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 failure at 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 or Sunwise 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’s mind. It has been reffered to as “mind-bending”. Although the technique of fascination runs a borderline when considering humans, it should not be totally trashed. Using it for a love spell would be unethical, and much like committing psychological rape. But if you found yourself in an unsafe situation where you (or friend or family member) are in real physical danger, use all the tools and skills available to you.
Gaea/Gaia: Greek Goddess, now meaning Earth Mother or Mother Earth. Environmental action groups use this term almost as much as we do, if not more these days.
GARDNERIANS: Tradition of Witchcraft descended from the teachings of Gerald Gardner.
GNOMES: an “entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the plane of Earth or is associated with the EARTH Element.
God – Male personification of diety
Goddess – The femal personification of diety
Grounding – Psychically reinforcing ones connection with the earth
Grove – An organized group of pagans
GREAT RITE: The rite which is the main feature of the third degree initiation, and which is also laid down for certain festivals. It is sexual in nature, but may be `actual’ (and private to the couples concerned) or symbolic, as the participants wish.
Green Man: Another name for the God, as in his kingdom of the forest.
Guardians: Ceremonial magicians use the Guardians of the Watchtowers or Guardians of the Four Quarters. Some Witches use them, too. There are those that see these guardians as lizards, dragons, etc. Or, some envision them as Angels.
HALLOWS: name used by some traditions for Samhain, or Halloween
Heathen – A non-christian
HIGH PRIEST/ESS: Technically speaking, a Witch who has received the 3rd. degree initiation. More usually, the male and female leaders of a coven.
Handfasting: A Wiccan or Pagan marriage ceremony.
Immanence – The beliefthat deity exists within all things, including people, and cannot be separated from them.
IMBOLC: Celtic name for Candlemas.
Initiation: An experience that so transforms the individual that their concept or personal and worldly reality has been altered. A dedication ceremony should not be confused with an initiation.
Invocation: To bring something in from without.
Karma: The belief that one’s thoughts and deeds can be either counted against them or added to their spiritual path during several life times. In Sanskrit it means “action”. Follows the law of cause and effect.
LAMMAS: August 1st. Witch Festival. The Old Celtic name for this festival is Lughnassadh. It is the Festival of the First Fruits, and is the first of the 3 harvests. This festival also marks the change of the Threefold Goddess energies from that of Mother to Crone.
Lamps of art – Candles used to illuminate the alter at a ritual
Law of return – What ever energy is sent out returns to the sender multiplied
Laws of witchcraft – A list of rules for witches, forcasing on individual condut and coven operation
Left-Hand Path: It is a term that points to those people who feel they are justified in using magick for purposes that are not constructive to other human beings. It is a reference that they are possibly a self-serving individual. Conversely, the right-hand path is considered positive in nature.
Macrocosm: The world around us.
MAIDEN: An appointment held by one of the women of the coven. She is virtually the assistant High Priestess. This term is also the descriptive term used to describe the first of the aspects of the Threefold Goddess Energies (Maiden, Mother, and Crone). It is traditionally associated with the Waxing Moon, and the period from Imbolc (Candlemas) to Beltane (May eve) where the energies are those of initiating, beginning, and creation.
Microcosm: The world within us.
Magick: The art and science of focusing your will and emotions to effect change both in the world around you and the world within you. Magick is neither good nor evil, positive nor negative. It is the use of power that determines the path it will take.
Magick Circle: A circular boundry drawn in visionary blue flames or white light that protects the Witch from outside forces while conducting ritual magick. One must never step outside the circle while performing a ritual unless the appropriate precautions have been taken to cut a door. Nor should anyone step in during a ritual, unless they are following a pathway made for them. The door is usually cut with the athame or wand. This circle should never be left hanging after your ritual is over. This means that is must be closed just as ceremoniously as it was opened. The magick circle is considered the doorway between the worlds and allow us to move between the two. Some Witches draw the circle in the physical, either permanently on the floor or for temporary use with herbs, sand, salt, chalk or a nine-foot cord. The circle is still cast with blue or white light by the High Priestess/Priest or individual designated to do so. In some covens, the person is in charge of a particular quarter and is responsible for preparing the area before the coven members arrive. This includes cleaning the area, cleansing, consecrating, and making sure all the necessary supplies have been transported to the location.
