book, a discussion, to Wiccan language in order to be inclusive. The problem is that it isn’t inclusive of other Pagan religions. Speaking in terms of “High Priestesses”, “High Priests”, “The Goddess” and “Coven” structure actively excludes other Pagan traditions. This tendency to use Wicca as a default is because for decades the majority of Pagans practiced some form of religious Witchcraft.
Wiccae: Wiccan; Rarely used. That term is usually used for “The Rede of the Wiccae”.
Wicca-Lite: Term used to describe a practice from Wicca 101 books, which are generic and poor in spirituality. The rise of this teenage-focused, New Age, pop-culture Wicca has been highly criticized by traditionalists, many of whom refuse to accept it as Wicca, instead using terms like “wicca-lite”. Wicca Lite can be considered to be the countless variations which accept everyone and anyone. They can be likened to Born Again Christians who believe anyone can become Christian, just by accepting Jesus. Similarly, Wicca Lite variations of Wicca do away with the traditional initiatory structures and believe that personal declaration of ones desire to be Wiccan is all that is necessary.
Wiccan: Practitioner of Wicca, either male or female. All Wiccans are Neopagans.
Wiccanate Privilege: A phrase that has been going round in polytheist circles. It refers to the ways in which Wicca-inspired ritual and theology are assumed to be normative for Paganism as a whole. Wiccanate beliefs and practices are privileged because they are widely considered the “default” or “generic” form of paganism. The reality is, not all pagans start out Wiccan. Because Wiccanate practices are not common to all religions under the pagan umbrella they are not in any way generic paganism. But at major events, you get opening and closing rituals that are Wiccanate in origin. At local Pagan Pride Days, more often than not, if any rituals are performed at all, they are Wiccanate. The overwhelming majority of books that claim to be about Paganism in general barely pay lip service to non-Wiccanate religions, while just about everything else they describe in the book can be considered Wiccanate Neopaganism (if not outright Pop/Eclectic Wicca), and moreover, most of these books are prone to use the words “Pagan”, “Wicca/n” and “witch/craft” interchangeably, as if the concepts were one-in-the-same.
Wiccanate: A term coined by Johnny Rapture, and it refers to American Neo-Pagan theological ideas and liturgical forms common to large public Pagan gatherings and rituals, which are derived from Wicca, but are perceived to be generic or universal to Paganism. Wiccan-Centric is a related term. What polytheists mean by Wiccanate is not traditional initiatory Wicca, but Wicca-inspired Neo-Paganism or Neo-Wicca, what Don Frew pejoratively called “Llewellyn Craft”.
Wiccaning: The dedicating of a child to the Goddess and God. A pagan form of Christening. Unlike a Christening though, the child is placed in the care of the Goddess and God, not declared to be a Pagan. The child is free to chose whichever religion they like, but a Wiccaning is done to protect them until they are old enough to become Pagan themselves.
Wiccaphobia: The fear of witches and witchcraft. Wiccaphobia, or fear of witchcraft, was once a societal norm throughout much of Christian Europe and the United States. The period from the 14th century Inquisition through the witch trials of the 17th century was known as the “Burning Times”, in which witchcraft was a capital offense tried through the courts. Today, Pagans and Witches are granted religious freedom in most countries, but fears remain.
Wicce: Old English word for “Female Witch”; Synonymous with Wicca. In some circles, “Wicce” is used for women and “Wicca” is used for men.
Wiccian: To use Witchcraft; To bewitch.
Wicker Man: The Wicker Man is a giant effigy allegedly used by the Druids to perform human sacrifice.
Widdershins: This is the opposite direction to deosil. Widdershins movement is regarded as “backwards”, and is used to symbolize undoing or diminishing. Most Wiccans cast a Circle deosil and open it widdershins, for example. Also called “Anti-clockwise”, “Counterclockwise”, “Moonwise”, “Tuathal”, “Northward” or “Northway”.
