Adept: An individual who through serious study and accomplishments is considered highly proficient in a particular magickal system. A person can be adept at Egyptian magickal practices, but a total failureat practical kitchen magick.
AKASHA: the spiritual ether (or Aether); the omnipresent fifth occult element which embraces the other four-earth, air, fire, and water; and from which they stem. This is the realm of “pattern” or causality, from which the realm the normally thought of “five senses manifests. Some define it is the “other” of the “two worlds” that the witch or magician walks between.
Akashic Records: In the early part of this century the famed psychic Edgar Cayce brought to general society the thought form of Akashic records. Supposedly, there is a giant data base somewhere that can be accessed for information on subjects such as past lives, healing, and other magickal/spiritual practices. This record system cannot be accessed by material equipment, such as PC networking with a larger computer. In this case, the mind of the psychic or Witch accesses the data through Universal connections.
Alchemy – 1. A formula-based system of magic. 2.n. A theosophical approach to spiritual enlightenment by means of symbolically creating chemical experiments in the physical plane. 3.n. The imbuing of mystical properties into normal devices without using personal energies.
Altar: Any special, flat surface set aside exclusively for magickal workings or religious acknowledgement.
Amulet: Usually considered an object of protection that has been charged to deflect specific negative energies or thought forms. Amulets can be made of feathers, plants, beads, etc. The horseshoe and the four-leaf clover are two examples of amulets.
Ankh: An Egyptian hieroglyphic that is widely used as a symbol for life, love, and reincarnation. It is depicted as a cross with a looped top.
Animism – The belief that natural objects and nature itself are alive and conscious; or the velief that an immmaterial force animates the universe
Aradia: A champion Italian Goddess sworn to protect her people against the aggression of masculine faith and its persecutors during the reign of medieval terror. The original Aradia was a female Christ figure in Italy who taught around 1353. She was imprisoned more than once, escaped several times and eventually disappeared. The second Aradia you will hear about is Leland’s Aradia, a book detailing information from an Itailian Gypsy Witch.The third Aradia is the daughter of Diana. She is considered the Queen of the Witches.
Arcana: The two halves of a Tarot deck. The Major Arcana consists of 22 trumps depicting dominant occurrences in our lives. The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards (sometimes called the lesser Arcana) that assist in fleshing out the trump situations, or indicate smaller occurrences in our lives.
Asperger – A ritual tool used to sprinkle water for purification purposes
ASPECTING: 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 “Magical Name”, of Craft Name.
ASPECTS: Forms, facets, or personas of Deity: for example, Brighid, Iseult,Eos, and Kore are all aspects of the Maiden, and the Maiden is an aspect of the Goddess.
Astral: This word conjures lots of definations. To keep it simple, let’s describe it as another dimension of reality. Also referred to as “Dreamtime”.
Astral Travel/ Projection: The process of separating your astral body from your physical one to accomplish travel in the astral plane or dreamtime.
Athame: A cleansed and consecrated ceremonial knife used in ritual work by Witches. The knife is never used for blood-letting, and rarely used (if at all) for cutting anything on the material plane.
Attunement – A activity which brings the minds, emotions, and psyches of a group into harmony prior to ritual: Chanting, singing, guided meditation, and breathing exercises are common ways to attune
Aura – The energy field of the human body, and especially that radiant portion visible to the “third eye” or psychic vision
Balefire: You don’t get to see too many of these today. In country settings its function was both magickal and practical. Holidays at which you would most likely see this type of celebration are Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasadh and Mabon.
Bane: Another word for bad, evil, destructive.
Banish: To magickally end something or exorcise unwanted entities. To rid the presence of.
Bell – Rung to “Alert the quarters” prior to invoking the elemental powers
Besom – The old name for broom
Bi-Location: This is an interesting practice. You use a type of astral projection in everyday reality by retaining the capability to be aware of your present surroundings. Synonymous terms are overlooking and mind-travel.
Bind: To magickally restrain something or someone.
Blessed Be – All-purpose greeting, response and farewell amoung witches
Blood of the Moon: A woman’s menstrual cycle. If this cycle occurs over a full or New Moon, she is far more powerful during this time than any other time of the month, as long as she acknowledges this strength within herself. For too many years women have been told that they must regard their cycle with an unkind eye, calling it a curse when actually it is a boon. Society has so dictated this to them that they feel weak, tired and disoriented because they are supposed to. Wrong. If a woman can rearrange her thinking on this matter, the Blood of the Moon can pack a powerful wallop for her. If a woman does feel spacy, she should try grounding.
Book of Shadows: A relatively new term for the collection of information in book form for a Witch’s reference. Much akin to a magickal cookbook. Another name for this text would be grimoire.
Bolline: A curved, white handled knife used for practical magickal purposes such as cutting. For instance, the knife can be used to harvest herbs, cut a branch for a wand, inscribe candles, etc.
Burning Times: You will hear this often. It is in reference to a historical time around 1000 CE through the 17th century when it is said that over nine million people were tortured and burned by church and public officials on the assumtion that they were the Christian version of Witches. This turned into an extremely profitable venture, as all land and property was seized from the accused individual and portions given to the accuser (in reward fashion) and the remainder seized by the church officials. Historians indicated that the majority of people tortured and murdered were women and children.
Cabala: Also seen as Kabbala(h) and Qabala. The ancient Hebrew magickal system.
Call: Invoking divine forces.
Cakes and Ale – 1. In Wiccan practice, a sharing of food and drink after magical practice used as a thanksgiving and a means of grounding.