Magickal Systems: Can refer to Traditions, denominations, sects, or pantheons. It is a basic set of guidelines relating to specific Gods and Goddesses or cultural traditions.
New Age: Usually refers to mixing metaphysical practices with a structured religion.
OLD RELIGION: another name for the Craft.
Pagan/Neopagan: Follower of a nature-based religion. The term Neopagan means “new Pagan”.
Pantheon: A collection or group of Gods and Goddesses in a particular religious or mythical structure. Examples are: Greek pantheon, Roman pantheon, Egyptian pantheon, Teutonic pantheon, etc.
Pen of art – A pen used especially for magickal work
Pendulum – A divinatory tool consisiting of a small weight on a thread or fine chain
Pentacle: A circle surrounding a five-pointed, upright star (known as a pentagram). Worn as a symbol of a Witch’s belief and used in magickal workings and ceremonies. Each point on the star has a specific meaning: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. Pentacles are never worn inverted in the Craft. Many Witches consider this blasphemy of their faith. However, an inverted pentagram is used in some second degree initiations, not to indicate evil, but to fulfill a function of growth.
PENTAGRAM: The five-pointed star. With a single point uppermost, it represents the human being. Inverted, with two points uppermost, it can have Satanist associations; but not necessarily. Some traditions of Wicca use the inverted pentagram to signify an initiate of the second degree.
Perfect love and perfect trust – A wiccian ideal; we begin by working to create them with in the coven and expand from there
Polarity – The interaction of tow differing polarity – energies can raise enormous amounts of magickal energy
Polytheism – A belief in many Gods Power – Energydrawn from natural sources, then concentrated and directed within a ritual for magickal purposes
Priestess: A female dedicated to both the service of her chosen deity(ies) and humankind. A High Priestess is the feminine leader of a coven or Wiccan organization and plays the role of Goddess in certain ceremonies. A solitary Witch can be a Priestess by dedicating herself to a particular God or Goddess.
Priest: A male dedicated to both the service of his chosen deity(ies) and humankind. A High Priest is the male leader of a coven or Wiccan organization and plays the role of the God in certain ceremonies. A solitary Witch can be a Priest by dedicating himself to a particular God or Goddess.
QUARTERS: The North, East, South, and West parts of a magickal circle or other ritual area. (See also “Watchtowers”)
Note: Neither male nor female has dominion over the other in the Craft. The High Priest and High Priestess in a coven environment should work as a balanced team.
REDE: rule or law.
Reincarnation: The belief that one has lived before in another lifetime.
Rite – 1 Ritual An elaborate and focused ceremonial celebration, organized for a specific purpose. The Individual processes making up a ritual.
Ritual: A focused mental/physical ceremony to either honor or thank one’s chosen pantheon, or to perform a specific magickal working or act.
Ritual tools – Implements used in ritual magick Runes – Letters used in the old norse and teutonic cultures
Runes: A set of symbols that are used both in divination and magickal workings. There are several types of runes with different origins. A few are the Norse, Scandinavian and Germanic runes. Unlike the Tarot, they are an integral part of a magickal system with its own pantheon, should you care to use it. They can function as an alphabet and are used in vision questing, dream recall and controlling your environment.
SABBAT: one of the Eight festivals or high holy days of Wicca.
SALAMANDER: an entity that dwells in the realm of Fire.
SAMHAIN: The festival of remembrance for the dead, held on the eve of Nov. 1st. It is the last of the three harvests. This festival also marks the transition of rulership of the “Wheel of the Year from that of the Goddess to that of the God.