Wild Hunt: Ancient folk myth prevalent across Northern, Western and Central Europe. The fundamental premise in all instances is the same: a phantasmal, spectral group of huntsmen with the accoutrements of hunting, with horses and hounds in mad pursuit across the skies or along the ground, or just above it. The hunters may be the dead or fairies (often in folklore connected with the dead). The hunter may be an unidentified lost soul, a deity or spirit either male or female, or may be a historical or legendary figure. In Ireland, the leader of the Wild Hunt are Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Fianna or Manannán. It is also known as The Fairy Cavalcade. In Wales, the leaders are Arawn or Gwyn ap Nudd, the Welsh god of the Underworld. Historian Ronald Hutton noted that there was “a powerful and well-established international scholarly tradition” which argued that the Medieval Wild Hunt legends were an influence on the development of the Early Modern ideas of the witches’ Sabbath. Hutton nevertheless believed that this approach could be fundamentally challenged. Various practitioners of the contemporary Pagan religion of Wicca have drawn upon folklore involving the Wild Hunt to inspire their own rites.
Wildcrafting: Harvesting herbs or vegetables in nature. Ethics dictate we always ask permission of the landowner and the plants themselves, and never take more than a third of what’s there.
Will: That virtue is essential in the practice of magick. Will is very much akin to honesty, self-discipline, commitment, and conviction. “As I will, so mote it be” is not just a pretty phrase; it is a statement of fact.
Will-o’-the-Wisp: An atmospheric ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from the safe paths. The phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including Jack-o’-Lantern, Friar’s Lantern, Hinkypunk, and Hobby Lantern in English folk belief, well attested in English folklore and in much of European folklore.
Winter Solstice: Yule.
Wise Man: A man versed in magick, witchcraft, or astrology. A man who is venerated for experience, judgment, and wisdom. A mentor in spiritual and philosophical topics who is renowned for profound wisdom.
Wise Woman: A solitary female, usually elderly and often living outside of the local European village, who dispensed advice, medicines, medical aid, and folk magick remedies to people around her. When problems developed in the village or politicians needed a scapegoat, she would be prosecuted for Witchcraft.
Witch: A person who practices Witchcraft, either male or female.
Witch Doctor: Originally a type of healer who treated ailments believed to be caused by witchcraft. It is currently used to refer to healers, particularly in third world regions, who use traditional healing rather than contemporary medicine. In contemporary society, witch doctor is sometimes used derisively to refer to chiropractors, homeopaths, and faith healers.
Witch Hat: A tall, conical hat, usually in black and with a wide brim. Today, the hat of the Witch is an archetype and appears silly. Most Witches today wear no headgear (although the High Priest and High Priestess may wear a simple crown or stag horns). In the Europe of the 1400s, such a hat was popular among royalty and the upper classes. By the time the fashion filtered down to the common folk, it was out of style for the wealthy. At that time, the Christian church was trying to bring people away from Paganism and into Christianity. By claiming that Witches wore such hats they were subtly indicating that Pagan beliefs, like the hat, were out of fashion.
Witch King: A term found initially in Gardnerian Wicca that refers to the consort and working partner of a Witch Queen. Although usually a High Priest, it is not always the case. It does not mean the king of all Witches.
Witch Queen: A High Priestess from whose coven at least two other covens (Daughter Covens) have hived off. The High Priestess of the mother coven is known as a Witch Queen. She will usually wear a symbol of her authority over a daughter coven, often in the form of a garter, ring, or belt.
Witch Stone: Holey Stone.
Witch Wars: The regrettable use of vicious gossip and backbiting which sometimes surrounds a dispute within Pagan culture; not restricted to Witches. The term “witch war” can refer to online flames, letter campaigns, fights in person, and so forth. Responsible people do not support or practice this kind of behavior.
Witchcraft: The craft of the Witch; The practice of certain forms of magick, whether it has religious overtones or not. The practice of, and belief in, magickal skills and abilities that are able to be exercised individually, by designated social groups, or by persons with the necessary esoteric secret knowledge. Witchcraft is a complex concept that varies culturally and societally, therefore it is difficult to define with precision and cross-cultural assumptions about the meaning or significance of the term should be applied with caution. Witchcraft often occupies a religious, divinatory, or medicinal role, and is often present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magickal world view.
Witchcraze: Witch Hunt.