CANDLEMAS: Festival held on Feb. 1. One of the 4 Celtic “Fire Festivals. Commemorates the changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden. Celebrates the first signs of Spring. Also called “Imbolc” (the old Celtic name). This is the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, i.e. the first sprouting of leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers etc. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the successful passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural year.This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.
CARDINAL POINTS: 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.
Cauldron – Represents the womb of the Goddess
Centering – The process of moving one’s consciousness to one’s spiritual center
CHALICE: one of the tools of the Witch. Placed on the altar to represent the element of Water.
Chakras: Seven major energy vortexes found in the human body. Each is usually associated with a color. These vortexes are: crown — white; forehead (third eye position) — purple; throat — blue; chest — pink or green; navel — yellow; abdomen — orange; groin — red. Smaller vortexes are located in the hands and feet, as well.
Charge, The Originally written in modern form by Doreen Valiente, it is a story of the message from the Goddess to Her Children.
Channeling: This is a new age practice wherein you allow a disincarnate entity to “borrow” your body to speak to others either through automatic writing or verbally. Channeling does not have a very good track record simply because it is difficult to prove and the information imparted is usually not about things that can be “tested”. Subjects normally involve distant prophecy, what the after-life is like, the structure of other dimensions, words of wisdom that everyone really needs to know before it is too late, etc. Channeling is the new buzz-word for mediumship. The best known and most accurate medium within our present century was the late Edgar Cayce. Most bookstores will carry some of his material. Channeling is not the same as contacting the dead for information and help.
Charms: Can either be an amulet or talisman that has been charmed by saying an incantation over it and instilling it with energy for a specific task.
Cone of Power: Psychic energy raised and focused by either an individual or group mind (coven) to achieve a definate purpose. The most interesting cone of power raised in recent history was that of the Witches of England who stood together, despite their differences, to turn Hitler back from the shores of their beloved country.
Cleansing: The act of removing any negative energy, vibrations or images from an object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.
Consecration: The act of blessing an object or place by instilling it with positive energy.
Cord – May signify a degree. Also used in knot magick and in binding or loosing spells
Correspondences – A system of symbolic equivalences used iin magick
Coven: A group of 13 or fewer Witches that work together in an organized fashion for positive magickal endeavors or to perform religious ceremonies. The covenstead is the meeting place of the Witches, and is often a fixed building or place where the Witch can feel safe and at home.
COVENSTEAD: regular meeting place for a coven. Usually the home of the High Priestess or High Priest.
COWAN: a non-Witch. Formerly used in a very derogatory manner. Still used in Masonic Ritual to indicate the non initiate and/or pretender to “real craft”. Not often used today among most Witches.
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 – Another name for wicca or witchcraft
CROSS QUARTER DAYS: The modern name for the Celtic Fire Festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas.
Days of Power: Although usually referred to as Sabbats, there are other days throughout the year that can be considered days of power. These days can be triggered by astrological occurences, your birthday, a women’s menstrual cycle (also known as the Blood of the Moon), or your dedication/initiation anniversary.
Dedication: Unlike the initiation ceremony that brings one into an order, the dedication of a Witch is that process where the individual accepts the Craft as their path, and vows to study and learn all that is necessary to reach adeptship in a given tradition. In a dedication, you consciously prepare yourself to accept something new into your life and stick with it, regardless of the highs and lows this action may produce.
Dedicant– A non-initiated sutdent of wicca
Degrees – Levels of initiation representing spiritual development and craft skill, knowledge, and experience
Deity – 1. A religious or philosophical source of inspiration and control, possessing of an independent personality, which may or may not be an archetype
Deosil: Clockwise movement. Most rituals and ceremonies, even spells, call for deosil movement at some point in their construction.
Divination: The art of using magickal tools and symbols to gather information from the Collective Unconscious on the nature of people, places, things, and events in the past, present and future.
Dowsing: The art/science of using a pendulum or stick to find the actual location of a person, place, thing or element. Dowsing can also be used to answer yes or no questions, and quite a science has developed by holding a pendulum over a specially designed chart to answer specific questions on life patterns.
Drawing Down the Moon: A ritual used during the Full Moon by Witches to empower themselves and unite their essence with a particular deity, usually the Goddess.
Earth Magick: A practical form of magick wherein the powers and forces of Earth Mother are used to conduct magickal workings or celebrations. Usually items associated with the Earth and nature hold a particular significance in the ritual or spell.
Earthing – Sending excesses energy into the earth
Elder: Many Wiccan organizations have a group or board of Elders who oversee the operations of the church and its variety of functions. These people have usually gained their positions through a combination of their abilities which may include education, experience, magickal adeptship and counseling.
Elements: Usually counted as four: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. However, many Witches add Spirit or Akasha to this category, as well. Each element has a direction within a magick circle or working: East = Air; South = Fire; West = Water; North = Earth; Center = Spirit or Akasha.
Enchantment: A magickal object that must be kept absolutely secret and hidden from all human eyes and affects a hidden aura. Enchantments must be charmed first. Gems and magickal writing are good items to use for Enchantments.
ESBAT: weekly or biweekly meeting of a coven. Traditionally held either on the full moon or the new moon.
Evocation: To call something out from within.
Familiar: An animal who has a spiritual bond with a Witch; often is the family pet. Familiars can also be entities who are created to protect your home from the astral.
Fascination: A mental effort to control another animal or person’smind.