Scrying: A divination method using specific tools such as a bowl of inked water, a mirror, crystal ball, etc., where the diviner “sees” either normal visual pictures, mental visual pictures, or information without any pictures at all!
Showstone – A crystal ball or other polished stone used for scrying
Sigil: A magickally oriented seal, sign, glyph, or other device used in a magickal working. The most powerful sigils are those that you create yourself. Sigils can be used on letters, packages, clothing, on paper tucked in your pocket, etc.
Skyfather: Assigning deification to the sky as the male entity. It is shamanistic in its origin and is used by several Native American belief systems.
Skyclad: In some traditions, for example the Alexandrian, it is the act of celebrating or doing a magickal working in the nude. This should not be misconstrued with sexual contact. There are many solitaries that prefer to work skyclad, feeling that the absence of clothing leaves their energy unhindered during the ceremony.
Spell: Extended mental and emotional energy spoken aloud, written, spoken to oneself, drawn or even danced. To work, it should be clear, concise, focused and emotional. The need must be present to bring any spell to a successful culmination.
Spiral: The sacred spiral plays an important part in magickal workings. It is the symbol of “coming into being”. A spiral dance celebrates the spiral symbolism.
Stang – A forked stick placed in the center of the circle, as a primitive symblol of the horned God or other diety being invoked
Summerland – A wiccan concept of the after life, where spirits rest in the company of the Lady and Lord, reflect on what they have learned in thier most recent incarnation, and prepare for the next one.
SUMMONER: The male officer of the coven who corresponds to the Maiden. He is the assistant High Priest.
SYLPH: an “entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the plane of Air or is associated with the AIR Element.
Talisman: An object that has been magickally charged in order to bring something to the bearer. Such an item could be a gemstone to win a court case, or a drawing to put in your pocket that will bring good luck.
Tarot Cards: A set of 78 cards which carry pictures and symbols used to connect the diviner with the collective unconscious. No one knows the specific origin of the cards, and there are many beautiful decks now on the market. The cards can be used to determine the past, present and future of an event or person and can become powerful tools in magickal workings and rituals.
Tarologist: One who is adept at the art and science of handling the Tarot.
Thaumaturgy – “Low magick” used to influence things and events in everyday life
Theurgy – “High magick” emplyed to connect with diety and foster spiritual growth or transformation
Thuible – A metal incense burner, sometimes suspended froma triple chain, used for cleansing
TRADITIONS: any of the various “sects” of Wicca such as Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Georgian, Seax, etc.
Vision Questing: Using astral projection, bi-location, or dreamtime to accomplish a specific goal. Also called pathworking.
UNDINE: an “entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the plane of Water or is associated with the WATER Element.
WAND: A rod or staff that is prepared so that it may be used for magickal or psychic purposes, usually to project some form of power.
WARLOCK: a term coined in the Burning Times . It was used to denote a traitor to the Craft, or one who had betrayed the followers of the Old Religion. It’s origin is Scottish. Because of the negative connotations, it is not used by most Wiccans today.
WATCH TOWERS: 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.
WICCA: the name most modern day Witches use for the Craft. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Wicce, meaning to bend or to shape. This is the root word from which we get wicker.
WHITE HANDLED KNIFE: the working knife of a Witch. It is used to carve candles, and for fashioning the other tools. Traditionally, it can only be used in a Circle.
Webweaving: Networking with other magickal people through conversation, in writing, or by computer to gather information to mutually assist each party in their studies and life goals.
Wheel of the Year: One full cycle of the seasonal year, beginning with the Samhain celebration.
Widdershins: Counterclockwise or counter-sunwise motion used in some magickal workings or ceremonies.
Witch – A priestess or priest of the old religion
Witch, Eclectic – 1. A witch who uses no tradition or teaching of the craft save for a combination of teachings and traditions researched by them for their own use.
Witch, Solitary – 1. A witch who practices alone, without a coven.
Witches pyramid – A symbolic depiction of the qualities necessary to practive magick
Working: As in magickal working. The process of using magick to reach a desired positive goal.