Witchdom: “Witch-Kingdom”; Covendom.
Witcher: Dowser. A witch practicing dowsing.
Witchery (1): Magickal influence; fascination; charm. The practice of magick.
Witchery (2): Witchcraft.
Witches’ Alphabet: Theban Alphabet.
Witches’ Needles and Pins: Dagyde.
Witches’ Rune: A power-raising chant accompanied by a ring dance.
Witches’ Salt: Black Salt.
Witching Hour: That term comes from Christianity mythology and legends and is not used in Wicca. With a modern literal meaning of “midnight”, the term witching hour refers to the time of night (3:00-4:00 am is commonly speculated) when witches were thought to be at their most powerful and magick to be most effective.
Witch’s Bottle: Any glass bottle or jar which is filled with variety of objects, charged with magickal power and used for protection, love, etc.
Witch’s Cake: During the “Burning Times”, it was believed that a witch’s cake had the power to reveal the names of witches who were afflicting someone. The witch’s cake was made of rye mixed with the urine of the girls and fed to a dog. The expectation was that the witch’s cake would injure whoever had hurt the person whose urine was used, and that would reveal their identity.
Witch’s Knot: A symbolic representation of the knot magick practiced by witches in the middle ages, and was used as a sympathetic charm against witchcraft, and usually scratched over doorways of homes and stables. One aspect of its efficacy as a protective charm lay in the ability to draw the complicated symbol in one continuous motion. While the symbol appears to be made up of intertwined Vesica Piscis, it does not represent “feminine powers” as is sometimes claimed, but the inversion of those powers- the four radiating half circles symbolically reflect malefic winds. Ironically, this is a popular emblem of choice for modern witches. Sometimes, the symbol is called “Celtic Air”.
Witch’s Ladder: A witch’s ladder (also known as Rope and Feathers, Witches’ Ladder, Witches Ladder, or Witch Ladder) is a fetish, in folk magick or witchcraft that is made from knotted cord or hair, that normally constitutes a spell. Charms are knotted or braided with specific magickal intention into the cords. The number of knots and nature of charms varies with the intended effect or spell. This is a length of cord tied with thirteen knots. In modern Wicca/Witchcraft it is used to keep track of counting during chanting or meditation. If, for example, a chant were to be repeated nine times, the Wiccan/Witch would use a cord with only nine knots and slide his or her fingers along the cord during the chant. Each time the chant is completed the Wiccan/Witch slides their fingers to the next knot until all nine knots have been encountered. Another type of Witches’ Ladder is used for magickal binding. Personal items such as a hair clipping, and symbolic charms or items are tied within the knots. This is believed to bind an offender and prevent him or her from further acts of harm. The cord is kept inside a box until the person is released from the spell. Untying the knots and burying the items in the soil will negate the magick.
Witch’s Moon: A witch’s moon is one that can be seen through the break in the clouds, or through thin clouds.
Witch’s New Year: Samhain.
Witch’s Sign: The so-called Witch’s Sign is used in some traditions to mark ritual tools, places where rituals are held, and altars. It is similar to the solar cross, but its exact origin is unknown (It is similar to the Roman numeral thirteen, a reader suggests this may represent the coven of thirteen members) Similar devices were used in the medieval period to mark time. This emblem has largely fallen out of use.
Witch’s Thanksgiving: Mabon.
Witta: A term coined by Edain McCoy to designate an Irish Witchcraft Tradition. Irish term for Wicca.
Wizard: A Wizard was a term used for Magicians or Sorcerers throughout history. The name did at one time become synonymous with the word Witch, but it is seldom used now. A Witch can either be a man or a woman, but the word Wizard is associated with males because Wizard was usually the town Sorcerer, a man.
Working the Root: Hoodoo.
Workings: Spellcraft; Spellcasting; Spellwork.
Workshop: A seminar, discussion group, or the like, that emphasizes exchange of ideas and the demonstration and application of techniques, skills, etc.
Worry Stone: Worry stones (also known as Palm Stones, Thumb Stones) are smooth, polished gemstones, usually in the shape of an oval with a thumb-sized indentation, used for relaxation or anxiety relief. They are used by holding the stone between the index finger and thumb and gently moving one’s thumb back and forth across the stone.
Wort: An archaic term for herb, especially to indicate herbs used for food or medicine. Often combined with another word to indicate that use of the herb, such as St. John’s Wort, Feverwort, Kidneywort, etc.
Wortcunning: Herbal Wisdom. The knowledge and use of the secret healing and magickal properties of herbs; a word used by folk healers, Witches, and Wiccans of all traditions to mean the practice of herbalism. Wortcunning has been associated with the Old Religion since ancient times.
Wreath and Staves: Druidic Sigil.
Wyrd: The word “Wyrd” is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and roughly corresponds to the concept of “karma” in Hinduism. Although wyrd can be personal it is often linked to whole families, tribes, and even races. Unlike Karma, it is not totally fixed. One can move within one’s individual web of Wyrd in accord with the amount of consciousness one commands. The less conscious one is, the more one is subject to the seemingly random workings of Wyrd, in contrast to “Orlog”, which is impersonal and cannot be manipulated.
Yang: In Taoism, the active, male, light, positive principle.
Year and a Day, A: One calendar year. Contrary to popular opinion, the phrase started as the definition of one full solar cycle (one calendar year). Thirteen moons times twenty-eight days equals 364, plus one “leftover” day. A year and a day is actually 365 days, and not, as many believe, one calendar year plus one day, which would equal 366. A length of time often used in Wiccan traditions. For example, a person may dedicate himself or herself to studying with a coven for this period. In some covens, and within some occult orders, a year and a day is the minimum length of time you’re required to spend in one degree before moving onto the next level. Some handfastings last for this period. It may be based on English law which states that if you harm someone, but they do not die from that action for a year and a day, you are not responsible for their death.
Yggdrasil: World Tree. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology, in connection to which the nine worlds exist. It is one of the best known Tree of Life symbols. It unites all existence from the Underworld and from the Upper World to the Physical world.
Yin: In Taoism, the passive, female, dark, negative principle.
Yoga: Physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in India. There is a broad variety of schools, practices and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism (particularly Vajrayana Buddhism) and Jainism. The best-known are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.
Yogi: Practitioner of yoga. The term “yogi” is also used broadly to refer to ascetic practitioners of meditation in a number of Indian religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
Yoni: A stylized representation of the female genitalia symbolizing the feminine principle.
Yonic: In the shape of a vulva or a vagina; in the shape of a yoni.
Younger Futhark: Also called Scandinavian runes This is a runic alphabet, a reduced form of the Elder Futhark, consisting of only 16 characters, in use from about the 9th century, after a “transitional period” which lasted during the 7th and 8th centuries. The reduction, somewhat paradoxically, happened at the same time as phonetic changes led to a greater number of different phonemes in the spoken language, when Proto-Norse evolved into Old Norse. Thus, the language included distinct sounds and minimal pairs which were not separate in writing.
Yule: A Sabbat marking the Winter Solstice (December 21-22) celebrating the rebirth of the God.
Yule Log: A log ritually burned at Yule to mark the death of winter and the birth of the sun.
Zazen: In Zen Buddhism, zazen (“seated meditation”) is a meditative discipline that is typically the primary religious practice. The precise meaning and method of zazen varies from school to school, but in general it can be regarded as a means of insight into the nature of existence.
Zen: Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in China during the Tang dynasty as Chán. Zen emphasizes rigorous meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others. As such, it deemphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through Zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher.
Zenith: Refers to an imaginary point directly “above” a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. “Above” means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location. The opposite direction, i.e. the direction in which gravity pulls, is toward the Nadir. The zenith is the “highest” point on the celestial sphere (meaning it is the farthest up from the gravitational force).
Zodiac: An invisible circular band in the sky through which the planets are seen to move. Divided into twelve sections called zodiac signs.
Zombie: Zombies are featured widely in Haitian rural folklore as dead persons physically revived by the act of necromancy of a bokor, a sorcerer or witch. The bokor is opposed by the houngan or priest and the mambo or priestess of the formal Vodou religion. A zombie remains under the control of the bokor as a personal slave, having no will of its own.